FARAVID 32/2008


Sinikka Wunsch, Tribunal of Treason adjudged about 900 verdicts in Oulu in 1918

My article focuses on the judicial aftermath of the Finnish Civil War (which lasted from January 27 to May 15 in 1918) during the latter half of 1918. The war was fought between the forces of the Social Democrats led by the People’s Deputation, commonly called the “Reds”, and the forces of the non-socialist, conservative-led Senate, commonly called the “Whites”.

The victorious White Army captured about 80,000 “Reds” by the end of the war. The prisoners were stationed in prison camps, also in Oulu. After a long dispute the Senate enacted a law for a Tribunal of Treason on May 29. In my article I also describe that political decisionmaking in progress.

The final aftermath of the war happened in courtrooms, where “Reds” were sentenced to punishments for their crimes against the state. The start of the heavy, slow process of trials was delayed until 18 June 1918. The accused in Oulu were convicted in Tribunals of Treason numbers 15 and 16. About 900 prisoners were taken before the tribunals, which convened until December. In Oulu more than 800 of them were found guilty.


Faravid 32/2008