Kullervo Manner
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Kullervo Manner

Kullervo Manner
Chairman of the Finnish People's Delegation of the Finnish Socialist Workers' Republic

29 January 1918 - 25 April 1918
Position established
Position abolished
Speaker of the Parliament

4 April 1917 - 31 October 1917
Kaarlo Juho Ståhlberg
Johannes Lundson
Leader of the Finnish Communist Party

Yrjö Sirola
Hannes Mäkinen
Leader of the Finnish Social Democratic Party

Matti Paasivuori
Väinö Tanner
Personal details
Kullervo Achilles Manner

12 October 1880
Kokemäki, Grand Duchy of Finland, Russian Empire
Died15 January 1939 (aged 58)
Ukhta-Pechora, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Political partySDP
Spouse(s)Olga Arjanne[1]

Kullervo Achilles Manner (Finnish pronunciation: ['kul:er?o 'm?n:er]; 12 October 1880 - 15 January 1939) was a Finnish politician and journalist, and later a Soviet politician. He was a member of the Finnish parliament, serving as its Speaker in 1917. He was also chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Finland between 1917 and 1918. During the Finnish Civil War, he led the Finnish People's Delegation, a leftist alternative to the established Finnish government. After the war, he escaped to the Soviet Union, where he co-founded the Finnish Communist Party. It is said if the Red Guards had won the Civil War, Manner might have risen to the position of the "Leader of the Red Finland".[2][3][4]

Early life

Manner was born a priest's son in Kokemäki. His father Gustaf Manner worked in various parishes, including those of Lappi and Vampula. Kullervo's mother was Alma Limón, daughter of pastor Johannes Limón.[1][5] After graduating from high school in 1900, Manner worked as a journalist in Porvoo and later in Helsinki. In 1906 he founded a newspaper called Työläinen (meaning "worker") in Porvoo, of which he was the editor-in-chief until 1909;[1] an article published in the newspaper in 1909 brought him the following year, already as a Member of Parliament, a six-month prison sentence for a lèse majesté (a lesser crime similar to treason) against Nicholas II in 1911.[1] He was elected to the Finnish Parliament as a Social Democrat from Uusimaa in 1910 and 1917. He was appointed Speaker of the Parliament in 1917. Manner's brother Arvo Manner [fi] was governor of Viipuri and Kymi provinces from the 1920s to the 1950s.[1]

Manner married Olga Arjanne (Seger until 1906) on October 26, 1908 at the local register office of Porvoo. From 1906 they worked at the same time in the Työläinen's editorial office and lived in the house where the editorial office was located.[1]

Civil War

On 28 January 1918, during the Finnish Civil War, Manner was appointed Chairman of the Finnish People's Delegation. On 10 April the same year, Manner was appointed commander-in-chief of the Red Guards as well as head of state of its short-lived government, "The People's Deputation. He was given dictatorial powers.[5] At the time, the Red Guards led by Manner ruled several months Helsinki and other southern cities,[6] while the White Guards led by General Mannerheim and the Senate has a control of northern Finland.[7]

In the USSR

Central Committee of the exile Communist Party of Finland (SKP) in Moscow, 1920. From left to right: K. M. Evä, Jukka Rahja, Jalo Kohonen, Kullervo Manner, Eino Rahja, Mandi Sirola and Yrjö Sirola.

After the Civil War, Manner fled to Soviet Russia where he became the second chairman of the Finnish Communist Party after Yrjö Sirola. He also became an official of the Comintern. In the 1930s, Manner and his wife Hanna Malm fell out of favor with Otto Wille Kuusinen. Manner was dismissed from most of his duties in May 1934. He continued to work as a Comintern rapporteur on Latin American affairs until July 1935.

Imprisonment and death

In 1935, Manner was arrested and sentenced to ten years hard labor. Manner was taken to a Gulag labor camp in Ukhta-Pechora in Komi Republic, where he died on 15 January 1939. The official cause of death was tuberculosis. According to professor of history Alexander Popov, the real cause of death could be attributed radiation sickness, which Manner could have received, since he worked with water containing radium.[8]


Manner was rehabilitated in 1962.

Political and military offices

Political offices
Preceded by
Kaarlo Juho Ståhlberg
Speaker of the Parliament of Finland
Succeeded by
Johannes Lundson
Preceded by
Chairman of the Finnish People's Delegation
Succeeded by
Military offices
Preceded by
Evert Eloranta
Eino Rahja
Adolf Taimi
Commander-in-chief of the Red Guards
10 April 1918 - 25 April 1918
Succeeded by

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f Matti Lackman (2017). Kullervo Manner - kumouksellisen muotokuva (in Finnish). Somero: Amanita. ISBN 978-952-5330-84-7.
  2. ^ "Manner, Kullervo - Svinhufvud". Finland100.fi. Retrieved 2020.
  3. ^ Flakin, Nathaniel (26 May 2019). "When the North Star Turned Red: Against Reconciliation". Left Voice. Retrieved 2020.
  4. ^ SDP:n puheenjohtaja halusi punadiktaattoriksi, mutta kuoli Stalinin vankileirillä (in Finnish)
  5. ^ a b Sainio, Venla (6 September 2001). "Manner, Kullervo". The National Biography of Finland (in Finnish). Retrieved 2021.
  6. ^ Keränen et al. 1992, pp. 91-101
  7. ^ Upton 1980, pp. 390-515, Keränen et al. 1992, pp. 80-89, Manninen 1993b, pp. 96-177, Manninen* 1993c, pp. 398-432, Westerlund 2004b, pp. 175-188, Tikka 2014, pp. 90-118
  8. ^ "Tiedonkierto 2003". www.tyovaenperinne.fi. Retrieved 2021.

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