F.E.Sillanpää Upper Secondary School in Hämeenkyrö!

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Monday, 15 October 2012

A Visit to Vapriikki's Exhibition Tampere 1918

On 18th September the students of an optional history course "The history of every-day life" and their teacher had an instructive visit in Vapriikki's exhibition Tampere 1918. The exhibition was about the civil war of Finland in 1918 and it concentrated on what happened in the Tampere area. It was very illustrative, including photographs, videos, items, maps and a lot more about the civil war. Furthermore we had a good guide Sallamari Kuusela from Vapriikki's staff who told us many interesting facts.

The purpose of the visit was to explore ordinary people living in the middle of the war. It was of course interesting but also shocking to find out what kind of life people had to live. I'm sure that everyone got a lot to think about afterwards. Here are some photographs taken in the exhibition.
A deep gap between rich citizens and poor laborers was one of the reasons of the civil war. In those two pictures on the wall the difference can be seen.

There were many reasons of the war. There were economical insecurity and political difficulties. Some of the red wanted to have a revolution like in Russia. The white feared that Finland could lose its independence. There was a lot of suspicion between people.  The politics didn't work and all that became a full conflict.

On both sides most soldiers fought in their own equipment. This is an example of the clothing of a red soldier.

In many cases people coincidentally ended up in their side. The choice was often because of their background, relatives, friends or social status. Even brothers could be on different sides. That's why the civil war was very cruel and caused tremendously hate and bitterness.

Even some children fought in the civil war on both sides. Those who didn't have to work for red or white army helped their families by searching for food, for instance. Many children had to hide during battles and they experienced a lot of fear, suffering and hunger.

This map is about the battles in Tampere. There were brutal fights and most women and children had to hide themselves in cellars or other places.

This photograph is about the 12 000 red prisoners in Tampere after the war. About a thousand of them were executed after hearing their judgments. Only a few were set free and the rest were taken to prison camps.

The results of the civil war were sad. A huge number of people, red and white, had been killed. Thousands of children became orphans and many homes were destroyed. There was bitterness between people for a long time. Even today there is a lot of discussion about the civil war. It took many, many years to Finland get over the trauma.

The visit in Vapriikki was very interesting and everybody learned a lot. In my opinion it is important to know the past for that we can make a better future.

Written by
Elena Alakomi 2b

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