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How It Started
"Gentlemen, as you all know, little Finland has become victim of a ruthless aggression by Soviet Russia. On November 30th the Russian armies invaded Finland by land, sea and air. Today her cities are being bombarded, homes destroyed, while her little army is making a heroic stand against the invading hordes. Finland is an outpost of Western civilization, democracy and freedom. Our sympathies are with Finland in her tragic hour, but she needs more than sympathy, she needs material help. Gentlemen, I have called you to discuss the possibilities of rendering her some of that material help..."
Those were the words of Mr. J. D. Holtzermann, a Minneapolis businessman, who, like most Americans had been shocked by the news that Soviet Russia, a nation of 180,000,000 people, had attacked Finland, a nation of 3,800,000 people. These words were spoken to a small group of business and professional men and civic leaders gathered in the Minneapolis Club on December 6th 1939 at Mr. Holtzermann's invitation to make plans for raising funds for Finland. Those present, besides Mr. Holtzermann, were George Leach, Charles Bolles Rogers, Dr. C. G. Arvidson, Dr. Ivar Sievertsen, John Harrison, Val Bjornson, Nate Crabtree, Ben Bull, Dr. A. C. Strachauer, Max Benzen and a Finnish delegation consisting of Dr. V. A. Luttio, Carl E. Sodergren and Arne Halonen.
A lively discussion followed Mr. Holtzermann's remarks. All those present were of the opinion that the people of Minneapolis, and Minnesota as a whole, should be given an opportunity to help Finland, our little sister republic.
To Mr. Holtzermann's question how the Finnish people felt about the situation and what plans, if any, have they made to help their countrymen, the Finnish delegates explained that already in the latter part of October and the first part of November the matter of giving material aid to Finland had been discussed in smaller groups. Mass meetings had been held at the Wells Memorial Hall on November 20 and again on November 27 to make plans for an intensive drive for funds, a relief organization known as the Helping Hand to Finland society had been organized, proper committees elected, etc.
"That's what we have done among ourselves," said the Finnish spokesman, "but we must admit that we do not know how to best contact the American people. If you gentlemen can help us in that respect, you don't know how deeply your work will be appreciated by the Finnish-Americans."
Mr. Holtzermann was confident that considerable amounts of money can be raised in Minneapolis and Minnesota.
"Finland has won the respect and admiration of the American people," said Mr. Holtzermann. "She is the only country that has paid her debt to this country. Her achievements in social, political and cultural fields have surprised the entire world. That country is now in a precarious position. The sympathies of the American people are strong for Finland - they want to do something for that little country."
A motion was made "To appoint all those present as members of a committee to be known as 'Minneapolis Help Finland Committee' for the purpose of taking such steps as are deemed necessary for a successful drive for voluntary contributions to aid the civilian population in Finland." Motion was seconded and enthusiastically carried. Before the meeting was adjourned Mr. Holtzermann was authorized to expand the committee and to call another meeting as soon as possible.
That was the beginning of a great mass movement for Finland in Minnesota among the non-Finnish people.
Mr. Holtzermann was elected chairman. He held this office until the beginning of March when he resigned to become Vice-Chairman. He was succeeded by Mr. Charles Bolles Rogers as Chairman and Arne Halonen as full time Executive-Secretary. A rent free downtown office was opened with Miss Aileen Hensely and Miss Irene Horsma as voluntary office assistants.
The committee was enlarged to include the following members: Merle Potter, John Colles, David Winton, Jack Cornelius, Mrs. John Dalrymple, Peavey Heffelfinger, Bishop Aasgaard, Bishop C. P. Bersell and Burt Burntvedt.
Finnish Relief Fund, Inc.
The Russian assault on Finland was met with deep resentment by the American public. "Every real American hates a bully; he has profound contempt for a man or a nation that rides roughshod over a smaller and weaker power." These words of Matthew Woll, Vice President of the American Federation of Labor, at the Finnish relief rally at the Madison Square Garden, expressed the sentiments of the rank and file toward Russia.
The cry of Hjalmar Procope, the Finnish Minister in Washington. "With clean conscience we stand before God and humanity," echoed from coast to coast. The appeals from the Finnish government, leaders of the Finnish church, trade unions, cooperatives and individuals made a deep impression on the American people. This country wanted to do something to help her little sister republic, defending herself against an agressor nation of 180 million people. The only way was to give moral and financial assistance through congressional action and by appealing to the public for voluntary contributions.
It did not take long for former President Herbert Hoover, who is loved by the people of Finland for his great humanitarian services in 1919, to answer the appeals of the Finnish government by starting a nationwide drive for contributions for the victims of war in Finland.
On December 6th Mr. Hoover incorporated the Finnish Relief Fund, Inc. An office was opened at 420 Lexington Ave., New York. Appeals were sent out throughout the country and in a few days a well organized drive was in full swing. On December 14th Mr. Hoover sent the Finnish Prime Minister, Risto Ryti, the following cable:
"I am sure I voice the feeling of every American. Our whole nation has long admired the Finnish democracy for its honor, progressiveness, courage and fortitude. We are indignant at the outrages to which you have been subjected and we are eager to express our sympathy in concrete form by assistance to your noncombatant population and the refugees who are the sufferers from unprovoked aggression."
These were no empty words, for by January 5th, $400,000 had been transferred to Finland by the Finnish Relief Fund. Inc.
At the next meeting of the Minneapolis Help Finland Committee on December 8 Mr. Holtzermann reported that Mr. Hoover had asked him to accept the appointment as Minnesota State Chairman and wanted to know what the other committee members thought of it. The unanimous opinion was that Mr. Holtzermann should accept the appointment and that the Minneapolis committee would assist as much as possible to extend the drive throughout the state.
To get the ball rolling it was suggested that a big relief rally be organized in the Municipal Auditorium with Herbert Hoover as our guest and principal speaker. The suggestion met with unanimous approval although some gentlemen doubted the success of a meeting in the middle of holiday rush.
"Many attempts to hold meetings in the big auditorium have failed even with more time for preparations," someone remarked.
"Yes, I know, but this is different. Finland is in the headlines every day. She is putting up a heroic defense. She needs help - help without any delay. The American people will respond to our appeals," Mr. Holtzermann assured.
The committee decided enthusiastically to arrange for a mass meeting at the Auditorium on December 29th and to invite Mr. Hoover to deliver the message that the people of Minnesota were anxious to hear. Proper subcommittees were appointed and the stage was set for the first Finnish Relief meeting in Minnesota at the initiative of American people who had no nationalistic, political or selfish interests in the matter.
When the doors of the auditorium were opened at 7 o'clock in the evening of December 29th, all doubts about the success of the rally disappeared because people started to stream in by the thousands and when the clock struck eight, the big auditorium was filled almost to capacity - almost 10,000 people. Only a few empty seats in the most distant corner could be seen. The auditorium was beautifully decorated with blue and white, the colors of Finland, and with flags of the United States and Finland. The display of the flags of these two sister republics side by side was an indication that Finland had not been left alone, that she had found a true friend in the American people.
The elaborate musical program was given by the North High School band, the Gopher American Legion band, combined Swedish, Norwegian, Danish and Odin Male choruses, and a mixed Finnish chorus of the Helping Hand to Finland society directed by Mrs. Arne Halonen, the a capella choir, directed by George Hultgren and Mrs. Alice Redlund at the organ. Scandinavian folk dancing societies presented folk dances. The invocation was read by Rev. Arne Juntunen, pastor of the Finnish Ev. Lutheran Church, Mr. Charles Bolles Rogers presided.
Heading the list of speakers was former president Herbert Hoover, chairman of the Finnish Relief Fund, Inc. He was preceded by Mayor George Leach, Governor Harold E. Stassen, Senator Henrik Shipstead., Thomas Gallagher and Marcus Tollet, special representative of the Finnish government.
Mayor Leach gave the welcoming address. Governor Stassen urged that Americans "extend their helping hand to that brave little nation in this hour of need". Mr. Gallagher in his talk said: "This great meeting here tonight is to bring home to us the present need of Finland, and the realization that Finland is not fighting its own battle, but is fighting the battle of free men everywhere." Mr. Shipstead pointed out that Finland has amazed the world with its understanding of "a government of the people, by the people, and for the people".
The culmination of this impressive program was naturally the speech delivered by Mr. Hoover who had been greeted by the huge audience with tremendous ovations. It was a touching speech every word sinking in the hearts of the listeners.
"Finland is a little country, carved from the bleak forests of the Far North, scarcely the size of Montana, with but four millions of people." Mr. Hoover said. "Yet Finland is a great nation. A nation is great not by its wealth or by its square miles. It is great by their industry, their education, their art, music - and their courage. It is great by their moral and spiritual standards. Greatness lies in their devotion to ideals of peace and liberty. All these measures of greatness can be expressed in one word - Finland."
Mr. Hoover concluded his excellent speech with the following inspiring remarks:
"The forces of primitive savagery have been unloosened upon the world. The Fnns are victims of today. Every decent person in the world is praying God tonight that these brave people shall yet be saved from this tide. For the world today witnesses one of those heroic stands for freedom of men that comes but few times in the centuries. It is a star illuminating the No Man's Land of civilization. Its glowing will light the minds of men and give hope to liberty for centuries to come ..."
The collection taken up after Mr. Hoover's speech amounted to $2,200 in cash and $500 in pledges.
How the Funds Were Raised
The activities in Minneapolis vividly illustrate the various methods used for raising funds for the Finnish relief.
A strong appeal for Christmas gifts for Finland was made by J. D. Holtzermann on Christmas eve.
"As we Americans celebrate this Christmas day in the happy circle of our families and friends, in peace and in the fortunate American way, may we not pause and remember that at this same moment the brave men and women of Finland are fighting in bitter cold to drive back the invaders of their homeland - even burning their homes when they are driven back in the far north," Mr. Holtzermann said.
In order to give an ordinary man or woman an opportunity to give according to his or her means, about one hundred collection cans were placed in restaurants, banks, hotels and office building lobbies. The quarters, dimes and nickels dropped into these cans amounted to hundreds of dollars.
The churches, labor unions, fraternal societies and lodges joined with the relief committees in helping Finland. The supreme lodge of the Sons of Norway appealed to the 20,000 members for aid, asserting "the North is threatened with extinction".
The Swedish Social Society gave a smorgasbord on February 1st in the American Institute of Swedish Arts, Literature and Science, to raise funds for the aid of Finnish refugees.
Various Swedish societies raised considerable amounts which they transferred to the Swedish Red Cross to be used in Finland.
Two piano accordions were donated to the fund and sold.
Members of Minnesota Artists Association donated paintings, water colors and prints for the Finnish Relief. These were displayed at Harriet Hanley Gallery and later transferred to the office of the Finnish Relief Fund. Over $400 worth of pictures were sold.
In ten down-town theatres Finland nights were arranged with Finnish ladies, dressed in national costumes, standing in the lobbies with collection cans. The collection brought a total of $150.00.
The national office had made an excellent short sound film entitled "Finland Fights", which was booked in six theatres of Minnesota. The film was left at our disposal after the peace had been signed and consequently the theatre owners thought that a war picture would no longer appeal to the public. This explains why the film was not booked by more theatres.
Mr. Holtzermann, Mr. Rogers., Mr. Halonen, Mr. Victor Gran, Rev. Arne Juntunen and others gave speeches and lectures at various churches, clubs and socials and in most instances were rewarded with collections or checks to the Finnish Relief.
Mr. Otto G. Lindberg, publisher and map maker in New York, had donated 100,000 maps of Finland to the national office to be distributed and sold for 50 cents a piece and all proceeds to go to the Finnish Relief Fund. Minnesota Division ordered 1,000 of these maps and distributed them through local committees.
In St. Paul the regular Sunday morning broadcast over WLB and WMIN was dedicated to the Finnish relief campaign the Minneapolis Symphony orchestra performing some of Jean Sibelius' masterpieces.
At the suggestion of Mr. Rogers a women's committee was appointed in the first part of March with Mrs. Harry W. Kavell as the chairwoman.
By the middle of May the committee had raised over $1,000 by conducting bridge parties, silver teas, basket socials, etc. Mrs. Kavell and the ladies who contributed so splendidly toward making the drive a success, deserve commendation.
First hand stories of the horrors of the Finnish war were told by Rev. Frank Magns at the Minneapolis Armory on April 14. The big mass meeting was sponsored by the Swedish Covenant Church, Swedish Baptist Church, Swedish Methodist Church, Norwegian Methodist Church, Assemblies of God and Evangelical Free Church. After a stirring speech by Rev. Magns, who had recently come from Finland and visited the front several times, a collection was taken amounting to $1,400.
"Take a Hand for Finland" was the slogan of card players in Minnesota and throughout the Northwest who under Herbert F. Horner, a Minneapolis Attorney and a great friend of Finland, organized bridge, Norwegian whist, cribbage, pinochle and other card parties in benefit of Finnish relief. "Let's do a real job, folks, and prove to the Northwest that we card players are good sportsmen and always willing to help those less fortunate than we are," wrote Mr. Horner, Assisting Mr. Horner in the card tournament were particularly Mr. J. S. Raymond of Minneapolis and Clement C. Scully of St. Paul.
The sports fans of Minneapolis wanted to do something. A basket ball tournament was conducted. The Norwegian American Athletic Club held a ski jumping tournament.
Mr. Nicholas Phillips, a well known sportsfan suggested that a big all-star athletic event be staged. Mr. Phillips was appointed as chairman of the committee on athletics and given instructions to organize "something big". At this time two great Finnish distance runners had arrived to the United States to assist Mr. Hoover in his drive for funds. They were Paavo Nurmi and his no less famous countryman. Taisto Maki, who had six world's records to his name. Because of his age and retirement from the track years ago, Paavo did not come to compete himself but acted merely as a coach, and trainer to younger Taisto Maki, who had been two months in the front lines fighting the Russians and sent here without preliminary training. We wanted Nurmi and Maki to come to Minneapolis. Mr. Phillips and his committee contacted Frank McCormick and Jim Kelly of the University of Minnesota and received their assurance for fullest cooperation in any attempt to get Nurmi and Maki to Minneapolis. Mr. Daniel J. Ferris, Secretary of Amateur Athletic Union informed us that Maki would be available for us on May 4th. The University had already arranged for a dual track meet between University of Iowa and University of Minnesota for the same day. It was therefore suggested that Nurmi and Maki be invited to run against Greg Rice, Walter Mehl and some other known distance runners in conjunction with the track meet. This idea was approved by President Guy Stanton Ford and the Board of Regents of the University.
Taisto Maki and his Manager Naylor Stone arrived about a week before the meet without Nurmi, who a few days earlier had left for Finland. In Minneapolis Maki found a lot of his countrymen and had an opportunity to speak Finnish, which was quite a mental relief after using with Mr. Stone back an forth his five words of English.
Although the local newspapers gave the meet good publicity, only about 4,000 people came to the stadium. A great portion of the crowd were Finnish people who had come from all over the state to see their countryman. Maki-Rice-Mehl race was featured in the middle of an interesting track meet. Although Maki ran beautifully leading most of the 3,000 meter distance, Greg Rice passed him in the last quarter of the last lap and just before the finishing line, Mehl pushed himself ahead of Maki. A new American record of 8 minutes 18.9 seconds was made by the ex-Notre Dame star, Greg Rice. Although Maki did not win laurels, he made $950 for his country.
On April 27th a "tag day" for Finnish relief was conducted. Mayor George E. Leach gave a special proclamation in which he stated: "The sensibilities of the people of the United States have been shocked by the attacks Soviet Russia has made upon the peaceful and self respecting country of Finland... Accordingly I am pleased to call attention to the fact that Saturday, April 27, will be utilized by the Minneapolis Help Finland Committee as a "tag day", at which time the citizens of this community will be asked to contribute what they can to this worthy cause ..."
Because of insufficient number of collectors and a cold windy day only $366 was collected. Credit for the "tag day" must be given to the ladies of Helping Hand to Finland society.
The young inmates of St. Cloud Reformatory gave their weekly allowances to the Finnish Relief Fund. A little girl had saved 100 pennies to purchase a reserved seat for Taisto Maki race. A young mechanic donated $50.00 and postponed his marriage to be able to give more later. An anonymous donor gave $1,000. "I cannot give much, but here's one dollar for the Finns," said an old lady who came to the office. "I wish I could give more," was a general remark of the donors.
That was the spirit shown by general public.
The Auditorium meeting was followed by a systematic drive for contributions. Mr. Holtzermann sent hundreds of letters to business concerns, various civic organizations, individual businessmen and civic leaders asking for donations. He spoke at various meetings and appealed over the radio. And checks started to come to Mr. J. G. Byam, the local treasurer.
Governor Harold E. Stassen by a special proclamation declared Sunday, January 14, a Finland day and urged the churches to pray for Finland and to take up offerings for the civilian sufferers in that war-torn country.
Wasting no time, Mr. Holtzermann proceeded to set up a statewide organization. He contacted his friends and other influential people in various cities and communities of Minnesota, asking them to serve as local chairmen and to appoint local committee members. In many cities and towns the mayors appointed chairmen and local committees. When letters did not bring results, Mr. Holtzermann jumped in his car and personally contacted local people. As a result a state organization of 73 local committees was set up within three or four weeks. It is not possible to give a complete list of all committee members or active workers. The following is a list of local chairmen or acting officers only:
D. C. Miller
ALBERT LEA, MINN.
W. A. Gray
Hugh Robards & Mr. Putnam
C. M. Krebs
H. E. Rasmussen
F. W. Riegger
BLUE EARTH, MINN.
E. P. Hummel
Mayor Ed Wheelecor
C. R. Raattama
J. A. Mattinen
Dr. Paul Andreen
A. E. Morck
DEER RIVER, MINN.
Mrs. Andrew Niemela
DETROIT LAKES, MINN.
B. L. Benschoof
Margaret Culkin Banning
George P. Tweed, Southern St. Louis Co. Chairman
EAST GRAND FORKS, MINN.
H. M. Mackenzie
O. H. Aamodt
Matt J. Hintsala
Wilbert C. Nelson
Rev. Walfred E. Erickson
K. E. Holian
F. F. Sefeik
I. G. Iverson
INTERNATIONAL FALLS, MINN.
L. V. Widmark
J. H. Brennig
Mrs. K. R. Palmer
A. T. Victor
D. R. Nordstrom
A. J. Anderson
A. A. Anderson
W. D. Willard
Rev. Melvin N. Tatley
J. M. Shrader
E. G. Hein
Rev. H. E. Soderberg
H. J. Tillemans
Oscar J. Halvorson
J. M. Deems
MOOSE LAKE, MINN.
NEW ULM, MINN.
Editor, Daily Journal
NEW YORK MILLS, MINN.
Dr. L. W. Boe
J. R. Landy
J. Roy Geier
A. P. Hechtman
A. C. Chapman
H. J. Sauer
PINE RIVER, MINN.
RED WING. MINN.
Raleigh R. AIbrecht
J. W. Roche
Rev. W. K. Naeseth
Dr. R. V. Williams
SAUK CENTER, MINN.
D. B. Caughren
SAUK RAPIDS, MINN.
Robert P. Howe
A. W. Hoodecheck
ST. CLOUD, MINN.
ST. PAUL, MINN.
A. J. Lehmicke
Oscar L. Johnson
O. F. Grangaard
Dr. L. L. Sogge
Walter R. Grimm
How the Finnish People Reacted
It is natural that the war between Finland and Russia agitated the 75,000 Minnesotans of Finnish extraction into feverish action. Meetings were called spontaneously in all Finnish communities. For the first time in the history of the American Finns political and religious differences were forgiven and forgotten. Labor joined hands with the rich, agnostics with ministers. Only a small group of communists carefully stayed aside dumbfounded at the strength of the united front of the Finnish Americans.
In some communities meetings were held practically every night for several weeks. Money was raised by public subscription, freewill offering, silver teas, dinners, auctions, coffee parties, concerts, sale of "Help Finland" buttons, etc. The Finnish people as a whole with only a very few exceptions, pulled together, everybody wanting to help the people back in the "old country".
"Helping Hand to Finland"
In the latter part of October, when the relations between Finland and Russia became so tense that the Finnish government took steps to evacuate border towns and cities liable to become military objectives, some individuals in Minneapolis wrote to E. A. Aaltio, the Finnish Consul in Duluth, suggesting organized drives for funds to aid Finland. Mr. Aaltio felt that the plan might be premature as there were still hopes for amicable settlement of differences between Russia and Finland. The news from Finland became more alarming day after day. On November 20 a meeting of Finnish people and people of Finnish descent was held at John Jacobson's home. The consensus of opinion was that an organized drive to help Finland should be started without delay. Necessary officers, a board of directors and other committees were elected. A mass meeting was held on November 27 with Consul Aaltio as the principal speaker. Mr. Aaltio very eloquently explained the situation in Finland and urged the Finnish-Americans to do everything they could in support of their old home land, which now was drifting into an open conflict with her powerful neighbor.
At the end of the meeting a collection was taken up. One gentleman stepped forward, "I'll give one hundred dollars to start with," said he and laid down the money. A young man who had arrived from Finland only a few years ago, gave fifty dollars. Ten, five and one dollar bills were thrown on the table. A helping hand to Finland had been extended. For the organization there could be no better name than the "Helping Hand to Finland Society".
The meeting decided that all funds collected be sent to the Finnish Minister in Washington to be left at the disposal of the Finnish government. All work connected with the drive was to be done gratis. Expenses should be kept at a minimum so that every possible cent collected would go to Finland.
Mr. Mauno Lund donated "Help Finland" posters, which were placed all over the city.
Thus started one of the best organized and most diversified campaign to aid the people "back home", fighting for their existence.
Church meetings were held, one big Scandinavian mass meeting at the Central Lutheran Church, concerts were given by the Helping Hand to Finland mixed chorus of 40 selected voices, Finnish plays were performed, silver teas, dinners, coffee parties, etc. Special Finland Days were held by the following cafes and restaurants: Siren's Cafe, Kangas Cafe, Variety Bar and Bill McNellis.
This campaign lasted all winter without a letup. Those who were active in committees worked day and night – Tired, yes, some times, but their consolation was that their sacrifice was nothing campared to the struggle of their brothers and sisters in the "old country".
At the suggestion of Finnish Consulate in New York, a collection for new and used clothing was started. The Finnish Evangelican Lutheran Church, which had opened its doors to the Helping Hand of Finland for meetings, became also a depot for clothing collections. News received from Finland that some refugee mothers had to wrap up their babies in newspapers to keep them warm, gave some of the ladies an idea to arrange a baby shower for refugee babies in Finland. And what a "shower" it was! People by the hundreds brought baby clothing that they had either made themselves or bought. Long tables around the Wells Memorial Hall were loaded with beautiful little garments. Thousands of pieces were donated. It was a thrilling sight, and tears could be seen in the eyes of both women and men walking around the tables. With these donations the people of Minneapolis brought happiness and smiles to thousands of mothers and babies in war-torn Finland!
A little later a blanket and bedding shower was held. All the garments were neatly packed by volunteers and shipped to New York to be transferred into ships and taken to Finland. Altogether about 9,000 pounds of clothing and shoes were shipped from Minneapolis by the Helping Hand to Finland.
The Juniors of the Helping Hand to Finland organized a dance and smorgasboard at the Joppa Lodge and raised a considerable amount for a country that they had never seen but knew well.
Besides organizing doings of its own, the Helping Hand to Finland assisted the drive of the Finnish Relief Fund, Inc., in every possible way.
By the end of May the Helping Hand to Finland had sent to Minister Procope in Washington $8,000 and over $1,000 had been used to buy clothing, to pay for freight, etc. The plan is to continue the drive as long as there seems to be possibilities and interest among the some 2,000 or 3,000 Finnish people of Minneapolis.
It is not possible to list all the active workers of the Helping Hand to Finland. In this connection we must limit ourselves to list only the officers and members of the board of directors and committee chairmen or acting directors:
Dr. V. A. Luttio, Chairman; John E. Sala, Vice-Chairman; John Jacobson, Treasurer; Erick Mikkola, Secretary; Elma Anderson, financial secretary; Carl E. Sodergren, Executive Director, Directors and sub committee chairmen: Wm. Kangas, Mrs. Hulda Storm, Mrs. Hattie Eldred, Mrs. Selma Lindfors, Mrs. John E. Sala, Mrs. Arne Halonen, Mrs. V. A. Luttio, Jacob Perala, Axel Lund, Otto Kyro, Mrs. Otto Kyro, Mrs. E. Wuori, Mrs. Wm. Kangas, Mrs. G. A. Benrick, Mrs. Carl Sodergren, Mrs. John Jacobson, Arne Halonen, Heming Sanback, G. E. Bjorklund and Mrs. Amanda Haapakoski.
Duluth Went "Over the Top"
As could be expected, Duluth became the center of an intensive campaign for Finland, because, in Herbert Hoover's own words, "Duluth is the capital of the Finnish people in America". At the outbreak of war the situation was similar to that of Minneapolis. The alarming news from Finland had aroused the Finnish people into feverish action and a relief organization known as the General Relief Association for Finland was set up. This organization became the center of activities of the Finnish people not only of Duluth but throughout the Iron Range where local relief committees had been spontaneously organized by the Finnish residents.
General Relief Association has received contributions from all over the Northwest as far as Dakota, Montana, Wisconsin and Michigan.
At first the General Relief Association transferred the funds to the Red Cross, but later it was decided to send them to the Finnish Consulate. By the end of May a total of $39,275.21 had been raised of which $26,672.10 was transferred to the Red Cross and $11,000 to Minister Hjalmar Procope. The work still continues.
A permanent membership organization has been formed with dues ranging from a minimum of 50 cents per month to $10.00 per month.
It is not possible in this connection to list all the active workers who contributed toward the success of the drive. We are listing only the officers and members of the executive committee: John L. Ollila, chairman; Kosti Erlund, Secretary, A. A. Toivonen, treasurer; Lauri Lemberg, Martha Ylinen, O. J. Larson, Arthur Pelto, John Antila, Viena P. Johnson, Arthur Lampe.
The "Hoover Committee" of Duluth
The Duluth Committee for Finnish Relief Fund ("Hoover Committee") was initiated by Mayor C. R. Berghult upon invitation of Herbert Hoover. Mayor C. R. Berghult, with the help of an advisory committee, appointed an executive committee of eighteen members. Margaret Culkin Banning accepted the invitation to be the Chairwoman and J. W. Lyder to serve as treasurer. The Duluth Herald and News Tribune willingly provided office space in the building. On December 26, 1940, the committee was set to function. Herbert Latvala was appointed as acting secretary to look after the donations and routine business.
In course of the work the committee sponsored the following: (1) A public mass meeting on December 30, 1939 at the Duluth Armory with Herbert Hoover as guest speaker. (2) An all-Sibelius symphony, concert. with Duluth Symphony Orchestra assuming the burden. The concert was held on February 4, 1940. (3) Girls in Finnish national costumes taking collections in the local theatres on February 17 and 18, 1940.
In order to facilitate the drive for funds among the local organizations, the chairman wrote letters appealing to all local clubs, associations, fraternal orders to make a group contribution to the fund. One hundred and sixty-two organizations responded to the call by donating a toal of $2,452.21!
The Duluth Herald and News Tribune drive for funds was continued for a period of seven weeks.
The total amount collected by February 20th was $20,566.65. Since then the drive has not been pushed, but smaller amounts were received during March and April.
The Duluth committee wanted to set a good example for the drive throughout the country, for, as Miss Banning said. "If the drive in this area bogs down, how can we expect help from elsewhere?"
Iron Range Communities Very Active
The Iron Range communities with large Finnish populations responded generously. According to the information on hand Finnish relief committees functioned at least in the following communities with the following persons acting as chairmen: Virginia, J. Ketola; Iron, Minn., Mrs. Marcus Patila; Cherry, John Wiitanen; Brimson, Uno Kivi; Tower, Peter Hiltunen, Orr, Herman Lammi; Angora, John Kortesman; Ely, Jacob L. Pete; Cook, Gustaf A. Gustafson; Eveleth, Jack Hill; Embarrass, Mrs. Jack Anderson, Angora, William Pautio; Gilbert, Nestor Laine; Mt. Iron, Hans Renfors; Chisholm, C. R. Raattama; Kelsey, Mrs. Mike Parsonen; Payne, Elmer Saari; Aurora, John Waltanen; Biwabik, Mrs. Conrad Rand; Gheen, Martha Brandt; Florenton, Antti Heikkila; Kinney, Mrs. Olga Niemi; Tower, Konster Marttila; Hibbing, Jack Rival, Cook, Mike Krause; Vermillion Dam, Oscar Eichaltz; Cook, Jack Johnson; Angora, Alex Jackson, Leoneth, Jack Lintula; Palo, Isaac Sanberg.
The methods of raising funds were similar to those used in Minneapolis and Duluth, with some variations and additions. Mr. John Ketola of Virginia reported on February 21st: "It might interest you to know that we have organized a 'Pay By the Month Club' and are now in the process of encouraging subscriptions on a monthly basis. We feel that if this plan is exploited on a wide scale the possibilities of raising money continuously can be achieved."
To illustrate how the campaign progressed in Virginia, we quote from the Virginia Enterprise: "We feel that Virginia, in particular, and also its neighbor towns who have helped out, should take a bow. The work is not yet done, not by a long shot, but receipts speak for themselves: Saturday, $601.25, Monday, $600.86, Tuesday, $706.65 ... The campaign leaves pleasant memories. There was no back biting. Yesterday Donald Lehto, 8 years old, of Lincoln Location, came in and spread 61 cents on the counter. 'It's my Christmas money,' he explained ... "
Hibbing 99.9 Per Cent for the Finns
Mr. J. W. Koskinen, Secretary of the Finland Relief Committee of Hibbing reports on May 31st, 1940, as follows:
Our first meeting was held on December 15 at which meeting the Executive Committee was appointed consisting of the following people: John Rivall, Chairman; J. W. Koskinen, Secretary; A. A. Koskinen, Treasurer; Mrs. Charles Sandberg, Assistant Secretary; Arde Laulainen, Co-Chairman; Mrs. Impi Rautavirta, Coordinator.
Representatives were also selected from the following organizations: Ladies of Kaleva, Finnish Temperance Society, Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Church, Finnish Congregational Church, Cooperative Society, North Star Civic Club. We started our first communitywide campaign by having a large meeting at the Elks Temple at which meeting were represented delegates from The School Board, Village Council, Police Department, Fire Department and many representative people of Hibbing. Solicitors were appointed to each voting precinct of the School, Township and Village and representative people were appointed to contact all employees of the mining companies and business concerns. Our campaign was a big success, because 99.9 per cent of the people of Hibbing were very sympathetic to the Finnish cause. Since our first drive we have had coffee socials, entertainments, etc. We also sponsored two hockey games receiving a percentage of the gate receipts.
The Ladies of Kaleva supervised the collection of clothing and many boxes and trunks of badly needed clothing were shipped to Finland. Mrs. Henry Wuopio sponsored a "baby party" to which approximately $400.00 worth of baby clothing were brought.
To date we have collected in Hibbing $6,900 of which $6,000 has been forwarded to the Finnish Relief Fund, Inc., in New York and $581.00 to the Finnish Legation in Washington, the balance being in the treasury.
The local newspaper, the Hibbing Daily Tribune, cooperated with the committee to the fullest extent. Irene Bedard cooperated with the Treasurer by accepting the money paid the Tribune office and Mr. George Fisher, the Editor, handled all the publicity. About 75 to 85 per cent of all the receipts in Hibbing came from the Finnish people. The original executive committee is still functioning assisted by many others the following of whom should be particularly mentioned: Mrs. Wuopio, Mrs. Salo, Mrs. Rautavirta, Mrs. Taipale, Mrs. Malinen, Mrs. Mikkola, Mrs. Sandberg, Mrs. Werman, Mrs. Wellems, Mr. Linjanen, Mr. Metsala, Mr. Niemi, Mr. Sundvall, Mr. Kojola, Mr. Johnson, Mr. Maki, Mr. Hernesmaa, Mr. Juntunen, Mr. Oikari and others.
$10,000 Contributed by the Co-ops
The cooperative stores in the Northern parts of the state originally organized by Finnish people, raised about $10,200 by arranging benefit socials or by voting to donate certain amounts from the general funds of the societies. These contributions were sent through the Central Cooperative Wholesale of Superior, Wis., to Kulutusosuuskuntien Keskusliitto (K. K.), the Central Organization of the Consumers Cooperatives in Finland. The Central Cooperative Wholesale donated first $500 and later $1,000 to the Finnish Relief and the annual meeting authorized the board to give more later.
"Glad of the Opportunity ..."
One of the most active local chairmen was Dr. L. W. Boe, president of St. Olaf College at Northfield, Minn., who wrote to the state office: " ... We are glad of the opportunity, to help and appreciate very much that the Finns made such a fine record in their fight for freedom."
Rev. Melvin N. Tatley of Marietta, Minn.. writes: "As for the drive in this community there is not much to tell. Dr. L. W. Boe's telegram stating tersely and asking for aid for Finland is the spark that got me going. I went to the different pastors one of whom co-operated (Congregational) by suggestions and promising to announce it from the pulpit ... The pastor and I went to the leading business places in the town and asked if we would be allowed to put receiving cans for Finnish Relief along with a sheet for the list of givers and the amount, in their stores. All agreed .... The local schools cooperated in making splendid posters. It was announced from the pulpits and after two or three weeks the receiving cans and material were collected. I was disappointed. There had come only $32. But that was something and I had the satisfaction that I had tried. Those who best cooperated are C. P. Smith, Rev. G. L. Waite and R. M. Stensvad.
Dr. V. Williams of Rushford, Minn., writes on February 7th: "We have been getting money from several groups that have not been solicited ... We have about twenty glass jars in the different business places about the city and everyday some money is added ... Rushford is only a small town of 1250 people but if all communities of this size will do as well it will help a lot..."
Mr. D. F. Nordstrom of Litchfield, Minn., writes on May 17th: " ... We know that our county (Meeker Co.) contributed approximately $2,000 to the cause, much of the money being sent directly from the Kingston-Dassel district. This same district also united with Wright County drive which centralized at Cokato where big meetings were held and which movement was started before that of this county..."
At Cokato, one of the oldest Finnish communities in the state, a big relief rally was held at the town auditorium with Gov. Harold E. Stassen as the principal speaker. Delegations representing two counties and several towns took part.
As these reports clearly indicate the drive to help Finland was more than a campaign for funds, it was a spontaneous mass movement in behalf of Finland symbolizing the ideals and principles that are cherished by the American people.
The Communist Propaganda
The success of the Finnish relief drive enraged the small but boisterous group of communists and their sympathizers throughout the state. Communist leaflets were distributed particularly in the Finnish communities. The communist propagandists claimed that Finland was being used by England as a stepping stone in her attack against the Soviet Union but did not get much support among the American public, because, after all, England seemed to have her hands full without inviting more trouble. Their widely distributed pamphlet purporting to give "historical, economic and political facts" about the Russo-Finnish war was taken generally as very clumsy prosoviet propaganda.
Copies of the "Declaration of people's government of Finland", both in Finnish and English languages were widely distributed. "This government hereby calls the entire Finnish people to a determined struggle for the overthrow of the tyranny of hangmen and war provocateurs ..." read the declaration of this puppet government set up by Russia at Terijoki, Finland, on December 1, or the next day after the Russian armies had crossed the border. This declaration which is one of the most amusing historic documents could not mislead anybody in Minnesota any better than it did in Finland.
While the hearts of every Finn and right-minded American were filled with joy when news of Finland's military successes were read, the contention of the "people's government" that " ... masses of the people of Finland meet and welcome the valiant and invincible Red Army with tremendous enthusiasm, being aware that it is marching to Finland not as a conqueror but as a friend and liberator of our people" was taken as a big joke. But it did not lessen the enthusiasm of the spreader of soviet propaganda. The proclamation boasted that the Finns are joining the "invincible" red army and that to the "First Finnish Army Corps is accorded the honor of bringing the banner of Finland's Democratic Republic (the Russian controlled puppet state) into the capital and hoisting it on the roof of the Presidential Palace..."
Needless to say that the banner of the puppet government remained at Terijoki (six miles from the Russian border) and that the white and blue flag of the republic of Finland still flies on the roof of the Presidential Palace as a symbol of free and independent Finland.
When bills for extending credit to Finland were presented in the United States Congress, the communist elements worked overtime in sending protests to the Congressmen. Letters were sent also to the newspapers warning the American people that financial aid to Finland would involve United States in the European conflict!
"The best aid we can give to the people of Finland is to block Wall Streets efforts to enlist the support of the United States for an anti-social adventure on Finnish Soil," one of the Communist leaflets proclaimed.
The well planned communist propaganda did not seem to have much effect in minds of American people. On the contrary, Soviet Russia with her assault on Finland had exposed herself as an imperialistic aggressor. Even people, who had been sympathetic to Soviet Russia, now turned their backs to her. The cause of soviets had received another black eye.
Conclusion of the Peace and the Relief Drive
Just as suddenly as the war between Russia and Finland had broken out, was the peace concluded on March 12th. Would the people still be interested in helping the Finns? To the people connected with the drive it was clear that Finland needed outside help more than ever in her rehabilitation. But would the public understand it?
Yes, the public did understand!
On the same date the peace treaty was signed between Finland and Russia, the Minnesota Division received the following message from Herbert Hoover:
"I have this afternoon received the following cable from the President of Finland: 'Deeply grateful for the humanitarian aid which through your philanthropic activities we have received during the Finnish war for the relief of the distressed, I hope with all my heart that you will continue to alleviate the lot of those suffering on account of the war for the population of the ceded area will be moving into the territory of the republic. We have signed a compulsory peace, yet we hope that our struggle for the right has gained us the sympathy of the civilized world and trust that we shall not be left to our own resources in the work of reconstruction. Kyosti Kallio."
In the next message from Mr. Hoover the program for future action was set forth as follows:
"The terms imposed on Finland mark, another sad day for civilization. The Finns made a heroic defense that will life for all time. But the odds were insuperable.
Finnish Relief must continue for the present to meet the civilian emergencies for which it was created. There will be thousands more of Finnish refugees from the Russian acquired territory for whom new homes must be found. Homes destroyed by air attacks in every town and city must be rebuilt. There are many destitutes who need be carried over until normal life can be reestablished. I hope the fund will continue to receive the united support of the American people as in the past. We ought to give this encouragement to the Finnish people in this time of trial.
"I feel deeply that we should keep open channels by which our people can contribute if they wish and that it would be fine if you could make a statement to the same effect for your state press in different terms. Herbert Hoover."
There was no question but that the Minnesota Division wanted to continue the drive. The following statement regarding the drive in Minnesota was given to the press by chairman Charles Bolles Rogers:
"The tragic peace, made by Finland with the aggressor enemy in desperation, in no way must end the drive for money to aid these gallant people. War has laid a heavy hand on this simple hard working, peace loving nation. Cities are in ruins, homes destroyed and thousands of widows and orphans are left to the survivors to provide for. The real work of merey has just begun. Minnesota has risen valiantly in the call for funds for Finland - but our quota for the great humanitarian effort has not been reached. We must press on in our efforts that these discouraged people may know that our expression of sympathy does not come alone from our lips but from our hearts."
Radio Station WTCN of Minneapolis gave Arne Halonen an opportunity to appeal to the public over the air. He said in part as follows:
"March 12th was a day of great sorrow to the people of Finland. Flags on all Finnish buildings were lowered to half mast, women wept, men sobbed, children cried. One of the worst crimes in history had been committed while the world bad been looking on - helpless. But Finland still stands as a symbol of democracy, of the principles, ideals that we, the American people, cherish. The people of Finland need our encouragement in this critical time. Now is the time for peace loving Americans to step forward and help this little democratic nation, who, with her limited resources, must start the difficult task of rebuilding thousands of homes, cities and towns that have been destroyed. Tens of thousands of orphans must be provided for. Over 450,000 people from the ceded territory must be given new homes in the territory that still remains under the Finnish flag.
We bear so much about Finland being the only country to pay her debt to the United States. But we owe something to Finland - a moral debt. The first Finns came to this country 300 years ago with the Swedes. There are over 300,000 Finns in the U.S.A. today, 75,000 of them living in Minnesota. These sturdy Finns have worked in the mines, in the fields, in the forests, in the steel mills and shops where their strength and characteristic physical endurance has been needed. There are Finns in all walks of life in this country. They have contributed much to the culture, traditions and economic life of this great nation. Therefore, we as a nation owe something to Finland for the contributions of her sons and daughters ..."
When the peace terms became known and the plight of the Finnish people under these terms was understood, contributions to the Finnish relief continued. In spite of peace, Finland remained in the headlines of the newspapers for a long time and the publicity thus given helped the drive for funds. A statement that made perhaps the deepest impression in the minds of American public was the final order of the day of the commander in chief of the Finnish army, Field Marshall Mannerheim. This historic declaration, which is dated March 13, reads in part:
"Peace has been concluded between our land and the Soviet Russia - a severe peace, which has surrendered to Soviet Russia nearly every battlefield, on which you have shed your blood in behalf of all that which we hold dear and sacred.
You did not want war; you loved peace, work and progress, but you were forced into battle, in which you have performed great exploits, and your deeds will for centuries shine on the pages of history.
Over 15,000 of you who went to the field will not again see their homes, and how many have forever lost their ability to work! But you have also dealt hard blows, and as now 200,000 of our enemies rest on the snowcrest, staring with broken features our starry heaven, the fault is not yours. You did not hate them or wished them evil, you followed war's severe law - kill or be killed.
Soldiers, I have fought on many battle fields, but never have I seen your equal as warriors. I am as proud of you as if you were my own children.
Notwithstanding all the courage and sacrifice, the government has been forced to make peace under severe conditions, which, however, are explainable. Our army was small, and its reserves and armaments insufficient. We were not prepared for war against a great power. Our brave soldiers, in defending our borders, had to exert superior efforts to compensate that which was lacking. We had to build defense lines, where there were none. We had to endeavor to get help, which did not come. We had to get armaments and supplies at a time when all nations with ardor were preparing against the storms which are whirling over the wor1d!
Our fate is hard when we are forced to leave to an alien race, who has different viewpoints of the world and moral values, the land which we have for centuries cultivated with sweat and labor. But we must take a serious hold to enable us, out of what we have left, to prepare homes for those who have become homeless and better possibilities of livelihood for all; and we must be, as before, prepared to defend our smaller fatherland with the same determination and the same hard grips with which we have defended our undivided fatherland. We have a proud knowledge that we have a historical task, which we have been fullfilling: To protect Western civilization which has been our heritage for centuries, and we know that we have to the last penny paid the debt that we have owed to the West."
Contributions – Other Than Money
The heroic fight of the Finns inspired many men and women to put their thoughts in form of poems. Several of these were sent to the state office to be used in connection with publicity. It is not possible to publish these poems in full. We take only a few verses from some of them.
The following verses were written by Didrick J. Orfield of Minneapolis:
In far away land by the cold Arctic Sea
Is a land of the brave and the homes of the free
They have cherished their freedom for many a year
And have builded a country with scarcely peer.
Though the Finns are outnumbered by twenty to one,
They've surrounded the Russians and forced them to run!
They are shrewder and braver and wiser by far
And deserve the reward of a victory star!
How long shall we dare to continue to hope
That the Finns with such odds will be able to cope?
If you have a dollar or two to spare,
Remember the good they would do over there!
Mrs. C. I. Berg of Minneapolis wrote a poem to be sung in tune of America:
Finland Thy outpost is
Where Mars now scatters his
Greed, lust and din,
God give one Finn the might
To put four-score to flight;
Bend craven knees to Right.
God save the Finn
Let freedom hear the cry
As countless thousand die
Bravely to win.
May freemen's timely aid
Stop those who now invade
God save the Finn.
Our God, and Finland's, too,
Help make our hearts beat true
To them, our king,
Ordain that Right rule Might;
End Slavery's rule of blight
May freedom's holy light
Shine for the Finn.
Miss Elma Anderson of Minneapolis got the inspiration to translate into English a poem entitled Memories of Finland, written in Finnish by Hugo M. Hillila.
Lovely is spring when the cuckoo is calling.
All of my Finland with melody rings:
Who as a child sees the North he will always
Treasure her wonder as long as he lives.
Even today from the woodland the cowbells
Echoing ring in the shepherd boy's ear:
There is my home by its meadows surrounded,
There is the land which my fathers held dear.
People and sun have no time now to slumber,
Mindful how fair is this land of the North.
Land that is precious, so much it has cost her,
Land where her heroes now sleep evermore.
And another poem published in daily papers with plenty of humor and sarcasm:
Finland, Finland, problem child
In the family of nations,
Must you go contrariwise
To everybody's calculation?
Paying debts when not to pay
Was decidely au fait.
Putting stronger troops to rout
When they had thought to wipe you out!
Bitterly the Russ complains
You unconsolidate his gains;
You let him drown in icy seas
When he had planned on victories!
It isn't sporting, don't you know,
To dress in white against the snows;
You don't stand still and let him shoot;
You dare pop back at him, to boot!
This is blitzkrieg, dumbkopf, du;
You should be licked - but look at you!
A Minneapolis daily published the following "Mammy" song under the title "Helsinki, Mammy O' Mine":
I wanna go back to that bombproof shack
In old Helsinki town,
Mid the luscious hoard of smorgasbord
That we used to gobble down!
I recall the type of my mammy's pipe
And the taste of a reindeer snack,
But the girls are slinky
In old Helsinki,
That's why I wanna go ba-a-ack!
On December 28 one of the dailies of Minneapolis wrote in its editorial:
"The plucky stand of the Finns in defending their nation against the invading Russians, and the amazing superiority they have so far shown over the vaunted Red army, have heartened and inspired the democracies of the world .... The Finns are fighting for their homeland, and that circumstance gives their fighting the indignation and conviction, the moral rightness, which are so often more potent than bullets and shells. And most of the civilized world is rooting for them."
Another editorial ends with the following praise for the Finnish people:
"... The scrupulous honesty of the Finnish people, their love of liberty and democratic ideals make them the champions in this war of all that Americans hold most valuable and accounts for the strong support which the American people are offering the people of Finland."
Grand Total of $150,000 from Minnesota
In view of the fact that approximately $100,000 has been sent from Minnesota to the Finnish Relief Fund, Inc., $39,000 by the General Relief Association through the Red Cross and the Finnish Minister, $9,000 by the Helping Hand to Finland, and numerous smaller donations to various agencies, it is safe to assume that Minnesota's contribution to Finland in her hour of need is $l50,000. These contributions ranging from a few pennies to thousands of dollars, have come from tens of thousands individuals. Minnesota did her part in the national drive resulting in raising a total of 4 million dollars to help the Finns.
A Word of Appreciation
Many are the messages of appreciation received from Finland. On December 14th the Finnish government, through Prime Minister Risto Ryti officially thanked Mr. Hoover for his work by sending the following cable:
"People of Finland rejoice very much that you, Mr. President, known by people of Finland as their cordial friend since decades are again heading a movement for our distressed people.
In the uneven struggle against the outrageous attackers, for existence and for holiest, and highest human values, the people of Finland need every material and moral assistance that possibly can be given.
The sympathies and the support extended to us by the great people of America have a highly encouraging effect on ourselves and strengthen our confidence in the final victory of justice and the forces of good over injustice and violence."
Erkki Kaila, Archbishop of Finland sent Hon. Hjalmar Procope, Finnish Minister to the United States, the following message:
"The Church of Finland sends the American churches their hearty Christmas greetings. The sympathy and help shown by the noble American nation is to us of greatest value in our fight for liberty and independence. May God's blessings rest upon the American nation and her Christian Churches."
On December 15, the following message was received from Urho V. Toivola of the Foreign Ministry of Finland:
"The powerful movement in the U.S.A. for the benefit of the victims of a barbarous attack on Finland has created a deep impression here. What the Finns have learned during the last few days about the American people's feelings regarding Finland exceed all hopes. Participation of men like Herbert Hoover and Mayor LaGuardia help action immensely and serve to guarantee that sympathy will not be confined to words but will make for deeds reflecting the American love of liberty and faithfulness to friends however small. Finns remember the proverb: 'Where there is will there is a way.' If American people want to help my fatherland they will find means for swift and efficacious assistance.
I recall these days the conversation I had with Mayor LaGuardia on May 4th while celebrating the opening of the Finnish pavilion at the New York world's fair. I said to my table neighbor LaGuardia that I feared a threat to Finland if European situation should grow acute.
"Who would threaten Finland?" LaGuardia asked.
"We do not trust the Soviet peace. If opportunity of attack should occur, the Soviets will use it."
LaGuardia looked at me, eyes flashing and said: "If anybody dares touch Finland there will be tremendous row in this country."
I told this to my friends when reaching home. Then there were some doubts. No one doubts any longer. The whole world can see America's true friendship for Finland."
Finland Needs Our Countinued Support
Although Finland once again lives in peace she needs the encouragement and support of the American people to overcome the terrible aftermath of the war. According to information we receive from Finland misery and hunger threaten to do what the Russians could not kill the spirit of the people. The government with the limited resources available in the country must take care of the dependents of 15,000 men who were killed in action, 40,000 invalids and nearly 500,000 refugees of the ceded area. The difficulty of the task is almost beyond description. The economic life of the entire country is crippled not only by the European war but by the harshness of the peace terms with Russia. "We need shoes, garments, food, everything. Please, help us, God will bless you," reads one of the letters.
It is very gratifying to see that the American people, especially the Finnish-Americans, will continue their generous work for the needy war victims of Finland.
A Word from the State Chairman
It would be impossible to close up the affairs of the drive for Finnish Relief without an expression of deepest appreciation and gratitude to the great number of volunteer workers who have made this drive for human relief such an outstanding success in Minnesota. The enthusiastic, spontaneous, and wholehearted effort of the vast number of workers has been a genuine inspiration to the chairman of this committee. The amazing results of this effort mark an all time high in a drive to relieve injured humanity in a distant country. The support of the contributing public, cooperation of the general headquarters in New York and Washington, and the efforts of the workers have been unfailing, and I wish, as chairman of this committee for the State of Minnesota, to express my sincere and deep gratitude to those who have been responsible for heading this effort and to those who have contributed with thought, time, or money to i ts success.
Most cordially and sincerely yours,
Charles Bolles Rogers.
Published by Finnish Relief Fund, Inc., Minnesota Division, Minneapolis, Minnesota, s.a., 32 p.
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