Skip to comments.Researcher: US Planned "New Finland" for Refugees in Alaska
Posted on 10/23/2010 9:32:31 AM PDT by Viiksitimali
In 1940, the United States considered the possibility of settling Finnish refugees from the Winter War in Alaska, according to Lecturer Henry Oinas-Kukkonen of the University of Oulu.
Finnish children being evacuated during the Winter War. Image: Museovirasto
Speaking at a historical research conference in Jyväskylä on Friday, Oinas-Kukkonen said that the proposal was intended to be carried out if the Soviet Union had conquered Finland.
In early 1940, he says, US officials were preparing to set up an "American Finland" in the northernmost state. The US Department of the Interior drew up several proposals to allow Finnish refugees to settle in Alaska during the late winter and early spring of 1940.
The plan was presented to Former President Herbert Hoover, who chaired the Finnish Relief Fund.
"New Finland" would have been established in Central Alaska around the Tanana River, a tributary of the Yukon. US authorities considered conditions in the Alaskan wilderness to be suitable for the Finns. Central Alaska is at roughly the same latitude as central Finland.
Birches and Midnight Sun
"The area has a northern terrain of rolling hills, birch and spruce trees and midnight sun. It was considered the closest replica of their homeland that could be offered to the Finns," Oinas-Kukkonen says.
However the plan became bogged down because of opposition from Alaskans in Congress. The biggest obstacle was the idea of a large national group speaking a language that many considered completely incomprehensible.
A Karelian home during the war.A Karelian home during the Winter War. ( SA-kuva )
"The Finnish language was seen as a factor that would have caused problems for the naturalisation of Finns living in Alaska," he explains. According to an analysis at the time, it would have 100 years for the Finnish settlement to become truly American.
While the proposal became deadlocked in Congress, Finland signed the Moscow Peace Treaty on March 12, 1940. The pact ended the three-and-a-half month long Winter War and forced Finland to hand over more than 10 percent of its territory. The evacuees, mostly from Karelia, were resettled in other parts of Finland. In the spring of 1940, the US Congress appropriated 30 million dollars to help Finland recover from the war. YLE
I wonder if there are contingency plans for a “New Israel” in the Nevada desert?
I guess it will be easier to resettle the Brits escaping their Islamic take over.
Finns are great people, none of the ones I have as cousins had any trouble with English.
Alaska became a state in 1959.
Hmmm ... let’s see ... Brits in Seattle (they like rain). Germans in Wisconsin and Minnesota and Missouri ... Scandinavians in NH/VT/Maine/Alaska ... Italians in NY/FL ... French in NY ... Iberians in CA/AZ
Now where do WE go?
Giving Stalin so much assistance and deference was foolish. Millions of Europeans suffered for pinko FDR's policy.
DemoRats, a commie's best friends.
Alaskans in congress?
This was a decent story till I read the year...1940....and reviewed my Alaskan history book...1958 was when Alaska reached statehood. They had NO senators to represent them, and obviously the same story for representatives.
So, if this story is true...then there’s more to it. It wasn’t Alaskan representatives...then who stood against it? Since we know that the Democrats had 61 percent control over the House, and Sam Rayburn from Texas ran passage of bills...it’s a very likely chance that Texas Democrats stood against this idea.
Perhaps a deeper review of this moment of history is in order.
After 1906 Alaska had one elected non-voting representative in the House of Representatives. Which would seem to make the term “Alaskans in Congress” inappropriate.
However, it is possible Alaskans, particularly business interests, lobbied members of Congress from other states to oppose the measure, in which case the wording is just awkward.
AK still has only a total of 3 people in the Congress, so it’s still not like they’re a massive voting block.
I tell you what, if those Finns became US citizens, we would have won every Olympic Gold Medal in Ice Hockey.
To be we didn’t take over Canada in the war of 1812..
Not at all the Somalis now being imported to Alaska by NGOs - like Catholic Social Services. They do not speak English and most are mostly muzzies (yup, Anchorage will get its first Mosques this year)
It wasn’t for lack of trying.
“Alaska became a state in 1959.”
Anthony Joseph Dimond (November 30, 1881 May 28, 1953) was an American Democratic Party politician who was the Alaska Territory Delegate in the United States House of Representatives for many years (1933-1945).
On the plus side, they beat the crap out of the Nazis for us. You know, those goose-stepping fellows who made millions of Europeans suffer.
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"Not long ago, cytogenetic experts stirred up a controversy with their "ground-breaking" findings on the origins of the Finnish and Sami peoples. Cytogenetics is by no means a new tool in bioanthropological research, however.
As early as the 1960s and '70s, Finnish researchers made the significant discovery that one quarter of the Finns' genetic stock is Siberian, and three quarters is European in origin. The Samis, however, are of different genetic stock: a mixture of distinctly western, but also eastern elements.
If we examine the genetic links between the peoples of Europe, the Samis form a separate group unto themselves, and other Uralic peoples, too have a distinctive genetic profile."
A Sa'ami (DNA) from Finland:
Interesting. Is Central Alaska the most similar type of geography to Finland in the United States? I would have thought Minnesota or Northern Maine.
If you read this thread you’ll learn they are resettling Somalians in Alaska and Maine; somebody has a sense of humor.
That is interesting information. If you read the last part of this article http://www.aei.org/article/102817 it references that specific georgraphy along with the fact that it remains the are most heavily settle by American of Finnish descent.
There are significant numbers in Maine and New Hampshire as well, which makes sense.
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