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Uuno F. Inkinen: A memorial to the Reds, 1949. You may not use this photo for commercial purposes. © Photo: Helsinki Art Museum

Punaisten teloitettujen… / A memorial to the Reds

Artist Uuno F. Inkinen

Santahamina, Helsinki

The memorial was designed by Uuno Inkinen, whose entry won the competition organised by the Workers’ Art Club. Uuno Ferdinand Inkinen was originally a painter, but he later worked as a decorator and also as graphic designer for an advertisement agency. Inkinen signed his works “Ufi”.

The year 1918 has been engraved into the stone memorial, and a soldier lying on the ground is depicted in the relief beneath the date. Beside the soldier is a child with arms extended, together with her grieving mother. Although the style follows Classical ideals, the figures are nevertheless Realist in character.

The following text is inscribed on the right side of the sculpture: “Tuhansien punakaartilaisten henki haastaa tässä kalmistossa meille valkoisten harjoittamasta julmuudesta ja verivirroista, se kehoittaa meitä valppaasti varjelemaan ja pelkäämättä taistelemaan kansanvallan puolesta”. (Translation reads: In this graveyard, the spirits of thousands of Reds challenge us for the cruelty of the Whites, for the streams of blood, urging us to keep alert and protect democracy).

The opposite side contains the text: “Luokkasodassa kansanvallan puolesta taistelleiden valkoisen voittajan koston uhriksi joutuneiden teloitettujen ja nälkään näännytettyjen muistoksi pystytti Entiset Punakaartilaiset ry toisten myötämielisten työläisten avulla tämän patsaan v. 1949”. (Translation reads: This statue was erected in memory of those defenders of democracy who fought in the class war and, becoming the victims to the revenge of the White victors were executed or starved to death; by the association of former Red guards and other like-minded workers in 1949.)

The Reds who died at the Suomenlinna and Santahamina prison camps in 1918-19 are buried nearby. The memorial is made of stone and was unveiled in 1949.

The memorial doesn’t belong to the collections of the Helsinki Art Museum.

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