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Konni Zilliacus

Konni Zilliacus



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Konni Zilliacus, was born on 13th September 1894. His father, Konni Zilliacus Senior, had been involved in the struggle to obtain the independence of Finland from Russia, and was at the time living in exile in Japan. His mother, Lilian Grafe, was from the United States.

Zilliacus attended schools in Sweden, Finland and the United States. In January 1909 the family moved to England and Konni and his brother Laurin were sent to Beadles School near Petersfield. While at school Zilliacus became friends with the sons of Josiah Wedgwood. He spent several vacations at the Wedgwood home and it was here that he first developed an interest in politics.

In 1912 Zilliacus entered Yale University where he studied science, social science and history. As soon as he graduated in 1915 he returned to England in order to take part in the First World War. He tried to join the Royal Flying Corps but was rejected because he was a Finnish citizen. He therefore enlisted as a medical orderly and served in a military hospital in France. After a year he was taken ill with diphtheria and was forced to return home.

Shocked by what he had seen on the Western Front, Zilliacus joined the Union of Democratic Control. He also worked as an aide to Noel Buxton before becoming private secretary to Norman Angell. Zilliacus also wrote articles on foreign affairs for The Nation.

In January 1918, Robert Cecil sent Josiah Wedgwood to gather intelligence concerning Bolshevik power and influence in Siberia. Wedgwood took Zilliacus with him as he could speak French, German, Italian, Swedish and Russian. When General Alfred Knox arrived in Vladivostok he appointed Zilliacus as his intelligence officer. Zilliacus disapproved of British intervention in the Russian Revolution and when Winston Churchill lied in the House of Commons about what was going on in Siberia, he leaked information to C. P. Scott at the Manchester Guardian and Leonard Woolf of the Daily Herald.

On his return to London in December 1918, Zilliacus joined the Labour Party "because it was fighting intervention in Russia and stood for a sane peace settlement and a strong League of Nations." The following year he joined the League of Nations as a member of the Information Section of the League Secretariat.

The League had no armed forces and had to rely on boycotts (sanctions) to control the behaviour of member states. In January 1923 France occupied the Ruhr. Six months later Italy bombed the Greek island of Corfu. When the League of Nations discussed these events, the governments of France and Italy threatened to withdraw from the organization. As a result, the League of Nations decided not to take any action. Zilliacus wrote to his friend Norman Angell: "I feel depressed and fed up. Who could have imagined things would turn out as badly as this?"

In 1924 the League of Nations was given a boost when James Ramsay MacDonald, Arthur Henderson and Edouard Herriot, leading politicians in Britain and France, visited Geneva in 1924. Hugh Dalton, wrote enthusiastically, "The League seemed to have come to life again, and to have gained a new significance."

The League of Nations also had success in adverting wars in the border disputes between Bulgaria-Greece (1925), Iraq-Turkey (1925-26) and Poland-Lithuania (1927). It also had noticable success in the areas of drugs control, refugee work and famine relief.

In 1931 Philip Snowden, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, suggested that the Labour government should introduce new measures to balance the budget. This included a reduction in unemployment pay. Several ministers, including Arthur Henderson, George Lansbury and Joseph Clynes, refused to accept the cuts in benefits and resigned from office.

Ramsay MacDonald was angry that his Cabinet had voted against him and decided to resign. When he saw George V that night, he was persuaded to head a new coalition government that would include Conservative and Liberal leaders as well as Labour ministers. Most of the Labour Cabinet totally rejected the idea and only three, Jimmy Thomas, Philip Snowden and John Sankey agreed to join the new government.

In October, Ramsay MacDonald called an election. The 1931 General Election was a disaster for the Labour Party with only 46 members winning their seats. Zilliacus was completely opposed to the National Government. He was especially opposed to its foreign policy and argued "that they are not only making the next war inevitable, but losing it before it has begun."

The League of Nations faced a fresh crisis in September 1931 when the Japanese Army occupied large areas of Manchuria, a province of China. The Chinese government appealed to the League of Nations under Article 11 of the Covenant. China also appealed to the United States as a signatory of the Kellogg Pact. Eventually it was agreed that the League of Nations would establish a commission of inquiry under the chairmanship of Lord Lytton.

The Lytton Report was published in October 1932. The report acknowledged that Japan had legitimate grievances against the Chinese Government. However, the report condemned the Japanese invasion of Manchuria and refused to recognise Manchukao as an independent state. When the League adopted the report Japan resigned from the organization.

Zilliacus continued to campaign in the Labour Party for the League of Nations. He became a close advisor to Arthur Henderson and helped to influence the views of Clement Attlee, Hugh Dalton and Walter Citrine. Zilliacus, along with Philip Noel-Baker, also helped Henderson write the book Labour's Way to Peace (1934) and the foreign policy section of Labour's 1935 election manifesto For Socialism and Peace.

Zilliacus believed that Germany and Italy posed the greatest threat to world peace. He argued for the creation of an "inner ring" of states within the League of Nations, led by Britain, France and the Soviet Union. He also proposed the election by proportional representation of a new international debating chamber of the League. His views influenced some leading British politicians such as Arthur Henderson, Clement Attlee, Herbert Morrison and Hugh Dalton, but the idea was rejected by the government led by Stanley Baldwin.

In October 1935 Benito Mussolini sent in General Pietro Badoglio and the Italian Army into Ethiopia. The League of Nations condemned Italy's aggression and in November imposed sanctions. This included an attempt to ban countries from selling arms, rubber and some metals to Italy. Some political leaders in France and Britain opposed sanctions arguing that it might persuade Mussolini to form an alliance with Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany.

Over 400,000 Italian troops fought in Ethiopia. The poorly armed Ethiopians were no match for Italy's modern tanks and aeroplanes. The Italians even used mustard gas on the home forces and were able to capture Addis Ababa, the capital of the country, in May 1936, forcing Emperor Haile Selassie to flee to England.

Zilliacus was devastated by the League's failure to prevent Italy conquering Ethiopia. He was also angry about the League's failure to influence events during the Spanish Civil War. Zilliacus personally supported the right of the Republican Government to purchase arms in defence of the open intervention of Germany and Italy in the conflict, arguing that the struggle was "a further development of the international fascist offensive against socialism and democracy."

In September 1936 Zilliacus wrote to Philip Noel-Baker that Non-Intervention was "merely Citrine and co's first steps to committing the Labour Movement to a United Front with the Tories in preparing for the next world war... I've known for sometime that Citrine and Gillies were in the pockets of the Foreign Office." The following year he wrote again to Noel-Baker arguing that "the Labour Party's continual fiddling with Non-Intervention is getting beyond a joke" and because of this policy it had "Spanish workers' blood on its hands."

In the 1930s Zilliacus wrote a series of books and pamphlets about foreign affairs. As he was an official of the League of Nations he wrote under the pen-name Vigilantes. This included The Dying Peace (1933), Abyssinia (1935), Inquest on Peace (1935) and The Road to War (1937). The last two books were published by Victor Gollancz and his Left Book Club.

In September 1938, Neville Chamberlain, the British prime minister, met Adolf Hitler at his home in Berchtesgaden. Hitler threatened to invade Czechoslovakia unless Britain supported Germany's plans to takeover the Sudetenland. After discussing the issue with the Edouard Daladier (France) and Eduard Benes (Czechoslovakia), Chamberlain informed Hitler that his proposals were unacceptable.

Benito Mussolini suggested to Adolf Hitler that one way of solving this issue was to hold a four-power conference of Germany, Britain, France and Italy. This would exclude both Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union, and therefore increasing the possibility of reaching an agreement and undermine the solidarity that was developing against Germany.

The meeting took place in Munich on 29th September, 1938. Desperate to avoid war, and anxious to avoid an alliance with Joseph Stalin and the Soviet Union, Neville Chamberlain and Edouard Daladier agreed that Germany could have the Sudetenland. In return, Hitler promised not to make any further territorial demands in Europe. Adolf Hitler, Neville Chamberlain, Edouard Daladier and Benito Mussolini now signed the Munich Agreement which transferred the Sudetenland to Germany.

The League of Nations remained silent on the invasion of Czechoslovakia. Zilliacus now resigned from the Secretariat in protest against the way the matter had been dealt withby the League. He wrote at the time that "the League was dead and the fight was now at home. I knew there was no hope any longer, that no power on earth could avert war." Over the next few months Zilliacus wrote two pamphlets about the crisis in Europe, Why the League Has Failed (1938) and Why We Are Losing the Peace (1938). He also attacked Neville Chamberlain and his foreign policy in Appeasement and Armageddon (1939).

During the Second World War Zilliacus worked in the censorship division of the Ministry of Information. His main responsibility was to censor the reports written by Swedish journalists based in Britain. After the Soviet Union entered the war on the side of the Allies he also worked for the Ministry of Information's Soviet Relations Department. Zilliacus was also a member of the Home Guard in London and a regular contributor to Tribune.

Zilliacus was also a member of the 1941 Committee. One of its members, Tom Hopkinson, later claimed that the motive force behind the organization was the belief that if the Second World War was to be won "a much more coordinated effort would be needed, with stricter planning of the economy and greater use of scientific know-how, particularly in the field of war production." Other members of the group included J. B. Priestley, Edward G. Hulton, Kingsley Martin, Richard Acland, Michael Foot, Peter Thorneycroft, Thomas Balogh, Richie Calder, Tom Winteringham, Vernon Bartlett, Violet Bonham Carter, Victor Gollancz, Storm Jameson and David Low.

Zilliacus stood as the Labour Party candidate in Gateshead in the 1945 General Election. He won 36,736 votes and had a majority of 17,719 majority over Thomas Magnay (National Liberal). In the House of Commons Zilliacus was a great supporter of the United Nations and urged it to get involved in settling the political disputes in Cyprus, India, Indonesia, and Iran.

In the House of Commons Zilliacus associated with a group of left-wing members that included John Platts-Mills, Ian Mikardo, Lester Hutchinson, Leslie Solley, Sydney Silverman, Geoffrey Bing, Emrys Hughes, D. N. Pritt, William Warbey, William Gallacher and Phil Piratin. Zilliacus continued to write articles on foreign affairs for a variety of radical newspapers and magazines including Reynold's News, Daily Herald, Daily Worker, Tribune, and New Statesman.

Zilliacus was highly critical Ernest Bevin, Britain's foreign minister: In a speech in March 1946 he criticized the decision to spend one third of the national budget on defence. He then went on to point out: "Since the general election there has been no sign of any realistic insight into what is happening in the world, no sober appraisal of our own position or the limitations of our power ... We have sunk into ancient ruts, running back to the nineteenth century, and punctuated by two world wars. We are trying to make the ghost of Palmerston walk again."

The following year Zilliacus joined Richard Crossman, Michael Foot and Ian Mikardo to produce Keep Left. In the pamphlet the authors criticized the cold war policies of the United States and urged a closer relationship with Europe in order to create a "Third Force" in politics. This included the idea of nuclear disarmament and the formation of a European Security Pact.

Zilliacus travelled widely in Europe and in 1949 met Joseph Stalin and Josip Tito. He disliked the Soviet leader and told his wife: "There is not a scrap of humanity in Stalin." He got on well with Tito and gave him his full support in his struggle to obtain the independence of Yugoslavia from the Soviet Union.

In April 1948 John Platts-Mills organized a petition in support of Pietro Nenni and the Italian Socialist Party in its general election campaign. He gained support from 27 other MPs including Zilliacus. This went against government policy and Platts-Mills was expelled from the party and Zilliacus was warned about his future conduct. He was sent a letter by the Labour Party's National Executive Council listing examples of how his speeches and writings had included "attacks on the Labour Government's foreign policy." Zilliacus replied that it was his "prime duty as a Member of Parliament to stick to the foreign policy statements and pledges on which I fought the general election."

Ernest Bevin signed the North Atlantic Treaty in Washington on 4th April 1949. Zilliacus completely opposed the treaty arguing that it went against the charter of the United Nations, would accelerate the arms race and make it more difficult to achieve a united Europe. On 12th May, 1949, Zilliacus was only one of only six Labour MPs to vote against the signing of the NATO treaty. Four days later Zilliacus, along with Leslie Solley, were expelled from the Labour Party.

At the Labour Party Annual Conference held in Blackpool the following month, delegates appealed for the National Executive Council to reverse its decision on expelling Zilliacus and Solley. Geoffrey Bing argued that MPs must be allowed to have the freedom to express their true opinions on political issues. Sydney Silverman added that if the Labour Party expelled Zilliacus and Solley for "exercising the right of dissent, we shall be doing damage to the cause of social democracy."

Zilliacus and the other four expelled Labour MPs, John Platts-Mills, Leslie Solley, D. Pritt and Lester Hutchinson formed the Labour Independent Group. However, Zilliacus broke with this group in 1949 when they supported Joseph Stalin in his criticisms of Josip Tito and his government in Yugoslavia.

In October 1949 Zilliacus published I Choose Peace. In the book he traced the history of the Cold War, starting with the Allied invasion of Russia in 1918. To bring an end to the division in Europe he advocated withdrawal from NATO, direct negotiations with the Soviet Union, and closer links with other governments in Eastern Europe.

In the 1950 General Election Zilliacus stood as a Labour Independent candidate in Gateshead. Although people such as George Bernard Shaw and J. Priestley campaigned for him, he won only 5,001 votes compared to the 15,249 achieved by Arthur Moody, the official Labour Party candidate.

When the Labour government was defeated in 1951 General Election, left-wing critics of Britain's foreign policy were no longer seen as dangerous political figures. Zilliacus was readmitted to the Labour Party in February 1952 and soon afterwards he was adopted as the prospective candidate for Gorton, an industrial suburb of Manchester. In the 1955 General Election Zillacus won the seat by 269 votes.

On 2nd November, 1957, the New Statesman published an article by J. Priestley entitled Russia, the Atom and the West. In the article Priestley attacked the decision by Aneurin Bevan to abandon his policy of unilateral nuclear disarmament. The article resulted in a large number of people writing letters to the journal supporting Priestley's views.

Kingsley Martin, the editor of the New Statesman, organized a meeting of people inspired by Priestley and as result they formed the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). Early members of this group included Zilliacus, J. Priestley, Bertrand Russell, Fenner Brockway, Frank Cousins, Frank Allaun, Donald Soper, Vera Brittain, Sydney Silverman, James Cameron, Jennie Lee, Victor Gollancz, Konni Zilliacus, Richard Acland, A. J. Taylor, Canon John Collins and Michael Foot.

In February 1958 Zilliacus joined Stephen Swingler, Jo Richardson, Harold Davies, Ian Mikardo, Walter Monslow and Sydney Silverman, to form Victory for Socialism (VFS). Soon afterwards Zilliacus wrote the VFS its first pamphlet, Policy for Summit Talks. In the pamphlet Zilliacus argued in favour of Britain ceasing to be a nuclear power and using its influence to replace NATO and the Warsaw Pact by an all-European security treaty.

Zilliacus continued to upset the Labour Party with his political opinions. In February 1961 was suspended for writing an article for a magazine based in communist controlled Czechoslovakia. An attempt was made to get Zilliacus reinstated. This was led by Tom Driberg, a member of the National Executive Committee, however, his suspension was not lifted until September 1961.

Zilliacus, like others on the left, was against Britain joining the European Economic Community (EEC). He argued that this the EEC would divide rather than unite Europe and that it was "part of the cold war policy that had produced NATO."

In 1965 Zilliacus joined Michael Foot, John Mendelson, William Warbey, Russell Kerr, Anne Kerr, Norman Atkinson, Stan Newens, and Sydney Silverman in protesting against American intervention in Vietnam. However, Zilliacus and his friends were unable to persuade the Labour prime minister, Harold Wilson, to condemn US policy on Vietnam.

Konni Zilliacus died of leukemia at St Bartholomew's Hospital on 6th July 1967.

I emerged from this childhood background with two ideas and a piece of unconscious knowledge lodged firmly in my mind: first, that some day there was going to be a revolution in Russia, and this would be something great and good to which all liberal and civilized people looked forward. Second, that the Russians were a backward, barbarous and semi-Asiatic people, from whom the rest of the world had nothing to learn politically, although the Revolution should free the Finns and Poles and enable the Russians to start catching up with the West.

I have occasionally been called a Bolshevik because I always predicted the failure of intervention, because I sometimes find it difficult to speak with moderation of the moral aspects and practical results of the Allies' Russian policy, and because I belong to the Labour Party. I am not however a communist, or even a Socialist except in a very vague and unorthodox way, and I am not a believer in direct action, let alone the 'dictatorship of the proletariat' or a bloody revolution. In general, I do not think Russian political experience can afford any but very indirect lessons to England. The war was the death struggle of our civilization. Just as the final result of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic wars was the rise of the middle class, the Russian Revolution will be the rise of Labour and internationalism.

As for being a Marxist, I am at best an empirical pragmatic self-made semi-Marxist, for such reading I have done has been to eke out experience and first-hand impressions, and to help arrive at an understanding of intimately apprehended events.

The Liberal Government of 1906-14 helped to make the World War inevitable by its power politics and Imperialism. But it did play power politics well enough to ensure that when war came we had a united nation, a united Europe, half the world on our side, and a cause that at least looked good. Whereas the 'National' Government are playing power politics with such crass incompetence that they are not only making the next war inevitable, but losing it before it has begun. They are rapidly producing a situation where we shall find ourselves at war almost single-handed against all three Fascist dictatorships.

Can't you Liberals really see that the Communists are trying - by violent, wasteful and if you like mistaken means - to bring about social and economic changes that must come, and that Fascism is an attempt by violence to hold back the forces of social change? We Socialists care as much as you Liberals for democracy and freedom, but we realize that today, in the face of terrible danger of Fascist aggression, the Communists are allies and not enemies, as is being shown in Spain.

In September 1936 del Vayo had appealed to the League under Article 10 of the Covenant to provide the Spanish Government with the arms it needed to defend its territorial integrity and political independence against Hitler's and Mussolini's aggression. I can still remember that black day in the Assembly, listening to Eden droning away from the rostrum, explaining why it was contrary to the Covenant of the League to interfere in an ideological conflict. What cunning bastards they are, the damned hypocrites, thought I, standing there with death in my heart, light-headed from the stench of catastrophe, feeling a little sick with the "steely taste of defeat" in my mouth.

The realistic conclusion is that the Soviet Union is not an earthly paradise and the Bolshevik Party are not the infallible and inspired leaders of the world proletariat, a model to be slavishly copied. We must stand on our own feet and think things out for ourselves. But neither is the Russian Revolution a dead loss, a total failure. The revolution has not yet said its last word. When the power and prestige of Fascism are broken in this war and a wave of revolution spreads across Europe the current in Russia will once more set towards democracy and international cooperation - but when it does it will have to break down some pretty hard obstacles. Meanwhile, Western Socialists while repudiating Russia as the Socialist fatherland and Stalin as their leader should learn to regard the USSR as a great power which is a first-class factor in world affairs and with which it is of literally vital importance to come to terms on the broadest possible basis - a commercial treaty, a non-aggression pact, a free hand for the Soviet Union in Eastern Europe and an agreement on The foreign policy to be pursued in the Far East and with regard to the anti-Fascist involvement in Europe and the peace settlement.

Only a British Government friendly to Socialism can join effectively in making peace in Europe.

Throughout Europe the overthrow of Fascism has meant the downfall of capitalism, because the political parties of the Right and the leaders of trade and industry, with a few exceptions, have been associated with the Fascist and Quisling dictatorships and Hitler's economic system.

Throughout Europe, the resistance movements derive their main strength from the workers and their allies, and are largely under Socialist and Communist leadership. Their reconstruction programmes are based on sweeping advances towards Socialism.

Europe can be reconstructed, pacified and united, and democracy can be revived, only on the basis of a new social order.

To that policy the Soviet Union are already committed, and the French people have given their allegiance in the recent elections.

On that basis a Labour Government can work together with the Soviet Union and with the popular and democratic forces in Europe that would be irresistibly encouraged by Labour's coming into power.

That combination of states, bound together by such purposes and policies, would be so strong and so successful as to attract the friendship and cooperation of the American and Chinese peoples.

On these lines Labour would put granite foundations under the flimsy scaffolding erected at the San Francisco Conference, and take the lead in building a world organisation capable of guaranteeing peace and promoting the common interests of nations.

He (Bevin) was a great working class leader with a fine record. But he was tragically miscast as Labour's Foreign Secretary in 1945. For he did not have a due to the problems facing him. He was too old and set in his ways to learn. Or rather, to unlearn and then learn afresh: that is, to do the kind of painful thinking that goes down to one's own prejudices and assumptions, tests them in the light of reason and facts, and then works out a policy that is genuinely 'realistic' because it is rooted in reality and not to an out-of-date conception of the world in which we are living, and harnessed to Labour's view of the national interest and not to that of the defenders of the old order.

Hugh Dalton would have been far better, first of all because he really did know a lot about foreign affairs; secondly because he knew how to manage the Foreign Office officials, instead of being run by them; thirdly, because he was capable of learning from experience and correcting his mistakes; fourthly because he would listen to the views of back bench colleagues instead of treating any criticism or comments as an insult and relying on blind trade union loyalties and the power of the block vote to impose on the Labour Party the Churchillian policies that the Foreign Office had induced him to adopt.

Mr. Zilliacus is not a man to be ignored. I knew him in Geneva during his long connection with the League of Nations. He is the only internationally-minded member of any note in the House of Common. His queer name and extraordinarily composite nationality, backed by his supernational outlook and unique experience, to say nothing of his friendly and democratic private character, made him a marked figure in Geneva. He is a man who must be attended to and his question answered if another fiasco like that of Versailles and its sequel in 1939-45 is to be averted.

One third of Britain's budget is on defence. I suggest that the price is too high ... I think that we can render better service to peace by scaling down our armaments to the point where we are solvent and can get on with our Socialist reconstruction, rather than by lowering the standard of living of our people and staggering into national bankruptcy under the burden of huge armaments.

Since the general election there has been no sign of any realistic insight into what is happening in the world, no sober appraisal of our own position or the limitations of our power ... We are trying to make the ghost of Palmerston walk again.

I hold it is my prime duty as a Member of Parliament to stick to the foreign policy statements and pledges on which I fought the general election and to do all I can to secure compliance with those pledges.

I know I must appear an awkward and self-righteous sort of beggar. But I don't do it for fun. As I see it, this is the fight for peace that I have been waging for most of my life and that has long become inseparable from Socialism and world government. I don't want to fight our side - apart from sentiment, after thirty years in the Labour Party, which is more than a party, I don't believe there is any other political instrument that can do the job. I want to fight the Tories. But in foreign affairs as things are, it is almost impossible to go for the Tories without having a slam at our leaders. But I hope that in the light of this memorandum and after the meeting the Committee may feel reassured and able to report accordingly to the NEC.

It is obvious that the conception of civil liberties in Russia is not at all the same as ours. If there are still people among those present who show any surprise on hearing this, or ignore this fact, I am certainly not one of them. Frankly I believe that it will need at least another thirty years before countries where there has been a social revolution, including Soviet Russia, can accept a conception of individual liberty and rights of political minorities, such as exists in our countries. This can only take place if a policy of friendship towards such countries is pursued ... If one talks of war, of intervention, it is evident that such regimes will react and mobilise. And as a result the misdeeds of the police state will increase.

The more we arm the more we increase fear and suspicion. The more we increase armaments, the less strong we feel ourselves and the more we feel the other fellow strength. In order to sustain the burden and sacrifice of the arms race one has to foment and sustain a psychological condition in the people who are bearing he strain, that unfits them for peacemaking ... So much for the Atlantic Pact: it scraps the Charter and returns to the balance of power. It commits us to a new arms race I beg the Government to find some way before it is too late to come back to the Charter of the United Nations ... to be conciliatory and moderate in their attitude, not to be rushed or stampeded into recrimination, not to put their faith in armaments, but in a wise and conciliatory policy.

It seems to me that this point illustrates what I believe to be the truth about Zilly - that he is not in the least a Soviet stooge or a fellow traveller (though there are, of course, some points of Soviet policy which he approves and which coincide pretty closely with our own Labour Party policy). He is primarily, and passionately, a United Nations man.

I am also, personally, convinced that, whatever his errors of judgement or indiscretions in the past, he will now make a genuine effort to be amenable to reasonable discipline - that he will, as I think he said, "count a hundred before speaking" (and will not think it necessary to speak at inordinate length and in a way offensive to his colleagues).

Unless we do make radical changes in our international policies, which means foreign policy first and defence policy as a consequence of that, we are going to be on the rocks financially and economically, because this country cannot support anything like the present defence budget and at the same time supply the resources, not only in money but in technicians, and in manpower, and machinery, and the rest, which are needed to modernize our economy, to increase our productivity, to expand out exports, and to fulfil the noble and ambitious social programme to which the Labour Party has set its hand.

Not only was the EEC launched as part of the cold war policy that had produced NATO. Its constitution, the Rome Treaty, was framed under the influence of the great cartels, combines, monopolies and holding companies which have dominated the life of the Six since the war. The Rome Treaty allows planning and even rationalization for greater economic efficiency, provided there is no interference with free competition, but rules out planning and public ownership geared to social purposes. In short, that in the EEC it is 'yes' to State capitalism and 'no' to Socialism.

This whole defence debate and the Defence White Paper are shot through with nostalgic illusions and nuclear and world military power hankerings and posturings ... The most depressing thing about the debate is the assumptions on both sides that we can go on indefinitely for years and years with the greatest, costliest and deadliest arms race in history. It will not work out like that and we must put our energy, will, purpose and policies into transferring the mutual relations of the great powers from the balance of power, as expressed in the rival military alliances, to their obligations, purposes and principles of the UN Charter ... We are no longer a first-class military power. But we could be a first-class political power and a first-class force for peace.

It was impossible to fit Zilliacus easily into any known political category whether as extreme left winger, fellow traveller or crypto communist. In the eyes of some he appeared to be, at times, one or all of these things, but somehow he managed to elude precise definition as any of them. His immense fecundity of ideas overflowed all over the place, carrying him into excesses of unorthodoxy which he could defend with elaborate logic as being in strictest accord with the true Socialist canon. He was always convinced it was the others that were out of step.

Zilly was in many ways the greatest international Socialist of my time. It is for that reason, and only for that reason, he earned the distinction of being refused a visa to the United States, and being refused a visa to the Soviet Union, and of being expelled from the Labour Party all within the same year. He never gave up fighting for the principles of the United Nations, based on the all-inclusive covenants of the Charter, no matter who opposed him, whether it was Ernest Bevin or Wall Street or Stalin. He was completely devoted in the best sense to the socialist causes which are the basis of peace.

In a way Zilly was a non-politician. Most people who didn't know him personally but knew him only from reading what he wrote and reading about him, would think of him pre-eminently as a politician, but he really wasn't. He was a man of political ideas, but he wasn't very good at politics. The tactics, the ritual dances of parliamentary procedure and the order paper, were in a language that wasn't contained within the eleven he spoke. They were all foreign to him and when it really came to the tough stuff and the in-fighting I sometimes thought of Zilly as a child walking around a jungle of man-eating animals. That's why he was more than once such an easy victim for the hatchet men. Zilly was preeminently an analyst, perhaps unparalleled as a political analyst, and perhaps even more than that a teacher, a great teacher, and not only those like myself of his own generation learned at his feet, but the next generation of people in our movement derived a great deal from him and many of the new, younger men we have had in the House of Commons in the last three years know a great deal of what they know because of what they learned from Zilly.

It always seemed to me that Zilly's conflict with the world was not political opposition or moral indignation but the detailed exasperation of a gifted and experienced man who saw the fallacies of history and who saw all the libraries of human experience unexploited and unused, with power always in the hands of the clumsy people. I often used to wish I had an intelligence like his so much greater would have been my understanding, and then I sometimes was glad I had not, so much deeper would have been my disenchantment. I am grateful, nonetheless, that in that busy, good life he had a little time to include me.

There was nobody to compare with him. Inquest on Peace was in my opinion the best book of the whole of that time. It was written from his deep knowledge, but it was written by a man who wished to prevent a world war. Long before the Churchills or Edens ever lisped the words collective security, Zilly understood it and was campaigning for it, and if Zilly's advice had been taken there would have been no Second World War, no Auschwitz, no Buchenwald, no Hiroshima or any of the other agonies that we have subsequently endured.

He also had, we should not forget, a marvellous gift of burning invective which he would unleash on the heads of all deserving candidates, and there were many available. Sometimes when I heard him in the House of Commons pouring out his anger, I almost thought there was a streak of aesthetic delight in the way he did it. He wanted the job to be done as well as possible and it was right that it should be so.

I will say no more because reference has already been made to some of the incidents in his conflict with the Labour Party, some incidents which were inevitable but some incidents which are so deplorable that some of us will never forgive them and never forget them. After the world war he had striven to prevent, he became a major exponent of the ideas and mainsprings of policy accepted by the Soviet Union. Sometimes charges were made against him on that account, that he was a spokesman for their policies. This was never the case. Zilly was an independent man the whole of his life, everyone who knew him knew that, but he knew more of Soviet policy than the rest of us. He was the most skilled and experienced interpreter of what made Russian policy and what actuated Russian policy. He set about, in 1945, to stop the third world war. He devoted all his energies to that purpose. Almost the last speech I heard him make was the one he made at a meeting of the foreign affairs group of the PLP about Vietnam and he raised the whole issue to a different plane than the other speakers could do.


Biografi [ redigera | redigera wikitext ]

Zilliacus var en av de få finländska politiker som gjorde insatser av internationella mått i början av 1900-talet. Han hade juridisk bakgrund, tjänstgjorde vid generalguvernörskansliet och var flottningschef vid Kymmene flottningsbolag. Han ägnade sig också åt jordbruk på Mariefors gård. På grund av ekonomiska svårigheter reste han 1889 till USA som tidningskorrespondent. Därifrån begav han sig till Japan 1893, och vistades i landet i tre år innan han bosatte sig i Paris.

Han återvände till Finland 1898 och kom där att tillhöra Nya Pressens redaktion fram till 1900 då tidningen drogs in. Han tillhörde de konstitutionella i den finländska kampen mot russificeringen, och verkade för den stora europeiska kulturadressens initiativtagare. År 1904 bildade han Finska aktiva motståndspartiet och var under den första ryska förtrycksperioden sysselsatt med att smuggla in Fria Ord, den illegala tidningen, till Finland. Huvudsakligen vistades han vid denna tidpunkt i Stockholm. Han stod även bakom Graftonaffären.

Under det rysk-japanska kriget knöt han kontakter med japanerna och lyckades sammanföra Rysslands revolutionära partier till gemensamma aktioner, vilket var hans främsta bedrift på det internationella planet. Efter storstrejken 1905 återvände Zilliacus till Finland, men måste i samband med andra förtrycksperioden 1909 ånyo lämna landet, och kom därmed att vistas i Stockholm och Paris. I utlandet arbetade han för Finlands sak, var bland annat med och startade jägarrörelsen. Från 1918 var han huvudsakligen bosatt i Helsingfors.


Konni Zilliacuksen isä oli Zilliacus-sukuun kuulunut Henrik Wilhelm Johan Zilliacus (1823–1887), molempien oikeuksien tohtori, Helsingin pormestari, säätyvaltiopäivien porvarissäädyn puhemies ja vuodesta 1875 senaattori sekä siviilitoimituskunnan apulaispäällikkö. Hänen äitinsä oli Ida Charlotta o.s. Söderhjelm. [1] [2] [3] Prokuraattori Woldemar Söderhjelm oli Konni Zilliacuksen eno. [4]

Zilliacus tuli ylioppilaaksi 16-vuotiaana vuonna 1872, ja hänet lähetettiin vuodeksi sveitsiläiseen yksityiskouluun opiskelemaan ranskaa. Palattuaan hän liittyi Viipurilaiseen osakuntaan, luki lakia ja suoritti oikeustutkinnon 1877. Sen jälkeen oli vuorossa venäjän opiskelu Moskovassa. Vielä tässä vaiheessa Zilliacus tähtäsi isänsä tavoin virkauralle ja hän työskenteli 1878 Turun hovioikeuden auskultanttina sekä vuoden ajan virkamiehenä kenraalikuvernöörin kansliassa. [1] [2] [5]

Vuonna 1878 Zilliacus meni naimisiin 23-vuotiaana itseänsä 11 vuotta vanhemman Lovisa Adelaide Ehrnroothin (1844–1927) kanssa, joka oli protokollasihteeri Carl Albert Ehrnroothin leski ja syntyjään kreivitär de Geer till Tervik. Lovisalla oli seitsemän lasta edellisestä liitostaan, ja Zilliacuksen kanssa hän sai vielä kolme lisää. [1] Vihkiminen tapahtui 30. syyskuuta 1878, ja sen jälkeen he asettuivat asumaan Ehrnroothien kaupunkitaloon, Nikolainkatu (nyk. Snellmaninkatu) 15:een. [6] Perhe asui muutaman vuoden ajan Lovisalle päätyneellä Ehrnroothien sukutilalla, Seestan kartanossa Nastolassa, ja Zilliacus toimi Kymi-yhtiön uittopäällikkönä. Tässäkin tehtävässä hän malttoi jatkaa vain vuoden. [1]

Zilliacukset myivät 1883 Seestan takaisin Ehrnrootheille ostettuaan 1881 Helsingin pitäjästä Håkansbölen kartanon, jonka kuitenkin vaihtoivat jo 1883 Marieforsin kartanotilaan Tuusulan Kellokoskella. 6 000 tynnyrinalaa käsittävä tila hankittiin yhdessä pankinjohtaja Abel Lanêdin kanssa, mutta jo seuraavana vuonna Zilliacus osti myös hänen osuutensa. Zilliacus ryhtyi nyt suurellista elämää viettäväksi suurviljelijäksi ja harjoitti hevosten jalostusta sekä kasvatusta matkustellen ulkomailla. Hän kunnosti tilaa ja rakennutti sille uuden päärakennuksen ja puiston sekä osti hollantilaisia lehmiä. Vuonna 1885 Zilliacus myi Helsingissä olevan kaupunkitalonsa. Tämä kaikki vaati niin paljon varoja, että hänen koko omaisuutensa oli kiinnitetty veloista. Hän välttyi vararikolta, mutta vaikea tilanne sai hänet ottamaan uuden askeleen elämässään. [1] [7] [6] [8]

Vuonna 1889 Zilliacus järjesteli Suomen osallistumista Pariisin maailmannäyttelyyn, jonka hän näki tilaisuutena korostaa maailmalle Suomen kansallista erityisasemaa Venäjän valtakunnan osana. [1]

Zilliacus ilmoittautui Hufvudstadsbladetin kirjeenvaihtajaksi ja matkusti toukokuussa 1889 Amerikkaan. Hän kirjoitti lehteen Amerikan intiaanisodista ja siirtolaisten elämästä. [7] Oltuaan kaksi vuotta Amerikassa hän ilmoitti perheelleen, ettei hän voinut palata Suomeen ja erosi ensimmäisestä vaimostaan Lovisa Adelaidesta. [9] [10] Zilliacus oli lähtenyt Amerikkaan käytännössä paetakseen tuhlailevasta elämästään johtuneita velkojaan, jotka ajoivat sitten hänen isänsä vararikon partaalle. Jätetty vaimo sai pelastettua osan Ehrnroothien perintöön kuuluvasta omaisuudesta. [1]

Zilliacus työskenteli sekalaisissa ammateissa Väli-Amerikassa ja Yhdysvalloissa, välillä työnjohtajana ja kerran myös likaviemärin kaivajana puolentoista dollarin päiväpalkalla. Sittemmin hän pääsi moniin lehtiin kirjeenvaihtajaksi ja oli muun muassa Chicagossa ilmestyneen Svenska Tribunenin avustajana. [9] Zilliacus matkusti 1891 Svenska Tribunenin kirjeenvaihtajana Etelä-Dakotan Pine Ridgeen seuraamaan sioux-intiaanien kapinaa. Hän oli paikalla Pine Ridgen rauhanteossa ja näki 10 000 siouxin saapumisen. Svenska Tribuneniin lähettämiensä sotakuvauksien pohjalta hän kirjoitti 1898 kirjansa Indiankriget, joka ilmestyi suomeksi 1899 nimellä Intiaanisota. Kertomuksia Yhdysvaltain rajamaista 1899. [11] Hän kirjoitti Amerikan-vuosinaan myös useita muita novellikokoelmia ja pari Yhdysvaltoja esittelevää yleisteosta, joista osa suomennettiin. Amerikan vuosinaan Zilliacus ehti olla myös rautatienrakennuttajana Costa Ricassa sekä siirtolaisten asianajajana Yhdysvalloissa. [1]

Zilliacus meni vuonna 1893 naimisiin varakkaan saksalais-amerikkalaisen liikemiehen Anthony Graefin 20-vuotiaan tyttären Lilian Graefin (1873–1938) kanssa, josta erosi vuonna 1912. [9] [1] Vuoden 1893 lopulla hän matkusti uuden puolisonsa kanssa Marokkoon, Italiaan ja Egyptiin sekä kierteli Etu- ja Taka-Intiassa. Sitten hän matkusti puolentoista vuoden ajaksi Japaniin, missä vietti aikaansa japanilaisten taiteilijoiden seurassa. Zilliacuksen perheelle syntyi Japanissa kaksi poikaa, joista Konni Zilliacus nuorempi toimi myöhemmin brittiläisenä poliitikkona [12] ja Laurin Zilliacus oli pedagogi ja kirjailija. Zilliacus kirjoitti tuona aikana teoksen Japanesiska studier och skizzer, joka julkaistiin Helsingissä painettuna vuonna 1896. [13] Lokakuussa 1896 hän lähti perheensä kanssa Japanista ja saapui seuraavana keväänä Pariisiin. [14] [15]

Pariisissa Zilliacus julkaisi kirjat Siirtolaisia (1896), Siirtolaisseikkailuja (1898) sekä Taavetti Anttilan kohtalo ynnä muita kertomuksia Amerikan elämästä. (1898). [14]

Ensimmäinen sortokausi Muokkaa

Vuonna 1898 Zilliacus palasi takaisin Suomeen, missä hänestä tuli seuraavan vuoden alussa venäläisvastaisuudestaan tunnetun ruotsinkielisen Nya Pressen -lehden toimittaja. Siitä alkaen hän keskittyi Venäjän hallituksen vastaiseen poliittiseen toimintaan. [1] Nya Pressen lakkautettiin 29. kesäkuuta 1900 siinä ilmestyneen Zilliacuksen kirjoituksen vuoksi. [16]

Aluksi Zilliacus pyrki organisoimaan kansainvälistä sivistyneistön mielipidettä Suomen tueksi ja oli keskeisessä roolissa helmikuun manifestin vastaisen kansainvälisen kulttuuriadressin keräämisessä ja toimittamisessa keisarille vuonna 1899. Sen jälkeen hän erikoistui maanalaiseen tiedotustoimintaan ja ryhtyi Tukholmasta käsin julkaisemaan Fria Ord -propagandalehteä, jonka salakuljettaminen Suomeen tarjosi hänen jännitystä hakevalle luonteelleen sopivia seikkailuita. Tässä vaiheessa hän sai myös hyvin Suomen perustuslaillisilta piireiltä rahoitusta laittomalle toiminnalleen. Hänen veljensä, lääkäri Wilhelm Zilliacus osallistui myös perustuslaillisten maanalaiseen toimintaan ja kuului Kagaalin johtoon. [1] Vuosina 1903–1904 Konni Zilliacus toimitti Axel Lillen kanssa Nordisk Revy -lehteä. Zilliacus kirjoitti lehteen yli 30 artikkelia, joissa hän pääasiassa käsitteli suomalaista ja venäläistä politiikkaa, usein katsottuna maailmanpoliittista taustaa vasten. Lehteen kirjoittivat artikkeleita useat tunnetut poliitikot kuten Viktor Magnus von Born ja Waldemar Becker. [17]

Myöhemmin Zilliacus radikalisoitui ja pyrki yhdistämään kaikki suomalaiset ja venäläiset oppositioryhmät, vähemmistökansallisuudet ja vallankumousliikkeet sekä Venäjän vihollisvaltiot yhteen rintamaan tsaarinvaltaa vastaan. Hän uskoi vain tällaisen yhteisrintaman kykenemään todellisen muutoksen aikaansaamiseksi Venäjällä ja suomalaisten sopivan loistavasti eri ryhmiä yhdistäviksi koordinaattoreiksi. Zilliacus julkaisi 1902 Tukholmassa teoksen Det revolutionära Ryssland, joka seuraavana vuonna suomennettiin nimellä Vapauden liike Venäjällä. [1] Näin Suomessakin saatiin tietoa Venäjän kumousliikkeistä, minkä sensuuri muuten esti. [18] Zilliacus auttoi Venäjän vallankumousliikkeitä salakuljettamalla keväästä 1902 syksyyn 1903 niiden lehtiä ja kirjallisuutta Suomen kautta Venäjälle. Hänen Tukholmasta johtamansa organisaatio vastasi jonkin aikaa muun muassa sosialistivallankumouksellisten julkaisujen, liberaalien Osvoboždenije-lehden ja sosiaalidemokraattien Iskran toimittamisesta Venäjälle. [19]

Suomalaiset perustuslaillisten johtajat, kuten Leo Mechelin, eivät kuitenkaan pitäneet Suomen asian rinnastamisesta Venäjän sisäisiin ongelmiin eivätkä halunneet olla yhteistyössä venäläisten vallankumousliikkeiden kanssa. He halusivat Suomen asian nähtävän nimenomaan erityistapauksena ja yhteiskunnallisen kumouksen poissa Suomesta. Tällä kannalla oli myös Wilhelm Zilliacus. Vielä vähemmän laillisuuden painottajia innosti Konni Zilliacuksen kiinnostus neuvotteluihin Japanin edustajien kanssa, ennen ja varsinkin jälkeen Venäjän–Japanin sodan alkamisen. Zilliacus itse oli ilmeisesti aatemaailmaltaan jonkinlainen radikaali liberaali ja vallankumousromantikko. Hän vetosi etupäässä itseään nuorempaan kannattajakuntaan, kun taas vanhemmat perustuslailliset yrittivät lähinnä huonolla menestyksellä hillitä häntä. [1] Kun kenraalikuvernööri Nikolai Bobrikov keväällä 1903 sai diktaattorinvaltuudet ja luvan karkottaa maasta suomalaisia perustuslaillisten johtajia, jo valmiiksi maanpaossa oleva Zilliacus määrättiin pidätettäväksi missä tahansa päin Suomea hänet tavattaisiin. [1]

Venäjän–Japanin sodan alettua Zilliacus otti yhteyden Jonas Castrénia lähestyneeseen eversti Motojiro Akashiin, joka oli entinen Japanin sotilasasiamies Pietarissa. Akashi innosti hänet organisoimaan hanketta, jossa käytettiin puolalaisia vallankumouksellisia ja kiihotusaineistoa lietsomaan tappiomielialaa Venäjän joukkoihin ja jonka seurauksena kokonainen rykmentti puolalaisia pakeni rintamalta ja antautui vangeiksi Jalu-joen taistelussa. [20] Syys–lokakuussa 1904 Zilliacus organisoi Pariisiin yleisvenäläisen oppositio- ja vallankumousryhmien kongressin ja toimi sen puheenjohtajana. Kongressiin osallistuivat Venäjältä kaikki muut merkittävät oppositioryhmät paitsi bolševikit ja menševikit, ja se vaati vähemmistökansallisuuksille sisäistä vapautta. Suomen perustuslaillisten johto kuitenkin irtisanoutui kongressista. Pettyneenä Zilliacus perusti kannattajineen marraskuussa 1904 Suomen aktiivisen vastustuspuolueen, joka tähtäsi toiminnassaan aseelliseen kapinaan ja terroritekoihin venäläisiä viranomaisia vastaan. Tämä etäännytti häntä entuudestaan suomalaisista passiivisen vastarinnan johtajista. Geneven yleisvenäläisestä vastarintakongressista jäivät sitten pois jo Venäjän liberaalin Kadettipuolueenkin edustajat. [1] Zilliacus ryhtyi Akashin kautta hankkimaan aseita Suomeen ja samalla myös Venäjän muille vallankumousryhmille. Japanilaisten rahoilla Sveitsistä ostettuja aseita saatiin syksyllä 1905 tuotua Suomeen SS John Grafton -aluksella, mutta laivan ajettua karille suurin osa lastista jouduttiin upottamaan laivan mukana. [21]

Toinen sortokausi ja myöhemmät vaiheet Muokkaa

Zilliacus palasi Suomeen suurlakon jälkeen marraskuussa 1905, mutta sai havaita maan tilanteen muuttuneeksi, minkä vuoksi hän jäi sivuun politiikasta. Hän osallistui kuitenkin vuonna 1906 Voimaliiton perustamiseen. Kun Zilliacuksen suhteet japanilaisiin paljastuivat, hän joutui 1909 pakenemaan uudelleen Ruotsiin, jossa jatkoi kirjallista toimintaansa. Ensimmäisen maailmansodan puhjettua hän liittyi tukemaan jääkäriliikettä. Nyt monet entiset passiivisen vastarinnan kannattajatkin olivat valmiit liittoutumiseen Venäjän vihollisen kanssa. [1] Keväällä 1915 Zilliacus osallistui Sveitsin Lausannessa Saksan ulkoministeriön perustaman niin sanotun Venäjän sortamien kansojen liiton ensimmäiseen kokoukseen yhdessä Herman Gummeruksen ja Samuli Sarion kanssa. [22] Zilliacus palasi Suomeen 1918 ja kirjoitti viimeisinä vuosina eräitä muistelmakirjoja maanalaisesta toiminnastaan sekä yhden keittokirjan. [1] Hän kuoli helsinkiläisessä Ukkokoti-nimisessä yksityisessä vanhainkodissa.

Sortovuosien maanalaista väkivaltaista aktivismia ihannoinut historiantulkinta alkoi Suomessa voittaa alaa 1920-luvun puolivälistä eteenpäin, ja Zilliacuksen maine ja arvostus alkoivat kasvaa pian hänen kuolemansa jälkeen. [1]


Konni Zilliacus (nuorempi)

Konni Zilliacus (13. syyskuuta 1894 – 6. heinäkuuta 1967) oli Britannian työväenpuolueen vasemmistosiiven poliitikko, joka toimi kansanedustajana maan alahuoneessa vuosina 1945–1950 ja 1955–1967. Zilliacus oli isänsä puolelta suomalainen ja äitinsä puolelta amerikkalainen.

Zilliacus syntyi Kobessa Japanissa jossa hänen vanhempansa, aktivisti Konrad Viktor (Konni) Zilliacus (1855–1924) ja amerikkalaissyntyinen Lilian McLaurin Grafe (1873–1938) tuolloin asuivat. Hänen nuorempi veljensä Laurin Zilliacus syntyi myös Japanissa. Nuorempi Konni Zilliacus asui eri maissa vanhempiensa kanssa, kunnes meni Bedales Schoolin sisäoppilaitokseen Hampshiressa 1909. Hän jatkoi opintojaan Yhdysvalloissa Yalessa äitinsä mentyä uusiin naimisiin, ja ennen värväytymistään 1915 ensimmäiseen maailmansotaan brittiarmeijaan. [1]

Zilliacus liittyi Britanniassa Union of Democratic Controliin, joka painosti Britannian hallitusta sotavoimien vaikutusvallan vähentämiseksi. Zilliacus olisi halunnut lentäjäksi, mutta joutui Josiah Wedgwoodin kanssa brittien sotilasedustustoon Vladivostokiin Venäjälle, jossa lokakuun vallankumous keräsi hänen sympatiansa.

Sodan jälkeen Britanniaan palattuaan hän liittyi Työväenpuolueeseen ja työskenteli Kansainliitossa ja rakensi Työväenpuolueen ulkopoliittista linjaa ja kirjoitti nimimerkillä Vigilantes Manchester Guardianiin. Natsi-Saksan miehitettyä Tšekkoslovakian hän erosi protestina Kansainliiton sihteeristöstä.

Toisen maailmansodan aikana Zilliacus työskenteli tiedotusministeriössä ja liittyi 1941-komiteaan. Hänet valittiin parlamenttiin 1945 ja hän tuli tunnetuksi hallituksen linjan vasemmistokriitikkona. Hän äänesti 1949 NATO-jäsenyyttä vastaan ja tuli erotetuksi puolueesta. Hän oli perustamassa Labour Independent Groupia, mutta erosi siitä kun se tuki Stalinia Titon sijaan. Vuoden 1950 vaaleissa hän menetti paikkansa, mutta valittiin uudelleen 1955 taas Työväenpuolueen edustajana. Hän oli perustamassa Campaign for Nuclear Disarmamentia ja erotettiin 1961 puolueesta muutamaksi kuukaudeksi kirjoitettuaan artikkelin tšekkoslovakialaiseen lehteen. Parlamentissa hän oli kuolemaansa saakka.


Revoliutsionnaia Rossiia. Vozniknovenie i razvitie revoliutsionnago dvizheniia v Rossii. Perevod s nemetskago K. Zhikharevoi. Volume: c.1 (1906) (Reprint) [Leatherbound]

Zilliacus, K. (Konni), 1894-1967

Published by Pranava Books, 2020

New - Hardcover
Condition: NEW

Leatherbound. Condition: NEW. Leatherbound edition. Condition: New. Language: rus Volume: c.1 Leather Binding on Spine and Corners with Golden leaf printing on spine. Reprinted from 1906 edition. NO changes have been made to the original text. This is NOT a retyped or an ocr'd reprint. Illustrations, Index, if any, are included in black and white. Each page is checked manually before printing. As this print on demand book is reprinted from a very old book, there could be some missing or flawed pages, but we always try to make the book as complete as possible. Fold-outs, if any, are not part of the book. If the original book was published in multiple volumes then this reprint is of only one volume, not the whole set. IF YOU WISH TO ORDER PARTICULAR VOLUME OR ALL THE VOLUMES YOU CAN CONTACT US. Sewing binding for longer life, where the book block is actually sewn (smythe sewn/section sewn) with thread before binding which results in a more durable type of binding. THERE MIGHT BE DELAY THAN THE ESTIMATED DELIVERY DATE DUE TO COVID-19. Pages: 320 Pages: 320 Volume: c.1.


The mirror of the past : lest it reflect the future / by K. Zilliacus (Vigilantes)

Zilliacus, Konni, 1894-

Published by London : Victor Gollancz Ltd., 1944

First Edition. Fine copy in the original title-blocked cloth. Slightest suggestion only of dust-dulling to the spine bands and panel edges. Remains particularly well-preserved overall tight, bright, clean and strong 8vo 8" - 9" tall 286 pages Description: 286 p. 19 cm. Subjects: League of Nations -- World War, 1914-1918 --Causes --World politics 1 Kg.


  • with Louise Fredrika Adelaide de Geer 1844-1927
    • Edvard Viktor Wilhelm Zilliacus 1879-1918
    • Anna Helene Louise Zilliacus 1880-1966
    • Harry Victor Zilliacus 1885-1966

    Vänligen rikta kommentarer, frågor och korrigeringar direkt till mig.

    Please address your comments, questions and corrections directly to me,

    Ystävällisesti osoita huomautukset, kysymykset ja korjaukset suoraan minulle.


    Finland and the Grafton Affair

    At the beginning of the twentieth century, the Duchy of Finland was part of the Russian Empire, ruled by the autocratic Tsar Nicholas. Finnish Nationalism had been on the rise since the 1830’s and by 1900, resistance to Russian rule was growing, aided by the policy of Russification which had resulted in the sortovuodet – the “years of oppression” as the period from 1899-1917 came to be called. In those early years of the twentieth century, Tsarist-Russia and Imperial Japan were at loggerheads in China, with both countries expanding their influence and territorial acquisitions, leading directly to the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905. At the time, a desire by Finns for independence from Tsarist Russia was on the rise and the Japanese sought to both make use of this and to establish ties with the Finnish people. The cooperation between Finnish nationalists and Japan in what became known as “the Grafton Affair” (arranged between Finnish nationalist Konrad Viktor (Konni) Zilliacus and Motojiro Akashi, a Japanese military attache), survived the First World War in both Japan and Finland and were well remembered into the 1920’s and 1930’s.

    The “Grafton Affair”

    The “Grafton Affair” was an attempt to smuggle large quantities of arms for the Finnish resistance to the Imperial Russian regime in 1905. It came to be known as the “Grafton Affair” after the name of the steamship involved. The S/S John Grafton was a 315-ton ship built in 1883. It was bought by the japanese army officer and intelligence agent Akashi Motojiro in 1905 to aid the Finnish nationalists in an armed uprising in Finland against Tsarist Russia. Nationalism in Finland had been growing and as the Russification in Finland increased, Finnish resistance activist Konni Zilliacus organized the smuggling of weapons into Finland in 1905 with the assistance of the Japanese, who were fighting the Russians in the Far East.

    With Japanese financing, the S/S John Grafton was bought, nominally in the name of a sympathetic London wine merchant. In London the ship was loaded with 15,500 Swiss “Vetterli” rifles (note that they were Model 1869/71s) and 2.5 million bullets that had been retired from the Swiss Army. The cargo also included 2,500 high-class English officer’s revolvers and 3 tons of explosives. According to the original plan, the weapons were to be transported via the Netherlands and Copenhagen to a meeting place in the Gulf of Finland, from where the journey would continue to St Petersburg. On arrival, a part of the cargo would be offloaded and given to Russian revolutionaries. The ship sailed to Flushing and on 28 July the ship was renamed the Luna. The wine merchant sold the ship to a non British firm on this day, but did not report it. However, a subsequent inquiry conducted by the Maritime Department of the Board of Trade in September was able to retrospectively remove the ship from the English register of shipping, avoiding embarrassment when its subsequent activities came to the attention of the Russian authorities.

    The Vetterligevären was later popularly referred to as the “Graftongevär “

    After running into a few problems the route was changed, and the ship set course towards the Gulf of Bothnia and town of Kemi, where part of the cargo was offloaded. The journey continued to Jakobstad which, like Kemi, was a center of the Finnish nationalist resistance. The ship was guided into the rocky archipelago north of Jakobstad and the offloading of the weapons was conducted without any major problem. When the ship resumed its journey south, she ran aground. The crew started to salvage what remained of the weapons but it quickly became clear that the whole cargo could not be salvaged. Captain J.W. Nylander made the decision to blow up the ship to avoid it ending up in the hands of the Russian authorities and on the afternoon of 8 September 1905 the ship was blown up with three powerful charges. The sound from the explosion was heard far way, some accounts mention as far as 50 miles distant. Nevertheless the Russian gendarmes learned of the operation. Rifles from the ship were recovered by divers and some of those stored ashore were found and confiscated.

    A memorial to the S/S John Grafton on Orrskär

    Despite the harsh censorship of the Russification period, widespread speculation about the event occurred in both Finnish and foreign newspapers. Even though the plans for the “John Grafton” did not pan out, the event is considered one of the first concrete actions for an independent Finland. In 1930 a monument was unveiled at Orrskär in Larsmo to commemorate the event. To this day parts of the cargo and ship lie at the bottom of the gulf. The weapons that had been offloaded started to spread out into the villages (where amongst other things they were used for elk hunting) and and later became part of the White Guard (Suojeluskuntas) armory when they were founded in 1917. The already old weapons were never used in any military action. The Russian authorities salvaged parts of the cargo using divers.

    During the following years a further small number of Vetterli rifles were acquired and smuggled to Finland. The Vetterlis featured in the secret preparations for the Finnish uprising but when the War of Independence started in the winter of 1918 the rifles were considered hopelessly outdated and lacked ammunition.Nevertheless, more Vetterli rifles were obtained during the war when Russian arms depots were captured and rifles confiscated 12 years earlier were found.The Finnish Defense Forces never adopted the Vetterli rifle as a standard service weapon but there was a small number stored in arms depots until the 1950’s.

    The location of the wreck of the S/S John Grafton is well known and debris is spread across the bottom over a wide area. Amateur divers have in the past recovered rifles and ammunition but apparently these are no longer found. In Central Bothnia there are still a number of “Graftonkivääreitä.”

    Russian divers recovering cargo from the sunken S/S John Grafton

    The two key participants in the Grafton Affair were Finnish nationalist Konrad Viktor (Konni) Zilliacus and the Japanese intelligence agent Akashi Motojiro.

    Konrad Viktor (Konni) Zilliacus ( 18 December 1855 Ruokolahti – 19 June 1924 Helsinki )

    Konrad Viktor (Konni) Zilliacus (18 December 1855, Helsinki – 19 June 1924, Helsinki) was a Finnish independence activist, writer and the leader of a daring anti-Russian Finnish nationalist group, the Suomen Aktiivisen Vastustuspuolueen or Finland Active Resistance Party before and during the Russo-Japanese War (1904–05) and the Russian Revolution of 1905, who inspired a later generation of Finnish anti-Russian activists. His father, Henrik Johan Wilhelm Zilliacus was a doctor and from 1875 a Senator and Deputy Head of the Civil Editorial Board. His mother was Ida Charlotta, nee Söderhjelm. Zilliacus matriculated from secondary school in 1872 at age 16 and joined the Vyborg Students’ Association. At university, he read law and completed a legal degree in 1877. In 1878 at the age of 23 he married a much older woman, Lovisa Adelaide Ehrnrooth, who was a widow with seven children from a previous marriage. They settled into the Ehrnrooth townhouse and he worked in the Court of Appeals from 1877 and also worked as a teacher, in the Governor-General of Finland’s Office, as a civil servant and in 1880 as a ferry manager. After a year as ferry manager, he started a career as a farmer in 1881, buying a farm. In 1883 he bought more land jointly with a bank director named Abel Lanêdin. He bred horses, started a dairy farm and went heavily into debt. He managed to avoud bankruptcy but these financial difficulties led to his taking a new career direction.

    Ida Rosina Zilliacus, sister of Konrtad Zilliacus

    In 1989 Zilliacus organized Finland’s participation in the World Exhibition in Paris, which he saw as an opportunity to highlight to the world Finland’s independent nationality. In May 1889, he traveled to the USA as correspondent for the Hufvudstadsbladet magazine, writing articles about the American Indian wars and migrants lives. After spending two years in America, he informed his family that he was unable to return to Finland, and divorced his first wife Lovisa Adelaiden. His now former wife was fortunately able to rescue much of the Ehrnrooth family assets.

    In America, he worked in a variety of jobs, as a Supervisor and once as a sewer digger for $1.50 a day. He then worked for a number of magazines as a correspondent, ending up in Chicago as a reporter for the “Svenska Tribune.” In 1891 he traveled to Pine Bridge, South Dakota, as the Svenska Tribune correspondent reporting one the Sioux Indians rebellion. He was present at the Pine Bridge peace negotiations, counting 10,000 Sioux Indians on his arrival. Based on his Svenska Tribune Indian War experiences he later wrote the 1898 book “Indiankriget”, which was published in Finnish in 1899 under the name Indian War – Reports from the U.S. border in 1899. In 1893 he married Lilian Graefin, the 20-year-old daughter of Anthony Graefin, a wealthy German-American businessman.

    “Japanesiska studier och skizzer” by Konrad Zilliacus

    At the end of 1893, he traveled with his wife to Morocco, Italy and Egypt and also traveled around India. Then they traveled to Japan where they lived for two and a half years and where two of their sons were born. There he spent his time in the company of Japanese artists. In Japan he wrote a book, “Japanesiska studier och skizzer” which was published in print in 1896 in Helsinki. In October 1896 Konni Zilliacus and his family left Japan, arriving in Paris the following spring. While in Paris he wrote the books ” Siirtolaisia” (”Immigrants” – 1896), “Siirtolaisseikkailuja” (1898) and ”Taavetti Anttilan kohtalo ynnä muita kertomuksia Amerikan elämästä.” (“Taavetti Anttila’s fate, and others reports on American life”), published in 1898. In 1898, he went back to Finland. The following year he became a journalist, writing for “Nya Presse,” which was banned on 29 June 1900. Zilliacus continued writing articles for different magazines in which he mainly discussed Finnish and Russian policy viewed from a political background.

    In 1902 he moved to Stockholm and from 1904 he was an organizer of the Suomen Aktiivisen Vastustuspuolueen or Finland Active Resistance Party and also served as editor of its widely disseminated newspaper. As one of the early leaders of the Finnish independence movement, he cultivated relations with the Russian revolutionary movement, and smuggled his newspaper and other revolutionary literature from Sweden to Finland on his yacht, as well as weapons. His book ”Det Revolutionära Ryssland” (1902) was translated into a number of languages. When the Russo-Japanese War broke out, Zilliacus contacted the Japanese military attache in Stockholm (and former military attache in St Petersburg, Colonel Motojiro Akashi, and proposed Japanese support to buy and ship arms to the Finnish nationalist resistance.

    “Konni Zilliacus”, a biography by Herman Gummerus, was published in 1933, 9 years after Zilliacus’ death

    Colonel Motojirō provided large sums of money to assist him in developing subversive activities in an attempt to create domestic political instability during the Russo-Japanese War. Zilliacus met with Polish independence activist Roman Dmowski and Russian revolutionary leader Georgii Plekhanov as well as other dissidents. With Japanese assistance, Zilliacus organized a conference of Russian revolutionary organizations in Paris in September 1904, which agreed upon a program of legal and illegal means to replace the current autocracy with a democratic government. Following the abortive uprising in January 1905, he organized a second conference in Geneva in April 1905, with the participation of eleven revolutionary organizations. With Japanese financing, the steamer SS John Grafton was purchased and a large quantity of arms, which they unsuccessfully attempted to smuggle into Finland in 1905. Zilliacus moved back to Helsinki in 1906 however, once his connections with the Japanese became public, he was forced to the United Kingdom with his family in 1909. His son, Konni Zilliacus was a Labour Party Member of Parliament in the United Kingdom for Gateshead. During WW1, he was a supporter of the Finnish Jaeger Movement. After Finland’s independence, Zilliacus returned to the country in 1918. He died in 1924 in a private nursing home in Helsinki. In his final days, he wrote a memoir of his underground activities, as well as a cookbook. Over the years, as the interpretation of Finnish history changed following independence, Zilliacus’ reputation and prestige would grow.

    Suomen Aktiivisen Vastustuspuolueen / Aktiva Motståndspartiet / Finland Active Resistance Party

    In Finland, Leo Mechelin led a constitutional resistance but did not accept the use of violence

    The years 1904-1908 were a period of oppression in Finland and the Suomen Aktiivisen Vastustuspuolueen acted as the party which opposed Russification and was in favor of Finland’s independence from Russia through violent action if necessary. Zilliacus founded the new party, with the inaugural meeting being held on 17 November 1904. Herman Gummerus was elected Chairman of the Party, which also had its own fighting organization whose task was to plan and carry out acts of terrorism. A number of different nationalist groups joined the Party. When the Russo-Japanese War of 1904 broke out, Konni Zilliacus contacted the Japanese military attache in Stockholm, Colonel Motojiro Akashi and proposed a joint action against the Russian government by different nationalist groups within the Russian Empire and Japan. He toured Europe to establish support from different exile groups on the subject, and organized in collaboration with the Poles the subversion of 10,000 Polish soldiers serving in the Russian Army in Manchuria on the Yalu River front. The various revolutionary groups organized a joint meeting in Paris in October 1904 and again in April 1905 in Geneva. The meetings resulted in and agreement to initiate an armed rebellion against Russia. In Finland, Leo Mechelin led a constitutional resistance but did not accept the use of violence and so passive resistance was organized instead, with the Finnish resistance refusing to ratify the agreement reached at the Paris and Geneva meetings.

    The party had its own magazine called Frihet (Freedom) which was distributed secretly in Finland and also published the weekly magazine Framtid. The Party smuggled literature, weapons and explosives into Finland, with the best known of the smuggling attempts being that involving the SS Grafton in September 1905, with arms and ammunition financed by Japan and intended for both Finnish and Russian Tsarist regime opponents. Party activists assisted Russian revolutionaries hiding in Finland by organizing homes and passports as well as assisting with travel arrangements. A Russian Socialist Party meeting was held in Tampere in November 1906 and the Socialist Revolutionary Congress was held there in February 1907.
    In 1905, Party activists made a number of unsuccessful murder attemptes against the Russian bureaucracy. In March 1905 Matti Reinikka tried to shoot the provincial governor of Vyborg, Mjasojedovin, but only managed to wound him. On 19 July 1905 student and Party activist Artturi Salovaara threw a bomb towards the assistant of the Governor-General of Finland, V F Deutrichia who saved himself at the last minute by throwing himself aside. During the summer, the assassinations of the Governor of the Province of Häme and the Governor and Viborg County Governor Pappkovia were attempted. Painter Asarias Hjorth threw a bomb toward Pappkovia but the bomb turned out to be ineffective.

    In September 1905 more bombs exploded in Helsinki at the central police station and in front of the Vaasa governor’s house. In Helsinki a small group of secondary school students formed the Verikoirat (Blood Dogs) activist group and carried out a number of attacks in the 1905 period. In August 1905 a group shot at Finnish police and in September they wounded two Russian gendarmes. Thereafter, the group fired at two Russian police officers, one of whom died of wounds as well as blowing up a police station with a bomb. The Verikoirat (Blood Dogs) were led by Student Union member and later pharmacist, K. G. K. Nyman. In the same year, four graduate activists planned to murder Tsar Nicholas II when he was on a hunting trip to Koivisto. The group arrived at Koivisto but Nikolas had already returned to St. Petersburg. Instead, one of the group, Kalle Procope, managed to murder a Lt-Col Kramarenkon.

    Police outside the Kasarminkatu house in 1906 after a bomb explosion

    The activities of the activists began to gradually wane. In the party congress at Oulu in December 1906 the Social Democratic Party denied membership to members of an underground operation and to those who participated in terrorist acts. Also, many activists finally decided to abandon the use of violence as parliamentary reform opened new possibilities for action. The Suomen Aktiivisen Vastustuspuolueen ceased activities by 1908 at the latest.

    OTL Note: For more on Zilliacus, read his (Finnish language) biography, ”Konni Zilliacus” by Herman Gummerus, Gummerus, Porvoo 1933

    Baron Akashi Motojiro

    Japanese General Akashi Motojirō

    Baron Akashi Motojiro (1 Sept 1864-26 Oct 1919), whom we have mentioned above a number of times, was a general in the Imperial Japanese Army. He graduated from the Imperial Japanese Army Academy in 1889, was assigned to the Imperial Guard Division and attached to the staff of General Kawakami Sōroku during the First Sino-Japanese War. His primary duty was information gathering, and in that capacity he traveled extensively around the Liaodong Peninsula and northern China, Taiwan and Annam. Towards the end of the war, he was promoted to Major. After the Sino-Japanese War, he was dispatched as a military observer to the Philippines during the Spanish-American War, and during the Boxer Rebellion, he was stationed out of Tianjin in northern China. Around this time, he was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel.

    Akashi Motojirō, Rakka ryusui: Colonel Akashi’s Report on His Secret Cooperation with the Russian Revolutionary Parties during the Russo-Japanese War

    Akashi was sent as an itinerant military attaché to Europe at the end of 1900, visiting Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, staying in France in 1901, and moving to Saint Petersburg, Russian, in 1902. As a member of the Japanese Secret Intelligence Services, Akashi was involved in setting up an intricate espionage network in all major European cities, using specially trained operatives under various covers, members of locally-based Japanese merchants and workers, and local people either sympathetic to Japan, or willing to be cooperative for a price. In the period of growing tensions before the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese War, Akashi had a discretionary budget of 1 million yen (an incredible sum of money in contemporary terms) to gather information on Russian troop movements and naval developments. While based at Saint Petersburg, he recruited the famous spy Sidney Reilly and sent him to Port Arthur, to gather information from within the Russian stronghold on its defenses. After the start of the war, he used his contacts and network to seek out and to provide monetary and weaponry support to revolutionary forces attempting to overthrow the Romanov dynasty.

    Akashi was also known for his talents as a poet and as a painter, interests that he shared with fellow spy and close friend General Fukushima Yasumasa. It was also a shared interest in poetry and painting that enabled him to cultivate Sidney Reilly into working for the Japanese. Narrowly escaping capture and assassination by the Ochrana, the Tsarist Russian Secret Service, several times even before the start of the war, Akashi relocated to Helsinki in late 1904, although he traveled extensively to Stockholm, Warsaw, Geneva, Lisbon, Paris, Rome, Copenhagen, Zurich and even Irkutsk. Akashi helped funnel funds and arms to selected groups of Russian anarchists, the secessionists in Finland and Poland, and disaffected Moslem groups in the Crimea and Russian Turkestan. Akashi is also known to have met with Konni Zilliacus in Stockholm and with Lenin, then in exile in Switzerland. It is widely believed in Japan that Akashi was behind the assassination of Russian Interior Minister Vyacheslav von Plehve (whom many in Japan held responsible for the war), the Bloody Sunday Uprising and the Potemkin Mutiny. General Yamagata Aritomo reported to Emperor Meiji that Colonel Akashi was worth “more than 10 divisions of troops in Manchuria” towards Japan winning the war. Akashi was promoted to Colonel at age 40.

    In 1905, just prior to the end of the war, he was recalled to Japan, divorced his wife, remarried, and joined the ground forces in Korea as a Major-General in command of the 14th Infantry Division.In 1918, Akashi was promoted to General and appointed by Prime Minister Terauchi as the Governor-General of Taiwan. He also received the title of Danshaku (Baron) under the kazoku peerage system. During his brief tenure as Governor-General, Akashi devoted significant efforts to improving the infrastructure and economy of Taiwan, and is especially remembered for his electrification projects, the creation of the Taiwan Power Company, and for planning the Sun Moon Lake hydroelectric power plant. The “lake” was originally a swamp. Akashi had concrete pipes built to introduce water from the nearby Muddy Water River, and built a huge dam with water siphoned from the river. The dam and its surrounding area, known as “Sun Moon Lake” today, is a highly scenic area – the mainland Chinese government, without the consent of the Taiwanese, even today calls it one of China’s top ten scenic sites. Akashi’s greatest contribution to Taiwan, however, was the construction of the “Ka-Nan Irrigation System” totaling more than 16,000 miles (26,000 km) of irrigation network and which cost the Taiwan government at that time more than one year’s budget.

    Akashi fell ill and died a little over a year after taking office while visiting his home in Fukuoka, becoming the only Governor-General of Taiwan to die in office. In his will, Akashi expressed his desire to be buried in Taiwan to “serve as a national guardian, and a guardian spirit for the people of Taiwan”. Akashi was buried at a cemetery in Taihoku (modern day Taipei City), becoming the only Japanese Governor-General to be buried in Taiwan. The Taiwanese donated the equivalent to roughly three million modern day U.S. dollars for construction of a memorial, and as a support fund for his family, because Akashi himself was too uncorrupt to leave anything behind from his position. His remains were exhumed in 1999 and re-interred at the Fuyin Mountain Christian Cemetery in Sanzhi Township, Taipei County (now New Taipei City). Akashi’s death has spawned a massive number of conspiracy theories. The flamboyant exploits (both real and imagined) of “Colonel Akashi” have been the subject of countless novels, manga, movies and documentary programs in Japan, where he has been dubbed the “Japanese James Bond”.

    OTL Note: for more on the Zilliacus-Akashi connection, read “Northern Underground: Episodes of Russian Revolutionary Transport and communications through Scandinavia and Finland 1863-1917” by Michael Futrell, Faber and Faber, 1963. Also read “A History of the Japanese Secret Service” by Richard Deacon (1986).

    Between 1905 and the end of WW1, there was little further contact between Japan and the Finnish Nationalist movement. After the 1905 Russo-Japanese war, Japan ceased active hostilities with Russia and had no interest in stirring further disruption within Tsarist Russia. In WW1, Japan was more or less neutral on the side of the allies and it was only after the war ended that Japan again became involved, somewhat peripherally, with Finland. Japan was of course at that time rather more involved in the anti-Bolshevik intervention in Siberia, where her troops fought alongside American, Canadian and other British Commonwealth soldiers over the course of the intervention. More on this relationship in a subsequent post…..


    Laurin Zilliacus

    Laurin Zilliacus (4. lokakuuta 1895 Jokohama, Japani – 9. heinäkuuta 1959 Porvoo) oli suomalainen rehtori, pedagogi ja kirjailija.

    Laurin Zilliacuksen isä oli itsenäisyysaktivisti Konni Zilliacus ja vanhempi veli Englannin Työväenpuolueen poliitikko Konni Zilliacus nuorempi. Laurin Zilliacus valmistui insinööriksi Yhdysvalloissa ja toimi sitten opettajana Englannissa ja Suomessa.

    Vuonna 1928 Laurin Zilliacus perusti Helsinkiin Tölö Svenska Samskola -nimisen yhteiskoulun jota alettiin kutsua myös Zilliacuksen kouluksi (Zillen). Zilliacus toimi koulun rehtorina 1928–1940 ja hän otti siellä käyttöön uusia Englannissa omaksumiaan opetusmenetelmiä. Ensimmäiset ylioppilaat koulusta valmistuivat 1937.

    Talvisodan aikana Zilliacus oli puolustusvoimain palveluksessa vastaten ulkomaille suunnatusta tiedotuksesta. Vuonna 1941 hän julkaisi kirjan Ett folk – en front (suom. Yksi kansa, yksi rintama) jossa kuvattiin talvisodan aikaisen kotirintaman tunnelmia. Jatkosodan aikana Zilliacus siirtyi rauhanoppositioon ja hän julkaisi vuosina 1942–1943 Ruotsissa nimimerkillä Erkki Järvinen sotapolitiikkaa arvostelleet teokset Vi vill inte kvävas ja Vid årskiftet. Zilliacus kuului myös ns. kolmenkymmenenkolmen kirjelmän laatijaryhmään.

    Sodan jälkeen Zilliacus siirtyi YK:n palvelukseen toimien koulusuunnittelijana. Hän kirjoitti muun muassa postilaitoksen kehitystä Euroopassa ja Yhdysvalloissa kuvanneen kirjan From pillar to post: The troubled history of the mail.


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