Friday, June 29, 2018

Wiederherstellung der Ordnung in Finnland durch finnische Weisse Garde und deutsche Truppen / [Restoration of Order in Finland by Finnish White Guards and German Troops]

Wiederherstellung der Ordnung in Finnland durch finnische Weisse Garde und deutsche Truppen. Photo: Bundesarchiv.

This photo in Wikipedia is not from the film but is from the same camera position as some shots in the film. Deutsche Soldaten der Ostsee-Division in einem Panzerzug, auf einer Bahnstrecke bei Lahti, Finnland im April 1918. Deutscher Panzerzug bei Lahti, Ende April 1918, die eingebauten Geschütze stammten von der „Aufklärungsabteilung Hamilton“ bzw. ihrem Autokanonenzug. Unbekannt - Verlag von K. F. Köhler, Leipzig 1920: Meine Sendung in Finnland und dem Baltikum. (Bestand: Reichsarchiv)

Järjestyksen palauttaminen Suomessa suomalaisen valkoisen kaartin ja saksalaisten joukkojen avulla
Suomen valkoinen armeija ja saksalaiset joukot palauttavat järjestyksen Suomeen v. 1918
    Year: 1918. Country: Germania.
    Prod.: Bild- und Filmamt (BuFA) / Ufa 35 mm. L.: 199 m (incompleto, l. orig.: 272 m). D.: 9′ a 20 f/s. Bn.
    Featuring: Ostsee-Division / Baltic Sea Division of the Imperial German Army under the command of Generalmajor Rüdiger Graf von der Goltz. Das Detachement Brandenstein (Landungsabteilung Brandenstein) war ein militärischer Verband, der vom Oberbefehlshaber Ost aufgestellt wurde. Der Verband unterstand dem Befehl von Oberst Otto von Brandenstein.
    The KAVI print is 244 m with Finnish intertitles.
    German intertitles.
    Print from Das Bundesarchiv.
    Grand piano: Antonio Coppola. Alla batteria: Frank Bockius.
    Viewed at Sala Mastroianni, Bologna, Il Cinema Ritrovato, Cento anni fà: 1918, 29 June 2018.

"The festivities to mark Finnish independence didn’t last long. As so often happens after new nations are born, various factions emerged from the woodwork to try and fill the power vacuum, and the country fell into a period of civil war which lasted five months, cost thousands of people their lives, and left the country bitterly divided for decades to come. On one hand there were the Reds, a working class movement armed and funded by the Russians which began a revolution in January 1918 aimed at creating a new Social Democratic Republic. And on other hand there were the Whites, a bourgeois movement which was funded and armed by Germany and which was determined to thwart the revolutionary Reds and seize power for themselves. As the title suggests, “Order Is Restored in Finland by the Finnish White Guard and the German Troops” is a propaganda piece which glorifies the fight against Communism by noble and brave Western Europeans – a common theme in many movies from this period. The film takes us on a ride across Finland in an armoured train. We see the German troops ‘restoring order’ (a speciality for which they are renowned throughout the world), as well as various battle scenes between the Whites and the Reds – battle scenes which, given the position of the camera, have obviously been staged for the occasion. Truth, as ever, is the first casualty of war, whilst no mention is made of the approximately 12,500 Reds who died of disease and malnutrition in internment camps." Karl Wratschko

AA: We saw a short version of this war propaganda newsreel shot by Bufa for the Imperial German Army. In it we see Finnish White Guards greeting German troops, White women at the canteen, "Panzerzug der 2. Pioniere zur Ausfahrt bereit" (the armoured train of the 2. Pioneers ready to go), German troops in an armoured train on its way to Lahti and Riihimäki, Germans fixing railway damage by the Red Guards, fighting the Red Guards, and taking prisoners.

In a longer version we see the armoured train in full action, German troops shooting from the moving train, and stopping for a more serious battle scene. The camera is often mobile either on the moving train or giving us a panoramic shot from the ground. Near Lahti we see an epic panoramic shot of captive Red Guards with their horses and vehicles. In another panoramic shot on a city square we see cannons seized from the Reds. Finally we see the Riihimäki barracks set on fire by the Reds. German troops next to the train participate in extinguishing the fire.

The camera position is ideal, the composition in depth excellent and the view of the action always clear and uncluttered. Only the Riihimäki fire cannot be staged.

The armoured train of the 2. pioneers belonged to Detachment Brandenstein "commanded by the German Baron Otto von Brandenstein, a 3,000 man unit which landed at Loviisa April 7, 1918. Its assigned mission was to cut the Reds' railway connections by attacking to the East, thus cutting the railway between Helsinki and Viipuri. The major operation for Detachment Brandenstein was the Battle of Lahti in 19 April – 1 May. Later the unit was attached to the Baltic Sea Division." (Wikipedia).

There was no Communist organization in Finland until after the civil war. The Finnish Communist Party was founded in Soviet exile.

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