The first seminar of the year will be held at Hotell Arkipelag in Mariehamn on 31 January at 11.30 am. It will be held in Swedish by associate professor and antiquarian Kenneth Gustavsson. The topic of the seminar is ”The Åland Islands 1944-46 – reunification with the Motherland?”.
In the shadow of the Finnish-Soviet armistice in 1944, the leadership of the Åland Islands pursued a reunification with Sweden. The other alternative they had in mind, was some kind of independence of the Åland Islands. The leadership of the Åland Islands was therefore secretly in touch with representatives of Sweden. The outcome, however, was a disappointment. Both Sweden and Finland dismissed any ideas of the kind. In addition, the Soviet Union unequivocally declared that the Åland Islands should be subordinated to Finnish authority. Gustavsson lectures on this extraordinary history based on new material discovered in archives in Helsinki, Stockholm and Mariehamn.
Kenneth Gustavsson. Antiquarian, PhD in archeology and associate professor of history. He has been working for many years at the Åland Museum, previously primarily with archaeological questions surrounding the medieval and late time, but currently mainly with recent history. His focus is the strategical and political importance of Åland in the Baltic Sea during the 2000s, including the demilitarization and neutralization regimes. He has published several books and numerous articles on the subject. Member of The Royal Society of Naval Sciencesfrom 2013 and the Historical Committee at The Society of Swedish Literature in Finland from 2015.