The City of Rauma has refused to allow a plaque commemorating members of the White Guard in Finland’s 1918 Civil War to be installed in the wall of the local landmark old town hall. The position of city officials is that a new White Guard memorial would serve to maintain ideological divisions.
Even 100 years after the conflict, the White Guard is a contentious issue, which can still divide the people along political lines.
Formed out of paramilitary groups establisheded for protection and to preserve order in the wake of the Russian Revolution, the White Guard was a volunteer militia with local chapters.
Under the provisions of the 1947 post-WWII Treaty of Paris, Finland disbanded all organizations considered fascist by the Soviet Union. The White Guard fell under this ban and was disbanded.
With the 100th anniversary of the war this year, the City of Rauma received a request from a local White Guards heritage association to be permitted to install a plaque in the wall of the Rauma Old Town Hall, which is a landmark building located in a UNESCO World Heritage Site.