Bank of Finland archive documents from the front-line branches 1941-1944

 

The outbreak of the Winter War on 30 November 1939 meant big changes to the Bank of Finland’s operations. As a result of the war, currency regulation was introduced, which considerably increased the work of bank employees. During the Winter War, around 50 of the Bank’s workforce were liable for military service and around 30 served in the armed forces. The remainder were made exempt from service at the Bank’s request so that the operational capacity of the Bank would not be insurmountably weakened. There was so much work that, during the Winter War, bank employees would stay overnight at the Bank when required. At that time, there were around 200 bank employees, 100 of whom worked at the head office and the remainder at 12 branch offices.

Currency regulation continued during the Interim Peace period. With the outbreak of the Continuation War in 1941, the existing branch offices were no longer sufficient to meet the Bank’s needs, so front-line branches and business offices were established close to the military front. To mark the 80th anniversary of the Winter War, we are publishing Bank of Finland archive documents describing the activities of the front-line branches. Most of the material is correspondence between the Bank of Finland, its branches and various authorities. In addition, Gunnar Myreen’s 240-page memoir recalling his travels for the Bank of Finland in Ladoga Karelia and Aunus in 1941 describes in colourful detail the challenges encountered in setting up bank operations in front-line conditions.

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