Trail Mannerheim: five who knew Marshall share their experiences

June 4, birthday of Marshal Carl Gustaf Mannerheim (Mannerheim, Carl Gustaf) celebrated 150 years.

Five men who were familiar with Mannerheim, or simply met him, tell us, what is the footprint he has left in their lives.

Meta Mannerheim, great-great-granddaughter of the Marshal, accustomed to the fact that her name is respected

“Many are trying to gain the respect and adoration from others. I got this gift.

To others my name was always in the first place, but a person only on the second. I couldn’t marry Finn, because I would not understand why he chose me. My husband is Dutch.

My father, Carl Gustaf (Carl Gustaf) and his brothers and sisters had a wonderful childhood in the estate community of Vihti. Growing up, all went abroad, but my father’s: he wanted to become head of the clan. Dad was peaceful and kind, he liked to be in the woods and in nature. He felt very uncomfortable in the society of veterans of war, Lott and generals: he was very young and participation in war are not taken. In the 1970-ies on veterans, many mocked, and for him it was very hard. At night we heard strange calls.

In Finland still remains the hatred of successful people. By its name I have not been threatened, but he tried not to stand out. If I was born in a working class family of the city of Tampere configured hostility against white, the name of Mannerheim and for me had a negative connotation. Man creates his environment.

In the opinion of Marshal Gustav Mannerheim, for political reasons, and security reasons, members of the genus it is better to be in Sweden. He did not believe that Finland will be able to survive in the neighborhood with the Soviet Union. The current situation with Putin would be natural for him. The Marshal would never have occurred to me to talk with Putin about cats and dogs. The imperialism of present-day Russia would not be a surprise to him.

I moved to Sweden a couple of years ago and not going back to Finland. Only miss Finnish friends. Not become father, mother, brother. My brother got a birth trauma and was mentally retarded. He died two years ago. The eldest in the family now is my great-grandfather, Carl Erik Mannerheim (Carl Erik Mannerheim), who lives in the South of France.

The family grows and continues. Recently I met in Sweden, relatives of Johan Mannerheim (Johan Mannerheim), brother of the Marshal. They hold far-left views, unlike those of relatives who live in Finland. I noticed they have more advantages Mannerheim, than herself: they have the academic education, they are brave and successful in many areas people. We laughed that we all have eyes Mannerheim: the color blue, and sunken eyelids and high.

For me aristocracy is nobility of the heart: we all consider to be equal. In itself a noble origin means nothing to me. I’m thankful that I know the etiquette and foreign languages, it was inoculated me with mother’s milk. I regret the fact that manners in Finland disappear. I need joy and energy, which in the Finnish society are so scarce.”

A. Greenpea Heikki (Heikki A. Reenpää) had to use a false name when he took the Marshal and his lover in Helsinki

“I met three times with the Mannerheim before I turned 30. I remember I was surprised a great memory and spontaneous behavior of this man.

The first time I was the driver of the Marshal. It was the summer of 1949. My father, he was the managing Director of the company Otava and was responsible for publishing the memoirs of 82-year-old Mannerheim. Marshall came to Finland from Switzerland. One day he called my father and complained that he could not get a car and a driver in Helsinki, because the aides are in summer vacation. Since the driver Otava, too, was on vacation, my father sent me, saying that Mannerheim wanted the driver did not speak Swedish. I had to pretend that it is true.

I wore a driver’s cap and jacket and took Mannerheim and Countess Arco-valley (Arco-Valley), his beloved, on the Studebaker car of a representative class of the hotel Kämpi. Father told me to introduce myself Kekkonenom. I stood in front of a Marshal upright, but he friendly shook my hand. We went to the island of Seurasaari. Mannerheim was walking with the Countess, and kissing her nicely. I took them and the next day.

In the summer of 1950, my father invited Marshall to the publisher Otava on the occasion of the publication of his memoirs, and introduced him to his entourage. About me Mannerheim suddenly stopped, looked at me and asked how he knew me. I mumbled that I was a liaison officer during the continuation War (Soviet-Finnish war of 1941-1944). Mannerheim strange smiled, but took my answer. But sarcastically added that I speak good Swedish.

I had heard that Mannerheim was a simple man. General Ilmari Martola (Ilmari Martola), who became my friend, told me that Marshall introduced in the army a more free-form behavior. The Marshal could not stand the strict discipline in the Prussian manner, that is practiced, for example, in the Russian army.

Personal doctor Mannerheim Kula Lauri (Lauri Kalaja) also became my friend. He said that after the war, Mannerheim was suddenly ordered to burn all the notes about himself, because he was afraid of the allied control Commission. I was really disappointed because the notes of a doctor could be an invaluable source for post-war history. I had to hold the paper in their hands and ask them to remove copies of them.

Often forget that Mannerheim was well-educated and well-read man. Mostly they honor Mannerheim in Finland as a military leader, although his civilian contribution is also worthy of respect. He twice was President, was a traveler and educator, developing charitable activities.

It seems to me that in being built in Helsinki Central library need to create a hall dedicated to the civil activities of the Marshal. There should not be any guns or rifles, only photos, a couple of his suits, the corner of his house and library. I would like to transfer to my library 450 books on Mannerheim. In addition, there could be the first to post entire personal library of Mannerheim”.

Lotta-signaller may Virtala (May Virtala) spoke with Mannerheim on the phone at night

“I was sent to work on the switch in the rate of Mannerheim in Mikkeli in 1943. My husband, second Lieutenant Erkki Virtala (Erkki Virtala) also worked rate.

I provided telephone Mannerheim, we saw him rarely. Twice a day Mannerheim walked from the rate of the hotel Kaleva to eat. There was quite a long walk, and he walked, quite openly. He had bodyguards, but the Germans were surprised that the commander in chief so he walks through the city.

We, Lotte, was ordered to greet Mannerheim first, but of course, Marshall could be the first to take the salute. It was so hard to calculate in time to greet him first!

During the Winter war Mikkeli was bombed, but in my time there, nothing reminded about the war. Only in the summer of 1944, when there was fighting on the Karelian isthmus, was heard the roar. Perhaps it was the roar of cannon, though we were far away.

We, Lotte-the signaller worked in two shifts, night and day. Always Mannerheim personally asked to join it. Never is he called the adjutant.

When I first saw that Mannerheim is calling and I must answer, and to connect it, I screamed, “Help, the Marshal calls! What to do?”

“Most answer,” said the other Lotte. I said, very low and formal voice: “the Seagull” (Lokki). Was the name of our switch. Later, I was hesitant to answer Mannerheim in a more cheerful voice, and one day after I joined him, I heard he said to himself in Swedish: “now it was so much fun!”

Mannerheim always began, “Commander wants you to connect him”, then he mentioned the name, and it connects. One day he called later that evening and asked to speak with the Minister of defence Walden (Rudolf Walden), who was in Helsinki. But Walden was in the sauna. I called Mannerheim and asked whether you want to try again. Mannerheim replied, “No, it’s already eleven! Goodnight, Lotte”.

Then he thought for a moment: “why, Lotta sleep tonight will not be because she’s night shift.” I replied that indeed I will not, but asked if I, on the other hand, to wish the commander Goodnight. He said, “Thank you, Lotte”. Lotte, who was sitting next to me was terrified that I was talking to a Marshal. But if he wishes me Goodnight, and I should wish him the same. It was the only time I spoke personally with Mannerheim.

The war ended in September 1944, but I worked until December. When the organization Lott was dissolved, we had to remove forms of white-collar, cuffs, and mark Lott. It was awful.

Indoors switch “Chaika” is now a Museum. When we go there, my grandson is coming to the doll, depicting Lotte-the signaller and said, “hi, grandma!”

My husband died nine years ago. I don’t know how much Lott-telecommunications workers are still alive. I know one, but she’s very sick. I still take part in the work of the organization “Women of the defence forces”. Say, you have all the time to do something and stay”.

Juha Backman (Juha Bäckman) sat on the potty, and when his field of vision appeared a tall man

“My father, major Beckman was a Junior adjutant to Mannerheim. He served in subordinate Mannerheim in 1942-1946.

In my childhood at home was not talking about Mannerheim. Father never praised Mannerheim and had no complaints, neither during his lifetime nor after his death.

I met Mannerheim twice. Or maybe those are the only two times in memory. In the spring of 1945 I was four years old and I hurt my knee. The treatment did not help, and my father got me an appointment with Dr. Arvo ULPA (Arvo Ylpö). We lived in the community Turvaa, the present Sastamala. I was sent by train to Helsinki, and the father met me at the station. Then we went by car to the residence of the President of Finland Tamminiemi, where his father worked and lived.

I told my father that I really need the toilet. I was sitting on the pot in the middle of his study when the door opened, and went Mannerheim. He looked at me and said, “So, young man doing his business” and then shook hands and left the room. I have no recollection of said Mannerheim’s words, but the father later told it.

The next morning I woke up early and went to the second floor Tamminiemi, although I was not allowed to go there. I saw the door, opened it, went inside and began to admire the tiles on the walls and on the floor. Suddenly I heard behind her heels. Two steps away from myself, I saw black shiny boots with spurs. Included looked back, and I with all haste ran to his father, not saying a word. Late morning dad and this man had Breakfast together. At some point, Mannerheim looked at his adjutant and said that he had met with this young man this morning. The father wondered how this could happen. The President said that “the young man checked his bathroom”.

When Mannerheim died in January 1951, my family lived in Helsinki on the street Arkadiankatu. The day of the funeral the house was a sad atmosphere.

The funeral procession moved slowly under our window, and we watched the funeral carriage on which there was a coffin.

In the same year the Foundation of the Mannerheim asked my dad along with the housekeeper Haglind Bertha (Berta Haglind) and Elsa Ulf Sundman (Sundman Elsa) to make a Museum in the house of Mannerheim. As a young boy, I got the job to be responsible for hunting weapons Marshal. I did it and in that moment, when the Museum Director asked me to conduct tours. I work as a tour guide at the Museum for over ten years.

I heard that Mannerheim liked to swim after the sauna. Once during a visit to the sauna in Mikkeli for the kindling of a sauna answered the orderly from Einar (Einar From). In the steam room usually sat for 20 minutes and nothing was said. Junior adjutant looked at his watch and stepped on a few. After that, the commander went to the lake and abruptly disappeared under the water. Father heard Frome yelled Mannerheim, “I what the hell, not saying that there is a steep Bank?””

When Timo Marginale dressed in the form of Mannerheim, all numb

“I wore a uniform Mannerheim over a thousand times and the performances, and rehearsals.

Sometimes I talk to Swedish, and the pressure in everyday life because it flies from my mouth. Sons joke that I’m his whole life was lived for Mannerheim. In Mikkeli I called the Marshal, even if I do not of his suit. Let’s hope the nursing home I won’t in the morning to demand a glass of vodka and imagine that I’m in Lausanne as Mannerheim.

When I do the monologue “the Last order of the commander” or are at a gala event in the image of Mannerheim, I am amazed at how people just freeze up in front of the Marshal. It takes some time, and then a shot of vodka before people can relax.

I read about seventy books on Mannerheim, and on the basis of reading I can say that Marshall was not dry and formal. He was a kind of actor. First, he dressed and gesticulating like an actor.

The legendary waitress Mannerheim Tara Stenvall (Taru Stenvall) described how Mannerheim after the bombing during the Winter war were trailed in the restaurant in Mikkeli, but then straightened up and sped off as soon as noticed that there is someone else. The photos made by the Swedish and Finnish Hanko seen how relaxed can be Mannerheim in the circle of friends. As a child he enjoyed participating in school plays and as an adult seemed playful dancing Santa Claus.

For me, Mannerheim is a close way because he was a humanist and a lover of beauty. He was passionately fond of fine art, the device of the interiors, the colors that he ordered to plant on the cliffs at the summer cottage in Hanko.

I tried to display all these traits in my interpretation of the image. I particularly etched in the memory of a visit to hospital for invalids of the war in Kyyhkyla, where many bedridden patients with tears in his eyes, attempted to rise to greet the Marshal. Then I had to wonder who I am and where I am.

I’ll never forget the 80-year Stenvall, which is fully immersed in a theatrical illusion. At intermission she made a nod and said that he is happy once again to meet the Marshal. Great-nephew of the Marshal asked him what have I done with my eyes, so that they become the same as his great-uncle. In my youth I dreamed of a military career, so the idea that generals and colonels salute my Mannerheim, warms my heart.

People can ask my questions Mannerheim. They ask, for example, about NATO membership, relations with his wife and daughter, the work of the government and horses. The necessity of NATO membership I don’t agree. If someone thinks that Mannerheim sometimes wrong, I say, “But I remember my life””.