ABOLITION

In the winter of 1934, the leaders of the Civil Guard were pondering the post-war future of the organization. Would it be feasible to bring back the core tasks of the Guards while also taking care of the remaining public duties? Perhaps additional resources could allow the full scope of their work to continue.

Commander-in-Chief Malmberg was also considering the effects of possible Civil Guard abolition. How could the organization’s assets and history of athletic military education be secured?

The Moscow Armistice after the Continuation War called for the army to be set in a peacetime state. Societies based on a fascist mindset were to be dissolved.

The Civil Guards held a special convention in Tuusula on September 29th, 1944. Their aim was to grant the Commander-in-Chief the rights to donate and sell the possessions of the Supreme Headquarters. A donation agreement with the Finnish Red Cross was signed one day later. In case of abolition, the assets would be used for the good of public health.

The Chief of Staff of the Supreme Headquarters, Major General Martola, proposed a militia system to Minister of Defence Walden on October 16th. The Civil Guard organization would be included in the scheme. The idea was then introduced to Mannerheim, who asked for a draft of the proposed structure. Martola and Chief of General Staff Oesch quickly produced a plan that was approved by the Marshal on October 18th.

Despite the initial discussions on a militia system, the plan was not submitted to the Ministry of Defence. Mannerheim thought it wiser to abolish the Guards before the Soviet Union demanded it. A proposal to repeal the law on Civil Guards would be introduced on October 30th, and the organization would be abolished as soon as Malmberg had finished speaking to its representatives. The Marshal encouraged the Guard to take the initiative and ask for its termination.

At 2 pm on October 30th, the Minister of Defence read a letter from Zdanov to the Foreign Affairs Committee. The contents demanded the Civil Guards to be abolished by November 7th. In the evening, the Civil Guard assembly could only accept the decision and discuss the steps to follow. The Parliament immediately agreed to repeal the law, and the ruling was signed by the President on November 3rd. 

The Civil Guard districts were converted back to military districts on November 4th. The districts of Vyborg, Käkisalmi, Sortavala, and Åland were terminated. A significant portion of the Guards’ assets was donated to associations, churches, towns, and municipalities as well as war orphans, widows, and disabled veterans. Regional branches of the Red Cross received the biggest contributions. Commander-in-Chief Malmberg broadcasted his last order on November 6th. The Civil Guard organization had become history.