Superb Finnish Diplomatic passport
1931 issued passport to Antti Hackzell.
Very important 20th century diplomatic passport issued to a famed and well known Finnish politician with a rich diplomatic career behind him.
This figure helped shape some of the century’s important historical agreements and attended important conventions, climaxing with the 1944 Finnish-Soviet peace talks.
The document was issued in the capital at Helsinki on May 15th 1931 for the short period of 2 months, most likely for a specific purpose. The only reference I could find on line to any international conference or negotiations during that time was with regards to the timber industry, and with connection to the Nordic states and the Soviet Union. During the month of June the Soviet Union together with Sweden and Finland were sitting together to discuss the forming of the Nordic- Soviet timber cartel. The issue was the exporting of soft wood from the region, where the three “powers”, who were in fierce competition, deeply distrusted one another, decided to sit down together and form the Nordic-Soviet timber cartel. Negotiations, as mentioned previously, started in June 1931 and ended one year later. My assumption is also based on the fact that the single visa inside the passport was issued by the French Legation in Helsinki, and the entry & exit dates are for May 20th to June 20th. But this was not the case. Response from the Finnish archives did not confirm this to be the reason for this passport being issued.
Finally, some good news arrived from Finland later on: The passport was issued to him because he was the employer’s representative in the Finnish delegation to the 15th Session of the International Labor Conference, held in Geneva, Switzerland, 28.5.-18.6.1931. All matters regarding the International Labor Conference were being taken care of by the Ministry for Social Affairs in Helsinki and NOT the Foreign Ministry.
The passport, numbered 43, was hand singed by two senior government officials: Hugo Valvanne – Chief Secretary and Harald Hornborg – Secretary of the Department.
The position of the holder is clearly written as “Former Minister to Moscow”.
Here is a brief biography on the owner of the passport: Antti Hackzell
Governor of Viborg Province from 1918 to 1920
Ambassador to the Soviet Union from 1922 to 1927
Deputy (1930 to 1936) and then director (1936 to 1945) of the Finnish Employers Association
Foreign Minister for about 4 years from 1932 to 1936
(In 1931 Antti Hackzell was also nominated as chairman of the Export Credit Committee and this put him in a very strong position in the export industry).
Antti Hackzell is probably most well remembered for his efforts to separate his country from the close connection with Nazi Germany in 1944. By then, it was well obvious to all the players that Germany was losing the war. Finland decided to take steps in changing sides, severing the close ties with her former ally, ensuring that there will be no presence of the Wehrmacht on Finnish soil and also seek a peace agreement with the Soviet Union. From 1941 to 1944 both countries were at war which was called the “Continuation War”.
In the summer of that year he formed a government with the specific goal to reaching a positive agreement with his county’s neighbor. On September 7th he headed a delegation, as Prime Minister, to the Soviet border, and upon crossing it was flown to Moscow. Several days later he would suffer a devastating stroke that would make it impossible for him to continue the talks. They were conducted at the end by his foreign minister Carl Enckell. He passed away on January 14th 1946 at the age of 64.
I have added sampled images of this unique passport and of a SS cover sent from northern Finland AFTER the two sides broke off ties. The SS mountain unit was trapped up north and trying to get evacuated when the letter was sent off.
Thank you for reading “Our Passports”.