An electronic data bank has been established containing information of people who died in wartime conditions. It contains a list and details of 39,550 people.
The data bank will provide invaluable help to researchers and is also designed to help relatives whose kin fell in action during 1914 to 1922.
The bloodiest episode during that period was the Finnish Civil War, which broke out in late 1917 and ended spring 1918. Communist (Red) forces, helped by Russian troops stationed in Finland, rose up in arms against the Conservative (White) Senate shortly after Finland declared independence.
The White forces quickly got the upper hand and with the assistance of German troops beat the Reds within months.
The latest probe into that period shows that far more people were killed as a result of the Civil War than previously thought. The death toll stands at 26,100 people.
The figure has also been boosted by the inclusion of foreigners' deaths. About 1,000 Russians, Swedes and Germans died during the conflict.
The compilers say the data bank is the most extensive survey of its kind, but it still contains flaws and even mistakes. The head of the project, Heikki Ylikangas, believes that hundreds of names are still missing from the war deaths list. In addition, some people have been listed twice and some survivors have been marked down as deceased.
Spanish Flu Killed Prisoners?
The majority of Reds who died of disease in concentration camps in 1918 are now believed to have contracted Spanish flu.
At the time, physicians in the concentration camps lacked the means to diagnose the flu. The data bank says that 13,500 died behind barbed wire.
The report also found that the number of Reds killed in action was far greater than earlier thought. It states that 5,200 Reds were killed in clashes - this is 1,800 more than earlier estimates.
In 1998, the Finnish government appointed a commission to thoroughly examine the circumstances of the deaths of the thousands of war victims who perished in wartime conditions from the years 1914-1922.
YLE24, Finnish News Agency