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Julio Reuter

Julio Nathanael Reuter
Born January 7, 1863, Turku. Died January 9, 1937, Helsinki

MA 1886, PhD 1897, Imperial Alexander University
Docent of Sanskrit and Comparative Indo-European Linguistics, 1891–1906

Extraordinary Professor of Sanskrit and Indo-European Linguistics, 1906–1931, Imperial Alexander University (University of Helsinki from 1919-)

Member of the Royal Society of London 1897
Member of the Finnish Society of Science and Letters 1910
Honorary PhD from the University of Glasgow 1901
Commander of the White Rose of Finland 1919

Photo: Museovirasto
Written by Lauri Lönnström
Translated by Joe McVeigh

The Kagal and the resistance

Julio Reuter’s mentor, Otto Donner, also began Reuter’s political career, when he arranged for Reuter to travel to England in February 1899 to manage anti-Russian communications. In 1901, Reuter became secretary of the clandestine organisation the Kagal, and he disseminated political propaganda, particularly among the Anglo-Saxon press.

Through passive resistance and propaganda, the Kagal attempted to oppose Russification efforts in Finland. The society was founded in September 1901, and its leadership included Heikki Renvall and P. E. Svinhufvud. In May 1902, a similar organisation for women was established, its leaders including the likes of Tekla Hultin. The Kagal’s operations were short-lived, and had all but ceased by November 1905.

In 1918, Reuter participated in the delegation which petitioned the Danish, Norwegian and US governments to recognise Finnish independence. Finland dispatched several delegations to announce Finland’s declaration of independence and secure recognition for it. The first to recognise Finnish independence were Sweden, Russia and France on January 4, 1918. Within a week, Denmark and Norway, among others, also recognised Finnish independence, but it was not until the spring of 1919 that the US followed suit.

In 1919, Mahatma Gandhi joined the Indian resistance movement, simultaneously making passive resistance a topical issue in Finland too. As a result, Reuter took on the task of writing the history of the Kagal, which he completed in 1927.

A memorial stone was erected in honour of the Kagal resistance movement in Tullisaari park, in Laajasalo, Helsinki. Wikimedia Commons.
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