Ståhlberg kidnapping

K.J. and Ester Ståhlberg at the Joensuu railway station on October 15th, 1930, after they had been kidnapped in Helsinki and were taken by car to Joensuu in Eastern Finland.

The Ståhlberg kidnapping refers to an incident that occurred on October 14, 1930, at approximately 9:00 AM EET, in which the former and first President of Finland, Kaarlo Juho Ståhlberg, and his wife, Ester Ståhlberg, were abducted from their home in Helsinki, Finland, by members of the Lapua Movement.[1][2] The kidnapping was spearheaded by an ex-White general by the name of Kurt Martti Wallenius. Threats of execution were issued when the Lapuans' demands were not met, however Wallenius and his henchmen were too incompetent to handle the kidnapping and too hesitant to carry out their murder threat.[2] The Finnish public was both ashamed and horrified by this pointless act of lawlessness, and a general adverse reaction against the Lapuans greatly eroded their already dwindling popular support.[2] In addition to this, the kidnapping was decisive in forcing the election of Pehr Evind Svinhufvud to the presidency against Ståhlberg in February 1931.[1] After the kidnapping the Lapuans threatened to assassinate Ståhlberg.[3]


  1. ^ a b Capoccia, Giovanni (2005). Defending Democracy: Reactions to Extremism in Interwar Europe. JHU Press.
  2. ^ a b c Trotter, William R. (1991). A Frozen Hell: The Russo-Finnish Winter War of 1939-40. Chapel Hill, North Carolina: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill. ISBN 978-0-945575-22-1.
  3. ^ Rintala, Marvin (1969). Four Finns: Political Profiles. University of California Press.

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