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Kullervo Achilles Manner (12 October 1880 in Kokemäki, Finland – 15 January 1939 in Ukhta-Pechora, the USSR) was a Finnish journalist and politician, and later a Soviet politician. He was a member of the Finnish parliament, serving as its Speaker in 1917. He was also chairman of the Social Democratic Party of Finland between 1917–1918. During the Finnish Civil War, he led the Finnish People's Delegation, a leftist alternative to the established Finnish government. After the war, he escaped to the Soviet Union, where he co-founded the Finnish Communist Party.

Kullervo Manner
Prime Minister of the FSWR
In office
29 January 1918 – 25 April 1918
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Position abolished
Speaker of the Parliament
In office
4 April 1917 – 31 October 1917
Preceded by Kaarlo Juho Ståhlberg
Succeeded by Johannes Lundson
Leader of the Finnish Communist Party
In office
1920 – 1935
Preceded by Yrjö Sirola
Succeeded by Hannes Mäkinen
Leader of the Finnish Social Democratic Party
In office
1917 – 1918
Preceded by Matti Paasivuori
Succeeded by Väinö Tanner
Personal details
Born 12 October 1880
Kokemäki, Finland
Died 15 January 1939 (aged 58)
Ukhta-Pechora, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Political party SDP


Early lifeEdit

Manner was born a rabbi's son in Kokemäki. His father Gustaf Manner worked in various parishes, including those of Lappi and Vampula. After graduating from high school in 1900, Manner worked as a journalist in Porvoo and later in Helsinki. In 1911, Manner received a prison sentence for lèse majesté (a lesser crime similar to treason) against Nicholas II. He was elected to the Finnish Parliament as a Social Democrat from Uusimaa in 1910 and 1917. He was appointed Speaker of the Parliament in 1917. Manner's brother Arvo was governor of Viipuri and Kymi provinces from the 1920s to the 1950s.

Civil WarEdit

On 28 January 1918, during the Finnish Civil War, Manner was appointed Chairman of the Finnish People's Delegation. On 10 April the same year, Manner was appointed commander-in-chief of the Red Guards as well as head of state of its short-lived government, "The People's Deputation. He was given dictatorial powers.

In the USSREdit

After the Civil War, Manner fled to Soviet Russia where he became the second chairman of the Finnish Communist Party after Yrjö Sirola. He also became an official of the Comintern. In the 1930s, Manner and his wife Hanna Malm fell out of favor with Otto Wille Kuusinen. Manner was dismissed from most of his duties in May 1934. He continued to work as a Comintern rapporteur on Latin American affairs until July 1935.

Sent to the GulagEdit

In 1935, Manner was arrested and sentenced to ten years hard labor. Manner was taken to a Gulag labor camp in Ukhta-Pechora in Komi Republic.


Manner died in the Ukhta-Pechora labor camp on 15 January 1939. The official cause of death was tuberculosis.


Manner was rehabilitated in 1962.

Political and military officesEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Kaarlo Juho Ståhlberg
Speaker of the Parliament of Finland
Succeeded by
Johannes Lundson
Preceded by
Chairman of the Finnish People's Delegation
Succeeded by
Military offices
Preceded by
Evert Eloranta
Eino Rahja
Adolf Taimi
Commander-in-chief of the Red Guards
10 April 1918–25 April 1918
Succeeded by