An expert in the history of Tampere

Väinö Voionmaa

Chancellor 1945–1947

In the front yard of the University of Tampere on Kalevantie, visitors are welcomed by a monument dedicated to Väinö Voionmaa called Kasvu (Growth), which was revealed on Tampere Day, 1 October 1965. There could be no better place for a monument dedicated to Voionmaa than the University of Tampere.

Voionmaa’s motions in Parliament earned the School of Social Sciences its first central government transfer and contributed to the institution being able to launch its operation in autumn 1925. Voionmaa served as the new institution’s first inspector and later as chancellor.

In Tampere and the surrounding region, Voionmaa was known as a historian. Voionmaa’s best-known work, the three-part Tampereen kaupungin historia (History of the City of Tampere), describes the social change caused by industrialisation. It is the first Finnish study to be completed on the birth of the industrial society and its working population.

Voionmaa was elected to the Finnish Parliament for the first time in 1919. He was a member of Parliament until his death, being very popular among his constituents. As a politician, Voionmaa was, above all, an influencer in foreign policy. Voionmaa participated in the peace negotiations held in Tartu in 1920 as the second negotiator named by the Social Democratic Party of Finland and also served as the Finnish foreign minister from 1926 to 1927.

Artist: A. Waren, 1955