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Lauri Elias Simojoki (1899-1940) was a Finnish soldier, parliamentarian, Lutheran priest, far right organizer, and leader of an attempted coup in Estonia. As a young man, he served in the Finnish War of Independence in 1918 and fought as a guerrilla fighter in Karelia in 1919. Later, he studied theology at the University of Helsinki and was an essential part of the formation of the youth nationalist organization the Academic Karelia Society.
Ordained as a Lutheran minister in 1925, in 1933 he joined the Finnish parliament and took command of the Sinimustat, the youth wing of the Patriotic People’s Movement, inspired by and modeled on similar movements in Germany and Italy. Although the Sinimustat was disbanded a mere three years later due to its involvement in an attempted coup in Estonia, Simojoki remained a Member of Parliament and went on to found the Finnish Mustapaidat (Blackshirts) in 1937. He enlisted as a military chaplain at the outbreak of the Winter War and lost his life to Soviet gunfire while performing a mercy killing to a wounded horse on the battlefield.
The Burning Bush (Palava Pensas) is a selection of Simojoki’s patriotic and political speeches compiled by his comrade Vilho Helanen in 1942. It is in these speeches that Simojoki’s commitment to, and love for, Greater Finland stands out above all else. It is for Greater Finland that Simojoki worked all his life, the grand dream for which in the end he sacrificed his life. These speeches, translated by Jarno Alander, are now being made available in English for the first time by Antelope Hill Publishing.