Hella Wuolijoki, 1946
|Born||Hella Ella Murrik
July 22, 1886
Ala, Valga County, Helme Parish, Estonia
|Died||February 2, 1954
|Pen name||Juhani Tervapää|
Life & career
In 1908, she married Sulo Vuolijoki, a personal friend of Lenin. They divorced in 1923. Later, Wuolijoki spelled her name with a capital W.
In the 1920s and 1930s, Wuolijoki had a literary and political salon that discussed culture and promoted left-wing ideas. She had secret connections with the Soviet intelligence and security structures. The Finnish police suspected her of being an illegal resident spy, but there was no solid proof until 1943, when she was arrested for hiding a Soviet paratrooper spy Kerttu Nuorteva and sentenced to life imprisonment. She was released in 1944 after the ceasefire that ended the Continuation War.
Wuolijoki was a member of the Finnish Parliament and the head of the SKDL parliamentary group from 1946 to 1947. Wuolijoki also served as the director of the national broadcasting company, YLE, from 1945 to 1949.
She died in Helsinki, Finland in 1954.
Wuolijoki wrote several books under the male pseudonym Juhani Tervapää, characterised by strong female characters. The 1947 film The Farmer's Daughter was adapted from her 1937 play Juurakon Hulda, which she also wrote as Juhani Tervapää. She collaborated with Bertolt Brecht on the initial version of his Mr Puntila and his Man Matti.
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