Verna Erikson

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Neiti Verna Erikson.jpg

Verna Erikson (1893–1918) is a Finnish woman whose picture, taken when she was a weapon smuggler (shown on the right) was an icon of White Finland.[1] This picture was taken in the spring of 1918, in the middle of the Finnish Civil War, when Erikson was a student at the Helsinki University of Technology.[1] It was published on the cover of the weekly magazine Suomen Kuvalehti on June 15, 1918.[1] The caption to the image declared, "One of the finest protectresses of the Helsinki White Guard. Miss E., a student at the University of Technology, bearing three bandoliers and a large pistol. Altogether Miss E. is carrying some 1,350 bullets strapped to her person."[1]

Erikson was given the Order of the Cross of Liberty in 1918, as was her schoolmate, a girl called Salme Setälä; the Cross itself had been founded that year on the initiative of General C.G. Mannerheim.[2][3]

Erikson died of cancer in 1918.[2] She did not have time to go to the doctor when she first began feeling pain under her arms, and by the time she went she had a very advanced sarcoma.[2] She is buried in Hietaniemi Cemetery in Finland.[2]

The Finnish Civil War ended in 1918 with the White victory over the Reds, aided by the Germans.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d "Finland". Retrieved 2015-07-09.
  2. ^ a b c d "Finland". Retrieved 2015-07-09.
  3. ^ "The Order of the Cross of Liberty - The President of the Republic of Finland: Position and Duties: Decorations". Retrieved 2015-07-09.
  4. ^ "Germans capture Helsinki, Finland - Apr 13, 1918". Retrieved 2015-07-09.