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Labour camping
            and politics
in Helsinki and Berlin
districts in 1910-1935
                           Adjunct Professor,
                           Dr. Soc. Sci.
                           Anu-Hanna Anttila
                           University of Turku
Leisure policy and outdoor living
• The explicitly argued purposes of leisure time were to

   – give time to rest from work (and for work)
   – bring variety to everyday life
   – permit own time for labour
   – support the general idea of ‘good life’

• One feature of these discourses was the demand for organised
  leisure activities as a way to prevent social problems.
• The proletarian youngsters and labour families were seen as
  the main targets of care.
A trickle-down effect
• With the ‘right’ lifestyle one could enforce his or hers general
  vitality.
• The ‘right’ meant self-discipline and high activity with the
  purpose of building one’s character.
• One’s character must also become cultivated by reading
  and other exercises of science and arts.
• Outdoor living, hiking and other physical exercises were
  seen as good for one’s health as well as cold and salty sea
  baths and vital sun baths.
• The basis of this kind of holistic thinking of vitality was
  mainly on belief, for example, like in ‘vitalism’ or ‘nudism’.
A ‘proper’ leisure
• The ‘other’ places in which one could spend leisure time
  were neither at home nor in the workplace, and therefore
  society needed to organise facilities for R & R.
• A proper leisure time was supposed to include stimulating
  activities that would be edifying in various ways, and would
  advance one’s scientific and aesthetic skills. (Burns 1932.)
• Suitable activities for these purposes were outdoor pursuits,
  like camping and hiking, and visits to public parks, gardens,
  libraries and museums.
• Resources, funding and time for these would make people
  happy, healthy and active.
A ‘proper’ leisure
• The ‘proper’ use of leisure was subsumed into the project
  of nation-building.
• Among the Nordic countries in particular, the vitality and
  ‘people hood’ of a nation was expressed through its self-
  image as having a special relationship with its own ‘unique’
  nature and also being a modern and technologically
  oriented civilisation (Löfgren 2001).
• The themes of vitality, the unique landscape etc. were
  commonly presented in representations like in short films
  (Anttila 2009).
The combination of play and politics
 • Public open parks, camping areas, swimming baths and
   organised day-trips were offered particularly to those, who did
   not have other possibilities to enjoy their holidays and free
   weekends.
 • Not only in meetings, but also in their ‘own’ organised leisure
   activities, like gymnastic and sport clubs, theatres and
   orchestras, camping sites etc.
 • Another idea of all kinds of play and fun was to induce
   potential new members.
 • To that end, the working class had to understand their own
   good and to aid progress towards enduring socialism by
   political action and agitation.
Kivinokka in Helsinki (1916- )
 • The first camping community in Helsinki was based in 1916 in
   the headland of Kivinokka.
 • Organised by the youngsters of a socialist Sörnäinen Labour
   Association and later also by labour sports and gymnastic
   clubs.
 • Other camping communities: in Herttoniemi ‘Mölylä’ (1901),
   and Lammassaari (1903).
 • Kivinokka was near the city-centre and the tract of the labour
   residential districts of Sörnäinen, Kallio and Vallila.
 • Since the 1930s, hundreds of tiny cabins started to replace
   the tents in Kivinokka peoples’ park .
Kivinokka in photos
 • Youngsters and oldies in Kivinokka holiday and
   weekend camping in summertime in the 1920s.
 • A licence to “stay” in Kivinokka area in 1925 with the
   stain of Ponnistus, a local gymnastic and sport club in
   Helsinki.
 • In the 1930s, labour families camping in their own
   (collapsible) wooden or laminate cabins in the
   common land.
Kuhle Wampe in Berlin (1913-1935)
 • The first area for labour camping in Berlin, Kuhle Wampe, was
   based in 1913 on Müggelsee region.
 • Organised by the local swimming organisation Berliner
   Freibäder-Vereine.
 • The first years activity was quite minor: there were about ten
   tents.
 • Other weekend camping communities were based nearby in
   the mid-1920: Kleen Kleckersdorf and Tsinmulpo .
 • In the early 1930s, it was the largest area for labour outdoor
   living: almost 100 tents and place for more than 300 berths.
 • Closed down by Nazis in 1935.
 • A place for permanent living because the expansion of
   residents in Berlin district and the deep depression in the
   1930s. People become unemployed and homeless.
Kuhle Wampe (1932)
                     „Kuhle Wampe: Proletarisches
                     Zwanziger-Jahre-Idyll am
                     Miggelsse und Mittelpunkt des
                     gleichnamigen Films von Bertold
                     Brecht, Ernst Ottwalt und Slátan
                     Dudow.“
                     (Frankfurter Allgemeine 8.12.2012)



                     “‘Kuhle Wampe’ was a camp for
                     the dispossessed: the film’s
                     heroine rejects the docility of
                     the camp – filmed in semi-
                     documentary style – in favour of
                     class solidarity and revolution.”
                     (BFI /Distribution 2012)
The combination of play and politics

The annual meeting
of TUL, the central
union of labour
sports, in Kivinokka
in 1934.

                              The so-called Lads of Rajamäki
                         started to play ”journeyman songs”
                        in Kivinokka stage in the mid-1920s.
                                  They became professionals
                       and started to use the name Dallapé,
                              which became one of the most
                                    famous bands in Finland.
The combination of play and politics
• The explicit purposes of the
  labour camping organisers were:
   – offer a proper way for rest &
     recreation
   – support health outdoor living
   – encourage to swimming and
     other sports
   – give a place to stay on
     weekends
The combination of play and politics
 • Leisure policy of labour organisations was political.
 • The organised working-class leisure, holidaying and
   labour tourism was a part in construction of own ‘red’
   counter-culture which offered alternative way to think
   and act.
 • Generally thinking, the camping communities were
   designated to labour activists to
    – get together to enjoy fun and play ‘properly’
    – practice active citizenship and labour politics
    – associate and get organised
    – exercise the (possible) forthcoming mobilization
Literature (just some)
• Anttila, A-H. (2009). An Integrated and Recreated Nation: Socio-semiotic
  Approaches to Finnish Vacation Propagandist Short Films in the late 1940s.
  Visual Studies, 24:1, 36−53.
• Anttila, A-H. (ed.) (2011). Kesämaja appelsiinilaatikoista: Kivinokka Stadin
  kupeessa. Helsinki: Kivinokkalaiset ry.
• Anttila, A-H. (forthcoming): No Motels without Highways: The Finnish
  Democratic Model of Tourism from the 1940s to the 1970s. The Journal of
  Tourism History 5:2. (Will be published in June 2013)
• Baranowski , S. & Furlough, e.(eds.) (2001). Being Elsewhere: Tourism,
  Consumer Culture, and Identity in Modern Europe and North America. Ann
  Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
• Burns, C. D. (1932). Leisure in the Modern World. Washington: McGrath
  Publishing Co.
• Sandell, K. & Sörlin, S. (eds.) (2000). Friluftshistoria: Från ’härdande
  friluftslif’ till ekoturism och miljöpedagogik. Teman i det svenska
  friluftslivets historia. Stockholm: Carlsson.
• Sprink, C-D. (2001). ”Wir waren alles einfache Leute”. Die Geschichte der
  Arbeiterzeltstadt Kuhle Wampe. Müggelheimer Bote. 7. 06/2001. Internet:
  http://www.mueggelheimer-bote.de/0106/seite6.htm

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Anttila seminar slides

  • 1. Labour camping and politics in Helsinki and Berlin districts in 1910-1935 Adjunct Professor, Dr. Soc. Sci. Anu-Hanna Anttila University of Turku
  • 2. Leisure policy and outdoor living • The explicitly argued purposes of leisure time were to – give time to rest from work (and for work) – bring variety to everyday life – permit own time for labour – support the general idea of ‘good life’ • One feature of these discourses was the demand for organised leisure activities as a way to prevent social problems. • The proletarian youngsters and labour families were seen as the main targets of care.
  • 3. A trickle-down effect • With the ‘right’ lifestyle one could enforce his or hers general vitality. • The ‘right’ meant self-discipline and high activity with the purpose of building one’s character. • One’s character must also become cultivated by reading and other exercises of science and arts. • Outdoor living, hiking and other physical exercises were seen as good for one’s health as well as cold and salty sea baths and vital sun baths. • The basis of this kind of holistic thinking of vitality was mainly on belief, for example, like in ‘vitalism’ or ‘nudism’.
  • 4. A ‘proper’ leisure • The ‘other’ places in which one could spend leisure time were neither at home nor in the workplace, and therefore society needed to organise facilities for R & R. • A proper leisure time was supposed to include stimulating activities that would be edifying in various ways, and would advance one’s scientific and aesthetic skills. (Burns 1932.) • Suitable activities for these purposes were outdoor pursuits, like camping and hiking, and visits to public parks, gardens, libraries and museums. • Resources, funding and time for these would make people happy, healthy and active.
  • 5. A ‘proper’ leisure • The ‘proper’ use of leisure was subsumed into the project of nation-building. • Among the Nordic countries in particular, the vitality and ‘people hood’ of a nation was expressed through its self- image as having a special relationship with its own ‘unique’ nature and also being a modern and technologically oriented civilisation (Löfgren 2001). • The themes of vitality, the unique landscape etc. were commonly presented in representations like in short films (Anttila 2009).
  • 6. The combination of play and politics • Public open parks, camping areas, swimming baths and organised day-trips were offered particularly to those, who did not have other possibilities to enjoy their holidays and free weekends. • Not only in meetings, but also in their ‘own’ organised leisure activities, like gymnastic and sport clubs, theatres and orchestras, camping sites etc. • Another idea of all kinds of play and fun was to induce potential new members. • To that end, the working class had to understand their own good and to aid progress towards enduring socialism by political action and agitation.
  • 7. Kivinokka in Helsinki (1916- ) • The first camping community in Helsinki was based in 1916 in the headland of Kivinokka. • Organised by the youngsters of a socialist Sörnäinen Labour Association and later also by labour sports and gymnastic clubs. • Other camping communities: in Herttoniemi ‘Mölylä’ (1901), and Lammassaari (1903). • Kivinokka was near the city-centre and the tract of the labour residential districts of Sörnäinen, Kallio and Vallila. • Since the 1930s, hundreds of tiny cabins started to replace the tents in Kivinokka peoples’ park .
  • 8. Kivinokka in photos • Youngsters and oldies in Kivinokka holiday and weekend camping in summertime in the 1920s. • A licence to “stay” in Kivinokka area in 1925 with the stain of Ponnistus, a local gymnastic and sport club in Helsinki. • In the 1930s, labour families camping in their own (collapsible) wooden or laminate cabins in the common land.
  • 9. Kuhle Wampe in Berlin (1913-1935) • The first area for labour camping in Berlin, Kuhle Wampe, was based in 1913 on Müggelsee region. • Organised by the local swimming organisation Berliner Freibäder-Vereine. • The first years activity was quite minor: there were about ten tents. • Other weekend camping communities were based nearby in the mid-1920: Kleen Kleckersdorf and Tsinmulpo . • In the early 1930s, it was the largest area for labour outdoor living: almost 100 tents and place for more than 300 berths. • Closed down by Nazis in 1935. • A place for permanent living because the expansion of residents in Berlin district and the deep depression in the 1930s. People become unemployed and homeless.
  • 10. Kuhle Wampe (1932) „Kuhle Wampe: Proletarisches Zwanziger-Jahre-Idyll am Miggelsse und Mittelpunkt des gleichnamigen Films von Bertold Brecht, Ernst Ottwalt und Slátan Dudow.“ (Frankfurter Allgemeine 8.12.2012) “‘Kuhle Wampe’ was a camp for the dispossessed: the film’s heroine rejects the docility of the camp – filmed in semi- documentary style – in favour of class solidarity and revolution.” (BFI /Distribution 2012)
  • 11. The combination of play and politics The annual meeting of TUL, the central union of labour sports, in Kivinokka in 1934. The so-called Lads of Rajamäki started to play ”journeyman songs” in Kivinokka stage in the mid-1920s. They became professionals and started to use the name Dallapé, which became one of the most famous bands in Finland.
  • 12. The combination of play and politics • The explicit purposes of the labour camping organisers were: – offer a proper way for rest & recreation – support health outdoor living – encourage to swimming and other sports – give a place to stay on weekends
  • 13. The combination of play and politics • Leisure policy of labour organisations was political. • The organised working-class leisure, holidaying and labour tourism was a part in construction of own ‘red’ counter-culture which offered alternative way to think and act. • Generally thinking, the camping communities were designated to labour activists to – get together to enjoy fun and play ‘properly’ – practice active citizenship and labour politics – associate and get organised – exercise the (possible) forthcoming mobilization
  • 14. Literature (just some) • Anttila, A-H. (2009). An Integrated and Recreated Nation: Socio-semiotic Approaches to Finnish Vacation Propagandist Short Films in the late 1940s. Visual Studies, 24:1, 36−53. • Anttila, A-H. (ed.) (2011). Kesämaja appelsiinilaatikoista: Kivinokka Stadin kupeessa. Helsinki: Kivinokkalaiset ry. • Anttila, A-H. (forthcoming): No Motels without Highways: The Finnish Democratic Model of Tourism from the 1940s to the 1970s. The Journal of Tourism History 5:2. (Will be published in June 2013) • Baranowski , S. & Furlough, e.(eds.) (2001). Being Elsewhere: Tourism, Consumer Culture, and Identity in Modern Europe and North America. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. • Burns, C. D. (1932). Leisure in the Modern World. Washington: McGrath Publishing Co. • Sandell, K. & Sörlin, S. (eds.) (2000). Friluftshistoria: Från ’härdande friluftslif’ till ekoturism och miljöpedagogik. Teman i det svenska friluftslivets historia. Stockholm: Carlsson. • Sprink, C-D. (2001). ”Wir waren alles einfache Leute”. Die Geschichte der Arbeiterzeltstadt Kuhle Wampe. Müggelheimer Bote. 7. 06/2001. Internet: http://www.mueggelheimer-bote.de/0106/seite6.htm