Toivo Kuisma

June 29, 1919. Toivo Kuisma

As already mentioned, 27th of this month in the Sortavala City Jäger Captain Toivo Kuisma died from the wounds, which he got during the bombing of Vidlitsa.

Toivo Kuisma was born in Karelia, in Antrea at 1885, graduated from the Vyborg Real Lyceum at 1903*, after which he studied for some time at the university, focusing his studies on chemistry, physics and mathematics. After finished his university studies he moved to the newspaper industry, worked for a short time in Helsingin Sanomat -newspaper, from where he moved to the editorial office of Turun Sanomat -newspaper, and later worked as a correspondent for the Fennia life insurance company.

Toivo Kuisma passed away as a warm friend of the Fatherland and an energetic champion of independence. When many still considered the independence of Finland an empty dream, it was so certain for him that his faith was not shaken. This his faith also completely predetermined his life path. The moment is coming when workers are needed to create independence and it was necessary to prepare for it. He decided that he would best perform his forthcoming duty as a soldier and therefore he tried several times for this career. As a young graduate, he passed the exams in Mikhailovsky Artillery School in Saint Petersburg, but suspicions that Russian troops were not the places in which a Finn, dreaming of an independent Finland, should have been educated, made him reject this idea and he went to Hungary to enter to the officer school there. He would have been accepted, but the condition was that he should have transferred to Hungarian citizenship. As a patriot of his Fatherland, he could not agree to this, that plan lapsed. Then he made an attempt to enter the French Foreign Legion, but that also failed. When World War was born and the Jäger movement began, Toivo Kuisma as among those who joined first. On February 27, 1915, he arrived to Lockstedt Camp. During his time as a Jäger, Kuisma was used in many positions and, among other, was sent several times to Finland. He was promoted to Senior Lieutenant on 11 February 1918 in Libau. He arrived to Finland with the Jäger Battalion in February 1918. After arriving here, he was forced to so-called Malm’s expedition to the White Sea Karelia. He acted as a head of the expedition for some time, while Captain Malm was in Finland, and became the leader of the White Sea expedition, formed in the summer of 1918, although he was against a military campaign because the expedition was not sufficiently prepared and was too few in number. However, the warm love for Karelia prevailed and he became the head of the new expedition.

Captain Kuisma served for some time in the Ministry of War and then became the head of Civil Guard of the city of Kuopio, then he became the head of Civil Guard District in the city of Sortavala. It is probably no coincidence that Kuisma got his death wound in the Olonets Karelia, but this fate may have so determined. Like no other, he was an eager friend of Karelia and the the activity for joining both the Olonets Karelia and the White Sea Karelia to Finland was his passion. Long times ago, when interest to the Finnish enlightenment activity in both the Olonets Karelia and the White Sea Karelia was aroused in Finland, Kuisma was one of the leading men. By his initiative, a Karelian committee of student unions was established, the program of which was to enlightenment the mentioned Karelian tribes. As a Chairman of Karelian committee, he also made a great contribution to the Karelian cause.

Toivo Kuisma passed away as hardworking and conscientious worker who did exactly and accurately what he accepted to do. Also our young officer corps lost an erudite soldier. As a young student, he studied not only military history, but also other military studies. Those who had a chance to discuss these issues with Kuisma, could hear in-depth analyzes of the great battles of world history and the reasons for the victory of one of sides and for the defeat of the other side.

Toivo Kuisma was a modest man who did not want to shine with his knowledge or brag about his deeds. His joy was work and actions. Among his comrades, he was always considered lively and inspiring. Lot of his comrades and friends longingly remember the early-departed friend of the Fatherland. He is mourned by his mother, sister and stepfather.

Rest in peace, hero.

Helsingin Sanomat -newspaper, no. 171
June 29, 1919

* Actually from the Tampere Real Lyceum at 1904.