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News, 11/27/2007

Greece founds Memorial Plague for Finnish Soldier

Minister of Culture of Finland, Stefan Wallin, unveiled the memorial plague for August Myhrberg on Saturday 19th May in Nafplion. 

In Greece, Finland is these days known especially for its qualified education, competitive strength, low corruption rate, rally drivers and famous rock artists.

Respect for Finland, however, started already in the beginning of 19th century when some Finnish soldiers fought for independence of Greece against Turkey. The most famous of these soldiers was a heroic, Swedish-speaking Finn called August Myhrberg. Myhrberg fought in total six years for liberating Greece from Turkey's domination. 

Ministeri WallinPhoto: The Finnish Institute at Athens/Stavropoulos

Myhrberg was a well-known friend of Greece among the Nordic countries. People have told stories about him in several countries and therefore it is very difficult to say which ones are true. Since the name, Myhrberg, is hard to pronounce for Greeks, he was known as Murat bey. Myhrberg's memory remained until the Second World War. Early 20th century the Finnish travellers told that when Greeks heard that they were from Finland, the Greeks instantly started telling about Murat bey's heroic deeds.

Myhrberg was fighting all over Greece. He stood out from the rest for his braveness. Myhrberg was injured one time and saved at least once the Commander-in-Chief, colonel Fabvier. In a short time Myhrberg was elevated to major and colonel Fabvier's adjutant. When the war ended, Myhrberg returned to Nafplion which was the capital of Greece that time. He was appointed as commandant of Palamidi Fortress, which was built in 1829 to protect city of Nafplion. Myhrberg preserved commandant's title until the beginning of 1831, when he departed Greece.

AvajaispuhePhoto: The Finnish Institute at Athens/Stavropoulos

Another Finnish soldier who fought for independence of Greece, Kustaa Adolf Sass, already has a memorial statue in Mesolongi. The famous English writer, Lord Byron, also died in the same war in the same city.

Initiative for the memorial plague was mainly taken by the city of Raahe (Myhrberg was born in Raahe 1797) and Myhrberg family. Finnish male choir Coro Finlandia also performed in the ceremony.

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Updated 1/18/2008

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