Kimmo Rentola

History is relevant because it helps us understand where we are coming from, which then effects where we are going to.

Kimmo Rentola is Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Helsinki. Kimmo has done extensive research on the history of Cold War, Soviet-Finnish relations and communism in Finland. He has also studied the history of intelligence and security services. In 2017, Kimmo received an honorary award of Finnish non-fiction literature from the Lauri Jäntti Foundation for his book Stalin and the Faith of Finland (Stalin ja Suomen kohtalo), which was praised by the award committee to be a “future classic of Finnish history writing”. Shadow over Finland – Stalin´s Secret Files (Varjo Suomen yllä – Stalinin salaiset kansiot) published in 2017 was written together with Timo Vihavainen, Ohto Manninen ja Sergey Zhuravljev.


”History is relevant because it helps understand where we are coming from, which then effects where we are going to”, Kimmo says. He has been following the increase in history politics and use of history in societies with concern and sees HWB as a means to tackle this development. “It is important that historians themselves are engaged in preventing the misuse of their work and try to find means to tackle it together”, he emphasizes.


Kimmo acted as Chairman in the founding meeting of Historians without Borders in Finland in the summer of 2015 and has been a board member ever since. Lately he has been actively involved in our Ukraine-Russia History Dialogue process: “this project shows us concretely what kind of consequences the breakup of the Soviet Union has had and what kind of thought processes it has produced”.

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