Finland and the Nazis

Discussions on the Winter War and Continuation War, the wars between Finland and the USSR.
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Marcus
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Re: Finland and the Nazis

Post by Marcus » 25 Nov 2013 08:53

Karelia, drop the personal remarks about other users.

/Marcus

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Karelia
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Re: Finland and the Nazis

Post by Karelia » 11 Dec 2013 18:45

Thought I was quite moderate. If not, I appologize.

randwick
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Re: Finland and the Nazis

Post by randwick » 18 Dec 2013 06:40

.
Moderate enough ,
the problem is that Finns and Germans had the same enemy but not the same war
keeping both issues separate was close to impossible at many level
not least that Germany could have starved and frozen Finland by blocking foodstuff and coal export
they did the same blackmail with Sweden and Switzerland

As for the Finns being blameless of the genocidal Nazi agenda
well I haven't seen anything which suggested anything else than distaste for it
still they stood by and watched it happen without lifting a finger
passivity is not quite innocence

But the times were hard , choices difficult ,
at least the Finns hands remained clean , like Poncius Pilate

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Karelia
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Re: Finland and the Nazis

Post by Karelia » 27 Dec 2013 00:04

randwick wrote:.
Moderate enough ,
the problem is that Finns and Germans had the same enemy but not the same war
keeping both issues separate was close to impossible at many level
not least that Germany could have starved and frozen Finland by blocking foodstuff and coal export
they did the same blackmail with Sweden and Switzerland

As for the Finns being blameless of the genocidal Nazi agenda
well I haven't seen anything which suggested anything else than distaste for it
still they stood by and watched it happen without lifting a finger
passivity is not quite innocence


But the times were hard , choices difficult ,
at least the Finns hands remained clean , like Poncius Pilate
As you yourself reasoned in your first chapter, what could have Finland done? Committed suicide by breaking up with the only possible source of help and concequently surrendering to the soviets? Does not sound very effective nor sensible. And the knowledge of the genocide did not even start to spread around until late 1942 anyway.

Sure knowledge of the genocide(s) in the USSR did not prevent the USA and the UK allying with Stalin, nor letting him enslave half of Europe. Naturally the American and the British hands remained clean, like Pontius Pilate's...

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CanKiwi2
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Re: Finland and the Nazis

Post by CanKiwi2 » 27 Dec 2013 16:00

Karelia wrote:
randwick wrote:.As for the Finns being blameless of the genocidal Nazi agenda, well I haven't seen anything which suggested anything else than distaste for it. still they stood by and watched it happen without lifting a finger
passivity is not quite innocence
But the times were hard , choices difficult, at least the Finns hands remained clean , like Poncius Pilate
As you yourself reasoned in your first chapter, what could have Finland done? Committed suicide by breaking up with the only possible source of help and concequently surrendering to the soviets? Does not sound very effective nor sensible. And the knowledge of the genocide did not even start to spread around until late 1942 anyway.

Sure knowledge of the genocide(s) in the USSR did not prevent the USA and the UK allying with Stalin, nor letting him enslave half of Europe. Naturally the American and the British hands remained clean, like Pontius Pilate's...
Everyone's looking at this through the lenses of 70 years hindsight and significant changes in viewpoint. Prior to WW2 the Finns were well aware of what went on under Soviet rule - before WW2, numbers of Karelian Finns and Ingrians made it across the border into Finland and were regularly questioned by Finnish Intelligence. The purges were not carried out in great secret either. After the initial German "liberation" of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania from Soviet rule, the activities of the Soviet occupation forces were public knowledge - and very well documented and very current. This is what Finland could have expected if they had fallen under Soviet rule and was well known to the Finns. Not that the British particularly cared. They practiced a realpolitik that Bismarck would have been proud to acknowledge as his own. Keep in mind that the early massacres of Jews in the east were not common knowledge, and the death camps came later and was fairly well concealed....

What was common knowledge were places like Katyn, where one of the members of the neutral investigating commission set up by the Germans was Finnish, (http://www.allworldwars.com/Katyn-Files.html). This was probably the earliest major investigation of war crimes in WW2, the eveidence for which was suppressed at the highest levels of the US and British Governments - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/1 ... 70498.html - it was known, and extensively documented, but this knowledge was suppressed. Finland could claim no real knowledge of German crimes of mass murder although they may have had their suspicions, the British and US had no such excuse when it came to Katyn. There was no washing of hands like Pontius Pilot, the British and US were guilty of deliberately covering up the evidence of a major war crime for political reasons.

When it came to the German death camps, the British and US were no better than anyone else. Again, the death camps were known about, documented, the evidence was clear, and the US and British did nothing. Even after the war, most of the Nuremberg War Crimes trials were for war crimes, not for the mass murder of Jews and others. Nobody really cared, even at the time the death camps were discovered. There was horror in the press, yes, and among the soldiers who saw the camps, but that was about the extent of it. And the British themselves then went on to participate in sending a million or two Cossacks and other escapees from the USSR back to certain death. Not exactly Pontius Pilot washing his hands their either, they knew what they were doing and what the results would be. And under th Soviets of course, millions of Germans died as they were hounded out of areas of eastern europe they had lived in for centuries for no other crime than the fact that they were German.

On the available eveidence, there's far more actual blood on the hands of the US and British and Soviet (need I mention the Soviet) governments than there ever was on the Finns. The worst that could be said of Finland is that a very small number of Jews and Russians were handed over to the Germans. Finland, for example, never participated in the mass terror-bombing of civilian populations - and Finnish bomber crews had took great care NOT to target civilians. Probably the only air force in WW2 that did (I won't mention the main perpatrators of what would now be classified as major war crimes.... hindsight again, but as is often the case in such things, selective hindsight).

Simply put, Finland practised a very straightforward realpolitick - what was best for Finland and for the Finnish people. In practice, this meant choosing the better of the two evils. On the available evidence, the Finnish Government chose wisely and well. Finland survived as an independant and unconquored country, one of only three such countries in Europe that participated in WW2, willingly or unwillingly as the case may be. No other small nation in Europe can lay claim to the same success. Finland didn't fight for the germans, or for an ideology, or out of altruism. Simply put, Finland fought for Finland and changed sides when this became necessary for Finland to survive, fighting just as well against the Germans in the Lapland War as they did against the Russians in the Continuation War.

Why on earth anyone would think that Finland fighting against the Russians with German assistance is a crime is beyond me. One might as well say that Britain and the US siding with the Soviet Union against the Germans was a crime. It boiled down to the same thing. Realpolitik. As Churchill said, "“If Hitler invaded hell I would make at least a favourable reference to the devil in the House of Commons.” Well, Hitler did invade hell, and Churchill sided with the devil. The Finnish Government had no such luxury in their choices...... it's all very well to sit back and criticise based on 70 years worth of hindsight, but it IS hindsight and even with what we know now, it's hard to see what else, under the circumstances, Finland could have done and survived. It seems to me in point of fact that many of those who criticise Finland's actions have no real interest in whether or not Finland would have survived. They have an agenda, and are generally oblivious or deliberately ignore the alternative - and in this case the alternative was what happened in the rest of eastern europe, the bloodlands where millions upon millions died at the hands of the communists.

Anyhow, that was my rant for the morning...... hope everyone had a great Christmas and wishing everyone a Happy New Year!
ex Ngāti Tumatauenga ("Tribe of the Maori War God") aka the New Zealand Army

randwick
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Re: Finland and the Nazis

Post by randwick » 02 Jan 2014 09:39

.
Happy new year , it's gone for a while here we are having a windy and miserable new year ,
but we had GREAT fireworks

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Karelia
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Re: Finland and the Nazis

Post by Karelia » 03 Jan 2014 17:28

CanKiwi2 wrote: Everyone's looking at this through the lenses of 70 years hindsight and significant changes in viewpoint. Prior to WW2 the Finns were well aware of what went on under Soviet rule - before WW2, numbers of Karelian Finns and Ingrians made it across the border into Finland and were regularly questioned by Finnish Intelligence. The purges were not carried out in great secret either. After the initial German "liberation" of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania from Soviet rule, the activities of the Soviet occupation forces were public knowledge - and very well documented and very current. This is what Finland could have expected if they had fallen under Soviet rule and was well known to the Finns. Not that the British particularly cared. They practiced a realpolitik that Bismarck would have been proud to acknowledge as his own. Keep in mind that the early massacres of Jews in the east were not common knowledge, and the death camps came later and was fairly well concealed....

What was common knowledge were places like Katyn, where one of the members of the neutral investigating commission set up by the Germans was Finnish, (http://www.allworldwars.com/Katyn-Files.html). This was probably the earliest major investigation of war crimes in WW2, the eveidence for which was suppressed at the highest levels of the US and British Governments - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/1 ... 70498.html - it was known, and extensively documented, but this knowledge was suppressed. Finland could claim no real knowledge of German crimes of mass murder although they may have had their suspicions, the British and US had no such excuse when it came to Katyn. There was no washing of hands like Pontius Pilot, the British and US were guilty of deliberately covering up the evidence of a major war crime for political reasons.

When it came to the German death camps, the British and US were no better than anyone else. Again, the death camps were known about, documented, the evidence was clear, and the US and British did nothing. Even after the war, most of the Nuremberg War Crimes trials were for war crimes, not for the mass murder of Jews and others. Nobody really cared, even at the time the death camps were discovered. There was horror in the press, yes, and among the soldiers who saw the camps, but that was about the extent of it. And the British themselves then went on to participate in sending a million or two Cossacks and other escapees from the USSR back to certain death. Not exactly Pontius Pilot washing his hands their either, they knew what they were doing and what the results would be. And under th Soviets of course, millions of Germans died as they were hounded out of areas of eastern europe they had lived in for centuries for no other crime than the fact that they were German.

On the available eveidence, there's far more actual blood on the hands of the US and British and Soviet (need I mention the Soviet) governments than there ever was on the Finns. The worst that could be said of Finland is that a very small number of Jews and Russians were handed over to the Germans. Finland, for example, never participated in the mass terror-bombing of civilian populations - and Finnish bomber crews had took great care NOT to target civilians. Probably the only air force in WW2 that did (I won't mention the main perpatrators of what would now be classified as major war crimes.... hindsight again, but as is often the case in such things, selective hindsight).

Simply put, Finland practised a very straightforward realpolitick - what was best for Finland and for the Finnish people. In practice, this meant choosing the better of the two evils. On the available evidence, the Finnish Government chose wisely and well. Finland survived as an independant and unconquored country, one of only three such countries in Europe that participated in WW2, willingly or unwillingly as the case may be. No other small nation in Europe can lay claim to the same success. Finland didn't fight for the germans, or for an ideology, or out of altruism. Simply put, Finland fought for Finland and changed sides when this became necessary for Finland to survive, fighting just as well against the Germans in the Lapland War as they did against the Russians in the Continuation War.

Why on earth anyone would think that Finland fighting against the Russians with German assistance is a crime is beyond me. One might as well say that Britain and the US siding with the Soviet Union against the Germans was a crime. It boiled down to the same thing. Realpolitik. As Churchill said, "“If Hitler invaded hell I would make at least a favourable reference to the devil in the House of Commons.” Well, Hitler did invade hell, and Churchill sided with the devil. The Finnish Government had no such luxury in their choices...... it's all very well to sit back and criticise based on 70 years worth of hindsight, but it IS hindsight and even with what we know now, it's hard to see what else, under the circumstances, Finland could have done and survived. It seems to me in point of fact that many of those who criticise Finland's actions have no real interest in whether or not Finland would have survived. They have an agenda, and are generally oblivious or deliberately ignore the alternative - and in this case the alternative was what happened in the rest of eastern europe, the bloodlands where millions upon millions died at the hands of the communists.

Anyhow, that was my rant for the morning...... hope everyone had a great Christmas and wishing everyone a Happy New Year!
There's nothing I could possibly add to this excellent post...!

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