Finland and "Final Solution" in WWII?

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Grigorij Kastrioti
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Finland and "Final Solution" in WWII?

Post by Grigorij Kastrioti » 15 Nov 2003 10:30

I found fresh and interesting news considering extradition of refugees from Finland to Germany during WWII. To me this news is a quite ashtonising and strange, because as far as I have believed and also red from this forum, Finns refused to join to "Endlösnung der Judenfragen".

Could this be true?

I hope that my message and issue does not insults the readers of Nordic countries, especially Finns, but I understand that the healing of the hisorical wrondoings and wounds can start only after the thruth has become to light.


Historian says Finns deported thousands to Nazis

Reuters

Helsinki, November 10

A Finnish historian said on Monday she had uncovered new information showing that the Nordic nation deported thousands of people to an almost certain death at the hands of the Nazis during World War Two.

In her new book -- "The Extradited - Finland's Deportations to the Gestapo" -- Elina Sana says 3,000 people, mainly Soviet prisoners of war, were handed to the Nazis in 1941-1944 when Finland fought alongside Germany against the Soviet Union.

While most were POWs, there were also Jews and other Europeans among them. Most were handed over in 1941-1942 and later executed or died in concentration camps.

The figure is far greater than the eight deported Jews that Sana wrote about in a 1979 book that stunned a nation used to seeing itself mainly as a victim of aggression during the World War Two.

"(The figure raises questions) of how far we went over to the ideological and political side of Hitler's policy... I think people do not know how much we were involved on that side," Sana said.

"It wasn't one incident. It was a systematic handing over of people to the Gestapo," she said.

Sana said she had arrived at the figure after poring through government archives in Germany and Finland and interviewing some survivors.

An official at the Finnish Foreign Ministry said Finland had already apologised for the eight deportees. "Comment on historical matters is for other historians to do, not the government," he added.

Finland's role as an ally of Nazi Germany in World War Two has long been a divisive issue, with some saying it was justified in the face of the overwhelming Soviet threat but others condemning any ties with Hitler.

Finland decided to join in the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, looking to recover land lost when its larger neighbour attacked it in the bloody Winter War of 1939-1940.

With the start of the Cold War, and Finland sharing a 1,300-km long border with the Soviet Union, the thorny issue of the Nazi alliance was buried as the country strove to keep its independence and please Moscow at the same time.

Sana said the reluctance to air unpleasant realities from the past was evident in the fact that nothing had been written on the deportations in the past 24 years.

"We are still reluctant to admit and share the European guilt," Sana said

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Marcus
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Post by Marcus » 15 Nov 2003 10:57

Don't confuse Finland handing over Soviet pows to allies (Germany), not knowing what their fate would be, with taking part in the Holocaust.

/Marcus

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taivaansusi
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Post by taivaansusi » 16 Nov 2003 02:32

According to finnish military history professor Ohto Manninen, Finland exchanged (communist, jewish etc.) Soviet POWs to another POWs of finno-ugric descent. He had believed that there were no more than maybe 1,500 such cases, but now it seems there could have been as many as 3,000.

The last words of the interview ("We are still reluctant to admit and share the European guilt") hint that Sana could have a political motivation to find a link between finns and the Holocaust, however dubious.

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Who was guilt?

Post by Grigorij Kastrioti » 16 Nov 2003 13:17

As we know, Reichfuhrer SS, Henrich Himmler, visited Finland 1942 to organise “Endlosnung” in North-East Europe. According to history of Finland, his demand was rejected.

If POW´s were handed over Gestapo, as the news claims, and because of ethnic origin ( like being a Russian Jew) I would consider it linked to Holocaust. Because this seems to happened by non organised methods - as the number of persons extradited is relative small – it could not have been the general policy of Finnish government However, if the number described is true, and this actions took place only during one year 1941-1942, this tells me that it was widely accepted and general practice among those Finnish authorities who were in close contact with Germany. Also, we can conclude that this can not be happened in secret and without knowledge of the high level authorities, if Finland has credible intelligence system during the WWII. Now we come, once again, to the question of the responsibility and orders. Let´s take an example: the expression “Endlosnung der Judenfragen” “ The final Solution of the question of Jews” was widely used in III Reich. It was a euphemism to killing and destroying of the members of Jewish race. Why the use of euphemism? Why not a straight expressions? What this tells us? It tells at least two things:

a) the users, higher authorities of the III Reich, had some kind of moral problems to speak about genocide

b) the users had in their mind that there might be a chance to become responsible of wrongdoing and responsibility is easier to escape if there is no written documents of the order of the genocide.

This question is very similar for example to the question of Sepp Dietrich´s or Jochen Peiper´s quilt to the “Malmedy massacre” which I was writing about in an other thread in this forum. No written orders, no guilt - as some persons claims? But obviously the individuals in this and in many, many other cases acted in a spirit of their commanders, in according to their wish. This is typical to all hierarchical organisations which expects loyalty. Certain actions can be carried out without written orders but with “silent agreement”. Better the loyalty and the quality of the ranks, better superiors guidelines are taken into account without written or oral orders. So, what is the level of guilt of persons involved?

Again, I would like to stress, that individuals are responsible of their deeds, not groups, people, nations. It is simply not right to demand a children to feel or share quilt a deeds of his father. In this topic I am not trying to establish any kind of trial against the Finns of Finland but rather arise discussion certain highlights of this case, for example:

Why it took 60 years, before this come into light?
Why high authorities – even in my mind government level- obviously gave their “silent acceptance” to extradition?

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Marcus
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Re: Who was guilt?

Post by Marcus » 16 Nov 2003 13:29

Grigorij Kastrioti wrote:If POW´s were handed over Gestapo, as the news claims, and because of ethnic origin ( like being a Russian Jew) I would consider it linked to Holocaust.


As I understand it, they were not handed over based on ethnic origin.

Grigorij Kastrioti wrote:Why it took 60 years, before this come into light?


According to what I've heard from Finns this was no news to anyone who have studied the period closely and they feel she is trying to make it into shocking news to attack the Finnish leadership of the time, but I can't verify it as I don't have any in-depth knowledge on this aspect.

/Marcus

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Rare photo needed

Post by Aleksei22 » 16 Nov 2003 14:40

Hello all,

Does anybody knows this unique "solidarity" photo?

Or any URLs to find this staff?


http://forum.vif2.ru:2003/nvk/forum/fil ... loshem.jpg


___________________extract_____________________
....

In a quite unique photo, in a snowy forest there is a
millboard tent with an iron heating stove, the chimney
on the left-hand side - and a number of soldiers are posing
outside the tent. The tent is a field synagogue, "Scholka's shul",
set up for the Jewish soldiers at the front beside the River Svir
in Eastern Karelia. A field synagogue with a Torah Scroll was,
no doubt, a very exceptional event in an Army fighting
on the German side during the War.

......
__________________________________________________



see for ex.

http://www.finemb.org.il/Historia.htm


http://forum.vif2.ru:2003/nvk/forum/fil ... loshem.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Grigorij Kastrioti
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Re: Who was guilt?

Post by Grigorij Kastrioti » 16 Nov 2003 16:44

Marcus, you hit the target. However, I have a slightly different agle of view:


Marcus Wendel wrote:
Grigorij Kastrioti wrote:If POW´s were handed over Gestapo, as the news claims, and because of ethnic origin ( like being a Russian Jew) I would consider it linked to Holocaust.


As I understand it, they were not handed over based on ethnic origin.


Grigorij Kastrioti wrote:Why it took 60 years, before this come into light?


According to what I've heard from Finns this was no news to anyone who have studied the period closely and they feel she is trying to make it into shocking news to attack the Finnish leadership of the time, but I can't verify it as I don't have any in-depth knowledge on this aspect.

/Marcus


Two things: do we really know the reason of extradition and why to Gestapo? No, we do not know at this point but in my opinion just Gestapo directs to internal enemies of the III Reich, and we know that jewish origin was one of those marks of internal enemy. Or what would you say?


Yes, I agree with you idea. As far as I understand, it is impossible to commit acition of this scale ( 1500-3000 persons) without leaving tracks or glues. But, in my opinion the question here is, why persons who have become to known this from one scourse or another, did not brouht it into public attention.

Trying to hide this kind of things causes again several things:

- desectants of the victims can not forget or forgive as long as there is allegations of whitewashing or hiding

- it gives political arms and weapons, as in this case seemeed to happended

- the issue slowly become a national taboo and it will be harder and harder to found the truth

- and last but not the least: A Nation which coninues to hide wrongdoings committed by its memebers in the past in fact accept their action s

In a country where I live, there was a bloody civiil war long ago. There is hardly anybody still living who patricipated or involved. However especially the childern grandchildren, and great grandchildren of those who lost and victimised, even today feels hate to the institutions of the winners and use same words and phases which were in use long before their birth. So, some scientists says that it takes almost three generation to overcome this level of incidents. I find this forum and disussion one of the tools just for this purpose.

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Juha Hujanen
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Post by Juha Hujanen » 16 Nov 2003 17:01

Hi all.

Sana's book has been discussed here in Finland but it hasn't created such a stir as could be expected.One reason for that could be,as Marcus said,that it has been no secret.In Jatkosodan Historia(The history of Continuation war) book vol 6 from year 1994 is a figure of 2661 Pow's delivered to Germany.And in Eino Pietola bookSotavangit Suomessa 1941-1944(Pow's in Finland 1941-1944) is info that pow's were handed to Germans.

I haven't read the Sana's book but according the newspapers she says that people were handed to Germans via 2 routes.Thru Finnish military and thru Finnish state police.

Finnish military handed according to her 2829 pow's.They were high ranking officers,political personels,ethnic Germans from river Volga,Ukrainians and pow's from Caucasus region.I don't think that Germans wanted ethnic Germans or minority nationals of SU because they wanted to exterminate them in camps.Rather they wanted them to join German forces.It's hard to estimate how many of them were Jews but one estimate gives a figure of 74.Clearly being a Jew was not a reason why they were send,as figure 74/2829 shows.
Russian pow's of Jew origin were located to one camp here in Finland and Finnish Jewish church took care of them spiritual and bodily needs.

Thru Finnish state police 78-129 persons were send to Gestapo according to Sana.Some 10 of them were Jews.They were send because they were "unrealible" or "criminal".In other words many of them were communist and according to Sana they were harashed(big surprise,because Finland was in war with SU and clearly a communist was not regarded as reliable in those days).

In return of 2829 handed pow's to Germans,Finland received 2180 pow's from German pow camps.They were ethnic Finns from Ingern area or pow's that speak Finnish language.They were incorporated to Finnish army.

If one looks this matter purely in cold mathematic,the figures goes nearly even.2829 send and 2180 received.Most likely number of send pow's perished in pow camps or in death camps but on the other hand many of those 2180 received would also have perished,if they would't got in Finland.

And if one takes to count those c.60 000 Ingrin people that Finland did take during the war and saved of being in middle of battlezone and on mercy of SU partisans and German ruthles actions,i don't think that Finland's reputation has been tarnished.

Regards/Juha

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NATIONAL selectivity CARDS ?

Post by Aleksei22 » 16 Nov 2003 17:44

Hello, Juha

_______________________________________

......
Russian pow's of Jew origin were located to one camp here in Finland and Finnish Jewish church took care of them spiritual and bodily needs.

________________________________________


Does this passage define (ad hoc) ) the fact that POW's treatment in Finland consentration camps (1939-1944) strongly depends upon personal
NATIONAL ROOTs ORIGIN?

If yes - What was a NATIONAL CRITERIA for POWs selection in Finland ( in 1917-1924 & 1939-1944) ?

Thank you/


PS/ -

_______________________extract______________

....



However, during the war a sad episode took place as to some
Jewish refugees. Before the war, some 500 Jewish refugees came to
Finland from Central Europe. Of these refugees 350 moved on to other
countries and 150 remained in Finland. The State Police in Finland
extradited eight Jews, who were allegedly accused of criminal activity, to
the Gestapo. Only one of these Jews stayed alive. Intervention by the
President of the Republic, Mr. Ryti, Marshall Mannerheim and the
Government prevented the extradition of other refugees when it became
known that eight people had been handed over.

(Ambassador Esko Kiuru - MINISTRY FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS )

....

______________________________________________

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Juha Hujanen
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Post by Juha Hujanen » 16 Nov 2003 18:03

As far as i know ethnic Finns pow's were send to their own pow camps,not concentration camps.In late 42 pow's of jew origin were send to their own pow camp.

Pow's were grouped for ethnic background to following categoryes:

A) Slavic

B) Turkish and Tatar

C) Finno-Ugric

D) Caucasus

With the expection of ethnic Finns and jews,other pow's were located to same camps but mayby in differend barracks.I have no indeep info about that.

/Juha

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Some more detail need ....

Post by Aleksei22 » 16 Nov 2003 18:32

Hello, Juha



________________________________________
….

As far as i know ethnic Finns pow's were send to their own pow camps,not concentration camps.In late 42 pow's of jew origin were send to their own pow camp.

Pow's were grouped for ethnic background to following categories:

A) Slavic

B) Turkish and Tatar

C) Finno-Ugric

D) Caucasus

…..
____________________________________



What was a CRITERIA for POWs selection in Finland ( in 1917-1924 & 1939-1944) ?
Selfdetermination (selfexpression ??? ) or something else ? Who was (/were) camp SUPERVISER for proper usage of this selection ?

May I ask you to supply me some bit of OPEN URL’s – related to Elina Sana’s research ?
Language – is not a problem.

Thank you.

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Post by Harri » 16 Nov 2003 21:47

I agree with Juha H. that this "piece of news" is nothing new at least in Finland. Finnish POW camps were initially under the command of Civil Guards Staff since autumn 1943 under the command of Finnish Supreme HQ.

The portion of Russians was about 80 - 85 %. Separating of POWs in Finland was mainly based on their religions or languages. POWs were first moved to one of two "POW Organizing Camps" located at Nastola (near Lahti) and Naarajärvi (near Pieksämäki). Agitators of the Bolshevik Party among the POWs tried to continue their political work also in Finnish prison camps and continually frightened POWs who belonged to ethnical minorities. That was noticed already during the Winter War and was not allowed anymore.

There were also separate camps for officers, troublesome POWs (discipline camp) and camp for political POWs like know Politrucs. I'm not quite sure but I think that some (but not many) of the relieved POWs were also returned back to Finland?

----

This is off topic:

There were no POW camps in Finland in 1924. As far as I know they all were closed in 1920 and POWs left were moved to ordinary prisons. Some of them were still in prison in the 1940's but a large portion of POWs were released already during the summer 1918. Death-rates were also very high because of severe famine and the so called "Spanish desease" (epidemic Influenza). I think this Influenza was one the main reasons for a rather quick closing of the remaining POW camps.

Not all sentences were based on happenings of spring 1918 but also too close co-operation with illegal Russian administration in Finland before 1918 during the so called "Russification period". The sentence was usually "high treason".

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Post by michael mills » 17 Nov 2003 04:41

Aleksei22 wrote:

In a quite unique photo, in a snowy forest there is a
millboard tent with an iron heating stove, the chimney
on the left-hand side - and a number of soldiers are posing
outside the tent. The tent is a field synagogue, "Scholka's shul",
set up for the Jewish soldiers at the front beside the River Svir
in Eastern Karelia. A field synagogue with a Torah Scroll was,
no doubt, a very exceptional event in an Army fighting
on the German side during the War.



The Finnish Army was not the only Axis force that had troops who openly practised the Jewish religion.

In fact, there were some 500 Waffen-SS men who had permission from Himmler himself to practise Judaism.

The SS-men concerned were Karaites from Crimea. The Karaites are a people of Tartar origin who practise Judaism, having been converted at some unknown time in the distant past. In that respect, they differ from the majority of Crimean Tartars who are Muslims.

When Germany conquered the Crimea in late 1941, the Karaites presented a problem. Were they to be treated as Soviet Jews? Or were they to be treated like the other Crimean Tartars, disregarding their religion?

Eventually the latter course was chosen, by order of Heydrich himself. One reason for that decision was because a number of former Tsarist officers of Karaite origin were living in Germany as refugees from Bolshevism, and had helped the German Government in the preparations for Barbarossa, particularly in relation to the administration of the conquered territories; those officers lobbied on behalf of their fellow Karaites in Crimea. One of the arguments they used was that the Karaities had not been considered as Jews by the Tsarist Government, and had been exempt from all anti-Jewish laws.

Later, when the Germans began to form an auxiliary police force from the minority nationalities of the Soviet Union, a Crimean Tartar unit was created. Although the majority of its members were Muslims, it contained a few hundred Karaites.

In 1943, all the auxiliary police formations were given permission by Himmler to practice their ethnic religions, as part of the process of bolstering their anti-Soviet feelings. Thus, the Muslim members of the Crimean Tartar police began to practise Islam, and the Karaite members began to engage in Judaic religious practices, such as the celebration of Simchat Torah.

You can imagine the sensation caused by the sight of a unit of men dressed in SS uniforms marching down the street wearing prayer-shawls and carrying Torah scrolls on their shoulders, and chanting in Hebrew. Eyes popped out of sockets and jaws hit the ground.

Himmler received a number of complaints from outraged SS men, who suspected that the mickey was being taken out of them. After considering the matter, he decided that the Karaites should be permitted to continue practising their traditional religion, ie Judaism, in line with his proclamation of religious freedom for the SS auxiliaries, but that they should do it in private so as not to cause offence.

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Post by JariL » 17 Nov 2003 13:39

<Trying to hide this kind of things causes again several things:
<- desectants of the victims can not forget or forgive as long as there is <allegations of whitewashing or hiding
<- it gives political arms and weapons, as in this case seemeed to <happended
<- the issue slowly become a national taboo and it will be harder and <harder to found the truth
<- and last but not the least: A Nation which coninues to hide <wrongdoings committed by its memebers in the past in fact accept their <action s

Hi Grigorij,

Sana's book has been marketed with partly dubious means by claiming that Finnish history writing has to be revised because of it. This claim would be valid if she had proven that the POW's were selected for example based on ethnic grounds and deported to Germany to be exterminated and that this would have been the approved policy. This I have understood is not the case. However, she has done a valuable job in putting faces to the tragedy and pointing out how petty reasons could lead to a person being handed over to the Germans. But in public at least she has not been able to get through that prisoners moved also into the other direction. Omitting that fact gives a very distorted picture of the whole affair.

The reason why the subject has not been studied may of course be it's unpleasantnes as Sana suggests. But it may also be that the lack of political connection has been the reason. If it would be possible to link the POW's that were handed over to the Germans to either a government or military administaration official policy, I am sure there would be many researchers interested in writing about it. So I don't think that it was hidden. For one reason or another it just was not interesting enough.

The fact that German navy built 5 submarines in Finland also made big headlines in some newspapers a while ago. The spirit was that Finns helped the Nazi's build their submarine weapon. The fact that the co-operation stopped already in 1934 at about the same time the Soviet government stopped it's co-operation with Germany was not given much notice. Nor was it mentioned that there had been several books published during the years that contained the same information. But use the word Nazi and it increases sales...

In this case it is a pitty that Reuters went along in selling the book instead of taking a bit deeper look into the matter. There is news enough in the book without having to resort into exaggeration. But adding the fact that Germany handed 2000+ prisoners to Finns would have taken the edge away, wouldn't it?

What comes to European guilt, if we speak about Jews I don't think that we have any special need to join the chorus despite of Sana's book. If the focus is broader, I wonder if anyone ever claimed that Finns had been any different from the bulk of the other European nations in times of war.

Regards,

Jari

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Some Q-s fir Harri

Post by Aleksei22 » 18 Nov 2003 00:05

Hello, Harri




__________________________________________________
I agree with Juha H. that this "piece of news" is nothing new at least in Finland.
_______________________________________________________




1. - OK! I agreed too. I think that ….. this "piece of news" is nothing new …. In UK, USA, Sweeden, Germany, Russia, France, …. etc. too.





________________________________________________
Finnish POW camps were initially under the command of Civil Guards Staff since autumn 1943 under the command of Finnish Supreme HQ.
_________________________________________________



1. - Thank you.



_________________________________________________
The portion of Russians was about 80 - 85 %. Separating of POWs in Finland was mainly based on their religions or languages. POWs were first moved to one of two "POW Organizing Camps" located at Nastola (near Lahti) and Naarajarvi (near Pieksamaki).
______________________________________________________



1. - Religion ? How many POWs from Red Army were "religiouse" ?

2. - "POW Organizing Camps" ??????? Mmmmmmm…. May be KZ ???

3. - Who was (were) a personal SUPERVISER(s) - to manage this deal (Separating of POWs upon nationality roots) in proper way ?

4. - Do you have some examples of papers - ( camp official registration OR "POW's Record Paper") for russian or other national minorities from USSR ?



_________________________________________________
Agitators of the Bolshevik Party among the POWs tried to continue their political work also in Finnish prison camps and continually frightened POWs who belonged to ethnical minorities. That was noticed already during the Winter War and was not allowed anymore.
__________________________________________________







1. - May I ask you to publish official document(s) whose CONTENT(s) will spot a light for the essence, reasons and intentions for this SO CALLED " frightening of ethnical minorities".


2. - Who allegedly (typically) was (/were) this so called " minorities" ….


3. - May I ask you to present ANY official paper ( sealed, signed and dated by 1939-1944) with this COUPLE of WORDS you say - "ETHICAL MINORITIES "





_________________________________________________
There were also separate camps for officers, troublesome POWs (discipline camp) and camp for political POWs like know Politrucs.
_____________________________________________________


1. - Where all of them were located ?




__________________________________________________
I'm not quite sure but I think that some (but not many) of the relieved POWs were also returned back to Finland?
____________________________________________________




1. - How many? Do you know nationality of this relieved POWs whom preferred to stay back in Finland? What was the main reason to stay-back?






This is NOT off topic:


__________________________________________________
There were no POW camps in Finland in 1924. As far as I know they all were closed in 1920 and POWs left were moved to ordinary prisons.
_______________________________________________________



1. - Does it means GRATE DIFFERENCE for them in living condition?



____________________________________________________
Some of them were still in prison in the 1940's but a large portion of POWs were released already during the summer 1918.
______________________________________________________




1. - How many? What a quantity you mean while say "large portions" ?




________________________________________________
Death-rates were also very high because of severe famine and the so called "Spanish desease" (epidemic Influenza).
___________________________________________________



1. - What was the main reason(s) for this severe famine ? Does it was organized ? Or was it a result of sabotage ?

2. - Who was the MAIN FOOD-SUPPLIER for Finland before 1917 ?

3. - Who was the MAIN FOOD-SUPPLIER for Finland just after 1944 ?




__________________________________________________
I think this Influenza was one the main reasons for a rather quick closing of the remaining POW camps.
___________________________________________________




1. - Does it possible to see OFFICIAL DATA (statistics) for toll death rate native finnish population and POWs due to Influenza and some other Disease.
2. - Can you present POW's daily food ration and compare it with typical civilian (finnish) ones?




________________________________________________
Not all sentences were based on happenings of spring 1918 but also too close co-operation with illegal Russian administration in Finland before 1918 during the so called "Russification period". ______________________________________________


1. - Hmmm …. What do you mean when you say "Russification".

2. - an you give some practical examples for this "Russification" ????

3. - How "pro-long" was this "Russification period" ?




___________________________________
The sentence was usually "high treason".
____________________________________


1. - What does it mean in reality ? Death sentence ? Slavery for life ?
2. - Who (nationality) were sentenced for this conduct ?


Thank you.

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