Skip to comments.Finland's Nazi Past
Posted on 10/08/2006 11:49:45 AM PDT by Bokababe
Martti Ahtisaari and Finlands Nazi Past
At the time of the illegal NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999 when Martti Ahtisaari was the President of Finland, his government sought to commemorate and to honor Finlands Nazi SS volunteers from the Holocaust. This offers irrefutable evidence of Ahtisaaris direct links for support of Nazism and Nazi revisionism. If Ahtisaari had bothered to check the decisions of the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunals, he would have found that that court held that all Waffen SS troops were war criminals guilty of war crimes and guilty of committing crimes against humanity, namely the mass murder of Jews. Ahtisaari lacks even an elementary understanding of the Holocaust and the role of the SS in the Final Solution.
In 1999, Martti Ahtisaaris Finnish government supported official government plans to honor and to commemorate Finlands Nazi Waffen SS violunteers during World War II. The Finnish government plan was to mark the graves of Finnish Nazi Waffen SS volunteers who had been killed in the Soviet Union. Finland had over, 1,400 Finnish volunteers in the Nazi Waffen SS, 300 of whom were killed in the Ukraine and in the Caucasus. Finland concluded a secret agreement with Nazi Germany before the invasion of the USSR that would allow Finland to secretly send Finnish volunteers to Heinrich Himmlers Waffen SS forces. Himmler formed a Finnish Waffen SS Volunteer Battalion from these Finnish troops called Nordost. This Finnish Battalion was attached to the Nordland Waffen SS Regiment of the 5th SS Division Wiking, one of the most brutal and fanatical Nazi SS Divisions of World War II, commanded by Felix Steiner.
Finnish Nazi SS troops formed the vanguard and spearheaded the German Wehrmacht assault against the Stalingrad and Caucasus regions in 1942 and advanced to the Grozny oil fields in Chechnya. This was the farthest Nazi advance into the Soviet Union by the Axis, spearheaded by Finnish Nazi Waffen SS volunteers. It is important to remember that the Finnish government of Risto Ryti sent the Finnish Nazi SS volunteers. There was government action on the part of Finland. Ryti should have been prosecuted for war crimes and for genocide. But he never was. Finlands Nazi past and role in the Holocaust was blurred and obscured by Finnish propaganda.
The memorial would consist of a small monument or plaque erected by Ahtisaaris Finnish government at a burial site in southern Ukraine where the remains of 150 Finnish Nazi Waffen SS volunteers are buried. Finns were initially considered non-Aryans because they belonged to the Finno-Ugric language group, not regarded as Indo-European under Nazi racist policy. Nevertheless, Himmler accepted Finns into the elite, racially pure, Waffen SS, as belonging to the Nordic racial stock and regarded Finns as among his best SS troops.
Finlands Jewish groups protested to President Martti Ahtisaari because his government was subsidizing or financing the project. Gideon Bolotowsky, a Finnish Jewish leader, accused Ahtisaari of financing Nazism. Bolotowsky told Reuters: They (the government) are giving money to a Nazi cause. They did not fight for Finland. It is a mistake of the government.
What is remarkable is that Ahtisaaris government defended this honoring of Finnish Nazi SS war criminals. In a May 10, 1999 Reuters news story, it was reported:
Officials defended the plan to commemorate the SS men, saying it would be a gesture of remembrance rather than approval.
All governments erect monuments or plaques to their war dead, said Heikki Hakala, executive director of the Society for Remembrance of the War Dead. This (momument) would be to honour the fallen soldiers, not for any particular deed
An official at the ministry of education, which donated 500,000 markka ($91,000) to the society, said the government saw nothing wrong with the plan as there was no evidence the Finnish SS battalion was involved in any Nazi attrocities.
In 1958, the Finnish government completely exonerated the Nazi SS volunteers and gave them full combatant rights.
Shimon Samuels of the Simon Wiesenthal Center said in a statement: Just when the German government is applying legislation to strip such volunteers of their war pensions, Finland is acting to effectively vindicate Nazi units associated with war crimes and thus to balances the Holocaust by equaling perpetrators and victims.'
Samuels asked Martti Ahtisaari to use his influence with the government to desist from this act of historical revisionism.'
Martti Ahtisaari and his governemtn defended the plan: Officials defend the plan to commemorate the SS men, saying it would be a gesture of remembrance rather than approval.
Samuels told Reuters that he had written to President Martti Ahtisaari that honoring Finnish Nazi SS volunteers would betray the image of Finnish neutrality as much as it (would) offend the honor of the victims of Hitlerism.'
The Paris-based European Jewish Congress said in a statement that Ahtisaaris commemoration of the Finnish Nazi SS war criminals is an offence to all victims of the Nazis and jeopardizes the educational objectives of the European Union member countries to combat racism and anti-Semitism.
The Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal held all Waffen SS members to be guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Why doesnt Ahtisaari know this? Is he that ignorant? The Finnish Nazi SS volunteers enabled Hitler to murder Jews, Russians, Roma, and Sinti. Didnt the Finnish leaders know about the anti-Semitism of the Nazi regime of Adolf Hitler? Didnt they know about Kristallnacht in 1938 or the Nuremberg Race Laws of 1935? Didnt they know what Hitler intended to do with the Jews in the Soviet Union? Didnt the Finnish government know about Hitlers concept of lebensraum, under which he planned to exterminate the Russian population and settle Russia with ethnic Germans? Of course, Martti Ahtisaari doesnt know about any of this?
If this doesnt finally discredit the ICG and put the last nail in its coffin, nothing will. Fact is stranger than fiction. You could never make this up.
Martti Ahtisaari, as President of Finland, sought to honor and commemorate Finnish Nazi SS war criminals, war criminals held guilty by the Nuremberg Tribunal of committing crimes against humanity and of participation in the Final Solution, the genocide of European Jews. This supporter and financier of Nazi war criminals and of genocide is deciding the future status of Kosovo? The irony is unbelievable.
This can explain Mr. Ahtisaari siding with radical Islamists against Christian Serbs. Not much has changed since WWII.
This could explain Mr. Ahtisaari siding with radical Islamists against Christian Serbs. Not much has changed since WWII.
As the author states, the irony is unbelievable.
Just when you think Serbian propaganda couldn't get any more stupid, the Serbs dig deep and, well, dig themselves deeper.
The bombing might have been ill-advised, but it wasn't illegal .
...Pony trekking or camping, Or just watching TV.
Officials defended the plan to commemorate the SS men, saying it would be a gesture of remembrance
They were Finns after all.
Oh the horror, next thing you know he'll be wanting to carry a confederate battle flag and visiting Yasukuni,
all unpardonable offenses.
There are many non-Serbs who disagreed, even at the time, including the late Congresswoman Chenoweth: http://www.thenewamerican.com/tna/1999/04-26-99/illegal_war.htm
Either challenge the facts of the article with hard evidence or stick a sock in it, Hopeless. Your tired rallying for "poooor suuuffering Muslims" and against "big bad Serbs" is pathetic. Everyone here knows that you are a fulltime propagandist for the Balkan Muslims.
Finland's alliance with Germany during World War II was not motivated by any real support for Naziism among its people. It was a desire for retribution against the Russians. In 1939, the Russians launched an unprovoked invasion on Finland, known as The Winter War. The badly outnumbered Finnish military put up a brave fight and inflicted tremendous casualties, but could not withstand the far larger Russian army. A great deal of resentment was caused by this, so when Russia was attacked by Germany, Finland naturally agreed to help.
The story of one of these guys is quite the epic.
Google Lauri Tornii (Larry Alan Thorne)..
The simple fact is several Eastern European nations sided with the Nazis against Soviet Union.
Finland was attacked by the Soviet Union FIRST. The Finns had every reason to strike back any way they could. The US Army was more than happy to take one or more of theses SS trained Finns under their wing after the war. One of them ended up disappearing in Vietnam trying to save his AMERICAN soldiers.
If the USSR had invaded the USA in 1939-40 we would have joined the Nazis too. Being the neighbor of an invading communist colossus will make you do things you've never done before.
I don't ever recall seeing any info on how Finland handled their Jewish citizens.
If you're gullible enough to believe it, along with all the other BS propaganda Serbian nationalists have produced over the years, well that's a reflection upon your intelligence and character, not mine.
Man... nazi is just that...nazi, no exusess...
Finland has one of the most complicated WW2 histories.
From 1939-40 they fought, alone, against the Soviet Union (at least part of that time, the USSR and Nazis were allies).
There was an uneasy peace, for a time, during which Finland tried to get help from several countries (including the UK). Unfortunately, only the Nazis were willing to help. When the Soviet Union attacked Finland again in 1941, they ended up help from Germany.
Then, in 1944, Finland and the USSR signed a peace treaty. The Nazis saw it as a betrayal and attacked Finland.
Through all of this, it should be noted, Finland did not persecute its Jewish population. Indeed, the Finnish army included Jewish soldiers and had a field Synagogue. (Which sometimes resulted in German Nazi soldiers under the command of Jewish Finnish officers.) The country also took in a small number of Jewish refugees.
Finland essentially considered themselves to be fighting a separate war from WW2. If the USSR had left them alone, they probably would have remained neutral through the war.
Finns of 1.Kp./Finnisches Frw.Bn.d.W-SS at Gross Born Truppenlager, 1941
Finnish Volunteer Battalion Cuff title, never offically issued
The story of Finnish volunteers in the service of the Third Reich began with a series of behind the scenes diplomatic negotiations between Germany and Finland at the post-March 1940 negotiated end of her "Winter War" with the Soviet Union. Because of their well proven fighting qualities, Reichsfuhrer-SS Himmler expressed interest in having a Finnish contingent become a part of his growing Waffen-SS. While the Finns were open to such a suggestion, both parties were quite aware that any open recruitment into Germany's armed forces of Finnish soldiers and citizens would certainly be interpreted as a belligerent provocation by the Soviets. Subsequently, every effort was made to disguise the enrollment of active-duty Finnish soldiers and other volunteers into the ranks of the Waffen-SS. There was also a stipulation made in a secret protocal by the Finnish government that no Finnish volunteers in the service of Germany would fight against Great Britain or Greece (this reflects the time-frame of the contract signing - Spring 1941, when the German incursion into the Balkans made these two governments the only active combatants against Germany); or any other nation, "except the Soviet Union." Clearly, the Finns wanted to respect the differences that western governments, (who had been generously forthcoming with critical military and logistical aid during the winter-war), had with Germany; but at the same time, wanted to align a major continental power in their corner against the threat of further Soviet hostilities. In this sense, the Finns decision to pursue a pro-Axis stance in the early months of 1941, well before the onset of an actual German-Russo conflict would reflect both self-interest, and an astute strategic grasp of their current geo-political situation.
In February, 1941, Himmler's Waffen-SS recruitment chief, Gottlob Berger, worked with the "Auslands-Amt" of the German Embassy in Helsinki to receive the first complement of 1000 Finnish volunteers into German service. These conscripts were publicly announced as "workers for German Industry" to avoid international complications. Because of minor differences, such as the Finnish objection to take the Waffen-SS oath to the Fuhrer, Adolf Hitler - the bulk of the initial contingent of 125 Officers, 109 NCO's,and 850 other ranks of Finnish soldiers were held up, and wouldn't reach German soil until June 5, 1941. Five batches of Finns were sent to Germany between May and June, 1941. The first three batches of men were those with previous military training experiance, and they were direcetly incorporated into the 5.SS Wiking Division (mot) already on the Eastern Front for the initial stages of the invasion of the Soviet Union on June, 22nd, 1941. The remaining 2 batches of Finnish recruits were those without previous military training and they were sent to Wien outside of Vienna to form the basis of the new Finnish Battalion. Fresh drafts of volunteers from Finland joined those at Wien to train as Waffen-SS combat infantrymen. This first contingent of Finns were organized as the SS-Freiwilligen Bataillon Nordost, but the unit was later renamed in September of 1941, to the Finnisches Freiwilligen Bataillon der Waffen-SS. The Finns liked to refer to themselves as the "Jagerbataillon" (light infantry battalion) in commemoration of the Finnish 27.Jagerbataillon that served with the Kaiser's forces on the Eastern front during the Great War.
See my post #17.... But the short answer is there was no persecution the Jews in Finland.
This is a negative misleading article regarding Finland's relationship to Germany. Too understand Finland's relationship with Germany during WWII you have to put it in context of the Winter War.
After Finland was attacked by Russia, Finland held out with without promised aid from Sweden and Great Britain. they then turned to Germany for assistance in defense from Russia. Espcially after the Russians launched a second massive attack in 1944. Germany then provided defensive weaponry to Finland after guaranteeing not to negototiate a cease fire with the Russians.
Finland and Nazism
During the Continuation War (1941-1944) Finland was co-belligerent with Nazi Germany, and dependent on food, fuel and armament shipments from Germany. The country did, however, retain a democratic form of government. During the war Germany and Finland were united by a common enemy, the Soviet Union, yet Finland kept her army outside the German command structure despite numerous attempts to tie them tighter together.
Finnish Jews were not persecuted, and even among extremists of the Finnish Right they were highly tolerated, as many leaders of the movement came from the clergy. Of approximately 500 Jewish refugees, 8 were handed over to the Germans, a fact for which Finnish prime minister Paavo Lipponen issued an official apology in 2000. The field synagogue operated by the Finnish army was probably a unique phenomenon in Europe. (See external links for more information)
Approximately 2600-2800 prisoners of war were exchanged for 2100 Finnish prisoners of war with Germany. About 2000 of them joined the Wermacht, but among the rest there were about 500 political officers or politically dangerous persons, who most likely perished in concentration camps. Based on the a list of names, there were about 70 Jews among the extradicted, although they were not extradited based on nationality.
When the Finnish Army occupied Russian East Karelia 19411944 several concentration camps were set up for Russian civilians. The first camp was set up on 24 October 1941, in Petrozavodsk. Around 4,000 of the prisoners perished due to malnourishment, 90% of them during the spring and summer of 1942.
During World War II Finland was in many ways a unique case. It was the only country which fought against both sides of the conflict under the same leadership. It was the only European country which bordered the Soviet Union in 1939 and was still unoccupied in 1945. Of all the European countries fighting in World War II, only three European capitals were never occupied: Moscow, London and Helsinki. It was also a country which sided with Germany, but in which native Jews (and most refugees) were safe from persecution.
Jewish News Weekley>
Friday June 9, 1995
Finland: Where Jews fought on the side of the Nazis
SHERWOOD L. WEINGARTEN
Himmler asked about Finland's Jews during a visit in 1942, and Finland's Prime Minister Rangell replied: "Finland has a couple of thousand Jews - decent families and individuals, whose sons fight in our army just like other Finns, and who are as respected as citizens as all others. We have no Jewish question."
And that was that.
(Celtjew Libertarian, FYI only)
Do they (or you) think this is likely to make the world love the Serbs more? It's likely to have the opposite effect. I was watching television today and wondering why Serbs are so often the villains on TV dramas. Right now, I'm not wondering. That's an emotional reaction and most likely it will pass, but I don't think this sort of thing is good public relations for them.
Finland's relationship was not really an alliance w/ Germany. Since Great britain and Sweden did nto come to the aid fo Finland in 1939 or 1944, Finland turned to germany out of necessity, and only because Germany was an obvious enemy of the Soviet Union.
My grandfather blew up 5 Russian tanks with molotov cocktails in the Winter War and my grandmother was a nurse in a Finnish field hospital. They had to move their MASH outposts repeatedly as the Russians would shell their tents.
Look there were many reasons (not all bad ones) why countries misght have been motivated to join Germany during WWII in fighting their enemies. That the Soviet Union attacked and this was a way to get back them is certainly one that is worthy of consideration.
But the point was that Ahtesaari was the first president to try and honor those Finns of the Nazi Waffen SS -- and then he is made a negotiator for the Balkans? And then he makes a remark about "collective guilt" that is worthy of a Nazi? All Finns were probably not Nazis, but it seems to me that Ahtesaari liked the Nazi portion of Finland's history just a little too much -- and that is why I posted the article.
I will anwser this one. How does Serbs have right to accuse all others that have sided with nayis?
Serbs were only nation in the Europe that hade no nayis, or SS units....
"Man... nazi is just that...nazi, no exusess..."
I didn't make any excuses. Communist is just communist and yet we sided with those mass murderers in WWII because we believed we needed to. We also took in plenty of Nazi scientists after WWII to make sure we would beat the USSR in the space race.
Well Ahtesaari is honoring Nazis and Islamists... same thing.
Just fascist or islamofascist...
Just like in The Cuckoo?
Though I question the real-life efficacy of blowing into a patient's ear while howling like a wolf.
I haven't seen any evidence Finnish SS members were involved in wartime atrocities and they certainly played their part in retaining Finland's independence. As such, they do not deserve to be forgotten.
People hate us so let's attack someone else: really this sort of thing doesn't make the Serbs look good.
Just took a little research online. The Serbian Volunteer Corp served with the Nazis. Milan Nedic was a Serbian who had been Minister of Army and Navy for Yugoslavia in 1939 and 1940. He had openly been friendly towards Hitler, for which he was dismissed from the position. But when the Nazis took over, he was more than ready to be head of the Serbian puppet government.
Serbians had a good record, but their had Nazis... So did the U.K. for that matter.
Truth is I hadn't the vaguest idea of Finland's WWII history before I read this article. The point was Ahtesaari, not Finland as a whole. If Savich's point was incorrect then that's what the forum is for, to debate this stuff and get the truth out there.
Finland may be the most wonderful country in the world and had every reason to do what it did during WWII, I haven't a clue. But Martti Ahtesaari is a racist, goose-stepper and even one of the Swiss diplomats said that Ahtesaahri's remark would have been against the Swiss anti-racist laws, but no one in the UN seemed to even flinch at it. Couple that with Ahtesaari honoring a Waffen SS unit and what would you think? Please tell me?
"Serbs were only nation in the Europe that hade no nayis, or SS units...."
Really? What do you call "The Volunteers" of the ZBOR? You know, the "Serbian Volunteer Corps" commanded by
General Kosta Musicki, that hunted down communist partisans in the war. In November 1944, part of the Serbian Volunteer Corps was transferred to the Waffen-SS, renamed as the "Serbisches Freiwilligen Korps der SS" and fought as a Waffen-SS unit on the Eastern front until the end of the war....unless I am mistaken.
You are wrong on that one, Kronos. There were a small group called the Ljoticevi who were never large enough to get elected to any office before the war, but who came to power when the Germans occupied Yugoslavia. Ljoticevi were few in number but they were fascists.
And then there was Nedic. Nedic, like many others, saw barges floating down the Danube from Ustashi Croatia piled high with Serbian bodies, labeled "Serbian Meat for Market" and realized that if Serbs didn't cooperate to some extent, there would be no Serbs left for it to matter what side they were on. Nedic was a collaborator out of survival, not ideology. He had no history, that I know of, of having been an ideological Nazi.
Have you ever heard of the Russo-Finnish war of 39/40? If yes, then Finnish volunteers are no wonder, as well as the Balts after 1940 sovietization.
Did you know that Ahtisaari was first brought into the United Nations Organization by Kurt Waldheim, who fought for the Nazis in Yugoslavia?
How did Finland get mixed up with the Serbs?
I am American and I see their point.
The former Yugoslavia has been carved up in the last 15 years to precisely the same configuration that Nazi Germany had for it during WWII. Germany was the first to recognize Slovenia and Croatia as independent countries in 1992. Germany has taken over the UN management of Kosovo, and German -- not English anymore-- is the second language to learn in the Balkans now. German allies are in positions of power and Nazi German allies (including the Bosnian Muslims and Albanians) are in favorable positions and those who opposed the Nazi Germany back then are getting screwed now. They are not wrong on this.
For years, the Serbs screamed about Kurt Waldheim being a WWII Nazi, and no one listened, but they were right. For years, Serbs screamed that Muslims are not who you think they are, and no one listened -- until 9/11. They weren't paranoid then and they aren't paranoid now.
Lest you think that I have some "racist problem with the Finns", think again. Although on my mother's side, her family came from Montnengro for as long as anyone can remember, I participated in the National Geographic genome project a few months back. On my mother's side, I come from Haplog U5, the same genes, race and blood as the Finns, and only the Finns. No one in the family can figure it out -- father's genes may or not be who they are supposed to be, but mother's genes almost always are. This is a major mystery to all of us! Somehow all my mother's mothers were from Finland and then were transported to Montenegro at some point in time that no one can remember.
Martti Ahtesaari, mediator for Kosovo, who was a former president of Finland.
In addition to Ahtisaari running the show on the UN side, the Finns have provided troops for peacekeeping in both Bosnia and Kosovo.
I have a law partner who is of Finn origin (a Keary). I will give him a high five.
Finns can be held blameless for jumping back into warfare against the USSR. However, if you were from Estonia or Latvia and joined up with the Waffen SS, you made a very big mistake.
The Croats and Albanians joined with the Nazis to destroy Jews, Gypsies and Serbians.
It would be interesting to know how many Albanians alive in Kosovo in the 1990s had reached adulthood by World War II, let alone served in any kind of military group at the time. It's hard to reconcile "you did this to us" with the accompanying claim that "you breed like rabbits to swamp us" which would lead to a very low average age.
Although if you consider 1389 to be recent history, 1941 may as well have been last week. Ah, collective, inherited guilt. One of mankind's best ideas.