Renegade Editor’s Note: Finland would go on to fight with the Germans against the Soviets, but then made a deal with the Allies in 1944 and fought to expel the Germans from all of Finland.
By Adolf Hitler Berlin, December 7, 1939 Article published in Völkischer Beobachter
In the context of the crisis between Sovet-Russia and Finland, which has now evolved into an open conflict, numerous parties, above all the kitchen of lies (Lugenkuche) of British and French official and editorial cabinets, have attempted to implicate Germany in the events to the North. They maintain that Germany is violating its apparently self-evident obligation to help Finland, a country to which it is tied by a multitude of bonds. In the face of such malicious as well as foolish and-politically speaking-childish insinuations, it appears necessary to subject to critical scrutiny the relations between Germany and the Northern countries during the past twenty years.
Beyond all doubt, the Nordic peoples have always occupied a special place in the hearts of Germans for historical and sentimental reasons. This love, however, has become increasingly one-sided in the course of the past twenty years. The German Reich in its position of power has always been a natural friend of Nordic interests. It has remained true to this principle throughout its entire history. Countless instances have evidenced this favorable predisposition to the small Nordic States. And as, at the end of the World War, the German Reich was left in a position of impotence due to the broken promises of the Allies which left it the defenseless and helpless prey of the unjust and excessive demands of the so-called victorious powers, Berlin counted less on the active assistance of the Nordic countries (they were not in a position to render it), but, at the very least, on their sympathy and moral support for the unfortunate German Volk.
The opposite, however, occurred. In these years so bitter for Germany, not one of these countries has thrown its weight on the scale to balance the dreadful injustice done to the German Volk.
Any reasonable person must have known at the time that, sooner or later, this injustice would result in retaliation. It was clear that this would cause great upheaval in the world, if it was not possible to obtain a timely revision.
However, instead of moving in this direction, the Nordic states were from the beginning the most loyal adherents and defenders of the Geneva League of Nations, whose entire structure aimed at nothing but the eternal repression of Germany.
The Nordic states remained loyal to the League of Nations even at a time when its true role as the executor of Versailles and the preserver of the status quo must have been clear to even the most naive of political minds. In vain Germany awaited a sign of sympathy, some form of tangible moral support.
Either one was too uninterested at the time or too involved in the endless, dry and exhausting ideological discussions within the framework of the debating club of Geneva. The Nordic states increasingly got on the political track of England.
And as National Socialism rose to power in Germany and the German Volk, under the leadership of Adolf Hitler, began to shake off its shackles, the majority of the press in the North did not rejoice and welcome this event, but rather subjected to savage criticism nearly every step made toward German independence and every deed dedicated to an elimination of the Treaty of Versailles. In the name of humanity, in the name of liberalism and democracy, Germany was brought into disrepute, reviled, and boycotted economically.
Barely a day passed without one move or another in German politics being impudently and insultingly criticized by countless papers in the Nordic states.
Every statement by the Third Reich was interpreted to its detriment, which was accompanied in the papers by truly incomprehensible attacks. This systematic rejection of everything emanating from the Third Reich reached so far into the leading circles that the German side was often forced to resort to official channels in order to counter this unbearable state of affairs. The consequences of this systematic campaign against Germany in the Nordic states crystallized when, in the course of this year, Germany declared its willingness to enter into a series of non-aggression pacts with them. While pacts with Denmark and the Baltic States were concluded, Sweden, Norway, and Finland showed no interest.
Sweden and Norway declared their lack of interest as a matter of principle. Finland, however, declined conclusion of a non-aggression pact with the German Reich, although Germany would not have been the first country with which Finland had entered into such a pact. While, at the time, this Finnish stand was incomprehensible to Germany’s leading political circles, the experiences since then have taught us that the notion is assuredly not mistaken that English warmongers largely influenced the Finnish decision. This speculation has been reinforced by the fact that England, through the offices of other Scandinavian politicians, has established a web of vibrant ties to Helsinki.
These countries thus revealed that, in spite of repeated assurances of neutrality, they actually placed less stock in a determined and symmetrical preservation of peace in relation to all sides, than in the hope for the political predominance of the one side with which they sympathize so greatly, though assuredly not for reasons of neutrality.
In this context, it was characteristic of this peculiar understanding of neutrality by the Nordic states that it was the Scandinavia countries which accorded the Valencia Government recognition and moral support not only until the end, but up to a point when this government had already ceased to exist. They continued to withhold long-overdue recognition from Franco even at a time when any further delay could only be interpreted as unilateral partisanship against Franco, Italy, and Germany.
And since the outbreak of the war with the Western Powers, the Nordic countries have not changed their stance. Rather Germany, which has no differences with them and which has always stood up for their interests in the course of its history, had to experience once more that it was precisely the states of the North whose press and actions demonstrated anything but a benign comportment toward German concerns. Every country is entitled to distribute its sympathies as it sees fit.
Then, however, this country should not complain that it is not receiving its due in terms of sympathy-sympathy which others have been waiting for years to receive from it.
This present war has been forced on the German Volk by the British warmongers who, last but not least, have received the support of Scandinavian journalists and politicians. It is both naive and sentimental to expect the German Volk to push aside its struggle for its future in order to immediately rush to the side of all the small states which previously could not get enough of disparaging and denigrating Germany. For years, the Reich has met with cool indifference, with haughty disapproval, and with often ill-concealed hostility. “Wie man in den Wald hineinruft, so schallt es auch wieder hinaus.” (As one shouts into the forest, so it echoes back.) The German Reich is well aware of the obligations gratitude and loyalty entail. Still, its friendship is not to be found lying about in the streets where, if he feels like it, anyone can come back to pick it up again once he has refused it.
The German Reich is loyal to those who are loyal to it. The German Reich stands by those who stand by it. The German Reich benefits those who benefit it. The German Volk has nothing against the Finnish people. On the contrary, the German Volk harbors no animosity against the peoples of the North. The hope remains that, one day, the masters of all destinies of our Northern neighbors will reflect thereupon an ask themselves whether it was truly wise to lend an ear, in the past years, to the whispering of the English warmongers and apostles of the League of Nations, or whether it would not have been better to lend visible expression to their peoples’ natural interest in friendship with Germany.