Rola Niemiec w świadomości Finów. Związki z Niemcami i propaganda niemiecka w Finlandii w latach 1917–1939
The role of Germany in the consciousness of the Finnish. Relations with Germany and the German propaganda in Finland in the years 1917–1939
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In the interwar period the presence of Germany in the life of Finns was multifaceted. Besides the trade with Germany and Berlin’s impact on the foreign policy of Helsinki, there existed a specific form of German influence in Finland. It concerned the collective consciousness of Finnish society, in which Germany and everything that was German was given particular respect. Finland in the beginning of 1918 was forced to stand up against the radical left wing which was supported by Bolsheviks and tried to get power. It goes without saying that the intervention of the Baltic Division of gen. Rüdiger von der Goltza helped the legal authorities of Finland to take control of the situation in the country. Finnish people did not know secret conditions by the power of which the German government had agreed to help Finland. It is not surprising that Finish people saw Germany as a country thanks to which Finland had been able to defeat the internal threat of communism. At the same time political circumstances in Central Eastern Europe made Germany interested in extending their influence and establishing their military presence in Finland. As the Finnish historian Matti Klinge rightly pointed out, after finishing the civil war “Berlin took steps to include Finland in the German sphere of dominance.” The consent of the Finnish parliament to build the Finnish monarchy with the representative of the Prussian dynasty of Hohenzollern on the throne was a direct success of Berlin. The German-Finnish agreement on the issue was not executed due to changes which took place in Germany after the First World War was over. However, mutual contacts supported by the strong propaganda remained. Finland was a country in which there appeared also Polish interests. Thus, the German propaganda was very often anti-Polish. It must be stressed that Germany was interested not only in eradicating the Polish political and economic presence in Finland. The propaganda constituted an element of the German eastern policy, whose aim was to change the Treaty of Versailles in relation to Gdańsk and Polish Pomerania. Finns shared the German point of view on this matter. The Polish-Finnish relations, particularly political and military ones were blocked by pro-German attitude of Finns. Despite such a viewpoint of the Finnish government on the international reality, Finland did not advocate the methods of implementing the foreign policy as suggested by Reich at the end of the 1930s.
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