Russians love to legitimize their war booty of Karelia by claiming they "liberated" it from "Nazis." If this is true, why did they keep Karelia and not turn it over back to the karelian people? Russians never cease to amaze this writer, as one Pole said "Russians can deny the nose on their face." Finns try not to hold any grudges, but we tend to be cautious when dealing with our neighbor. The Finnish Movie "Unknown Soldier" is about the Finns taking back what is theirs. The writer's father, had been a radio operator in the Winter War, was now on Lake Ladoga mopping up Russian held islands, and rose to the rank of sergeant. Antti was familiar with his Karelia province and was a good fisherman, but refused to hunt animals. The movie is about his Winter War regiment.
Finland did what it could to let food supplies through to Leningrad, refusing German requests to do otherwise. Most of the nuisance was caused by Hitler's submarines in the North Sea. Field Marshal Mannerheim himself said he did not want the blood of the Leningrad people on his hands.
Unlike Russia, Finland would not sign a formal alliance with Hitler, but was only a co-belligerent fighting to regain Karelia, which has special significance to the Finnish people, their identity. By attacking Finland, Stalin gave Hitler the confidence he needed to bring Barbarossa onto the Russian people, and forced Finland and any other country fighting Communism to fight with the Germans.
Roosevelt wanted to keep Stalin on his side to help defeat Hitler, but also to finish off Japan in Manchuria because the atomic bomb could not be relied upon. In order to sway public opinion to support his friend Stalin, it was necessary for Roosevelt to convince the American public that Stalin was no longer the Communist bogey-man he used to be. He was good now, and he should get aid. All Stalin wanted was to "defend the fatherland," that was it. However, this delusion was to be Roosevelt's undoing, for Stalin did not separate the military from the political. Stalin's defense policy was two sided: one defense, the other aggression - just another round in the battle between Communism and "Imperialism."
The agreement that the Grand Alliance signed did not allow for a
separate peace with any country, which was perfect for Stalin. When
Churchill made overtures to Stalin about the possibility of Finland being
pulled out of the war in 1943, Stalin just reminded him of their deal that
they must all agree to such a move. The wording of the alliance sealed
Finland's fate. A separate peace may have saved Karelia, but Stalin's plan was
to deal with Hitler, then attack the Finns with overwhelming strength of arms
acquired in the Lend Lease deal on D-Day. Stalin promised to attack from the East on D-Day to crush German resistance, but instead, attacked Finland. A Defensive Victory.
In any war where Britain and United States sides with Russia, the
countries Russia preys upon become enemies by default.
Churchill writes in his book The Hinge of Fate, page 751 that Premier Stalin turned down Roosevelt's offer to take Finland out of the war:
Well, so much for Roosevelt as a good judge of character, for one of the most savage and barbaric of all was his friend and confidante Joseph Stalin. Roosevelt was the worst president in history of the United States if we consider the results of his leftist policies during the war. His contribution to Stalin's success is incalculable, and he contributed to the loss of Karelia and Finland's position after the war. By so doing he revealed his ignorance of what Communism and Stalin stood for; despite all the evidence at his disposal, this man refused to believe communism or Stalin was any kind of threat to freedom and justice.
Apparently Roosevelt also ignored Finland's position with respect to preserving Soviet Union's security, and in particular, Leningrad. Mannerheim was against attacking Leningrad; nor did he allow Finnish troops to cut off food supplies bound for the besieged city. Finland was not interested in Hitler's plan of world domination, nor in any theories of a master race, or any such fascist nonsense. Her goals were, self preservation and the return of Karelia. It was useless to become Stalin's ally, he would just send his army in and that would be the end of Finland. She chose instead the "lesser" of the two evils, Adolf Hitler.
And the Lord commanded all people to love their neighbors: "You
shall not covet your neighbor's house. You shall not covet your neighbor's
wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs
to your neighbor." - Holy Bible
To which the Prime Minister replied:
Generally speaking, I should have thought that the Finns would be anxious to withdraw from the war as soon as they are convinced that Germany must be defeated. If so, it seems to me that it might not be altogether premature for you to ask the United States Government whether they know or could find out, without disclosing your interest, what terms the Finns would be prepared to accept. But you will be the best judge of the right tactics."
Roosevelt believed that Americans and Russians both stood for
"democratic" government, and that Finland stood for Fascism! It was only
towards the end of his life, when Russian intentions in Poland could no longer
be overlooked, that Roosevelt came to understand the interpretation that
Stalin put on democracy. He trusted Stalin so much, and believed he would not
betray him. But Roosevelt's naive, wishful thinking was dead wrong. There
would be so much suffering and injustice from trusting this man, who had
demonstrated time after time, what and who he really was. Accusations about
Stalin's murderous conduct poured in from such countries as Poland, but Stalin
denied them all (eg. Katyn massacre).
Churchill's position was that he could not begin to deal with them and Hitler too. Churchill was afraid to hurt Stalin's feelings; Stalin might be sad and he wouldn't want that. Stalin wanted Karelia; he would get it, and everything else. His attitude cost millions of lives and untold suffering.
When finally in 1944, the Soviet Union began its move West, an attempt
was made to annex Finland a second time, which had nothing to do with beating
Hitler who was already beaten. The Americans and British would have allowed
When the war was over, the allies agreed that all Soviet citizens should be sent back to the Soviet Union to labor camps to their deaths, at the point of a gun if necessary. Stalin did not want any news about his paradise to be spread around. Thousands were sent back between Finland and the Croatia. This was a great crime against humanity rivalling Stalin's genocide. Read this. In 1945 Roosevelt proudly boasted: "the flag of freedom flies over all of Europe."
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