The Finnish policy of the Western Powers
frustrated by the Moscow Treaty
The world in an atmosphere of the Anglo-French defeat
Berlin, 13th of March.
The news about the peace treaty between Russia and Finland have been globally looked upon as a total fiasco of the Anglo-French plans to expand the war into Scandinavia. While the Nordic newspapers aired a concrete relief and satisfaction about the Moscow Treaty, almost the whole press of the world speaks about a heavy moral defeat and a severe loss of prestige of the Western democracies as well as about a diplomatic victory for Germany. The talk of Chamberlain and Daladier about help on the last minute were commented as empty gestures. The Western Powers have lost, in the series of their setbacks, a new game - this is the general impression of foreign newspapers.
The Soviet Union:
"Bitter defeat to the instigators of war"
Moscow, 13th of March.
"Pravda" dedicates a leading article (in Russian) with full details to the peace treaty between the Soviet Union and Finland. In it the significance of this treaty is emphasized in two points: The treaty guaranteed 1. the security of the borders of the Soviet Union, and first of all, of Leningrad; 2. elimination of a hotbed of war in Northern Europe. This way it represented a b i t t e r d e f e a t t o t h e A n g l o - F r e n c h i n s t i g a t o r s o f w a r .
The newspaper lists, among other things, in details the objectives undertaken by the Soviet government and declares them as being accomplished. As the hostilities on the front ceased, the Russian people was filled with enormous satisfaction. The treaty between the Soviet Union and Finland created between both countries p e r m a n e n t f r i e n d l y r e l a t i o n s, for which the guarantee of their mutual security is a fundamental prerequisite.
The paper writes that the Soviet Union never aimed at plundering Finland of her independence. On the contrary, the Soviet Union already in 1917 voluntarily recognized the right of Finland to an own political existence.
"Long enough", goes "Pravda" on, "have the Anglo-French imperialist incited Finland - as before P o l a n d and other countries - to war against the Soviet Union, into a war in which they promised "guarantees" and their support, so spreading out an illusion that the fortifications built with an Anglo-French aid are inpregnable. The plans of the Anglo-French imperialists, to foment the war from there to Europe in whole, have been wrecked.
Neither the doubtful manoeuvres of the League in Geneva, or threats or pressure, have been of any help. The support, promised by some countries proved to be an i l l u s i o n. It has become clear in front of the whole world that the international war provocateurs only aimed at prolonging, with all their means, the state of war, combat and hostilities in Eastern Europa.
What any, not completely blinded, person could have said beforehand has now happened: The Soviet Union has, despite the stiff-necked efforts of the war arsonists, restored security on her borders with the use of her armed forces. The task set by the Russian foreign policy is now accomplished by the annexation of the Karelian Isthmus and the North coast of Lake Ladoga to the Soviet Union, and by contractual transferring of Hanko Peninsula, and the surrounding sea areas, for forming of a Soviet marine base, by which the entrance to the Gulf of Finland can be protected ... The instigators of war have now suffered a bitter defeat, because they h a v e l o s t o n e o f t h e i r b e s t b a s e s f o r o p e r a t i o n s."
A battle lost
Berlin, 13th of March.
Today since 12 o'clock the weapons on the Finnish-Russian combat area will fall silent. Late, quite late, the government in Helsinki was ready to abandon an excursion that from the very beginning opened up no vistas. It certainly is understandable, if a small courageous nation like the Finns defies a superior adversary, in the case when this adversary had taken up destroying its freedom. Actually, the demands by Moscow were of quite limited nature: even now, after the conquest of the Finnish main defence line, the Soviet Government has appeased to a relatively modest acquisition of territory carrying a purely military nature.
However, its is important to give an advice concerning their own interests to all smaller neutral states to look very accurately at the distinction between the original Russian demands and the stipulations of the Moscow treaty. Finland could have won the peace considerably cheaper! But now she has learned the same experience that Beneš State and the Polish State of Versailles had to undergo. It is often said that nations learn nothing from the experiences of other nations. This pessimistic saying seems to have realized in the case of Finland. Excited we wait, if other countries finally learn this bitter old lesson by heart.
One is certain, neither the black marketeers in Prague, or the petty boys in Warsaw, or the social democrats in Helsinki could have been able to mislead their peoples, if these peoples had not been submitted to such a shameful game from the side of the Western Powers. All the three were promised help from the mighty British and French Empires, all the three waited in blind faith armed support of the Western Powers, and all the three were in cold blood and cynically left in the lurch. The "help" for Poland was limited to fictious military reports of the French General Staff during the first weeks of war, the "help" to Finland to completely inadequate war material and, furthermore, even that of little value. But as before, following the line how these dishonourable governments of Paris and London, a f t e r the Polish field army was destroyed, had provoked the mindless resistance of Warsaw, the very similar way Chamberlain and Daladier tried to incite Finland into a suicide in the last days. Still yesterday, when the peace treaty was ready for signing in Moscow, Daladier declared that the French and British troops stay ready for embarkation waiting only a call from Helsinki. Soon after this the same infamous lie was told by Chamberlain. This is the end of comparison with Poland: following the example of the Hacha Government in Prague, also the Finnish Government later remembered its responsibility to the future of its people, and did the only reasonable thing.
In their convulsive attempts to maintain a theatre of war high in the North, those who have now suffered a bankruptcy in the West slipped a noteworthy admission. In this Daladier declared that England and France would have marched to Finland, no matter if it had suited Sweden and Norway or not. The French press played the same tune. Ferdinand Laurent wrote in "Jour" that the article 16 in the statutes of Geneva o r d e r e d Sweden and Norway to allow passage of the Allied troops. And the former war minister Fabry demanded in "Matin" the Allied intervention even in the case when a peace would have become effective between Russia and Finland. It is a totally incorrect assumption that the excursion in the North could have ended with a peace treaty. That is because France and England saw that they had as equal rights as Germany to the iron ore in Sweden and they had to keep an absolute control over the Scandinavian coastal waters. That is what is at the bottom of it! The Western Powers were not seeking the "rescue" of Finland, but the Swedish ore and the control of Scandinavian western coast.
Fabry's clumsy admission is at this very moment the first warning to Norway and Sweden to double their alertness. The military prospects in the West for the both patron saints of capitalism and democratic corruption are so bad that also in the future they leave nothing to be unturned to enlarge the theatre of war and to drag more peoples into the fire. When you had something to do with respectable statesmen in Paris or in London, you could have expected that after a nearly ten years long chain of diplomatic and political failures they would have quickly drawn their conclusions and had dissappeared from the picture. But governments with criminal elements like Churchill talking big and with nothing to loose want to continue their wicked games to the end. Finland was now, temporarily, the last link in the chain of the betrayed and deceived ones: others will follow, if it goes along the will of the potentates in the West. London and Paris have again lost one battle in which, this time, it was the sons of Finland to be beaten. No peace, however, will be attained as long as those both plutocratic centres in the West are not collapsed under the blows of the armed forces of Greater Germany.
Source: Front page news and the leading article of the "Völkischer Beobachter, Kampfblatt der national-sozialistischen Bewegung Großdeutschlands" (The combat newspaper of the national-socialist movement in Greater Germany), March 14, 1940. Translation: Pauli Kruhse.
Finland in Great Power politics | Winter War.