Ambassador Emeritus Alpo Rusi
The Foreign Ministry 100 Years Lecture Series
June 13, 2018 at 17:00, Engel Auditorium
Rudolf Holsti (1881-1945) was a journalist, a political scientist and a liberal politician as well as a professional diplomat who served i.e. as Finland’s Representative in the League of Nations from 1928 to 1940. He was foreign minister twice in 1919-1922 and 1936-38 in six governments. He played a major role in the formulation and execution of Finland’s foreign policy during those critical times.
I am grateful to professor emeritus Kal (Kalevi) Holsti who provided me with some excerpts from the unpublished memoirs of his father, Dr. Rudolf Holsti. I am also grateful to professor emeritus Ole (Olavi) Holsti, for his support during my studies concerning his father’s political career. I would like to extend my special appreciation to foreign minister Timo Soini for his unreserved support for a name professorship at Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas and ambassadors Harri Mäki-Reinikka and Christer Michelsson as well as diplomatic advisor Jussi Tanner for their contributions.
Rudolf Holsti was born in Jyväskylä to a well-to-do and liberal family which was supportive to his higher education aspirations. To his classmates belonged among others Otto Ville Kuusinen, whose name became hated and famous for his role during the Winter War as prime Minister of Stalin’s puppet government in Terijoki. Holsti completed his masters at Helsinki University in 1907 and defended his doctoral theses written in English 1914 with the title ”The Relation of War to the Origin of the State” dealing with the theories of the nation building and with the role of the wars in these processes. While working with his theses in London, Holsti was also a correspondent of a Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat. He was influenced by the political system of Great Britain and by Balkan’s bloody wars. He did not understand why diplomacy failed so badly. In the spirit of pacifism of those years before the World War he considered any war a ”legal genocide”.
Holsti was elected to the Parliament of Finland in 1913 and served as a senator without portfolio in 1917 during the critical months before the declaration of independence on December 6th, 1917. He was an official negotiator of the government (called senate until 1919) for the food aid and the recognition of independence as a resident diplomat in London from December 1917 until his first appointment to foreign minister in April 1919. Holsti created a life-long contact with Herbert Hoover who was a ”Food Zar” of the United States in Europe at the end of World War I and who was elected to the President of his country 1929.
While serving his first term as foreign minister, Finland was just recovering from a bloody Civil War in 1918 and was suffering of bitter political divisions and economic miseries. Finland maintained an option for Monarchy until the collapse of Imperial Germany in November 1918. Holsti was a republican by conviction and an anglophile as a diplomat. While staying in London he had criticised his own government for its pro-German foreign policy line that was an obstacle to the recognition of independence as well delaying food aid in the entente countries. The security environment of Finland remained uncertain during many years to come due to the instabilities in the Soviet-Russia. Like Finland, the Baltic states and Poland had just emerged as independent states within the Baltic Sea region. Furthermore, Finland had a conflict with Sweden concerning the ownership of the Åland Islands until 1921 when the League of Nations decided the conflict for the favour of Finland but based on the maintenance of a demilitarised status of the islands.
Holsti’s political position as minister was strengthened due to the fact that the first President of the Republic, K. J. Ståhlberg, who was elected in July 1919, had to focus primarily on domestic issues thus allocating the decision making and planning of foreign policy to a large extent to be a responsibility of foreign minister Holsti. During the first weeks of his foreign minister term, there had been a bitter dispute between the Acting Head of State, General C.G. Mannerheim and Holsti concerning the possible military intervention of the Finns army to Soviet-Russia on the side of the Russian ”Whites” fighting against the revolutionary bolsheviks. Holsti was informed by the British General Sir Hubert Gough about an alleged secret military agreement between Mannerheim and White General Judenits. However, Holsti resisted any military involvement because Finland did not have enough resources and the intervention would have threatened security of an independent Finland. This policy line by Holsti may have been his most important decision as foreign minister during his first term, as has been stressed professor Kal Holsti in his study in 1963. In case Finland would have acted as Mannerheim proposed, either the bolshevik or the white government of Russia would have ended militarily Finland’s independence later on. The right-wing monarchists did not forget this and started political manoeuvres to sack Holsti. In the Spring 1921 a crisis emerged in connection of which Holsti almost lost his post in the government. He was criticised not only for being too soft on Soviet-Russia but for character reasons and for his communication style.
In foreign policy Holsti pursued an independent Finland to build its security mainly to be based on three pillars: (1) to have peaceful relations with her Eastern but revolutionary neighboring power, Soviet-Russia, (2) to establish political and military partnerships with the Baltic states and Poland, and (3) to strengthen the League of Nations. The problems with Sweden concerning the Åland Islands made it impossible to deepen the Nordic dimension of security policy in the early 1920s. The Peace Treaty with Soviet-Russia was signed in October 1920 in Tartu which stabilised the ”Eastern front” for almost for two decades although not without a constant distrust.
The relationship between Finland and the Soviet Union remained difficult and of distrustful for many years to come. In the Summer 1921 a spontaneous revolt of the Finnish speaking population emerged in Eastern Karelia in Soviet-Russia which caused a dangerous conflict. In December 1921 Soviet-Russia mobilised troops on the border and an invasion seemed to be imminent. Holsti drew the conclusion that no peace treaty with Soviet-Russia could safeguard stability; Finland needed additional military assistances from friendly countries.
As a consequence, Holsti’s main foreign policy goal was to create an alliance between the five newly independent states in the Baltic sea region in March 1922 in Warsaw. The preparatory conference had been organised in July 1921 in Helsinki which was not appreciated in the bolshevik government. Unfortunately the ”Warsaw treaty” concerning the establishment of the alliance was rejected in the Finnish parliament and the government had to resign in April 1922.
Ambitious foreign minister Holsti may have been too optimistic and had to pay a political price. The root cause of the collapse of the government was, however, the weakness of Prime Minister J.H. Vennola, as president Ståhlberg told Holsti later on. The social democrats objected the treaty either for being too anti-German or too anti-Lithuanian. Lithuania was not included in the treaty for problems with Poland concerning the status of Vilnius. The powerful right-wing conservatives, former monarchists, criticised the treaty because it did not contain
articles about a military alliance. At this stage, the military alliance was not possible because of the objections of the leftist parties.
A few weeks before the Warsaw meeting, a liberal minister of internal affairs Heikki Ritavuori was assasinated in Helsinki. Based on the memoirs of Holsti, and diaries of Santeri Alkio, a writer and agrarian member of the parliament, as well as a close friend of Holsti, foreign minister Holsti had been the original target of the assassination. Mr. Ernst Tandefelt, a nationalist from the Swedish segment of the society, shot minister and was condemned to life in prison. He made a last minute change not to kill Holsti after having learned that the target was his distant relative. The planners of the assassination are still unknown but a political background of the act seems to be obvious. Former commander of the Southern Newland District’s Protection Guard, General-major Paul von Gerich was sacked in the summer 1921 for his insulting remarks about Holsti and the government. No criminal investigation was ever completed and many questions remained unanswered. Holsti was elected again to the parliament in July 1922 but he was appointed to ambassador to Riga and Tallinn and later on to Finland’s Representative to the League of Nations in Geneva in 1928 where he stayed throughout the 1930s except the period he served as foreign minister for the second time.
After the resignation of Holsti, Finland’s foreign policy was described as a ”privileged isolation” until late 1920s. President Lars Kristian Relander, who was elected 1925, nominated a professional diplomat, Hjalmar Procope to be his ”expert foreign minister” in 1928. He navigated the country from privileged isolation closer to Scandinavia. His successor, also conservative Antti Hackzell under the presidency of P.E. Svinhufvud beginning in 1931, strengthened both neutrality as well as a Scandinavian orientation.
However, the rise to power of Adolf Hitler in 1933 changed the strategic environment of Finland. At the same time, right-wing populism was gaining ground in Finland in the early 1930's which was considered as a provocation in the Soviet leadership. In Finland the news about Communist terror in the Soviet Union strengthened anti-soviet sentiments. For example, the Soviet membership in the League of Nations was heavily criticised in Finland in 1934. The Navy Agreement between Germany and Great Britain in 1935 had frightened the Soviet Union. From the Moscow point of view Finland was approaching Germany and its policy of neutrality was not trusted in Kremlin. The Soviet leaders started pondering over the possibility of the outbreak of war in 1935.
Holsti was appointed for the second time to foreign minister of the Agrarian Kyösti Kallio’s fourth government on 7th of October in 1936. Kallio had appreciated Holsti already during his first term and wanted him to become his ”expert minister” of foreign affairs despite of objections of pro-German President P.E Svinhufvud. He criticised Holsti’s person also to German ambassador Wipert von Blücher. ”Holsti is exhausted”. Svinhufvud remained von Blücher’s close contact, ”an agent of influence”, as we could describe the relationship in the light of new studies concerning espionage, during the coming years. This contact was not illegal as such but in the light of the nature of Nazi Germany, naive and dangerous anyway.
Kallio asked his foreign minister to initiate new foreign policy activism. In particular Finland did not have a satisfactory relationship with Moscow. It was clear that there emerged a dispute on this matter between Kallio and Svinhufvud. It was well known that Holsti was not a friend of Hitler’s Germany. He was convinced of remaining foreign minister only until the coming presidential elections in March 1937.
Holsti was the first foreign minister of Finland who paid a visit to the Soviet Union in February 1937. The whole Kallio government and even the opposition supported the visit. Holsti made an honest effort to pacify Stalin’s regime and met foreign minister Maxim Litvinov and Prime Minister Vjateslav Molotov. Holsti had tried to convince Litvinov immediately after his nomination in a meeting in Geneva that Finland’s foreign policy was not pro-German but based on a pro-Scandinavian line instead. The Soviet hosts tried to frame Holsti in their dinner speeches, published for propaganda purposes, by calling him a friend of the Soviet Union who was not a puppet of Germany. The following day during the official negotiations the Soviets insisted, however, that Finland was about to sign a military treaty with Germany to counter the Soviet threat. Holsti of course rejected these provocative accusations. After the visit he drew the conclusion that the Finnish-Soviet relations are on the track again. However, the Germans launched a diplomatic and covert campaign against him and not without support of a strong pro-German Finnish network of the German Embassy. Ambassador von Blücher had collected a file about Holsti’s critical views on Hitler’s system and was ready to use it effectively.
After Kyösti Kallio was elected President in March 1937, Holsti continued as foreign minister in a so called red-agrarian A.K.Cajander government until his resignation on November 16,1938. Cajander disliked his liberal party fellow Holsti, and may have played a strong role in connection of the resignation of Holsti later on. In order to balance Finland’s neutral status, Holsti paid a visit to Berlin in October 1937 to meet foreign minister Konstantin von Neurath, a Nazi Party member and SS- Gruppenführer (”General-leutnant”), who wanted Finland to stay outside the group of countries which was hammering a wall of sanctions around Germany. A few days after the meeting, von Neurath participated in the conference between the Reich's top military-foreign policy leadership and Hitler. At the conference, Hitler stated that it was the time for war, or, more accurately, wars, as what Hitler envisioned were a series of localised wars in Central and Eastern Europe in the near future. Holsti did not promise anything and Neurath in his report labeled Holsti ”a weak politician”. In 1946 Neurath was found guilty by the Allied powers and was sentenced to fifteen years' imprisonment.
After Adolf Hitler launched his operation in Central Europe with the annexation of Austria in March 1938, Holsti received a Soviet lower ranking diplomat for a meeting on 14th of April 1938. He understood that the question was about a weak signal that needed to be received. He was right. The diplomat, Boris Jartsev (Rybkin) was the officer of the secret services, NKVD, in charge of coordinating the Nordic operations. After meeting in Helsinki he travelled to Stockholm and met Swedish foreign minister Richard Sandler. Jartsev wanted Finland to listen the Soviet concerns about the German military threats and proposed military cooperation and the replacement of the non-aggression pact between the countries dating back to 1932 with a new treaty of military cooperation.
Holsti did not interrupt the backchannel with Jartsev and informed only President Kallio and Prime Minister Cajander about the meetings also during the coming weeks. He dropped some kind of information about the talks - ”a warning signal”- to the British embassy in Helsinki because Jartsev had demanded Holsti not to tell anything about their talks to the Soviet ambassador in Helsinki Vladimir Derevjanski. Holsti wrote also a secret letter to Sandler to brief him about the details of the talks which was very much appreciated by Sandler because he was now much better prepared for a meeting with Jartsev. The Finnish military commanders were not informed about the Jartsev talks. Two weeks before the call of Jartsev, commander of the Finnish Armed Forces, General-leutnant Hugo Österman had visited Germany and met even Adolf Hitler. In Finland no proper coordination was on place concerning German policy which certainly was discovered in Moscow. The timing of the visit of Österman was bad because it took place in the aftermath of the annexation of Austria and was published in both countries. The Germans drew the conclusion that the Finnish military had at the highest level a more friendly approach to Germany than the foreign minister or President Kallio.
In July 1938 Finland and Sweden agreed to start bilateral talks about the remilitarisation of the Åland Islands and Jartsev used this opportunity to express the Soviet agreement with the condition that the red army could join the military build up of the Islands. Holsti’s tactics to emphasise the German threat as a motive to start military build up in the islands was appreciated by the director of the political department, Dr. Aaro Pakaslahti in his memoirs (1968). Holsti and Jartsev met one more time in late October and then it was obvious that the Soviet Union wanted a treaty on military cooperation. For Finland such a treaty would have ended her policy of neutrality. Furthermore, Prime Minister Cajander had at this stage already weakened Holsti’s political position in the government. As one of the examples of his effort, Cajander had permitted already in the summer finance minister Väinö Tanner to continue Jartsev talks without informing Holsti, who was travelling several weeks to represent his country in various official events in the United States. Nothing came out of Tanner’s efforts in three separate meetings with Jartsev in August.
A German historian Michael Jonas has revealed in his dissertation (2008) the discrediting campaign against Holsti which was led and coordinated by Wipert von Blücher, German ambassador in Helsinki from 1935 to 1944. There has been no major discussion among the historians in Finland about the root cause of Holsti’s resignation at a very critical moment of developments in Europe. It has been believed that the cause of resignation was Holsti’s ”diplomatic mistake” in connection of which perhaps alcohol played a role too. Based on the original sources, professor Jonas’ dissertation vindicates that Holsti lost his foreign minister post as a result of the cooperation of von Blücher with his Finnish network of contacts. He also draws the conclusion that Holsti made a diplomatic mistake in Geneva when expressing insulting comments about Herr Hitler during a diplomatic dinner in September 1938.
In his reports to Berlin, von Blücher criticised Holsti’s person, not only his policy to be anti-German. He became a powerful figure in Helsinki who created a very strong network inside the political elite from the right-wing parties to the social democrats, the military apparatus and the foreign ministry to promote German policy goals in Finland. In order to achieve his goal, he needed to discredit Holsti. In the Finnish foreign ministry the head of information, Kaarle Rantakari was one of von Blücher’s ”agents of influence”, as we could describe them based on the literature about espionage today. Rantakari also leaked state secrets to promote his importance in the eyes of the German embassy, as Jonas describes. General-major Ilmari Helenius was ambassador’s additional agent of influence who had a close relationship to both presidents, Svinhufvud and Kallio. Helenius leaked state secrets, and supported efforts to discredit Holsti. Helenius committed suicide in 1944.
The Finnish ambassador in Berlin Aarne Vuorimaa played finally a decisive role in the operation to get Holsti to be sacked. He reported on November 7, 1938 about the conversation he had had with the state secretary of the German foreign ministry Ernst von Weizsäcker, on November 1st. Weizsäcker was a Nazi Party member and SS-Oberführer (”General-Major”), who was appointed to that position a few months before in April by Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop. In the Finnish history writing this SS-aspect related to von Weizsäcker has not been discussed who was sentenced to 5 years in prison in 1949 for crimes against humanity.
Somebody, and most probably from Gestapo, had informed the state secretary that on September 26, during a dinner party in Geneva, Finland’s foreign minister Holsti should have expressed insulting comments about ”Reichskanzler” when the guests had been listening to Hitler’s speech at the Sports Palace. The comment had been so abusive that ostensively some diplomats moved to another room. Vuorimaa called Holsti who denied all accusations but stressed in his secret report to the President of the Republic Kallio and Prime Minister Cajander that Holsti is ”a notorious anti-German causing problems to the Finnish-German relations” and repeated von Weizäcker’s accusations without any critical comments.
Holsti met with President Kallio on November 7th and denied all allegations. However, he informed American ambassador Arthur C. Schoenfeld that as a result of the German pressure he had to resign before Christmas. but resigned already on November 12th. President Kallio accepted his resignation for ”health reasons” on November 16 which happened to take place during the pogroms in Germany. The Times newspaper published the following day an interview of Holsti who stated that he had lost the confidence of Germany and had to resign. The London newspaper mentioned that ”the diplomatic campaign of Germany caused the resignation of Holsti who was well known for his anglophile background”
Why did Kallio accept Holsti’s resignation who had been his most trusted man in foreign policy since 1919? First, Kallio believed the credibility of the report of ambassador Vuorimaa. Second, the whole Cajander government was ”fed up” with Holsti perhaps for opportunistic reasons, or perhaps for personal reasons. Dr. Kari Hokkanen believes in his biography about Kallio (1986) that Cajander wanted to strengthen his own foreign policy role but having been also increasingly afraid of the leaks concerning Jartsev consultations. Nobody in the government took up the possibility that Holsti was a victim of a political discrediting operation of Nazi Germany. Ambassador von Blücher described in his report after the resignation that ”our ”Aktion” of two years has been completed successfully”.
Professor Kal Holsti has handed over to the author of this lecture an original and unpublished description of Holsti about the dinner scandal.
"When returning to my office [in Geneva] a secret report from the Finnish Envoy at Berline, M. Vuorimaa, was handed to me; it was to the effect that the German Auswartiges Amt had presented official complaints that in Geneva I had allegedly made public remarks extremely hostile to Herr Hitler....My answer that I had never visited a cinema theatre at Geneva during the Assembly made Mr. Vuorimaa admit that he had not amen the remarks made in the Auswartiges Amt as anything serious....There was no more the slightest doubt that I was the victim of a carefully planned German campaign against me. My visit to Mosow...had enraged Herr von Blucher...to such an
extent that his abusive language outclassed anything I had ever heard in diplomatic practice....The only occasion in connection with which I remembered having publicly mentioned in Geneva the name of Herr Hitler was on September 26, after the official dinner of M. De Valera, the President of the Assembly. That very day Herr Hitler had made one of his most aggressive speeches and during the course of the dinner the Irish delegation...distributed some extracts, translated into English, from his speech. After the dinner several of the other guests, unfamiliar with the English language, surrounded me, demanding a translation of the same into French; among them was my old friend, M. Paul-Boncour....Herr Hitler had been extremely abusive, especially when speaking of Dr. Benes...and I, of course, was bound to translate these words too into French. Whoever may have been the informant of the Germans must thus have taken these words in question as my personal remarks against Herr Hitler, instead of realizing that they were Herr Hitler's own attacks upon President Benes. After my resignation from the Government, later in November, I intended to reveal to the world press that the Auswertiges Amt had thus in fact condemned the most brutal assaults of Herr Hitler upon Dr. Benes." (text from pp. 187, 188 of the memoirs)
One can draw the conclusion that Holsti was a victim of a carefully executed hybrid warfare of a foreign country, as we could describe this manipulation process of Nazi Germany today. Holsti states in his memoirs that his aim was to publish in the world media the truth but this option was never implemented. On the contrary, President Kallio hosted a dinner for him on December 15th in the presence of the whole government. The aim was to honor Holsti but to forget the background of his resignation. In this way a g perception was strengthened that Holsti had taken too much alcohol and made ”a diplomatic mistake”. In the short term Holsti was able to continue as ambassador in Geneva. In the long term the process which led to his resignation remained covered which rescued the reputation of Nazi Germany but not the reputation of Holsti.
The Finnish state leadership never understood that it had been a target of a hybrid warfare of Nazi Germany which destabilised Finland’s foreign policy. As a result, Holsti was de facto sacked, and Finland was drawn to the geopolitical sphere of influence of Nazi Germany at critical juncture of European strategic changes. In Moscow, Holsti’s resignation was considered as a victory for Nazi Germany, as Max Jakobson states in his masterwork Diplomacy of the Winter War (1954). Holsti’s successor Eljas Erkko, proposed by Cajander, was not a strong thinker but a generalist and a journalist who had served as a diplomat in junior positions in the 1920s. He was a right-wing liberal politician who owned Helsingin Sanomat, a major media house, and was anglophile like Holsti. Helsingin Sanomat had constantly criticised Holsti of being too ”soft” concerning the Soviet Union. Erkko was supposed to become ”a symbol of neutrality”. However, after the Münich agreement on September 30, 1938 between the leading Western countries and Germany, Erkko’s policy was widely considered as a policy of ”neutrality for Germany”.
Today we can say that the sacking of Holsti paved way to the Winter War, twhich has been described by late President J.K. Paasikivi, right or wrong, as ”Erkko’s war”. In the autumn 1939, during the negotiations in Moscow, Finland did not have but three options: to bargain, to concede or to reject the Soviet proposals, as Dr. Juhani Suomi has analysed in his studies about the background of the Winter War. By sticking to the last option, it would have emphasised a very brave policy line, but would not have been a smart line in tactical terms. By accepting to the most demanding proposals of Moscow would have led to the collapse of neutrality but it would have maintained an option to avoid the Winter War and huge human and territorial losses. Erkko did not have the capacity to create a realistic analysis about the strategic developments, and , as a consequence, he maintained a very stubborn and ”brave” line until the bitter end. On November 29, after receiving the information that Moscow had terminated the diplomatic relations ”Erkko lost totally his capacity to act”, as one of his closest interlocutors, Dr. Pakaslahti has stated. Erkko escaped to Stockholm and disappeared for three days at the most critical moment when the red army launched its military offensive.
Earlier in the autumn of 1939 ambassador Holsti had reported regularly from Geneva about the imminent threat of the Soviet Union. On October 26, he advised in his secret report the government that the negotiators, Paasikivi and Tanner, should be instructed wit the aim that war should be ”postponed” by making necessary concessions, until the following spring, to pacify the Russians. Some of his secret reports indicated that he had a ”British connection” for his reporting.
Rudolf Holsti served his country as Permanent Representative to the League of Nations in Geneva and ambassador in Switzerland until August 1940. His last service to his country was to present the Finnish position to the Leagues of Nations on December 14, 1939. After the Winter War, a strategic political change for German orientation took place in July 1940, and the government of Risto Ryti, decided to call Holsti back to Helsinki for ”other as well as administrative reasons”. The language covered the real reason that was political by nature. Finland wanted to ensure Berlin that it was ready to deepen cooperation with Hitler’s Germany to counter the Soviet threat.
The Ryti government had not too many alternatives after the Winter War but to make a choice between two devils. The Soviet union started harassing Finland in the Summer 1940 which caused almost a panic atmosphere in Helsinki. Foreign minister Rolf Witting explained to von Blücher in July that it has been discussed in the political circles the need to establish a hundred percentage German oriented government. However, The Finnish foreign minister took a calculated risk because Hitler had not yet made his decision concerning the operation Barbarossa and kept his option concerning Finland open until the end of 1940.
However, Germany was about to loose the World War II which almost destroyed Finland as an independent state. Rudolf Holsti with his family moved to the United States in October 1940 ”because they had to”, as his son Kal Holsti stated in his study. Rudolf Holsti understood that his home country did not want to use his experience anymore although one can draw the conclusion that he had no political future in a country that had chosen a different path as he himself had tried to avoid as foreign minister.
As a foreign policy thinker Holsti was an ”idealist rationalist” who understood the geopolitical realities but also the opportunities which multilateralism and military cooperation meant for smaller countries. His foreign policy architecture could be described with four pillars:
1. The security policy dilemma with the Soviet Union had to be managed with the treaties and by peaceful means. This was one of the reasons he resisted any military intervention to Eastern Karelia or Petersburg in 1919 and wanted to discuss with Jartsev in 1938.
2. In order to have a reliable defence capacity, a foreign support was needed first with the Baltic states and Poland in the early 1920s, later on mainly with Sweden and former entente countries in the 1930s.
3. He emphasised in the 1920s and long time in the 1930s that the League of Nations should become a collective security system which would gradually reduce the risk of war.He had no illusion, but a vision that never became a reality.
4. In the 1930s as Germany became a major power in the Baltic sea region, the aim of Finnish foreign policy was to maintain good relations both with Germany as well as with the Soviet Union and to avoid ”neutrality for Germany”.During the Jartsev talks he must have been willing to consider a tactics of ”neutrality in favour of the Soviet Union” to avoid military conflict in case no foreign assistance, entente intervention, was available.
Rudolf Holsti’s security policy principles and his rational thinking are durable in the light of critical history writing. His sacking as a result of Nazi Germany’s ”hybrid warfare” is a standing shame in the history of Finland’s foreign policy and may have played a decisive role for the diplomatic failures in the autumn 1939 to avoid the Winter War.
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