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Scandinavian American. [volume] (Seattle, Wash.) 1945-1958, June 01, 1948, Image 11

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn87093436/1948-06-01/ed-1/seq-11/

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Finland Breathes Again
Finns are breathing deep sights of relief at having come
out of the recent negotiations in Moscow with a military
pact which does not fundamentally change their position in
power politics or give the Russians a loophole for interfer
ing with Finland’s internal freedom.
If the Russians take the treaty
at its face value and interpret it
in the same spirit of understand
ing with which they negotiate it,
there seems little reason why F‘in
land should not continue to enjoy
a period of comparative bliss on
the fringe of the Iron Qurtain.
That does not mean Finland’s
breathing space is likely to be long.
The first general election since
1945. when Soviet prestige was at
its height here, will be held on
July 1, and already the campaign
has begun. Consequently, the
present deep sigh of relief will very
soon give place to bated breath.
The disturbing factor is the
Communist Party. Banned from
press and platform until the Arm
istice of 1944, it reaped a consid
erable success in the subsequent
general election. It secured 39 out
of 200 seats in Parliament. It ob
tained the cooperation of 10 Social-
Democrats and today the extreme
leftist bloc, which calls itself the
Finnish People's Democratic
League (SKDL), masters 51 votes.
Six of its leaders were awarded‘
Cabinet rank and they obtained‘
control over the key Ministry ofi
the interior, which is responsible
for the police, prisons, intelligence‘
and censorship. Forty thousandl
Finns registered as Communists;
and altogether 200,000 Finns join
ed the Friends of the Soviet Un-i
ion Society. I
This advance was, however,’
largely due to circumstances
which are not operative today. In[
1945 the prestige of Soviet arms
was at its height. The folly of 25]
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’9 welcome the Archbishop of Sweden, Erling Eidem. and 0‘
f the official delegation of the Swedish Lutheran Church
) to the Centennial of the Augustana Synod, being cele-
Co bnted in Rock island, “L. the week of June 6 to 13.
, The spiritual and educational attributes of the Aug
& ustana Synod have been a source of abiding faith and 0‘
_- ' . courage to the thousands of men and women who came
_ here to build a new nation.
The Synod has had an important share in molding
the character of the Swedish people in America and in
shaping the lives ofthe pioneers and their descendants.
To the founders of the Augustana Synod and their ‘
": faithful workers during the past hundred years, the "
Swedish American Line pays respectful tribute.
The only formal celebration for the Swedish Pioneer '
Centennial in the Eastern States will be a dinner at the
Waldorf-Astoria. New York, Wednesday, June 30. Those
R desiring to attend should communicate with the Stu-dish . '- ,y
I Pioneer Centennial Committee of New York, 636 Fifth 04%
Avenue, Suite 319, New York 20.
616 Fifth Avenue. New York 20, N. Y. (Q.
i) The White Viking Flcct 8
P Offices or agencies in all leading cities.
By Ralph Hewins
years’ antagonism to the mighty
U.S.S.R. across the border had
been proved to the satisfaction of
the vast majority of Finns.
A Sovnet. Control Commission,
under the redoubtable leadership
of Maj. Gen. A. A. Zhdanov, boss
of Leningrad, Secretary of the
Russian Communist Party and
Secretary of the Cominform, was
overlording Helsinki.
Soviet officials in Finland had
proved unexpectedly moderate and
no Czech coup had occurred to put
Finns on their guard and to con
front them with realities.
The USSR. had acquired a
certain respectability in dubious
Finnish eyes owing to association
with’the Western powers. Fin
land was saddled with the equiv
alent of $1,000,000.000 reparations,
which crippled the country econ
omically and left Russia with a
ready-made pretext for interven
tion should the Finns be unable
to keep up with the schedule of
deliveries. There was no Marshall
Plan. Moreover, the rest of Sean
dinavia and western Europe was
not lining up in an anti-Commun
ist front.
Today the. Marshall Plan is in
operation and the initial ERP aid
Britain, France, and the Benelux
is flowing into northeast Europe.
countries are signed up in the Pact
of Brussels, and Norway and Den
mark are only prevented from
joining a “Western Union” by the
persistent neutrality of the Swedes
and the desire to maintain a sem
blance of northern solidarity.
Above all, the Russ-Finnish
Pact has awakened the Firms to
the realization that the Commun
ist menace is right upon them.
l Under the super-efficient leader
ship of the Finnish wood indus
tries magnate, Mountain Counsel
lor Lauri Kivinen, Finland is up to
schedule with its reparations deliv
eries, which will be paid off by
1952 it the Russians and their
Finnish Communist allies do not
sabotage the program by strikes.
Moreover, the Governor of the
Bank of Finland. Sakari Tuom
ioja, merely awaits the consent of
the Import and Export Bank be
fore Finland begins to enjoy the
support of about $100,000,000 new
credits. Already a 25,000,000-
pound Anglo-Finnish Trade Agree
ment is ,in operation for 1948.
The shops are filling up visibly
with hitherto unobtainable require—
ments, such as clothing, automo
biles. and toilet requisites. Food is
plentiful at high but possible
prices. In fact, but for the disturb
ing influence of the local Com—
munists, Finland can see its way
ahead toward a happy and un
trammeled future.
In these circumstances the Com
munists cannot hope to make
headway at the forthcoming elec
tion and must anticipate an ad
verse landslide at the polls. The
municipal elections Were a sure in
dication of disaster for the ex
treme Left last autumn. The re
cent Soviet demand for a military
pact on the Hungarian and Ro
manian model has merely made
doubly sure a Communist defeat
in any genuinely free election in
the immediate future.
Consequently, many Finns are
wondering whether the Commun
ists will tamely tolerate free elec
tions. Doubts have been encour~
aged by Communist activities dur
ing and after the Moscow nego
5 For 1 days Social-Democrat dep
iutles did not sleep at home but
Echanged their addresses nightly
a‘est they should be seized by the
ECOmmunists under cover of dark
iness. The Communists organized
a march on Helsinki from 20 dif
ferent directions. Communists
.hired omnibuses in which to con—
centrate on Helsinki. They also
lrew up lists of prominent Finns
who were to be proscribed. A rad
~cal “purge" of the police. press,
Army and Parliament was advo
‘nted openly on Communist plat
:forms. In fact, there were all the
ésigns of an imminent Communist
goutsch in the making. It has only
Ebeen stopped up to date by the
fresolution of the President and
Ethe tough wakefulness of the Fin
nish people...
Communist efforts to establish
’cells in the police force and to
capture the Finnish sports organ
izations have been exposed. Fin~
,nish troops daily march through
’the center of Helsinki with a band
3111 front and automatic weapons
at the hip in order to show the
’population -1-- and the Commun
ists in particular ~— that the au
lthorities will stand no nonsense.
Membership of the Friends of
the Soviet Union Society is drop—
’pingr so rapidly that the organi
zation no longer pays its way. de
spite a $10,000 annual subsidy
from Moscow.
Difficulty is found in recruiting
enough young Finns to fill the
’classes at the Communist Train
ing College at the Party‘s luxur
’ious confiscated country house in
What are the Communists going
to do about it'.’ Most Finns assert
ithat the Communists will dare do
nothing. but this opinion is not
shared by the lllfljfll’lly of quali
fled outsme observers.
In the [Want dilemma it looks
as if the frst Communist move
lli‘lrit lo» to break up the existing
letist vulx inn govwvnnent. even
thong. it means sacrificmg‘ the
key )u ! six". of the Interior under
Russin ‘irn n wl Yrjo Leino. The
Communist: tould thus free their
"Miss Gunvor Magnfiégon arrivedifiwiith the Swedish American Line
"Stockholm" for a visit with nlatives in Cohocs, N. Y.
Swedish Expedition to Study
World's Last Stone Age People
STOCKHOLM.—i By airmail)
A Swedish scientific expedition
will soon leave for the Dutth
part of New Guinea to study mam
malian and bird life in one of the
world's most inaccessible and least
explored territories. The expedi
tion, headed by Dr. Sten Bergman.
well known from his previous
visits to Kamchatka, the Kurlies.
‘and Korea. is the first foreign
group since before the war to be
‘hands and be able to disclaim re
isponsibility for high prices. infla
ition. and the acute fuel shortage.
' They would also be able to make
1extravagant “bread-and-circuses"
offers during the election cani
paign. without bearing responsibil
ity for having to carry them out,
i All political parties except the
extreme Left have already peti
tioned the President to investigate
alleged unconstitutional Commu
nist attacks against the courts of
justice. the press. the Army and
the police during the Moscow ne
gotiations, and active measures
against illegal Communist activity
are on the cards for the near
Consequently, the Communists
cannot help scenting ranged ahead.
Under these circumstances, ob
servers here cannot help antici
pating despertae Communist life
saving mcasures during the next
212 months. Some sort of Con)—
munist coup seems necessary. The
only factor holding the party back
would appear to be lack of num
bers and ability. The Communists
find themsflves in a position where
they have little to lose by uncon
stitutional activity and possibly a
lot to gain.
If the party could seize, control
of the state machinery for only a
few days. the Russians could be
invited in under the terms of the
Moscow Pact. and that would be
the 0nd of free Finland. Beneath
the current Finnish sighs of relmf
there is accordingly a persistent
gnawing anxiety which will not be
allayed before the high summer. ,,
(From tho Christian Science Moni
tor. May 22. 1948.»
Spring Bulhu - Shrubs - Bracing Plant. - Landst'apa- “er
106 Third St rm“
permitted to enter the Dutch sec
tion of this vast island.
While a study gf animal and
bird life, in which New Guinea.
a‘bounds. is the primary object.
penetration into the interior is ex-
Pected to result in close contact
with head-hunting Papuan tribes.
who have never seen a white man
and who are still living at a Stone
‘Age level of primitive culture. Mu
seums in Sweden and the Nether
lands will prot'it from the collec
tions made by the expedition,
"which has received generous sup
port frnm the Dutch civil and mili
tary authorities.
(From an edltul'ifll in The New
York Tunas)
“Americans of Swedish descent.
proud of their old-country herit
age and equally and justifiably
proud of their own and their an
cestors' achievements in the New
World. will celebrate during June
the centennial of the arrival in this
country of those first Swedish im
migrant: who helped pioneer our
Midwest and make it one of the
greatest agricultural regions in the
world. . . .
"Although the chief events of
the Swedish Pioneer Centennial
will be held in the area of the
greatest American-Swedish popu
lation. this city and other!
throughout the country will join in
the celebration. for the work of
those pioneers has had its impact
throughout our land. Their camp
fires have long since died out. but
fertile fields. cities. towns and in
dustries mark the places of their
early beginnings as enduring mon
uments to their courage and com
“From Sweden. a delegation of
notables headed by Prince Bertil
will be visitors to the I'nited
States for this national event. for
it is truly one in which both na
tions can joyfully take part.“
Phone 1‘!!!

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