Bilateral relations between Finland and Germany began after the German Empire recognised the newly independent Finnish state on January 4, 1918. In the ensuing Finnish Civil War, Germany played a prominent role siding with the White Army and training Finnish Jägers. In one of the decisive battles of the war, German troops took Helsinki in April 1918.
During World War II, the secret protocol in Molotov-Ribbentrop pact enabled the Winter War (1939–40), a Soviet attack on Finland. Finland and Nazi Germany were "co-belligerents" against Soviet Union during Continuation War (1941–44), but a separate peace with Soviet Union led to the Finnish-German Lapland War (1944–45).
Finland recognised both the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic (West and East Germany) in 1972 and it established diplomatic relations with East Germany in July 1972 and with West Germany in January 1973.
Germany currently has an embassy in Helsinki. Finland has an embassy in Berlin, a consulate general in Hamburg, two honorary consulates general in Düsseldorf and Munich and other honorary consulates in Bremen, Dresden, Frankfurt am Main, Hanover, Kiel, Lübeck, Rostock, Stuttgart, and Wilhelmshaven. Both countries are part of the European Union and are signatories of the Schengen Agreement.
- John Horne, ed. (2011). A Companion to World War I. John Wiley & Sons. p. 561. ISBN 9781118275801.
- "Apr 13, 1918: Germans capture Helsinki, Finland". History.com. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
- Leatherman, Janie (2003). From Cold War to Democratic Peace: Third Parties, Peaceful Change, and the OSCE. Syracuse University Press. pp. 97–102. ISBN 9780815630326.
- German Embassy in Helsinki (in German and Finnish)
- "Finnish missions abroad by country > Germany". Ministry for Foreign Affairs (Finland). Retrieved 30 November 2012.