Talk:War-responsibility trials in Finland

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This article is written in poor english and should be looked at by a native speaker. Get-back-world-respect 15:50, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

It also doesn't say anything about the trials being unlawfull and such. It should at least considered to mention here if most of finn think these men were "sijaiskärsijöitä" (someone who takes the blame for you). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Pre-emptive strike.... hmmm[edit]

(I moved this discussion here from Talk:Operation Barbarossa. -- Petri Krohn 10:48, 17 July 2006 (UTC))

Actually, the Soviet Air Force began attacking Finnish warships at 6:05 A.M. on 22 June 1941, hours before the Red Army had got orders to resist the German assault along the entire demarcation line in Poland. Two hours later also the Hangö batteries opened fire without the Finnish troops having made any move. [1] The author of the passage, mr Nordling refers to Hjalmar Procopé, Fällande dom som friar (Stockholm: Fahlcrantz & Gumælius 1946), p.121 as his source. Is it really clear that Finland had already made decision to enter the war (before June 22), or was this decision rather a result of Soviet strike? --Constanz - Talk 11:53, 15 July 2006 (UTC)

Finns had definitely made the decision. Those responsible for the decision were later on trial at the war-responsibility trials in Finland. -- Petri Krohn 18:54, 15 July 2006 (UTC)
Reference please as well. BTW, this trial is now regarded a show trial.--Constanz - Talk 11:31, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
"show trial"? An interesting point of view. You are welcome to discuss it at Talk:War-responsibility trials in Finland. The Finnish critisism of the trials has traditionally been based on the fact that they were an example of ex post facto law, not on the basis of the evidence presented or a calmed partiality of the court. -- Petri Krohn 15:30, 16 July 2006 (UTC)
Not only on that, but also to the fact that Allied Control Commission presented a list of acceptable convictions to Paasikivi after the pre-decision of the court was presented which would have released Kivimäki and given only a small sentence to Tanner. Paasikivi contacted members of the court and pressured them to give wanted convictions. Only four members of the court resisted this pressure. And it was a show trial, even Paasikivi admitted it: Political necessity in a new political situation.
And due to way how the law regarding these trials were written, they excluded military leadership totally, especially Mannerheim and Heinrichs, who were more instrumental in negotiations with Germany than any in political leadership, so your assessment that those responsible were indicted is not correct.
For the decision, it could be said that military had made the decision but political structure was dragging their feets and setting conditions to Finnish participation. --Whiskey 22:51, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

Revanchist? After the Fall of Soviet Union?[edit]

The Finns considered the trials as a show trial not after the fall of Soviet Union but immediately after the convictions are given. For example the famous photo of the shop window in Helsinki, where the photos of the convicted were accompanied by the text "Sijaiskärsijämme" ("Those who suffer instead of us"). Also the preliminary decision of the court which were published was widely known, and Paasikivi's pressure against the court to change that after the Allied Control Commission contacted him. Paasikivi's opinions were referred soon afterwards both in his own texts and afterwards by biographists. The same effect made Social Democrats to choose convicted Väinö Tanner to their chairman decade later. Also the most thorough presentation of the issue (although certainly not neutral.;-)), Yrjö Soini's "Kuin Pietari hiilivalkealla", was published already 1956.

You are right that the political leadership was very quiet about the issue before the fall of the Soviet Union (See Finlandization), but it shouldn't be confused to the public opinion. --Whiskey 12:39, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

You are right about the 1950s. Finland saw an ideological revolution and cleanup only in the 1960s when the previous revanchist thinking was condemmed. The same revanchism has reemerged in the 1990s, (as evident in many Wikipeda articles writen by Finns, including Finlandization and previous versions of this article).
Public oppinion is however not encyclopidic. The kangaroo court interpretation has no academic support. If you want to keep this populist crap here, it must be presented in the proper context and and with the proper caveat. -- Petri Krohn 02:52, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
In fact the interpretation do have academic support. Dr. Penelope Kent has researched British Foreign Office documents, and found there that FO considered trials immediately show trials. At first they ordered British members of ACC not to touch an issue at all, as it would create inconvient questions at parliament, but later in the process when they wanted to retain Soviet friendship they decided to let ACC members to inform Finnish Foreign Ministry that sentences should be harsh enough. It was because they considered Finland lost cause to Soviets.
By the definition of the kangoroo court, and of the show trial, is that the indicted are already determined quilty, and only suitable conviction is to be determined. Number of Finnish historians (Well, no-one elsewhere have any interest in the issue...) like Hannu Rautkallio, Mikko Majander have reserarched the subject extensively, and based on the available documentation, including diaries of Paasikivi and Zhdanov, have come to the conclusion that the whole process was political, not judical. The court itself had only three judical appointee, but all the rest were politicians appointed by the parliament reflecting the relative sizes of different parliament groups. It wasn't a question about the quilty or not quilty, as it witnessed by British notice to Foreign Ministry or similar Russian notification to Paasikivi after the releasing preliminary verdict to Kivimäki was published. Paasikivi had to write a letter to the court (which was included to the court documentation) demanding harher sentences. Zhdanov wrote to his notes that: "If Tanner is removed, Social Democratic Party will shatter." Even if we do not make stand were the men quilty or innocent, the fact that government order forces the court to change verdict from innocent to guilty makes the whole process a show, not a proper trial. --Whiskey 10:08, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

"International trial"[edit]

May I ask why Petri Krohn thinks this is an international trial (adds false template that indicates this is a International Court)? Again, it was a Finnish trial at House of Estates by Finnsh retroactive law and with Finnish judges. By the way, torture and murder is against international human rights treties, yet if a murderer is trialed, he's not in an international trial. I just can't understand how these trials can be classified as same as the court Milosevic was in (Den Haag). "International" requires other nations involved you see. Also, read war of aggression, it says "refers to any war waged not out of self-defens". You say that NPOV is that Finland did no defend itself? What a load of bullshit, tell that to Continuation War veterans that they did not defend Finland. Even Iraq War is not war of aggression, it is to protect USA. No doubt Finland protected itself. That is why we use the citation marks on "war of aggression" as we here on Wikipedia present all views, including the Finnish one, not just Soviet.--Pudeo 09:06, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

Also, Petri, this is not a question about Ajopuuteoria or not, as there are legal ways to initiate a war as numerous countries had presented after the WWII. The question is did Ryti, Mannerheim believe that war was inevitable to prevent Finland's demise. Self-defence is still accepted reason to fight and even initiate a war (pre-emptive or preventive war). And that was a defence they were not allowed to take due to political reasons as it would have raised questions about Soviet actions in two pre-war years. About the reliable sources, the general impression that can be found is that "Finland started the war and acted in consort with Germany, but they still had quite a good reasons to do so..." --Whiskey 21:17, 3 August 2007 (UTC)

I said some things at User_talk:Petri_Krohn#The_Continuation_War_as_a_war_of_aggression. Haukur 22:34, 3 August 2007 (UTC)
An excellent short overview of the theories and their history is presented as reference on the fi article:
I will try to translate some of it when I have more time to work on Wikipedia. -- Petri Krohn 01:40, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
When you stop calling Estonians nazis, you may as well listen Risto Ryti's speech on 26th June, 1941. He gives quite many thoughts about the Interim War era. Attack does not equal to "war of aggression". War of aggression is a legal term, and unlike Winter War judged by League of Nations as an illegal war of aggression by the Soviets, there haven't been any such international decision here. That is, we have these war-responsibility trials, and I think they're fairly presented here.
You are still listing this under International courts, which is starting to get aggravating. The main point of the trials were that Finns would not be verdicted in an international court! --Pudeo 13:37, 5 August 2007 (UTC)
Please take your objections to the template to Template talk:International Criminal Law. This is not the place to discuss the template. -- Petri Krohn 00:45, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
It's not a good place it discuss the template but it's a good place to discuss whether the template should be included in the article. Haukur 00:49, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
No! If the article is included in the template, then naturally the template must be included in the article - and vice versa. -- Petri Krohn 02:07, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
Absolutely. So either place will do. Haukur 02:10, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
I have made it quite clear already that this was not an international trial. It's quite obvious really.. --Pudeo 11:09, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

According to a new book "Kansakunnan sijaiskärsijät" (Scapegoats of the Nation) by Lasse Lehtinen and Hannu Rautkallio, there was no real demand by the Soviets to prosecute Väinö Tanner or the others for "war guilt", but rather the trials were a result of a domestic political struggle between Kekkonen's Agrarian League and the communists on one side and Väinö Tanner's Social Democrats on the other. In other words, Kekkonen exploited the "Moscow Card" for his own political ends. Martintg 10:48, 6 August 2007 (UTC)

Correct, the Highest Court and professor Kaarlo Kaira confirmed in 1945 that the Moscow Armistice did not demand the Finnish political leadership to be verdicted. Retroactive laws are against the constitution of Finland also, it was merely a domestic game or an attempt to please the Soviets, show trial, and definately not an international trial as Petri Krohn tries to claim. --Pudeo 11:09, 6 August 2007 (UTC)
The court applied international criminal law. This may have been in conflict with the Constitution of Finland, but in this case Finnish law had to yeld in favor of international law. -- Petri Krohn 02:02, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
Rubbish. The court applied the Finnish law. Period. Even today there are numerous countries (including USA) where offences described in international criminal law are not unlawful locally, so international criminal law has to yeld to local law. Only recently it has become possible to prosecute those cases in International Criminal Court. --Whiskey 20:25, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
Why are we arguing with this feller? By his logic one would have to overturn the Nuremburg and Tokyo trials. They too were victor's justice and ex post enforcement. —Preceding unsigned comment added by JKojeve (talkcontribs) 04:07, 23 November 2007 (UTC)
P.S. It may be that the Soviet Union would not have invaded Finland, even if the trials were not conducted, but it was clear to all involved, that the trials were necessary for Finland to rejoin the International Community. -- Petri Krohn 02:07, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
Then how do you explain the statement of British Foreign Office just days after the law was given that there is no need to prosecute anyone? There was no pressure from Western democracies to conduct that trial. --Whiskey 20:25, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
Well. The Finns are whining because we can. To the second question: No. Only Tojo was convicted to death by the Allies. Third: The Finns don't do that, but we want to have proper judical process with the safeguards of the free and democratic society in place. Fourth: Nothing were forced, it was a choice they made, but in itself, it wasn't illegal. Fifth: Maybe Antonescu in a lesser extent, but his case would be much weaker still. Seventh: That could have been possible outcome, but extremely unlikely, as the Third Reich was on the brink of economic collapse already at 1938, and only continuing successful military operations kept it up. And like almost everybody thought that Soviet Union would last forever... Eight: When you start having show trials in a free, democratic society, you are in a very slippery slope towards totalitarism. Ninth: No. Tenth: Yes. Eleventh: It creates double-standards and promotes the right of the strongest instead of the right of the law. Twelve: Nope. Thirteenth: If they could do that according the law, yes. --Whiskey (talk) 10:20, 22 November 2007 (UTC)