Finnish Nazis for an independent Kosovo

Finno-Serbian relations have never been busier. During the weekend, President Tarja Halonen met with Serbian President Boris Tadic. In their meeting, Presidents Halonen and Tadic expressed their wish that the UN Security Council can arrive at an unanimous decision on Kosovo. Left unsaid was that Halonen supports the Ahtisaari proposal and Tadic opposes it. We've also seen UN Special Envoy and former President of Finland Martti Ahtisaari (more on him later) put forth a proposal on Kosovo's future, EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn announce that Serbia's integration talks can continue, Serbia's entry win the Eurovision Song Contest in Helsinki, and Serbia's football team beat its Finnish counterpart in European Championship qualifiers. That's a flurry of activity, is what that is.

The issue of Kosovo came up even in the football match as the Serbian fans displayed a big banner reading "Kosovo Is Serbia". While the organizers removed another banner supporting war criminal Ratko Mladic, whom the Serbian fans also remembered in song, this one was left to stand. Finnish Football Association chief of security Juha Karjalainen provided a classic comment in today's papers: "We talked with the Serbian fans and they answered that the message is in the same class as 'Lapland is a part of Finland'. Someone though might see something political in it." Yep, I'd say that's a distinct possibility.

No post on Finno-Serbian relations would be complete without a word about the work of one Carl Savich, serious historian. Savich, who isn't a crank at all, has studied the historical record closely and come to the conclusion that Martti Ahtisaari has a Nazi past. According to Savich, "Ahtisaari's role in honoring and commemorating the Nazi Waffen SS has been suppressed. As a Chairman Emeritus of ICG he is regarded as part of the globalist elite. His government's honoring of Finnish Nazi SS troops is a controversial subject that did not register on the radar screen of the mainstream media."

Savich's ravings were inspired by the fact Ahtisaari was the President of Finland at a time when the Association for Cherishing the Memory of the Dead of the War, which received funding from the state, planned to erect a memorial to Finnish Waffen SS volunteers who died in Ukraine. Although Savich talks of "Ahtisaari's government", the head of government was of course Prime Minister Paavo Lipponen and Ahtisaari had nothing whatsoever to do with the association's funding. The financial support came from the Ministry of Education, headed at the time by Maija-Liisa Rask. Finally, the association decided against (fi) building the memorial because the project had attracted controversy.


Aapo said...

Maybe curiously, Monday's HS mentioned that the SPL's wardens in charge had actually asked advice from Olli Rehn himself, regarding that "Kosovo is Serbia" text. Rehn had then answered that such banners are quite common in football matches.

That Savich guy, with his Serbianna project, reminds me of another mythic American panslavist, Mike Averko - who doesn't have his own blog but writes at least to Tiraspol Times.

Both can be very funny.

Ari said...

That's strange. In Monday's Ilta-Sanomat, Rehn is quoted as saying, "It was a political statement. The question is not merely about geography, but also of political geography. [...] It is clear political slogans have no place in a football match."

Aapo said...

Yep, a similar quote was in yesterday's HS, in the foreign section - whereas the sport section had Julle Karjalainen explaining the SPL's banner policy and pointing to his discussion with Rehn, who had allegedly then had a different tone. Strange indeed.

A few years ago, when Finland played Andorra in Tampere, there was a banner declaring "SPL - the cancer of Finnish football". It was removed with the greatest haste.