Swastika eyes

Thanos Kalamidas had a rather odd article in Ovi Magazine. While riding the Helsinki metro, Mr Kalamidas has spotted a handful of young people wearing swastikas. This, he argues, has something or other to do with the Continuation War. I'll let him explain:

I have often heard the excuse that in front of the USSR that was going to take over Finland the only chance left was to ally with the Nazis during WWII and I have heard it often and I always find it very poor. Finland is not the only country neighbouring with the horror. The rest of us learned since we were very young how much horror there is behind this symbol and there are countries, including Germany, that considers the symbol illegal.

Often in Finland I have the feeling that people are proud for this past and it really makes you wonder. How much history have they learned? Hitler was worse than Stalin and the Nazis much worse than any kind of Red Army or Bolsheviks. Do young people in Finland know that?

[...] I’m not going to blame these young people for what they did, I’m going to blame the state that never bothered to teach them the truth but let them believe that the Nazis were allies to help them defend their country from the bad Bolsheviks who were coming to... eat them!

Elsewhere Kalamidas warns darkly of a future increase in intolerance. Maybe someone with access to reams of poll data and a lot of free time could prove that former Axis countries and assorted hangers-on are less tolerant than former Allied countries. All I can say is that a recent Eurobarometer survey (PDF) found Finns to have the most positive views about immigration in the European Union. The people of Greece had, alas, second most negative views after the Maltese. The question needs to be asked: has the Greek state failed to make it clear to its citizens that the Nazis were bad?

The obvious point to make here is that neo-Nazism isn't a phenomenon that is constrained by World War II front lines. Thus, attributing right-wing extremism to national views of World War II is arguably a tad misguided.

As for being eaten by bad Bolsheviks, that naturally wasn't Uncle Joe's merry minions' goal; rather, they would have been content with purges and deportations and what have you. Sadly, letting the Soviet army in - followed by Nazi rule, followed by more Communist command - put a considerable dent into the populations of several other countries unfortunate enough to be located between Germany and Soviet Union. These examples suggest that, had the Bolshies not been turned away, a sizable percentage of Finnish youth of today would not have been born. Admittedly not being born hurts less than falling victim to cannibalism.


egan said...

It certainly seems like a bizarre premise.

I think neo-nazi girls are a very frightening phenomenon. I was always under the impression that neo nazis grew out of it when they started talking to girls, but if they can do that while still nazis there may be a problem...

Jan Sand said...

It is a common phenomena of adolescence that the kids in their teens are more or less genetically programmed to reject the social acceptability taught by their parents. They usually grow out of it when they realize they must integrate into society to obtain a viable life.

puolimieli said...

Hitler may or may not have been worse than Stalin, but it's clear that for Finland, and the Finns, Stalin was worse.