November 17, 2012 5:36 am

We Swedes have good reason to thank the Finns

From Mr Per Tengblad.

Sir, With reference to Caroline Daniel’s “The Diary” about her trip to Finland (“Whirlwind Finnish, Life & Arts, November 10): not knowing Baron Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim can perhaps be excused, but the tone of the article cannot. It would have been appropriate to mention the fact that prior to “siding with Nazi Germany”, Finland was attacked by the Soviet Union, fought brilliantly during the “winter war”, achieved a peace under difficult conditions, lost some territory but maintained its freedom.

Then under the device, well known to most Brits, that “my enemy’s enemy is my friend”, the Finns fought the Soviets alongside the Germans to regain those lost territories.

However, to the credit of Mannerheim and the Finnish politicians, the Finns generally kept within the old borders and did not attempt to take Leningrad.

Being Swedish, this is not my fight, but my country has a lot to thank the valiant Finns for. It would have been a much colder “cold war” for us had the Finns not held their border and successfully avoided becoming part of the Warsaw Pact.

Per Tengblad, Lidingo, Sweden

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