Finland’s anti-Semitism and “r” problem: Washing one’s hands with Denial soap

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Finland’s reaction: See no evil, hear no evil.

Finland has had, for a long time, an “r” problem in the way of Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, and other social ills like hatred against the Romany minority. Part of it has to do with the historical acceptance and even closet glorification of our alliance with Nazi Germany.

The photograph below of Marshall Carl Mannerheim and Heinrich Himmler toasting to a glass of schnapps, at the height of Operation Reinhard to commit mass murder to wipe the Jews off the face of Europe.

You may ask people about this shameful picture and if it is ok to be on the wall of Mikkeli Klubi in Mikkeli. “It’s history,” the majority would respond and thereby washing their hands of such genocide.

On Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Turku Synagogue saw its walls vandalized with red paint, according to Yle News.

Is it a cultural thing or is that some of us have witnessed racism and the oppression from it directly? It seems that every time a Finnish politician speaks about “rising racism” he attempts to be diplomatic and kind.

President Sauli Niinistö was asked to comment on what happened in Turku. Writes Yle News: “[N]iinistö characterized the incident at Turku Synagogue as very disturbing. He said the vandalism was an indication of broader racism, saying that the growth of racism and anti-Semitism was worrying and that their developments were linked.”

Niinistö said that the growth of racism and anti-Semitism “was worrying” and what happened in Turku “very disturbing.”

The term “worrying” should, in my opinion, be replaced with alarming taking into account the present situation spearheaded by an Islamophobic party on the warpath against migrants and minorities.

A respectful question to President Niinistö: What have you done to challenge this “worrying” and “very disturbing” news?

Read the full story here.

President Niinistö, like any other politician in Finland, is part of the racism problem in Finland. It is, unfortunately, done through denial and watered-down reactions.

The good news is that President Niinistö appears to be waking up as he warned in his New Year’s speech about the dangers of hate speech.


Further reading about Niinistö’s gaffes about migrants and asylum seekers: 


Vandalism and attacks against others like Muslims is too common in Finland these day.