Some reasons behind Finland’s strong anti-immigrant stance

by , under All categories, Enrique

Having lived in Finland on and off for 30 years, I have come to some explanations why some Finns feel so strongly about immigration.

I could give you the usual explanations: Finland has had few immigrants, the climate, difficult language, the culture, lack of jobs etc…

These are the most common explanations that make us go around in circles and stop those most critical Finns on immigration to see the other side of the issue.

One of the reasons, which is rarely looked at more deeply, is Finland’s suspicion of Russians. While there are a lot of reasons that justify such a stance, it keeps our view on things very limited. It confines us in a small town were some of us only have the ability to see 50km or 100km from where we live.

Some of us still do not believe the Continuation War (1941-44) ended close to 64 years ago and our “special relationship” with the former Soviet Union finished in the early 1990s.

Let me get to the point:

1) The reason why the number of foreigners dwindled after the Second World War was because of our relationship with the USSR. We did not have a refugee policy because asylum-seekers from the Soviet Union were supposed to be returned to Russian authorities with no respect for their human rights.

2) Finland was in constant threat, and extremely concerned, by the influence and threat the Soviet Union posed. Finland could not become a haven – like Germany – for anti-Soviet propaganda. Accepting refugees from the USSR would have put Finland’s independence in jeopardy.

3) If we look at our stance towards outsiders, I believe it stems a lot from our difficult relationship with the Soviet Union. Some despise Russians so much that we do not even want to buy ceded territories like Karelia because that would imply taking in a large Russian-speaking minority.

4) A good example of this fear and suspicion is that we have scores of contingency plans for thousands, maybe tens of thousands of Russians overrunning Finland. There are many examples of poorer countries living next to richer ones where such fears are not an issue.See Mexico versus the United States, Bolivia versus Argentina, Indonesia versus Australia…

5) Could it be that we are still building a national identity after 1917 that has as its mentors the threats of the last century? Are the police and civil servants responsible for handling immigrant affairs still living in the in the cold war era? Where they junior civil servants back then and now are in senior positions?

Conclusion: We need a totally new way of seeing Finnish culture, where one of its main pillars will be a more open society to outsiders. It will be a culture that does not see the world through myopic eyes but through very open ones. A society were racism has very little space to breed and grow. A country where everyone can grow and live in dignity.

  1. Peekoo

    I really cannot see how Russia and Russophoby could possibly explain away the bulk of the general misoxeny.

    I worked a short spell in the early 90s in the Aliens Office – as it was called – of Helsinki Police. I cannot say that racism was thin-veiled, as it was not veiled at all. Older policemen would have welcomed any day ten (fair-haired) Russians instead of one African or Asian immigrant.

    I wonder, whether the misoxeny in Finland derives from the ethnic incertainty entailed in being Finnish. Finns are not self-evidently first-water Caucasians. On the contrary, Finns were often considered more or less Mongols until 1920s or 30s, and great efforts were made by Finns to prove otherwise. Of course, all this seems pretty pointless today, but in those days it was a real concern. I could imagine that such insecurity has its consequences.

  2. paddy

    This BBC report gives you an idea about how immigration is not controlled properly (and by a country like) Britain who is no new comer to immigration clearly like France have a big problem we should all study.
    Rapid immigration has damaged community relations in parts of England, a report by the Commons communities and local government committee says.
    In three areas with high immigration – Peterborough, Burnley, and Barking and Dagenham – community cohesion is among the lowest in the country, the MPs say.
    The report said there was “significant public anxiety” over issues such as pressure on public services.
    Ministers said action was being taken to minimise the impact of immigration.
    ‘Flawed data’
    In their report, Community Cohesion and Migration, the MPs say many migrants make “significant contributions” to local communities – working in the NHS or other public services.
    But it said there was “significant public anxiety” in some areas about immigration, which it warned “cannot simply be dismissed as expressions of racist or xenophobic sentiments”.
    Some concerns arose from “practical concerns” – such as overcrowded accommodation and pressure on public services – such as sharp rises in the numbers of primary school children who do not speak English well.

    In the three areas visited, community cohesion – measured by how many people believe those from different backgrounds get along – is among the lowest in England, the report said.
    It said public services were under pressure because government funding was being based on “flawed population data”.
    The committee criticised plans for a levy on migrants’ normal visa fees to help fund public services like policing which it said were likely to generate “very little” money.
    Press reports suggest it could be only £15m, something the committee says would be “a drop in the ocean”.
    ‘Additional pressures’
    Immigration Minister Liam Byrne said: “We do think it is right that newcomers are asked to pay a little bit more for public services.
    “Actually we propose that the fund should raise tens of millions of pounds every year.
    “This vital cash will allow us to channel money quickly to public services wherever there is a short term pressure from migration.”

    But the committee said it might be unfair, as not all immigrants would pay into the fund. EU citizens and anyone moving within the UK would not have to pay.
    Instead the government should “immediately establish a contingency fund capable of responding effectively to the additional pressures which may be put on local government services from migration”.
    ‘Negative conclusion’
    The Local Government Association has repeatedly called for a £250m contingency fund to be made available for under-pressure councils.
    But Dr Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah, of the Institute of Public Policy Research, said he was disappointed by the committee’s “negative conclusion”.
    “We’re risking turning everything that migrants do into a problem and forgetting that they are dynamically contributing to the local economy and to the country because they are working and paying taxes,” he said.
    He said only better population figures and a funding system that could respond quickly would “solve the challenges”.
    For the Conservatives, shadow minister Baroness Warsi said the report was an “indictment” of the problems caused by the government’s “failure to control the numbers of migrants coming into this country” and by their “inability to know where migrants are living and to fund local authorities accordingly”.
    The Conservatives say it shows annual limits on economic migration are needed to ensure communities and public services can cope.
    A spokesperson for the Department for Communities and Local Government said the government was already taking action to manage migration to “maximise the benefits and minimise the impacts”.
    These included a £50m “cohesion fund” to support councils and extra funding to help manage the “transitional impacts” of migration – such as £10m as for schools experiencing increases in pupil numbers.

  3. Enrique

    Hi Peekoo, many thanks for your interesting thoughts on the matter. Why do you think that in the past the Finns thought of themselves as a “lost tribe” from the Volga River region in Russia? Was the thought imposed by Sweden and/or Russia? Or was it brought from Germany, where people had very strange racial ideas in the 1920s and 1930s?
    One of the matters that is the basis of Finland’s strength and its ability to overcome big challenges last century has been its unity, or consensus. While there is a big difference in my opinion between patriotism and nationalism, I believe that there is too much of the latter versus the former. Contrary to patriotism, which is a sort of coexistence and solidarity towards the community/country you live in, nationalism is founded on the principle of “we are better than you.”
    Finnish culture has many good things that could rub off on others. One of these is the spirit of community and a sense of justice. While some may accuse me of naivety, the sad matter is that this sense of unity/community does not extend to the foreign community. Unemployment figures speak for themselves, which are at about 20% for foreigners living in Finland.

  4. Enrique

    Hi Paddy, always great to hear from you. You make a very valid point. Despite measures and public outrage against illegal immigrants, the question is why does that type of immigration exist within Europe, the United States etc. As you know, it exists because the real culprits are the criminal gangs that help people at high prices to make it to Europe and then they are employed by companies, who profit handsomely from them. The illegal immigrant is not the culprit — it is the companies that hire them and exploit them. That is the reason why the European Union will not deal effectively with this problem because it would end up hurting it economically. It is the same story in the United States.

  5. JL

    Enrique, the conception of Finns as “Mongols” was a mainstream scientific idea until the second half of the 20th century. Here’s the 1911 edition of Encyclopedia Britannica on Finns:

    Physically the Finns (here to be distinguished from the Swedish-speaking population, who retain their Scandinavian qualities) are a strong, hardy race, of low stature, with almost round head, low forehead, flat features, prominent cheek bones, eyes mostly grey and oblique (inclining inwards), short and flat nose, protruding mouth, thick lips, neck very full and strong, so that the occiput seems flat and almost in a straight line with the nape; beard weak and sparse, hair no doubt originally black, but, owing to mixture with other races, now brown, red and even fair; complexion also somewhat brown. The Finns are morally upright, hospitable, faithful and submissive, with a keen sense of personal freedom and independence, but also somewhat stolid, revengeful and indolent. Many of these physical and moral characteristics they have in common with the so-called ” Mongolian ” race, to which they are no doubt ethnically, if not also linguistically, related.

    Mind you that I don’t think all of that description is false, though some parts of it are hilariously nonsensical. For Finns back then this “rejection” of them by the rest of the West was of course problematic, and Finnish scientists (excluding of course the Swedish-speaking ones who had their own agenda) strove to prove the international consensus wrong. The theory that the Baltic-Finnic protolanguage originates from somewhere in the Volga region is still widely accepted among linguists.

    In any case, I don’t see how this “Mongolian connection” has anything to do with what people in Finland think about immigration today.

    I also don’t see the point in comparing the Finnish stance on Russian immigration to the American stance on Mexican immigration, because Americans know that militarily and politically they have nothing to fear from Mexicans, which is not true of Finns versus Russians. (And of course there’s a lot anti-Mexican sentiment in the US, too.)

    As to your contention that the Cold War-era Finnish reluctance to grant asylum to Soviet refugees somehow has repurcussions today, it’s ironic that (one of) the first larger group of refugees to Finland came from Russia. They were Somalis, who I think were mostly loyalists of Siad Barre, who had had to flee to the Soviet Union after Barre’s communist dictatorship was overthrown in 1991. I think the undeniable social dysfunction of the Somali community has contributed mightily to increased racism in Finland. Racism, after all, always increases when more and more people of different races live side-by-side.

    I may comment on some of your other points later.

  6. Enrique

    Hi JL, thank you for your insights, which I read with great interest. The paragraph you quoted from a 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica is a good example of the misguided and unscientific approach to ethnography. There are many examples of this like Lucien Lévy- Bruhl’s “Primitive Mentality.” As you know, this type of misguided ethnography that did not base its results on rigorous empirical information was probably one factor that fueled racial problems instead of undermining them. It led to the rise of Alfred Rosenberg and his deranged racial theories used by the Nazis to justify their outlandish agenda. Rosenberg’a “Myth of the 20st Century” is not only an example of the Nazi regimes racial mindset, it is the antithesis of multiculturalism. In short, Rosenberg argued that you had to kick out the Jews and other non-Aryan groups from Germany for the Germans to realize their greatness.
    Accepting a few Somalis (remember the shock in the Finnish media) from Russia is not going to brush away decades of post-war draconian immigration policy. Granting foreigners residence permits was done pretty much on a case-by-case basis because there was no comprehensive immigration policy in Finland from 1944 to the mid-1990s, when Finland joined the EU. I believe it was Keijo Korhonen in the late-1980s who started to scare Finns about a hordes of Russians invading Finland. Even if Spain is constantly in threat of having African boat people coming to its shores, nobody here is worried or debating that Spain will be run over by hungry Africans. I believe there difference here is the stance that both countries have to their neighbors.
    As more people from different nationalities meet there are problems. In some places like in the time of slavery in the US, this problem lasted for centuries until matters started to change. There is racism but we can take steps to nip it in the bud.

  7. JL

    Enrique, in both Spain and the US there’s a lot of anti-immigration sentiment. In fact anti-immigration sentiment is common just about everywhere in the world. I don’t understand why you try to make it as if the Finnish attitude was something unusual.
    If you told the average Spaniard about the Finnish immigration policy, he’d probably think Finland is following a wise course of action.

    My point about the Somalis was that their arrival has probably discouraged Finns even further from receiving refugees and immigrants from certain places, particularly from Africa and the Muslim world.

    Your argument that the 20% unemployment rate for foreigners in Finland is explained by racism (or something) is untenable. Some of it may be related to racism, but the most important difference between natives and immigrants is different skill sets. Some immigrant groups have similar or even lower unemployment rate as the natives, whereas others have very high rates. This is mostly related to education, and language skills.

    Incidentally, I don’t think Rosenberg had much of an effect on the Holocaust and other Nazi policies. As I understand, Hitler and the other Nazi head honchos thought Rosenberg was something of a clown. His book was very little read.

  8. Enrique

    Hi JL, I’d like to make clear to you and everyone who visits this blog that I am not singling out Finland. If you look at some of the posts in this blog there is criticism of Spain’s leading opposition Popular Party, which attempted during the campaign leading to the March 9 general election to force immigrants to sign a contract that they will respect Spanish culture and laws. I mention Finland in the blog because I believe it is a topic that has to be debated.
    The 20% unemployment rate among foreigners in Finland exposes, I believe, that there is something wrong with how foreigners can participate in Finnish society. If one is unemployed, there is very little chance he can take part in society. There are some plans in the labor ministry that aim to cut in half unemployment among foreigners. Even, as you claim, that unemployment is high among foreigners because they lack skills, is not a valid argument. It is one out of many reasons that shed light on this situation.
    I disagree with your statement about Alfred Rosenberg. His ideas were a central factor in the Holocaust. It gave the Nazi regime a reason to pursue its deranged racial policies. The Myth of the 20st Century was required reading for the SS and a best seller in Hilter’s Germany. Here’s more information:

    “The Protocols reached Germany sometime around 1918. One of those who brought them to Germany was Alfred Rosenberg, an Estonian of German heritage who first encountered the Protocols when a student in Moscow. According to Rosenberg a stranger entered his room, placed the book on the table and silently departed. Whether his tale was true or not, Rosenberg soon became an anti-Semite convinced of the authenticity of the Protocols. When he fled Raval (now Talinn) in the civil war that followed the Russian Revolution, he took the Protocols with him.

    In Germany Rosenberg soon became involved with a mystical group that was a precursor to National Socialism known as the Thule Society where he frequently lectured about the Protocols. Rosenberg was there to explain the mysteries of the Protocols when Adolf Hitler appeared on the stage of right-wing politics in 1921. Rosenberg was at Hitler’s side during the attempted putsch in Munich in 1923. By then the Protocols had become one of the central themes of Nazi thought. The Protocols were the basis for much of Mein Kampf, and Rosenberg’s book The Myth of the 20th Century became the most important exposition of Nazi philosophy.”


    While I agree with you that Rosenberg was a clown, he was a very lethal one that led to mass murder of Jews and other groups in occupied territories and in Germany.

    You are right about that the entry of Somalis from Russia fueled attitudes against immigrants, especially those that came from Africa. But it is surprising that a few hundred could raise such concern in Finland!

    If there is anti-immigration sentiment, what do you think should be done to undermine it? Or is such an attitude necessary to “defend” the cultural integrity of a country?

  9. JL

    Anti-immigration sentiment is something of a misnomer. Very few people anywhere oppose all immigration. Generally people have no problem with educated immigrants who come in because their labor is needed. The problem is with larger groups of people who do not integrate into the society, becoming a burden on the tax-payers, committing lots of crimes, etc. The formation of ethnic enclaves that follow their own rules and isolate themselves from the rest of the nation is celebrated by multiculturalism, but I think it’s a tragedy. Ideally, immigrants should marry natives, but this doesn’t happen if immigrants arrive in large groups that form endogamous communities.

    There are about 10.000 Somalis in Finland, not “a few hundred”.

    As to Rosenberg, I’ve read that people like Hitler, Goebbels, and Goering did not take him seriously, and even if his book was sold in great numbers, few people ever read it–it was like Stalin’s collected works. Nazism never had a coherent philosophical foundation; the Nazi leaders had more of a make-it-up-as-you-go-along approach to politics. Rosenberg was not a central figure in Nazism.

  10. Enrique

    Hi JL, my point about the “few hundred” Somalis was when the first groups arrived. This attracted widespread attention and was, as you recall, front page news in Ilta-Sanomat and Iltalehti, spreading fear that Finland was being “invaded.”
    Are qualified electricians, plumbers, welders and other blue-collar professions “educated immigrants?” I am against forming ghettos there is nothing good that can come out of it. However, I believe that the host society has a lot to do with such a situation. In France this is quite common as it is in the US as well. However, Finnish social policy has been to integrate people irrespective of their economic background. This is a good matter. Certainly integration is an important (learning language, culture etc) but your order is a very tall one. You are asking new immigrants to give up their identity just like it were a switch you can turn off and on. The best integration policy — in my opinion — is a society that inspires others to integrate. An example of this is the United States. Many children with cultural conflicts with their immigrant parents, WANT to become Americans. They do not want to associate with a culture that caused their parents to suffer economically, socially and possibly politically. The problem with this form of integration is that some of these people will not be accepted as equals by the natives because they are different.
    Let me throw the ball back to you: Should have all the Finns that emigrated abroad been forced to marry “natives” and integrate and lose their identity?
    I agree with you that reading Rosenberg’s works is unreadable but not that his ideas were not a part of Nazi racial policy. The Nuremberg Trials thought so. The “coherent philosophical foundation” of the Nazis was fear of the Jews and other groups. They were so obsessed by this that they built concentration camps and exterminated millions of people. Rosenberg was, as you know, Reich commissioner of the Eastern Occupied Territories from 1941. He was a central figure in the Nazi organization.
    One of the things that Heinrich Himmler told Rudolf Hoess, the commandant at Auschwitz, was that he should exterminate Jews before they did the same thing to the Germans. Xenophobia and racial fairy tales led to this type of mass murder.

  11. Enrique

    Hi JL, I forgot to comment on your claim that multiculturalism is directly at fault for creating ghettos. I believe that ghettos are created by ignorance and exclusion (racism). I’ve been fortunate because I’ve been able to live in a number of countries and have traveled extensively. One of these countries that I’ve learned to know is Finland, which I am grateful. Having homes in different countries has been a way of life for me. What kind of a city would London be if you took out all the foreigners? It would be a pretty bland place. London derives its strength and beauty from the fact that it is multicultural, or cosmopolitan. There are many other examples in Europe.

  12. JL

    Let me throw the ball back to you: Should have all the Finns that emigrated abroad been forced to marry “natives” and integrate and lose their identity?

    It is not about forcing anybody to do anything, it’s a natural process that immigrants marry natives and gradully lose their ancestral identity. If immigrants from the same country arrive in small numbers, marriage and integration into the host society are easier. If immigrants of the same background arrive in large numbers, it’s rather optimistic to expect them to marry natives in the first generation, but in the second generation integration into the host society is usually a lot deeper.

    This is what has happened to Finnish immigrants to e.g. America: they no longer marry other Finns, and do not differ from other (white) Americans in any meaningful way–and I think it’s a normal and healthy development. If today’s Finnish American identifies as a Finnish American, this is a very superficial identification that has no effect on his or her behavior.

    Some immigrant groups, however, do not seem to integrate into the mainstream culture in Europe even after several generations. These are usually tribal cultures, where various social pathologies are rife. Tragically, the politics of multiculturalism and the existence of generous welfare systems encourage the preservation of these kind of inward-looking communities.

    America has been successful in assimilating various groups, but it should be noted that African Americans are, even after centuries in the country, still in many ways apart from the cultural maistream. It remains to be seen if the massive amount of immigrants from Mexico can be integrated, or if their growing numbers mean that the US becomes more and more like a Latin American country.

    What kind of a city would London be if you took out all the foreigners? It would be a pretty bland place. London derives its strength and beauty from the fact that it is multicultural, or cosmopolitan. There are many other examples in Europe.

    London was a great city long before the postwar mass immigration, and foreign travellers were awed by its “strength and beauty” back then, too. Today’s London is characterized, among other things, by overcrowding, environmental destruction, ethnic and racial segregation, and white flight, none of which I view as a positive development.

    You should also note that your own international identity is a rarity in the world. The great scholar of nationalism Benedict Anderson has said that he’s met perhaps five true cosmopolitans in his life. The vast majority of people identify with their native countries, where they live all their lives, hoping to preserve their way of life for their offspring. The “progressive” dream of turning all countries into cookie-cutter multicultural utopias is arrogant, undemocratic and destructive.

  13. Enrique

    Hi JL, thank you for you points of view on a very difficult topic that has no easy answers.
    I believe that all people irrespective of where they are from change when the move to another country. A good example are the second generation, which live in two cultural worlds; in the country where they were brought up and where they were probably born and the one where their parents came from. They usually end up living in two cultures but continue to be identified as “foreigners” by others. What is interesting to note is that even if this person feels as if he does not belong in both cultures, he actually is a part a new culture. The problem, I repeat, is acceptance by others.
    As you know, there are over 1 million Finns and Finnish descendants that live abroad. That’s a large number of “Finns,” considering the present size of the Finnish population. I consider these people Finns even though they may not be like the so-called “mainland Finns,” which are a sort of cultural benchmark they try to emulate. But they are Finns because that is part of their identity. Some of them continue to have very strong bonds with Finland even though they’ve lived for a number of generations in another country. They are, in a way, like the Brits that grew up in different parts of the world and still continue to identify with British culture. These “non-mainland” Finns have shown through their new culture and language how Finnish culture has evolved in other countries. A good example are the Finns of Thunder Bay, Canada. So, as you know, culture and identity is something we carry inside of us for many generations.
    The Afro Americans are Americans who still identify strongly with their African roots. This is not necessarily a bad matter. And who is to say which culture predominates in the US? Is it White Protestant Anglo Saxon culture that imposes its values on the Mexican Americans in states such as California? Is the US in threat because they may vote for a Black president in November called Barak Obama? Certainly not.The key word is acceptance and permitting other, all of us, to contribute to the society we live in.
    Overcrowding and pollution are great challenges for every city.
    I haven’t read much about Benedicit Anderson. His ideas appear very interesting.
    I’ve lived in multicultural societies and enjoy it very much. It is like having the world at your finger tips. It is a paradox, however, that while we in the developed world have greater access to information, communications and other cultures, nationalism is taught basically along the same lines as before. In every country we are taught from childhood that OUR country and OUR culture are the greatest. It’s a bit — now I am exaggerating a bit — like giving a Neanderthal a cell phone and a private jet plane to travel and live anywhere he wants.
    There are cultures that are more open to outsiders than others. Despite all the social and political problems in Latin America, there has been a great deal of race mixture in a very short time. In other cultures the process has taken longer, like in the US. Being half Amerindian and White was/is a stigma.
    To conclude: Finnish culture is more diverse, richer and “mixed” than some of us want to admit.

  14. DeTant Blomhat

    But isn’t Barack Obama derided exactly beacuse say compared to Jesse Jackson he isn’t “african-american” enough?

  15. DeTant Blomhat

    And of #4 those contingency plans – they were pretty much put in place due to the collapse of the USSR – people then could not foresee say if there would have been a revolution or another civil war – and that *could* have meant a lot of refugees. Of course 20/20 hindsight, but that time wwasn’t at all peachy.

  16. Enrique

    Hi DeTant, I guess we should ask Barack Obama that question about his identity. Some, as you know, state that Obama won’t win the election because he is Black. Anyway, thanks to George W. Bush, some things have radicalized in the United States. Having a woman and Black contending the Democratic Party nomination is unprecedented in US history. Certainly a lot of things could have happened when the USSR collapsed and caused refugees to come to Finland. Finns, I believe, still have an almost exaggerated, deep fear of Russia and it is shown through these contingency plans. I don’t blame Finns for this attitude, taking into account Finland’s history with its giant eastern neighbor. Is it warranted? I don’t think so today.

  17. Enrique

    What a tragedy! But I could give you links of pedophiles, murderers, rapists, embezzlers, robbers who are Finns. Still I would not claim that all Finns are like these types of criminals. Norway and Finland are countries ruled by law. They are strong enough to handle crimes like the ones you showed in the Helsingin Sanomat link.

  18. Enrique

    Finns also cause crimes, So do the French, Americans, Brazilians. What are you saying — that all foreigners are criminals? You have never been a refugee nor have you been an immigrant. But that is ok. Let’s talk about the immigrant/refugee experience. The more knowledge we have the more we can understand the phenomenon.

  19. Tux

    As far as I know is that the Natzis classified the Finns and the Estonians as Aryans, not at all the mainstream you suggest it to have been though. Check your facts Mr.

    “Rosenberg considered blacks as well as Jews to be at the very bottom of the ladder. At the very top was the white or Aryan race. Rosenberg promoted the Nordic theory which considered Nordic peoples to be the master race, superior to all others, including other Aryans. This master race included the Scandinavians (including Finns), Estonians, Baltic nations, Germans, Dutch (including the Flemish people of Belgium), and the British Isles. Rosenberg would reshape Nazi racial policy throughout the years, but it would always consist of White Supremacism, extreme German nationalism, and harsh anti-Semitism.#

  20. Enrique

    Thank you Tux for the information you provided, which puts into question how and when the Finns started to see themselves as “Aryans” versus “Mongols.” People who still argue that “the Nazis weren’t that bad” should read their history starting from the Nuremberg Trials. The only one of the Nazi top brass that was at the dock that did not say anything before he was about to hang was Alfred Rosenberg, the architect who fantasized about race and made up his theories that were based on unscientific hogwash. Fortunately that Nazi regime was wiped off the face of the Earth.

  21. Tux

    My pleasure Enrique, the question is not when the Finns started seeing themseves as “not being mongols”, you of all the people (unless you are a blind person ) should know that they are not, but rather when mainstream stopped conceiving them as such. The Finns themselves have always known they were European. They were classified as mongols due to pseudo-science based on nationalromantic crap and linguistics. Physical anthropology made advances from the nonsense you quoted from The National Encyclopedia Brittanica of 1911, with serious scientists such as the American Carleton Coon, who lacked a biased agenda, leeding the way. I just pointed out that the architect behind Nazi-Germanys race theories counted the Finns as a member of the master race , therefore the position of the Finns in the post World War 2 world, had Germany won, would have been thereafter. I am not applauding warcrimes commited by the nazis nor am I arguing for race supremacy , I am just trying to correct some facts.

  22. Enrique

    The racial view of who the Finns consider themselves to be hinges a lot on their suspicion for the Russians. Finland was under the sphere of influence of the Germans. We know the Jaegers, Finns who served in the German infantry, were crucial in helping the Whites beat the Reds. Certainly if Finland had allied itself with Nazi Germany or, as Finnish historians claim was a cobelligerent, the Finns had to be in the same racial ballpark as the Germans. My point is that after the war, there was this general idea that the Finns were not Western Europeans but from the Volga region in central Russia. Carlton Coon was one the books that was required reading in an anthropology course.
    You are absolutely right about Rosenberg. Someone claimed in an earlier post that Rosenberg was not an important person in the Nazi regime. I disagree. Thanks to his pseudo-scientific race theories, they justified much of the murder carried out by the Nazis.

  23. Tux

    Not to forget the Finns distast for anything Swedish after 700 years of idios supremacy of Swedish rule. The suspicion towards the Russians however is justified by a good portion of reality as all the blood letting has been with them throughout history. The Italiens, Japanese, Hungarians and Romanians were not defined as being of Arian stock so not all Germanys allies were in the same racial ballpark. As for the speculations in the origins of the Finns, the debate continues to this very day, the only difference being that the linguists are not calling all the shots as before. DNA scientists classify the Finns as Indo-Europeans in spite of the Finnish language. Carleton Coon is the only worthy Anthropologist to be taken seriously from that era. His works lack the undertone of etnocentricity found in the works of his Swedish and German colleques and predecessors. I dont understand that argument. If Rosenberg was not a major player he most certainly would have been aquitted from the charges of crimes against humanity or only received a lifetime sentence . He was the chief idelogist behind the Nazi race doctrines and therefore he hanged.

  24. Tux

    Not to forget the Finns distast for anything Swedish after 700 years of idios supremacy of Swedish rule. The suspicion towards the Russians however is justified by a good portion of reality as all the blood letting has been with them throughout history. The Italiens, Japanese, Hungarians and Romanians were not defined as being of Arian stock so not all Germanys allies were in the same racial ballpark. As for the speculations in the origins of the Finns, the debate continues to this very day, the only difference being that the linguists are not calling all the shots as before. DNA scientists classify the Finns as Indo-Europeans in spite of the Finnish language. Carleton Coon is the only worthy Anthropologist to be taken seriously from that era. His works lack the undertone of etnocentricity found in the works of his Swedish and German colleques and predecessors. I dont understand that argument, if Rosenberg was not a major player he most certainly would have been acquitted from the charges of crimes against humanity or only received a lifetime sentence . He was the chief ideologist behind the Nazi race doctrines and therefore he hanged.

  25. DeTant Blomhat

    Actually, I’ve lived and worked in several countries and on ships with international crews but you’re right, I’ve never been a refugee. But the difference here is again a genuine refugee and someone filing in as an asylum seeker just to pursuit illegal immigration paths.

    All I can say I’ve never been committing crimes in foreign countries and people didn’t roll the red carpet in front of me. People are equal, they are hired for their skills. And you had to work in that country how their rules were. As simple as that. I couldn’t hold 6.12 as a free holiday as it wasn’t. So the person moving must adapt.

    The fact remains foreigners make a disproportionate amount of crimes – one reason is that Finland is a traffic hub so all smuggling cases even not targetted to the Finnish market skew the hard crime. Another skewing factor is that some foreigners cannot adapt to the culture and live like they do back at home, hence theres reports of rapes, honor killings, child abuse and such that of course are only multiculturalism. One factor is teenagers left alone or without parents becoming the “angry young men” groups that causes probably the most of the troubles, but then again that is the largest group getting in to trouble everywhere, this is sometimes disproportionate because of the “anchor children” phenomenon. And at last we have the “international professionals” scam artists, pick pockets, pimps and prostitutes and such who do their work all over EU if not the globe, and then maybe just happen to get caught here. So no, wouldn’t say all foreigners are criminals but theres a few groups that are here just for the sake of committing crimes.

  26. Enrique

    I can now see that you too know what it feels to be an outsider. People are individuals — not nations. If anyone breaks the law, certainly in a country like Finland justice is efficient and fair. I’m just as against crime — be if from a Finn, foreigner or anyone — as you are.
    In my opinion, you have a too negative attitude of foreigners in Finland. You look at only the negative things. What about if I started to talk about all the crimes Finns committed and who are now serving time in a penitentiary? I don’t do that because I don’t generalize. We are individuals, not nations, who use culture to survive in a group. But you comment proves a point: If a foreigner commits a crime it weighs many times more than if a Finn does it. If you commit a crime — you pay for your crime. That’s how it works in any Western democratic society — even in Finland.

  27. DeTant Blomhat

    A Finn has a right to commit crimes in Finland. Exporting your criminality, like Finns did to Sweden and other Nordics is a bad thing and reflects to the image of us in that country. So Swedes call us knife-crazy knife murderers. I accept that as a fact. They calling us and why it is so.

    You just think every foreigner is a god that should be worshipped on a pedestal. No. I expect everyone to prove thyemselves as a person first. Just like any Finn. Problem for a foreigner is that a Finn I can evaluate much easier.

  28. Enrique

    Don’t you think that is pretty racist about the Finns? I don’t know any “knife-crazy” Finns. Can you not see how stereotypes cause problems. Certainly if a foreigner commits a crime in a foreign country it reflects badly on the rest. It reflects badly because of our education: we are taught to generalize about cultures and depend on stereotypes to classify these groups. I don’t accept what the Swedes say about the Finns because it is a racist notion. How many of these types of Finns have been put in jail in Sweden? 100,000, one million? I think the number is very small. Did you ever think that crime is an indication of how poorly a person is integrated into society?
    Where did I say that all the foreigners are gods?! Who says that they should be worshiped? Just treat them equally and let them compete like any Finn for a place in society. That is the issue.

  29. DeTant Blomhat

    But we *are* treating them like anyone else. Its like sending a one-legged man to a race. It is racism if we say you cannot race with one leg. Its racism if he doesn’t win the race. Its racism unless we take hime on our sholders and carry him – where is that equal treatment then? How about confessing to the fact that you need two legs to run in the race? And that if someone carries you then you must be grateful instead of whipping the guy and demanding more speed?

    See now that knife-carrying stereotype is based on happenings. I can confess to the fact and I don’t mind. And you are the last person to object as I can take care of my own animosity towards the Swedes and I don’t need anyone else to speak on my behalf.

    – Did you ever think that crime is an indication of how poorly a person is integrated into society?

    Did you ever think it is they who are the ones who failed to integrate into the society?