Appeal of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Finland To the Working People of Finland
Workers, peasants and intellectual workers!
The present rulers of Finland, well-known Cajanders, Erkkos, Tanners and Mannerheims have plunged our country into war against the Soviet Union.
For a long time they provoked this war, so long that the patience of the Soviet government finally came to the end. So long they arrogantly rejected all proposals of the Soviet Union for securing the permanent good-neighborly relations, and so the Soviet Union had no other alternative to secure her safety at the Finnish border but to destroy with armed forces the hotbed of war created by the Finnish bourgeoisie.
The land of the Soviets has never threatened or caused worries for Finland. On the contrary, right after the Great October Revolution the Soviet power voluntarily granted Finland a full independence, which no other power in Russia had ever given her. But the Finnish bourgeoisie, instead of strengthening the independence of Finland through peaceful relations with the generous Soviet people, systematically started to abuse the position of Finland to the detriment of the security interests of the great neighboring country, and thereby of Finland herself.
The rulers of White-Finland with all their policy showed that they are ready to sell the interests of Finland's independence and security to the imperialists of foreign powers, ready to serve their anti-Soviet military claims at a decent price. And as the Finnish rulers now hypocritically assure that they only have always wanted to defend the "independence" and "neutrality" of Finland, then these liars should be answered: this lie of yours has short wings. It is fully exposed by generally known facts:
The first fact was the expedition to Olonets, undertaken by the Finnish White Guards in the spring of 1919 in coöperation with the imperialists of Britain and France.
The second fact is the campaign of the Finnish White Guardist gang in Ingermanland to organize a rebellion there in the autumn of 1919, at the beginning of the Yudenich offensive, when the butcher of the Finnish workers, Mannerheim, publicly demanded the sending of the Finnish army to "conquer" Petrograd.
The third fact – done in 1921-1922 – a new campaign to Karelia under the command of officers of the Finnish army, with the support of the British imperialists.
The fourth fact – also characteristic of the "neutrality" of the Finnish government – the reorganization of the Finnish armed forces in 1924-1925, was carried out by an officer delegation summoned from England, under the leadership of General Kirke, the same one, who in the summer of 1939 visited again Finland to check military preparations on the Karelian Isthmus.
The fifth fact is the persistent slanderous harassment of the Soviet Union in Finland and chauvinist agitation for the "Greater Finland", with insane ravings about conquests "up to the Urals."
The sixth fact – after the trips of Mannerheim to London, the government of Finland threatened – in spite of the protest of the Soviet Union – to start together with Sweden to build fortifications on the Aaland Islands for use by the imperialists in the war against the Soviet Union.
The seventh fact – for the same purpose there were built ten times more airfields in Finland than what was necessary for the country's own aviation, new military chemical plants were built, and the islands of the Gulf of Finland were prepared for the reception of squadrons of enemies of the USSR.
A whole series of such villainous tricks the capitalist rulers of Finland have on their conscience.
For more than 21 years, our country was, like Poland of Pans, a nest of anti-Soviet intrigues, where ministers and staff officers, together with Swedish bankers, imperialists of the great powers and all sorts of anti-Soviet adventurers plotted against the USSR. Plotted so long that they themselves became tangled up in their own mesh. And now, when these gentlemen are driven into tight corners, they demand that the whole Finnish people should now fight for them against the mighty Red Army.
But the broad masses of the Finnish people do not want to sacrifice their lives for Mannerheim and other war provocateurs. The people of Finland, who cherish the independence of their country, know that the only way to ensure and strengthen this independence is in friendly coöperation with the great Soviet Union.
Why the Government of Finland did not agree with the treaty proposed by the Soviet Government to settle the issue of security by peaceful means, in the interests of both countries?
Only because it did not want to abandon hostile actions in order to undermine the security of the Soviet Union – actions it had conducted under the dictation of the imperialist enemies of the USSR and Finland.
Why did the Finnish government not agree to move the border on the Karelian Isthmus farther from Leningrad so that this multi-million city would not be threatened with artillery fire from the territory of Finland?
Only because Mannerheims and other henchmen of foreign imperialists could continue to brood over the "conquest of Leningrad."
Isn't it so that the governments of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania agreed with the Soviet Union on mutual strengthening of security, and the peoples of these countries did not lose their independence by a hair's breadth. Why did the Finnish government not agree to more insignificant measures to regulate mutual relations? Only because it is a mere instrument with no own will in the hands the greedy Finnish bankers and capitalists of the export industry, who sold the independence of our country for a lentil soup.
Such a government can not protect the national interests of Finland. This is not a national government but an instrument of foreign capital, the government of capitalists and landlords.
Such a government has no ability to restore peace, for it is the government of warmongers.
A government like this must be shaken off the shoulders of the people!
Finland has up to now been the Promised Land to factory-owners, bank directors, bureaucrats, timber industry-owners and landlords. Workers have always lived in oppression and need, but the bloodsuckers and all sorts of speculators have accumulated riches. Every time when the working class of our country by its struggle and with the help of its unions, have succeeded even in the slightest way to find relieve of its miserable condition, the capitalists have waited a convenient moment and leapt at their throats depriving them even of their tiny benefits and then filled their own pockets with unrestrained exploitation of the proletariat and peasants. So they did in 1918, so they did in 1930's and so they do now. Under the pretext of "the defense of the country", the working day has already been extended to 10 hours, wages have been reduced, prices of the basic staples have been tightened up high, and families of the mobilized workers and small farmers are thrown in misery.
There is no help to be expected from the present Diet. It has given stones to the people instead of bread. In recently times it has issued only emergency laws to strangle all civil rights. The reaction rages without any limits, worse than ever before.
The fraudulent leaders of the Finnish Social Democracy have completely lost their sense of shame. They openly joined the worst warmongers and Lapua-movement butchers. Social-democratic ministers and bigwigs hustle and bustle around as professional liars and hound dogs of bourgeois reaction, serving the notorious Finnish Okhrana.
The White Finland is at the moment the most black country in Europe. Indescribable calamity crushes the workers and all the poor in Finland. But now the patience of our working people has come to an end.
No previous government deceived people more shamelessly than the current gang of Kallio, Cajander, Erkko and Tanner. Let this despicable government, which did everything possible to drive our people to downfall, will be the last government of the capitalists and landowners of Finland.
This government feels itself, that it is hated and cursed by the grass roots of the Finnish people. It fears the truth like the plague. It knows well that if in the last few weeks the masses of the people had had at least an elementary freedom of speech, then tens of thousands of workers, ploughmen and forcibly mobilized soldiers would have been, even before us, telling everybody the same truth that we are here proclaiming, they would have thrown ringleaders straight to their faces:
Down with the bankrupt government gang! Down with the executioners of the people and their henchmen!
The criminal war of the Finnish capitalists against the Socialist Soviet Union must be turned into a merciless struggle of the working people against the oppressors of the people.
It is necessary to create a broad popular front of the working people: the entire working class, the peasantry, craftsmen, small traders and the educated working class, that is, the vast majority of our people need to be united into a single people's front to protect their interests, and it is necessary to put up a government relying on this front of the working people, i.e., the People's Government.
Some comrades think that it is necessary to demand the creation of Soviet power in Finland. They are mistaken. Such an important question of the radical restructuring of the entire social regime can not be settled by one party or not even by the working class alone. This question can be settled only by the entire people, by all the working classes. In any case, without the consent of the peasantry and without the approval of the Diet, this question can not be resolved.
Others think that Finland should join the Soviet Union as one of its constituent part, that Finland's accession to the USSR can best threatening Finland from the dangers of the imperialist powers. These comrades are also mistaken. First of all, the Finnish Democratic Republic, which is not a Soviet-type state, cannot join the Soviet Union, which is a Soviet-type state. Secondly, the Soviet Union, following its national policy, will not want to be credited with the desire to expand its borders at the expense of the Finnish state, in view of which the Soviet Union, as we know, stands for ensuring the existence of a separate and independent Finland, associated with the Soviet Union only by a pact of mutual assistance. As to guarantee Finland against the dangers of the imperialist powers, the mutual assistance pact between Finland and the USSR will be an completely sufficient means of ensuring such a guarantee.
The question of the next program of the new government requires, of course, a collective discussion between different groups and representatives of the participants in the future popular front and government. We make the following suggestions for collective discussion:
The first task of the People's Government of Finland should be ending of the war and the conclusion of peace, the establishment of democratic order in our country, the safeguarding of Finland's independence by improving relations with the Soviet Union and concluding a mutual assistance pact between the Finnish Democratic Republic and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and by establishing good neighborly relations with all neighboring countries.
The Government of the Finnish Democratic Republic should turn to the Government of the USSR with a proposal to satisfy the centuries-long national wish of the Finnish people and reunite with Finland the areas of Soviet Karelia inhabited mainly by Karelians. We have reason to hope that if we establish friendly relations with the Soviet Union, the Soviet Union will satisfy such a proposal.
To the nearest tasks of the People's Government of Finland are also:
1. the creation of the People's Army of Finland;
2. establishment of state control over large private banks and large industrial enterprises and the measures to promote medium and small enterprises;
3. carrying out specific measures to completely eliminate unemployment;
4. shortening the working day to 8 hours, ensuring a two-week summer vacation for workers and reducing housing rents for workers and employees;
5. confiscation of land of large landlord-landowners, without touching the peasants' land property, and transfer of confiscated land to landless and landless peasants;
6. exemption of peasants from payment of arrears for taxes;
7. all-round state aid for raising the economy of low-income peasants, primarily through the extension of additional land, pasture, and, if possible, also forests for household needs, from confiscated from large landowners' lands;
8. democratization of the Finnish constitution, and a thorough reorganization of administrative and judicial systems;
9. increase of state subsidies for cultural needs and reorganization of school affairs; securing the possibility for school attendance of the children of workers and other poor people, as well as taking the utmost care for development of public education, science, literature and art in a progressive spirit.
The Finnish bourgeois government has no way out, and the command of the Finnish army does not have any chance of success. It will not receive effective help from anywhere. Foreign imperialists willingly incited the stupid Finnish rulers to the war, but when they succeeded, they would prefer to remain in the side.
The Red Army is an invincible army, behind of which stands the strength of the 183 million giant people. Funny even to think that the tiny generals of the Finnish army could resist the Red Army. Red Army is trained and equipped better than all armies in the world. First of all, its strength is based on the fact that it is an army of workers and peasants freed from exploitation. The ranks of the Red Army are not divided by an abyss of class contradictions, which in the Finnish army, as in all bourgeois armies, separate the officers and soldiers from each other. The Red Army is monolithic, like a granite rock. Its discipline is unshakable, since it is not based on mechanical coercion, but on the consciousness and heroism of its fighters.
Every soldier and commander of the Red Army, inspired by the noble sentiment of internationalism, knows that he is fighting for a just cause. The Red Army knows that it will not come to Finland as a conqueror, but as a liberator of our people from the oppression of capitalistic villains.
The Great Soviet Union does not intend to restrict in the least the right of Finland to self-determination and sovereignty. And in this respect the policy of the Socialist Soviet Union is completely different from policies of all capitalist governments. The Soviet Union will never, and nowhere, conduct a war of conquest.
The Red Army fully understands this. She comes to Finland as a friend, and not as an enemy of our people. And the Red Army for its part knows that it has tens of thousands of friends in the ranks of the Finnish army, and in the rear this army – hundreds of thousands of workers and peasants, with joyful anticipation of the approach of Red Army.
Soldiers of the Finnish army! Evaluate your situation and take your decisions at the earliest convenience. Beware of helping the hopeless military adventure of Mannerheim. It wouldn't anyway help, – you would only ruin yourself. You will see that the resistance of the Finnish tiny generals will soon end.
Don't you believe, soldiers, the official lies about "defending the fatherland." You were led not to defense of the fatherland, but for protection military adventure of Erkko and Mannerheim. The Great Socialist Soviet Union by no means intends usurp the territory of small Finland. As soon as on the Finnish side the policy of enmity and undermining of the security of the USSR ceases, the Soviet government will provide Finland not only peace, but also the complete independence and inviolability of its territory.
Do not believe the lies alleging that the Erkko-Mannerheim government is fighting for "the freedom of the people". The government itself has destroyed the freedom of the people and is now afraid that the Red Army will help the working people of Finland to win power and freedom. It is not for the people, but for the oppressors of the people you, soldiers, are now sent to the front.
Members and trusteed representatives of trade unions, members of cooperative organizations and the Social-Democratic Party! Beware of binding your destiny to the fate of the anger-filled bourgeois warmongers! Turn away from the gang of the traitor Tanner! Leave him alone to howl with the other executioners.
Small landowners and the rest of the peasant population! Do not believe the rulers' lie that you are now threatened by the loss of land or collectivization of farms! No one dares to touch your land. No one dares to force you to put up collective farms! On the contrary, the working class seeks to seize lands from large landowners and to transfer them to the peasants. The working class wants to live in peace, in union, in coöperation with a broad peasant population. And only when these two main workers' classes are in a firm alliance with each other, respecting each others' interests, democratic state system will stand on a stable basis.
Swedish workers in Finland, fishermen and other working people! Join the democratic people's front, to work hand in hand with Finnish workers to defend their interests and achieve a guarantee to it that all national oppression in Finland will be put an end.
Workers of educational work, the working educated class! Support our labor front and fight for its victory, for only through such a victory the way for a genuine rise in education of masses in Finland will open. Finland was up to now a haven for reaction and spiritual darkness. This made science, art and literature suffer and become dried up. The victory of the labor front will give a wider scope to cultural progress. Let our country now be turned into a moulding site for enlightenment and a high national culture! Larger opportunities will open for engineers and technicians. Agronomists, farmers and instructors in animal husbandry, the forestry masters will have the opportunity to take part in extensive betterment of the Finnish agriculture. Physicians and nurses will acquire a huge social undertaking for raising public health. The important work of teachers will rise in esteem and will be relieved from reactionary chains.
Comrades, male and female workers!
The Finnish working class begins now an open struggle against the oppression of plutocracy. The first experience of the struggle of workers and crofters in 1918 ended in the victory of the capitalists and landlords. This time, it is the turn of the working people to win!
On what is the confidence in our victory based and why we were defeated in 1918?
Firstly, because the working class of Finland did not then have a truly revolutionary party, the Communist Party, which had been aware how to lead the struggle of workers and small farmers in a proper way. Now it has the Communist Party, a party that for over two decades has waged a persistent campaign on the economic and political interests of workers and has learned in its policy to take care of the interests of the peasantry and the intelligentsia. Under constant harassment, it has become hardened, scored combat experience, learned to win the way the Bolsheviks do.
Secondly, because in 1918 foreign imperialists sent troops to help the Finnish butchers, while the Soviet state was still too weak to prevent the imperialist interference in the affairs of Finland. Now, on the contrary, the Soviet country is the mightiest power of the world. She is a great ally of the people and democracy of Finland. The security is guaranteed by her, and it is sufficiently strong to prevent the imperialists from sending their troops to interfere in the affairs of the Finnish people.
The country of victorious socialism proves in practice that it is a noble friend and stronghold in advancing the national future of small nations. While the imperialists are trying to tie up the weak nations with ever heavier chains of oppression, the Socialist Soviet Union approaches the neighboring countries with sincere friendship, painstakingly paying attention to their needs, interests and national aspirations. The Soviet policy towards Lithuania tells about this convincingly. The people of Lithuania hoped long for the return of their capital Vilnius and the Vilnius region that were robbed from her. But in the world, there was not a single great power that would agreed to satisfy this wish of the Lithuanian people. Only the Soviet Union, true to its noble national policy, showed that she can meet the aspirations of the Lithuanian people. And the Lithuanian state received from the hands of the Soviet Union her capital, Vilnius and Vilnius region. The Finnish people, who for more than 200 years has dreamed of reuniting the Karelian tribe with the Finnish nation and the Finnish state, can also confidently count on the implementation of this her dearest national wish.
Such a national policy has been previously unanticipated in the world history. This is the national policy of a socialist state. And this new national policy also gives unprecedented results. While the imperialist powers, thanks to their national oppression, reap the rewards of hatred, enmity and alienation of peoples, the Socialist Soviet Union achieves through her generosity rapprochement, love and true alliance between peoples.
First of all, we appeal to the glorious youth of the Finnish working people. Our youth knows that without struggle and victims neither freedom nor the liberation of their homeland from the oppression of the executioners can be achieved. Now we stand in front of a fight for such a decisive victory, that it is worthwhile to risk and sacrifice for it.
Now it is the time to overthrow the government of butchers!
We have now here the days of liberation of our people!
Long live the victory of workers, peasants and intellectual workers of Finland!
Long live the independent Democratic Republic of Finland!
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of Finland
Translated by Pauli Kruhse, 2018