Pravda, 26 November 1939:

A Buffoon Holding the Post of Prime Minister

The Finnish Cabinet is afraid to step out in front of its own Parliament. Instead, Prime Minister Cajander willingly made a spectacle of himself at a concert on November 23rd. As the music played, the Prime Minister jokingly spoke. His Finnish bourgeoisie need to be entertained due to their present depressed condition. Cajander entertained to the best of his ability. He displayed his outstanding talents as a clown.

Cajander changed the concert stage to an arena of circus buffoonery. Like a clown he performed somersaults with everything he said being backwards. He stood on his head and walked on his hands.

He started his performance by dragging out portraits of the Russian tsars and making deep bows in front of them. He did this with a serious attitude showing the affection of an inborn serf.

He spoke about the "policies, sympathetic to Finland, carried out by Alexander I and Alexander II, which met the approval of the whole population of Finland."

After this the clown stood on his head and threatened with his leg the Soviet Union, who he alleged is going to make an attempt on the independence of Finland. Such an imposing figure, indeed!

It is known, that the Russian tsars Alexanders and Nicholases with all their means suppressed all attempts of the Finnish people to achieve independence. The tsarist policy of oppression, violence and suppression received only the "approval" of the reactionary venal Finnish bourgeoisie. These Cajanders served the Russian tsars like faithful serfs and court fools.

When Tsarism collapsed from the blows of the people, the bourgeois Provisional government which had seized power, denied the independence of Finland. For this independence the Bolsheviks Lenin and Stalin struggled, along with the Finnish people. Finland received independence through the power of the Soviet, an independence which always has been and, even now is, merchandise in the marketplace of imperialism.

These are the facts. Cajander thinks that when he makes a salto-mortale then the whole world capsizes with him. What a ridiculous illusion! Although the buffoon turns somersaults, the facts stand firmly on their feet.

All this miserable play is performed only to escape from answering the outright question, which the people of Finland have put to their government, a government completely entangled in its own intrigue:

- Why Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania have concluded with the Soviet government treaties which secure them independence, peace and quiet work, but the Finnish government wrecked the negotiations and now hold their people in a condition of anxious uncertainty?

No one jump is enough for evading the question. Cajander does cartwheels, is affected in his speech, crows like a rooster - and, suddenly, bursts out into sobbing. He mourns, groans, tears his clothes and throws circus floor sawdust, like ashes, not on himself, but on the ministers of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

Cajander sobs:

- "These three viable Baltic nations, with brilliant futures ahead, are suddenly reduced from independent countries to countries which are more or less dependent on the Soviet Union. On us, the Finns, this made a depressing impression...".

Cajander mourns over the politicians in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. They, you see, proved to be shortsighted. But he is farsighted, he, a buffoon holding the post of prime minister. He sees far, he is a politician from the school of farsighted Beck and farsighted Moscicki. Let him learn, how those Polish clowns feel after having lost their engagements for good.

It is soon, probably, when Cajander will have an opportunity to see in practise, that farsighted politicians are not the marionettes from the Finnish government, but the present leaders of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, who concluded a mutual assistance pact with USSR.

Nevertheless Cajander cannot get away from providing the answer which is more and more persistently demanded by the people of Finland.

- Why you, Cajanders, wrecked the negotiations? The people did not demand this from you. But who then insisted on wrecking?

The Prime Minister of Finland wriggles like a grass-snake. He whimpers smearing tears on his dirty face:

- "Since it was difficult to find a common ground in the negotiations, they have been temporarily interrupted. This is regrettable, because Finland sincerely wants to maintain good relations to all her neighbors ..."

Cajander "regrets"! Cajander wrecked the negotiations "temporarily"! Cajander sheds tears of sorrow ...

Crocodile tears, it is said, are the most deceitful, most heinous and most disgusting tears in the world. But even more viler and deceitful are the tears shed by a buffoon imitating a crocodile. It is a variety of a reptile, but without sharp teeth, without power, but having the guile and lust of a small beast.

Nothing helps the Cajanders to escape the question set forth in an ever growing serious tone by the people of Finland, now drawn by provocateurs into a dirty and dangerous intrigue:

- Why you, Cajanders, wrecked the negotiations? You should be aligned with the people of Finland, who really wants friendship with the Soviet people. Who are you aligned with, whose will are you obeying and whose instructions are you carrying out?

And restlessly, cowardly, with aside wandering eyes this buffoon, holding the post of the Prime Minister, swears and makes oaths:

- Finland has not needed or received instructions from other countries. God knows none! May even my eyes burst, not a one received!

Clown's oaths, clown's vows. A receipt of execution of "instructions from other countries" is already published. It is included in the approving comments of imperialistic British newspapers on Cajander's address. "Daily Herald" taps his Finnish buffoon amicably on the shoulder: You have done your best, brother!

If after this, is it any wonder that Cajander does not find "common ground" with the Soviet government! The buffoon turns somersaults on the "common ground" of warmongering imperialism, the jazz orchestra rattles, pipes squeal, and ringmaster's whip clashes.

How long is this political buffoonery expected to go on?

One must hope that not for long. One must hope, that the people of Finland do not let marionettes, like Cajander, steer the Finnish ship of state farther ahead on the same wrecked route that Beck and Moscicki took.
This translation of the original article in Pravda, November 26, 1939, is mainly based on the Finnish translation, published in the book "Tie talvisotaan" (The Road to the Winter War) by Bror Laurla. Saarijärvi, Finland 1978.

The same article was read (in Finnish) in a slightly different form on the Finnish language transmission of Radio Moscow on the same day at 5 o'clock P.M. The transmission was recorded by the Finnish National Broadcasting Company - Suomen Yleisradio.

"Tiltu". The Soviet version of "Axis Sally" or female version of "Lord Haw-Haw". This transmission, relayed from Moscow on July 14, 1941, was sent on the same frequency as Finnish domestic services. The announcer (in Finnish): "Citizens of Finland. German fascist brought you hunger and a new insane war against the Soviet Union. Rise to arms against German fascism and its hirelings Ryti and Mannerheim, who are the real culprits in the sufferings of the Finnish people." (MP3)
The sign-on tune of a Finnish language transmission of the Central Broadcasting Authority of the Soviet Union in the 70's (MP3). Dimitrii Pokrass, the composer of the tune, Moscow in May (1937), made also music for the song Suomi (Finland) - the beauty (1939), an invitation to the Finns to open the gates to the attacking Red Army.

The address (referred by this article) by Prime Minister A. K. Cajander in Helsinki November 23, 1939, concerning the territorial demands by the Soviet Union and Finland's willingness to negotiate all kinds of solutions without surrendering Finland's vital interests.
  • The Soviet air forces dropped bombs on Helsinki, Viipuri and other cities and the Red Army crossed the border on November 30, 1939, without any declaration of war. The Soviets had unilaterally abrogated the non-aggression pact a couple of days earlier. Claims about Finnish artillery shelling a border village - incidentally afternoon on the same day when the article was published - were given as a pretext for this. The Political Administration of the Red Army explains to their propagandists reasons to repel the threat caused by Finnish "swineheads". The League of Nations examined, on the Finnish initiative, the measures of Soviet and Finnish governments in the light of its own charter, as well as international and bilateral treaties, and conluded that Soviet Union had lost its membership on Dec. 14, 1939. Pravda's comment on this.

  • The Polish President Ignacy Mościcki (1867-1946) and Foreign Minister Józef Beck (1894-1944) in Wikipedia.

  • The German-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact and the Secret Additional Protocol.

  • Roosevelt's statement on Dec. 1, 1939.

  • von Weiszäcker's (State Secretary in the German Foreign Office) telegram to German Missions Abroad, Dec. 2, 1939.

  • Contemporary and later commentaries on Russo-Finnish Wars.

    Back to the top of the Pravda article
    Back to the history page.