CHAPTER 4 THE INTERSTICES OF POWER On Independence Day, 6 December 1944, there was no military parade, as there was to be in future years when the parade was switched from a less contentious date than 16 May. There was a celebration, but a rather quiet and sad one. The Helsinki town band did, indeed, play the rousing March of the Men of Pori at 9 o’clock on the hill of Tähtitorni overlooking the harbour, but at 10 o’clock there was a service for the fallen at the Hietaniemi cemetery. This was attended by the President, Mannerheim, with his Marshal’s baton. With General Martola, the Marshal also attended a service of memorial for the Jewish fallen. In the evening, at the Exhibition Hall, Uuno Takki, the new Social Democrat minister of education, spoke for reconciliation between the different elements in the Finnish community, while the prime minister (the only Conservative in the government), J.K. Paasikivi, spoke, from his knowledge of the writings of Thomas Carlyle, for the recognition of facts. What facts were they? That Finland was a defeated country and had to adjust itself to the Soviet Union. Though Paasikivi did not underline in his speech that this had an internal dimension requiring change in the relations between political forces in Finland, it was significant that at Malmi, on the outskirts of Helsinki, the radical Left also held a mourning ceremony for those Finnish Reds killed in the counter-revolution of 1918.1 Only a few months before Reds had...
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