The Winter War of 1939 lasted for only 105 days. During this war Sweden received around 8000 children and 4000 mothers. However, peace did not last. A new war between the Soviet Union and Finland, called the Continuation War, began in June 1941. By that time Germany had occupied France, Norway and Denmark and the Soviet Union had occupied the Baltic countries. Fearing Soviet occupation, Finland had become closer to Germany. Just before he invaded the Soviet Union, Hitler announced that Finland was an ally of Germany. At the beginning of Operation Barbarossa, Germany was allowed to use Finland’s airports and airspace to bomb the Soviet Union. Finland was now regarded as Germany’s ally against the Soviet Union. This began the Continuation War.
As a result Swedes were once again active in trying to help Finland and suggested starting the evacuation of children again.
Sweden tried vigorously to help Finland without the danger of getting too involved in the war. Receiving Finnish children was widely seen as the best way to achieve this goal. As Finland was fighting on Germany’s side, it is regarded as an enemy of Great Britain. It was crucial for Sweden not to upset Britain because they might stop Sweden’s imports. Sweden was also afraid that if it exported food to Finland the exports might end up helping Germany which would upset Britain. The official organization State Committee for Finland send an offer to take in war children from Finland to minister Fagerholm, who founded a Committee for Children’s Evacuation. This Committee is in close cooperation with the Ministry which meant that during the Continuation War the sending of children had the backing of the state. Local officials and organizations such as the Finnish Red Cross and different women’s associations helped the Committee to choose the children. The decision to transfer children was basically made by one minister and was not discussed in the Finnish parliament.