Why did they move?

Finland's answer to the Swedish proposal

The first reaction from the Finnish government and members of the parliament towards the Swedish offer regarding the war children was negative. Representative Miina Sillanpää voices her opposition and said that parents must not be asked to send their children away. Most Finnish politicians wanted Sweden to give direct financial and material help to Finland. In December 1939 Maja Sandler and other concerned Swedes traveled to Finland with their offer to take in Finnish children. It was difficult to turn the offer down without offending the Swedes but there was not full support from all Finns.

The Swedes tried to get a positive public statement from someone in a high position in Finland. Tri Hanna reed, one of the Swedish organizers, asked Marshal Mannerheim to make a statement about the positive affect on evacuating childrend on solders at the front. Mannerheim did not oppose the transfer of children nor did he actively support families sending their children away. However, Mannerheim’s reaction was used to support the evacuation of the children. This has led to fierce debate about the evacuation of the Finnish children during the war. This debate continues to this day.

Miina
Marshal