In: Jahrbuch für Historische Kommunismusforschung 2016. Berlin: Metropol Verlag, pp. 97–112.
The article deals with a secret source in the headquarters of the Finnish Communist Party in Helsinki, who was active from 1956 to 1976. The Communist Party was one of the strongest parties in Finland; the front organizations controlled by it obtained almost a quarter of the popular vote in free elections; it led important trade unions; and it cultivated close contacts with the Soviet Communist Party. In Western Europe, only the French and Italian communist parties could be considered stronger in national political life than the Finnish one. These reports were available to the Finnish security police and to the Social Democratic Party’s intelligence organisation. The former forwarded them to the highest leaders of the state, in particular to President Urho Kekkonen; the latter to the social democratic leaders and to the employers' and industrialists' organizations. The Security Police also forwarded some reports to Scandinavian colleagues, and some even to the British and US secret services. This article addresses the motivation of these sources, as well as analysing the reports’ content and political consequences. In some cases, they contributed to an alarmist atmosphere among the elites who were aware of them; yet, subsequently, they also allowed the reassuring conclusion that communist leaders had strongly reformist tendencies and could be included in the regular political process, even in the government. The article is mainly based on documents in the archives of the Finnish Security Police, of President Kekkonen, and of the Finnish Communist Party.