In: Jahrbuch für Historische Kommunismusforschung 2013. Berlin: Aufbau Verlag, pp. 91-105.
In January 1952, the Finnish Prime Minister Urho Kekkonen, with his so-called »pajama speech«, revived the discussion regarding a neutral alliance of the Nordic states, though without calling into question the Finnish-Soviet Agreement of Friendship of Cooperation and Mutual Assistance, which was signed in 1948. At the time, Kekkonen was accused of speaking on behalf of »his master«, Stalin. Was the speech a realistic attempt to move Norway and Denmark to withdraw from NATO, which had been founded in 1949, with the lure of neutrality? Was Kekkonen pursuing his own interests or was he the willing instrument of the Kremlin? Simultaneously, Moscow was working on the peace treaty proposal for Germany on the basis of neutrality (the »Stalin Note«), which would become one of the biggest propaganda coups in the history of the Cold War. This article examines the questions surrounding the aims and strategies Moscow was pursuing in northern Europe at this time and what this ultimately meant for Soviet policy towards Germany.