laupäev, jaanuar 27, 2007

A Little Bit About Estonia's Jews

I just came across this really interesting link which gives you a history of Jews in Estonia and answers many questions, such as, How did a historically Mediterranean people wind up freezing their munad off on the Gulf of Finland?

As for that question, "The process of Jewish settlement in Estonia began in the nineteenth century, when an 1865 statute by Tsar Alexander II granted them the right to enter the region... The Tallinn congregation, the largest in Estonia, was founded in 1830. The Tartu congregation was established in 1866 when the first fifty families settled there."

When Estonia became an independent country in 1920, Estonia's Jewish population had something of a cultural renaissance. According to this source, "approximately 200 Estonian Jews fought in combat for the creation of the Republic of Estonia, and 70 of these men were volunteers."

On 12 February 1925, the Estonian government passed a law pertaining to the cultural autonomy of minority peoples. "In June 1926 the Jewish Cultural Council was elected and Jewish cultural autonomy was declared. The administrative organ of this autonomy was the Board of Jewish Culture, headed by Hirsch Aisenstadt until it was disbanded in 1940."

Why 1940? The Soviet occupation of course. "Cultural autonomy in addition to all of its institutions was liquidated in July 1940. In July and August of the same year all organizations, associations, societies and corporations were closed. A large group of Jews (about 400) were deported on 14 June 1941. After the German occupation later in 1941, all Jews who had failed to flee were murdered. According to data from Israel, 1,000 Estonian Jews were executed in 1941."

Furthermore, "from 1940 until 1988 the Estonian Jewish community, as elsewhere in the Soviet Union, had no organizations, associations nor even clubs."

I want you to keep in mind that fact when Russian Federation diplomats try to pawn themselves off as great heroes for the Jewish people. Someone should remind Vitaly Churkin, Russia's ambassador to the UN, that there were two governments involved in destroying Estonia's Jewish community in the 1940s, and the Republic of Estonia wasn't one of them.

Unfortunately, some people prefer fabricated Soviet fiction to reality.

10 kommentaari:

Anonüümne ütles ...

"Someone should remind Vitaly Churkin, Russia's ambassador to the UN, that there were two governments involved in destroying Estonia's Jewish community in the 1940s, and the Republic of Estonia wasn't one of them".
One can hardly equate murded with cultural suppression.

Anonüümne ütles ...

Damn, that is suppose to say murder, not murded

Jens-Olaf ütles ...

Jews were deported from Poland, Bessarabia and other parts of the new occupied areas by soviet forces in 1940 already. Not all of them survived the GULAG and living in Siberia. Lennart Meri ones said something like a dead by the Reds seems to be less dead than by the Nazis.
One source:
Julius Wolfenhaut. Nach Sibirien verbannt, Als Jude von Czernowitz nach Stalinka 1941-1994

Jens-Olaf ütles ...

Jews were deported from Poland, Bessarabia and other parts of the new occupied areas by soviet forces in 1940 already. Not all of them survived the GULAG and living in Siberia. Lennart Meri ones said something like a dead by the Reds seems to be less dead than by the Nazis.
One source:
Julius Wolfenhaut. Nach Sibirien verbannt, Als Jude von Czernowitz nach Stalinka 1941-1994

Jens-Olaf ütles ...

Sorry for double posting, but don't get me wrong, this shows soviet logic for example in Poland:
'Quite unexpectedly, those Jews who had lined up to register, later faced deportation to the Soviet interior since the Soviets had taken careful note of them. It should be stressed that the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany were firm allies at that time and that the Jews, who indicated their readiness to return to the German zone, had no inkling that they would later become politically suspect. Ironically, since the vast majority of Jews deported to the Soviet interior survived the war and this proved to be their salvation from the Holocaust, pro-Soviet propaganda turned this unanticipated and unintended consequence into a "rescue" activity on behalf of endangered Jews.'
source
http://www.electronicmuseum.ca/Poland-WW2/ethnic_minorities_occupation/jews_1.html

Jens-Olaf ütles ...

Sorry, Giustino, please delete the posts. Way too many. :-(

Estonia in World Media (Rus) ütles ...

One can hardly equate murder with cultural suppression
One can hardly claim himself protector of the Jews on the basis of not murdering them.

Purc ütles ...

"One can hardly equate murded with cultural suppression."

How wrong you are, the jews were a persecuted people in the Soviet Union, especially after Stalin took over. This includes shooting jews, sending them to death camps etc. This is quite well portrayed in the books "Stalin" (by Montefiore) and in "The black book of communism". I recommend reading these books. There was a graphic episode concerning Germany and Soviet Union dividing Poland, the jews had to choose between being shot by the nazis or rotting slowly in the GULAG, a lot of them decided in favor of being shot by nazis because it felt more "humane".

Giustino ütles ...

One can hardly equate murder with cultural suppression.

I disagree. Take our local Algonquian-speaking residents of New York. Many were murdered, this is true, but their culture was also eradicated by 1) banning their language and religion; 2) breaking their familial ties through indentured servitude; 3) depriving them of a land base or organizations to preserve their culture.

Therefore, you have an anthropological situation in 2007, where there ARE people that are descendants of natives of, say new York City, but who have completely lost their native culture, and therefore have been destroyed just as much as if they had been murdered.

People are just people. We're just flesh and blood. You could take 1,000 Estonian kids and raise them as Russians and give them Russian names and they'd be Russians. Or you could shoot those kids. In the end, you'd have the same result.

Giustino ütles ...

To kill a culture, you don't need to just kill its people. Divorcing its people from that culture works just as well. And once a culture is lost, it can never be truly regained. People who consider themselves "Prussian" can never become truly "Prussian" again, no matter how hard they study the linguistic fragments or read old chronicles about how their people once acted.