kolmapäev, veebruar 07, 2007

Traitors

I was just reading this interview with Dominic Klenski on Postimees, and I am surprised that I understood most of what he wrote. I guess my Estonian is getting better. One thing you have to admit about Klenksi is that it is nice when the greatest "shock factor" in Estonian politics is a guy who is capable of conversing in Estonian. Things have come a long way since 1991. And why is that? I believe because parties like Isamaaliit set the tone for the restored Estonian state. And so the Klenski animal was born of the will of the Estonian nationalists. Who would have guessed?

Anyway, one part that struck me was Klenski's belief that Estonia was somehow NOT occupied by the Soviet Union (not Russia, of course, Russia was vacationing in the Crimea at the time) in 1940. His example, the fact that Estonian communists collaborated in the overthrow of the Estonian state.

Ja peale selle eitama fakti, et sm.Lauristin käis 1940.a. Moskvas, kus 6.augustil kirjutas alla lepingule, mis nägi ette Eesti astumise NSVL koosseisu.


Estonian communists were complicit in the takeover of the Estonian state in 1940, this much is true. But from the perspective of the state, shared by the Tief government in 1944, the exile government in the years 1945 - 1991, and the restored government, all who have spoken for and have been recognized as the voice of the Estonian state, the NSV government was an illegitimate government on the same footing as the Terijoki government in Finland, led by Otto Kuusinen (pictured).

In 1939, the Soviet government was telling the world that the Kuusinen government was the only legitimate government in Finland. Obviously, Mannerheim had the last say there, and Kuusinen died a traitor's death in Moscow in 1964. So there you have it, the victors write the history books, and in Estonia, the Estonian state, as established in 1918, is the victor here. They really are. And they wrote the history as they saw fit. Moscow calls it historical revisionism. Estonia doesn't care.

As for Klenksi, he sees himself as some kind of Martin Luther King Jr. for the quarter of the Estonian population that allegedly doesn't have it as good as the rest. His examples why? Greater unemployment, along with the accompanying ills of AIDS and drug use. He blames Estonia's lack of love for its minorities. I personally might blame Soviet-era population transfer for creating communities (Paldiski, for example) that were never meant to be.

It is interesting that he, whose Constitution Party probably won't win one seat in March, gets so much press attention. Yet there are opportunities here for mainstream Estonian parties in the issues Klenski raises. Minority issues aren't only game for the Keskid. The thing is that Estonia's major parties have their home bases in parts of Estonia where minority issues don't matter so much. Isamaaliit is a Viljandi party, while Reform has a hold in Tartumaa and Eestimaa Rahvaliit has strong support in Võru and Lääne-Virumaa. The Keskid are promising you a larger salary this year. What could the other parties be offering this often ignored section of the electorate?

95 kommentaari:

kari ütles ...

the fact that Klenski is able to speak estonian without a noticeable accent is the only thing different from others. somewhere in the very same paper mr Zarenkov was explaing the same thing. still the ability to speak estonian makes mr Klenski almost a normal person despite the BS.
by the way about estonian history... if you manage i recomend you go and see the film Laulev Revolutsioon, the one about the Song Festivals. it really is worth watching. almost made by spill a tear.

n-lane ütles ...

But from the perspective of the state ...

Yes. But I think, what Dmitri Klenski says is simply that the international jurisdiction ("from the perspective of the world", so to say) has not spoken its word about the occupation of Estonia (yet).

Jens-Olaf ütles ...

One has to look close at the time 1939, for each detail, and for the Polish Orzel case this is a key for understanding:
...'The same day the Polish section of the BBC stated that the Germans accused Orzel of murdering the two Estonian guards. On hearing this, Grudzinski wanted to do something about it. Orzel's dramatic escape was reported all over the world, and now more than ever, she was a prestige target for the Kriegsmarine and the Soviet Navy. During 19 to 20 September, three Soviet destroyers and other smaller vessels joined the Estonian vessels searching for Orzel between the Gulf of Finland and Gotland. The crew of Orzel would never have imagined that Soviet ships would have joined the hunt.'
This text is worse to read and most detailed, when the world watched the scene about the escaped polish submarine and Estonia still an independent state, or so:
http://www.orzel.one.pl/viewpage.php?page_id=25

Giustino ütles ...

Yes. But I think, what Dmitri Klenski says is simply that the international jurisdiction ("from the perspective of the world", so to say) has not spoken its word about the occupation of Estonia (yet).

I thought the Stimson Doctrine laid out the US position on the occupation, and most historical references I can find in English calls it that. And it's not just since 1991. From the end of World War II onward, Western governments deemed Soviet presence in the Baltics as occupation or colonialism.

There's obviously one large party, ie. the Russian Federation that calls it a "so called" occupation. But hey, the Turks have yet to fess up to the Armenian genocide. What else is new.

identiteedivargus ütles ...

/---/The Court [European Court of Human Rights] notes, first, that Estonia lost its independence as a result of the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (also known as “Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact”), concluded on 23 August 1939, and the secret additional protocols to it. Following an ultimatum to set up Soviet military bases in Estonia in 1939, a large-scale entry of the Soviet army into Estonia took place in June 1940. The lawful government of the country was overthrown and Soviet rule was imposed by force. The totalitarian communist regime of the Soviet Union conducted large-scale and systematic actions against the Estonian population, including, for example, the deportation of about 10,000 persons on 14 June 1941 and of more than 20,000 on 25 March 1949. After the Second World War, tens of thousands of persons went into hiding in the forests to avoid repression by the Soviet authorities; part of those in hiding actively resisted the occupation regime. According to the data of the security organs, about 1,500 persons were killed and almost 10,000 arrested in the course of the resistance movement of 1944-1953.

Interrupted by the German occupation in 1941-1944, Estonia remained occupied by the Soviet Union until its restoration of independence in 1991. Accordingly, Estonia as a state was temporarily prevented from fulfilling its international commitments. /---/

Martin ütles ...

Identiteedivargus, could please you post a reference to that quote, I like to keep a list of references in case the need arises.

Thanks.

Flasher T ütles ...

the international jurisdiction ("from the perspective of the world", so to say) has not spoken its word about the occupation of Estonia (yet).

The US has always refused to accept the legitimacy of the Soviet occupation of the Baltic states, this has been affirmed in several acts of Congress.

Flasher T ütles ...

http://www.derechos.org/nizkor/impu/kolk.html

Found the source of that quote in Google.

AR ütles ...

In case someone needs this argument about J. Lauristin & Co and the behaviour of communist-socialist collaborators in 1940:

In most European countries in 1940 you could find a capable bunch of people representing some major political/ideological doctrine (facism, nazism, communism, liberalism etc).

If in 1940 a similar well-staged coup were undertaken say by Germany, Italy, UK, US etc the results would have been the same.

It just depends on the number of troops and quality of management.

The technique is simple
- military harassment for starters
- ultimatum, negotiations and agreement as s result of it
- staged demonstrations supported by and manned by (of in civilian clothed) the military
- step-by-step, seemingly legal transformation ending with joining the occupier.

PS Not very well based with evidence, but Lauristin was the first top level communist who was murdered by NKVD (during escape from Tallinn in 1941) because of his disagreements with other Party leaders.

oliver ütles ...

Klenski, Zarenkov, n-lane and some others (Russian current leadership included) are simply repeating the lies of red fascism. And that scares me...

The court decision identiteedivargus copied is actually two decisions from last year:
KOLK AND KISLYIY v. ESTONIA
and PENART v. ESTONIA.
Google them or find the originals here (tick the "decisions" box)
We have resolutions from European Parliamentary Assembly and European Parliament: original copy or simple text

I’m so sick and tired of arguing about facts that every sane and honest person (and international organization/court) knows already.

...
For me one of the most interesting things about the upcoming elections is the percentage of votes for Constitution Party. We’ll get an approximate number of ENEMIES of Estonia (that’s WITH citizenship).
I’m sorry but I can’t call the people who continue to spread the lies of Soviet Union (among other things) anything else.

Estonia in World Media (Rus) ütles ...

Actually there are at least three decisions in ECHR, third is Zhdanoka vs Latvia, inter alia relevant to the issue.
They are already mentioned in Russian Wikipedia's article on Estonia's history, relevant to the occupation question. Therefore I propose this "international jurisdiction" issue considered comme faux pas, closed.

n-lane ütles ...

Klenski, Zarenkov, n-lane and some others (Russian current leadership included) are simply repeating the lies of red fascism. (oliver)

I think that Klenski tries to find a compromise in the spirit of Realpolitik, where you have to deal with real powers and be flexible. Because sometimes it is the only way to really help people.
In my opinion, as long as there is no Estonia vs. Russia case (which is actually impossible, I think), there always will be room for speculations.

I’m so sick and tired of arguing about facts that every sane and honest person (and international organization/court) knows already. (oliver)

I knew about those court decisions. I think Klenski knew about them as well.

Unfortunately, 100 per cent honest people cannot make reasonable and peaceful policy, as long as there are dishonest people around them.

Just think of Heinz Valk and Jaan Kaplinski. They are my heroes, they never betrayed their ideals, I think, but they are not in politics anymore. Can you tell me why?

Giustino ütles ...

In my opinion, as long as there is no Estonia vs. Russia case (which is actually impossible, I think), there always will be room for speculations.

Russia has admitted that it occupied the Baltics, just not yet at the official level.

Look at these comments from the SVR in November:

MOSCOW, November 23 (RIA Novosti) - The Soviet Union was justified in annexing the Baltic states in WWII, as their governments supported Nazi Germany, Russia's foreign intelligence service (SVR) said Thursday.

The SVR has declassified documents relating to the situation in the three Baltic countries in early 1940s and during World War II, said the chief spokesman of the intelligence service, Sergei Ivanov.

"These materials show that German-oriented policies conducted by governments in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia threatened to turn these states into a staging ground for a German invasion of the Soviet Union," Ivanov said.

The issue of the Soviet Union's annexation of the Baltic states continues to be a source of contention between Russia and its EU Baltic neighbors, particularly Latvia and Estonia, which have denied citizenship to thousands of their ethnic Russian residents, over what they call the illegal Soviet "occupation".

Ivanov said, "The archives contain special reports to the [Soviet] political leadership on secret talks between Latvian leaders and the Germans, about the inevitability of a future occupation of Estonia by German troops, and the readiness of the Lithuanian army to surrender to the Germans."

He also said declassified documents indicate that the United States and Great Britain accepted the entry of Soviet troops into the three Baltic states in 1940 as a necessary and timely step.

In June 1940, Russia accused Estonia of forming a conspiracy together with Latvia and Lithuania against it, and issued an ultimatum, demanding among other concessions that more Soviet troops be allowed to enter the three countries.

In the following month, local communists loyal to the Soviet Union won parliamentary "elections" in all three countries, and in August these parliaments asked the Soviet government for accession to the Soviet Union. As a result, the three states were formally annexed.

"The declassified SVR archives serve as a comprehensive addition to historical knowledge about the situation in the Baltic region during the Second World War and its role as a crossroads of geopolitical interests and confrontation between the Axis and Allies," the SRV official said.


There you have it, from the mouth of the SVR.

notsu ütles ...

Of course, the argument that "their governments supported Nazi Germany" is a strange one, considering that USSR was an ally of Nazi Germany this time...

n-lane ütles ...

We’ll get an approximate number of ENEMIES of Estonia (that’s WITH citizenship).I’m sorry but I can’t call the people who continue to spread the lies of Soviet Union (among other things) anything else. (oliver)

I see the Constitution Party as an opposition to the current Estonian government (which has grown too right wing), but not as enemies of Estonia (because Estonia is their home). They do "spread lies" because their electorate watches Russian TV and doesn't (or cannot) read this blog (unfortunately). But this electorate has real and legitimate needs and problems which can be addressed and hopefully solved by such Klenskis, whom they trust. And when their worst problems are finally solved, they will be able to calm down and listen to oliver and maybe learn something from him.

oliver ütles ...

n-lane,
I'm sorry I just can't understand. When they finally "solve their problems", they'll stop lying? Actually I find the whole logic behind this absolutely absurd - to get certain votes we have to use exactly the same lies as the Soviet terror regime (the enemy) did (oh and BTW... neither we or the people voting for us are the enemies).
And when I said among other things, I meant the general attitude - for example Zarenkov's remarks about Estonia never having its own heroes, some babbling how Soviet Union brought great prosperity to those lands and so on. Or wait - that's just more lies...

because Estonia is their home That's just it - it isn't. How can something you don't respect (know its history, culture, language) be your home? It's easy to be enemy of Estonia when your real home is Soviet Union. I'm sorry... not even easy, but only natural.
And I can't make it any more clear.

n-lane ütles ...

Oliver,
I think Klenski is much smarter than Zarenkov (from what I know).
You can hardly find a Russian politician in Estonia, who is smarter than Klenski, because the smarter ones either have left Estonia for other countries or are too smart to mess up with current politics.

What Klenski says is not a lie for his electorate - it is the way they see history. And they have no reason to believe the opposite side, because the opposite opinion is often served to them by those, who call them "enemies".

That is why your attitude won't lead us anywhere, I think. As I already said, you cannot impose information on people, you can only make them want to know it.

The Russians (or Slavs, as Giustino put it) in Ida-Virumaa, where I come from, are not against Estonia, they are against the current minorities' policy. Maybe their situation can de facto even be compared to that of Estonians in the USSR. If any comparison could help here.

Estonia in World Media (Rus) ütles ...

But this electorate has real and legitimate needs and problems which can be addressed and hopefully solved by such Klenskis

Klenski ran in Kopli, considerably Russian region in 2005. All non-citizens allowed to vote. Got about 900 votes. He has no electorate.

oliver ütles ...

Klenski is intelligent, sure, but i can't see how is that got to do with anything. Being smart doesn't make him any less repulsive.

What Klenski says is not a lie for his electorate - it is the way they see history

Plain ignorance or being brainwashed isn't an excuse - lie is still a lie. And my main point was that Klenski is actually "double-lying" - his top argument, which he repeats tirelessy, is that no international court of organization has never mentioned occupation which. In fact, you are doing the very same thing:
Dmitri Klenski says is simply that international jurisdiction has not spoken its word about the occupation of Estonia (yet) (not one word against it)
and later laconic I knew about those court decisions

I can't see any point to waste more of our time and continue this little discussion. Your definitions of lying, honesty and home are completely opposite to mine (I put them under one generic name in my mind - Soviet)... so there is no common ground for us to move on.

n-lane ütles ...

Oliver, talking about enemies brings us 60 years back. You don't have to vote for Klenski, there are plenty of other candidates (unlike in the Soviet times). So why are you so upset? I think, there is always common ground to move on. If we want to see it.

not one word against it (Oliver)
I commented on Giustino's post and not on Klenski's statement in the first place. Klenski spoke about "rahvusvaheline õigus", while Giustinos argument was "the perspective of the state", which is not a sufficient counter-argument, formally speaking. By the way: what made me write the first comment was that Klenski's first name is Dmitri and not Dominic. :-)

Your "ENEMIES of Estonia" talk made me then tell you my opinion on why Klenski said what he said and oppose you in the first place, because Klenski doesn't talk about enemies, but you do.

n-lane ütles ...

Klenski ran in Kopli, considerably Russian region in 2005. All non-citizens allowed to vote. Got about 900 votes. He has no electorate (Estonia in World Media)

Yes, I think he admitted that himself in an interview I read recently.
I hope this fact will comfort Oliver.

notsu ütles ...

N-lane, sometimes I don't understand why you quixotically stand up for some people that you do. I remember that in response to an earlier post of Giustino's, there was another e-Russian commenter whom you defended, although, having read your blog, I do not believe you actually shared his views (for instance, he posted a comment justifying Soviet deportations in Estonia by saying that those deported were war criminals - btw, Klenski has also publicly declared that to a certain extent those deportations can be given a *positive* evaluation). It is also hard to me to believe (again - on the basis of your own blog) that you personally would deny the fact of occupation of Estonia. I think you do figure that denying the fact that the USSR power here was ever an occupation also denies the legality of actual Estonian state, as today's republic of Estonia is legally the same republic that was created in 1918. It should be at least understandable that such a denial be called hostile to the country concerned.
So, as I cannot believe that doing this you defend your own convictions, what is it? do you feel that you have to fend for the weaker - even if you deep down feel that he's not right?
You have written that you often find yourself between two fires and I kind of imagine why ;).

A propos, for a comparison of situation of Estonians in Soviet state and today's e-Russians - no Estonian in Soviet days could ever have expressed views even half as radical about USSR in public as Klenski has about Estonia, and still walked free. Just think of fate of those who did anything political against the soviet power when caught.

So, however resentful I am about some of Klenski's statements, it makes me happy that I live in a state where he can make those.

plasma-jack ütles ...

I think that n-lane is very politely trying to say: 'if there would be a better integration policy, there would be less bullshit' and I, being an Estonian think it's true. I'm optimistic about the future though. For example, having read the electoral programmes of all parties, I noticed that both IRL and Reform are promising language lessons free of charge for non-citizens who want to obtain citizenship. I'm not sure, but it would seem rather an important change to me. Should have used that measure at the first place.

Whether the politicans can keep their promises (and whether it is possible to find the teachers) is a different story, of course.

Somebody expressed the opinion that Kesk doesn't do anything significant for ameliorating the ethnic minorities' situation because they are afraid of losing their electorate - if people are economically well off and educated, they tend not to vote for Kesk. I think it's true.

n-lane ütles ...

N-lane, sometimes I don't understand why you quixotically stand up for some people that you do. (Notsu)

Thank you, Notsu and Plasma-jack, for your comments. I appreciate them. I really fight windmills sometimes. Because I really think that civilized democracy implies respecting "the weaker".

There was another e-Russian commenter whom you defended (Notsu)
I defended him against unfair arguments, as far as I remember. I have to admit that I also got excited back then, as I for some time seemed to be the only commenter who took the Amnesty report seriously.

So, however resentful I am about some of Klenski's statements, it makes me happy that I live in a state where he can make those. (Notsu)
I am happy about it too and that is what lets me also be optimistic about the future.

For as long as we go on "thinking war", there will inevitably be those who say "venkud välja!" and those who say "vabastaja ≠ okupant" — inevitably hating each other.

n-lane ütles ...

By the way, I have found an interesting and rational post about occupation, court decisions and international jurisdiction (for those who can read Russian): интересно.

I have also read some posts about Klenski today (in Russian): there is much criticism about him in Russian-speaking blogs from Estonia. I don't know why Klenski has to play with history and put himself into this vulnerable position. Still many of the issues Klenski raises have to be taken seriously, I think.

Giustino ütles ...

The Russians (or Slavs, as Giustino put it) in Ida-Virumaa, where I come from, are not against Estonia, they are against the current minorities' policy. Maybe their situation can de facto even be compared to that of Estonians in the USSR. If any comparison could help here.

I personally think the minorities policies are a bit outdated. When I read about the Estonia of 1989, when Estonians were about to dip below 60 percent of the population, you can understand these laws they made to protect their country from becoming the next Ingria or Karelia.

But today, when Estonians are nearing 70 percent of the population, and most young native Russian speakers I meet in Estonia speak better Estonian than I do, I can see why people would see these out of date.

But I think the minorities policies of the 90s set the tone for what was to come today. If there hadn't been a firm hand from the majority saying, "this is how it's going to be" maybe all those young people wouldn't speak Estonian. And in a country where Estonians are the overwhelming majority, you've got to know that language if you want to get a job.

It's sad though to thing that a teenage girl born in 1990 has to take a test for citizenship, but her sister born in 1992 doesn't. That just alienates those kids.

Still, if you've lived in Narva for 30 years, and you don't support the Estonian state, it's hard for me to cry when people tell you to move 15 minutes across the river back to Russia. Is Narva really that much better than Ivangorod? Give me a break, dudes. I have no sympathy for you.

But people get really offended when you imply that they should consider relocating. I mean if I dumped 50,000 Koreans in Iceland, and they suddenly decided to demand automatic citizenship and language rights, and that Korean be elevated to the same level as Icelandic in the state Althing, I'd just have to tell you that you are crazy.

Despite the linguistic pressure they've been put under, I'd also have to say that Estonians are pretty tolerant people. I see signs and notices in both languages everywhere. Hanspank, Baltijaam, even my Simpel card was in Estonian, Russian, and English. My keyboard at the Internet cafe was an Estonian/Russian keyboard.

So what's the big deal here? It takes the government awhile to catch up to everyone else.

n-lane ütles ...

So what's the big deal here? It takes the government awhile to catch up to everyone else.

I can only hope that it will not take too long for the government to really catch up.

Giustino ütles ...

I can only hope that it will not take too long for the government to really catch up.

Well, what exactly is the issue here? I hear a lot of sanctimonious posturing from Klenski, but little else. Is the issue just citizenship, that the 120,000 or so Estonian residents should get it automatically - is that it?

I am not getting the exact message.

Puu ütles ...

It's a complicated situation. Comparisons like Mexicans in the US, Arabs in Berlin all come up, but while these are nice handles the identity of the Russian minority is much more complex. Russian Estonian relations are very complex, particularly the further back in history you go.
My grandmother's family was from Narva, and she herself was born in Russia, because her family owned land there. Girls from her family in the generation before attended the Smolna School for Girls the Tsarina's school in St. Petersburg.
Her family would have never reached the level of success it did without russian trade. And yet she suffered enormous abuse at the hands of the red army.All my life when I knew her in America she cursed Russia and would only speak to me in Estonian. The only time Russian would slip out was when we held hands in a public place( because she had arthritis) and she would call me patrusinga or patrushka. To her the world created by the red army was a world in which the word friend no longer made sense.And considering that she lost everything at their hands this belief was perhaps justified. Estonian nationalism gave hope and the promise of a future and small sustainable country with decent values. The Russian system offered chaos and skewed morality. Is it any wonder that she chose to let Russian die with her.

The Russian minority has often chosen to live in Estonia because conditions are much better there. The system is still highly disfunctional. When I was a schoolteacher, in rural Estonia, a wonderful school (but a place that would in New York fall squarely in the Catagory of East Bumblefuck, then again so does like Paramus), one of my friends was a Tatar from Nitsky Novgorad who had married an Estonian ( and for the record in this case it was the Estonian, who was a bit of an alky who had the better end of the bargain), her mother died in Novgorad and she couldn't go to the Funeral because of Visa Restrictions. I mean Urg how horrible. I have another friend from the Amur River Region of Russia, by the Chinese border, where the closest large town is Vladavostock ( I met her in English teacher training in Hungary) and she is trying to move her family to Latvia, because life is better in Riga than in a village in the woods grappling with industrial pollution from China. Do I hope she gets to Latvia? Of course I do, she is a wonderful person, she taught me as much of Moscow Nights as I could sing and we have gone through some Bika Ver wine together and she a truly good teacher. And she deserves to live in a country that doesn't restrict her travel and what she reads.

Lots of Scandinavian Countries take in Political Refugees Finland has done an especially good job with the Somalians and Iraqis it took in so now you can go to Helsinki and meet a Somali who will speaks Really good Finnish. But the the Finns were successful in part because they were able to chose to take in just a small amount of Refugee and do a really good job integrating them.

The thing that is so often overlooked is that Estonia is tiny and it is fragile. There are 100 million Russian speakers in the world. It is truly a huge humanitarian tragedy that they have been cursed with such a litany of unspeakably shitty governments. But it is not Estonia's fault, and Estonia has suffered considerably at the hands of Shitty Russian Government, and for What? some crappy constructivist ( mind you I love Malevich, so I am being two faced) sculpture, polyester clothing for the proleteriat and the well lined pockets and vacation villas of some leaders and Russian under capitalism has not been better, because it is a corrupt capitalism.

But again, none of this is Estonia's fault. And Estonia should not get pulled down by the putrification of it's monsterously huge neighbour. There are less then a million Estonian speakers. They have fought for their land and worked for their money and surely these achievements should warrant being allowed to live in peace. 100 million Russians asking 800,000 Estonians to save them seems to be asking too much.
God ( and of course we know he is dead to many, the author like post modern theory as much as the next aspiring hipster) helps those who help themselves.

n-lane ütles ...

Well, what exactly is the issue here?

Here is an excerpt from the interview:

Küsimus (Question): Millised on Eesti kolm kõige põletavamat probleemi ja kuidas neid lahendada?
(What are the 3 most urgent problems of Estonia and how to solve them?)

Vastus (Answer):
1.Suur vahe kõige rikkamate ja kõige vaesemate vahel.
(Big difference between the richest and the poorest.)

2.Etniline ebavõrdsus ja eestlaste-venelaste dialoogi puudumine. Kunstlik/rumal ja traagiline distantseerumine Venemaast.
(Ethnic inequality and lack of dialogue between Russians and Estonians. Artificial/stupid and tragic distancing from Russia)

3.Eesti iseseisvuse ja identiteedi kaotamine, kultuuri hääbumine. Eesti elulaadi amerikaniseerumine.
(Loss of Estonian independence and identity, extinction of culture. Americanization of Estonian life style.)

Andres ütles ...

ETV24:

Kas hariduse ja kultuuri rahastamist suhtena sisemajanduse kogutoodangusse või eelarve üldmahtu tuleks oluliselt tõsta, langetada või jätta praegusele tasemele? Kui tõsta, siis mille arvelt?
KONSTITUTSIOONIPARTEI (KO): Hariduse ja kultuuri rahastamist suhtena sisemajanduse kogutoodangusse või eelarve üldmahtu tuleks kindlasti tõsta, kui aga teha seda mingite teiste kulutuste kärpimise hinnaga, siis võiksid nendeks olla näiteks kaitsekulutused, ning muud valdkonnad, kus juhivad sageli ebakompetentsed ministrid ja ametnikud.

I've heard them speaking about how pointless the army is before. Wasn't it Klenski who proposed that we should liquidate the army all together? The Estonian Defence Forces are the protector of the Constitution, and they are the Constitutional Party. So statements like these really puzzle me. What is it that they want, what constitution do they really follow? Saying that the prime protector of the constitution should be weakened, is anti-Estonian in my opinion. Okay, they stand up for the Russians, fine by me, but why does standing up for the Russians always have to mean standing against Estonia and being pro-Russia?

n-lane ütles ...

To Andres:

In this interview, Klenski said the following:
"Olles peaminister (...) oleks esitanud ÜROle resolutsiooni, mille kirjutaksid alla kõik maailma riigid. Nii kui see toimuks, Eesti kuulutaks välja absoluutse neutraliteedi ja esimesena maailmas loobuks täielikult igasugustest relvajõududest. Olen veendunud, et kui Venemaa rikuks seda ÜRO resolutsiooni, siis kohalikud venelased asuksid Eestit kaitsma. Naiivne? Võib-olla, kuid ainult esmapilgul."

We have to have in mind, that Klenski is a left-wing socialist, even a communist sometimes.

Giustino ütles ...

Vastus (Answer):
1.Suur vahe kõige rikkamate ja kõige vaesemate vahel.
(Big difference between the richest and the poorest.)


I can agree with that, but what exactly is the remedy? Redistribution of wealth? To whom and under what circumstances?

(Ethnic inequality and lack of dialogue between Russians and Estonians. Artificial/stupid and tragic distancing from Russia)

Estonian-Russian relations have been dominated, since 1721 and especially during the Russification campaigns of the 1880s and 90s, by the use of force on the side of the Russians to hold political and/or moral control over the Estonians.

When I think about this relationship, I actually think it's pretty one-sided. Estonia is like an old girlfriend Russia used to beat up once in awhile that won't put out anymore. I hear from the Estonians one thing, "leave me alone." Estonia is still scarred from the occupation.

I mean visit this site:

http://www.okupatsioon.ee/raamat1/alfab/l7.html

My wife's great grandfather is in there. They arrested him in 1948, when he was 50, and he didn't return until 1956 after eight years in Siberia. His crime? He was an Estonian Independence fighter and a farm owner. Uh oh. This shit is grotesque. Subhuman. And the Russian Federation? They call it liberation. Excuse me while I go vomit.

OK, I'm back ...

As for interethnic dialogue, isn't that what the school reforms are about? Giving all of Estonia's residents an equal playing field by making them fluent in the majority and state language? Then there are those programs on ETV where everything is in Estonian and Russian, which means I only understand 50 percent of what is going on. It's kind of hard to have a dialogue when you are speaking to one another in different languages, but I have seen it among the bilingual younger set. They seem to "get" this whole thing better than me, or you, or Dmitri "Dominic" Klenski :)

But take this for example. Today in Tallinna Baltijaam I went to use the WC, and the woman at the desk, perhaps 60 years old, started to speak to me in some strange language, which I eventually figured out was Russian. I asked her the questions in Estonian and she kept speaking in Russian. I wouldn't dare switch to English, who knows where that would lead me. I basically understood her point (that kids don't have to pay) by means of her body language. But, where's the dialogue there? I mean, what is the solution to these things? Someone eventually has to learn the other's language.

(Loss of Estonian independence and identity, extinction of culture. Americanization of Estonian life style.)

See, number 1 and number 3 don't add up. Many people in Estonia have been able to bridge the income gap by means of membership in the EU. They go and work legally in Ireland and the UK, then bring the money home to Mom and Dad and Wife and Kid.

As for NATO membership, well, it's nice to have that card in your back pocket when the time comes. I am not sure how much it is really worth, but if Iceland and Norway and Denmark are members, then I don't see how Estonian membership changes anything.

That's the only way I can attribute the ideas of "loss of independence," although Estonia has only been independent these past 16 years.

As for Americanization of culture, most of the capital invested in Estonia comes from Sweden and Finland, not American. They are the ones building the malls etc. So blame Jukka and Svenson.

Also, it's not my fault that we make better TV shows than most countries. If Russia was making Lost, I'd probably be watching it too.

Puu ütles ...

The Russians could be trying a bit harder too, to establish an nice diplomatic presence and foster interest in Russian culture. I went into the Russian Cultural Center Tallinn to see if they had any Russian conversation classes or cultural events. I was meet by a glut of really cheesy gilded paintings and blank stares.
Alliance Francaise or British Council it is not.

n-lane ütles ...

I can agree with that, but what exactly is the remedy? Redistribution of wealth? To whom and under what circumstances?

I don't think that Klenski wants a revolution. The government can redistribute wealth by changing the tax system, by giving more support to vulnerable household members, by financing more socially-oriented projects etc. Which is the case in many European countries.

They call it liberation. Excuse me while I go vomit.

Well, you don't have to love Russia. But to go vomit each time you hear a Russian talk about liberation is also strange. As you know, the USSR
1. occupied Estonia
2. liberated Estonia from Germany
3. occupied Estonia again.
You seem to emphasize the occupation part, many Russians (but not all of them) naturally emphasize the liberation part, because their grandfathers died for that. The officials of Estonia and Russia just emphasize different parts of one sentence, but are not willing yet to pronounce the whole truth. What hinders them? The unwise political games they play.

Someone eventually has to learn the other's language

It is not about language in the first place. It is about willingness to talk and understand each others ideas and beliefs, to tell "the whole truth". Language is the least problem in this case, at least for such intelligent people as Klenski.

Also, it's not my fault that we make better TV shows than most countries.

By the way, who made the first TV show ever?

I cannot quite understand number 3 either. Perhaps Klenski means that Estonia lost its chance to make something better out of their independence, to make a better state, which you would not have to leave in order to be able to stay.

Anonüümne ütles ...

Puu here ( I love the fact that tree in one language means shit in another)

I think there is something to the fact that positive aspects of Russian History and Culture should be taught in schools and Russia place in history should be weighed.
And Russia's involvement in the second world war was critical to defeating germany, like if you read Hobsbawn ( yay Hobsbawn, in many ways, though some views are troubling) for example.
But Russia has lots of political problems and social problems that need to be fixed and should be fixed before it ( or certain politicians to be specific) starts sticking it's nose in other peoples business.People in Glass houses shouldn't throw stones.
And yes. Much the same can be said for the US.
Can't we all just get along.

Anonüümne ütles ...

I'm starting to think that n-lane is the only one in the Estonian-Russian commmunity who has anything intelligent to say. If he speaks I listen. I think the way that Giustino is english voice of Esonia, n-lane is voice of native Russian-speakers in Estonia.

Anonüümne ütles ...

But it's too small a country to get so very partisan.

Anonüümne ütles ...

And speaking about being partisan, and history and blah blah the Nazi party would probably have never come to power if the socialist party hadn't driven the social dems to Prague, by claiming that they were worse than the national socialists. And if the social dems had stayed in power in Germany then there would likely have been no second world war just decades of peace, inflation and cabaret music.And the socialists in Weimar Germany were working to some extent with Moscow. So although the Soviets fought the fascists and defeated them, in a large degree they are also responsible for creating Fascism ( or creating the enviroment of extremism in which Fascism flourished).
Hopefully, the mistakes of history won't be repeated.

notsu ütles ...

Narva-lane is of course one of Estonian-Russian community who is able to dialogue, but by no means the only one. Have you forgotten Krishtafovitsh? And what about the guy who writes nostalgie-ee.livejournal.com?

'bout the liberation issue... it is still very interesting for me, what would the chances of Germany to occupy Estonia have been, if USSR hadn't helped it with invading Poland in first place...

Jens-Olaf ütles ...

And Germany is still reluctant toward Estonia. It should be a partner, one of the most important EU-states. This you can read on the official website of the Estonian Embassy in Berlin. Margus Laidre:
Keset seda kolimise tohuvabohu saabus tagatipuks
Bonni kahepäevasele visiidile välisminister Toomas
Hendrik Ilves. Bundeskanzleramtis pani tema külaskäigule
saksapärase punkti uue kantsleri Gerhard Schröderi välisnõunik
Michael Steiner, kes viisaka agressiivsusega lausus:
„Kas te tõesti arvate, et kui NATO avab teiega liitumisprotsessi,
siis Venemaa lihtsalt kehitab õlgu, piirdudes ütlemisega,
et meile see ei meeldi ja sinna kogu asi jääbki?”
There you can find more hints like this. Partner in the EU. This doesn't make me feel save about Estonia.
http://www.estemb.de/static/files/047/laidre.pdf

Giustino ütles ...

Well, you don't have to love Russia. But to go vomit each time you hear a Russian talk about liberation is also strange. As you know, the USSR
1. occupied Estonia
2. liberated Estonia from Germany
3. occupied Estonia again.


In the history of the Estonian state, both the USSR and Nazis are equally bad actors because they both sought to destroy the Estonian state.

However, it was the USSR that was the more successful of the two. Those who speak for the Estonian state, like the president, the prime minister, et cetera, live with the peculiar knowledge that their predecessors were either murdered or sentenced to die in gulags or psychiatric hospitals.

From the vantagepoint of the state, the Soviets will never have a "good side." Go look at the list of heads of state for pre-war Estonia at the www.president.ee website, you'll see what I mean. They all died at the hands of the Soviets, circa 1941-42.

We can argue about the actual people, but the fact is that the Soviets killed more Estonians than the Nazis did. How do we weigh this reality with the talk of "liberation" from Nazi Germany? How does the state weigh it?

I'll put it this way. As an American, I have no beef with the Red Army that defeated Hitler's Germany. Obviously I am glad that happened.

But as the relative of an Estonian, it's hard to call what happened to families AFTER the war any kind of liberation. Living in the woods hoping they don't catch you doesn't sound like freedom from anything to me.

You seem to emphasize the occupation part, many Russians (but not all of them) naturally emphasize the liberation part, because their grandfathers died for that. The officials of Estonia and Russia just emphasize different parts of one sentence, but are not willing yet to pronounce the whole truth. What hinders them? The unwise political games they play.

I don't know why the Russians don't own up to the occupation. As for Estonia's rightwing politicians, they've been in power since day one. They need fresh ammo to continue to stay in office. The past offers them plenty to use to get out the vote.

Giustino ütles ...

And Germany is still reluctant toward Estonia. It should be a partner, one of the most important EU-states.

Germans I meet tend to know little of Estonia. I just sent pictures of our home to a colleague who is from Köln, and she replied, "Wow, it really is European. This could be a street in Germany."

I'm starting to think that n-lane is the only one in the Estonian-Russian commmunity who has anything intelligent to say. If he speaks I listen.

Since it seems to be the thing to do, I too will kiss your ass narvalane. You are a very welcome addition to this blog!

Anyway, I think that most of Estonia's minority policies are set with Tallinn in mind. The Tallinn politicians don't realize, or perhaps ignore, this floating Russian-speaking island of ~60,000 on the border with Venemaa.

It creates dissonance, to say the least.

notsu ütles ...

Oh, just another thought:
the trouble with "occupation-then-liberation-
then-occupation again" scheme is that Nazi Germany could then also have claimed that first they liberated, and only then occupied. And of course, they DID claim that it was a liberation.

n-lane ütles ...

the trouble with "occupation-then-liberation-
then-occupation again" scheme
(Notsu)

My scheme is a mental one. The processes of liberation and reoccupation happened more or less simultaniously, but still they are to be separated from each other, I think.

Nazi Germany could then also have claimed that first they liberated, and only then occupied. And of course, they DID claim that it was a liberation. (Notsu)

The "trouble" is that Nazi Germany didn't win the war. But Estonia could impossibly win this war. So why the Russians cannot be proud that they won it? Just because they didn't stop at the Russian border, but saw no other way to win than to go all the way to Berlin?

So it is more about pride and suffering. By denying liberation you deny their pride and suffering, which makes many of them blindly deny Estonia's national pride and suffering (i.e. the fact of occupation) in return.

What do you think?

Jens-Olaf ütles ...

Growing up among families who escaped, emigrated from Estonia during 1939-1944 it was hard to find out what happened to all of them, to stay in contact. The brother of my grandfather was missing in Estonia. We never heard anything from him after 1944. He was in no army, just sending food packages during war, then finish. Some friends were not seen for a while, maybe for a time beeing they joined the forest brothers, rumors? Postards from Sweden arrived, telling they prepare to leave to the States and Canada. My Grandfather had to keep silent about his descend. They played the russian card cause his wife's mother tongue was Russian. In that language they got contact with the Red Army, when the soviets arrived Berlin. Soon they became offical interpreter for the Soviet administration. Their girls were save from that point save from the common rape. My grandfather an Estonian always scared that the Soviets could find out that he was an Estonian officer (did not serve in any army during WWII), etc...

Kaarel ütles ...

Well, you don't have to love Russia. But to go vomit each time you hear a Russian talk about liberation is also strange.

Not so much actually. Don't exactly know about jews these days, but I know a girl with Armenian roots that does basically same when someone calls Armenian genocide "protection of the Turkish nation" or something like that. But I think that Estonians are kind of tolerant to Russians anyway, at least if you think about Afghans or Chechens...

plasma-jack ütles ...

sry, I have double identity

n-lane, you're trying to say that only because Russians won Second World War and Estonians did not, it gives Russians a moral right to deny their past or at least soften it with euphemisms. Why would you do that anyway? It's not that we're saying it was you, n-lane, in person, who shot or deported somebody. Then why defend them? You won't convince Estonians that there really was "a liberation phase" - too many people we know were really there when it happened, you know.

plasma-jack ütles ...

...about winning and losing wars, it still seems to me that the fact that the people of capitulated Germany and Italy gained way more in the long run than citizens of liberated Soviet Union, is quite illustrating.

plasma-jack ütles ...

(so they don't feel need to say that holocaust never happened)

notsu ütles ...

Another point on liberation issue: when Soviet Army re-entered Estonia, they were thinking that they are liberating The World, but not necessarily Estonians. Estonians were mostly viewed as an enemy - even so late as in late 80s, Baltic guys serving in Soviet Army had hard times there, because they were considered "fascists" and bullied for this reason.

I guess that when the Red Army was retaking the Russian territory from Germans, they behaved much differently from what they did in Estonia (and further on); that there wasn't such an amount of sacking, raping and killing of civilians by Red Army in Russia. Now in Estonia and Latvia it was different (as it was in Germany): it was a revenge for what Russians had suffered themselves under Nazis, so the civilians, women and children included, could be treated as non-humans.

So, when liberating Estonia, then one thing they were liberating it of were actually Estonians. You cannot expect Estonians ever to accept that "you see, you actually needed to be got rid of".

n-lane ütles ...

n-lane, you're trying to say that only because Russians won Second World War and Estonians did not, it gives Russians a moral right to deny their past or at least soften it with euphemisms. (plasma-jack)

No, I am not. I think you missed my point. I am not talking of a moral right. They have a right to be proud of the victory over fascism. By denying this right you just make them angry, that's all. Of course we could argue whether anybody has a moral right to get angry...

Estonians did not (plasma-jack)

Those who fought with the Soviets did, I think.

n-lane ütles ...

the fact that the people of capitulated Germany and Italy gained way more in the long run than citizens of liberated Soviet Union, is quite illustrating (plasma-jack)

Illustrating what?

notsu ütles ...

N-lane, those Estonians who fought with Soviets had often been deported first and only after Germany had attacked its former ally, included in Soviet forces (as an alternative to labor camp). And many of them were deported or closed into camps again even after the war. I don't think they could have felt very victorious then. You see, all Baltic people were viewed at best as under suspicion by Soviet authorities (along with Volga-Germans, Tchetchens, Jews, Yakuts, Tatars, Kalmyks and many others), if not directly "bad nations".

n-lane ütles ...

(so they don't feel need to say that holocaust never happened) (plasma-jack)

But also due to the fact that it is illegal in many European countries:
"Holocaust denial is illegal in a number of European countries: Austria (article 3h Verbotsgesetz 1947), Belgium (Belgian Negationism Law), the Czech Republic under section 261, France (Loi Gayssot), Germany (§ 130 (3) of the penal code) also the Auschwitzlüge law section 185, Lithuania, The Netherlands under articles 137c and 137e, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain and Switzerland (article 261bis of the Penal Code)." From Holocaust_denial

n-lane ütles ...

those Estonians who fought with Soviets had often been deported first and only after Germany had attacked its former ally, included in Soviet forces (Notsu)

Does it mean, that Arnold Meri was the only one who fought against Germany out of his free will?

notsu ütles ...

Most probably not the only one, but what I mean is that most of them didn't enroll to Red Army voluntarily. Arnold Meri was also quite a lucky guy. If you are successful later, it is easier to be proud of what you've done.

Anonüümne ütles ...

BTW, there were local anti-German underground groups too, who aimed for restoring the independence. But their leaders ended in hands of NKVD.

notsu ütles ...

A link about Eesti Laskurkorpus:
http://www.vironia.ee/materjalid/traadik_laskurkorpus.pdf

n-lane ütles ...

Being proud of the victory doesn't mean being proud of the deportations. Commemorating the fallen soldiers (on both sides) doesn't mean forgetting the crimes (on both sides). Those are two sides of one truth, as I said before.

notsu ütles ...

Right, being proud of victory doesn't mean to be proud of deportations; same about commemorating the fallen vs forgetting the crimes. But, en revenant à nos moutons, this doesn't change the fact that Klenski is *denying* the reality of the occupation and the criminality of deportations. This sounds like forgetting/justifying the crimes, doesn't it?

Jens-Olaf ütles ...
Autor on selle kommentaari eemaldanud.
n-lane ütles ...

But, en revenant à nos moutons (Notsu)

I thought we closed that issue with the evil Klenski :-)

I don't know why Klenski has to play with history and put himself into this vulnerable position. Still many of the issues Klenski raises need to be taken seriously, I think.

Jens-Olaf ütles ...

Here are things getting messed up. The Holocaust was starting after the Wannenseekonferenz. For the Holocaust the Nazis needed to start the war. This happened together in cooperation with the Soviets. Ausschwitz is a place in Polen, the mass shootings happened in the Ukraine for example. There were the KZs but in Stalin's Sovietunion was the GULAG, the Holodomor has happened, many party members were killed. The Ingriens were send into nowhere, the Koreans were deported etc. The Kulaks were killed. For an outsider it could be hard to distingish who was more evil until that time. But the Holocaust started and the Nazis nearly reached their goal at the end. And the germans fought their war called "Vernichtungsfeldzug".

n-lane ütles ...

Here are things getting messed up. (Jens-Olaf)

I also get this feeling sometimes :-)

Giustino ütles ...

I don't know why Klenski has to play with history and put himself into this vulnerable position. Still many of the issues Klenski raises need to be taken seriously, I think.

Well, who is he representing? Is he talking on the behalf of just people in Estonia who speak Russian at home? Or of pensioners? Or of everyone who basically hasn't gotten rich in Eesti since 1991?

I think Estonia recognizes he has something valuable to say. I mean the guy has no electoral support whatsoever, and he's on the front page of of one of the most popular dailies giving an interview.

n-lane ütles ...

Well, who is he representing? (Giustino)

We will know it soon.

Giustino ütles ...

We will know it soon.

I've often wondered if an Estonian party would come along and sell out the rightwing and pull the rug out from the populist Keskid by doing something like offering citizenship to all born in Estonia during the occupation.

I wonder if that would be an electoral coup or electoral suicide.

plasma-jack ütles ...

Illustrating what?

that Germany and Italy were really liberated from totalitarianism, unlike Soviet Union and Eastern European states. Because they lost the war, they got rid of Hitler and Mussolini. The whole population of Soviet Union still had Stalin. Hell, the Russians suffered enourmously between his rule as well. Stalin the Liberator? Nice one.

Did Peter I liberate Estonia from the rule of Swedish monarchy? I guess.

plasma-jack ütles ...

between his rule

during his rule, I mean, bloody English

plasma-jack ütles ...

http://www.oesel.ee/cheesoes/jutustab/?p=169

this link is in Estonian, a former Estonian jpurnalist living in Ireland describes local memory wars - which do seem a bit odd from our perspective.

n-lane ütles ...

Stalin the Liberator? Nice one. (plasma-jack)

As far as I know, Stalin made so many mistakes before WW2, so that the USSR was almost unable to fight properly against Nazi Germany in 1941-42.
Still the Russians who "suffered enourmously during his rule as well" (plasma-jack), won this war despite of Stalin.

plasma-jack ütles ...

...and since they won, they have the right to celebrate the victory, just like the Nazis if they would have won. Unbeatable logic. But still, Estonian message is: celebrate, if you will, but NOT in Estonia. If you talk about liberation here, you simply offend very many people who have suffered of this liberation. It's as simple as that. The victims don't forget their suffering simply because they didn't win.

n-lane ütles ...

Come on, plasma-jack, what are you talking about?
I thought you have read what I have written earlier, have you?
Why do you have to go on mixing things up?

n-lane ütles ...

plasma-jack, if you say, that people in Estonia should not celebrate the victory over fascism then I don't know what to say...

Evil Purc ütles ...

n-lane said...
plasma-jack, if you say, that people in Estonia should not celebrate the victory over fascism then I don't know what to say...

People should actually celebrate that they were saved from the rapist by the psychopathic murderer? Oh joy! Hurrah!

n-lane ütles ...

that they were saved (Evil Purc)

No, I mean those who fought against Hitler's Germany. They were not saved, they saved.

Jens-Olaf, please, maybe you could tell me, what is going on? :)

Evil Purc ütles ...

n-lane said...

that they were saved (Evil Purc)

That is what I call ripping a phrase out of context. For Estonia the Red Army saved nothing.

plasma-jack ütles ...

if you say, that people in Estonia should not celebrate the victory over fascism then I don't know what to say.

Basically, that's what I'm saying, if you remove the part where all the mass murders, arrests and denying the right to democracy comes by. Yes, the communists didn't liberate us from the Nazism and the Nazis didn't liberate us from communism. To us, those regimes were morally equal (not to mention they invaded Poland as allies), but in fact Hitler didn't have time to do as much bad things to Estonia. There wouldn't been no victory for Estonians, although the Nazis also talked about liberation from Bolschevim. I really can't see the fundamental difference between Communist and Nazist regimes, nor Hitler and Stalin. Can you? My condolences.

Don't get me wrong, I think that the demise of Hitler was very good thing for French and Dutch and even Germans and Italians. To make this all more clear - there would be now something to celebrate, if only Anglo-American troops had reached the Baltics before the Red Army. THAT would have been a really good thing. Then I would be all-cheers for liberators, as French (rightly) are now.

It's not that I was pro-fascist. It's just that a switch between two totalitarian regimes is not a liberation for a nation that was independent and largely enjoyed democracy until the WWII. The difference is that the Netherlands and Belgium got their independence and democracy back. That's why it can be called liberation. Being liberated means that you're free.

n-lane ütles ...

Maybe we have to define termini first?

By celebrating the victory I mean commemorating the fallen, and not "a feast upon dead bodies", of course.

plasma-jack ütles ...

Or, as I said before - Peter I didn't free Estonia from Swedish monarch's oppression, but conquered it. The conquistadors did not free the Indians from the Inca regime, but conquered the land. The Italians didn't free Ethiopia from monarchist regime, they conquered it. And - Soviet Union and Germany didn't free Poland in 1939 from its authoritarian regime, they conquered it.

plasma-jack ütles ...

By celebrating the victory I mean commemorating the fallen

To me, they seem to be two totally different things. I'm all for the right to commemorate the fallen - for all sides of course. Only without red flags and swastikas.

notsu ütles ...

To me too. Celebrating the victory is triumphing, like "we are winners". Commemorating the dead is quieter and rather a melancholy thing.

n-lane ütles ...

Red flags and swastikas are now forbidden in Estonia, aren't they?

n-lane ütles ...

Celebrating the victory is triumphing, like "we are winners"

But the Red Army was in fact (one of) the winner(s). So for me as a Russian in Estonia, celebrating the victory = commemorating the fallen + telling the kids: our grandfathers won this war, they defeated a devil, don't forget that, but they also did a lot of evil crimes to the people of Estonia, remember that too, and try to learn from the past!

Would that be a definition we can all agree upon?

plasma-jack ütles ...

for me, yes

Franz ütles ...

"that Germany and Italy were really liberated from totalitarianism"
In 1945-1946 14 millions ethnic Germans were deported from (former) eastern territories of Germany and from Czechoslovakia. Very strange liberation indeed

Franz ütles ...

"Stalin made so many mistakes before WW2, so that the USSR was almost unable to fight properly against Nazi Germany in 1941-42"
Read books written by Viktor Suvorov. Stalin planned attack Germany on 6th July 1941. But Hitler outraced him shortly.

notsu ütles ...

Mistakes or not mistakes, it depends on the point of view. If we are to think that Stalin's purpose was to defend USSR population from suffering, he was criminally incompetent in that. But if we view territorial gain as his real purpose, he was terribly efficient.

plasma-jack ütles ...

..although Suvorov claims that since Red Army did not reach Paris, the victory was incomplete, therefore no need to celebrate (the Soviet holiday came after Stalin's death, remember)

franz: you're obviously right, but i rather meant that Germans and Italians are way better off nowadays than citizens of Russia.

plasma-jack ütles ...

eastern territories of Germany and from Czechoslovakia

yeah, the same liberator, you see. (although the Anglo-Americans did terrible things too, one must admit)

Giustino ütles ...

plasma-jack, if you say, that people in Estonia should not celebrate the victory over fascism then I don't know what to say...

As an American, I thought we were just fighting hostile and expansionist German and Japanese regimes in Europe and Asia. That's why all this "the Estonians are fascists" rhetoric falls on deaf American ears.

We have a hard time distinguishing between fascism and communism. I mean both have goosestepping soldiers, concentration camps, one-party systems, lists of undesirables to be eliminated.

In the American mindset, we set out to extinguish fires, and to obviously get something out of it in return. I think Roosevelt did have a sort of imperialist mindset heading into the thing.

He was a product of the 1898 to 1945 foreign policy period, when America was picking up global power from the vaccuum of disintegrating European powers.

n-lane ütles ...

Maybe I shouldn't have used the word "celebration". Most of you seem to associate this word with a festival or party - war is no reason to party anyway. But I hope you agree with what I meant by that.

Evil Purc ütles ...

I doubt any Estonian has a problem with commemorating the dead as long as it is done in a dignified manner, but like Paet said:
"Last year, this monument was the cause of unhealthy political passions – on one side was a group of anti-Estonian forces acting under the cover of congregating to commemorate war losses..."

Therefore the problem lies within using this "commemoration" for some sort of sick and twisted neo-stalinist propaganda. The so called "commemorators" wear and glorify the symbols of the Soviet Union, they attack the Estonian flag and incite violence and hatred against Estonia and Estonians.

plasma-jack ütles ...

...and some braindead Estonian extremists jump for opportunity, as can be expacted. I wouldn't be so much surprised if Kalev Rebane and Vladimir Lebedev got their income from same sources.