neljapäev, mai 03, 2007

Flasher's Manifesto

I met up with Andrei of Antyx last week and found him to be a knowledgable person capable of holding court on a variety of complicated subjects, like the Six Day War, and other snapshots in history.

So I think all of you should go to his website and read a statement he produced following the events last week in Tallinn. Flasher is of Russian and Jewish heritage, but he's 100 percent Estlander and he has presented his words as "the truth."

As the famous Tallinn writer Mihhail Weller wrote, Estonians are not short of steam - they just have a bad whistle. A little more, and detained non-citizen marauders may start to be taken out past the Narva border crossing and left there. In my eyes, as a half-Russian, half-Jewish grandson of people who fought in the Second World War on the side of the USSR, they have already earned the suitcase-train station-Russia treatment.

53 kommentaari:

Jens-Olaf ütles ...

Yiddish, Giustino, Yiddish! not.. !-)

n-lane ütles ...

Estonians live in Russia only because Estonians allow them to.
And local Russians understand this.
Flasher

Isn't it a bit enigmatic? :-)

I think what he meant was:
Russians live in Estonia only because Estonians allow them to.
And local Russians understand this.
Flasher

But this would be chauvinistic, don't you think so?
Fortunately, Flasher is not entitled to speak in the name of all "local Russians".

Andres ütles ...

Well, according to my ancestors Russian Jews have always been on the sensible side. Not something you can say about all(most?) Russians.

I wouldn't like to sound anti-Russian because I'm fighting with myself to stay tolerant but hearing bad things about Russians throughout generations and now witnessing those actions myself isn't going to raise their reputation in my eyes. Sorry guys, let's still try to get along, shall we? Maybe new generations of Russians can persuade me that you really are a warm and welcoming folk and not pathological trouble-makers ;)

Giustino ütles ...

Ära muretse N-lane. Palju venekeelnekõnejad delfi-st arvavad, et Flasher on tropp.

AGA, Flasher on küll venekeelnekõneja, ja tema arvamus on nii tähtis kui sinu arvamus.

Nobody knows I'm a dog ütles ...

I think the Russian riots and nashcist attacks on everything Estonian has been good for our collective morale.

Lately, too many of us had begun to take too many things for granted.

Let us hope that maybe we'll start to care about each other a little more.

n-lane ütles ...

"tema arvamus on nii tähtis kui sinu arvamus" Giustino

On küll. Tema arvamus isegi meeldiks mulle, kui seda "because Estonians allow them to" ei oleks. Ning öelda, et kõik Eesti venelased mõtlevad nagu mina, ei ole ka minu stiil.

Muide oleks võib-olla see siin rohkem reklaami väärt:
community.livejournal.com/dialooglased/

:-)

Frank ütles ...

Funny, that Flasher portrays himself as an "Estlander" - that term has been used for generations to describe the well-off German-speaking part of the population in Estonia (to be correct: in the former povince or dukedom Estonia a.k.a Estland) and especially the landed nobility, the "Estländische Ritterschaft" ... Estonians proper were called "Esten".

The same applies to Finland, where the Swedish-speakisng elite called themselves Finlanders or "Finnländer".

As you wrote, Giustino, ethnically Estonians and Estlanders in many cases are difficult to separate.

The

Kaur ütles ...

Guistino, lihtsalt vahemärkusena, et sellist sõna nagu venekeelnekõneja ei ole eesti keeles olemas. Tunduvalt parem oleks öelda vene keele kõneleja või siis venekeelne elanik.

Ära võta seda norimisena, ma lihtsalt ei suuda jätta parandamata, kui keegi teadmatusest vigu teeb.

space_maze ütles ...

I also thought it was a good opinion piece, with the exception of the concept of "because Estonians allow them to" - because the *citizens* allow them to, I would say.

I don't see citizenship as something that can be taken away from a person, unless he clearly commits treason for a specific second nation.

I see this thinking reflected in the actions of the Estonian state, really. The Estonian state didn't deny anyone citizenship in 1991, as the descendants of all legal residents of the state from 1940 did receive Estonian citizenship. They just didn't freely hand it out to people that had come without the state's allowance - because once you give a person a citizenship, the state MUST care for him, because he becomes part of the "family" once he has the citizenship.

That it wasn't possible for the state to know who was family and who was not in 1991 makes sense to me. And that one wanted to be careful before making a "promise" that one couldn't take back, by handing out citizenships.

Giustino ütles ...

Guistino, lihtsalt vahemärkusena, et sellist sõna nagu venekeelnekõneja ei ole eesti keeles olemas. Tunduvalt parem oleks öelda vene keele kõneleja või siis venekeelne elanik.

Ma õppisin selle sõna Wylde kõrtsis pühapäeva õhtul ja mina olin natukene purjus.

Kui ma teen vigu, on alati hea kui sa õpetad veel.

One thing I also discussed in the pub is that by being a minority, you automatically face discrimination.

I mean Swedes are supposed to have all the rights you want in Finland. But in reality, most Finns don't speak Swedish. And if you are in Helsinki and you speak Swedish you might be better off speaking English.

Now is that discrimination, or is that the reality of being a minority.

The bottomline is that its up to you to succeed in life. You can be an ethnic Estonian, but it doesn't mean you won't wind up being an alcoholic bum. Likewise, being a Russian Jew won't stop you from being an important politician in "fascist Estonia."

So how much of this situation is just reality and how much of it is the state's fault.

Do you think that if all 125,000 stateless people were given citizenship tomorrow, then things would magically get better for them? I doubt it. They'd still be living in Estonia, and Estonia would still be 70 percent Estonian. They'd probably vote for Savisaar, and he'd probably do nothing for them.

What do you think?

Giustino ütles ...

Uh oh, our friend Jevgeni has weighed in:

http://www.epl.ee/arvamus/384512

"Kui sa tahad olla rahvas number üks, siis palun väga, kolmsada kilomeetrit ida poole on põlisrahvas venelased."

martintg ütles ...

The two approaches of Russia and Estonia to the granting of citizenship very much reflects the respective countries attitudes to the rights of the individual.

In the case of Estonia, not granting automatic citizenship to post war immigrants reflects Estonia's respect for the rights of the individual. These people were formerly citizens of the Soviet Union. But the Soviet Union expired, so there was real ambiguity in their minds, are they Russians or are they Estonians? Estonia respected their right to choose, and refused Russia's pressure to force Estonian citizenship on all, but gave theses people a chance to choose.

The fact that 25% of Russian speakers did chose Russian citizenship is proof that Estonia's policy is correct.

The fact that around 50% of Russian speakers remain non-citizens is again a reflection of Estonia's respect for the rights of the individual, Estonia will not bully these people to make a decision, or force them to become citizens if they do not want to be.

space_maze ütles ...

A less positive reaction:

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1178020745724&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

As much as I hate saying stuff against the leader of the Simon Wiesenthal centre, having greatly admired Simon Wiesenthal and his contributions to Austrian society, this guy just bugs me.

He's like a great big elephant in a china shop. His mission is good and valid, but he doesn't seem to notice that his mission is generally DONE. Simon Wiesenthal, and time, have ensured that there just aren't enough nazis left today to warrant this kind of wide application of brute force.

He has made similar statements in regard to Austria, after a Jewish school in Vienna was vandalised by an insane Croatian, in Vienna as a tourist, last November.

He referred specifically to the case of Milivoj Asner, "a Croation Nazi war criminal living in Klagenfort whose extradition has been sought for over a year by the Croatian authorities who want to put him on trial for his role as the police chief of the city of Pozegga during 1941-42."

The Austrians, he said, "refuse to send Asner back to Croatia despite the fact that he's not an Austrian citizen and there is ostensibly no reason that they haven't acceded to Croatian extradition request."

He concluded by pointing out that Austria "has not successfully prosecuted Nazi war criminals in more than 30 years, and in that atmosphere of impunity, perhaps it's not surprising that such terrible events take place."


Yeah, right .. the atmosphere of impunity where you go to jail for questioning that the holocaust happens.

So, obviously (for me), the guy's a tool. But it's still not good PR for Estonia.

Eleonora ütles ...

I just been emailed a super image which seems appropriate -

Imagine an image of Luke Skywalker, laser weapon drawn and the caption says

"May the 4th be with you"

Eleonora ütles ...

oops
should read I have just.....

Puu ütles ...
Autor on selle kommentaari eemaldanud.
Puu ütles ...

Well there is a point to violence never solving violence.
And the Russin Estonian conflict is real; you hear little estonian boys playing Estonians and Russians, like cowboys and Indians.
And identity is such a malleable and largely ( especially in your teenage years) self determined thing. What does Savisaar being possibilbly half Russian have to do with anything for example? There are rumors that Putin was a displaced Estonian orphan, should Estonia claim him as their own? This is silly. On my mother's side I may be related to bog farmers, jews or gustav adolfus depending on who you listen too. And I am personally convinced that I am part Mongol because my eyes are little slanty. I guess I need to to move to the banks of the Amur river now right? This National identity stuff can get very silly very quickly. Russians aren't frustrated Estonians, they are Russians, and Russians are lovely people. People should be free to be who they want to be, free to be you and me, as long as it doesn't harm anyone. I am trying to learn the words to Moscow nights with various cab drivers from Brighton Beach, and the best new years eve kiss I have ever had was from a Russian Jewish Baltimoron ( and he was sort of a moron, because he broke up with me but oh well). The more pertinant questions are two, one is that of the survival of the Estonian Langauge and the other the extent to which Moscow is going to bully people in the new millenium. The first isn't such a big deal and it actually has less to do with Russian than people sometimes make out, although yes the Ingrian, and yes the Mari.. but let just counter with Navaho, Iroquis, Cherokee, Shawnee. The biggest threat to the Estonian language is not Russian, it is the same bug bear that is killing languages across the globe. Da dah Da dah Da ( Jaws theme) English rhee Rhee rhee rhee ( music from Psycho) I actually make a living enabling idigenous languages to die faster. But they die at pizza hut and macdonalds and not the gulag archipelago and this is so much nicer and if we all go to Eesti kool and read our Jan Kross and Gerto Rakko - estonia mafia bridgety johns and everything will be better. The other major issue : The Major issue, is the amount of bullying Moscow can get away with. And what with the freedom of the Russian press being severely curtailed according to the liberal New York Times ( and the Economist, which is a way better publication) this is something that both Russians and Estonians, and actually anyone in the world should be worried about. Not worried about in the United States Pentagon, we are the largest office building in the world and lots of people couldn't make a mortgage payment on their Tyson's Corner Mcmansion if we don't have a new cold war type of way (that thought makes me nauseous) but in the sense that human rights and rights to free speech need to be protected.Amnesty International seems to be hitting the whisky lately, but there is hope there. But enough about the world back to me me me.
Identity is such a weird thing, if I manage to get myself calmed down enough that I don't kick every nice boy that tries to get intimate with me in the teeth I may spawn some little puus. And if Estonians and Russians stop acting like complete morons I might even teach them Estonian and leave it up to them to learn Russian, or Swedish or Thai or Urdu or whatever else they want. There are several considerations here. Considering who I have been shtupping lately ( and I will admit that my falling into bed with half of Harlem was in some way an acting out against a solid couple of months of being called a white suprematist) they could be Black Italian Estonian Irish kids, And since I am not exactly in what you would call a committed relationship, I might come and raise them on a remote Estonian Island near you ( this isn't really happening, but it could have). I don't know how a kid like this would get treated. I am a weird enough. But would it hurt the country to have kids like that in the mix? No of course not. At least that better be the answer I hear.
I would also like to say that except for over protective big bro who I shared some ancient sexual tension with and a half jewish student, who poor kid was being using in a social sense as sort of a human shield by girlies whose family's past in regards the holocaust is probably as ambigious as any estonian who lived through the second world war or any american who owns IBM stock or drive volvos or... or... how far do people want to take this... fifty year ago right?.. the people that were the MOST supportive of me and telling me to chill during my whole my best friend married Fascist Nazis and Estonians are more fascist Nazis than I thought crisis( in no way helped by constant grilling on race relations and proclamations that I had moved from washington because I was scared that black people were going to steal my tv, that the village folk presented me with) were the orthodox jewish friends that I have had since I was in middle school. Though the holocaust was awful horrible indescriable and I get sick thinking about it and I actually lost a tooth because I got so stressed about the banality of evil and everything, and because Kalev chocolate is really good, it was fifty years in the past, most jewish people are more worried about nuclear weapons from Iran, and if you want to do something proactive you can support israel and send your friends hannakah cards rather than rehashing the past. I can't spell. But seriously people need to calm down.

martintg ütles ...

To Puu:

I've noticed in your profile you have a couple of blogs:
http://mesipuu.blogspot.com/
http://ilikelichen.blogspot.com/

Both are empty. Why don't you start writing in them, I love reading your thoughs.

ps
Do you have any tattoos?

Kristopher ütles ...

The Zuroff piece simply radiates ill will. Did he actually leave out the fact that Estonia was occupied from 1944 to 1991? Unbeleivable

Luckily he is pretty much discredited. A few too many innocent among the alleged war criminals he targeted.

Flasher T ütles ...

"Funny, that Flasher portrays himself as an "Estlander""

It's a direct translation of eestimaalane (as opposed to eestlane) - I know that it does not work as well in German or Swedish, but I think in English I can get away with it. ;)

n-lane, mistake fixed. :)

Scott ütles ...
Autor on selle kommentaari eemaldanud.
plasma-jack ütles ...

hihi
http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/05/04/europe/EU-GEN-EU-Estonia.php
so according to AP, Mart Laar is an opposition leader.

but that one's better:
http://news.google.ee/news/url?sa=t&ct=us/9-0&fp=463bdf30a37b409b&ei=-CE7RouPJaLUoAOeouW4Aw&url=http%3A//www.ejpress.org/article/16458&cid=0
Tallinn’s last functioning synagogue was built in 1882 but was destroyed in 1944 in a Soviet air raid as Nazis were feeing the country. [...] The Soviet occupation of Estonia in 1940 led to the abrupt end of the Jewish cultural autonomy and hundreds of Jews were deported.


Thank you, dear Jews, your input is appreciated. A fascist regime, indeed :-p

Flasher T ütles ...

The Soviet air raid is an interesting issue anyway... for many years the street between Freedom Square and Town Hall Square sported the excavated ruins of a cinema that was destroyed by Soviet air forces in the 1944 attack on Tallinn.

That property has now been filled and paved over, as arranged by the Centrist municipal government.

Eleonora ütles ...

http://www.signandsight.com/features/1304.html
About the 'controlled instability' of the Putin regime


http://www.signandsight.com/features/1325.html
French philosopher Andre Glucksmann on the 'Other Russia'

Giustino ütles ...

Well, I like others am living with anxiety about May 9th. I am also hoping it pours.

Ilves will be in Gruusia next week and will therefore not be present for the festivities.

Giustino ütles ...

Yeah, it's supposed to rain on May 8th and May 9th. Huzzah.

stockholm slender ütles ...

Well, I had to get something off my chest as well - this situation certainly has awakened emotions...

Stalin's willing executioners - Pro Estonia

Scott ütles ...

Giustino, you are going to Georgia? Very cool! :-D

A very side story -- when Bush came to Tallinn a few months ago, I got to party with members of the West Wing communications staff in Old Town Tallinn (the C.J. Craig people, if you've seen the TV show).

I emptied my spleen about the failures of U.S. foreign relations - hey, I'm a U.S. taxpayer - no, whoops, not right now ... ;-)

One of the points I made was that is was very disappointing that the President didn't give an open address to the public while he was in Tallinn. No matter what anybody thinks of Bush, it's the POTUS. You don't get that many opportunities in life to see the man in the office.

One guy told me is that they would have loved to, but their trip to Georgia and basically ended that.

They had Bush address what turned into a huge, enthusiastic crowd in Georgia. About 100,000 people showed up. There were so many people, that they pushed their way through the magnetometers that they had set up to check for weapons.

That was the speech were some Russian guy threw a granade at the podium. Luckily, it was a dud, because it would have killed a 100, and probably injured the POTUS and the Georgian president.

They've put a kibosh on outdoor speeches overseas since then. :-(

space_maze ütles ...

Ilves will be in Gruusia next week and will therefore not be present for the festivities.

Giustino, you are going to Georgia? Very cool! :-D

Woaw, is there something about secret identities here that people have neglected to tell me? :-D ;-)

Puu ütles ...

No I don't have any tattoos!! What do think this is Match.Com?

My up front commentary about gender and sexuality is only for discussion purposes and also because too much angst gets boring.

Eleonora ütles ...

Is West Wing aka 'The American President' still showing on day time TV in Estonia?

Series is finished here but I noticed it was about 2 years behind Australia.

Do the Paet and Ilves have advisors as funky and extroverted as CJ and Josh?

rottweiler7 ütles ...

Flasher, loved your "manifesto"; especially the part "suitcase - train station - russia" part! And, by the way, couldn't agree with you more.

Agu-Enrik Ubailves ütles ...
Autor on selle kommentaari eemaldanud.
Kaur ütles ...

Kuidas kohalikud venelased asja näevad:
http://www.epl.ee/?arvamus=384666&kommentaarid=0

Kaur ütles ...

http://www.epl.ee/arvamus/384666

space_maze ütles ...

Some sensible arguments and good points in there, and some utter stupidity.

I can completely understand how many Russians manage to separate the Stalinist crimes from the victory over Nazis.

HOWEVER.

For Russia, stalinism was a domestic problem. It's like .. Russia is a woman that has a husband that keeps beating her - Stalin.

One day, a rapist that has escaped from a prison attacks the woman. With her husband's help, they fight off the rapist. Of COURSE she's happy about this. I mean, she already knew that her husband was a bastard before this.

Then, the next day, her husband gets pissed in a pub, and beats up a whole bunch of people. When he is arrested, the woman starts telling people that it's wrong to be pissed at the guy, as he drove a dangerous rapist from the neighbourhood the day before. Would that work?

Of course not. Thus, while I think Russians CAN honour their fallen without glorifying stalinism, I do think it makes sense for Estonians to not want to have to see this, constantly, in central Tallinn.

Also, they note that they, too, can make a difference between what people wanted to honour with the Lihula memorial, and the crimes of Nazi Germany. Well guess what? Lihula got taken down, by the government. And that wasn't even in the centre of the nation's capital.

I won't even touch the bits about how Russians in the street were only "protecting their culture". I don't think it's in the interests of Russians to try to tell people that what happened last week had anything to do with Russian culture.

Kaur ütles ...

Space_maze, this is the best metaphor I have ever heard. Unfortunately, it seems to me, that the real situation in many (I don't have any facts) Russian families is exactly the same and some even consider it normal.

lounamaa ütles ...

I think the abusive husband not only beat up a whole bunch of people but raped them as well. This is why it was difficult for them to be as happy about being saved from the other rapist as the wife who had become used to being beaten up and raped by her husband.

There is also a saying in Russian: "he who beats you, loves you".

Kalevipoeg ütles ...

As we approach Victory Day, my least favorite Russian holiday, I often find myself wondering if they wouldn't have been better off if they'd just surrendered and allowed the Nazis to take over. Aside from the millions of lives saved, there would have been three clear advantages. First, all the gypsies, homosexuals and people from the Caucasus would have been eliminated, which is broadly in line with what most Russians would like to do anyway. Second, the SS would have beaten the Slavs until they learned to say "Hitler" instead of "Gitler" which would hopefully have a knock-on effect and put a final end to the absurd Russian tradition of using Gs for Hs. And third, Boris Berezovsky would not be alive.


Caught between a German pervert and a Georgian midget.
Unfortunately, the Soviets decided to fight and won. I was having a chat the other day with an educated Russian girl - a university graduate, lived abroad for a bit, doesn't wear slutty clothes, is cynical about Russian politics - really a very civilized human being. But then the topic came round to the one thing that I dread more than anything, the Second World War.

"Is it true that in America they don't even know that Russia won the war?" she asked me.

"Well, I said, it's kind of true that people underestimate Russia's contribution, yes, although in England I think most of us know that Russia suffered huge losses and played a massive part in winning the war."

"A massive part? The whole world would have been fascist if it weren't for the Soviet Union. You guys didn't even start fighting until the end of the war."

I tried to explain the minor fact that Britain actually fought the Nazis alone for two years, having the shit bombed out of it while the Soviets were in league with Hitler...

"Yes, but millions more Russians died than English people."

Yes, they did. Millions and millions more. But is this really a reason to celebrate? Let's just stop for a few minutes and wonder exactly what it is that's being celebrated. A small group of intellectuals takes over your backward country, unleashes terror across the countryside, requisitions the only food leaving literally millions of your ancestors to die, and then sets up one of the scariest states in history. This state then proceeds to murder millions of your people on false charges of treason, sabotage, wrecking, and dill-hoarding. No sector is spared, including the entire top brass of the military.

As this is going on, it becomes clear that on the other side of the continent, a scary Austrian pervert is building up disturbing military capabilities. Keen to protect this beautiful society he's been building in your country, your paranoid, midget Georgian leader rushes to sign a peace treaty with said Austrian pervert, allowing Europe to bear the brunt of Nazi aggression while he can go on murdering at home. In a colossal misjudgment, your midget Georgian leader fails to realize that the Austrian pervert has absolutely no intention of honoring the treaty, and is totally unprepared when your country is invaded, causing countless lives to be lost.

The war goes on. Millions die. People are killed in the most horrible ways. In the cities, people starve to death. It is one of the most gruesome periods of human history. Then, by sheer force of numbers, after millions of Russians are massacred, the tide of the war begins to turn. Your leadership is willing to sacrifice as many people as it takes, and in the end, despite the mostly inept tactics, your side comes out on top. The country is devastated; most of the men are dead or wounded. And yet, somehow, the same miserable system of government carries on in your country for another 40 years, leaving you poor, depressed and well behind the rest of the world.

In a normal country, these hideous events would certainly be cause for some serious reflection. Some sad remembrances, some commemorations of the numerous feats of bravery and the millions of sacrifices made. Some solemn wishes that even if this terrible regime somehow managed to defeat the Nazis, you'd never allow such a system to flourish again.

But no. What we have here is celebration. One of Russia's biggest celebrations of the year, a celebration which political leaders have even turned into some kind of national idea. Not a memorial. Not a commemoration. A big, fat celebration. Parties will be held. Inhuman amounts of vodka will be drunk. Chauvinistic speeches will be made. People will feel good about themselves. And everyone will celebrate the fact that they belong to the glorious nation that single-handedly defeated Gitler.

As for the veterans themselves, they should of course be remembered and those that are still alive today should be treated with the utmost reverence and respect. But wheeling them out of their piss-stained apartments for one day of the year and having a big party because "We won!" before promptly forgetting them and leaving them to their miserable impoverished lives well isolated from Russia's new money hardly seems like the best way to do this.

Happy Victory Day!

Kalevipoeg ütles ...

As we approach Victory Day, my least favorite Russian holiday, I often find myself wondering if they wouldn't have been better off if they'd just surrendered and allowed the Nazis to take over. Aside from the millions of lives saved, there would have been three clear advantages. First, all the gypsies, homosexuals and people from the Caucasus would have been eliminated, which is broadly in line with what most Russians would like to do anyway. Second, the SS would have beaten the Slavs until they learned to say "Hitler" instead of "Gitler" which would hopefully have a knock-on effect and put a final end to the absurd Russian tradition of using Gs for Hs. And third, Boris Berezovsky would not be alive.


Caught between a German pervert and a Georgian midget.
Unfortunately, the Soviets decided to fight and won. I was having a chat the other day with an educated Russian girl - a university graduate, lived abroad for a bit, doesn't wear slutty clothes, is cynical about Russian politics - really a very civilized human being. But then the topic came round to the one thing that I dread more than anything, the Second World War.

"Is it true that in America they don't even know that Russia won the war?" she asked me.

"Well, I said, it's kind of true that people underestimate Russia's contribution, yes, although in England I think most of us know that Russia suffered huge losses and played a massive part in winning the war."

"A massive part? The whole world would have been fascist if it weren't for the Soviet Union. You guys didn't even start fighting until the end of the war."

I tried to explain the minor fact that Britain actually fought the Nazis alone for two years, having the shit bombed out of it while the Soviets were in league with Hitler...

"Yes, but millions more Russians died than English people."

Yes, they did. Millions and millions more. But is this really a reason to celebrate? Let's just stop for a few minutes and wonder exactly what it is that's being celebrated. A small group of intellectuals takes over your backward country, unleashes terror across the countryside, requisitions the only food leaving literally millions of your ancestors to die, and then sets up one of the scariest states in history. This state then proceeds to murder millions of your people on false charges of treason, sabotage, wrecking, and dill-hoarding. No sector is spared, including the entire top brass of the military.

As this is going on, it becomes clear that on the other side of the continent, a scary Austrian pervert is building up disturbing military capabilities. Keen to protect this beautiful society he's been building in your country, your paranoid, midget Georgian leader rushes to sign a peace treaty with said Austrian pervert, allowing Europe to bear the brunt of Nazi aggression while he can go on murdering at home. In a colossal misjudgment, your midget Georgian leader fails to realize that the Austrian pervert has absolutely no intention of honoring the treaty, and is totally unprepared when your country is invaded, causing countless lives to be lost.

The war goes on. Millions die. People are killed in the most horrible ways. In the cities, people starve to death. It is one of the most gruesome periods of human history. Then, by sheer force of numbers, after millions of Russians are massacred, the tide of the war begins to turn. Your leadership is willing to sacrifice as many people as it takes, and in the end, despite the mostly inept tactics, your side comes out on top. The country is devastated; most of the men are dead or wounded. And yet, somehow, the same miserable system of government carries on in your country for another 40 years, leaving you poor, depressed and well behind the rest of the world.

In a normal country, these hideous events would certainly be cause for some serious reflection. Some sad remembrances, some commemorations of the numerous feats of bravery and the millions of sacrifices made. Some solemn wishes that even if this terrible regime somehow managed to defeat the Nazis, you'd never allow such a system to flourish again.

But no. What we have here is celebration. One of Russia's biggest celebrations of the year, a celebration which political leaders have even turned into some kind of national idea. Not a memorial. Not a commemoration. A big, fat celebration. Parties will be held. Inhuman amounts of vodka will be drunk. Chauvinistic speeches will be made. People will feel good about themselves. And everyone will celebrate the fact that they belong to the glorious nation that single-handedly defeated Gitler.

As for the veterans themselves, they should of course be remembered and those that are still alive today should be treated with the utmost reverence and respect. But wheeling them out of their piss-stained apartments for one day of the year and having a big party because "We won!" before promptly forgetting them and leaving them to their miserable impoverished lives well isolated from Russia's new money hardly seems like the best way to do this.

Happy Victory Day!

karLos ütles ...

three clear advantages. First, all the gypsies, homosexuals and people from the Caucasus would have been eliminated

Kalevipoeg, while i think the above statement is in itself morally corrupt and disgusting, the rest of your argument is spot on.

space_maze ütles ...

I hope he was being sarcastic. I *HOPE*. The rest of the post made too much sense for it to be any other way ;-)

I think what he meant that a German victory would have strongly conformed with Russian nationalists' wishes, not with his.

Kalevipoeg ütles ...

layered irony folks, layered irony.

Polizia ütles ...

kalevipoeg, you post is painfully true.
What I'm concerned about are these veiled threats coming from various "moderate" and "reasonable" Russians in various opinion pieces in Estonian newspapers. A political science teacher at Tartu University, a semiotics teacher at Tartu University... WTF? Of course, the guy who teaches history of economy at Tartu is a revisionist so you get all kinds there but still... Listening to Viktoria Ladõnskaja et al, it all comes down to Estonians having to apologize for not being grateful for their liberation into the loving embrace of the Soviet Union. Oh dear...

illi ütles ...

For anyone interested, here is a nice overview of Estonian history with emphasis on the occupation years.
http://www.hot.ee/evlliit/inglis_1.html

Eleonora ütles ...

Kalevipoeg

Plagiarism or self-protection?

Eleonora ütles ...

Perhaps this blog avatar?

Giustino ütles ...

Of course, the guy who teaches history of economy at Tartu is a revisionist so you get all kinds there but still...

History is coninuously being rewritten. There's nothing 'revisionist' about that fact.

When I used to write reports in grade school, a 1950s history book and a 1980s history book were two wholly distinct things.

I am sure that the 2000s history books are different as well. It's a process, as new information comes to light and new understandings are reached.

Why is Russia so terrified of "revisionist" history?

Polizia ütles ...

Giustino, revisionism is a term to describe people who deny the Holocaust ever took place or claim it took place on a smaller scale. David Irving is, no doubt, the most famous of the lot.

Giustino ütles ...

Giustino, revisionism is a term to describe people who deny the Holocaust ever took place or claim it took place on a smaller scale. David Irving is, no doubt, the most famous of the lot.

I hear Mr. Lavrov arguing that Estonia is engaging in revisionist history by straying from the Stalinist guidebook.

Even now there's a bit of an argument. You see, Estonia will celebrate the end of the war on May 8. Russia celebrates it on May 9. The germans capitulated at 12:43 am, which would mean that it was 11:43 pm in Estonia, HOWEVER, the Soviets were crazy and Estonia was at that moment on Moscow time, instead of being in the same timezone as Helsinki.

So what day was it?

n-lane ütles ...

n-lane, mistake fixed. Flasher T

I'm afraid it's not...

Kristopher ütles ...

1. World War II ended for Estonia on August 31, 1994.

2. Nice post from kalevipoeg. The irony would be lost on many, but I'm clipping and saving the main part.
I wonder why more is not made of the fact that the Soviets were in cahoots with the "fascists" for two whole years...

3. Revisionism is already in general use and does not chiefly have to do with the Holocaust. The usual epithet leveled at people like Irving is Holocaust denier.

But being a historical relativist may be enough to make you a Holocaust denier, though.

Giustino ütles ...

1. World War II ended for Estonia on August 31, 1994.

I would argue that it really ended with Stalin's death and the crushing of the Hungarian uprising.

You can pick any random year in the early 1950s, but one thing is clear, 1945 did not signal the end of anything in Estonia.

You had a guerilla war stretching into the mid-50s, plus the deportations in 1949, from which people only started coming home in 1956, 1957, and 1958.

So "normalcy" -- that is, living without widespread fear of daily violence or deportation, did not really return until the mid-1950s.

Under those conditions, the May 8 or May 9 holidays seem fairly meaningless for Estonians.