neljapäev, juuni 17, 2010

seitsekümmend aastat

From left to right, Neeme Ruus, Johannes Lauristin, Karl Säre, and Andrei Zhdanov. The month is June, the year is 1940, and these enthralled men are watching a demonstration of workers pleading for the formation of a new government.

Estonia dates its occupation from June 1940, 70 years from this week, when uninvited Soviet troops poured across the border, Soviet navy blockaded its ports, Soviet airforce shot down its planes, and hired protestors made their point to the sitting Estonian government abundantly clear that the days of making any autonomous decisions on Toompea were over.

The script had been approved by Leningrad party boss Zhdanov and fellow Soviet emissaries to Latvia and Lithuania weeks before. Demonstrations to remove the governments, followed by the appointment of Soviet-dependent decision makers, followed ultimately by appeals to join the fraternity of Soviet republics. And it all happened on schedule. Like clockwork, demands were made to the Baltic governments in mid June, new governments in office by the end of the month, fresh (and rigged) elections by mid July, and synchronized appeals to Moscow for incorporation that were mulled over and affirmed by the first week of August. In less than two months, the Baltic countries had been swallowed whole, seemingly by their own hands.

By some accounts, the decision to incorporate the Baltic countries into the USSR had been made in February, by other accounts in April. The spring of 1940 was incredibly messy for European countries big and small. When Ruus, Lauristin, Säre, and Zhdanov looked down on those protestors for hire, Poland, Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands and a swath of France had been occupied by the German Reich. Britain looked forward to a summer of aerial bombardment. America was still gazing at its Depression-hit navel, some of its financiers pondering the wisdom of their investments.

Some argue that Hitler egged Stalin on to do something as brazen as incorporate these three countries into the USSR. But then, as now, Moscow's great leaders saw what the other great powers were doing in Europe and Asia and didn't want to miss out on the opportunity. It was a classic case of, "Everyone else is doing it, so why can't we?" And keeping up with the Joneses, meant taking out the Estonians.

The Estonian state was brittle, anyhow, isolated and ripe for the picking. President Konstantin Päts carried out a political coup in 1934 ahead of an assured electoral defeat to the quasi-fascist Vaps, who yearned for a strong hand to guide them through the turmoil of the Great Depression, and traded Estonia's democratic soul in the process. The Estonian left splintered between those who would cooperate with Päts and those who wouldn't. Neeme Ruus, a young social democrat, was one of the radicals in his party who wouldn't. In 1940, he needed a job. Zhdanov decided he could be minister of social affairs in the new, progressive Moscow-friendly government.

Towards the end of the thirties, Päts tried to liberalize the outcome the '34 coup and move the country towards eventual, at least partially free elections. In this new climate of openness, he pardoned Vaps and Communists alike. But after sitting for, in some cases, 14 years in Estonian prison for their role in an attempted 1924 coup, Estonia's reds had no warm feelings for the regime that had just freed them, and at the same time were not yet up to date on the bloody purges that had recently taken place in Russia that had claimed the lives of so many of their fellow revolutionaries. Johannes Lauristin was such a comrade. In 1940, he needed a job. In August, he became chairman of the council of people's commissars of the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic.

On June 17, the Estonian government gave in to all Soviet demands. Any other option would have been suicide, they determined, both tragic and ironic when you consider how many of them died in Soviet concentration camps or at the wrong end of the firing squad. Some of them did kill themselves. The outcome for Estonia was still the same. As the month rolled on, Päts himself became the puppet president of a puppet government. His presence added an air of legality to a takeover forced at gunpoint, for if there had been no army pouring across the border, no naval blockade, and no political demands from Moscow, then there would have been no Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic. Päts even posed with the Soviet ambassador for a group shot in mid July. The Soviet ambassador toasted the Tartu Peace Treaty of 1920. He pledged the undying respect of Moscow for Estonian independence.

Several days later, the freshly elected, handpicked, Moscow-friendly Estonian parliament, again barricaded by tanks on Toompea, with Red Army soldiers looking on, voted to join the Soviet Union. But in their zeal to bring Estonia under complete Soviet control, the puppet masters in Moscow forgot many details. Estonian constitutional law was essentially ignored in the effort to keep the Baltic countries on schedule, so the manner in which the Republic of Estonia joined the Soviet Union was inherently illegal, though Päts, himself a lawyer, signed his name on the documents, perhaps knowing how well it might stand up in some distant court, in an alternative reality where Nazis did not parade down the streets of Oslo and Copenhagen and Paris, where bombs did not fall on English cities, and where the actual wills of peoples were taken into account by more powerful authorities. Besides, Päts was certain that Germany would attack Russia. The two lovers were simply incompatible. The Estonian president is said to have expected the break up to take place on any day in the summer of 1940. Then, he perhaps reasoned, it would be a whole different ballgame.

Päts was ultimately right, but his forecast was off by a year. By the time the Germans actually did show up, he was sitting in a Soviet prison, and he would die in a Soviet hospital a decade and a half later. By the time Päts had died -- supposedly hospitalized because he still claimed to be the president of Estonia -- Stalin was dead, Zhdanov was dead, and Neeme Ruus, Johannes Lauristin, and Karl Säre were but faded memories for Estonians who had seen so many regimes come and go, so many men appear and disappear within such a short period of time.

Ruus was shot by the Germans in 1941. Lauristin allegedly went down on one of the ships during the Soviet evacuation from Tallinn. And what of Karl Säre, that diminutive Communist operative who also needed a job in 1940, and became first secretary of the Estonian Communist Party? Like Ruus, he later fell into the hands of the Germans and was transferred to Denmark to stand trial for murder. After 1943, he was never seen from nor heard of again.

Ruus, Lauristin, Säre, Päts. They all put an Estonian face on the Soviet takeover of their country, signing off on decisions made in many cases by the party boss of Leningrad. Estonians today still wait for the rulers in Moscow to personally acknowledge the moral sewer of 1940, the geopolitical slime in which they lost their independence. For them, it's a kind of compass -- a way to gauge their neighbor's intentions. It drives Russia's rulers mad to have something like that expected of them, for in an era when they are trying to regain some confidence, the last thing they desire to do is to personally apologize to some pipsqueak former province.

That's Russia. Few countries have easy dealings with it. But within Estonia, the people have ever since had to deal with the local face of the June "revolution." They have to deal with the reality that they too played a role in the forfeiture of their country. Today, one wouldn't be surprised to see the descendants of all these families, most of them still prominent, drinking in a pub. They are professors and politicians and bureaucrats. One is even a former first lady. All claim to love Estonia, and nobody would ever question that loyalty or adoration. On occassion, it seems like the past never happened. Your best bet to even read about it is to go scrounging around used furniture stores for discarded Soviet history books. Today, 70 years later, it is June 1940 that seems like an alternative reality. It is the nightmarish faded black and whites of the takeover that drift into obscurity. And most young Estonians probably know little of this past, and are content not to know.

Sometimes I wonder if they are right.

317 kommentaari:

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stockholm slender ütles ...

No, it's good to remember. And necessary and healthy. In any case, such a national tragedy (and a gigantic crime against humanity) will not be forgotten in a hurry.

Lingüista ütles ...

But as you say, the Soviets just thought they were doing what everybody else was... plus they had an ideology that told them it would actually be better for everybody if they won and conquered as much territory as possible -- the dictatorship of the proletariat would bring the workers' paradise to reality! (And to hear my Russian mother-in-law talk about it, a workers' paradise is what they had in the '70s and '80s: ah, a whole three years of paid maternity leave, with your job waiting for you at the end!... Full employment!... Sigh...

stockholm slender ütles ...

I would think that these enlightenment rags disguising the true, terrifying, hysterical Stalinist bloodfest is what makes the Soviet system in many senses even more dangerous than the Nazi equivalent. It's easy to see the murderous, terroristic side of Nazism, as there really was not much else. So, their victims are remembered, mourned - they are held as a warning example for all times.

Whereas trendy young people in the West can sport the hammer and sicle and the red star on their expensive t-shirts without no thought to what horrors these symbols signify. Whereas almost no-one is struck with terror hearing the names of Vorkuta and Solovetsk (unlike Auschwitz and Dachau). Whereas no-one remembers or commememorates millions and millions of innocent dead slaughtereed by this terror system.

I grant the Nazis the (relatively narrow) first place in the competition for the worst massmurderers in history. But which ones really were the most dangerous? The Soviets killed more people during much longer time in existance. And they are held as no warning example for all times, their name and their symbols don't wake no particular horror in most people, and their victims are forgotten by most people. So which system really was worse?

martintg ütles ...

Well ofcourse these men were incredibly naive and were duped as to the true intention of the Soviets, which was to eradicate the Estonian nation. They were not alone in misunderstanding the evilness of the Soviet empire, Walter Duranty white washed the Ukrainian famine.

Ironically the Nazis understood the Soviet very well indeed, Goebbels famously once said that Nazis and Communists are cut from the same cloth, and ofcourse the Soviet-Nazi pact is history.

Johannes Vares killed himself in 1946 when he finally realised the enormity of his betrayal of the Estonian people.

Doris ütles ...

As continuation to martinq - sometimes the descendants of these people swung to radical opposition of anything Soviet and played a very important role in the re-independence movement - Marju Lauristin, for example.

as much as you would think that it's no longer valid in the modern society, the sins of the father ARE visited on the son (or daughter).

Piimapukk ütles ...

Very depressing topic indeed. In connection with this very well written posting by Giustino, I would recommend to watch the documentary "The Soviet Story." It was shown on PBS few months ago in the states. For public at large it is also available on Amazon.com.

Three movies worth to own:
1. The Soviet Story
2. Singing Revolution
3. Disco and the Atomic War

You watch these three and you get a pretty good idea how and probably why Estonians are the way they are.

Giustino ütles ...

Well, other events are remembered: the 1941 and 1949 deportations and, of course, the September 1944 government. I am surprised the Estonian media missed this big anniversary. Or have they? I haven't seen anything about it.

Lingüista ütles ...

I'm not so sure that the Soviets 'meant to destroy the Estonian nation' in the same way that the Nazi did. For the Nazis, destroying nations was a question of natural right plus health issues (the Jews were an infection that had to go, the Slavs were inferior people who had no right to an education and should be only farmers; presumably, Finno-Ugric peoples are just like aboriginal indigenous groups, of interest to anthropologists but with nothing to contribute to the Herrenvolk).

The Soviets -- at least those who actually acted on the ideology -- on the other hand, actually thought they were merging all peoples into one 'Soviet people' that would become capable of achieving the workers' paradise ('to each according to their needs, from each according to their skills'...).

So I see a difference. For the Nazis, the Estonians would have to go because the Reichskommissariat Ostland had to be peopled by people of German blood (Lebensraum). They were an obstruction, a stone in the shoe that had to be thrown away. To the Soviets, the Estonians had to go because all peoples had to become one people; strictly speaking, the Russians also had to go, and for the same reason. A Georgian like Stalin could become their dictator, and that doesn't go against their ideology; a non-Aryan becoming the leader in Nazi Germany would be ideologically impossible.

Also, the Nazis would probably deport/kill everybody rather quickly; a decade after occupying the Baltics, there probably wouldn't be any Estonians there anymore. The Soviet strategy was more one of absorbing them slowly -- remember, the deportations involved lots of Russians too (they were more politically minded and aimed to destroy the societal structure rather than the ethnic structure of Estonia).

Of course, it's still a horrendous crime. But I can understand why people think the Nazis were worse -- even given the fact that the Soviets killed more people. They had more time, for one thing.

Giustino ütles ...

Soviet victory against Germany did not have to include the decapitation and brutal suppression of Estonia and its population. It's so sad to see the Russians make the same mistake twice. Had the Whites been willing to accept Estonian independence, the Estonians might have helped take back Petrograd. Had Stalin been willing to accept Estonian independence, then few Estonians would have fought as determinedly on the Eastern Front in the service of Germany. Strong support or Estonian independence is actually in Russia's geopolitical interests. Unable to do that, for pride reasons perhaps, Estonia looked for other partners who could guarantee its security. And so you have US military engaging in NATO drills on the beaches of north Estonia. Sometimes it seems that Russia's leadership is the country's own worst enemy.

Piimapukk ütles ...

Yes, Russians do deserve a medal for being their own worst enemies figured President Ilves, and granted one to the outgoing Russian Ambassador to Estonia, comrade Uspenski.

For reference see: http://www.postimees.ee/?id=277925

靖福 ütles ...

要持續更新下去喲!!祝你心情愉快.............................................................

stockholm slender ütles ...

Well, Lingüista, my basic take on this issue below - I would argue that the Soviet system is actually far more dangerous, because it disguised its fundamental madness much more effectively than what the Nazis were ever capable of:

Stalin's willing executioners - Pro Estonia

Temesta ütles ...

@ Stockholm slender:

Well, Lingüista, my basic take on this issue below - I would argue that the Soviet system is actually far more dangerous, because it disguised its fundamental madness much more effectively than what the Nazis were ever capable of

Is that why the Nazis were so popular with a significant part of the German population?
Were the Germans of the 1930's so bloodthirsty that they prefered a movement whose fundamental madness was much clearer than that of the Soviets?

stockholm slender ütles ...

Well, surely any insanity can get popular - however, to assess its long term allure we have to see how it copes with the long term. How many trendy, progressive, enlightened young people you have seen with the SS or Gestapo insignia on their t-shirts? What is the name recognition for Vorkuta compared with Auschwitz?

moevenort ütles ...

probably again I won`t make much friends here, but when I read things like this I have to leave a comment. For me as a German citizen it is disgusting to see how obviously some people in Estonia try to trivialize nazi crimes by putiing them on the same step with crimes committed by the former USSR. One shoud never forget: what made Nazi crimes more terrible than any other crime was its racial backround, the perverse idea to decide which " race" is worth to live and which not. the idea to organize killing by factory methods ( the Nazis e.g. even had perverse ideas how to use the hair of the dead jews they killed for the filters of their subamrine ships)
Honestly, how can anyone be so naiv, stupid and blind to compare any other crime with such terrible things? shame on you Estonian people, that you allow some of your people to spread perverse ideas like that. When I read stuff like this I really wonder, how your country can really be in a community like the Euopean Union together with us. You really seem to have understood nothing of the values we share in memory of those terrible crimes since 1945. As I once said: some of you really should be glad not to live in my country. As a consequence of history, we have a very strict paragraph in law punishing every trivialization of Nazi crimes very hard. regardless what r4easons you might assume to have. its justified by no means. And please, don´t begin to cry now trying to tell me how extra-ordinary your communist past have been. I was born in the East of Germany. Unil 1994 we had more then 300.000 soviet soldiers on our territory, many innocent East german people were sent to Siberia as well. East Germans were the first in soviet occupied Europe who made an attempt against soveit rule on 17. June 1953, which ended bloody with russian tanks shooting on innocent people. this happened sooner than in every other occupied territory ( including Estonia) so please, don´t tell me that you have been "more" victim than anyone else. Regardless what happened, we differenciate and also see the 8. May 1945 as the day exactly those russian soldiers liberatetd us from the Nazis. That´s also how we said good bye to them when the last of them left our country in 1994. not forgetting the crimes they have committed, but also with respect for the victims they brought to liberate us from the Nazis. Thats why we still take care of the cemeteries of russian soldiers in our countries, treating them with respect and not destroying them like it is done in your country. The world is not black and white. But that is a lesson some of you obviously still have to learn.

btw: as I also mentioned before. there was an investigation lead by German federal police against a book published by your national hero Maar Laar about Estonian SS veterans. because of gloriefying Nazi-past. Let me say that you don´t make good advertisment for your country when things like this happen.

Temesta ütles ...

Here is a quote from an article about Jaan Kross in the Guardian. It is about his comparison between the Nazi and Soviet occupation:

"As lawyers were suspected anti-Bolsheviks, Kross went into hiding. Two months later, on August 28 1941, the Nazis finally invaded Tallinn. Now Estonians would be able to compare life under the Germans with life under the Soviets. Such Jewish families as there were, "far fewer than in neighbouring Latvia and Lithuania", says Kross, were all almost immediately murdered. Estonians suffered terribly under the three-and-a-half years of German occupation. Kross now believes the Nazis would have obliterated Estonian culture entirely had they won the war. "Such was their Ordnungsliebe - passion for order - and their savage discipline. The Soviets at least had their saving virtues of inefficiency and incompetence." Unlike the Germans, the Russians did not proclaim their national and racial superiority, but merely sought political control."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2003/jul/05/featuresreviews.guardianreview4

Giustino ütles ...

Nazi Germany was one of the few European states that recognized the Soviet incorporation of Estonia in August 1940.

Honestly, how can anyone be so naiv, stupid and blind to compare any other crime with such terrible things?

Westerners are very familiar with Nazi crimes (as opposed to other war crimes). We learn about them in school and have been informed by myriad Hollywood films about them. We could compare the crimes to Japanese war crimes or Turkish crimes, but Westerners know little of those crimes. While they are not "equal," they make a good reference point for explaining recent history to outsiders. The Nazis and Soviets in the 1930s and 40s believed in cleansing society of impure elements. While the methods were terribly different, the concept: building a future society cleansed of anti-social elements, was similar.

shame on you Estonian people, that you allow some of your people to spread perverse ideas like that. When I read stuff like this I really wonder, how your country can really be in a community like the Euopean Union together with us.

When I was in East Berlin, I saw far more skinheads than I ever saw in Estonia. I was really terrified. Passing a large drunk German screaming about Hitler at night will scare the crap out of you. And Germany certainly has its rightwing politicians. As did Austria. Remember Jörg Haider? Please don't try to pretend that it doesn't exist in your backyard, or that it is somehow not part of the European equation. Such forces are present in almost every European country.

As I once said: some of you really should be glad not to live in my country. As a consequence of history, we have a very strict paragraph in law punishing every trivialization of Nazi crimes very hard. regardless what r4easons you might assume to have.

There is a real problem that criticism of Soviet policies inevitably leads to some comparison with Nazi Germany, as if it somehow excuses the behavior of the Soviet state. It's an embarrassment, really. I speak here for myself. I am well acquainted with the Nazi crimes. I reread Anne Frank's diary in elementary school. One cannot describe the numb feeling of looking into that abyss. But trying to avoid the history of Soviet policies in Estonia by throwing the debate back to discussion of German crimes is purely moral cowardice. It is fairly easy to look at the events of June 1940 and say, this was against the will of the people, this was brutal, this was illegal, this was wrong. Believing this does not mean you must join the Laar book club or put Soviet crimes on equal footing with Nazi crimes. It only requires honesty, decency, and integrity.

Meelis ütles ...

@those russian soldiers liberated us from the Nazis.@
I don't believe, that most of the people in Germany think so.

moevenort ütles ...

@Meelis? don`t you? so you know my country better than I do? what else has it been for the people in Germany? can you imagine the atmosphere in Germany in May 1945? how the people were longing for peace? longing for an end of war? can you imagine how the prisoners sitting there in may 1945 in the Gestapo prisons in Berlin prinz Albrecht Straße were waiting for russian soldiers coming to save their lives? can you imagine the faces of the children, women and men in the concentration camps of Auschwitz or Buchenwald when the soviet soldiers entered those places? what else have they been for them if not liberators who saved their lives?

@Giustino: I do not doubt the crimes who have been committed by the red army in Estonia. But what I strongly refuse is any euqualization of those crimes with the extraordinary and brutal crimes the Nazis have committed. Under normal circumstances I would naver have to discuss such a topic with anyone in Western Europe. Unfortunately in Eastern Europe some people really still seem to have understood this. I know about that problem, there have been public debates between Historians and politicians from Easten and Western Europe on exactly this issue in the past. The only lesson I can draw from it, that some people in Eastern Europe obviously still have not understood the basis of our values as they continue to trivialize Nazi crimes, glorify SS fighters or ( as recently happened in Latvia) even try to punish old former jewish partisan fighters for what they call " crimes against the Latvian people"
concerning right winged extremism in Germany: that was not the topic, but you seem to like that childish comparison. Of course there are some Neo Nazis in Germany as in many other Europ Euorpean countries. But bringing my hometown Berlin as an example, is an really bad example as you probably can´t tell me a city which is more tolerant an open minded in Euorpe. In Berlin you have exactly that kind of open atmosphere I was always missing in Estonia. another difference is that police here ( as in most West Euopean countries) is fighting quite hard against any forms of right winged extremism. this is a contrast to some Eastern Euopean countries as well. In Germany right winged parties are marginal, none of them is or was ever sitting in parliament. If you would inform abbout facts instead trying to polarize you would know that there is not such phenomenon like " a German Haider" and there has never been any since 1945. the German right winged movement is by contrast split in itself, isolated, financially bancrupt and sharply fighted by police and civil society. This stands in sharp contrast to developments in some Eastern European countries like Slovakia or Hungary ( strong parliament results for fascist Jobnik party) or even Estonia ( when I have a look at this Tarand guy in Euopean Parliament, running around with T shirts like "communist into the oven") At the moment, the economic crisis rather seems to have the opposite effect on voting behaviour. it seems to be the political left who is benefiting from it. once again, one should better inform about some facts before making accusations.

Doris ütles ...

the fact is, Nazi's were in Estonia for 3 years. Communists for 50. They were both bad. They both committed horrible crimes against humanity. In this case it's just the simple matter of the age-old question: which is worse, a horrible end or endless horror? The communists were our endless horror. In a way they still are because, as Giustino wrote, we're still grappling with the legacy.

It does not negate the experiences of those who suffered from Nazi crimes, or those who suffered under Robespierre's Reign of Terror, or the slaves bought and sold like cattle. It just means that those other things are farther away from our consciousness than from some other nations'. Sometimes it is hard for me to understand why it's so hard to understand for those other people.

Myst ütles ...

I'd just like to say I agree with Moevenort. The barbarity and beastliness of the Germans during WW2 is unparalleled in recent human history.

However, that shouldn't distract us from mourning the huge losses that Soviet rule brought with it. Nations captured into a dysfunctional and brutal regime, countless people murdered or otherwise ruined... That must not be brushed aside by the perception that other crimes, by other people were even more severe.

moevenort ütles ...

@ Doris: you just have done exactly that what I meant. I try to explain it: when you compare Nazi crimes with Robespierre, ancient Rome or whatever, you trivialize those Nazi crimes. every serious historian will tell you that this exactly is the danger. because those Nazi crimes, the holocaust, the inferiour racial aspect-all this is not comparable with any other crime. another example: when you compare the ideological base of Nazism and Communism, you will see the difference I mean quite clear. Nazism is based on an ideology that has nothing positive but spreading hate between people and nations, making one people superior then any other, claiming that all others have no right to exist. everyone who has ever seen the ill fantasies of that psychopath Hitler knows what I mean. By contrast the the story with communism is not as easy: it does not base on a pure hate based ideology. quite the contrary. it bases on socialist ideology, on the ideas of Karl Marx. and here begins the problem. no one with clear mind ( I hope also not in Estonia) would make a clever scientist and ecomomist like responsible for all the crimes committed by some perverse soviet communists 100 years later.At least in my country Marx is regarded as a famous economist, his thesis are still dicussed and about his books is spoken at universities. here end the black and white picture. because here it becomes more difficult: because the left and the socialist movement was always divided, there have always been ddmocratic forces ( like social democrats for example) who believed in ideals and honestly wanted to improve human living conditions and ajnti democratic forces ( like the soviet bolshhevik, who brutally killed milions of people). But even to claim that all communist have been anti-democratic is is entirely not true. have a look e.g. on the long democratic tradtions communist parties have in France or Italy, where the have been participation in governments even. Even a person like the former french President Mitterand described himself as a Marxist when he was elected. There have been democratic socialists even in regions so far away aas chile, where democratically elected president Allende was murdered by a quasi-ideologically facist regime like that one of Auguustp Pinochet. ( by the one the same guy who introduced neoliberal ideology, the same ideology some people in Estonia are so proud on. but let´s stop at this point, fixing that there obviously have been democratic and anti democratic forces within socialist and communist ideology. and now imagine: could we say the same about Nazi ideology? is it possible to talk about democratic nazis on the one side, and non democratic nazis on the other? obviously not, because the whole ideology was evil in itself. If you understand this, you may understand what I mean.

Meelis ütles ...

to: moevenort
Yes, I really don't believe, that Soviet soldiers were liberators for 14 million expelled Germans

moevenort ütles ...

@Meelis: one should never miss cause and consequence. My own grandmother was one of the 14 Mio expelled, coming from former East Prussia. She was always incisting not to to mix up cause and consequence. meaning: If Hitler would not have started a terrible war, she and 14 Mio other Germans would never have been expelled from home. So the criminal was Hitler and not the soviet soldiers who fought against Hitler. That was what she said. Unbielievable for people like you, isn´t it?

jusser ütles ...

Only difference between Nazis and Soviets is HOPE. Second one leaves you none.

moevenort ütles ...

@jusser- exactly people like you are the ones who will never learn anything.

Bea ütles ...

moevenort, you trivialize the soviet crimes.
We are no Nazis. We admit the Nazi crimes were terrible; Nazis were and are fundamentally wrong. But Soviets were fundamentally wrong and terribly cruel as well. You imagine that German Nazis would have achieved the whole world inhabited by Germans? They wouldn't have found enough of those bloody Germans for the whole world, that's why they, sure, would have modified their ideology if it would have been possible that the rest of the world wouldn't have managed to defeat them sooner or later. How was Golodomor better than gas cameras? How were soviet medical experiments with brains of people - still alive - better than the Nazi idea what to do with the hair of Jews already murdered? You don't wanna hear of all those soviet crimes, that's why you demonize anyone who had seen them, however well hidden from the West. You demonize Estonians and Latvians, moevenort. Soviet commies demonized them as well, because they didn't trust them for being a different community. Why do you feel so good demonizing and patronizing other nations?
Ha, and you objected - so quickly and nerviously - to Giustino's claim about what he has seen in Berlin! As if he knew nothing. You know not much yourself about Estonians and Latvians. But no, you must think you are better than anyone else, right?
Btw, Eastern Germany may be full of commies who defend themselves by demonizing those who accuse commies in anything. Aren't you one of them?? Why ask, though, as if you would respond "yes" if you were. Your remark about Tarand's T-shirt with the "commies to the oven" - where could we see that?
Commies had hidden whom, how many did they kill and which way they did. They had killed millions before they got enough, stopped mass-killings and went to try and create some more normal, more peaceful life (but not entirely free of scaremongering and threats, no way).
We could suspect not only commies would have stopped after some time, Nazis would as well, they were blood, flesh and minds, too. Then they would only tell that Germans are better than anyone else and shall rule the rest, like commies told that Russians were the best in the USSR and the rest practically only got a chance after a great Russian was not found for a honorable job, the rest shall have been commified+Russified, but the fact that they were forced to commify and Russify themselves shall have been hidden from outsiders. That's as much better, as much the process had to go more slowly and was less effective 'cause they had to often pretend that they didn't go against peoples will. And nearly nobody outside the zone was thinking of saving peoples inside from the process.
Commies were shameless liars and demagogues.

Bea ütles ...
Autor on selle kommentaari eemaldanud.
Temesta ütles ...

What bothers me is that the crimes of Stalin/the Soviet Union in the Estonia are sometimes presented as being aimed at the destruction of the Estonian nation in the same way the Nazi's wanted to destroy the Jewish people. During the first deportations in the Baltic countries a proportionally higher number of Jews were deported than ethnic Estonians, Latvians or Lithuanians. This is no surprise, as often they were among the more rich citizens in the Baltic countries. After the Soviet Union reconquered the Baltic States there were, for obvious reasons, almost no more Jews available for deportation. Like Lingüista said, the Soviets wanted to remove those elements in the Baltic states that they considered as class enemies (destroy the social structure). We should not forget that exactly the same kind of actions were inflicted upon the Russian population itself in the 1930's, when a large part of the intelligentsia was annihilated and farmers who stood in the way of agricultural reforms were terrorised. What mattered for Estonians as much as for Russians was not your ethnicity but your status as a member of the bourgeoisie or as a kulak. I do not deny that there was an element of Russian Chauvinism mixed with official Soviet ideology, but can we equate being forced to learn and speak Russian with genocide?

moevenort ütles ...
Autor on selle kommentaari eemaldanud.
moevenort ütles ...

@ Bea: it´s not worth to answer, but I am far from being a communist. If I am anything at all, than I am Christian. By contrast to Estonia, christian values is something that has not died out in Eastern Germany at least. May be thats also something making us less vulnerable to this nice little neoliberal consuming mentality that is so widespread in Estonia. I mean, if there are no other values left, people have to believe in consuming and competition as a substitute, I dont know.

moevenort ütles ...

@ Bea the unqualified and stupid language full of prejudices you are using is normally not worth of any further answer. but believe me, I have certainly spent much more time in Estonia than Giustino has ever spent in Berlin.

Bea ütles ...

moevenort:
1) you dehumanize Estonia a bit too much, I think. :) Christian human values (maybe unlike the believe in God and all the Christian mysteries) are not dead in Estonia yet. They are human values caused by human need and ability to understand, feel, help other humans... I hope that will never die in us, although yes, good priests may be ones of those who help and remind people of the human love and solidarity; there may always be bad priests, though;
2) well, it is not important if to me if exactly you are a communist or not, you just dehumanize Estonia too much, too quickly, I think. You wouldn't let your country be dehumanized by outsiders that much and that carelessly quickly; there are lots of clever, open-minded people in Estonia who use their brain and heart humanly before they do anything, they are likely even less inclined to make groups and follow a leader (some bad priest) blindly like sheep;
3) the Balts had been informed of the Nazi crimes since the Soviet times and they have not been let to forget that Nazi ideology is fundamentally wrong and leads to genocides;
4) I see that all the guilty in crimes of killing peaceful civilians can't be piunished anymore; then everyone shall better stop whining that not absolutely all Nazis have been jailed and hanged yet either; why do you think only the Balts and other Eastern Europeans shall continue to be quiet when practically no NKVD, MGB, KGB, Red Army crimes were punished as somebody's personal crimes?
5) we all shall stop demonizing groups of people and nations, Jews and Russians shall do that too; now, it seems, it's a part of convenient political correctness to protect Jews and all other commies with the help of them from being accused in any war crime against civilians. Jews and Soviet ex-commies are the most excused for talks like "this group of people are beasts and enemies of people with the wrong ideology", "they will never understand", "they are not worth to belong to where good people like us belong"...
6) I know that it looks almost inhuman to punish somebody who survived through the horrors of extermination of their nation for joining fighters of the exterminators and comiting some crime against other peaceful people together with those fighters;
7) I see its easy to tell the crimes of any Balt shall never stay unpunished as if all the Balts who became killers were provided flowers instead of horrors of war by the two forces who occupied their countries suddenly and quickly; it's easier because the Balts sat silenced for so long already; it's easy if all the commies are welcome to hide their crimes behind their scream: "look, they (those damned Baltic neo-Nazis) punished a Jew", "look, those Baltic Nazi lovers, punished a Russian commie = antiNazi fighter!" even when it was rather proved the man was punished for killing peaceful civilians not by some accident; It's too easier to continue to lie about and to denigrate and dehumanize those who and whose languages are not widely known and stop them from seeking justice to themselves; commie crimes shall better be just forgotten, right?

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

A German perspective:

It is NOT that Germany has faced the responsibilities for the crimes during WWII in all aspects.

Many soldiers, members of the occupation forces came back in thousands, tenthousands, hundredthousands, many were helped to reintegrate through old networks. Once I mentioned a case from my middle siced german city. Two higher level administratives came back from Latvia. They must have known about the Holocaust, they were in key positions there. But for one the only consequence was, that he could not work in the city administration back home, there was no investigation in their years spend in the Baltics. So we (Germans) don't know what they did in Latvia. Just an example.
We have not done our homework to the extend. What was done was a general acknowlegment of the crimes (concentration camps), but not in detail who did what besides these centers of crimes. Also in the GDR not. No investigation with the soldiers and middle rank Nazis.
With that background a generalizing and ciritzising of the Baltics about their view of the Nazis and the Reds leaves a bitter taste.

In a German film biography about Marcel Reich Ranicki, a Jew surviving in Poland, a scene is shown when he settled in Germany during the 50s. He passed people on the street, people he met in Warzawa before, Nazis. Everybody occupied with his daily life hiding the memories.

The local awareness of Nazi crimes is quite new, it needed 40 to 50 years that other researches on the slave worker camps were done, the AZs. Even these letters are not well known yet. Prisoners were tortured there to death, by local Nazis IN Germany close to their german home cities. Now publishing the names of the guards etc. it is still not easy.

ants ütles ...

Speaking absolutely black-white manner I have an impression, Moevenort will say, the nazi crimes are mostly mad to compare communist ones? Unbelievable!

Jens-Olaf ütles ...

Forgot to mention the painful discussion about the slave worker compensation in Germany 10 years ago. NOT ALL companies have open their archives yet. Though many did.

Starting a relationship with slave workers was a crime. Women were stigmatised even decades later. It took some of them, if at all, their whole life time to speak about what happened to them when the Nazi-state found out. Surviving was the only option that was possible.

The case of desertion in the Wehrmacht. The rehabilitation took place only recently.

Could be continued.

moevenort ütles ...

@Jens Olaf: what has it all to do with the topic? the critical point I referred to was this equalization of soviet crimes with the Nazi crimes and the holocaust as it was done here in some of the comments. This was it what made me fear as it leads to trivialization of nazi crimes - you can observe it quite well here, e.g. in the comments of Bea who is claiming: "oh, why are those jews always treatetd to nicely and we poor Estonian victims not etc.", you know the German debate quite well, if bea would say things like that in Germany she would probably get serious problems in justifying herself not being anti semit - Every serious historian will probably see it like me and would refuse such equalization as quite dangerous. remember just the Totalitarismus debate we had in Germany in the 1960s. so what is your opinion about this equalization?
because it´s exactly this that makes German people afraid. And come on, don` tell me that I am the only one seeing it like that. I had some talks with a lot of Germans when I was in Estonia, this dubious view on the past made them afraid as well.

Jens-Olaf ütles ...

moevenort, to face all the crimes of the Nazi state , it took two or three generations.
And Western Europe had not investigated at the same level the crimes of the Soviets. That's why testimonies like that from Lev Kopelev, an officer of the Soviet army, came as an surprise, even in Western Germany. But it did not change the debate.
Soviet crimes versus Nazi crimes. He addressed for example the fate of the Polish undergound army. They ended up in the Soviet GULAG, dead. But it was ignored. The majority of Germans thought they know about 1933-1945. But they did not.
Lev Kopelev:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lev_Kopelev

moevenort ütles ...

@Jens Olaf: That did not answer my question: Is it justified by any means to put on the same step any crime (regardless how terrible it has been also) with a crime like the Holocaus without trivializing the Holocaus? I would think one should never do and I guess the overwelming majority of todays German people would say the same.

Look at the public debate we had, the Totaritarismus debate we had in the 1960s was just a hint. and to stay more current: not even the candidate for presidency Joachim Gauck who would be the last one who would ever trivialize communist crime would put them on the same level like the azi crimes. quite the contrary, he strongly contradicts all such attempts as strict as I am doing now as you can read in his last book published in 2009.

Jens-Olaf ütles ...

You are saying that the Holocaust is acknowledged as the crime of all times.
That is true in certain aspects. But it does not mean that everybody in Germany is aware what happened where he lives. Instead there is still resistance. Talking to local people they say air raids. The Bombing terror om theirt cities. But the "Erinerungsteine" memorial stones of Jews where they once lived are not welcomed in the first place. Very often.

moevenort ütles ...

@ jens Olaf:

"And Western Europe had not investigated at the same level the crimes of the Soviets."

I would doubt that. what is with the Gauck Behörde in East Germany? (I guess you won`t deny that East Germany is since the reunification part of Western Europe as well again) I would say they have done more to investigate communist crimes than it was done in any other country. Now some countries like Czech Republic or Poland see exactly this agency as a blueprint for investigating something they had missed to do for 20 years. btw: investigation the crimes begins in front of the own door. Has Estonia layed open the former KGB files like it was done with the stasi files in East Germany? have they dealt with the communist past of some of their todays political leaders? like the Konsomolz functinary past of people like Ansip? In East Germany it wsa often the case that the strongest enemies of communuist ideas after 1990 were sometimes those ones who were strongest involved in crimes themselves during communist times.. In Poland you had the same discussion when you think of Waleca for example. the history is not as black and white as it often seems. And before always incisting to be such a terrible victim of communism, Estonians may be should begin to clean the own house before talking like that.

tartuense ütles ...

to moevenort:

You should be ashamed of what you are writing. You accuse the whole population of Estonians for no reason. There is no such glorification of the Nazi regime in Estonia. This is not the same as some relatively few people who may be proud of their grandfathers who took up arms against one oppressor, the Soviets, thanks to the mess created in the whole of Europe by the Nazis and the Soviets. This is nowhere close to the glorification of Nazism that still exists in Germany and other countries and for which there are rightly so, laws placed to prevent this (since we know what they are capable of). Your denigration of peoples and cultures strikes very resonant with totalitarian regime thinking, both Nazi and Soviet, and is also extremely inhuman and antiChristian.
The holocaust should never be forgotten. The crimes the Nazis committed were shocking, even carried out with such 'efficiency' and order, that there are tons of material of the crimes they did, even because they documented it themselves. The Soviets made sure they left no traces behind so that other people could then deny their crimes existed. Like with Katyn, they massacred thousands, only to blame it on the Nazis for decades. The Western idiot governments even went on with this lie. For decades.
Crimes are crimes, no mattered who committed them or who suffered them. They are all despicable. The right-winged military governments in South America killed thousands of people just because they had different ideas, and even put them on planes and dumped them into the sea, so that they could never be found. And they were helped by the CIA and the US. Pinochet was a bastard, and no one should apologize right-wing crimes, just like no one should apologize left-wing crimes. In Cambodia the left wing government killed millions of people, just because they were 'a teacher'.
You simply hate Eastern Europeans, and that is your fault. I am a Christian, and as a Christian, one of the most important values is to love your brother, all of mankind. You cannot claim to be a Christian and despise other people.
Crimes against Jews should be recognized. Crimes against socialists should be recognized. Crimes against Eastern Europe should be recognized and not minimized.
The same recalcitrant and extreme ideas you pose can easily be turned against you. How is it possible that in the EU there are people who think like moevenort and be accepted? Why is it that they command so much power? Just because they are from Berlin and Eastern Germany? Why should Marx be glorified? Like someone said, he had a good diagnosis of capitalism, but a terrible recipe. One of the core values of the EU should be freedom of thought and debate, however much it is uncomfortable to you.
Just as the left is wide and has valuable contributions as well as negative ones (there are thankfully social democrats, and even jolly anarchists, but also unreformed communists), so much so is also the right, with extremists and moderates, free traders and protectionists and conservatives.
I do not celebrate 'egg holiday' or 'bunny day', but Easter, where we should be happy of our fellow mankind. Once we loose this, the road down to hell and madness can take any political color you like.

Jens-Olaf ütles ...
Autor on selle kommentaari eemaldanud.
moevenort ütles ...

@ Jens Olaf: that still doesn not answer the question. but is it certainly true that the speed of investigating in Germany relied on the level and may be on the region as well. More progress in certain fields, less in other.
I can just tell from my experience: I went to a school in Berlin who was named after Nelly Sachs, a jewish German writer who had to escape from Germany by the end of the 1930s. in school we dealt with this issue a lot, we were visting memorials in former concentration camps and local memorials in the suburb remembering the nazi past ( I am coming from the Berlin suburb of Köpenick, may be the name " Köpenicker Blutwoche 1933" tells you something. In private my parents had jewish friends, so when I was a child we helped to reconstruct the local jewish cemetery and were invited to traditional jewish festivals. When you saw Neo nazis in Berlin, people organized protest, as a lot of my friends have done it in the past and still do it. that was my way to deal with it. of course I also saw people who did not want to remember those things. But in my whole life this was a small minority. but may be the experience from Berlin is sometimes a little bit different from the west german countryside. I dont know.

Jens-Olaf ütles ...

@moevenort Hm, thanks for that.
I am not convinced enough with my part of Germany.

moevenort ütles ...

@ Jens Olaf: as you mentioned the air raid debate in Germany: you probably also remember the huge resistance it caused among civil society when local neo- nazis organized a rally because of that issue? it was a huge protest, carried out by all parts of civil society, involving left and conservative gropus, trade unions, the church and local politics. I remember this quite well, I habe been in Dresden during that time, too. I guess one should also not to forget those aspects. the fear I have is the following question: would it be possible to organize such strong civil society resistance against Neo Nazis like in Dresden in Eastern Europe as well? e.g. in Hungary, Poland or Estonia? When I thing of the latest voting results, for example for right winged Jobbik party in Hungary, when I think of the screaming mass of many thousand people in Budapest before the elections, screaming anti-semitic slogans into the night - then I somehow have the fear no, that would may be not be the case.

tartuense ütles ...

One thing I can agree with moevenort, yes, let the KGB files and NKVD files, and FSB files and the myriad other secret police files be opened. Not only in Estonia, but in Finland and Russia, as well.
I won't defend Bush, but funny how many people who argued against his ideological and despotic ways were so silent about criticizing the Russian regime, which has no bones about invading other countries, no value for the law, etc., etc.
If there are right wing extremists and antisemites (there were and are also antisemites in the left wing, too) in Hungary, I fail to see how that has anything to do about Estonia. Mart Laar is in no way similar to Jobbiks.
And finally, historians now agree that whilst the bombing on Dresden was massive, it did not cause the 50,000 deaths that some Germans liked to claim, but was 'only' several thousand. Again, no less important than other deaths, but no reason why to despise the US and turn into Russophiles, either.

tartuense ütles ...

Yes, the Nazi regime would have wiped out Estonia and Estonians in a few years. The Soviet regime would have eventually, gradually, silently, with the West complicit and applauding and paying for it through gas and oil. If not, what is happening and has happened then to non-Russian ethnic groups in Russia? Most of them only speak Russian.

Bea ütles ...

I am NO Antisemit, moevenort. But I've expected to almost get the label from you (be accused that I'm less normal than what the German perfect law allows to be), it's consistent with your "never forget to accuse the Baltic nations that they are less human than others in Europe" line. Don't you dare to label me like that and commend others who rush to label people like that. It's obvious I didn't tell that Holocaust was something good.
I just said Jews were and are capable of being too cruel like some representatives of all other nations. That's true.
I also said it's wrong to use the Nazi label when ever Balts wanna investigate and punish crimes against humanity commited by self-proclaimed angels [Stalin's] communists (look how wildly, how beastily they allowed themselves to behave hiding behind their nice slogans).

And yeah, you may accuse the Baltic peoples again that they did not punish all of their own commies first (just as long as they didn't, if they did, you would probably still accuse them for doing that - the witch hunting on those who were so much better than Nazis, no matter than they were cruel mass-murderers of whom ever they wished to murder). Isn't your real ultimate goal to not allow to punish any of these commies anyway? No Baltic official ever said communism equals nazism 100%, they said that both communists and nazists had the ideologies that let them fool their societies, and fanatically murder millions using wrong ideas, make WWII, dream of ruling of the whole world, create a dictatorship. Commie crimes shall be acknowledged and punished just like the Nazi crimes shall. Communism that those commies murdered groups of people for is a dangerous utopia. Nobody shall ever be allowed to murder others for that utopia. It's a LIE that the Baltic people and their states praise Nazis and Nazism. Is it YOUR useful lie, moevenort?

Piret ütles ...

Giustino: "... most young Estonians probably know little of this past, and are content not to know. Sometimes I wonder if they are right."

Only small minority of young Europeans care of national histories. I consider it quite a good development - we are not able to put historical events in normal perspective anyway. Just read the comments here....

From real life: during IIWW, grandpa was mobilised to German Army, my husbands' grandpa was mobilised to Russian Army. They consented that politicians are scum and isn't it great that they have survived to see their grandgrandchildren.

At the end, this is what really matters...

I'm pro forgetting and against accusing who is the blackest black. Lets go forward and try to learn how to live without hate. Make love, not war!:)

ants ütles ...

May be the some signs of turning right are caused of the fear lose own national identity due to the increasing migration?

Bea ütles ...

moevenort, the Soviet totalitarianism of 50 years made the Baltic peoples less capable to organize themselves and show their opinion (their protest) in the streets when ever they see, hear injustice. I am worried about it as well. Thank the Soviet terror against every independent organization for that among other things (no democracy nearly never before 1987).
That's no reason to call current Balts and their governments Nazis, not democratic and be worried because of Giustino's post about the Soviet silent occupation of the Baltic states in 1940. There was nothing that would justify Nazism in the post or in other posts here.

ants ütles ...

moevenort
By the way do you have had read Gaby Köpp "Warum war ich bloss ein Mädchen"?

ants ütles ...

moevenort
By the way do you have had read Gaby Köpp "Warum war ich bloss ein Mädchen"?

Temesta ütles ...
Autor on selle kommentaari eemaldanud.
moevenort ütles ...

@ Bea: my point was the equalization with the Holocaus. this was not done in the post, but in the comments it raised quite quick. in experience I unfortunately also made in personal discussions I had in Estonia when it comes to talks about communist past. look at the third comment already, "stockholm slender" e.g. quote:

"I would think that these enlightenment rags disguising the true, terrifying, hysterical Stalinist bloodfest is what makes the Soviet system in many senses even more dangerous than the Nazi equivalent."

Bea ütles ...

Maybe the idea that every war criminal influenced by those totalitarian ideologies could be punished is really just as dangerous utopia as others and we shall just see that we wouldn't generalize and create new fanatics with ideas leading to totalitarianism and to violence against those who look like or believe differently. People shall learn to forgive and forget, not to continue those horrible wars. But aren't people animals anyway? Aren't we prone to violence when ever we feel less safe and more frustrated than what we learned to stand?

moevenort ütles ...

@ Bea: I know that argument with the 50 years communist making people less capable to protest against injustice quite often when I had discussion with people in Estonia. But I `m sorry, it is not convincing for me. When I would be West German origian, it would may be convince me, as an East German it is not. Because we had the same past: first 12 years of Nazi dictatorship, afterwards 40 years communist rule till 1989. and still, civil protest is possible as I tried to show with example of Dresden. why civil society protest should work well in one society with a long communist past and work not so well in another society with the same authoritarian traditions? that´s in intersting question. Do you have an explanation for that? - - but please, don`t tell me now that Estonian communism has been worse than East German communism. Because this I do not believe. We had the stasi, the wall, people were shot at the border and deported to Siberia as well. There is no big difference I can see.

tartuense ütles ...

Interesting reading:

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,447255,00.html

"Far-right views are not just the domain of skinheads and neo-Nazis but are firmly anchored throughout German society, regardless of social class or age, according to a study of attitudes towards foreigners, Jewish people and the Nazi period."

Piimapukk ütles ...

moevenoert - This may be a bit harsh, but you go into such lengths trying to forsake your "heritage". Which is fine. Russians, in reverse, for do not suffer such pains and pangs of conscience. The question is, why do you want other people do forsake theirs?

Did Estonians invent nazism?

Get off our lawn! Go fight wahtever you need to fight in your own back yard!

Would that have saved the world a whole lot of trouble way back then?

Bea ütles ...

@ moevenort, stockholm slender told that the nazi madness was probably more easily recognizable as madness, as leading to no good, as a way to a terrible bloodbath... Commies propagated, inspired and realized many bloodbaths, mass-killings in disguise as well, but their alleged goals might have fooled more people and made them murder and support the murdering fanatically. Commies (the way they were, no angels, no perfect people, it is not possible to be perfect on this earth) tried to murder all whom they deemed less perfect. They told that they were gonna create a paradise through murdering some huge groups of baddies. Nazis claimed almost the same, just they claimed they needed to kill entire nations as baddies.
Soviet people fought the Nazis only after the Nazis invaded their country, but Soviet rulers didn't bring the real freedom to anyone, they could not create any paradise, they were oppressors and murderers (until they got tired of murdering) themselves.
Stalinists and other real commie regimes of entire nations we had shall have been defeated just like Nazis were defeated so that people could get the real democracy, so that the real voice of people would be heard.
Well, but the Easterners were too weak to beat Stalinism alone and the Westerners (they say they were too weak at the time right after May 1945 as well) started to live differently, probably kinda happy that the Berlin wall was built and all the Soviet madness stayed behind it, hidden from their eyes.
Eastern Germans can consider themselves lucky that there was the Western Germany that they can belong together with and be proud of now. Your claim that Estonia shall not belong to Europe and be left alone near Russia (in which there are 500000 self-proclaimed neo-Nazis now, I read) sound arrogant. I wonder how much the current Russia is praised in Germany now, btw. Is it seen as a better, more human place than the Baltic countries now?

Jens-Olaf ütles ...

It is long ago but someone blamed me talking about Korea too much here. But:
The Koreans living in the Soviet Union were deported in the same cattle wagons we all know too well. From the far East to the center of the SU. They were deported not to a camp but to the steppes somewhere. Droped out without anything. Who managed to survive was lucky the others just died. Who knows this story?
That was the Soviet style. What was the crime of the Koreans? They were Koreans. And that is just Nazi as Nazi can be. There are other nationalities involved as well.

Jens-Olaf ütles ...

From Wikipedia:
The Korean minority population in the Russian Far East was one of the largest border minorities in the Soviet Union, facing in the 1920s and the 1930s the Japanese-occupied Korea on the other side. This minority had been gradually building up since the second half of the 19th century, as poor Korean peasants migrated across the border in search for land and livelihoods.[3] The Korean immigration increased dramatically during the early 1920s, after Imperial Japan occupied Korea. In 1917–1926, the Soviet Korean population tripled to nearly 170,000 people, and by 1926, Koreans represented more than a quarter of the rural population of the Vladivostok region. Under the circumstances, the official Soviet policy of national minorities prescribed formation of a Korean autonomous territory (the proposed Korean ASSR) for the large Korean community in the Russian Far East. This option was debated in Moscow but finally rejected in 1925 because of opposition from the local Russian population fearing competition for land, as well as the political goal of maintaining a peaceful stance toward Imperial Japan. As a result, a contradictory policy emerged. On the one hand, smaller Korean national territories were authorized, and Korean-language schools and newspapers were set up, and the Party Line represented Koreans as a model Soviet national minority contrasted with the Korean population suffering under the yoke of Japanese occupation across the border. On the other hand, the central government confirmed a secret plan (adopted on 6 December 1926) to resettle half of the Soviet Koreans (88,000 people) north of Khabarovsk on suspicions of disloyalty to the Soviet Union. This resettlement plan was not implemented before 1930 for a variety of political and budgetary reasons, however. The first forced transfer of Korean immigrants to the north, excepting those who were explicitly proven loyal, began in 1930, initially in small amounts (by 1931, when the plan was officially abandoned, only 500 Korean families (2,500 individuals) had been resettled in the north.[4] ); sometimes, this is considered the first case of ethnic cleansing by the Soviet Union. Large-scale resettlement was delayed until 1937 out of the fear that Japan might consider it casus belli.

Bea ütles ...

@ moevenort. I don't know where is your idea from that there is a significant amount of neo-Nazis among Estonians and that it shall make their society worried in the first place. I guess that the noise that Russia creates every time it manages (mixing some lies into the truth) makes you think so.

It's true that a lesser per cent of East Germans suffered from the commie terror (lesser per cent of East Germans had been to Siberia and for not so long and going to Siberia was not their fear for the entire "socialist" period, was it?).
Didn't Germans have more private freedoms in "socialist" times (a freedom to have your private shops, for example)?
Well, I don't know. Estonians and other Balts were called names like "Fritzes", "Hanses" meaning "Nazis", "fascists" for ever and ever by Soviet Russians who had migrated to our countries and by those who hadn't. We were called so for every single showing that we knew we weren't Russians and weren't obliged by the Soviet law to become Russians or praise Russians as a superior raise, for being for us own and knowing who we were. "Nazis", "Nazis", "Nazis" because we wanted to be addressed in our own languages in our own home cities; "Nazis", "Nazis", "Nazis" for telling that Soviets occupied our countries, for telling that they didn't bring freedom.
In 1987-1991, people we respected were constantly telling us that we shall avoid any violence, no matter what kind of violence would Soviets apply to us, we preached freedom for all, but Soviets still never stopped their "Nazis", "Nazis", "Nazis" song. Putin and Zuroff didn't either.
Well, I don't know how many Estonians are self-proud and think they are better than people of certain other nations, but I see no amount of Nazis in Estonia to be worried about, no authorities who would praise Nazism, no Nazism (no violence against some groups of people) officially encouraged there yet.

Giustino ütles ...

@Moevenort

I am not drawing an equal sign. Is it really possible to equate one crime with another? Even one German crime to another? It seems like a useless endeavor.

And what is my accusation? I went to Berlin and that's what I saw. I also saw a lot of Communists in East Berlin. I took part in an antiwar protest where the red flag was ubiquitous (ironically listen to John Lennon songs played on a loudspeaker "If you go carrying round picture of Chairman Mao" indeed).

Of course, the popular joke in East Berlin those days was "ich bin Laden" -- so hilarious! The German left was buzzing with conspiracy theories about the end of the world.

But you know, I enjoyed it. I enjoyed it even when I was forced to listen to Rammstein.

Bea ütles ...

Good for you, moevenort, that living in Berlin after the unification of Germany you can claim to be both Western and Eastern German and you can tell everyone that both Eastern and Western Germans are equally lovely now, just as good as you are.

Piimapukk ütles ...

To make it perfectly clear to movenort and the likes - If you have a syphilis (a.k.a nazism) or your parents had or have it, we are all sorry to hear it. We do appreciate that you warn us how bad it can be and how to avoid it, BUT we do want to remind you - WE DO NOT HAVE IT! It is YOUR disease. It is YOUR problem, not ours.
Get this thru your head. Stretch your mind if this is what it takes.

moevenort ütles ...

@ piimapukk: it´s exactly this kind of attitude why I think it´s definately not wrong to be worried about certain aspects in Eastern European political culture and the state of democracy there..

moevenort ütles ...

@ piimapukk: in your case especially your well-developed sense to accept other opinions and the first class level to feed your words with arguments (I hope your brain is at least capable to recognize the word irony)

ants ütles ...

It is useless to convince Moevenort, he may be not right. Look how many Stalin portraits you can see on the Moscow streets at the festal days! What would you do, looking even one with Hitler in Germany?!! Jedem das Seine.

Piimapukk ütles ...

The very definition of irony is a kraut like you trying to lecture others about the evils of nazism.

Piimapukk ütles ...

... and the fact that in 2010 we are stull talking about nazism and communism.

Maybe we should start talking about ancient cultures idolizing phalloses instead? For us, estonians, the difference is the same.

moevenort ütles ...

@piimapukk: "The very definition of irony is a kraut like you trying to lecture others about the evils of nazism."

aha. I try to figure out of your primitive words that you would like it more when German people would still praise nazism? nice attitude.

ps: you don´t seem to be the smartest guy concerning your intellectual capacity, isn´t it?

Temesta ütles ...

Well, surely any insanity can get popular - however, to assess its long term allure we have to see how it copes with the long term. How many trendy, progressive, enlightened young people you have seen with the SS or Gestapo insignia on their t-shirts? What is the name recognition for Vorkuta compared with Auschwitz?

I just visited the Russian supermarket in my neighbourhood and guess what I found there: a t-shirt with 'CCCP' and the hammer and sickle, a hat with the hammer and sickle and a nicely made box with a bottle of wodka in the shape of a kalashnikov, decorated with red army themes.

ants ütles ...

Piimapukk
Moevenort
Children! End this throw with words! Go out and make a good brawl of the fistcuffs!!
But I can't help make a note - Piimapukk has far more supporters, (fäns) as Moevenort is quite alone in this battle!

Piimapukk ütles ...

There's no battle. Just pointing out the obvious. I don't give shit.

hullu poro ütles ...

@Moevennort
You are obsessed with Nazism because the Nazis were German, as are you. The Estonians and most other Eastern Europeans are less obsessed with the dead ruling ideology of your country, because since 1945 they've had other problems than your lot.
By the way, the Nazis did not invent racism and wars of extermination, they just brought those wars to Europe. I've seen Black Americans state more or less: 'why should I be scared of the Nazis? It's not the Nazis who enslaved my ancestors.' Different experiences, different reactions. But for you, that would be 'trivializing Nazi crimes'?

moevenort ütles ...

with all respect and understanding for the brutal crimes that have been unfortunately committed in Estonia during the soviet occupation: apart from this unqualified equalization of Nazism and the holocaust with the crimes of communism, what wonders me somehow, is how this self-construction of being the worst victim of communism ever and this permanent crying that the whole outside world does not undertstand it and don´t likes the poor Estonian people, prevents a small country from understanding presence and future. when I saw this phenomenon in Estonia, I sometimes felt like in a time machine straight back to the 1950, to McCarty era and anti-communist hysteria. look around in the world, are there any communist running around still? In most European countries I can see left winged democrats, but no communists anymore. and if there have left some, these are now certainly the most peaceful communists the world has ever seen.

So whats the current problem? why that hysteria? but of course keeping the enemy alive is so easy in Estonia: it prevents from thinking about any current problems, from thinking about the crisis of Neoliberalism which is discussed all over the world but surprisingly not in Estonia. or about the social unequality within Estonian society. about the poverty, the unemployment. Or about the phenomenon of "Postdemocracy" ( I would doubt that anyone in Estonia has only heard about the word that introduced a big debate about the quality of Democracy in western societies) Or did you know that according to the UN Gini Index Estonia is one the countries which the sharpest income difference between rich and poor? but of course, this is all not important if only the communist ghost can be kept alive.


so instead of further discussion, better a quote. Does anyone know the German movie " The Educators" aka "Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei? its a quite good movie, dealing with a lot of issues and problems western societies are facing at the moment. the possibility to make quality movies like this, to discuss those issues in brought public debate in Germany (but not only there of course) is for me such a sign of life quality that I would always prefer to live in such a open society instead of that narrow minded 1950s style atmosphere I have unfortunately seen in Estonia in some aspects. the last sentence of that movie is " some people never change" - I think there is nothing to add.

but watch for yourself and take it with humour. as something which is so different from any public debate in Estonia that it could be from another planet as well. because that is in some aspects the distance separating our societies:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MB1UMfC8koc

Joshua ütles ...

I'm an estonian and I write here to express my support for moevenort. Quite a few younger estonians are getting exhausted from this extreme nationalism and russophobia we've been fed for our entire lives, and what you describe is something that we too have felt but been incapable to express.

For example this typical talk:" the Soviet totalitarianism of 50 years made the Baltic peoples less capable to organize themselves and show their opinion (their protest) in the streets when ever they see, hear injustice."

Or any other thing negative sight amongst estonians attributed to 50 years of Soviet.

When we young people then read Tammsaare's articles written in 1910's, he says the same things but blames it on czarist central government and serfdom instead.

Or any other old estonian writer from late 19th century or early 20th century.

Eesti Mõttelugu series really undermines the current official narrative.

Some things are older than we are told that they are.

I've yet to read all 79 comments and I'm generalizing and currently emotional, but I just want to say that keep commenting on man.

Estonians that blame you of anti-estonianism don't speak for all estonians. But only for certain older age group. Prejudice would tell me that they're 30 something Reform and Isamaa supporters.

I don't feel at all that you're anti-estonian, and I just want to encourage to keep up the good fight. It's at least interesting and enlightening to read your comments and I've regocnized what I've felt in several of your comments.

moevenort ütles ...

@ Joshua: I thank you very much for your encouraging words. I am very glad to see that there are also people like you in Estonia raising there voice in public debate. thank you and good luck for you!

nipi ütles ...

How about russian soldier's actions in Berlin in May 1945 on women? Still sour memory.

Joshua ütles ...
Autor on selle kommentaari eemaldanud.
Joshua ütles ...

Bea:"I don't know where is your idea from that there is a significant amount of neo-Nazis among Estonians and that it shall make their society worried in the first place. I guess that the noise that Russia creates every time it manages (mixing some lies into the truth) makes you think so."

I've lived here my entire life and try to convince me that there aren't neo-nazis everywhere. Amongst my peers, almost every third guy flirts with neo-nazism. Others are just xenophobes with violent tendencies.

Joshua ütles ...

moevonert: I am very glad to see that there are also people like you in Estonia raising there voice in public debate. thank you and good luck for you!

Well, these things have been in public debate ever since Perestroika. It's just takes place in a small academic bubble - magazines like Sirp, Akadeemik and Looming.

The thing is just that outside of that academic bubble it's impossible to think in alternative patterns, do playful deconstructions and express doubt in the official narrative without getting labeled.

And getting labeled just draws unnecessary negative attention in this small village society.

For example, a libertarian might criticize the official narrative and get labeled commie, and be thought of as commie for the rest of his public life.

Never has happened, because libertarianism doesn't exist here and most estonians wouldn't know what a libertarian is anyway.

I'm just trying to give an illustrative example that all criticism, no matter the cause or source, is labeled as negatively in this black and white thinking system common amongst us.

moevenort ütles ...

@ nipi: shall I repeat it again? don´t mix up cause and consequence! meaning: as terrible this suffering has been for these german woman ( I feel with them), if Hilter would had started no terrible war, there would have been no rape and no reason for soviet soldiers to conquer Berlin. Cause and consequence, is it so hard to get? it´s nothing abstract: as I said, my own grandmother belonged to the milions of refugees from former East Prussia. Her sister was one of those women who was raped by soviet soldiers. but even with that terrible knowledge that did not change my grandmothers opinion. not to forget about cause and consequence. btw: why don´t you mention the thousands of innocent Russian women who were raped by German soldiers? don´t you think it was in the same way terrible for them? Or does your hyteric anti-communism prevents you to feel with them as well? I at least feel with all of them - regardless if they were Russian or German women.

Joshua ütles ...

"I'm just trying to give an illustrative example that all criticism, no matter the cause or source, is labeled as negatively in this black and white thinking system common amongst us."

Well thad came out a bit confusing. What I just wanted to say in my long post that there are people doing these discusions in their academic bubble and some do it even openly (Jaan Kaplinski comes to mind), but once you go open you get either written off as evil or village loon and no one takes you into serious consideration, your words just falling on deaf ears.

moevenort ütles ...

@ Joshua: thank you very much for the explanation. I think I can guess at least what you mean. I have seen what you mean quite often during my time in Estonia. And concerning the academic aspect: I am quite familiar with the situation at Tartu University and how it worked there. I saw how open minded people, who dared to critizize things were "decently" blocked out or how their topics were prevented. For a good friend of mine it meant the end of here academic career. instead she was doing some kind of shitty low paid job in a shop. What a waste of academic talent and intellligence. and she was certainly not the only one. Another friend of mine, also at Tartu University, recocgnizes all the things you just mentioned as well. But he likes his work so much, that he decided not to see all that anymore, to blend it out. The worst thing is that this seems to be like a pattern for any critical citizen in Estonia: either they are forced to give up or they leave the country. it is very sad.
But I like to see that there are still people like you raising their voice. And I can just say keep on, it´s important and a good job you are doing with it.

ps: if you ever want to disuss / exchange about those issues, you are also free to write me an email. the adress is given in the profil. good luck!

Joshua ütles ...

moevonert: "why don´t you mention the thousands of innocent Russian women who were raped by German soldiers? don´t you think it was in the same way terrible for them? Or does your hyteric anti-communism prevents you to feel with them as well? I at least feel with all of them - regardless if they were Russian or German women."

Estonian thinking is still very ethnically oriented in that old-school sense. We aren't called ethnic nationstate for nothing.

For some reason humanism has never really dropped an anchor in the collective estonian mind.

It's hard to say if it was always like this. Just reading old estonian thinkers gives an impression of a nation of great humanists, but right now in estonian thinking your ethnicity defines what kind of a human you are.

Ethnicitiy is above human. And that's where this weird sort of statements come. "Russians are rapists, because it's the nature of russian ethnicity to be a rapist."

We are somewhat incapable of thinking the same of germans.

"Germans are decent hard-working honest people."

It never comes to us to think of it in a larger humanist scale.

We think in stereotypes.

moevenort ütles ...

@ Josua: thats sad to hear. as more important it is to change it. as I said: if you want, just write me an email or leave a contact adress. I was thinking anyway to make an own blog, may be as a kind of exchange platform for different thinking, were some younger people from Estonia and Germany could exchange ideas about those topics. I don`t know. if you want just let me know what you think.

Joshua ütles ...

*moevenort describing what he knows about the academical situation

And yet I've seen and heard quite a lot of academic free-thinkers doing their thing in their comfortable bubble and "intelligent" ETV shows.

Hmm... I guess the people you describe, they were like bachelors and working their way to masters?

Because PhD people do do drop some major criticisms about the "invented Estonia" amongst themselves in dissertations and the like.

I guess you need a few degrees to do your own thing.

Andres ütles ...

I believe moevenort is a troll. A simple creature strongly belonging to the Internet ecosystem. And while I endorse this as a historical exercise when people dig up material to try to prove him wrong, it is pointless. You seem to not know the ways of an Internet troll. He CANNOT be convinced otherwise. He IS right.

And because of that I am going to keep this comment on a very non-factual basis. I'm going to address why moevenort has failed those same Christian values he is trying to spread to us Untermensch Estonians. When my forfather is murdered, I really don't care what his hair were used for after that. I care that he was murdered. By scumbags. moevenort at the moment is arguing that a rapist convicted of doing a 4-year old is worse than a rapist doing a 5-year old. Well hello, they were still both perverts. Killing for your thoughts is just as fucked up as killing for your race. You can't change neither of them. The Soviets might have offered a back door by not resisting them but offering slavery isn't a very happy option either. Now, this is not the point. The point is that he can't resist to make Nazi crimes a fetish. Look at Rwanda, look at where all the Indians went in the Americas. Trying to monopolize racial based mass murder just shows that you have not dealt with your past. You still need the feeling of being the most powerful murderer. Sick, man.

He talks about common values, yet he really wants to press HIS values onto other people. Again, very Nazi-like. Demonizing right wing politics etc... looks like a happy national socialist to me. We are Europe too, mate. You didn't have to listen to us for 50 years, but we're here and we have our opinion. Deal with it. Being in the European community doesn't mean living by German standards.

Giustino ütles ...

When I was in Italy last year, I saw a lot of Mussolini merchandise for sale -- aprons, calendars ... just saying.

moevenort ütles ...

@Joshua: concerning the academic situation, may be you are right as you certainly know the situation much better than I do. Concerning the examples I have given: one was indeed on her way from bachelor to master, the profesor did not want to accept her topic for master thesis. the other example was from someone at the beginning of PhD.

martintg ütles ...

Why is it that every time one tries to discuss the Soviet's attempt to destroy the Estonian nation, someone invariably chimes in indignantly that it can't be compared with the Holocaust. So what? Nobody is making that comparison. The Nazis destroyed races, the Soviets destroyed nations, what's the confusion?

Joshua ütles ...

marting: "The Nazis destroyed races, the Soviets destroyed nations, what's the confusion?"

Actually no. And you're probably thinking of ethnicites anyway when you say nations.

Remember Jakobson? And Bornhöhe? Basically estonian identiy can be divided into two different categories - one is pro-conqueror, the other is pro-indigenous.

Pro-indigenous identity narrative is all about class warfare and national emancipation from the oppressive barons and the colonial lutheran church that sanctifies injustices.

In czarist Russia, the peasant was also a serf, doing even worse than the estonian peaasant.

In those times, marxist ideologies were closely tied with nationalistic movements that had a major class warfare flavour to them.

So Jakobson came up with a narrative that while nationalistic, just fitted with marxism 100%. Just like the left would support "Black is Beautiful" movement.

Pro-indigenous narrative by Jakobson: Church bad. Soviet Union loves it. Nobles bad. SU loves it. Nobles were german. SU just had a mental orgasm. It can just copy-paste everthing.

So when the Soviet rule came, it just copy pasted Jakobson and Bornhöhe and basically kept alive one school of estonian identity created in 19th century.

How is that destroying nations?

Besides, the only way Soviet Union was destroying nations was that it was a cosmopolitian environment. Ever wondered how shaslek became our holy pagan festival food?

Now of course the other school is dominating, with we building monuments to Teutonic Order in old free towns that didn't get along with that those guys at all.

We also like that they fucked us into white people, because otherwise we couldn't beat those "niggers" and all those weird half-people.

Oh, the thing about Russia being an eternal enemy of Estonia for like ever? Baltic German* historiography the modern state has adopted.

Try telling that to estonians around 1905.

And a medieval example. Tartu once upon a time allied with russians against the Livonian Order. And Riga was constanly allying itself with russians and lithuanians against the Livonian/Teutonic Order.

*There are complex nuances of course. It certainly exists in Balthasar Russow and during the russification time in many baltic germans. But many baltic germans were also pretty russian. It seems that everyone has been very blessed with complex ethnical and cultural identities here in Balticum.

martintg ütles ...

Joshua ütles...
I'm an estonian and I write here to express my support for moevenort. Quite a few younger estonians are getting exhausted from this extreme nationalism and russophobia we've been fed for our entire lives, and what you describe is something that we too have felt but been incapable to express.

For example this typical talk:" the Soviet totalitarianism of 50 years made the Baltic peoples less capable to organize themselves and show their opinion (their protest) in the streets when ever they see, hear injustice."

Or any other thing negative sight amongst estonians attributed to 50 years of Soviet.

When we young people then read Tammsaare's articles written in 1910's, he says the same things but blames it on czarist central government and serfdom instead.

Or any other old estonian writer from late 19th century or early 20th century.


The common theme of writers from the past and present is the lack of independence. The obstacle to independence may be czarist or soviet, it doesn't make any difference, but it is a triumph of imperial propaganda to claim that seeking the right to self determination is somehow an expression of "extreme nationalism and russophobia".

martintg ütles ...

Joshua ütles...
Actually no. And you're probably thinking of ethnicites anyway when you say nations.


No. When I say nation I mean nation. Estonia is a nation that won it's independence through the force of arms in 1920. Many people of different ethnic backgrounds, including Jews, Russians and Baltic Germans, contributed to that independence and the new Estonian nation drafted one of the more liberal constitutions in Europe at that time.

Twenty years later the Soviets, with memories still fresh of their inability to prevent independence, dismantled brick by brick all things related to the sacrifice that Estonians of different ethnicities made, including every war memorial in every town and village, destroyed, along with the lives of those who supported independence.

Joshua ütles ...

"Twenty years later the Soviets, with memories still fresh of their inability to prevent independence, dismantled brick by brick all things related to the sacrifice that Estonians of different ethnicities made, including every war memorial in every town and village, destroyed, along with the lives of those who supported independence."

Estonian Independence War was nothing but the Russian Civil War. We fought on the side of whites. Then we made a backdoor deal with Lenin and put each other on the map as independet nations.

And then we both took away the land from our nobles and gave them to peasants. Of course Soviet Union later just copied good old serfdom with them kolhozes.

You should know, if you'd actually had read writers and thinkers of that day, and your previous comment leads me to assume that you haven't, that to estonians of that day, beating germans was more important than beating russians.

Võnnu, victory over germans, was made into our state holiday! Not any victory over russians. Why is that?

Because estonians of that day had a completely different identity narrative, which I analyzed in that post you just decided to read the first paragraph of.

It's only the modern state that writes everything into anti-russian.

Honestly I think you're the only troll here, the way you just cherry-pick sentences and write about something else than to respond to what was the actual meaning of the post.

Joshua ütles ...

"The common theme of writers from the past and present is the lack of independence."

I don't see it in my Tammsaare.

"Work first, then love will come. Worked all my life, love never came."

It's a deconstruction and satire of lutheran work ethics.

And the point of that post was to show how these so-called national estonian faults attributed to the Soviet Union, actually are older than Soviet Union.

The grave injustice that the modern state has done to estonian historiography, is that modern estonians have no sense of history before World War II. Now the first Estonian Republic has been made into our mythical era.

But our history, with thinkers we can read to this day, different thinkers, that Eesti Mõttelugu publishes, goes back further.

We have their written works to see how then sensed Estonia and estonians... and it was different.

There is no eternal fight with the east. That is a later adaption.

Joshua ütles ...

We have been estonians with all these so-called Soviet faults, far longer than we know.

Already Jannsen struggled with these "Soviet-occupation" caused faults. Even the herrnhut brothers.

Giustino ütles ...

Why is it that every time one tries to discuss the Soviet's attempt to destroy the Estonian nation, someone invariably chimes in indignantly that it can't be compared with the Holocaust. So what? Nobody is making that comparison. The Nazis destroyed races, the Soviets destroyed nations, what's the confusion?

I just wrote a long, detailed post about the various Estonian characters who abetted the Soviet takeover of their country.If anyone wishes to continue to pigeonhole the Estonians as Nazi sympathizers, they can revisit that photo. Three of the men on that balcony were citizens of the republic! I tried to explain in some way their motives: and they were quite simple, really: to get ahead. I sincerely doubt that Ruus or even Lauristin signed on for the destruction of their home country. But as a radical social democrat or a communist, neither had bright political futures in Päts' Estonia. Had the regime not alienated so many people, there would have been fewer discontented men sitting around in 1940 willing to collaborate with whomever offered them a nice apartment and a new car ... I mean, that's why politicians choose their line of work these days, isn't it? The money, the girls, the power. How could anyone really argue that regimes in the thirties, even totalitarian ones, operated in a different way? You did what Comrade Stalin told you to do, so that you could stay out of the GULAG system yourself! You took the Führer up on his offer, because he promised you a high-paying promotion after the war! Ideology is sometimes everything. Other times, it it window dressing.

Lingüista ütles ...

@Moevenort: let me answer your question (are we trivializing the Holocaust by comparing it to any other crimes, no matter how horrible).

No. We are not.

Why?

Because the Holocaust, no matter how terrible it was, was committed by human beings -- people in essence not different from you and me. Their motivations, their methods, their cruelty, their rationalizations, their strategy -- all of this was human.

All other mass-murderers in history -- from Gengis Khan to Pol Pot -- had similar motivations. They might not have the manpower, the strategy, the discipline to carry out a methodical plan; but these are contingent factors. They would have done a lot more if they had more technology, more discipline, and more organization.

By comparing them to the Holocaust, we may come to learn more about it from the human perspective -- since, I insist, the holocaust was the work of people, just as human as you and me.

By NOT comparing the Holocaust to anything, we "sanctify" it; we make it an "unnicum"; something "ununderstandable"; the Wrath of God; a Pervertio Naturae; and we lose thereby the possibility of seeing it as a human action, something that humans did to humans no different than themselves.

This is why we have to compare. If all we will do is shrug our shoulders and repeat Hier is kein Warum, we'll never be able to prevent another one. Because, you know, all the ingredients for a new holocaust are still right here, around us. I mean, we.

stockholm slender ütles ...

Well, I think it trivializes the Nazi crimes, all crimes against humanity, if one has selective memory about the millions and millions of innocent dead. The Soviet crimes are largely forgotten, and they did kill many more people. I think this absurd competition which one was worse also trivializes the crimes, hides the awful human reality behind the mass slaughters. As a cosmopolitan liberal I am equally anti-nazi and anti-communist, and I think it would devalue my antipathy, my horror of these crazy, bloody ideologies if it only would concern one of them.

ants ütles ...

Once more – it’s sensless try convince and dispute with this kind of people as Moevenort, or Joshua, they may be wrong. Like those do exist in all communities. Far more important is they are so few. At the same time look what high number of young people do interpret and deal the events with logical train of thought and normal brains.
But Justin has demonstrate a question, the actuality is remaning up to the present day. Thanks.

Doris ütles ...

"Is it justified by any means to put on the same step any crime (regardless how terrible it has been also) with a crime like the Holocaus without trivializing the Holocaus?" - moevenort

Speaking as a female, one who will at some point have children (probably) - what Herod did was just as bad. Perhaps not the scale, but the ideology *shudder* I already mentioned slave trade - just as bad. Hundreds of thousands, millions of (African) people taken from their homes, at least half dying on the way to the end destination - and once they reached the destination, then what? Hard labour while being treated as less than a cow. And the ideology behind it: exactly the same as Nazis vs. Jews: they were not people, not even human, so therefore, why SHOULD they live decently, or live at all, for that matter? To me, that is the true tragedy of what the nazis did - they revived that "they are not even people" mentality to a new frenzy.

Also, you might have missed it in your search for absolutes but history is postmodernist now - thre are no absolutes any more. There haven't been since the '80s.

You might not know it but in Estonia, nazi symbols are forbidden. The thing that you are so much against is that in Estonia communist symbols are forbidden too. This agitates you, because Nazi's are the ultimate evil for you. In a way you are worshipping on the altar of Nazi evil. Dogmatically, blindly and exclusively.

As a Christian, you really should look at the beam in your eye before screaming about a splinter in someone else's.

Joshua ütles ...

ants: "Once more – it’s sensless try convince and dispute with this kind of people as Moevenort, or Joshua, they may be wrong. "

Yes. "We may be wrong." Tell me, how am I wrong? How?

Am I wrong when I say that these fault of the estonian psyche, siad to be caused by SU are older than SU?

Am I wrong when I discuss how shaslek became our holy pagan celebrations food?

Am I wrong by giving an analysis on how closely tied Jakobson's narrative was with marxism, and how SU later just copy-pasted it as the official narrative of Soviet Estonia?

Am I wrong in my examples, where I discuss the situation in medieval Livonia?

Am I wrong in actully reading all that thought material our ancestors have left us?

Am I wrong when I say that there are largely to identity narratives in estonia - pro-indigenous, pro-conqueror?

Did you even fucking read my posts you fucking asshole? No, you wrote me off, because you don't like what I say. You have your official narrative and like in the old days of Galileo, holding on to official narrative is considered intellectual.

Eesti on praegu tõsiselt haige riik, ja teie jäik apologeetika on lihtsalt osa probleemist! Kas te ei saa aru, et see teie kõik see jutt ja müüdid on lihtsalt osa praegusest poliitiliselt narratiivist - mis on eestlus. Aga meil on olnud läbi ajaloo nii erinevaid narratiive selle kohta, et mis on eestlus. Miks just see praegusem, see mis saksa ordu riste ülesse paneb igale poole, siis see kõige õigem on?

Mis teil kurat viga on kuradi türavärdjad?

"They may be wrong". Well, has it ever come across to you that you to might be wrong?

Haiged lambad. Tõsiselt. Ilusat suve!

moevenort ütles ...

@ ants: "it’s sensless try convince and dispute with this kind of people as Moevenort, or Joshua, they may be wrong. Like those do exist in all communities. Far more important is they are so few."

"far more important is that they are so few" - I can imagine that this is better for you, as in this way no one contradicts your easy black / white picture of the world. and to put it straight, that`s in fact what disturbes you most, isn`t it? that you are confronted with other opinions, with arguments. and you don`t know how to deal with it. "fortunately they are so few" - of course fortunately for you.

but you know what happens when no one contradicts the big consensus anymore? it´s the silence of the graveyard. is that your kind of democracy? having the big ethnical consensus, uniting all Estonian people? The "Volksgemeinschaft"? having more young people unable to think for themselves, being slavish and confirming your black / white picture of the world? in fact democracy lives from various opinions. its the pure essence. without that the it becomes a pure facade. but may that´s exactly what people like you want.

martintg ütles ...

@Joshua,

yes, you are wrong on all counts, your viewpoints are just a parroting of Soviet era historiography.


Am I wrong when I say that these fault of the estonian psyche, siad to be caused by SU are older than SU?

Yes, there is nothing wrong with the Estonian psyche. There is nothing wrong with having pride in one's nation.


Am I wrong when I discuss how shaslek became our holy pagan celebrations food?

So what. Kababs, pizzas, etc, are the holy pagan celebrations food of many countries with immigrant populations, like Australia.


Am I wrong by giving an analysis on how closely tied Jakobson's narrative was with marxism, and how SU later just copy-pasted it as the official narrative of Soviet Estonia?

Yes. The notion that Jakobson's narrative was tied with Marxism is an imported pro-conqueror fiction.


Am I wrong in my examples, where I discuss the situation in medieval Livonia?

The situation elsewhere in medieval Europe was similar


Am I wrong in actully reading all that thought material our ancestors have left us?

Yes, you are mis-interpreting it.


Am I wrong when I say that there are largely to identity narratives in estonia - pro-indigenous, pro-conqueror?

No, you are obviously of the pro-conqueror camp.

martintg ütles ...

Joshua ütles...

Eesti on praegu tõsiselt haige riik, ja teie jäik apologeetika on lihtsalt osa probleemist! Kas te ei saa aru, et see teie kõik see jutt ja müüdid on lihtsalt osa praegusest poliitiliselt narratiivist - mis on eestlus. Aga meil on olnud läbi ajaloo nii erinevaid narratiive selle kohta, et mis on eestlus. Miks just see praegusem, see mis saksa ordu riste ülesse paneb igale poole, siis see kõige õigem on?


The only sick person here is Joshua. His notion is that the interwar republic was nothing but an aberration, that the Estonian people's real enemy were the Baltic German overloads and there was always close fraternal bond between Estonians and their Russian brothers. The Soviet/Russian people merely liberated the Estonians from their aberrationist fascist minded state in 1940 and thus we should be thankful. Get stuffed, Joshua.

moevenort ütles ...

@ martintg: again, is that your way to deal with opinion you don` like? sending people away? so you want the silence of the graveyard, no discussion anymore about topics you don`t like?

Joshua ütles ...

"Yes, there is nothing wrong with the Estonian psyche. There is nothing wrong with having pride in one's nation."

You wrote this in response to this:"Am I wrong when I say that these fault of the estonian psyche, said to be caused by SU are older than SU?"

Umm... what? I wrote that in response to the common conventional wisdom, that estonians have faults like shyness, inability to communicate, corruption, accepting power blindly and whatever people name as these faults and put the blame in Soviet occupation.

I said that putting the blame for the faults into Soviet Union is misleading, because we've had them for much longer.

"The situation elsewhere in medieval Europe was similar."

Which shows that you didn't even read my posts. I was discussing the situation in medieval Livonia, how Tartu and Riga constantly allied with the russians and lithuanians against the Teutonic Order and compared this to the modern myth of Russia as the eternal enemy.

"No, you are obviously of the pro-conqueror camp."

Actually I'm pro-indigenous, finno-ugricism all the way.

Pro-conqueor is actually thanking the teutonic order for "civilizing us". "Because otherwise we would be like russians."

"Yes, you are mis-interpreting it."

I'll just quote my previous post.

You said: "The common theme of writers from the past and present is the lack of independence."

I said: "I don't see it in my Tammsaare.

"Work first, then love will come. Worked all my life, love never came."

It's a deconstruction and satire of lutheran work ethics."

It's apparently you who mis-interpret.

ants ütles ...

I believe we have to make an end. Hysterics and indeceny may be characteristic for some people, but they are no place at this blog.

moevenort ütles ...

@ Doris: "You might not know it but in Estonia, nazi symbols are forbidden."

interesting only that no one cares about. When I was in Viljandi in a restaurant last summer with my girlfriend what we saw were young local people sitting around with SS runes on their t shirt. we complained to the waitress and the the owner, reminding them that those symbols are forbidden in Estonia as well. You know their answer? "Well, you have to accept it. It´s Estonia. its normal" nice, isn`t it? you know what was the answer of my girlfriend: "Well, as a tourist from Germany I feel disturbed. As I can see you live from tourism here. Do you think it´s so good for your business when I go back to Germany now, telling the people about what is normal for you here? Do you think its good advertisement for your country? good for your business? "

you know what would have been the reaction to such a situation in Germany or many other countries when they are peoplle sitting around with SS runes? the owner or some guests would have called the police. thats normal.

Joshua ütles ...

"His notion is that the interwar republic was nothing but an aberration, that the Estonian people's real enemy were the Baltic German overloads and there was always close fraternal bond between Estonians and their Russian brothers. The Soviet/Russian people merely liberated the Estonians from their aberrationist fascist minded state in 1940 and thus we should be thankful."

Never said that. My thesis about baltic germans is actually a lot different that you try to paint on me. I just accept that my ancestors view them as the eternal enemy. And they were classist pigs.

There was recently a very wonderful book released - Siegfried von Vegesack "Baltic Tragedy."

In the appendixes there is a beautiful quote by him: "We live together in these lands - russians, germans, estonians and latvians. And yet we don't live together, but past each other. We're separated by a glass wall."

This is the thesis that I too share. We should be Switzerland. We've already lost baltic germans to history, we should become an family of different ethnicities just like Switzerland and not do this hardcore ethnic nationstate. Before it's too late.

Baltic Russians already have lagely a different identity than Russia's russians.

For one thing, they do think that russians are primitive half-savage. You should see how many trying younf baltic russians are out there, who are overeagerly trying to prove to us that they're nothing like the "uncivilized russians". Sometimes it's even kinda sad.

So let's do Switzerland instead, a baltic family of different ethnicites living not separated, but together.

One baltic german writer had the same sentiment 100 years ago. I agree with him.

It's the glass wall that I am against.

United, friendly relationships with people living in one land is my only utopia.

And before you paint me as communist. I'm actually libertarian. Sorry. I don't fantasize about Soviet Union in pink fuzzy tones. But nice try imagining that I do.

moevenort ütles ...

@Joshua:

"United, friendly relationships with people living in one land is my only utopia."

it´s a very good utopia, it´s worth to fight for.

Joshua ütles ...

ants: "Hysterics and indeceny may be characteristic for some people, but they are no place at this blog."

Yeah, I would like to apologize for "asshole", "türavärdjas" and "haiged lambad."

I was out of line. I'm sorry.

I feel much better now after my last post. Also I finally had my coffee.

Doris ütles ...

http://web.riigikogu.ee/ems/saros-bin/mgetdoc?itemid=063390016&login=proov&password=&system=ems&server=ragne11

as of 2006

"Tegevuse eest, sealhulgas Nõukogude Liidu, Nõukogude Liidu liiduvabariigi, Nõukogude Liidu Kommunistliku Partei, Saksa Natsionaalsotsialistliku Töölispartei või SS-i lipu, vapi, tunnusmärgi, tunnuslause või muu ametliku sümboli või selle selgelt äratuntava osa eksponeerimine või levitamine, millega tahtlikult ning avalikku rahu häirival viisil on kutsutud üles vihkamisele, vägivallale või diskrimineerimisele seoses rahvuse, rassi, nahavärvi, soo, keele, päritolu, usutunnistuse, seksuaalse sättumuse, poliitiliste veendumuste või varalise või sotsiaalse seisundiga, – karistatakse rahatrahviga kuni kolmsada trahviühikut või arestiga."

If it is a repeat offence or has caused loss of life and/or is perpetrated by a criminal organization then the punishment is harsher, obviously.

Joshua ütles ...

"When I was in Viljandi in a restaurant last summer with my girlfriend what we saw were young local people sitting around with SS runes on their t shirt. we complained to the waitress and the the owner, reminding them that those symbols are forbidden in Estonia as well. You know their answer?"

I saw a guy walking by me, in broad daylight in Tallinn, who had a swastika tattooed on his forehead.

There are a lot of people walking around in Tallinn, carrying nazi symbols.

And I'm always kinda worried about non-white tourists. Then again, in Old Town where the tourists hang out, there are barely any estonians to be found these days, but that's a different (sad) issue.

I wish people would fetishize other things. Like ancient finnic animism... doing some yoik and beating the shaman drum is much more cooler anyway and doesn't cause violence against others.

Joshua ütles ...

"I saw a guy walking by me, in broad daylight in Tallinn, who had a swastika tattooed on his forehead.

There are a lot of people walking around in Tallinn, carrying nazi symbols."

But most don't do it this openly. It's mostly the small things - the iron cross hanging from the neck, the ss ring on the finger.

Andres ütles ...

moevenort, the symbols are banned in Estonia IF they cause civil unrest or are aimed towards racism. There has to be cause to arrest those people. If the guy is just sitting there with his shirt, I call it democracy and freedom of expression. And while I might not agree with those people, I think we should all be willing to die for that freedom. I have always felt unease towards banning stuff. Like in Lithuania with communist symbols or in Germany with Nazi symbols. Jailing Holocaust deniers etc. It's just anti-tolerant and anti-democratic in my opinion. It's like falling to the level of the ones you're trying to discipline. Just makes me uneasy every time when somebody talks so deeply about banning stuff and how people should follow some state-imposed manner and mind control. I hope Estonia never sinks that low.

Andres ütles ...

Also pulling out the "we are a tourist, we are king, you better make your home so that nothing irritates my eye" attitude is just ignorant and chauvinist. I'm not surprised the bar tender didn't do anything.

Joshua ütles ...

"Just makes me uneasy every time when somebody talks so deeply about banning stuff and how people should follow some state-imposed manner and mind control."

While the libertarian in me agrees, I'd still say that the relatively common visual appearance of those things is a reason to worry.

Besides, Estonian state does impose manners and mind control anyway.

Just instead of western multi-cultural PC, it's russophobic PC.

And yet. There are so many nuances to.

Like the way the state does mind-control in a wierdly open way.

Like Jaak Aaviksoo openly stating in a public newspaper that indeed the types to become a professional army men and serve Estonia in Afghanistan and Iraq are people with low education.

And in official speeches he's all "we're defending our independence there."

moevenort ütles ...

@ Andres:

"If the guy is just sitting there with his shirt, I call it democracy and freedom of expression"

if you call this freedom of expression then you have a strange kind of understanding of it. I know that it is like this in the US. But not in Europe with its history. In Germany the symbols are forbidden by itself. If someones just shows them in public it´s seen as a crime according to the law and has tp be persecuted by the police. I guess according to the law its like that in Estonia as well. so you want to reinterpretate your own law?

btw: there is good reason to act like that. In Germany this attitude is cold "defendable democracy". its our lesson from the first republic of Weimar and means never again a democracy can tolearte symbols and action that want to abolish democracy itself like it happened 1933. But that is probably also something you will never understand in your nutshell. looking beyond the window to other countries traditions sometimes could help sometimes.

Andres ütles ...

This is becoming interesting because I'm either completely blind, oblivious or just hang out in different neighbourhoods, but I can't remember when I saw Nazi symbols in Estonia. Maybe a guy with a rock-band skull-styled shirt has had some on it but I have never seen people with swastikas etc. This is a complete non-issue to me. I regularly see tough-looking guys in their cars flying the flag of the Russian Federation and/or the Georgi lint and making questionably legal manuevers on streets though. Maybe it's more of an issue in Southern Estonia, but in the north I have never seen any Nazi symbolics. The worst I've countered is an occasional drunk anti-Jew joke.

Joshua ütles ...

"This is becoming interesting because I'm either completely blind, oblivious or just hang out in different neighbourhoods, but I can't remember when I saw Nazi symbols in Estonia. Maybe a guy with a rock-band skull-styled shirt has had some on it but I have never seen people with swastikas etc. This is a complete non-issue to me. I regularly see tough-looking guys in their cars flying the flag of the Russian Federation and/or the Georgi lint and making questionably legal manuevers on streets though. Maybe it's more of an issue in Southern Estonia, but in the north I have never seen any Nazi symbolics."

That is indeed weird. I've never seen tough-looking Georgi lint guys. And I live in the north and see nazi symbolics almost every day.

There must be some explanation for it.

Perhaps I notice so much nazi symbolics because I have personal experience with them. I used to wear ss rings myself.

So I know how to notice these things.

And somehow I never see Georgi lint guys.

I think estonians in general don't observe much. We walk blindly in the streets, and unless we have s strong negative disposition for something, we walk on the streets full of invisible people cloaked in our invisibility cloaks.

That's my theory.

Joshua ütles ...

Have to add to my previous post, that not all who wear nazi symbolics are estonians. Many are russians too.

For example in that park beside Estonia, you'll often see russian skinheds sitting and drinking on one side, and estonian skinheads drinking and sitting on the other side.

Everyone minding their own nazi business. Unless a person of color might walk by.

Andres ütles ...

Tallinn is a very tolerant place in my opinion. Up to 40% of the inhabitants are Russian, when you walk in the Old Town, there are people from all around the world. You just kind of feel safe there. "Hey look, here's an emo, there's a Chinese guy, here's a negro, here are some skinheads". The trolley is packed with Russians, Nimeta baar is loaded with Italian sex tourists, O'Malley's with drunk Finnish karaoke stars. With such different people we can't really afford to be untolerant.

moevenort ütles ...

in Tartu it´s also a frequent problem. Despite of all the nice public relation work concerning tolerant city, university town. etc.
what worries me is that sometimes even local shop owner sympathize with the skins. one example is the owner of that french crepe shop in the old town. I know some people working for university who don´t go to that place anymore because of this reason. I also know of some black us students who frequently had trouble with the local skins. A funny episode happened a German friend of mine: he had some trouble with some drunken skin guys. after they found out that he is German, they apologized...pervers shit.

Joshua ütles ...

Temesta, I like your posts in this thread. I'll just bring them out again, because it seems to me that your voice was somehow lost in here.

"What bothers me is that the crimes of Stalin/the Soviet Union in the Estonia are sometimes presented as being aimed at the destruction of the Estonian nation in the same way the Nazi's wanted to destroy the Jewish people. During the first deportations in the Baltic countries a proportionally higher number of Jews were deported than ethnic Estonians, Latvians or Lithuanians. This is no surprise, as often they were among the more rich citizens in the Baltic countries. After the Soviet Union reconquered the Baltic States there were, for obvious reasons, almost no more Jews available for deportation. Like Lingüista said, the Soviets wanted to remove those elements in the Baltic states that they considered as class enemies (destroy the social structure). We should not forget that exactly the same kind of actions were inflicted upon the Russian population itself in the 1930's, when a large part of the intelligentsia was annihilated and farmers who stood in the way of agricultural reforms were terrorised. What mattered for Estonians as much as for Russians was not your ethnicity but your status as a member of the bourgeoisie or as a kulak. I do not deny that there was an element of Russian Chauvinism mixed with official Soviet ideology, but can we equate being forced to learn and speak Russian with genocide?"

"Kross now believes the Nazis would have obliterated Estonian culture entirely had they won the war. "Such was their Ordnungsliebe - passion for order - and their savage discipline. The Soviets at least had their saving virtues of inefficiency and incompetence." Unlike the Germans, the Russians did not proclaim their national and racial superiority, but merely sought political control.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2003/jul/05/featuresreviews.guardianreview"

moevenort ütles ...

@ Andres: "Also pulling out the "we are a tourist, we are king, you better make your home so that nothing Airritates my eye" attitude is just ignorant and chauvinist. I'm not surprised the bar tender didn't do anythin"

call it whatever you want. but how would you react when you visit your boyfriend in another coountry and are confronted and scared by those things? especially when you are a girl from Germany. be in such situation and make it better. How would you react? saying " oh fine. it´s so nice to be here. just continue?"

Andres ütles ...

I would probably think I'm in the WROONG part of town and leave to another cafe.

moevenort ütles ...

"ross now believes the Nazis would have obliterated Estonian culture entirely had they won the war. "Such was their Ordnungsliebe - passion for order - and their savage discipline. The Soviets at least had their saving virtues of inefficiency and incompetence." Unlike the Germans, the Russians did not proclaim their national and racial superiority, but merely sought political control."

this is indeed one of the core differences.

moevenort ütles ...

@ Andres: so you would advice foreigner to avoid the city center to avoid trouble? nice concept. some local neonazis here in Germany wanted to try that out by the beginning of the 90s. they called it "national liberated zones" ,claiming that the foreigners are guilty themselves if they ars so "stupid" to go to that areas. in that sense following your idea, would mean create "national liberated areas" in Tartu or other cities as well. how nice.

Andres ütles ...

What about "gavari po-tšelovetseskii"? Not the official ideology but a result anyway.

Andres ütles ...

moevenort, I don't know what you are fighting here. Don't fight the German fight in Estonia, please. We don't have any "national liberated zones", Estonian skinheads don't decapitate foreigners. Did those Nazi-symbolic wearing dudes try to hurt you in that facility? Were they acting outspoken and Nazi-like? Or was it just your paranoia and fear that made them into big monsters?

Joshua ütles ...

moevenort: "there is good reason to act like that. In Germany this attitude is cold "defendable democracy". its our lesson from the first republic of Weimar and means never again a democracy can tolearte symbols and action that want to abolish democracy itself like it happened 1933."

This is now going to be huge sidetrack, but I just wanted to express my issues with this.

It's really just the way for the controlling power to secure it's base.

Sure, if you say it like "democracy must protect itself from things that want to abolish democracy" it sounds nice. Because current zeitgeist is that democracy=good.

But really, power securing it's base is just power securing it's base.

Like how the Soviet Union imprisoned dissidents. Or all those southeast-asian militocracy's imprisoning humanist thinkers.

Certainly, for it's sake, the central power has to secure it's base. With rampant freedom it couldn't control anything.

State is as state does - getting rid of the undesirables.

Some states are more humanist and their undesirables could be people who are against humanism. And some are less and their undesirables are the humanists.

Different reasons, but the same mechanism.

Personally, I hate to glorify states and their working mechanics. And your tone was was somewhat praising. So I just wanted to object to that.

Joshua ütles ...

"Estonian skinheads don't decapitate foreigners."

There is however verbal and physical harassment. Which is just as bad.

And you really think that there aren't any attacks done? Somewhere out of sight?

moevenort ütles ...

@ Andres:

"moevenort, I don't know what you are fighting here. Don't fight the German fight in Estonia, please. We don't have any "national liberated zones", Estonian skinheads don't decapitate foreigners. Did those Nazi-symbolic wearing dudes try to hurt you in that facility? Were they acting outspoken and Nazi-like? Or was it just your paranoia and fear that made them into big monsters?"

actually my problem is ecactly this attitude. that people like you ignore a problem or deny its existence when it is there. I think the problem with Nazism at the moment is not such a big problem in Germany anymore. of course there are still running around some neonazis in Germany,too and it remains important to keep memory alive and keep guarding Democracy. I don´´t want to make thinks better then they are. every neonazi is one too much and it remains important to defend the society against them. But in general, the ideology today is totally discredited and refuses by the very huge majority of German people. And that is good. I think history plays a big role. because the history of total breakdown in 1945, the huge mass of dead people in every family showed even the most fanatic believers of that ideology how much it failed. in a way exactly this breakdown experience somehow helped to "reeducate" german population till today fortunately. because the breakdown experience was so drastic and more drastic then in other countries.

But I think in other countries, especially in Eastern Europe and also in Estonia the gost of nationalism, xenofobia, racism, ethnic division and authoritarian ideas unfortunately is still quite vivid. more vivid than you may want to admit. you may see it when you would go through your society with more open eyes may be. you also see it here when you would have an open look at some of the comments. that is indeed something that should worry.

Joshua ütles ...

Andres, the only thing that moevenort has been saying is what many observers, both foreign and homeland have observed for a long time now.

The rise of nationalism and xenophobia of Eastern Europe is actually very well known in the western world.

It's not uncommon for BBC to write about it every now and then.

And you should at least pause to think that why it is like that.

He's not attacking anyone, other than getting involved in heated discussion.

Lot of academic papers on eastern european (which includes estonia, because we are very eastern europe) racism out there.

Lot of major studies done. You should try to read some of those.

The problem with estonians is that they are unaware of the bigger world.

We lack knowledge of all these recent sociological theories and ideas that would help us to understand that what we really are in.

moevenort ütles ...

@ Personally, I hate to glorify states and their working mechanics. And your tone was was somewhat praising. So I just wanted to object to that.

I know it is a deliquate issue. I also had a lot of discussions with my German friends about it. I recognize the problem you mention quite well. Unfortunately we have found no better way to defend the society against Nazi ideology yet.
not after what happened here in 1933. remember that it was Hitler who publicaly declared in 1932 he would abolish democracy by it own weapons, bylegal means. He said "when democracy is so stupid give us the legal freedom and means to abolish it, we will do so" and so he did. Interestingly it is exactly the same rhetoric Jobbik party in Hungary in using right now, 80yeras later. they leave no doubt that they want to follow the historical example. In Estonia there was had the same problem in 1934. the solution there was Päts and his refuge to abolish democratic rights to prevent facist to gain power. I don´t know what is better to prevent Nazism to raise. To abolish democratic rights completly to prevent it or to have a "defendable democracy" which bans their organizations, actions and symbol to achieve the same goal. So do you understand what I mean? I admit that it is not the perfect solution. But on the other hand I just don´t believe that the amercan way to tolerate it would work after all euopean historical experience.

Joshua ütles ...

It's the age old problem for any utopia builder I guess. They want to see their perfect society realized, but there are too many loose factors to consider. People would take advantage of their new freedoms. Abuse them. Because they wouldn't have the culture to behave in that freedom.

So any utopia-builder has felt the need to betray their dream, take absolute control and program people to believe and love that dream, so one day they could finally have that utopia with freedom, brotherhood and whatever they feel is important.

And lot of farce and sad hilarity shall ensue.

In the end, the less evil used to create harmonious society the better. But so far, human nature seems to require at least some evil used against them to behave.

A real Captain Obvious post here.

But in threads this long, Captain Obvious sometimes makes an appearance.

Joshua ütles ...

An utopia tends to always go through the police state stage to finally reach it's goal.

Joshua ütles ...

Okay back to racism. A question for the wider circle. Can anyone imagine creating a familiy with a person of color?

And don't go thinking of Africa, Asia, Islamic world now.

I mean a person of color born and raised in western civilization, completely like you with your Iphone, twitter, youtube, wikipedia culture. Just with a browner skin color.

And if you can imagine marrying and creating a family with a person of color, can you imagine living with that person and those kids in Estonia? Happily? Without having to worry for their personal safety? Safely going for romantic walks out in Tallin? Without any verbal or physical harassment by a third party ruining your evening? Can you?

I can't.

moevenort ütles ...

"And if you can imagine marrying and creating a family with a person of color, can you imagine living with that person and those kids in Estonia? Happily? Without having to worry for their personal safety? Safely going for romantic walks out in Tallin? Without any verbal or physical harassment by a third party ruining your evening? Can you?

I can't."

unfortunately me neither. not in Estonia.

Doris ütles ...

*rolls eyes* There was a half-indian girl in my parallel class and her brother in my brother's class in high-school. She was one fo the most popular (and besutiful) girls in school, everyone was jealous of her. And he often hung out with my brother. At our place. Never once did I see or hear anyone say anything bad about them or their father.

It could be, of course, that I never socialized in teh "right" groups in order to hear this... but comeon... 11 years! You'd think you would hear something if there was anythign to hear... or not?

Doris ütles ...

*beautiful... a and s are next to each other :P

MikkS ütles ...

Haha, whatta read. A übermensch German, who gives shit to others if their world doesnt revolve around Germany and her history; and a self-hating estonian, who wants some kumbayaa singing Utopia. Comedy gold right here. Doris were a student of MHG and lived in Ränilinn?

Piimapukk ütles ...

Interesting question Joshua. It is worse than that. You do not need to be a person of color to get harassed in modern-day Estonia. Although, nazism communism has nothing to do with it. It is just pure plain idiotism. Lower class people rule everywhere.

If I could be a Hitler for a day in Estonia, I'd round up a whole lotta shave-head bemmivends and rullnokks to bring order and peace for ordinary citizens. I'd outlaw idiotism and provincialism.

carissa ütles ...

This is an interesting topic and I have been following it for some time now. In response to Joshua's and Moevenort comment on "Can anyone imagine creating a familiy with a person of color? "

I am an American female married to an Estonian who lived in Estonia for 6 months. I'm half Filipino and so I have a permanent dark tan all year long. While living in Tartu for most of that time, I never really encountered any outright racial slurs of any kind however I was referred to as "that dark skinned wife" on occasion and also received compliments from estonian females how they admired my skin tone. While out in public people would stare especially in the grocery stores or in the malls but I like to think it was because I was speaking English and my husband is just so darn tall.

There was one incident in a grocery store and mind you I was by myself and had been there multiple times with my husband before and wanted to purchase something at the meat counter. The deli lady had just finished with someone else's order and she saw me and turned her back (there were no other customers next to me) and so I figured it was because maybe she was uncomfortable speaking English. So I waited for maybe like five minutes before someone else came by and I was able to get her attention and with my broken estonian and hand gestures I was then able to purchase what I had come for.

I do know first hand what its like to be teased or verbally harassed at a very young age because you look different and I have scars to prove it, though those physical outward scars have faded over time. That was while growing up back on the East side of the US. Children can be quite cruel sometimes and well thats because of the ignorance of their parents.

As to raising a family in estonia, well my spouse and I have given it some thought. I honestly dont know if I would. I mean even though I felt like an outsider while living in Estonia, I would like to think it would be different for my children and maybe easier for them if they were born and raised in Estonia..........

Doris ütles ...

nah, I was the other Doris. Lots of us running around of that "year".

Andres ütles ...

Idiots exist despite Nazism or whatever. If a drunk guy screams at you on the street, it's probably not enough to make generalisations about a society. There are a couple of obviously half-negro children in my little hometown. Playing with other white children, going to school. I have seen them more as a center of attention not persecution. Maybe some asshole will call them a "nigger" or tell them to "go home", but school violence doesn't require you to be of a different race. It just requires you to be different and vulnerable. So I wouldn't be so pessimistic about Estonia. It's not multicultural heaven like London or something, but I don't see a rule book saying that it has to be. Estonians as a general are quite tolerant as long as the foreigners don't give us shit. Then we get pretty pissed. Or as Oskar Luts so nicely put it: "Aga mida nad siis tulevad meie õue peale tüli norima?"

moevenort ütles ...

@ Andres:

"Estonians as a general are quite tolerant as long as the foreigners don't give us shit. Then we get pretty pissed."

aha. that means as long as they share your opinions and dont dare to criticize anything? nice form of tolerance. you know how it sounds to me? As if you want to live in an clean nutshell. as if the outside world would not exist.

moevenort ütles ...

@ Andres: should it normally not be that tolerant societies see influence from outside as an enrichment? your point of you somehow reminds me more of an 1950s atmosphere. in a way how e.g. how also my East German society has been in times of the wall. and that was also not so nice. may be thats new for you, but walls fortunately don´t exist anymore. at least not walls of stones. unfortunately there still seems to be lots of walls in mind. like it is expressed in some points of view here.

Joshua ütles ...

I would like to know how Andres defines estonian in this case. People that think like him? Because a lot of people in Estonia speak like moevenort - Vilja Kiisler, Kaplinski, Märt Vooglaid - are they now not estonians, because they speak the same thing that moevenort speaks here?

Or what about Jaan Kross? He and moevenort said the same thing about the difference between communism and nazi's.

And yet, it's called "foreigners giving us shit." Or maybe, Jaan Kross just isn't an estonian anymore.

"as if the outside world would not exist."

This notion has been running throughout this thread in some form or another.

Cause. Just some quotes from the thread itself.

"I think estonians in general don't observe much. We walk blindly in the streets, and unless we have s strong negative disposition for something, we walk on the streets full of invisible people cloaked in our invisibility cloaks."

"This is becoming interesting because I'm either completely blind, oblivious or just hang out in different neighbourhoods, but I can't remember when I saw"

"she saw me and turned her back...So I waited for maybe like five minutes before someone else came by and I was able to get her attention and with my broken estonian and hand gestures I was then able to purchase what I had come for."

And a guy from 100 years ago: "We live together in these lands - russians, germans, estonians and latvians. And yet we don't live together, but past each other. We're separated by a glass wall."

It's come to my realization that most estonians live a very secluded ivory tower kind of life. For the typical estonian, Estonia and estonians=his or her small group of friends and acquintances.

Andres ütles ...

moevenort, what I meant with "giving us shit" is crime, anti-Estonian action, being hostile towards your receiving country. Difference of opinion you might call it as well, but it is healthy to fight against such kind of kind of difference in opinion. There's a line between criticizing and being a prick. I believe people who have crossed that, don't deserve mercy.

Andres ütles ...

in Estonia speak like moevenort - Vilja Kiisler,

Vilja Kiisler? Wow, really? Her articles about how the military should be abandoned, are always an interesting read if I'm dying with boredom, but wow... quoting her as if she was reputable. Let's not stop there then, Priit Toobal and the likes give us a fair share of humour as well.

Andres ütles ...

As for defining who is Estonian... out of the blue, I would probably say that an Estonian is someone who cherishes the spirit of the Constitution of Estonia.

moevenort ütles ...

@ Andres:

"Vilja Kiisler? Wow, really? Her articles about how the military should be abandoned, are always an interesting read if I'm dying with boredom, but wow... quoting her as if she was reputable. Let's not stop there then, Priit Toobal and the likes give us a fair share of humour as well."

so you general acceptance for variety of opinion seems not to be very high, Andres, isn`t it? it seems that you really have not understood the very essence of democracy so much. it is exactly about that variety of opinion.

Joshua ütles ...

"Vilja Kiisler? Wow, really? Her articles about how the military should be abandoned, are always an interesting read if I'm dying with boredom, but wow... quoting her as if she was reputable. Let's not stop there then, Priit Toobal and the likes give us a fair share of humour as well."

So they're not real estonians in your dissertation? Not part of the "we" you talk about? I'm guessing you would consider Roy Strider also to be a village fool?

moevenort, you can now see how Andres just proved how people with differating opinion about the status quo get labeled and dismissed.

Now I would be surprised, if Andres would provide an actual analysis* on why exactly Kiisler and the like are non-reputable, but I suspect the reason is just that they have non-normal ideas and thus are just "crazy" people. Not real estonians.

Because real estonians don't question the status quo. It's a sacred cow.

*if now you Andres actully would, then I would be really grateful, because I can understand how you wouldn't want to since all that effort might just go to waste in a potential smug dismissal. But for the readers. Who are not "wrong" like me, but wouldn't know why those people are "village fools".

moevenort ütles ...

@ Andres:

"but it is healthy to fight against such kind of kind of difference in opinion"

every Nazi would probably praise you for that words. alone the term " healthy" speaks for itself and shows what mental ghost you defend here.

moevenort ütles ...

@ Joshua:
yes, indeed I can see it. its sad and scaring at the same time. unbelievable how people obviously still think like this. 200 years after Imanuel Kants enlightenment and long democratic traditions.

Andres ütles ...

I'm all for difference of opinion. But I'm also a person with a strong academic background, so that opinion has to be well educated. And I just don't see it with those people. I'm really bad with respecting stupid opinions, I give you that. When Jüri Ratas talks about what Keskerakond wants to achieve, I can almost be hooked, because he is an intelligent man. But when someone like Priit Toobal jumps into the equation, I'm just appalled. There is so much stupidity in Estonia that it just makes me shiver when people try to agitate that stupidity as "hip different opinion" or something. It's not, they really are village fools. How can't you people see that? I long for a more intelligent Estonia. With real difference of opinion not any idiot with an agenda being pushed into the big picture.

moevenort ütles ...

@ Andres:

"I long for a more intelligent Estonia. With real difference of opinion not any idiot with an agenda being pushed into the big picture."

and you determine what is intelligent or not? who the f..gives you the right? are you god? what kind of pseudo elitist crap is it? Democracy means that everyone is equal in front of the law, has the same right to raise the voice, regardeless if you consider it as "intelligent" or not. don´t you see how narrow your crude world view is to fascist ideas?

Joshua ütles ...

What exactly is so stupid about Kiisler, Strider, Kaplinski? What's so uneducated about their opinions?

Could you provide examples of their stupidity and say why it's stupid?

Joshua ütles ...

"As for defining who is Estonian... out of the blue, I would probably say that an Estonian is someone who cherishes the spirit of the Constitution of Estonia."

I see.

Well here's my definiton. Mine's very influenced by romantical finno-ugricism.

It's all about this sort of pseudo-animism for me.

Hugging trees, celebrating old customs, getting the feel of empowerement when singing old runic songs, researching about tribal brothers, going wacky over Kihnu and Seto, drool over Udmurtia and Khanty...

I fail to give out a definition as clear as yours.

But I think I provided at least a glimpse into my sentiment of what is eestlus.

Make of this what you will.

Andres ütles ...

I'm terribly sorry, but I don't know who is Stryder and I don't recall what opinions Kaplinski has on the matter but from what I've heard he is a well-educated writer, that's also why I didn't mention him in my posts. From Kiisler I have read some articles in Delfi. I can't even remember the topics that well, one of them was connected to military, something about parenting or smth. I just remember a sense of not wanting to read it anymore because it seemed like random ranting, not argumented text.

Democracy means that everyone is equal in front of the law, has the same right to raise the voice, regardeless if you consider it as "intelligent" or not.

You, my kind sir, don't have to endure the world of Anu Saagim, Võsapets, Reporter, Keskerakond, etc. Your idealism would be greatly weakened if those circumstances were to become true.

I think I should quit now though, because I was just expressing my opinion and haven't really thought this through good enough to give an argumented debate, so I'm probably destined to lose anyway.

Andres ütles ...

Make of this what you will.

Sa oled kampsunis lillelaps, kes käib Viljandi folgil, põhimõtteliselt. Pole päris minu teema ja ma ei mõista seda eriti, aga mul pole otseselt ka midagi selle vastu.

Andres ütles ...

Democracy means that everyone is equal in front of the law, has the same right to raise the voice, regardeless if you consider it as "intelligent" or not.

Also, I call bullshit right here. This is not the case in any democratic society. There are respected people in every society that are better abled to get their point forward. There is always a lower class who is less fortunate, less educated, less connected and finds his opinion underrepresented. And this is probably how it should be. Every person wants intelligent people to make decisions for him, so the logical way would be to elect these kinds of persons. Also, giving Ryan Angelos more media coverage than Toomas Hendrik Ilves is just stupid. Your fuzzy talk about how everybody is equal in a democracy is wrong because people are unequal by nature.

Temesta ütles ...

Or what about Jaan Kross? He and moevenort said the same thing about the difference between communism and nazi's.

I guess most of you already know this: Jaan Kross spent several years in the Gulag. Makes his opinion even more interesting.

Joshua ütles ...

"I'm terribly sorry, but I don't know who is Stryder and I don't recall what opinions Kaplinski has on the matter but from what I've heard he is a well-educated writer, that's also why I didn't mention him in my posts. From Kiisler I have read some articles in Delfi. I can't even remember the topics that well, one of them was connected to military, something about parenting or smth. I just remember a sense of not wanting to read it anymore because it seemed like random ranting, not argumented text."

Kinda undermines your smug dismissal of her. Explains why you had to bring out Toobal, so you could smugly dismiss someone.

Well, I brought out all those people as examples of my "we". As a contrast to yours. Since their observations are different from yours, and more similar to what me and moevenort have done here.

And Kaplinski is somewhat of a romantical finno-ugricist himself. Definitely that Uku Masing influence.

Should I start quoting them here? I don't know. Jaanipäev is just 24 hours away. Time doesn't seem to be right for it anymore.

"You, my kind sir, don't have to endure the world of Anu Saagim, Võsapets, Reporter, Keskerakond, etc. Your idealism would be greatly weakened if those circumstances were to become true."

But that's just really mundane provincial yellow journalism. I don't see the cause for such smug cynical elitism there. It's noise that is just in the background.

"I think I should quit now though, because I was just expressing my opinion and haven't really thought this through good enough to give an argumented debate, so I'm probably destined to lose anyway."

Hooray! I is won the internetz!!!11

Now I can die happy.

Well, I appreciate the effort. You didn't dismiss me as a brainwashed commie like some above did. Don't get me wrong. I'd still like to call you an elitist bastard a couple times more, especially when now reading your recent post... but I'm exhausted too, and so in case of not finding any new sharp arguements, I would just like to say that without you these 170 comments would not have been possible.

Ja ilusat Jaanipäeva!

moevenort ütles ...

good words:)

Andres ütles ...

I'd still like to call you an elitist bastard a couple times more, especially when now reading your recent post...

Sure, you're free to do that. I still think that Estonia needs an elite though. A group of people who can put more effort into getting shit together than your regular Joe. The kind of people murdered in the 1940s. We need smart people. Because it is they that move the world, that make things better. The others are just passangers. Unable to really make a difference. I'm not even sad if I don't become to grow up as one of them. Because without them we are doomed anyway. We can't afford to let our general opinion be ruled by unintelligent guesses. That is probably awfully elitist, but that's just how I believe. It's not completely democratic, but few countries other than ancient Greece and maybe Switzerland have real democracy anyway. For representative democracy it's the best way to go, in my opinion.

Andres ütles ...

You didn't dismiss me as a brainwashed commie like some above did.

I didn't dismiss you because despite the unfortunate outburst, you managed to keep your calm throughout the conversation. I appreciate that. That's also the reason I dismissed moevenort as a troll. Nobody's views are important enough to be indecent towards other people. The hard truth, I'm all for it. Expressing your opinion in a crude manner, sure. But patronizing is awful and I thank you for not sinking there. I have a feeling you belong to a different mindset than I, but I don't feel the need to change that. Just keep your shit together and try to argument. That's all there is to it. And try to accept me into your world as well. "Your" Estonia might be swell, but "my" Estonia is important too.

notsu ütles ...

As for equating and non-equating - I believe it would be useful to draw the line between communism in general and totalitarian communism, just as it is useful to differentiate between nazism and your regular right-extreme authoritarianism, Pinochet style. And then, one can make meaningful comparisons between nazism and stalinism, as Hannah Arendt did, who defined these ideologies as totalitarian, as opposed to regular left or right dictatures.
I just discovered that her book on totalitarianism is available on internet, in English. There is an overview in German here.

martintg ütles ...

Andres ütles...

"Democracy means that everyone is equal in front of the law, has the same right to raise the voice, regardeless if you consider it as "intelligent" or not."

Also, I call bullshit right here. This is not the case in any democratic society. There are respected people in every society that are better abled to get their point forward. There is always a lower class who is less fortunate, less educated, less connected and finds his opinion underrepresented. And this is probably how it should be. Every person wants intelligent people to make decisions for him, so the logical way would be to elect these kinds of persons. Also, giving Ryan Angelos more media coverage than Toomas Hendrik Ilves is just stupid. Your fuzzy talk about how everybody is equal in a democracy is wrong because people are unequal by nature


I agree with Andres here. Modern democracy is about electing competent, intellegent people to represent your interests in government decision making, not giving equal voice to all the crack pots and lunatics in society. The whole point of a free and fair election compaign is to evaluate the candidates for the job. If a candidate presents a nutty agenda that doesn't fit with your thinking, then you don't vote for him, you vote for the guy (or girl) who sounds sane and competent.

Sometimes unfornately some candidates manipulate this process, in some extreme cases arresting their opponents, to ensure that they get into power. That is why dictators are invariably ruthless psychopaths.

Puu ütles ...

A-mazing.

Puu ütles ...

Spoken word battle with Andres and Marting on one side and Joshua and Moevenort on the other. Only Estonian can be spoken.Every fifth word needs to rhyme in Estonian.

martintg ütles ...

Found this interesting book, called "New Masters of the Baltic", written by an American observing the birth of the new Baltic states back in 1920.

I love this part:
Their point of view was put even more clearly to me one day by one of the secretaries in the Foreign Office.
To any questioning of the justice of the expropriations he gave the answer that the Esthonians were merely righting an ancient injustice, and taking back lands that seven hundred years ago had been taken away from them.

"But seven hundred years is a long time," I said. "Do you suppose that our Indians could come down to lower Broadway and take over a lot of office-buildings because their ancestors may have sold the land there for a few beads?"

He listened with entire equanimity. "If your Indians," he said, "were in as big a majority in America as we are in Esthonia, about 95 per cent, very likely they would !"


Just 20 years later those bastard bolsheviks stole what the Estonians rightfully claimed back after 700 years!

moevenort ütles ...

@martintg:

you can`t let it be spreading your hysteric anticommunism, isn`t it?
if you have not realized it yet: communism has gone 20 years ago. but your hate seemsto be quite vivid yet. Do you want tolet your hate of the past let determine presence and future? sad enough.

Doris ütles ...

"and you determine what is intelligent or not? who the f..gives you the right? are you god? what kind of pseudo elitist crap is it? Democracy means that everyone is equal in front of the law, has the same right to raise the voice, regardeless if you consider it as "intelligent" or not. don´t you see how narrow your crude world view is to fascist ideas?"


What gives YOU the right to tell Estonians how they must live and who they must elect? what gives YOU the right to determine what is intelligent or not? Are you god? What kind of pseudo-commie Che-picture on your i-pod middle class "rebel" crap is this? Democracy means everyone has freedom of speech but no-one HAS to listen to and agree with what everyone says. Don't you see how amazingly hypocritical you are right here?

moevenort ütles ...

@ Doris:

just btw: to be honest, I don`t even posess an ipod, because I don´t like companies like Apple making money with shitty quality closed source products just to create a nice stylish consuming image. I prefer to use open source and Linux. But probably the pure open source idea not to make money and share it with others is probably evil communist stuff for you isn`t it, Doris? Continue like that, it just amuses me. lol

Doris ütles ...

way to sidestep the issue there moevenort. You're still a middle class "rebel" hypocrite.

I'm not telling you what to think, I'm only telling you to not expect me to live by how you think I should. Because frankly, that is how your definition of "democracy" sounds like to me. you say what should happen and then everyone does that. No sweetie, that's despotism.

martintg ütles ...

@moevenort

Doris is correct. Who the hell do commies think they are, imposing a crackpot theory created by that German lunatic Marx upon an unwilling population, God?

moevenort ütles ...

it becomes even more funny, come on, continue! it´s pure fun to listen.

moevenort ütles ...

@ Doris, martintg: so in your crude mixture of xenofob, nationalist, pseudo elitist and neoliberal worldviews everyone who does not share your opinion is automatically a communist? very interesting bacl/ white picture of the world you have there. may be it would be helpful for you to have a look outside the Estonian nutshell into the world with all its variety of ideas outside? but that would probably rather scare you, it would demand you to think over some things. you will never do it, I guess. some people never change, as I said.

Evil Purc ütles ...

Just a few notes on democracy in Ancient Greece. I would like to remind you that Aristotle and Plato as the greatest philosophers of the theory of state and law in that period considered democracy as something horrid, as a violent rule by the mindless mob. Plato's theoretical ideal state was ruled by an enlightened aristocracy (philosophers) who acted according to their knowledge and wisdom. Modern legal philosopher Ilmar Tammelo has binded democracy and the rule of knowledge and wisdom into "eukraatia" (eucracy?) which declares that the rule of knowledge and wisdom must always prevail over the rule of the people. Thus the rule of the people is not suited for every situation.

Jens-Olaf ütles ...

Hm, when I was in Estonia the longest time 1991/1992 it could have been the time of avange. But nothing happened, but at the same time I had too see the news from Germany: Rostock. An arson attack and a chearing crowd on an apartment block and poilice taht did not arrive. Inside the building Vietnamese fearing for their lives. Later it happended again and again: IN GERMANY. And people died.
Mölln, Solingen over years.
I would be careful here to blame Estonians on xenophobic or undemocratical tendencies.
Not mentioning the clashes between minorities in Germany: German descendants from Russia and Turkish for example.

Doris ütles ...

"@ Doris, martintg: so in your crude mixture of xenofob, nationalist, pseudo elitist and neoliberal worldviews everyone who does not share your opinion is automatically a communist? very interesting bacl/ white picture of the world you have there. may be it would be helpful for you to have a look outside the Estonian nutshell into the world with all its variety of ideas outside? but that would probably rather scare you, it would demand you to think over some things. you will never do it, I guess. some people never change, as I said."

... and yet again you do not even acknowledge that you are basically insisting that we adapt to YOUR view.

I will repeat, try to keep up now: I don't want you to think the way I think. I want you to not force me to think the way you think.

Evil Purc ütles ...

@moevenort

We are supposed to feel guilty that the Germans occupied our country and had their nasty ways here? Nevermind the fact that Estonia was and is an example of tolerance. No Jews would have been killed here if the Germans had stayed in their country. Even Albert Einstein sent us a thank you letter for our benign attitude towards the Jews in a time of global anti-semitism. Have a read:
http://paber.ekspress.ee/viewdoc/6EB149BCAA9AB507C22570A50021C81F

Here's a guilt trip for you. On my desk I have a list of over 8000 Estonian citizens executed by German SD etc. You can start feeling guilty now.

Puu ütles ...

Communism, ironically had elitist roots, Marx had a wealthy wife(who supposedly he didn't treat well, who knows)which enabled him to sit in a library and read labor statistics and write about the plight of the worker rather than working to support his own family. The Bolsheviks were an extremely small minority, who nobody thought would become so powerful. If you read "Fathers and Sons" by Turgenev you can see that many of the people who laid the foundation for later revolution ( and whose families were ironically shot, later) were interested in social equality AND nationalism...the whole current rise of the Russian language itself is a matter of nationalism because it was a language of the serfs.
In the 19th century the elite spoke French.
But anyway within this framework, the creation and rise of an Estonian nation was also within the context of the proleteriat revolution, because in tsarist( and Swedish, and German) times the Estonian people were the serfs, or a group of serfs amoung other serfs.
The question is who gets to rule the freed serfs. Like labor unions are great but only when they rule themselves. But who gets to speak for the group, and is what the group wants just or perhaps just as problematic as the system it overthrew?

martintg ütles ...

@Puu

Indeed. The serfs, having just thrown off the shackles of their aristocratic overloads, where re-enslaved by the Bolsheviks.

ants ütles ...

Giustino!
Do You see, how actual this is even after 70 years?!!
I am an old man – anyway glad on turn of mind of the overhelming superiority young people.

moevenort ütles ...

@ Jens Olaf: you seem to misinterpretate my words, making the same error as some of the commentators here. I was by far generalizing and critizising a nation or whatever. I was critizising certain viewpoints of some Estonian commentators here. These viewpoints I see indeed as xenophob, authoritarian and antidemocratic. Read them varefully and objective and you may come to the same conclusion.
But as Joshua here has impressingly demonstrated they fortunately don`t speak for all Estonians. Fortunately.

But if you would have a look how exactly those people here then try to denounce him as somehow "unestonian" and his ideas as not "clean" than you know what I mean when I say that those people indeed have not devloped the slightest idea of what democravcy means after 20 years of their independance.

Bea ütles ...

moevenort, don't you think, people rightfully try to object when it seems to them that you ascribe all the ideas you hate to them just because you think they are Estonians and because you had seen other people in Estonia whose ideas or behavior you didn't like?

You had been amused, you said, when I asked whether you were a commie (I asked merely because it seemed to me that you were labeling other people angrily and trying to prevent their speaking about the Soviet occupation of their country and what is related to that by blaming them all for not speaking about this and that instead).
Then why shall Doris be not amused or disgusted when you call her nationalist, neoliberal, etc., etc., etc. what ever you just imagine she is because she is Estonian?

Yes, Estonians (Latvians, Lithuanias) had been stateless people, barely educated villagers, serfs longer than the Soviet Union lasted (their entire history was different than that of the German folk, country(ies) and nation). Their entire history had been more similar to that of stateless Jews whom Nazis held Undermenschen as well, btw. Do you care to really know their entire history, their ideas, their and other answers "why?" they are as they are? Do you care to know them or do you enjoy just criticizing and bashing them? Aren't they rightfully disgusted by your ignorance about them, your patronising, labeling and dehumanizing of them? They know how to hear and accept different opinions, dear. They refuse to accept your disrespect or disdain to them and their entire nation that you barely know really well yet.
Don't you see that nobody here would have no problem with your suggestion that people shall be more solidary, less nationalistic in the sense of "my ethnos/country and its virtues are so much better than your ethnos/country (and then you who belong to it accidentally) and its faults I see"?

moevenort ütles ...

@ Evil Purc: the nieveau you try to pread here is not worth any serous discussion. But if you like it so much: how long is the list of Estonian citizen who voluntary served in criminal SS divisions? As I said several times: history is not as black and white as you might see it. is this really so hard to understand?

moevenort ütles ...

@ Bea: interestingly Joshua seems to hold quite similar viewpoints then I do here. And he is Estonian? And now what you do? lying to yorself as well? saying that he hates Estonians? come on, you can`t tell me that you seriously believe this nonsens. I can´t hear that " oh our nation is the biggest victim ever, no one understands us, people from other countries just want to force their ideas on us " crying anymore. it bores with the time.

Bea ütles ...

20 years of independence is not many, moevenort. Do you disagree?

moevenort ütles ...

@ Bea: even if that is not much time: is that an excuse? the reunification in my country also was not more than 20 years ago. no reason to still spread antidemocratic ideas and excuse it with a short period of time.

Evil Purc ütles ...

@moevenort

What criminal SS divisions? Nothing criminal about the Estonian Legion.

The Baltic Waffen S. S. Units (Baltic Legions) are to be considered as separate and distinct in purpose, ideology, activities, and qualifications for membership from the German S.S etc.

Have a read:
http://www.hot.ee/vaikal/usa.htm

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