kolmapäev, aprill 12, 2006

The Newest Weapon in the Monument Wars? 'Sitt'

Well, it looks like the monument wars are far from over. According to Russia-based Regnum - which keeps us up to date with all the news we need to know - somebody dumped some ca-ca on a Holocaust memorial (pictured) in Estonia recently.

Monument to Nazism victims in Kalevi Liyva, erected in place of mass executions of Soviet prisoners of war and Jews during WWII, is desecrated in Estonia, on April 12, a REGNUM correspondent was informed at Estonian Anti-Fascist Committee. Unknown persons left big amount of faeces on foundation of monument with David star. Committee’s activists recorded the desecration and put the monument into appropriate order.

Ugh. I can literally hear the author's bad English perferating my sensitive ear drums.

There's more...

It should be reminded, on April 11, International Day of Victims of Nazi Concentration Camps was commemorated. More than 20 concentration camps existed during German occupation in Estonia in 1941-1945, where more than 15,000 Soviet servicemen, more than 5,000 Jews, several thousands of Estonians, Gypsies, and representatives of other nations died. No republican newspaper in Estonian devoted its materials to the Day. The Museum of Estonian occupation did not react to the Memorial Day of Victims of Nazi Concentration Camps too.

Wow. They managed to work feces, Nazis, concentration camps, fascists, and Estonians into the same story. Pretty slick propaganda, if you ask me.

One has to wonder though. Are these feces-peddling, neo-neo-Nazis for real, and how little effort does it take to provoke an 'international' incident in Estonia? If I wanted to make Estonia look bad, and I was a member of the "Estonian Anti-Fascist Committee" - all I would need to do is shit in a bucket for a week and take it to Kalevi Liiv on April 11. Then I could justify the existence of my anachronistic group and condemn the actions at the same time!

One thing that's amazing about Estonia is, for all its monuments, so few of its people ever fought in any major war. Instead they've mostly been outside picking berries and peeling potatoes or cooking up some nice herring dish.

It's a pity that such a small country should find itself a graveyard of monuments for lost causes.

3 kommentaari:

Anonüümne ütles ...

But it still leaves the shit in the place where it obviously doesn't belong.

Giustino ütles ...

Not to sound callous and uncaring -but this stuff happens in the US all the time. It probably happens in France and Germany, and even in Russia. There are idiots everywhere. They can be condemned, arrested, punished - but idiocy and hatred itself cannot be prevented.

But because it happens doesn't mean that the US - or any of these places - don't acknowledge the Holocaust as a tragedy or is becoming a "fascist" country.

Estonia is a very different country from Russia. And I think that many of the conflicts between these two countries stem from colossal misunderstandings over the past.

The post-war political kool-aid (kool-aid is an American slang term for sort of fluffy ideas that reinforce a political position that under closer scrutiny prove themselves false or illogical) in the USSR was that anybody that dissented against the Russian bolshevik nationalists was a "fascist."

This is the way political enemies are conquered and shamed - there is no distinction between being a nationalist and being a Holocaust-denier or Nazi-sympathizer.

Parts of the Russian political establishment haven't really understood that Estonia is wholly independent. I mean its in NATO, its in the EU, it does (mostly) what it wants - but there is this idea in the ether that it is still Russia's zone. That's why ITAR-TASS has a special section called "CIS & Baltics." Finland and Norway are also neighbors but they are foreign in a way that Estonia is not.

If some Norwegian skinheads piled some shit on a Holocaust memorial in Norway, do you think that Regnum.Ru would put out a press release on immediately? Would they even notice.

The tie-in at the bottom of the story is deliberately done to tie this event by an individual or individuals to the larger nation.

And my point was - from a hypothetical standpoint - it doesn't really matter WHO created the incident. What matters is that it generated bad press for Estonia, partially for the event itself, but also because there are few English-language media outlets that will put out a press release on Estonia the day something happens.

So news services like ITAR-TASS get to define an event from the Russian perspective for the rest of the world, often with obvious alterior motives.

Anonüümne ütles ...

Your post was good in the first place and your lenghty comment conformed what I have always thought about you; Giustino is a passionate, well informed, fearless and uncommonly fair observer and writer. Keep on posting and I keep on reading!