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Anti-fascists not welcome in Estonia

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Gelion, Jul 31, 2010.

  1. Godwynn

    Godwynn March to the Sea

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    That's a really good point.

    While we're on the subject, Lord Palmerston was a douche nozzle and I'm glad he's dead and rotting in hell.
     
  2. Scrapest

    Scrapest Chieftain

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    Hi, sorry for the minibump but after reading most of this thread I feel like I earned the right to chip in a comment.

    Firstly, we are all globalized by using forums, mass media, Youtube, tv and other channels that define us. We will always view the world differently than a Russian, Estonian, Westerner or any other countryman 20/30/40/70 etc years back. From this we probably have more common values than ever before. We are more alike than different. Also from this much of the information we get is from our biased upbringing (like it or not even your own mother has lied to you, 100% guaranteed) and biased media (again all media is biased, if a sportsman wins you will always root for your own - stupid example but gets the point across). So now we have established that we have no first account information sources and like it or not our media always represents and 'softens' our point of view. Bringing out the positives and trying to avoid negatives. So you might stop right here and ask why the hell do we even discuss this? :p But lets.

    I am an Estonian and I'll try to gather everything I read to represent some middle ground as well as I can. Firstly were there Estonian collaborators with Nazis? Were there those who wanted to kill the Jews? Where there people who hunted Russians for revenge or whatever reason, thinking maybe they were inferior. Any point you bring I am sure at least one Estonian represented that view. We are not morally superior or in that case inferior either. We are human. Did Estonians collaborate in the crimes? Yes! I can't remember but I am pretty sure Klooga killings were somewhat collaborated by Estonians. So now I have established that Estonians are just as evil as any other nations citizen. But we also had people who hid the Jews, helped them get to Russia/Finland/Sweden etc as I am sure some stories were already surfacing. To my knowledge the people did not know of the death camps but repression of the Jews alone was reason enough for Jews to seek refuge. I have seen antisemitic comments even nowardays so I am sure it was there in that time but I am pretty sure Israel dedicated a page in their Golden Book (search for it on Google) to Estonia pre-ww2 for being Jew friendly as we allowed their schools and holy churches on our land. So pick and choose what viewpoint to take.

    So yes we had war criminals on both sides, our own Soviet and Nazi criminals.

    The best view I could agree about Russia is that Stalin probably needed time. As we have a hindsight and time to discuss this I am sure Stalin did not. So like some have brought up they needed a buffer zone. Estonia and other countries like it or not are small and politically pennies or pawns to play with. Like I first described countries always root for their own citizens so of course Russians best interests were first. I am sure if Estonia was as big as Russia we would of protected our own country and invaded small Russia to create a buffer zone. On part of Estonia we bought into their lies (or so I have been told), a la France we basically showed the white flag (France apparently had a large reserve still available that were not called into active combat but their leaders decided for the nation and threw in the towel) and signed a cooperation pact that allowed bases on Estonian soil. Later that became an official turnover as our leader signed the paper to give Estonia up. So as Russians say (and I believe they are right) technically it was a legal transaction as our leader gave up the country. The Estonian in me kicks in and makes me believe he was somewhat bullied into it as it's stupid to think that one day a president of a nations goes "Hang on a minute! Let's call Russia. Russia? Remember that Independence War we fought while you were having a revolution? Yeah that one you didn't notice probably as you were busy with other stuff. Well I would like to give the land back again that we some years ago fought with blood and steel to take from you"

    Just a side comment about Estonia really being a Russia land. Well again there is no right view. Sure I can totally agree with Russians that they bought the land from Sweden and have a causis belli. Then again we are here and international law guards us. Truth be told there are no rules to creating nations. The created nations themselves form the rules. All land has probably belonged to one tribe or another. Russia itself battled among many tribes, even Kievan Rus that became Ukraine. There are no laws for new nations or claims to land. One thing Estonians have going for them is that they are a genetically diverse from Fins and other Slavs (actually somewhere between all groups) so in a way we are lucky as we actually have a small land to call our own and make our own rules. Maybe genes and heritage make us diverse enough that we could not live under Russian, Finnish, Latvian or whatever group that we need our own corner to sit in. That aside again I believe when it comes to land claim it probably comes down to "Can we take that piece?" and "Who is big enough to object and make us not keep it?" and not if UN allows it that in itself is actually the answer to "Who is big enough to object?".

    I'll actually stop as this has gotten to a wall of text status. I just wanted to express that it would be quite stupid to look for a next Hitler in Estonia. There is very little fachism or nazism in Estonia. Those SS veteran gatherings are part veteran, part veteran family and grandchildren and probably part skinheads, neo-nazis. Also part journalistic gold digging to get stories. We do not go into the basement in the candle light bowing in front of Hitler statues wishing for him to rise from the death to take care of Bolshevik and Jew problem. Believe me Russia with capitalism and Israel with Gaza are in plenty of trouble already.

    I can't figure out however why RT are doing these hitjobs on Estonia. I mean I get it it's for dirtthrowing and pointing fingers that Estonia does still have troubles but to who's interest? Is it really to stir up the ethnic Russian population? Why? Why destabilize us? I mean it feels kind of stupid? To make yourself seem stronger to your own people? Or is it simply entertaining news to report on?

    *presses Preview post* Oh god what the hell, why the hell would I write so much :crazyeye:

    Actually I would like to ask a Russian "infosphere" person. Why is Estonia getting reported as fachist? We have same sort of celebrating going on during Victory Day. Why aren't we communist? Is it because belonging in the SS makes you a Nazi? Or even fighting for the ww2 German landarmy Werchmacht makes you a Nazi? Does fighting for the Red Army make you a communist?
     
  3. Leonel

    Leonel Breakfast Connoisseur

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    The SS are the real Nazi's, which is what I think the article is pointing out.
     
  4. red_elk

    red_elk Deity

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    Some WW2-related questions are very important for many Russians. Because of that, such things as disrespect to Red Army veterans or glorification of Nazism (or anything similar to it) get immediate attention of Russian mass-media. Last years it gets more and more known in the world, partially because of RT's wide coverage.

    Didn't Estonia ban communist symbols and attributes?

    Being member of NSDAP makes you a Nazi.
    SS is internationally recognized as a criminal organization, which served Nazi regime - voluntary membership in it was a crime and justification of its actions should not be allowed.

    No and no.
     
  5. Yeekim

    Yeekim Deity

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    No.

    According to Penal Code, incitement to hatred, violence or discrimination on the basis of nationality, race, color, sex, language, origin, religion, sexual orientation, political belief or economic or social status is prohibited and punishable.

    Some years ago, an amendment to this was drafted, something like this:

    Activity, including public display of flag, coat of arms, symbol, slogan, or other clearly recognizable insignia of USSR, SSR, Communist Party of USSR, NSDAP or SS, when done with an intent to incite hatred, violence or discrimination on the basis of nationality, race, color, sex, language, origin, religion, sexual orientation, political belief or economic or social status is prohibited and punishable.

    But it didn´t pass.
     
  6. Scrapest

    Scrapest Chieftain

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    Well I can agree and understand that such actions would be quite idiotic and shameful. I don't understand however why imho (speaking out of my own view now, don't get upset) this is getting blown out of proportion. You are forgetting the fact that Estonia as a population suffered under Nazi occupation too albeit only a couple of years. Still even you would agree had it been longer I am sure Hitler would of made some nasty plan for us that added to the people killed already. We did not choose SS, NVKD, Gestapo or Red Army. We actually tried to stay neutral. Would fachist or communist people not join the fight with fellow countries under one banner?

    Actually I will give you the bare bone basics of the Bronze Soldier incident from the eyes of an Estonian and I would like to ask you what would you do. You have a country of around 1,5 million citizens. The country has a majority of Estonians and a hefty minority of Russians.

    For years the monument has stayed peacefully and on one day Victory day mostly a group of ethnic Russians, war vets, their families and others gathered to celebrate it.

    One year an incident takes place. It's a known place for ultra nationalists from both sides. Other years incidents have taken place but they are mostly of smaller importance. But this year like many other some hotheads try to disrupt this. A Estonian man carries a flag near it, apparently he just wants to stand there. He is an older fellow 60-90'ish. Another random man, also 50-70 asks if he can help carry the flag. Apparently a silent protest, probably wants to provoke the Russians as he believes Russia also had warcrimes. Nothing out of the ordinary so far, this is well known to go on for years.

    Then however a well known Estonian news channel gets lucky and lands on a hot piece of a story as they manage to accompany the 2 guys with an Estonian flag. The tv crew record how the 2 men get surrounded, yelled on as faschist and other insults, some throw rocks and other objects and the Estonian flag gets ripped from one mans arms and thrown on the ground. Cheers follow. Police like every year are on the scene and as the incident happens quite quick arrive after this has all taken place and logically take action by removing the 2 men who provoked the Russians. But the damage has been already done. The news spreads as wildfire and the Estonian majority by morning has heard about it. Russian minority probably condone the action but of course point out the provocative manner.

    Now you come in, you have the next year in mind. What will you do? Some actions has to take place as Estonian speakers ask why is an Estonian flag provocative and why can't an Estonian walk with their flag. Are we living in Estonia?

    Russians ask why is the majority getting to decide, it's an important celebration and let them celebrate.

    Now do you succumb to the countries population and move the statue to a military cemetery or allow the celebrations to continue and hope next year it will be fine? Perhaps try to enforce more security and block of certain routes in downtown.

    Remember on the one side you anger the Estonian population who consider this as a sign they are not living in a free country and on the other side the same notion stands that Estonia is only for Estonians if they do anything about it. Estonians ask would Russia allow a statue of Hitler in their Capital and celebrations near it and Russians ask why are they considered as second class citizens in their own country under a national supremacy regime.

    You might try reading and replacing Estonia / Estonians, Russia/ Russians and other similar factions with random names as they might skew your decision before you even try to read.

    Truth be told I would of said yes before reading the upper reply. I would guess by reading the law it is not banned per say, in veteran gatherings, selling them in markets etc. But if you attach it to your backyard or go parading with it through the streets or on a car they might do something about it.
    I agree on principle but I can also see the other side. Let me lay it down quickly.
    1) 20th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS according to wiki had 38,000 additional men drafted in (that would not make them criminals by law if I understand correctly)
    2)The other unit that was added was 3rd Estonian SS Volunteer Brigade that apparently got added to VIII Army Corps, 16th Army of Army Group North and suffered heavy losses from countless Red Army group attacks.
    3)The reason to form the 20th Waffen was to bolster the troop number as the unit had taken losses so a draft was made so the added 3rd Volunteer Group might not of been that big. (I really would like to know the number that survived and got added to the 20th Waffen, just to see how many of those around 5000 men survived until that but my Google skills failed to find any sources at all)
    So I would guess a majority of the unit was young and older men drafted into it. Like I said in my previous post I am sure there were Estonians who would of loved Hitler and SS methods (just as there were those who loved communism, Stalin and approved NVKD)
    4)Take into account even the 3rd Estonian volunteer group were promised that they would be only used to defend Estonian soil.
    Also I would like to add just as thought crime, affiliation crime is a stupid concept. Basically why not say the world has a lot of evil people, let's nuke the world. The law was probably made as a convenience to cut down on trial time. I mean the organization of course was evil, no denying that but I have a hard time saying "Hey this paper says you volunteered to SS, you must be a criminal and done this this and this" I am sure nothing is that black and white. Individuals should be judged by actual actions. But again in wartimes it's really hard to prove anything and that's why Victors court has achieved this infamous meaning as all evidence is not always clear and totally agreed can't be as people have only paperwork to go by in most cases.
     
  7. red_elk

    red_elk Deity

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    Glad to hear, I checked about other countries - such laws exist in a few Eastern European countries (Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, may be a few more)
    Remark in this law about intentions doesn't mean much, since it's very difficult to prove intentions. Depending on precedents, such law would either not work at all, or would be applied to pretty much all relevant cases, such as veteran wearing WW2 medals.

    Assuming that I want to normalize relations with Russia and to reduce tensions between ethnic Russian and Estonian groups, I would probably take measures to physically separate them on certain days. Police cordons, etc.
    Properly investigate and punish people and organizations which incite hatred.
    What I wouldn't do is any action which would clearly insult any of these groups.

    Or may be the purpose of that report of "lucky" channel was to create popular support for an already made decision of moving the monument?

    The question is about people who didn't stay neutral.

    As you know, ~70 years ago the bloodiest war in history happened.
    My country, USSR (you have enough reasons to call it your country too), was attacked by coalition of forces which controlled pretty much all resources of continental Europe.
    Our grandparents managed to withstand and defeat enemy, with help of Allies (rather allies of convenience), but making lion's share of job and suffering huge losses.
    Human losses of USSR are estimated as 23-30 millions, about 2/3 of them were civilians. 3.5 millions of prisoners of war were killed or perished in Nazi death camps.
    Almost every Russian family lost close relatives in that war.

    Why I'm telling you all this?
    No matter what I personally think about this, the way how you treat Soviet veterans and your policy towards former SS-men gatherings is important not just for a bunch of Russian nationalists.
    It is important for thousands of people in your country and millions in the neighbouring one.
    If you disrespect Soviet veterans, call them "occupants", forbid wearing Soviet military decorations on Victory day - you will extremely alienate yourself from majority of those people, position yourself as enemy to them.
    The same for SS veterans. No matter what they had in mind, joining pro-Nazi forces - fighting for Hitler, for independent Estonia or for world peace. They helped to kill our people, they were part of that force which brought to us that suffering which we underwent, and if they still assume that they did rightful things, it's unacceptable for us.

    Germany has much more Nazi veterans than Estonia. Despite this, Russian attitude to Germany today is much better, to large extent because of their proper treatment of WW2 related issues. Our war with Germany is over.

    Maybe all this sounds too pompous, I just don't know the other way how to briefly and clearly explain my opinion about this problem. But I think many Russians would agree with my point of view here.
     
  8. Tani Coyote

    Tani Coyote Son of Huehuecoyotl

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    Most German soldiers were not Nazis, even if they fought for the regime. This would go for any soldiers who fought on Germany's side.

    One could say they supported Nazism, but that's about as true as saying a soldier always supports whoever's in office, isn't it?

    You aren't thinking politics on the battlefield. You're thinking carrying out your orders.

    Heck, most soldiers who carried out mass murders ended up having breakdowns from it, didn't they? Indeed, I seem to remember mass alcoholism amongst the troops helped contribute to the formation of the extermination camps - few people can just kill innocents in such large numbers without remorse.

    Either way, it sounds like a simple meeting of veterans. Now, if they were endorsing Nazism, it'd be a bit different, but just remembering the fact you fought in a war? I don't see a problem there.

    P.S. The Allies weren't exactly against war crimes either. I guess the Russian veterans have no right to gather and meet, because that would be supporting Stalinism?
     
  9. Scrapest

    Scrapest Chieftain

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    I am fine with this law myself. Contrary to the belief the next generations do not care about ww2 that much, it feels like a cool story. You might think it's a huge crime to think that way but go backward a little. Almost no one talks about horrors of the ww1. A lot of lessons were learned there too. I bet most people don't even know who fought in ww1. I know I can't probably name them all or at least be 100% sure I got them all right.


    But just by that you insulted the Estonians as they view that the land is still not free for letting "Russians" win. In their eyes it's a monument of occupation. Also you would have to close down a pretty busy intersection in smack in the middle of downtown for about 300 people.

    Well having watched the channel before and kind of getting their basics I suspect they did not do this on purpose. Monitoring the situation near the statue was enough for them to get "lucky" footage as the usual questions were asked from participating people, also they liked to film the traditional drinking. They started shooting pretty much near the statue and as they saw a man with an Estonian flag crossing the road they made there way to him to ask who he is and what is he doing. If that was organized I am pretty impressed as the man carrying the flag acted quite well.


    To this I say that even Alexander the great is not called with that title in all countries. Some who he invaded call him very differently and view him as a criminal in history books.

    History has 1 line of time but different perspectives. That is pretty easy to get. So Estonia is not rewriting history. It's simply telling history from their perspective.

    You can't force a country who suffered invasion and human losses to call Alexander, Stalin or whoever savior, great etc.

    Basically you are saying that Estonia should man up and stop with the petty crying about losses. All countries had immense losses. Stop being a victim.

    I would reply that Estonia tried to stay neutral for the war and who was the first to invade? Exactly, one day Estonia won their freedom war against Russia. The next Estonia get occupied by Russia (or taken back as the occupy word has too much emotional baggage for some). Enemies of the state (Basically anyone who had the will to oppose wear dealt with) were sent to Syberia or a similar place, work camp, prison, asylum or shot on the spot. From this moment in the Estonian perspective the first casualties of war were dealt by Russia.

    I think from this perspective of an Estonian freedom fighters derives. As the first aggressor to us was Russia so everyone against Russia is a freedom fighter. We had others too of course, the true freedom fighters were forest brothers. People who escaped communism ( I am not sure if the acted during German occupation) and fought a partisan war in the woods. Just as an added fun fact the last of forest brothers (ironically they actually were 2 brothers) came out in the year 2000!!! They had no idea what was going on in the world. And even the ones siding with Russia should be considered as freedom fighters but again, to us the first aggressors were Russia so it's kind of hard to root for the Russian side and consider those people freedom fighters as we already knew the final outcome Russia aggression. You might ask yourself how is this different from German occupation but Germans did not attack independent Estonia but already occupied Estonia by Russia. Also they allowed a certain autonomy so Estonians hopeful. So in short first aggressor was beaten out, more rights were gotten back. So far so good right? There is even a story that 3 days before Russia arrived Estonians dearmed the German forces that were still left in the area and not retreated to the next line of defense and tried to quickly declare reindependence. Also that the flag that was tore down from Pikk Herman was Estonian not the German Swastika but I have never looked into these stories or how valid they are. Still at least it shows the mentality that we did not like the Germans either as recently we had a free state to govern.

    There are too many layers to this and too much grey area. The bigger target was correct for Russia. The way they handled and grabbed land back while they were at it was wrong. It's like Russia knew that the goal was holy and that it was but they caused enough crime under it knowing they would get away with it. Estonia to a larger extent is going against that as we are small and maybe felt it more.

    The thread of Communism was just as valid as the thread of Nationalism during that time. Russia was already thrown out of the UN (I believe it was the UN as I am going by memory. I might be wrong ,edit: It was the organization before the UN I believe, the name eludes me currently) in the eyes of the West this was a problem. They tried Russia to join the "good side" and fight the war for them as no one had that much manpower alone. On the flip side they did not want Russia to rule Europe. I am with that lot that believe the second front was opened to get as much of Europe under the control of the West as possible.

    So all in all while the line of history is one the perspectives are different. One who views itself a liberator (US Iraq or NATO in Lybia) can be considered differently by the local population by the conduct of actions taken by them. I mean you might call yourself a liberator but killing the locals for no reason and other acts begs the question what are you liberating them from.

    Also in the end realistically Estonia suffered more losses under communism than it did under Germany. I know there are stories along the lines of "Germany would of done this or Germany would of done that" but it is really hard to take into account how many civilians would of been shot by Germany if one side had already done the exact same thing realistically.

    I'm going to stop. I feel my Estonian side of the story is taking power and too much shaded info might seep in. Then again there is very little fact talking anyway right now as most of the info is actually about perspective.
     
  10. red_elk

    red_elk Deity

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    If it's simple meeting of veterans, no problem with that. I've already given example with Germans.

    It is a monument to the people who fought against Nazis in 1941-1945. Not to those soldiers who entered Estonia in 1939 and 1940. Not to NKVD officers who were involved in repressions or deportations. Similar monuments exist in many countries in Eastern Europe and Germany and being treated well. Even in Poland, which can hardly be suspected in pro-Russian sentiments.

    If official position of the country is to consider anti-Nazi soldiers as "occupants" and SS troops as "freedom fighters", may be its fascist reputation and accusations in mass media are not so baseless?

    Nobody is forcing you to call Stalin savior.
    Even in Russia there is only small minority of people who praise him uncritically. We usually don't use depictions of him in official public events, there are no monuments of him in Russia as well. He is very controversial person and his role in history is still widely debated in Russia.

    That's not what I'm saying.
    You described the point of view which is probably similar to the point of view of many ethnic Estonians, living in your country. Yes, Nazis treated people of your ethnicity relatively well, but what about other people? Russians, Poles, Jews, Belorussians? According to such logic, for Germans Nazis were like angels - may be something wrong with it? If you are afraid of being arrested by communists, you at least have choice to oppose them or not, but you cannot stop being Slav or Jew if you already are.
    What about Latvian concentration camp "Salaspils", it was probably not so bad for Balts, because they were not prisoners there but even could serve there as guards, earn money and be considered as "freedom fighters" by compatriots?

    This is the question of what principles you choose to build your national identity upon. Right now, as I see it, the principles are Estonian ethnic nationalism, theory of occupation, and idea about historical guilt of Russia. Your national ideology is to large extent anti-Russian, which is not unique per se, but in your case it may have some undesirable effects. The question in your first message here is about one of them - the reputation of your country is suffering.
    Such ideology cannot be accepted by national minorities, you have no chances to make them loyal Estonian citizens. It's your choice, to say screw them and declare all of them crazy nationalists, or search for compromise. 20 years ago many Russians voted for independence of Estonia. I'm sure they didn't vote for the country where they will be called "occupants" and where such things as incident with bronze soldier will be possible.
     
  11. Scrapest

    Scrapest Chieftain

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    I took a camping trip around Estonia traveling by train and bikes. One thing that surprised me was the number of commemorating monuments. Every town I went to had at least one memorial present and quite a few had the Red Army insignia on them. One that comes to mind immediately is in Pärnu some 200-300 meters from the train station. Others were smaller towns that even I can't name as our route was quite random. I think even our Rusalka was commemorating Russian seamen. Bronze Solider was a monument like every other and no one noticed it at all. But as it was placed in the center of town and reported every year more and more media blitz got drawn to it. I am sure RT would of done plenty of news stories on Estonian Nazis just by being near that place. During some years that culminated with the infamous flag incident it turned from "just another war monument" into "Estonian repressors still in town". It was moved from downtown to a military cemetery and after that surprise surprise no commotion took place in that place.

    There you see, that's what many Estonians and Russians including me do to this day. Word play to the maximum. Replace anti-Nazi with Red Army ever since the first occupation and SS troops with Estonians drafted into the German army (including the ones drafted to the SS unit) and I can agree with you. No we don't fight against anti-nazism as nazism is bad and founded on wrong principles. Also we don't call all SS troops Estonian freedom fighters. Only those who fought with the reason to resist the Russian onslaught and defend Estonia so reindependence could be established. What is wrong with that?

    Well let's leave Stalin out of it. It still demonstrates the point that while History has a one narrative the viewpoints are different. Just by going on the Alexander the Great not being called Great everywhere example.

    Firstly yes Estonian identity is in the recent history anti-Russian as we lost our newly formed country twice to you. If foreign troops of any nation come on a land you live on with ill intentions I find it perfectly reasonable to hate them. Before that our identity is mostly about who held the land, what they built, what battles were held and what our farmers did etc. That at least is a stupidly simplified short version what I was taught in school. So recent history yes anti-Russian but we are taught of other times. But recent history is what people remember and is talked about. Our nation is built on ethnic Estonians as Russia is built on ethnic Russian reasoning. Or England is built on ethnic English. What is wrong with that? Who else could form a country? I remind you our country was formed in the events of WW1, not after the Union came down. I don't think our reputation is bad at all. We are first mostly not known about at all, then probably something about infotechnology or the fact that we managed to quickly come out of the Soviet Union and establish a solid economic base.

    Who were these Russians who voted for Estonian independence 20 years ago? I am pretty sure it's impossible for this to happen as Estonia was declared independent in the year 1918 and recognized in the year 1920 even by Russia. So of what independence are you talking about? Estonia was occupied then by Russia, then by Germany, then again by Russia. We finally got re-independent in 1991. The only vote needed was taken by the parliament to formally take power again. De jure Estonia never ceased to exist.

    Amazingly I find myself nodding to most points. Why should we worry about Poles, Jews, Belorussians? We are Estonia. A small country in the Baltic. How does a population of around 1,5 million defend Poland, all the Jews and Belorussians? Should Estonia mobilized all women, children, men and grandparents to stave off the German and Russian invasion and then go help Belorussians, Jewish people in Eastern Europe and Poles?
    Why should we love the country that cost us 10% or more of our population in total and only hate the one that cost us maybe 1% or less. How is that in your mind the correct thing to do?

    Russia did not protect Estonians or Finnish or Polish or Latvians etc, how does your concept work? Currently you aren't practicing what you preach.

    Show me what Estonians served in Salaspils concentration camp? You bring out an example how Balts were not prisoners in there. Read man read. For example Germans formed a local army in Lithuania commanded also by a Lithuanian. Later they feared them and sent their commander to that very same camp and abolished the force. This is what I am talking about. Just 5 minutes of Googling brought down your argument.
     
  12. red_elk

    red_elk Deity

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    But now you are asking why Estonia is being reported as fascist state and why all this is "blown out of proportion". No matter how many monuments you still have (all of them were built in Soviet period, right?), they all are "monuments of occupation" for you, and you keep them just in order not to spoil your reputation even further.

    I don't see any terminological difficulties here, rephrase it as you want.
    Red Army fought against Nazis and saved our people from extermination.
    Estonian troops fought on Nazi side and helped them to kill ~27 millions of my compatriots.
    Pure and simple.

    (One important note, by Estonian troops I didn't mean the soldiers who fought in Red Army. All our respect and gratitude to them)

    We had 3 or 4 wars with Finland in XX century, they lost important part of their territory to us. Why Finland doesn't have anti-Russian ideology, why they are not try to unite their people on a base of anti-Russian sentiments?
    We had two huge wars with Germany, both countries lost immense amount of people, and now Germany is our best friend in Europe. We respect their war veterans, invite them to visit old battleplaces. Guess why.
    Two wars with Japan, territorial arguments are not settled yet! The same, no problems on ideological level, from both sides.
    Why you are so special in your "rightful hatred", guys?
    It's your choice what kind of relations to have with us, not ours.

    Referendum of 3 March, 1991
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Estonia#Regaining_independence

    This is an Estonian version of history. I don't want to start argument about this again, so in brief:
    - The term "occupation" is incorrect. There was no state of war between Estonia and USSR in 1939, Estonia was forced to sign agreement and let USSR to establish military base on its territory. Number of troops and places of dislocation were restricted by Estonian authorities. This was not a military occupation neither formally nor factually. Finland fought and was partially occupied - you surrendered without fight and got gradually annexed.
    - De jure USSR was recognized in its borders by a number of international agreements during and after WW2. For example, Yalta conference and Helsinki accords. Estonia was not a member of UN, except as part of USSR. Legally, Estonia had the similar status as Abkhazia or Kosovo has today. Even less, because Kosovo and Abkhazia are factually independent.

    Because not only ethnic Estonians are living in your country. "Estonia for Estonians" is a fascism, just as "Russia for Russians".
    Why do we care about Tatars, Bashkirs, Ossetians? Why their native languages have the same status as Russian state language, in their regions?
    Why Finland, having 6% Swedish minority has Swedish as second state language? Same with Canada and frankophones.
    Why even in totalitarian USSR, Estonian language had the same rights as all the other languages of Soviet people, including Russian?

    Not sure what you mean here.

    I did not say there were no Balts in concentration camps at all. There were communists of Baltic nationalities, for example.
    The number of Baltic victims in death camps is incomparable with Jewish or Slavic victims, even relative, wouldn't you agree?
    The argument was about those who fought against Nazis and those who served them.
     
  13. Scrapest

    Scrapest Chieftain

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    Absolutely true. To me most of these monuments remind me of Soviet repression firstly and then the victory over Nazi Germany or the battle that actually took place or whatever pinpoint meaning a monument has. Bronze Soldier become the epitome. Kind of the flagship of all the monuments. Again for lack of better parallels the "Bin Laden" of occupation monuments. You move that away and we win. All the rest of the smaller monuments meaning simply fades away after this.

    Actually Estonia removed pretty much all of the Stalin monuments very shortly after re-independence. This was done so quickly that no one even noticed. Would you do it now I would not even begin to imagine what media blitz it would cause. This was again partly one of the reasons this got so big as it was one of the remaining Soviet war monuments that was left in downtown like said before as it was not really viewed in that harsh of a way. I mean I might think that a monument is about repression but that does not dictate me to actually do anything about it. Same was with the Bronze Soldier, small resentment that with events blew up and some people actually started fighting for it on both sides. Both had "correct" reasons as both view the monument with different meaning imho.

    Estonian government decided to side with Estonians and move it to a cemetery.

    Anti-Nazi hold's the notion that Estonia was pro-Nazi and against all people who were fighting Nazi Germany and includes British, American, Polish, later Italian, Canadian etc nationalities. This is wrong.

    Would Russia not of reclaimed Estonia it might of been different and Estonia would of welcomed Russians as liberators from German occupation. Then again we already fought our Independence War against Russians so it would be quite hard to tell. Probably the seed was already there but we would of not welcomed Germans as the liberators as Germany in that case would of "liberated" the land from Estonia and that would be stupid. Again the notion stands majority of Estonians are not Fachists or Communists. We had our own thing going and would of liked to stay neutral.

    About calling Estonians serving in the German army what other choice was there? When Russia was there a draft was ordered and able men were given guns and pushed onto the line. When the German army got in a draft was ordered and men were given guns and pushed on the line. The notion stands that Russia was the first to "liberate" Estonia from Estonians. It would seem logical that Estonia sided with Germany as this was our only line of survival. We knew for a fact that Russia wanted that land piece back. We did not know if Germany wanted to incorporate our land and until that time promised our land back. Would you take a chance with the nation that already you fought against or side with a nation that has not done any of that yet? Again the first notion was to stay neutral. The second was to choose between bad (Germans) and worse (Russians). From this again we take what freedom fighters we have. Fought in the SS and didn't do warcrimes but joined the army to free Estonia? Sounds like a freedom fighter to me.

    I was not aware that Finnish and Japanese people were not anti-Russian. About Germans I would think that being the aggressor kind of cancels out any anti attitude. It would be illogical for English to hate Scottish people as the English were the aggressors. Or Americans to hate the Iraq people as they came on their land. Not aggression and no reason to hate as nothing would of taken place.

    If you have some kind of omnipotent knowledge I don't know but if you are talking about the general political huu-haa then even Estonia and Russia send out messages of trust and agreement. I mean we solved our border agreement, trade is going etc. Politically we are friends and small neighbors to you.


    Nice a referendum. Still the people did not vote for the establishment of a nation and had no real meaning. Would those who consider them ethnic Russian voted 100% no (as it was quite close anyway judging by wiki) I am sure Estonia would of taken the opportunity to regain it's independence.

    Those who voted yes have to live by Estonian law and assimilate. Why else live in Estonia anyway? If you want to live as a Russian go to Russia. If you want to live as an Estonian go to Estonia. If you want to live as a Muslim go move to some Muslim country. I find it strange if you moved to England for example and wanted to still live exactly by the rules and customs of Estonia. No! Countries are different for a reason and they don't have to bend by your needs. The people who have claim to the place make the rules. Every person has lived and grown up in an environment suited for his parents and probably from that your needs/lifestyle/what you are used to. You can't barge in to another country, set up shop and claim that the majority has to suddenly cater for you as it's the right thing to do as you are a minority and the majority can't have it their way. Suddenly you might become the majority and then what? The same minority has to be catered? Rubbish. The majority make the rules as they are the majority. Everyone has grown up to be accustomed to some setting and has a good place in this world.

    If you are an ethnic Russian not one thing will stop you from learning the language (hard yes but free courses), respecting the traditions and passing the citizenship test to be called an Estonian. Notice you don't have to change your traditions and heritage. Just respect that you are in Estonia and try to assimilate, what's the reason to live here if you don't interact with the locals. Why move if Russia or any other place was perfect for you?

    Again world politics are very weak. Who has power and majority basically decides. We have our country list that sided with us and confirmed it as being an occupation and you have your treaties to point to. Point is there is no higher power, absolute supreme lord who decides who is right and who is wrong for once and for all. For the end of times I would believe we won't decide on this issue and after a while it no longer is important. Maybe the correct way to think about it is that to us it was an occupation and to you a legal overtaking. I mean if you push a guy he might say you punched him. Who is to decide what is a punch or shove.

    I like to always bring out the stupidity of the situation though if it really was all so legal. Just think. 20 years ago the same generation fought with blood and steel to take the land. Now the men, some 35 some 55 some 75 and their children and wives agree that the bloodshed was all for nothing and it's actually better to give the country back. Kind of stupid or what?

    Different countries different rules (btw Russia has 1 official language, Russian throughout the region, Estonia has plenty of "co-official" languages like Seto or Võro that are allowed more rights in their regions as it's been so throughout the ages). Estonia is for Estonians, what's wrong about that. Why shouldn't it be for Estonians? Is Estonia not for Estonians? Notice you did not say Estonia is JUST for Estonians as in we shun every other nationality away. Estonia is also for anyone willing to come here and wanting to live here. Again, the person chooses to come here. If you choose to come here you have made a choice and I don't think you chose the worst place that does not suit you. You made a choice that this country is good for you and maybe your children. We have open borders and as we are mixed blood most ourselves and it's hard to differentiate most nationalities here anyway I would not even see a way to find out if you are not of Estonian origins. Have you seen any anti-jewish, anti-black or anti-asian activity? Russia is way ahead in killing Black people and I find it strange to bring this up. The issue is with certain "Ethnic Russian" groups that "Ethnic Estonians" clash with and that's from historical grievances. I use the "" marks as it's quite hard to distinguish an ethnic Estonian or even ethnic Russian is some cases. Or maybe you can define what an ethnic Estonian is.

    I meant that when you reclaimed Estonia you had no trouble of cleansing out the local population, why did you not protect the Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian people as you are asking the same question from Estonia? Estonians had no where to go anyway, the rest of nationalities were in the same boat as us Estonians. The Jews who could fled to the West, North or East. We had no say in what nationality Germans wanted to murder. Would it been Estonians we would of been all butchered. In what manner or way would you perceive an already occupied country to organize a rescue? By that time Uncle Lenin was at the helm of Estonia before any of the fighting started and Estonians were once again slaves to be worked by the whip of the masters. (just as an added note I am not dramatizing much as Estonians throughout history were a population of farmers that gathered crops for whatever Nation controlled us, we were rarely in higher positions)

    Germans came in our country. What say do we have if an army somewhat comparable to the total population(that can fight at least) starts constructing death-camps. We already showed our intention prior to war and wanted to remain neutral. You are blaming Estonia for having men work at German deathcamps... can't you see how ridiculous it is. It's not like we organized a German army group North to plow through the Baltics and the people looked for adds to be the worker of death camps.

    Let's play a numbers game
    Estonia - population 1,3 million.
    Russia - population 143 million.
    (Current numbers, I have no will to Google WW2 info but I am sure the proportion is similar)

    Yes sure, we should be all fine. I mean if Estonia had the Russian victim numbers we would be wiped out times ten.
    I am quite sure there were very few Germans in gulags or off to Siberia compared to the Balts.

    But yes if you ask were there few Balts in death camps designed mainly for Slavs and Jews absolutely yes. I mean if a camp would of been designed for Balts I am also sure there were very few of other nationality. Balts did not choose what nationality Germans wanted to obliterate. We had our own Gulags and death/work camps we got sent to.

    About serving them how exactly did Estonia serve them? Did Russia not form a draft and get men taken to the army from Estonia? Notice how you are making it sound like Estonia chose to get trampled by Russia, Germany and then Russia. How is it Estonians fault that our men served in German or Russian army? Do you honestly think that we would of stayed neutral and like 50,000 men would of traveled to Berlin to enlist? We were occupied, by that time we had very little of Estonia and very much of Hitler Germany. Estonians had really nothing to choose when an army group is stationed in your country. Most people did what they had to, to survive.

    If you were stopped by a German officer that came to your town/village and told to dig a grave for Jewish bodies or face the repercations for not doing as told what would you have done? I for one would of dug those mass graves and cooperated in fear of getting shot myself. Do you honestly think that people flocked the German death camps wanting to get jobs in filthy, corps smelling camps?

    You honestly think that Estonians had any word on any matter? It would be like asking well why didn't Estonians revolt against the SU if it was that bad? So ignorant.
     
  14. red_elk

    red_elk Deity

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    If you mean depictions of Stalin, they were removed in 1950-s, after his death. May be not all of them, all over USSR, but something like 99%.

    Depends on how far can you go down this road. What if Estonians and Russians started to kill each other, and the government decided to side with Estonians? Your politics now is "Screw those Russians, no matter what they are thinking. Just don't make noise in the media." What you seem to forget is that they have the same rights as Estonians do.

    How you imagine serving in SS and not doing warcrimes?

    - Delivered an order to put those group of Jews into gas chamber? Just a courier in SS detachment, didn't do any warcrimes.
    Joined SS to free Estonia? Oh yes, of course, not to get better food and clothing.
    - Driver, delivered Einsatzgruppe to burn village in Belorussia? No warcrimes either.
    - Cook, was preparing food for German liberators.

    Such people served in SS and "didn't do warcrimes". Your "freedom fighters" were the same.

    I was talking about national identity and state ideology. Which, as you admitted in Estonia is to large extent anti-Russian. Not in Finland, not in Japan.
    About German aggression, I mentioned attitude of Russians to Germany and Germans, not vice versa.

    A few questions.
    - What about those people who were born in Estonia and don't agree with the laws which majority dictates to them? Should your government try to find compromise with them, or "Estonia for Estonians"?
    - What if in next 50 years, there will be 51% majority of muslim people in Estonia, and they decide to introduce Sharia law? You will not be asked what you think about it, because you are minority and should assimilate or leave their country.
    - Do the Russian minority have rights to secede part of Estonian territory, just like Estonians seceded from Russian Empire in 1918? Or you are the only people who set the rules here and Estonia have rights to keep territorial integrity?

    I gave you examples of countries, where rights of minorities are respected. Why Estonia is different?

    You are presenting this like Russian Empire's Estonian population was strong uniform society, 100% devoted to fight for independence. There was noticeable part of population who supported Bolsheviks, and later, joining the USSR. You seem to discard them as "not real Estonians" or I don't know what.

    The other important thing is that Estonian independence in 1918 was kind of assisted by external forces. Which were interested in weakening of Russian state and creating of border states.

    "Russia for Russians" is a motto of neo-nazis, skinheads here. I'm not joking.
    For you, "Estonia for Estonians" sounds ok.

    That's not what I was talking about, you misunderstood me.
    You said that the Germans treated you relatively well and that's why you preferred to join their side, instead the Soviet one.
    I asked, what about other people, Jews, Poles Russians, Belorussians?

    What you are saying sounds like "Nazis were not so bad, they didn't kill us, Estonians, they killed just a few millions of Jews and Russians. Why not to join them?"
    To make you understand how this sounds to me, I can give you the opposite example: "If Stalin would kill all ethnic Estonians who did not support USSR and communist party, why it would be bad for us? They were the enemies of our state after all, why should we tolerate them?"
    The second example is not what I'm thinking, but the first one sounds very close to what you are saying.

    If I was told to dig a grave, I would have done it to save my life. But I wouldn't call myself a freedom fighter after that.
    If I'd agree to wear German uniform, receive food and salary for serving them - I would become collaborant and would be punished for that after war. Rightfully.
     
  15. Winner

    Winner Diverse in Unity

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    Waffen-SS were military combat units (the German ones were considered to be the elite). It was entirely possible to be a soldier in Waffen-SS and not commit any war crimes, although it is true that Waffen-SS were more ruthless than regular Wehrmacht units.
     
  16. Quackers

    Quackers The Frog

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    wow, what a thread :lol:
     
  17. red_elk

    red_elk Deity

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    Serving in SS is morally wrong by definition, even if war crimes formally were not committed. I gave examples with courier and driver.
     
  18. Winner

    Winner Diverse in Unity

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    No, it's not. Again, Waffen-SS were combat units, not guards in concentration camps or crap like that. Especially the foreign Waffen-SS units made of non-Germans had little to do with all that.

    Estonians didn't have any other option open to them if they wanted to fight against the Soviet Union (but I suppose you have a problem with the very notion that they wanted to fight against the USSR), therefore it's perfectly understandable they fought under the banner of Waffen-SS. It was the only game in town, so to speak. In fact it's similar to what the Finns did - the only difference is they had a country left after the Soviets invaded them so they could fight under their own flag, as allies of Nazi Germany.
     
  19. red_elk

    red_elk Deity

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    And I'm saying that if they did not commit war crimes formally, it doesn't mean they didn't do anything wrong at all.
    They were subordinates of Nazis, and goals of Nazis were a little bit different from fighting for Estonia independence.

    Do Finns praise their soldiers who fought on Nazi side as "freedom fighters"? Not those who just fought against USSR in Winter War.
    Do Germans or Poles, Czechs or whoever else move Soviet war monuments away from city centre, because they disturb people of right nationality?
     
  20. red_elk

    red_elk Deity

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    Cuba is wonderful
     

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