This comment appeared in Mémoires en Jeu (Memory at Stake), no. 9, (2010).
In recent years, a number of eastern EU and NATO member states (plus Ukraine) have been constructing components of their official(and protected-by-law) national narratives on heroes who were collaborators, or even perpetrators in the Holocaust on the grounds that they were “anti-Soviet heroes.”1 These countries indeed had to face two Soviet occupations (1939/1940–41 and 1944/45–1991), and the occupation by Nazi Germany (1941-1944/5). The “liberating” state was also the author of major crimes such as repressions, deportations, forced labor and executions, and the statutes of post-Soviet Europe lacked a text on the crimes of communism. The ensuing moral problem is as follows: while these States would have legitimate heroes who struggled for freedom against dictatorial Soviet domination, they also honor those who participated in the Holocaust and even criminalize criticism against them.
Posted in Collaborators Glorified, Double Genocide, Dovid Katz, Estonia, EU, Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, Free Speech & Democracy, History, Latvia, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Politics of Memory, Prague "Platform", State Glorification of Holocaust Collaborator J. Noreika
Tagged Dovid Katz, Freedom of speech in the Baltics, Holocaust in Lithuania, Holocaust in the Baltics, Law and the Holocaust, Mémoires en Jeu, Use of law to revise history
Our take? NATO needs to stand for Western values. Putin’s shameful “Zapad 17” military exercise demo, in regions bordering the eastern democratic lands of NATO and the EU — including the three Baltic states, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia — is intended to intimidate their peaceful populations and to provoke regional unease. Not to mention the very real danger that various of the troops will find one way or another “to stay in the region after the exercises are over” in a very tired old Soviet spirit of things. These military exercises need to be exposed for what they are, and countered with stalwart determination. NATO’s commitment to its members must remain sacrosanct and permanent, while remaining true to the ideals for which, ultimately, it exists.
That makes it all the more critical for the North Atlantic alliance (and the EU) not to succumb to regional far-right, ultranationalist, chauvinist, Holocaust-revisionist, and antisemitic forces in the course of the proceedings.
Posted in Antanas Baltūsis-Žvejas, Collaborators Glorified, Debates on the Postwar "Forest Brothers", Dovid Katz, Estonia, Film, Jonas Žemaitis, Latvia, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory
Tagged Darius Udrys, Double Genocide, Evaldas Balciunas, Forest Brothers (Baltic), Forest Brothers Fight for the Baltics, glorification of Holocaust collaborators, NATO, NATO + Estonia, NATO + Latvia, NATO + Lithuania, Vladimir Putin, Zapad 17
by Dovid Katz
This article appeared today in Jewish Currents:
A recent Washington Post editorial rightfully takes Russia and China to task for persecuting those who dare challenge the state’s distortions of history. In the case of Russia, there is mention of the disgraceful prosecution of a citizen for pointing out that the September 1939 dismemberment of Poland was a joint venture of Germany and the USSR codified by the infamous Molotov-Ribbentrop pact. But wait a minute.
Posted in Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, Double Genocide, Dovid Katz, Estonia, Free Speech & Democracy, Human Rights, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory
Tagged Double Genocide, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, Simon Wiesenthal Center
TALLINN—The Simon Wiesenthal Center today harshly criticized a march held late yesterday in the center of the Estonian capital to mark Independence Day, which was sponsored by the Sinine Aratus (Blue Awakening) youth movement closely affiliated with the Conservative People’s Party of Estonia (EKRE).
O P I N I O N
NOTE: The following is an English version of Prof. Fridberg’s Russian op-ed, posted earlier today. In the event of any query or issues, the Russian text alone is authoritative.
Is the Holocaust drowning in a sea of “European tolerance”? I love humor. Especially black humor.
Yesterday afternoon the largest Russian-language newspaper in Lithuania, Obzor, reprinted the article, “Museum in Tartu, Estonia Invites Visitors to Come Laugh at the Holocaust” [The affair has been covered in English by the Jerusalem Post, Times of Israel, and the Simon Wiesenthal Center, among others].
Posted in Bandera, Estonia, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Museums, News & Views, Opinion, Pinchos Fridberg, Politics of Memory, Ukraine
Tagged Bandera, Hollywood-Holocaust / Bandera-Bandit, Holocaust Drowning in Sea of European Tolerance, Holocaust in Estonia, P'inchos Fridberg + Holocaust, Pinchos Fridberg, Pinchos Fridberg + Bandera, Pinchos Fridberg + Estonia
O P I N I O N
The latest “Double Genocide” conference sponsored (naively?) by the European Union has just ended in Prague. The two-day event (12-13 June 2014) has a convoluted history (see earlier DH reports: 15 Jan. 2014; 24 Jan. 2014; 26 Feb. 2014; 27 Feb. 2014; 7 March 2014; 20 March 2014; 23 March 2014; 20 May 2014).
The last Estonian SS veteran to have been awarded the Nazis’ Knight’s Cross, Harald Nugiseks, was buried in Estonia with full military honors on Friday 10 January 2014.
Military funeral with full honors for the Waffen SS veteran. Photo: Rauno Volmar in Delfi.ee.
Posted in Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, Estonia, EU, Human Rights, Leena Hietanen, News & Views
Tagged Estonia, Estonia + glorification of fascism / Nazi forces, Harald Nugiseks, Leena Hietanen, Petri Krohn, Urmas Reinsalu, Waffen SS (Estonian Legion), World War II (Baltics)
by Leena Hietanen (Tallinn)
Germany’s president, Joachim Gauck, welcomed intensified cooperation between Estonian and German historians in the cause of continuing the search for Communist crimes in both Soviet Estonia and East Germany. He posed for photographs alongside Estonian president Toomas Hendrik Ilves with a backdrop of the iconic red-equals-brown Hollywoodesque “set” welcoming visitors to the nation’s Museum of the Occupation in Central Tallinn.
Photo of the two presidents with red-brown-equals-sign backdrop at the Museum of the Occupation in Central Tallinn: Postimees (Erik Peinar). More red-brown iconography here.
Posted in Double Genocide, Estonia, EU, Germany, Leena Hietanen, News & Views, Politics of Memory, Prague "Platform"
Tagged Double Genocide in Estonia and Germany, German-Estonian relations, Holocaust Denial, Holocaust in Estonia, Joachim Gauck on Jewish and Holocaust issues, Leena Hietanen, Toomas Hendrik Ilves on Jewish and Holocaust issues
B O O K S
by Leena Hietanen
The book’s moral is on the front cover: “Those who deny history are doomed to repeat it.” But the book itself virtually deletes the Holocaust from the region’s history…
The most famous Finnish contemporary author, Sofi Oksanen, now 36 years old, has made a fortune from her books about Estonian history that are in some ways conceptually steeped in the Double Genocide movement. According to the Finnish financial daily, Kauppalehti, the turnover of her publishing enterprise, Silberfeldt Co. reached 3.4 million euros with a net profit of 1.8 million euros since 2011, when she established the company.
The bestseller has been the novel, Purge, which phenomenally sold over 150,000 copies in Finland alone. The book has been translated into dozens of languages and has been quite a success in France and Scandinavia. The stage version (which is the original) of Purge came to New York (though still off-off Broadway). By Finnish standards her popularity and business skills have made Ms. Oksanen the “Harry Potter – Joanne Rowling” of Finland.
O P I N I O N
by Leena Hietanen
Estonian ultranationalists traditionally celebrate Hitler’s victory on the Sinimae Hillls in eastern Estonia annually at the end of July. This year is no exception. The festivities are slated to start on the 27th of July at Sinimae.
As usual, the Estonian government is quietly giving its blessing to the proceedings. Old Estonian Waffen SS Legionaries gather on the hills to commemorate their participation on the Second World War on the side of Nazi Germany. In the battles of Sinimae Hills during the spring and summer of 1944 Estonian Waffen SS soldiers together with their fellow pro-Nazi combatants from Scandinavia, Belgium, Holland and Germany halted the progress of the Allied/Soviet front for half a year in the Eastern part of Estonia postponing the collapse of Nazi-Germany and condemning untold civilians to ongoing Nazi atrocities. Almost half of a million Hungarian Jews lost their lives in Auschwitz thanks to Estonian Legionaries. They would have survived had the Soviet advance not been tied up the Germans’ prime allies among the Estonian fascists.Continue reading
O P I N I O N
by Efraim Zuroff
From today’s Times of Israel.
The visit to Israel of a foreign prime minister used to be a big deal. That’s why there were so many photos of Burmese head of state U Nu’s visit in the early sixties. Those days, however, are long gone and today when most prime ministers visit us it’s usually of little or no interest to anybody and they get almost no coverage unless they are major world figures.
That would help explain why I only found out Tuesday morning that Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip was to be touring Yad Vashem that day.
Ostensibly, that is no occasion of any particular significance, and the visit is more or less a pro forma requirement for any head of state coming to Israel in that capacity, especially if he or she has never been here before. But that is not true in the case of the Estonian leader, who heads a country that is suffering from a severe Baltic variant of post-Communist Eastern European Holocaust amnesia. This is an intellectual disease whose four main characteristics are a systematic minimization of crimes by local Nazi collaborators, a distinct lack of political will to prosecute and punish such individuals, a tendency to glorify locals who fought alongside the Nazis – in Estonia’s case in Waffen-SS units – and a determination to promote the historical canard of supposed equivalency between Nazi and Communist crimes.
Posted in Double Genocide, Efraim Zuroff, Estonia, Israel, News & Views, Opinion
Tagged Andrus Ansip, Efraim Zuroff, Holocaust and Israel, Holocaust in Estonia, Holocaust in the Baltics, Jaanika Kressa
Jerusalem—In a statement issued here today by the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s chief Nazi-hunter, Israel director Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the Center denounced in the strongest terms a fake ad which appeared in the “humor pages” of the Estonian news magazine Eesti Ekspress with a photograph of concentration camp inmates under the heading: “One, two, three: Dr. Mengele’s diet pills work miracles on you. There were no fatties in Buchenwald.”
According to Zuroff:
O P I N I O N
by Leena Hietanen and Petri Krohn
TALLINN―The rehabilitation of Nazi collaborators here in Estonia reached its climax on 14 February 2012, when the Estonian Parliament adopted a declaration sponsored by Defense Minister Mart Laar, in which all who took up arms against the Soviet Union were recognized as “freedom fighters.” The parliament’s statement included the following language, made to sound rather innocuous:
O P I N I O N
by Per Anders Rudling
Despised and ostracized, the Swedish community of Waffen-SS volunteers long gathered in secret on April 14, “The Day of the Fallen,” for obscure ritualistic annual gatherings at a cemetery in a Stockholm suburb.
Since the 1990s, the rituals have not needed to be clandestine: the few, now very elderly survivors now head to Sinimäe, Estonia, where they feel they are now getting the honor to which they are entitled. Here, Swedish, Norwegian, Austrian, German and other Waffen-SS veterans from Western Europe meet up with their Estonian comrades. The annual gatherings include those who volunteered for ideological reasons, and who are today actively passing on the experiences to a new generation of neo-Nazis.
Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Canada, Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, Estonia, Germany, History, Latvia, News & Views, Opinion, Per Anders Rudling, Politics of Memory, Riga's Waffen SS Marches, Sweden
Tagged Per Anders Rudling
At a recent Waffen SS celebration in Estonia
In the face of mounting Western concern, the Estonian Ministry of Defense issued a statement on 5 January 2012 refuting a 27 (/28) December 2011 Delfi news portal story that reported on Russian Federation criticism, among other things, of the Baltic states’ policies of honoring their countries’ Nazi collaborator forces and militias.
The Defense Ministry’s refutation declares that “the government of the Republic of Estonia has not drafted nor will it draft something as absurd as a bill that would allow for honors to be given to Nazi collaborators.”
Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, Double Games, Estonia, News & Views, Politics of Memory
Tagged Daily Mail + Estonia, Double Genocide + Estonia, Estonia, Estonia + Waffen SS, Estonian Defense Ministry, Mart Laar