The myth about the occupation as the disguise for Waffen SS

By Ilya Semenov

“KomiOnline” (The data portal of Komi Republic; the translator’s comment)  presents the essay of of  Ilya Semenov, the director of  the regional public organization of “Guild of specialists  aimed at work with information and  the new technologies”.  It is called “The myth about occupations as the disguise for Waffen SS”.

On the eve of the 65th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic war the struggle for the march of the veterans of the Latvian legion Waffen SS and assemblies of anti-fascists developed once again in Latvia. An attempt of the duma commission of Riga ( “duma” is  the representative assembly in Riga; the translator’s comment )  forbid both actions under a pretext of complexity of safeguarding  “was buried” by the decision of the court, and on  the 16th of  March, 2010 the Nazis and their ideological opponents  took to the streets of Riga.

The perseverance of the Latvian and Estonian authorities in espousing view about the course of the World War II and the peculiarities of the participation of the Latvians and the Estonians in it is meaningful not only in fastening of differences from Russia, as an assignee of the USSR, but also in the justification of introduction and maintenance of the  Institute of un-citizenship. The idea  of ostensibly occupation in 1940 which interrupted  development of  the independent republics, begun in 1918,plays one of the key roles in almost solidary point of view of these two Baltic states (the situation is similar in Lithuania, but somewhat different). The official Russian point of view is expressed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: it is impossible to name occupation that fact how three Baltic states entered the USSR in any way. However, what it was?

For the beginning it would be desirable to define the terms. (Undoubtedly, the treatment resulted below do not pretend to be the monopoly on the truth):

1) Occupation (from Latin “occupatio” — capture) in military science, in international law, temporary seizure of a territory of the opponent by armed forces , thus the countries should be at war (without dependence from that, it is  formalized properly or not).

2) Annexation (from Latin. annexio is joining) is a type of aggression, violent joining (capture) all or parts of territory other the state or people, and also violent holding of  a nationality within the boundaries of the alien state.

3) Voluntary accession — the occurrence of one state in structure of another on the basis of the procedures unforcedly carried out and which meet the requirements of the legislation of both sides.

I shall limit myself to a summary of arguments against the theory of occupation:

1. Latvia and Estonia were not at war during accession of to the USSR.

2. The bringing of the Soviet troops was implemented according to an invitation of the Latvian and the Estonian state structures, but not as a result of military operations. All legal procedures for of accession Latvia and Estonia to the USSR were formally complied.

3. The habitants of the “occupied” territory got citizenship of the USSR. All social, political and economic rights were given equally with other habitants to the USSR. Here, persons attaining the certain age could serve in the Soviet army.

4. Borders of the USSR after 1940 were recognized by many countries of the world.

5. The Declaration of Restoration of Independence, instead of the removal of an occupation regime, was accepted in the Baltic countries in 1991.

Actually, so shortly it is possible to give reason against a position of the Soviet historiography about the extremely voluntary entry of the Baltic republics in structure of the USSR (more details here):

1) the ultimatum to authorities of all three republics about necessity of change of the governments and introduction of additional contingents of forces of The Workers Peasant Red Army (the official name of a part of Armed forces of the Soviet Russia and the USSR with 1918 on 1946 (later — the Soviet Army);  the translator’s comment) (the first parts had entered the Baltics still in the  autumn of 1939 on the basis of intergovernmental agreements) on  the June, 14-16th, 1940  was shown and accepted;

2) the new non-communistic governments cancelled the prohibition  of  the activity of the Communist Parties and appointed extraordinary parliamentary elections in which  people took part in all three states only on one selective association of the Pro-Soviet orientation;

3) the new parliaments made a decision about the entry in the USSR.

Obviously, that the sweeping into power of the new governments and implementation of elections in which one selective association takes part only, candidates of  which also were heads of the selective commissions ,is very difficult to recognize  an extremely voluntary one at all desire. A different matter, that it is not less difficult to represent a will of citizens of three Baltic states extremely dependent because of an obvious social pressure in these not so democratic countries (revolutions of 1934 in Estonia and Latvia, marked by dissolution of the parliaments, an interdiction of the majority of parties and introduction of the martial law — in Latvia till 1938).

Actually, complexity with definition of that, how much violently the ruling groups of the Baltic countries were induced to carrying out of all above described actions above. Whether they have a possibility to act differently, and brings to appearing of at assumptions at once  : annexations from the USSR and roles in this so-called pact  of Molotov-Ribbentrop. Confidential reports from which only copies, by the way, are kept, were condemned in 1989 as means of infringement of the previous arrangements with the specified states from the USSR. However the formulations of the report are made in a subjunctive mood, fields of interests changed (Lithuania on a part of Poland) and haste, from which USSR made its offers in June-July, 1940 (just after shattering defeat of France and, consequently, deliverance of hands of the Reich on  the continent), speak that these confidential arrangements were not unchangeable and predetermining destiny of the territories specified in them. Let us recall even the destiny of Finland, which was the Soviet field of interest and got the Soviet ultimatums too, supported with force.

The version of annexation means that though the actions of the USSR are similar the certain measure of compulsoriness for the Balts, but that definition which is now used, it was accepted only in documents of the United Nations created only in 1945. Consequently, from the point of view of the international law of the sample of 1940 the infringement of two-way deals about what it had been being specified in 1989 took place. However, to the Balts and European structures supporting them preferred conducting conversations on the responsibility of the USSR and Russia ,its cessionary Russia for certain immense crimes,  putting  on a level with the  Nazis in this question terms annexation and occupation to terms “annexation and occupation”. Thankfully, this is possible to provide support in a number of the Baltic States for a particular grouping of former supporters of the Third Reich and their spiritual heirs and keep inappropriate segregation according with the ethnic and linguistic heritage in Europe XXI century. It is also possible for a part of the European institutions to work on diminishing Russia’s ability to protect its natural interests.




Translated by Kalyuzhnaya  Irina, APIR Center

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