Strange Interpretation of the History

The Government of Estonia on the basis of the law is going to declare the veterans’ Waffen-SS “freedom fighters. If we remember the Holocaust, the intention of this kind should be called a manifestation of the historical blindness.

When during a family holiday somewhere in Lithuania, Latvia or Estonia next table were representatives of the older generation, they often speak of Siberia. In the 40 ‘s and 50 ‘s, on the orders of Joseph Stalin, hundreds of thousands of Soviet people were forcibly resettled. The reason was briefly defined as: “because of the Baltic States”. Those who actively opposed the Moscow and, for example, illegally transported through Polish border Lithuanian books, could prove to be a prisoner of the Gulag.

After Stalin’s death, many of the expelled were able to return, but their farms and homes were already occupied by ethnic Russians or exercising faith Moscow compatriots. Often the farms at that time were in running condition. In the 1980 ‘s, in schools there was a conflict between the children of the deported and those pupils whose parents “went on to deal with the regime and have learned material benefit from the tragedy”. Parents told their children which of the parties they should join.

As a result of these events occurred a strange interpretation of history. This is reflected in such scandalous episodes as a memorable event with the participation of the Latvian SS veterans in Latvia. Moreover, nationalistically configured Estonian defense minister Mart Laar wants to announce that Estonian volunteers who served in the German divisions SS, Freedom fighters. Such an approach is evident in everyday life. Those people who grew up in the Baltics in the 60 ‘s and 70 ‘s, do not talk about the games at police and thieves – children then preferred the role of “bad” Soviet soldiers and “good” Wehrmacht soldiers. Even more popular were the roles of “forest brethren”. They were anti-Communist guerrillas, some of whom have collaborated with the Wehrmacht.

Up to a certain point such a distortion of historical perspective are historically understandable. Baltic countries in 1918 after long forced membership in Tsarist Russia had achieved their independence, but then, these three young States under the terms of the Hitler-Stalin Pact went to the Soviet Union and were occupied by the Red Army. Lithuanians, Latvians and Estonians hoped that by becoming allies of the Germans, they rediscover freedom. In any case, the National Socialists, guided by racist ideology, considered them to be genetically above the Slavs.

However, the suffering that endured many residents of the Baltic states during the Soviet rule, is not a sufficient reason to explain their blindness when speech comes about the Holocaust. As appeared the Estonian SS veterans groups did not take specific involvement in the massacre – they fought first against the Soviets. While local voluntary members of a paramilitary militia and police actively assisted to hold deportation, and shootings in the three Baltic states. The death car of National Socialists never was as effective as in the Baltic States. For example, in Latvia were destroyed 95% of the Jews out of the 70,000 living in the country.

The official interpretation of the history is that they do not play almost any role in such actions. The role of the victim is always more convenient. It is so convenient that it applies to current events. When Baltic politicians criticize decisions adopted by the European Union’s, they are willing to compare the EU with the Soviet Union. Immediately the electorate in those countries wakes up the corresponding reflex and the message reaches a destination: country is in danger.

When the Estonians and Latvians honor SS veterans as fighters against communism (they didn’t have own SS units for Lithuanian volunteers), it reminds conversations over a beer in Germany that “under Adolf”, at least, there was no unemployment. However, the terrorist rule of National Socialism can not be divided into good and bad parts, the highways and the Holocaust. Anyone who tries to stylize the members of the SS units, representing them as a patriot, did not understand the history, where everything is interconnected, and separate black and white in its pure form does not exist.

However, the young democracies in Eastern Europe is still unstable, and having loose as a result of the occured radical changes, often use simplified explanation: the one who today is dissatisfied, resorts to idealization of the past. The Soviet Union for Russia is a background for nostalgia, based on allegations that before everything was better. In Baltic this role performs period of independence between the two world wars, and completely ignores the fact that all these three countries were ruled by undemocratic government.

Of course, you can understand when German politicians, replying to a question from the Berlin newspaper Tageszeitung on the plans of the Government of Estonia, exercise restraint. It would be quite wrong if only German diplomats reminded the inhabitants of the Baltic States on their participation in the Holocaust. Such veriant when this would be done by the European parliament or Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe the member of which is also Russia is seems to be much more reasonable.

Befremdendes Geschichtsbild 12/01/2012 15:41