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February 25, 2007

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Your article implies that Russification is better than Aryanism. Why? Both involve mass murdering of people in order to attain an ideal. Like Matthew, I too am sick of Hitler being seen as the only evil dictator in this period. All the achives and remains of Stalin's thousands of concentration camps and mass graves etc, reveal that Stalin killed many more people than Hitler, including his own people, and started to do so well before the start of WWII. And the Soviet army wasn't helping fight off Hitler to save Europe but to advance over Europe itself!

Who was 'saved' by the Soviets? Would WWII have ended if Russia had annexed France? Would that have been also a necessary sacrfice to free everyone else from Hitler? Not only did Stalin kill everyone who opposed him, including the millions of peasants the Bolshevik revolution was supposed to free from Czarist rule, bue he also killed Jews on mass (after he used them to carry out much of his dirty work in the Baltics), as well as 20 million Ukrainians which he did largely by the humane method of starvation, where people ended up eating their own children, and hundreds of thousands of Poles as well as Balts in his mass deportations and murders!

All Baltic peoples and most Western governments know that the only reason the Baltic nations joined Hitler's forces was to fight off Russia. What would you do if in your cosy homeland of whereever you were invaded by another country, who proceeded to murder some of your family and friends, deport others to slave labour camps where most died anyway, make your culture and language illegal, and then another country came in and started fighting off the original invaders? Surely you would use them to get out the people who had caused you such harm? The Baltic states didn't want Germany's rule! They wanted their independence, which, thankfully they now have, so they can start the long and arduous process of re-educating their children about their cultural heritage before these age old cultures and traditions are lost to the world forever - you even state yourself that Estonia's (and Latvia's and Lithuania's) population is 1/3 (1/2! in Latvia) Russian. Surely that's evidence of how successful Stalin's genocide was! And the West let him and his successors continue it for 50 years! Why is 50 years of Russification and mass murder in the Baltic states better than a few years of Hitler's atrocities? Where else in the world has such a tragedy been allowed to continue for such a long time?

To Matthew: Sir, you must be a pure-blood Aryan to declare that "Eastern Europe would have been much better under Nazi rule than it was under the Soviets". Fortunately, we will never know who exactly "would have been much better", but certainly not the Jews, not the Slavs, and not the Gypsies.

Now as regards the monument relocation, the Bronze Soldier monument is a place of reverence for 1/3 of the current Estonian population (ethnic Russians, currently most of them Estonian citizens). Again, I am not sure where you are from, but don't you think that relocation of a Martin Luther King Jr. monument would enrage the African-American population of the United States, for example? You may argue that Martin Luther King was not a representative of an occupying force for the United States, but that would be true only as long as you are talking to a non-Indian.

So, please try to accept the fact that despite all the oppressions of the Soviet regime (which may be well compared with colonialism of other empires, such as USA, UK, France, Israel, Spain, Japan, etc., depending on how far in history you want to go), the heroism of the Soviet people in defeating the Nazism is unparalleled, and deserves much higher appreciation than the current Estonian parliament is ready to express.

Excellent, well balanced article.
"Is it possible to commemorate the virtues and sacrifices of the Soviet people, without pardoning the injustices and cruelties of the Soviet leadership?" - Yes it is possible. The Bronze Soldier commemorates the sacrifices of the Soviet people, and hence should be preserved and honored. The numerous monuments to V.I.Lenin that were scattered across Tallinn before 1991 symbolized the injustices of the Soviet leadership, and they have all been dismantled in 1991 or shortly thereafter.

What the Soviets did was far worse than the Nazis, the Soviets killed more Russians than the Nazis did, it was an evil regime, and when the Soviets defeated Hitler, it wasn't good beating evil but an evil defeating a slightly less evil. Eastern Europe would have been much better under Nazi rule than it was under the Soviets, I am sick of you guys making the USSR out to be so much better than Nazi Germany. There was no liberation in Eastern Europe. If Estonia wants to relocate a monument dedicated to mass murders who brought in the occupation of a brutal regime, then let them do it.

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