To all innocent victims of Communism!
"Although poor is this area, where fate has placed us, our roots are deeply set here. Into each crack of stone, quagmire and sand hill the roots of our willingness are deeply drilled and no power is able to remove them. Our fathers' sweat has fertilized the soil and the blood of this generation has freed it. We have put in a great deal of effort to create an independent country. Our people, full of joy, courage, willpower and pride in their homeland have done this using the plough, but also with a sword, if necessary.
Our thoughts cannot imagine anything holier, dearer, more beautiful and more beloved than our fathers' land here on the Baltic sea. To this land our purest feelings of the heart, the toughness of our willpower have been dedicated. Let this ground forever be free, where our generations can lie in their everlasting rest. For its happiness we are all ready to sacrifice everything. Although the result of our work is disappearing, let it forever be free, happy and independent, this our fathers' land - Estonia!"
Konstantin Pats, the first President of Estonia 1934.
Instead of the Preface
In 1818 a man whose ideas led to a lot of suffering was born. This man was Karl Marx. In co-operation with Friedrich Engels those armchair scientists both had an unique belief in a Communist community for the future. This, in itself, was quite an innocent idea, although they might as well have planned to move the entire population of the planet to live under the sea, after all, this latter would have been just as worthy an idea in comparison. Water covers a larger area of our old dear planet than does dry land, therefore the problem of overpopulation would be solved for a very long time. However, there was just one small detail - that mankind is not adapted for life under water.
All of this could have been so simple, and both of these jokers could have stayed unknown to the world, especially as both of them did not renounce the benefits of the bourgeoisie (Engels was a manufacturer himself), even though they fiercely condemned capitalism in their speeches. But, alas, there was a man somewhere in the world who happened to read their fantasies which were based mainly on fairy tales. This man was Vladimir Ulyanov, a life-bitter, ambitious and non-analytical Russian. He did not start to discuss whether the human race would be able to cope with life under water, in other words whether Communism as a system is able to work in theory only. If you can not live in water then we will make you live in water! If Communism is not able to work in practice, then we will make it work! The world knows this man as Vladimir Lenin.
Those who have read Karl Marx's 'Capital' probably have also noted that the style of this book is not very clear. Although Marx was one of the most productive writers of his time, he was not, however, able to put in his work the necessary clarity. He was in constant conflict with himself, so, Russian Communists, as well as the rebellious intellectuals of France, could adopt his words with equal enthusiasm. Marx does not recognize half tones - for him there is only black and white. In the Marxist doctrine there are only two starting points:- capitalism is bad and working class is good. His real ideology was left for each to interpret. It is no wonder then that Lenin formed his own Marxist Communism based on this book, which consisted of establishing a conspiracy-like Party, organising the working class, establishing the Proletarian State, destroying the upper class and implementing the enlargement of the international revolution throughout the world. Or, for short - violence. By the way, Marx himself said with complete peace of mind:- "Violence is the midwife of the international revolution".
Marx might well have been a good storyteller with a rich imagination, but he knew little about human nature.
Perhaps the most fundamental job Marx had, in order to promote Communism, was the publication in 1848 of the "Manifesto of the Communist Party". From the date of publication up until now, in the name of the most horrific od ideas, over 100 million people have lost their lives. But this idea is still alive .....
The real nature of the Communists is represented in the speech of the Commissar of the 223rd regiment, Manohin, in February 1941, where he said inter alia "You're a good Communist when you can, without batting an eye, send your father and mother to their death, when you know that they disobeyed the party's commands". In order to convince people of the existence of such cool and calm persons, a tearful legend was fabricated about the young Communist boy Pavlík Morozov who turned his own father in. Like most of the communist heroic stories, this one was also a flight of fancy.
Communists deny all religions, but still they have created their own religion - the communism. But if any religion is run by fanatics, or just by persons who use their religion for benefit, the result will be tragic for the people.
Talking about the world view of the well-known Russian Communist philosopher Nikolai Berdyaev, who wrote, on the 7th November 1922 during his exile in London:- "Bolshevism is a spiritual phenomenon and mental illness, this disease cannot be cured by weapons...... Bolshevism can only exist under a dome of isolation, but dies in fresh air when in contact with other systems". (Berdyaev's letter was published in the Soviet Union for the first time in 1995 during the apparent political mitigation). By the way, a similar conclusion was also reached by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Soviet Union, Leon Trotsky (real name Leib Bronshtein) who said:- "Communism cannot co-exist on the same planet with countries of different systems". Bronshtein-Trotsky had in mind, of course, that the alternative system should be discarded in order that Communism could develop. According to Marx's theory, the waves of revolution must start in capitalist countries themselves. This theory had just one problem; it did not work. The Soviet Russian Bolsheviks decided to give history a helping hand.
With regard to how the Communists were thought of, by others, the Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister Ottokar Chzernin wrote about the Soviet Russian diplomat Adolf Joffe "Strange people these Bolsheviks, they talk about freedom and conciliating, peace and consensus, however, while they themselves are apparently the most brutal tyrants the world has ever seen. The bourgeoisie simply kill and the only argument they have is the machine gun. Today's conversation with Joffe showed me that these people are not clean and their hypocrisy surpasses everything, which typically accused the professional diplomats'. O. Čzernin, Days of the World War) By the way; Adolf Joffe was the leader of the Soviet Russian delegation, who signed the Tartu Treaty in 1920.
It is no wonder that the idea of Communism has taken place in less developed countries. With all respect, we cannot say that Russia, China, North Korea, Vietnam or Cuba had been at the top of the league of developed countries when they first embraced the Communist regime. True, these countries also had their intelligentsia and they surely said "Hey guys, your idea is complete bullshit!" but soon they no longer said anything - or rather could no longer say anything - because a dead man is not very talkative. I do not know whether the dictators of those countries had ever heard of such a thing as the Gordian Knot, but they resolved the situation as simply as it was done by Alexander the Great, with the cut of a sword.
One way or another Pandora's box was now open. It can also be said that the spirit was freed from the bottle and he is not keen on worming his way back home. The phantom of Communism left for a walk around the world.
The era of GULAG
The Gulag was the Soviet system of forced labour camps established in 1919. GULAG (Glavnoje Upravlenie Lagerei) is actually an acronym that translates into “The Main Administration of Camps”. The prisoners, called “ZK`s”, included persons such as murderers, thieves, political and religious dissenters, prisoners of war, and other common criminals. The Gulag was considered a place for these individuals to be contained and also as a mechanism to repress any political opposition to the Soviet state. The Gulag has had throughout its existence and into the modern state, an enormous impact on Russian economy and cultural literature.. Each impact will be explored as we also explain Gulag establishment, their geographic distribution, the conditions of Gulag camps, and the eventual dissemination of the system ...
The horror of the Gulag is beyond comprehension. Camps were brutal, soul-destroying, ruled on behalf of guards by hard-core criminals. The journey to the camps was deadly and could last months. Outside work was compulsory until temperatures dropped below -50 *C. Inmates were starved and savaged by epidemics. Perhaps the best thing about them was that one would not be expected to survive more than two years. In Kolyma only three out of every hundred survived. From Novaya Zemlya, nobody returned at all.
By Lenin's command the first concentration camps were built, but their numbers were increased by Stalin more than an hundredfold. In Lenin's time, the number of detainees was about 100,000 in 1930. In 1940, there were already 1,000,000 of them. Later the Gulag's Archipelago accommodated more than 10 million victims. Mortality was exceptional, about 30% a year preished from the overwhelming work, a minimum of food and warm clothing, and therefore emaciation. Only as recently as in 1942 there were about 249,000 deaths in the camps. All the work of those slave camps was carried out under the direction of the notorious NKVD.
Forced labour camps in the Soviet Union.
Each dot represents a set of bearings, which in turn signifies dozens of camps.
Concentration camps for dissidents were a creation of Karl Marx's theory. Marx's ideal was a society where private property was liquidated. Wikipedia defines a communist concept as follows:- "Communism or Communist society than with the theoretical social and economic system is egalitarian society, the type where there is no private property and social classes, countries and families. Communism has all the assets and manufacturing facilities in public ownership, and all people are equal both socially economically....". In the prison camps there were no private properties or social classes, except for the camp administration. There were not even families, of course, thus the ideal communist society was almost created.
Prison camps are in fact a mirror of society. Only a strong state can guarantee all the freedoms of its citizens which should be guaranteed by the Constitution. A country that feels its uncertainties cannot allow dissention. Consequently, it just means for the dissidents their physical destruction, directly or indirectly.
Russian (under communists) top official Zinoviev stated: "Without mercy, without sparing, we will kill our enemies in scores of hundreds. Let them be thousands; let them drown themselves in their own blood. For the blood of Lenin and Uritzky, Zinoviev and Vólodarsky, let there be floods of the blood of the bourgeoisie - more blood! As much as possible!" (Krasnaya Gazeta, Sept. 1, 1918).
People must know that Communism, a totalitarian system of government no better than the fascist variety, is largely responsible for making the 20th century the bloodiest in human history. Wherever the followers of Marx were able to grab power, there was repression, terror, torture, mass murder and, in many cases, class-based genocide.
No one is still responsible or jailed for communist crimes (and teaching) against humanity.
Read more: http://eefy.editme.com/GulagArticle
Estonia, a Northern European country on the shores of the Baltic Sea and on the border of Eastern and Western civilizations, has a complex history. Despite centuries of foreign rule, Estonians maintained national identity and managed to found an independent state in 1918. Promising development was cut short in 1940 by a secret pact between Stalin and Hitler that led to the occupation and incorporation of Estonia into the Soviet Union. Independence was terminated and Estonia subjected to Communist terror regime that soon evolved to genocide. More than 300.000 citizens of the Republic of Estonia - almost a third of its then population - were affected by arrests, mass murder, deportation and other acts of repression. As a result of Communist occupation, Estonia permanently lost at least 200.000 people or 20% of its population to repressions, exodus and war. Even today, there are less Estonians in Estonia than before WWII. In addition to immediate persecution, hundreds of thousands suffered from indirect repressions and discrimination. Estonian culture was hit heavily; hundreds of cultural monuments were destroyed along with millions of books. Church members were persecuted. By 1989, russification and colonization had reduced the percentage of Estonians in the population to 61%. When Soviet occupation ended in 1991, Estonia had fallen far behind the free world in terms of economic and social development. Since then, extensive reforms and effort have led the country to recovery.
Estonia has, over the years, been a much desired 'goody' for many foreign countries, due to its location. Most of the conquerors have almost always justified their conquests in saying that they were doing 'a good turn' for the Estonian people. Nevertheless they have been conquerors who, each time, brought a new religion with them and violently forced Estonians to accept it, or they were German or Russian so-called 'liberator's. All of them have invaded for their own interests and certainly not for the benefit of the Estonian people. The inhabitants of little Estonia were expected to grit their teeth and brook the tyranny of the following conqueror. Many books have been written about this topic and I am sure that my memories can not give any more information than has already been written, but my opinion is that those tragic events belong to such a crime against humanity which must never be forgotten. Every memory of them is worth keeping and remembering and, a fortiori, there are quite a lot of people in the world who believe that those events never even took place. Those who maintain this belief are not just the Russians but, quite recently, one Finnish scientist, Johan Beckman, who published a book in which he denied point blank that there has never been any kind of Russian occupation in Estonia (The local Newspaper 17.09.2008).
Johan Beckman, commentary: 12.08.2008 09:43
I have not said Estonians are going to hell, I said Estonia is going to hell. I have not said Estonians will cease to exist, I said Estonia will.
I am not great fan of Russia. I am very decent friend of Estonia and Estonians. That is why I decided to write the truth.As you see from the commentaries for my articles in PM, EPL and others, many people agree with my opinions. (On the contrary, most of people disagree Mr. Beckman especially Finnish and Estonian people. H.K.)
Do I blame the Estonian people? First of all, there is no such thing as Estonian people. Estonia is still a mixed Soviet republic. There are many mixed families, which is of course good. But this is in contradiction with the official policies of "Estonia". I am blaiming the Estonian leaders. But every nation has leaders which it deserves.
It would be interesting to know if the 'researcher' Bäckman also denies the existence of the Finnish Winter War of 1939, and the giving up of Karelia to the USSR? Maybe his masters in Moscow have not demanded this yet, but, as an obedient servant, he is ready to do this for sure.
Johann Beckman's pasquinade is successfully seconded by the Finnish feelance journalist Leena Hietanen, whose publications are written in accordance with the traditional taste of Moscow. In their own country, Finland, there is no support at all for either of them. Subsequently, suffering from lack of attention, this tandem speaks absolute nonsense. However, we know how freely winners manipulate historical facts and examples of this run throughout the length of the history of the Soviet Union representing the Communist terror as the defender of all oppressed people in the world. NO, NO and once again NO! Hitler's Nazi Germany was not the evil empire No 1, much more deserving of that name is the other superpower - the Soviet Union, whose activities no one would dare assess for the world preferred to remain shyly silent. However, the same 'evil empire no. 1' itself does not stay silent. Both with their own forces as well as with bought henchmen they try to smear all those who dare to doubt the history of the Soviet Union.
To scientists and historians things should be more or less clear. However, there are quite a lot of those who stubbornly deny reality and prefer instead to use this kind of theory intelligible only to themselves. Russia still denies its guilt of the Winter War with Finland, as well as the occupation of independent states before and after the Second World War. Fortunately such "opinion leaders" have not many supporters. Otherwise, they could become a great threat to democracy in the world. But because of these "scientists" and chauvinists and their refutation of any wrong-doing, it is necessary to preserve the narratives describing the lives and suffering of Estonians, and not only just for the Estonian people but for the future of history.
Having failed to subdue its small neighbour by military force, Soviet Russia finally recognised the independence of Estonia, and renounced forever all rights of sovereignty formerly held over its people and territory.
With great difficulty and in extremely challenging times, the people of Estonia could, at last, in 1918, declare their independence. However, this was not an easy task. Resistance was met from Russia, equally by the Russian nationalists as well as the Communists. Local Estonian Communists similarly resisted the idea of independence, those who were at the forefront of this were Viktor Kingissepp, Hans Poogelmann, Jaan Anvelt, Artur Vallner, Johannes Semper amongst many others. Even many nationally-orientated figures were questioning whether this step had been taken too early or not. Matters were made even more complicated in that at that time there were still large numbers of Russians and military officials in Estonia. On the other hand, Estonia was being threatened by Germany whose troops had already occupied the Estonian islands. It was clear that we hadn't been offered our freedom on a golden platter, it had to be fought for.
Secondly, factors were compounded to make worse, by the so-called federal winners of World War I who gave themselves the right to decide the fate of other countries. Freed from the Russian prison, the Baltic States, Poland and Finland met much resistance in gaining independence from England, France and Italy. All these States were eager to see Communism destroyed completely rather than there being a truce. The US played a rather ambiguous role, initially refusing to recognise the newly independent States. Only on the chessboard are pawns able to get the status of Queen! In real life, small States stay as pawns, which do not contribute much to the main game. A good overview of this process is given by the journalist and politician Eduard Laamann (who was executed by the Communists) in his book "Born of Estonian Independence", publisher "Faatum", Tallinn 1995.
Estonia declared its independence on February 24, 1918 and fought the War of Independence against Soviet Russia from November 1918 – February 1920. In 1920 the Estonian people had received their long-desired freedom. For the first time in history, after hard won battles against Russian and German troops, Estonians were at last able to establish an independent republic - the Estonian Republic. On the 2nd of February 1920, the Tartu Peace Treaty was signed between Estonia and the Russian SFSR and thus ended the Estonian War of Independence. The terms of the treaty stated that "Russia unreservedly recognizes" the independence of the Republic of Estonia de jure and renounced in perpetuity all rights of Russia to the territory of Estonia.
Nice words undoubtedly! No doubt on the paper and signed by many famous politicians too they looked very promising !
Signing the Tartu Peace treaty
But alas, as history shows, the promises given by Moscow cannot be taken as the truth.
In his speech on the 26th of January 1919 (ie, at the time when the peace condition document was almost at the point of being signed), Lenin said about the peace treatment:- "We do not want to shed the blood of the Red Army for this piece of land if this renouncement is not forever; Estonian workers will soon begin to understand their sneaky leaders who rob their Trade Unions and Killed 26 communists. They will soon lose their power and the Soviet Estonia will be established, which makes a new peace with us".
At the same time as the representatives of the communist Russia solemnly affirmed with their signatures that Russia had no claims against Estonia, the leader of the Soviet Union showed clearly that in his eyes the contract was only a negligible piece of paper. Unfortunately Lenin forgot how many dissidents were killed on his command, in the country led by him.
After signing, Soviet Russia failed to fulfil several points of the treaty, eg, the University of Tartu museum collections have not been returned to this day from Voronezh, and the migration of Estonians was obstructed. In Article II was written: "In consequence of the right of all peoples to self-determination, to the point of seceding completely from the State of which they form part, a right proclaimed by the Socialist and Federal Russian Republic of the Soviets, Russia unreservedly recognises the independence and sovereignty of the State of Estonia, and renounces voluntarily and for ever all sovereign rights possessed by Russia over the Estonian people and territory whether these rights be based on the juridical position that formerly existed in public law, or in the international treaties which, in the sense here indicated, lose their validity in future. Even though Estonia used to belong to Russia, Russia no longer has any jurisdiction over the Estonian people or land". ..
"The Treaty of Tartu in 1920 was to secure peace and the right to self-determination "forever". We have experienced the unimportance of all the contracts signed by Russia. The paper can be easily torn and the contract can be broken. Do not believe in a Communist, Russia or Putin today. I believe that the EV's management, led by Laidoner, Pats and others in 1939, were the right men in the right place, which the young republic was able to exhibit." Endel Pool, "Free Estonian Word" USA, 2007.
The current generation is not able to adequatley assess the leaders of the Republic of Estonia in 1939, but we can give an adequate assessment of the actions of the Soviet Union. Indeed, all of the Contracts, in which the Soviet Union was involved, have proved to be void. Let's remember: the Tartu Peace Treaty in 1920, Finland - the Soviet Union Co-operation Agreement in 1922, Finland and the Soviet Union non-agression pact in 1932 - Ribbentrop Pact in 1939, Mutual Assistance Treaty between Estonia and the Soviet Union, the Atlantic Charter, which was also signed by the Russians, and in fact as well as the Statute of the League of Nations, where one member was the Soviet Union from 1934 onwards. None of these agreements, as far as Moscow was concerned, were binding. Therefore how can we believe in any contract which the Russians have signed or will sign in the future? The Russians, however, have been quick to blame all but but themselves for infringements of contracts.
The Estonian historian, professor Edgar Mattisen wrote, probably in order to win his spurs, that "The Tartu Peace Treaty was the first step towards realizing the democratic and humanist peace program of the Great October revolution. It was the first experience of the peaceful coexistence of States with oppositional policy". (Edgar Mattisen, Tartu Peace Treaty, Tallinn 1989). The author continues: "The truth is that from the summer of 1919 when, during the class-struggle [sic] the origin of the Estonian Republic had become an historical reality. The Communists of Soviet Russia and Estonia, as well as the working class of both States, made Estonia's independence come to be approved internationally".
I wonder whether Mr Professor has forgotten the organized attempt of the rebellion in Estonia in December 1924 which was organized by local and illegal Russian Communist immigrants who were led from Moscow.
The only true fact in this story is that this was really the very first international treaty that Soviet Russia had ever signed with a foreign country! Until this time, this violently formed political outfit was not recognised by any State as a legitimate State. The author apparently forgets to mention that only 20 years later, the Soviet Union occupied independent Baltic States, bringing with it a real tyranny. In this case, the words 'democracy' and 'humanism' do not apply. The author, as usual only tries to show the Soviet Union as a good guardian of small States. Did the Great October's humanist and democratic peace program demand an attack on an independent country in 1918? As we know from history, the same Great October, after coming to power, carried out unprecedented terror in their own territory - in Russia. Thus the case is far from any democracy.
Much closer to the truth is the historian E Thomson, who said:- "The Soviet authorities signed a peace treaty with Estonia just to gain time to rescue its internal situation and to liquidate Estonia at the first available opportunity".
As we know from history, this was just the way things happened.
The fact that the reality was not so wonderful had to be recognized by, the previously mentioned, Professor Mattisen. Let us borrow his words again: "Even later still the governments of the Soviet Union and the Repoblic of Estonia signed bilateral or multilateral agreements ......, which is in conflict with the Tartu Peace Treaty .....". (The Mutual Assistance Agreement, as well as bringing in the Soviet Russian forces in 1939, seems to have been forgotten by the Professor) Edgar Mattisen has to confess: "It is true, as it later became known, that the Nazi German Foreign Minister Ribbentrop and the Foreign Minister of the USSR, V Molotov, signed the non-aggression pact on 23rd August 1939, ..... This agreement contained a secret protocol. On the basis of this secret protocol, military actions carried out by the Soviet Union in 1939 - 1949 against the Republic of Estonian and its inhabitants meant the violent violation of the Tartu Peace Treaty. However, describing this problem does not belong to this monograph."
Thus the absent-minded professor simply throws all of the responsibility onto the shoulders of the USSR Foreign Minister, Vyacheslav Molotov, or rather he Russificated Mordvinian Vyacheslav Scriabin's shoulders, as if he had been the director of the Soviet Russian policy!
Indeed, what the esteemed professor calls modestly and comfortably "a problem" does not belong in any logical plan. However, this "problem" dictated Estonia's life for the next 50 years.
The communists' policy didn't go against even V. Lenin who wrote:- "We cannot let principles hold us back in our struggle. We must be prepared to use any means: lies, illegal methods and shrewdness..... If workers and peasants will not accept Socialism, there is no need to use words in this case. We have to use violence instead..... If we in the name of the realization of Communism must execute 9 out of 10 of the population, then we will not hesitate to do this. It is better to exterminate 100 innocents than let 1 culprit escape. Violence is necessary and unavoidable!".
The communist repressive machine showed that it understood its leader's words perfectly. By the way, Lenin did not say anything new in terms of Russian chauvinism. The Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky wrote years before those events took place:- "If some people do not understand our way of life and do not want to live under this, then it must be made clear to them by force!".
Those Jesuitical slogans were not just empty words. A few people know that the inventor of the labour camps was V Lenin himself, who signed, on the 5th September 1918, a decree to establish a real red terror. According to this decree the first labour camps were built and millions of political prisoners from all over the Soviet Union territory were taken there.
Like the French bourgeois revolution (1789 - 1794) began to destroy primarily those people who saw through the real thoughts and intentions of the greedy-for-power leadership of the revolution, the new leaders of the Russian Socialist Revolution in their turn had to destroy the intelligentsia in Soviet Russia, so that mankind with less analytical skills would believe in the promises of slogans and exhortations. Such tactics have not disappeared even today, only the physical pressure is replaced by more refined methods.
Russian writer, Maxim Gorky, (pseudonym of Alexei Peshkov), who was from the beginning a staunch supporter of Communism, wrote in 1917 about Lenin "Lenin is a man of exceptional force, and he has all the necessary characteristics of a leader, but also the useful lack of morality and a merciless view of the autocrat on the lives of people".
Dmitri Volkogonov wrote in his book 'The Triumph and the Tragedy' about Lenin: "In particular his brutality was disgusting, mixed with incredible complacency interlocutor contempt and the degrading act of (I can not find another word) 'spitting in the face´, especially when this is done to dissenting people who disagree with him and when his opponent was weak and not inventive and offensive.... He was not ashamed to be in a dispute, not only arrogant and rude, but promised himself to show sharp aggression against his fellow man, which often became full name-calling. Therefore, as far as I can remember, Lenin had no close, intimate friends, nor friends of the heart. He had comrades who were adherents - yes, there were a lot of them, and they all adored him and forgave him all like teenage schoolgirls....".
Jossif Stalin in his turn formed a real religion from the Communist perception of the world, the god of which was he himself of course. As apostles there were every kind of bootlickers, among whom Stalin from time to time eliminated Judases. Unlike Christianity which threatens sinners with hell after their death, Stalin introduced non-conformers to hell on earth before their death.
"Comrade Stalin, having become general secretary, has unlimited authority concentrated in his hands, and I am not sure whether he will always be capable of using that authority with sufficient caution," Lenin wrote in his last letter known as the Lenin`s Testament : "Stalin is too rude and this defect, although quite tolerable in our midst and in dealing among us Communists, becomes intolerable in a general secretary. That is why I suggest the comrades think about a way of removing Stalin from that post and appointing another man in his stead who in all other respects differs from Comrade Stalin in having only one advantage, namely, that of being more tolerant, more loyal, more polite, and more considerate to the comrades, less capricious, etc."
Lenin also criticised Stalin for using coercion to force non-Russian republics to join the Soviet Union, saying he has behaved like a "vulgar Great-Russian bully."
"I think that Stalin's haste and his infatuation with pure administration, together with his spite against the notorious 'nationalist-socialism' played a fatal role here," Lenin wrote. "In politics spite generally plays the basest of roles."
However, the party took no action. Stalin remained as general secretary when Lenin died on 21 January 1924. Much has been debated about this issue: whether both Lenin and Stalin were communists in the true sense of the word, or whether communism was only convenient to them as a cover for their ambitions. No one can any longer analyze this. However, it is quite likely that the real purpose of these mass murderers was unlimited power over the entire world which fortunately was not reached.
A Criminal Agreement
Secret Additional Protocol
On the occasion of the signature of the Nonaggression Pact between the German Reich and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics the undersigned plenipotentiaries of each of the two parties discussed in strictly confidential conversations the question of the boundary of their respective spheres of influence in Eastern Europe. These conversations led to the following conclusions:
1. In the event of a territorial and political rearrangement in the areas belonging to the Baltic States (Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania), the northern boundary of Lithuania shall represent the boundary of the spheres of influence of Germany and the U.S.S.R. In this connection the interest of Lithuania in the Vilnius area is recognized by each party.
2. In the event of a territorial and political rearrangement of the areas belonging to the Polish state the spheres of influence of Germany and the U.S.S.R. shall be bounded approximately by the line of the rivers Narew, Vistula, and San.
The question of whether the interests of both parties make desirable the maintenance of an independent Polish state and how such a state should be bounded can only be definitely determined in the course of further political developments.
In any event both Governments will resolve this question by means of a friendly agreement.
3. With regard to Southeastern Europe attention is called by the Soviet side to its interest in Bessarabia. The German side declares its complete political disinterestedness in the areas.
4. This protocol shall be treated by both parties as strictly secret.
Moscow, August 23, 1939.
For the Government of the German Reich: v. Ribbentrop
Plenipotentiary of the Government of the U.S.S.R.: V. Molotov
In the second half of August 1939, the Soviet proposal of a contraction of the mutual non-aggression pact with regard to the Soviet project was sent from the Soviet leadership through the German Ambassador von Schulenberg to the leadership of Germany. This proposal was initiated by the leader of the Soviet Union, dictator Josef Stalin, whose purpose was to encourage the West to destroy each other and then, under the slogan of freeing European people from the capitalist slavery, attack immediately the European countries weakened by the war. This was in accordance with the ideas of Karl Marx about the world revolution which subordinates the whole Europe (and the whole world later)
Secondly, the agreement was to eliminate the zone of buffer States between Germany and the Soviet Union's borders, in order to later make it easier to attack Germany if it occupied Western Europe and then turned its back on the Soviet Union. A very characteristic action by the Soviet Union with regards to its policies.
Baltic Sates loose their independece
In contrast to the words of Professor Mattisen The Soviet Russia began to violate the Tartu Peace Treaty almost immediately after its signing. In December 1924 Moscow arranged an armed rebellion against the Estonian government which ended quickly because Estonian workers did not unite the rebels as Russia had hoped. Of course Russia denied its role in this, even though a substantial Russian military force was concentrated along the Estonian-Russian border on the eve of this event, just waiting for the phone call from the rebels. Moscow's hostile activity against Estonia and the Baltic States had reached its peak in 1939 when the Soviet Russia was already actively preparing for the Second World War.
The treaty lasted for only 20 years. In September 1939 the Soviet Union demanded of the Estonian Government to allow Soviet army troops onto the territory of the Estonian Republic.
Signing of the criminal Molotov-Ribentrop pact, 1939, Moscow - Red and Brown fascists form an unholy alliance ... .
In 1939 the foreign minister of the Soviet Union, Maxim Litvinov, whose actual name was Meir Henoch Wallach-Finkelstein (why were all the leading Soviet Union Communists ashamed of their Jewish background?) gave both the Estonian and Latvian ambassadors notes which stated:- "Maintaining the full independence of Estonia and Latvia is a priority of the Soviet Union. When Estonia or Latvia voluntarily or under the influence of external pressure enter into contracts leading to a loss of autonomy or independence or restrict the release of the third country in economic, political or other nature, or to a third country under the domination of the territory or in ports, it will be unacceptable to the Government of the Soviet Union ....... The Soviet Union cannot stand by and watch if a public or covert attempt has been made to destroy the independence of Estonia or Latvia". This is like a grandfather telling fairytales to his grandchildren. Litvinov's message did not even ask whether Estonia and Latvia want the protection of the Soviet Union. The Government of the Soviet Union simply took the right to decide whether the Baltic States' independence is 'weakened' or whether it is 'limited' as well as the right to intervene in these countries' home affairs. This 'hot' care of the Baltic States' independence was the reason why the Governments of those States were very worried. And, as it was later to be seen, quite rightly so.
Kirill the Conqueror. Commander of the Soviet Army Kirill Meretskov visiting Tallinn in 2nd of October 1939.
It was only a year since deceitful Bolshevik Russia had turned on its reluctant Baltic allies, cowardly breaking trust and abusing the treaty, which allowed the Reds to use of a few designated military bases in the Baltic States. It was from these bases that the coups d’etat were successfully launched against the legitimate democratic governments of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
18th of October 1939. Invaders arriving.
Crossing the Estonian border
The Red Army troops on their way to Paldiski (Estonia)
Following the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact pact of 1939, the Soviet Army entered military bases in the Baltic states which were granted after USSR had threatened the three countries with military invasion. In June 1940, the Red Army occupied the whole territory of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, and installed new, pro-Soviet governments in all three countries. Following rigged elections, in which only pro-communist candidates were allowed to run, the newly "elected" parliaments of the three countries formally applied to "join" the USSR in August 1940 and were annexed into it as the Estonian SSR, the Latvian SSR, and the Lithuanian SSR.
On June 14, the Soviet military blockade of Estonia went into effect while the world’s attention was focused on the fall of Paris to Nazi Germany. Two Soviet bombers downed a Finnish passenger airplane "Kaleva" flying from Tallinn to Helsinki carrying three diplomatic pouches from the U.S. legations in Tallinn, Riga and Helsinki.
On June 16, Soviet NKVD troops raided border posts in Estonia (along with Lithuania and Latvia). Soviet leader Joseph Stalin claimed that the 1939 mutual assistance treaties had been violated, and gave six hour ultimatums for new governments to be formed in each country, including lists of persons for cabinet posts provided by the Kremlin. The Estonian government decided, according to the Kellogg-Briand Pact, to not respond to the Soviet ultimatums by military means. Given the overwhelming Soviet force both on the borders and inside the country, the order was given not to resist, to avoid bloodshed and open war.
On June 17, the Red Army emerged from its military bases in Estonia and, aided by an additional 90,000 Soviet troops, took over the country, occupying the territories of the Republic of Estonia, and organizing and supporting communist demonstrations all over the country. Most of the Estonian Defence Forces and the Estonian Defence League surrendered according to the orders and were disarmed by the Red Army. Only the Estonian Independent Signal Battalion stationed at Raua Street in Tallinn showed resistance. As the Red Army brought in additional reinforcements supported by six armoured fighting vehicles, the battle lasted several hours until sundown. There was one dead, several wounded on the Estonian side and about 10 killed and more wounded on the Soviet side. Finally the military resistance was ended with negotiations and the Independent Signal Battalion surrendered and was disarmed.
By June 18, military operations of the occupation of the Baltic States were complete. Thereafter, state administrations were liquidated and replaced by Soviet cadres, followed by mass repression. The Time Magazine reported on June 24th, that "Half a million men and countless tanks" of the Soviet Red Army "moved to safeguard [Russia's] frontier against conquest-drunk Germany," one week before the Fall of France.
On June 21, 1940, the Soviet occupation of the Republic of Estonia was complete. That day, the President Konstantin Päts (deported to Ufa on July 30 and later arrested) was pressured into affirming the Andrei Zhdanov appointed puppet government of Johannes Vares, following the arrival of demonstrators accompanied by Red Army troops with armored vehicles to the Presidential palace. The Flag of Estonia was replaced with a Red flag on Pikk Hermann tower.
The Soviet control of the Baltic states was interrupted by Nazi German invasion of the region in 1941. The German occupation lasted until late 1944 (in Courland, until early 1945), when the countries were re-occupied by the Red Army. In all three countries, Baltic partisans, known colloquially as the Forest Brothers, Latvian national partisans, and Lithuanian partisans (1944–1953), waged unsuccessful guerrilla warfare against the Soviet occupation for the next eight years in a bid to regain their nations' independence.
Obligations under the Charter of the League of Nations.
The so-called Litvinov's definition of aggression which came into force in 1933 was signed by the Soviet Union, amongst other countries including Estonia (London 3rd July). It stated that:
The 'aggressor' is the State which a) first declares war or b) enters another country's territory without declaring war, or c) attacks its ships or aircraft, or d) blockades the ports or coasts, or e) supports armed forces which attack another territory. Part 3.2 makes it clear that the Soviet Union has been guilty of aggression in all of the above points. Important is the Convention Article 3 which says that aggression cannot be excused or justified by any political, military, economic or any other considerations. Annex of the Article 3 adds that aggression cannot justify the situation of the attacked country, such as its political, economic or social structure, or weaknesses in its governance or confusion due to strikes, revolution, civil war or counter-revolution. And finally, Article 3 prohibits any kind of aggression despite the international behaviour of the victim State including violation of the rights or interests of the aggressor State.
The Soviet Union broke all of these multilateral agreements, so that it can be assess only as the criminal aggressor.
Red Army is marching on the streets of Tallinn
The story of how this all began
In practice, Stalin started with Estonia, the smallest state with a population of 1,130,000. On September 23rd, the Soviets demanded the right to establish naval, military and air bases on Estonian territory. Foreign Minister Karl Selter was informed that Estonian neutrality constituted a danger to the Soviet Union, as the authorities had permitted a Polish submarine Orzel to escape from an Estonian port and sink a Soviet steamer near Leningrad (this was a fabrication). Estonia was thus forced to sign a “Treaty of Mutual Assistance”. Either that or face invasion by the Red Army, estimated at that time to be 3,000,000 strong. The Soviet government stationed 25,000 Red Army troops in Estonia at this time.
So on the 23rd of September 1939 the Estonian government signed this so-called Contract of Mutual Assistance. After doing so we practically were under the rule of Moscow although seemingly our independence carried on until the 21st of June 1940. On that day, in Tallinn, a coup d`ètat was realized which was led from Moscow. The Communist emissary, Andrei Zhdanov acted as leader of this farce.
Andrei Zhdanov(on the right) with Estonian communists greeting "freed Estonian people"
On July 14-15 rigged, extraordinary, single-party parliamentary elections were held where all but pro-Communist candidates were outlawed. The goal of occupation authorities was to maximize turnout to legitimize the new system, which included stamping passports in voting facilities for future identification of voting, along with a threat running in Estonia's main daily paper, the Rahva Hääl, that "It would be extremely unwise to shirk elections . . . Only people's enemies stay at home on election day." Each ballot carried only the Soviet-assigned candidate's name, with the only way to register opposition being to strike out that name on the ballot. According to official election results, the Communist "Union of the Estonian Working People" bloc won 92.8 % of the votes with 84.1 % of the population attending the elections. Time Magazine reported that, following the elections, tribunals were set up to try and punish "traitors to the people", which included opponents of Sovietization and those who did not vote for incorporation in the Soviet Union.
Elections were held under the watchful eyes of the Red Army
Once the elections were concluded, authorities which had previously denied any intention of setting up a Soviet regime, then openly spoke of Sovietization and incorporation into the Soviet Union. On July 21 the parliament (Riigikogu) proclaimed the formation of the Estonian SSR, and, despite the promises given before the election petitioned to join the Soviet Union on July 22. In response, the Estonian SSR was formally incorporated into the Soviet Union on August 6, 1940, and nominally became the 16th constituent republic of the USSR. (On July 16, 1956, the Karelo-Finnish SSR was demoted to the Karelian ASSR; from then on until 1991, the Estonian SSR was considered the 15th constituent republic.)
The Estonian legal government was replaced with a new one, obedient to Moscow. Although all members of this new government were Estonians, all this ceremony was illegal, because, according to the constitution of the Estonian Republic, only citizens of the Republic can replace the government. This was the end of the Estonian Republic. Our national habits and traditions were replaced too, which was unacceptable to the Estonian people. Although Communists worked hard to bring in the new ideology, the people did not accept this situation until the end of the Soviet Union. Only a small number of the fellow-runners found this to be appropriate for their plans. By the way, the same people greeted the restoration of the Republic in the same ecstatic manner in 1991. Changing colour seems to be natural for some people.
The government of the Estonian Republic have often been blamed for allowing Moscow to bring in their armed forces without a struggle. Of course it is would have been possible to organize a fight, but what would be the result? To those people I say let's think logically! The Soviet Union was not the same Russia against which Estonia fought in the War of Freedom 1918-1920. In those days the Russian army was weak and poorly armed, but not so in 1940. Those days were over. If our government had chosen to go down the route of an armed struggle, it is quite possible that there would no longer be an Estonian Republic nor indeed Estonians any more. It would have been easy for Moscow to destroy our nation just like they had done with many small nations before. No one in the world, no government anywhere, would not say a word against such an action, just as they had not said anything against the occupation of the Estonian Republic by the Soviet Union. Some historians now say that obviously Moscow was even waiting for a reason to act more strongly. We had to choose between the best of two bad choices, but as history shows, even the best choice was hell for thousands of Estonians.
The great countries' attitude to the situation well reflects the fact that the Prime Minister of Great Britain, Churchill, and President Roosevelt signed the Atlantic Declaration (Atlantic Charter) on the 14th August 1941 aboard the American warship USS Augusta near Newfoundland. This declaration in which they set out their aims to restore the rights of countries which had violently lost their independence, is a document known as one of the most important post-war aims. (Some historians like H V Morton, who was with Churchill's party, state that no signed version ever existed.)
The President of the United States of America and the Prime Minister, Mr. Churchill, representing His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom, being met together, deem it right to make known certain common principles in the national policies of their respective countries on which they base their hopes for a better future for the world.
First, their countries seek no aggrandizement, territorial or other;
Second, they desire to see no territorial changes that do not accord with the freely expressed wishes of the peoples concerned;
Third, they respect the right of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will live; and they wish to see sovereign rights and self government restored to those who have been forcibly deprived of them;
Fourth, they will endeavor, with due respect for their existing obligations, to further the enjoyment by all States, great or small, victor or vanquished, of access, on equal terms, to the trade and to the raw materials of the world which are needed for their economic prosperity;
Fifth, they desire to bring about the fullest collaboration between all nations in the economic field with the object of securing, for all, improved labor standards, economic advancement and social security;
Sixth, after the final destruction of the Nazi tyranny, they hope to see established a peace which will afford to all nations the means of dwelling in safety within their own boundaries, and which will afford assurance that all the men in all the lands may live out their lives in freedom from fear and want;
Seventh, such a peace should enable all men to traverse the high seas and oceans without hindrance;
Eighth, they believe that all of the nations of the world, for realistic as well as spiritual reasons must come to the abandonment of the use of force. Since no future peace can be maintained if land, sea or air armaments continue to be employed by nations which threaten, or may threaten, aggression outside of their frontiers, they believe, pending the establishment of a wider and permanent system of general security, that the disarmament of such nations is essential. They will likewise aid and encourage all other practicable measures which will lighten for peace-loving peoples the crushing burden of armaments.
Signed by: Franklin D. Roosevelt & Winston S. Churchill
If the world sometimes needs a lesson in how to conceal their real life intentions behind pretty words, then the aforementioned Atlantic Charter is a very good teaching model! None of the signers paid any attention to turn those nice words into reality. So why at all create such a spectacle? In fact the document was intended to reassure the public throughout the world but was not for implementation. True, some sources claim that actually the charter has never been signed at all, but it does not change the nature of the thing.
Later the US government repeatedly stated that they included Estonia in the Atlantic Charter agreement. The US did not interfere in any way when both leaders signed a subsequent agreement in Teheran November-December 1943 with Joseph Stalin, which automatically made the Baltic States part of the Soviet Union again. Roosevelt openly said to Stalin on the last day of the conference:- "If the Soviet troops should occupy the Baltic States, the US and Britain would not turn their backs on the Soviet Union". (Henry Kissinger "Diplomacy" page 501). The Baltic States were changed due to a small alteration of the political transaction between Roosevelt and Stalin.
During the Yalta Conference, Roosevelt, however, asked his partner in coalition, Joseph Stalin, a slightly awkward question about the status of the Baltic States in future:-
Roosevelt:- "In the United States a question might be raised concerning the inclusion of the Baltic Republics into the Soviet Union, and I assume that the world public opinion thinks that at some time in the future it will be necessary to publish the Baltic inhabitants' view on this matter. /----/ I personally have no doubt that the peoples of these countries will vote to join the Soviet Union as eagerly as they did in 1940". [!]
Stalin:- "Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia did not have autonomy before the revolution in Russia. The Tsar was at that time an ally of the United States and of England and no one doubted that those three Baltic States belonged to Russia, so why do you ask this question now?".
Roosevelt:- " /---/ I know that Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia were in the past, as well as recently, part of the Soviet Union and if the Russian army should return to these republics I am not going to go to war against the Soviet Union, but public opinion may require to know the opinion of the local people".
A little later Roosevelt said:- " I just have a hunch that Stalin is not that kind of a man. . . . I think that if I give him everything I possibly can and ask for nothing from him in return, noblesse oblige, he won't try to annex anything and will work with me for a world of democracy and peace.”
—Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1943
If, for instance, Ronald Reagan, who was known for his vehement anti-Communist nature, had sat at the conference table instead of the too gullible Roosevelt, then the agreement would have undoubtedly been very different. Reagan knew that the Russians could not be trusted. Unfortunately neither in politics nor in daily life "could be' does not mean a thing. Churchill demanded weapons to be turned against the Soviet Union, but Roosevelt trusted in Russia so much that he gave the Baltic States into the wilful hands of this barbarous State. And yet, the US never recognised the incorporation of the Baltic States. What a contradiction in words and deeds! Later, on the 8th March 1983, Ronald Reagan said, naming the Soviet Union the evil empire:- "I believe that Communism is yet another sad and absurd chapter in human history, the last few pages of which are already completed." Prophetic prediction, but at that time, during the Yalta Conference, allies were fighting apparently against a common enemy, which, however, did not prevent the Soviet Union consistently throwing at their allies these defamatory statements Heinar, have I got this bit right? If not I can change it. All Stalin needed was someone to do the dirty job for him. As Estonians say about this kind of an act:- "Eats and denies!".
Although the United States and the United Kingdom, the allies of the USSR against Nazi Germany during World War II, recognized the occupation of the Republic of Estonia by USSR at Yalta Conference in 1945 de facto, the governments of the rest of the western democracies did not recognize it de jure according to the Sumner Welles' declaration of July 23, 1940 Some of these countries recognized Estonian diplomats who still functioned in many countries in the name of their former governments. These consuls persisted in this anomalous situation until the ultimate restoration of Estonia's independence in 1991.
The Russian government and officials maintain that the Soviet annexation of Estonia was legitimate
* * *
The night on the 14 June 1941 was by no means extraordinary: as usual, the killer-squads of the invaders, aided and abetted by the homegrown communist and plain criminal scoundrels, were going about their usual business of murder, pillage and rape. It was a time for traitors of all kinds to exercise their basest instincts. Soulless piranhas and heartless vampires, they tore the flesh and drank the blood of the countries that gave refuge and nurtured them.
Little did the Estonians know, as they slept, that for many of them, this was to be the last night they would enjoy on this Earth; for in the dreary corridors of the Kremlin, the 14th day of June was planned to be the culmination of the Russian atrocities in that country.
In June 1941 more than 10,000 inhabitants of Estonia were deported to Russia. 36-38% of them were underage (under 17 years old) of which 100 were less than 1 year old. Even more seriously, the ill and the old were sent to Russia without any qualms. According to the order given by Moscow on the 13th of June 1941, the number of people who had to leave their homes was 11,102. Some of them however could escape deportation. 3,173 men were arrested and sent to several camps, 5,978 women and young boys were deported. About 6,000 died somewhere in Russia. WWII stopped Moscow's plans to deport about 700,000 Estonian inhabitants to North Russia and Siberia.
During the first year of Soviet occupation (1940–1941) over 8,000 people, including most of the country's leading politicians and military officers, were arrested. About 2,200 of the arrested were executed in Estonia, while most others were moved to prison camps in Russia, from where very few were later able to return.
On July 19, 1940, the Commander-in-chief of the Estonian Army Johan Laidoner was captured by the NKVD and deported together with his wife to Penza, RSFSR. Laidoner died in the Vladimir Prison Camp, Russia on March 13, 1953. The President of Estonia, Konstantin Päts was arrested and deported to Ufa on July 30. He died in a psychiatric hospital in Kalinin (currently Tver) in Russia in 1956.
800 Estonian officers, about half of the total, were executed, arrested or starved to death in prison camps.
Between July and October 1941 179 individuals were killed in island Saaremaa and a hundred went missing. The first Russian occupation of Saaremaa ended by mid-October 1941 when German troops kicked out the last remaining Russian forces.
In all it is estimated that some 2,500 people were murdered by the communist regime in Estonia during the first Soviet occupation. The official list of murdered people contains 199 individuals, of which 35 were so badly mutilated that even their gender couldn't be established.
On top of that approximately 10,000 people were deported to Siberia in 1941, including nearly 3,000 children below the age of 14! Many of the deportees never returned.
Photo of the memorial to the 90 victims of the massacre perpetrated by Soviet troops on civilians in Kuressaare in September 1941. The list of victims consists mostly the local farmers, fishermen, school teachers and housewives. Russian soldiers tortured and murdered their victims in and around the castle. Bodies of women were found with barbed wire tied around their breasts. Three bodies were found in the castle well.
A total of 59,732 people is estimated to have been deported from Estonia during the period between July 1940 and June 1941. This included 8 former heads of state and 38 ministers from Estonia, 3 former heads of state and 15 ministers from Latvia, and the then president, 5 prime ministers and 24 other ministers from Lithuania.
The chilling statistics reveal that one third of those deported - the children and the elderly - died en route. Most of the rest died later. The Russo-fascist plan was a simple one – the original populace out, the Russian colonists in. Possibly, there was also a racist element to these plans – some of the deportees were not killed but dumped among the aboriginal Siberian tribes-people in order to europeanise the territory. The hatred and contempt the Russians, who themselves are part-Asian, feel towards the indigenous Asian minorities of the empire is legendary.
There were other deportation dates, however the 14th June was chosen to be an official day of mourning in Estonia and other Baltic states: all the flags are flying at half mast and have an added black ribbon as a sign of remembrance for the one third of the nation lost in WW2.
* * *
I do not hate Russian people, but I do not feel much sympathy for the Russian government who has never confessed that they have perpetrated any crimes against humanity.
Whilst speaking about the Soviet Union occupation in Estonia, we must not keep quiet about the most tragic events in the history of the Estonian nation. Two evil-sounding dates:- 14th of June 1941 and the 25th March 1949 determined the future of tens of thousands of Estonians. To some of whom this was final, to others this was a temporary removal but with long-lasting and life-changing results. Hundreds of cattle trucks took obedient, innocent people far from their homes. Some people were given a new living place in the Kirov district, but many of them continued their enforced journey to the endless vastness of Siberia. There were only a few of them who were able to return to their homes many years later.
The 14th of June 1941 was one of the most horrendous periods in Estonian history. According to the plan worked out in Moscow, the major part of the Estonian intellectuals and its politicians were to be exterminated, just like when Lenin, in the beginning of his cruel dictatorship destroyed the Russian dissidents, Stalin went on with his policies in occupied countries. Even distinguished people of the Baltic countries were deported to Siberia, and they had no prospect of returning. Fast frontal attacks by German troops stopped, temporarily, the execution of this plan.
Is this child an enemy too?
A cattle car is ready to leave Estonia
All the families of the arrested and executed could not be deported before the war. Deportation continued again just after the war. Already on 15 Aug. 1945 mass deportation of Germans belonging to the 6th category according to the joint decision of the party and the government took place. Jehova’s witnesses as members of active counterrevolutionary organisations and their family members were to be arrested and deported according to the joint decision as 1st and 5th category. Imprisonment of individual Jehova’s witnesses took place in 1948 – 1950 61 people were imprisoned on 13 Feb. 1951 and mass deportation of family members and individuals took place on 1 April 1951. Deportation of the families and family groups of the political “criminals” took place continually during the interim years from 1945 until 1953. The invalidation time of the joint decision of the USSR CP of 14 May 1941 is not known.
* * *
To eradicate the guerrillas', `forest brothers` main supply base as well as the staunchest pillar of Estonian national identity still intact — peasant smallholders — another mass deportation was carried out in 1949. In the period 1940-49 as a whole, Estonia lost almost one fifth of its population through killing, deportation and flight to exile.
On the night of the 25th of March 1949 the local communists and soldiers of the Soviet Union permanently devastated the lives of thousands of Estonian families. Knocks on the doors with fists at 2 o'clock in the morning announced the end of normal life for more than 20,000 human beings, for a lot of them the end of their lives.
Locked doors were to be smashed in and protesting neighbors dispersed. Transported in carts or trucks to the nearest railway station, the prisoners' departure was to be rigorously guarded by NKVD troops. At the station the head of each family was to be skillfully separated from his wife and children, and loaded into a separate truck.
I have already mentioned about the system of arresting people. This usually happened early in the morning, when the human being's mental resistance is at its lowest. On the lorry would be three or four armed Soviet soldiers and an officer. As they were Russians, and therefore did not speak any Estonian, there was always a local Communist with them in the lorry. The family would be awoken in a very rough way and members of the family separated and ordered not to speak, nor to even look at each other. After a search the family was told that they will be deported as enemies of the working people to the furthest districts of the Soviet Union. They were given half an hour or a little more to pack depending on the officer's 'humanity'. They were allowed to take some luggage with them, then they must leave their homes and all their belongings. The door was sealed up, and, for many people, this was the last time they saw their homes.
What were the reasons for deportation? Actually there were as many reasons as there were people in Estonia. Everyone could be charged and deported if not executed. Shootings were not rare. Hundreds of victims were shut in a terrifying place - in the cellar of the Pagari (Baker) Street.
Pagari street. The cellars had no windows.
People, who belonged to deportees:
1. members of political parties, economic associations and cultural societies
2. all officials, judges, army and police officers of the previous government
3. people, who had taken part of the war in 1918 - 1920 against the bolsheviks
4. former Communist Party members who were expelled or left the party themselves
5. all migrants
6. people, who had served in the former foreign embassies and representatives of foreign companies
7. people who had had correspondence with the foreign countries, such as the esperantists and philatelists
8. relatives of political emigrants
9. pastors and active members of the religious associations
10. landowners, industrialists and businessmen, bankers and restaurateurs
11. Farmers, who had used (even temporarly) hired workers
The deportation lists were drawn up with the help of local stooges; it didn’t take much to be ‘honoured’ by being included: all you had to do was to be successful. If you were a businessman, a shopkeeper, a well-to-do farmer, a proud owner of a pharmacy or a bakery, a writer, an officer, or a teacher, your name would have been there. In other words the criminal regime in Moscow desired to remove the genetic elite of the captive nation, to destroy the best and the most able. Tens of thousands of Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians were roused from their beds that night, herded into the cattle trucks and taken to the Arctic wastes of Siberia for extermination.
This was not the cruelest way to execute people, in the town of Tartu for example 19 men were thrown alive into a deep well - a well-known Estonian writer was amongst the victims.
Deported people in Baltic states 1949:
echelons families men women children in all
Estonia 19 7471 4566 9866 6048 20 480
Latvia 33 14 173 11 135 19 535 11 038 41 708
Lithuania 24 8985 8929 11 287 8440 28 656
in all 76 30 629 24 630 40 688 25 526 90 844
Immediately upon their release from forced settlement the deportees of June’41 met with new problems. The most essential one was to get the permission to go back to Estonia and settle where one had lived before, i.e. to receive the new residence permit stamp in the passport. Release without it for some people lasted even up to 1989. In addition to this, former deportees and released political prisoners, in accordance with official regulations of both central and local authorities, encountered special treatment at places of work and in educational establishments. One had to fill large questionnaires on repeated occasions, procure personal characteristics, and write autobiographies. There were enforced bans concerning places of residence and work, fields of education, border zones and large cities, foreign trips, etc. Special approach was implemented when one was in queue to receive a flat, purchase a car or get a voucher for a rest-home, while serving in the army, etc. For them, this was perceived as repressions of the second degree. Albeit they were at home again, but mostly they had no safe home. At their home farms, houses, former flats now as a rule lived influential strangers.
Repressions of the third degree, which started later but for many are present even now, are obstacles (all too often even taunting) in connection with getting back our confiscated property.
With the establishment of Estonian Association of Illegally Repressed Persons “Memento” in Tallinn’s City Hall 25.03.1989, the 40th anniversary of March’49 deportations, Memento branches began to be established in all rural districts. In larger cities next to the Memento associations emerged also other organisations of repressed persons (Former Political Prisoners, Freedom Fighters, Finnish Boys, etc.) as it was necessary due to the large numbers of members. They began publicly defending the interests of former repressed persons and supporting the independence movement. Demands were voiced for return of confiscated property, financial support and compensation for years of illegally imposed forced labour, etc. Now, 10 years later, Estonian Republic is acknowledged by Europe, and yet their demands have changed very little. Despite difficulties, organisation of former repressed persons became a massive and determined force that helped shape Estonian Republic that is independent from Russia.
* * *
Another tragic chapter in the history of the Soviet Union was the collectivisation of the agricultural industry. The Communists almost destroyed the agricultural industry, starting with the compulsory collectivisation in 1929 which led to the deaths of 6 million people. This number includes the deaths of opposers to this policy as well as the peasants and their families who died of starvation. The result of this operation resulted in the catastrophic decline of agricultural output.
The Soviet 1940 occupation of Estonia decimated the local economy, as Moscow began nationalizing private industries and collectivizing smallholding farms.
After re-occupation, the Soviet nationalization policy of 1940 was reimposed, as well as the collectivization of farms. Over 900,000 hectares were expropriated in the few years following reoccupation, while much of that land was given to new settlers from Russia or other locations in the Soviet Union. Rapid collectivization began in 1946, followed in 1947 by a crackdown against kulak (fist - in Russian) farmers. The kulak repression started as oppressive taxation, but eventually led to mass deportations. Those who resisted collectivization were killed or deported. More than 95% of farms were collectivized by 1951.
By the spring of 1947, land reform had been carried out, in its course most of the land of the big land owners were divided among farmers with little or no land at all, some of it was kept as reserve land. In the general sense, this reform had a devastating effect, as the activities of the successful farms were hindered, and often, small farms were not that profitable. Agricultural development was halted even further after extremely high taxes were imposed on the so called kulak ("fist" in Russian) farms on August 30, 1947. There were around 2700 such households in Estonia.
In 1948, taxes that were collected from kulaks surpassed their income, at the same time they were not allowed to join a collective farm. Thus, great number of families were forced to give up farming.
The establishment of collective farms in Estonia started immediately after the occupation in 1940. The first known kolkhoz (collective farm) was formed on the 22nd September 1940. The key period of the establishment of collective farms was from 1949 to 1952. The latter period was preceded by the largest wave of deportations in the Baltic States, which speeded up the decision of the people who were afraid to take up collective farming. For those who escaped deportation and who preferred to maintain their free status as producers, they were taxed, to begin with, on 40% of their total production, and later this exceeded 75%. Naturally under such conditions it was impossible to continue with their private farms.
The first years of the kolkhozes were very difficult ones. Our peasants belonged to the many generations of farmers going back hundreds of years, but now all the decisions and orders came from the Party. The Chairmen of the collective farms, appointed by the Party, may have known Lenin's immortal essay off by heart, but knew very little about agriculture. Those Chairmen didn't take into account the weather conditions even if they knew how to, and they had to follow the directives from above which did not even take into account the geographical position of the Republics. The Party in its turn did not take into account that Estonia was situated much further north than Lithuania. Sowing and planting had to be done in all the Baltic countries at the same time. Since the Party commands could not be ignored, it often happened that crops had to be sown on snow and harvested whether they were ready or not!
In particular, the year of 1953 turned out to be catastrophic, when cows were kept on their feet with ropes hanging from the ceiling since there was no feed left. Pupils and students were sent to the forest to gather branches of pines in order to feed the cows. I remember the articles and pictures in the newspapers:- "Students gathering green fodder rich with vitamins". The only ones who reacted as it was expected were the cows who refused to eat this kind of 'green fodder'.
During the early years the first people working in those kolkhozes did not get paid, but only received a handful of grain per working day. They could survive only with the help of Estonian diligence which allowed 0.6 hectares of private farmland. Later, when the Party's bosses understood at last that to manage agriculture successfully, different leaders were needed. The Chairmen were replaced with people who had been farmers all their lives. After that the situation became easier. Some of Estonian kolkhozes became even quite rich.