Scott and Jon Lee AndersonInside the League: The Shocking Exposé of How Terrorists, Nazis, and Latin American Death Squads Have Infiltrated the World Anti-Communist League

Assessment | Chewing the Nazi Allegations Cud

Hopefully, the rest of the Andersons' work is more factual. As we mentioned at the outset, our only focus here is the portrayal of the émigré Latvian community and its leadership, particularly those who served in the Latvian Legion.

At best, the Andersons' contentions regarding alleged Latvian Nazis[1] cobbles together a cud-chewing re-mastication of contemporaneous accusations, including the as preposterous as it is both popular and prejudiced contention of a Germanless Holocaust.

Focusing on the Latvian Legion veterans and their post-war Daugavas Vanagi organization, they can't even correctly spell its name in their denouncements. They call the true assertion the Nazis imprisoned a prominent Latvian in a concentration camp a lie—because they confuse identities. They call Daugavas Vanagi a den of "war criminals," but provide no basis for their statement. In an otherwise copiously footnoted book, there is not a single citation for the accusations they level against Latvians.

Which begs the question: what was the Andersons' purpose in writing this book? If they had given the same care to their skewering of anti-Communists as Jon Lee Anderson devoted to his subsequent biography of Che Guevara[2], extensively interviewing relatives and compatriots, they would have surely produced a far more nuanced and informed work. Cold War "anti-Communism" was an amalgam opposing Eastern European[3] Soviet occupation and Soviet-supported expansionism elsewhere irrespective of legitimate indigenous grievances regarding social injustices. Rather than examine the complex dynamic which united former oppressors and oppressed in a common cause, the authors have declared anti-Communists—Latvians included—a menace to society.

Russia's invasion and annexation of Crimea and continuing aggression in eastern Ukraine (2016) have validated the Anti-Bolshevik Bloc of Nations' Ukrainian founders' worst fears. Lies, murder, and territorial aggression have survived beyond the Soviet era, proving that whatever the Russian regimetsarist, Soviet, "democratic"—Russia's geopolitical intent regarding its neighbours remains immutable.—Editor

The Andersons fail basic fact checking catastrophically in their exposé of Latvian anti-Communists: misspellings; unattributed, false allegations of war crimes; mistaking identities and calling someone's imprisonment in a Nazi concentration camp a lie.
Zero starsRegarding Latvian conduct during WWII and post-war anti-Soviet activities, ignorance is an improvement.

[1]No Latvian was ever a member of the Nazi party.
[2]Che Guevara: A Revolutionary Life (1997)
[3]"Eastern Europe" and the three "Baltic States" are post-WWII artefacts. The historical configuration of Europe has been western (Germans and westward), central (peoples and their territories between the Germans and Russians), with eastern being "European Russia" aka "Russia in Europe," i.e., Russia west of the Urals continental divide from Asia. Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania became a unified entity as the "Baltic States" during occupation; prior, as the former Russian Baltic provinces, that term had included Finland. Although the Lithuanians and Latvians are sister peoples, historical identities and experiences diverge: Lithuania following Poland, Estonia and Latvia following Germany and Sweden prior to Russia. With the advent of the European Union, maps now frequently omit the eastern third of the European continent altogether.
Latvia in the middle of historical Europe, highlight centered on its capital, Rīga. From A general descriptive Atlas of the Earth, containing separate maps of the various countries and states ... with a short account of each country, by William Mullinger Higgins, 1836.

Updated: May, 2017

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