2007Deutsche Welle, unattributed
Putin Accuses Europe of Ignoring Nazism in the BalticsIn a speech to the European Jewish Congress on Wednesday, Oct. 10, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he is dismayed by Estonia and Latvia's glorification of Nazism. Europe needs to take notice, Putin said.
escalated in April in Tallinn
of Russian minorities
Putin's anti-Baltic agenda, particularly coming on the heels of the Bronze Soldier incident needs no examination. We are only surprised that the European Jewish Congress chose to convene in Moscow and invite Putin to speak, given that there had already been public concerns for a number of years over the rise of Russian fascism.
Regarding alleged Estonian war criminals, only one case was open at the time, against Mikhail Gorshkow; Estonian authorities eventually closed it as a case of mistaken identity. U.S. and Russian authorities and the Wiesenthal Centre all denounced that closure. However, it is quite possible the Estonian investigation is correct, as the most visible case brought against an alleged Latvian war criminal, Vilis Hāzners (head of the former Legionnaire's welfare organization), was rife with misidentification and coached "eye-witnesses" who placed the accused where he could not have been and wearing a military rank he attained only at the end of the war. When it comes to alleged Eastern European Nazi collaborators, the meme is that there was overwhelming support on the part of the local populace, seething with centuries-old virulent anti-Semitism, who embraced the Nazis and the opportunity to finally rid themselves of Jewry. Therefore anyone accused of being a Nazi and murdering Jews is automatically declared guilty. However, as the eminent Holocaust scholar Andrew Ezergailis has pointed out:
- "The population of Eastern Europe was too diverse to reach a consensus on the killing of the Jews. Humanity does not think by boilerplate. ...
- "There is no reason to take Nazi prognostications about East Europeans as if they were the only true things that the Nazis proclaimed."
European Jewish Congress
As already mentioned, Moscow was a curious destination to meet given Russia's already poor human rights record. We wondered if there was some mutual sharing of perspective with regards to Latvia and the Latvian Legion. Browsing their web site, www.eurojewcong.org, we found this news snippet:
Latvian nursery school posts "No Jews" sign
A German-language sign saying a nursery school was “Jew free” was placed at the entrance to the school. The posting of the sign, which reads “Judenfrei,” was revealed Monday by the Latvian daily Vesti Segodniya. The paper published a photo of the sign on the fence of the Pucite (“Owlet”) private school. The establishment is owned by Imants Paradnieks, an ultra-nationalist Latvian MP. On Tuesday, Twitter users confronted him to ask whether the sign was genuine or just “a provocation.” He provided no reply, but wrote: “The Kremlin is full of jackals.” The Riga-based school has a history involving Nazi sympathies. In 2012, Pucite hosted two men dressed in Waffen SS uniform, who held what they defined as “a lesson of patriotic upbringing” for the kindergarten department of the school. On its website, Pucite is described as a school based on “the Latvian national culture, Latvian wisdom and view of the world – where all children learn through play and hands-on experiences.” Click here to read the full article at The Forward
Monday, May 12, 2014.
This appears little more than a transparent attempt to foment outrage against Latvians, imagine, already Nazifying their children in nursery school.
- While the article indicates the "Judenfrei" sign was placed at the entrance, the headline accuses the nursery school itself of posting the sign.
- Clearly, Parādnieks did not post the sign. And how can he have not replied to inquiries when he wrote in reply that "The Kremlin is full of jackals." Parādnieks obviously holds Putin's provocateurs responsible.
- "History of Nazi sympathies" brands Latvian nationalism as Nazism. It is well established that no one has ever been accused of a war crime while serving in the Latvian Legion and that its members only hope—regardless of the vast majority being forcibly conscripted—was the restoration of Latvia's independence. Moreover, the majority looked upon the Legion as the progenitor of a restored Latvia's future army. Showing up in a uniform teaches history, not politics, and certainly not Nazism.
- The juxtaposition of Pucīte's mission of teaching Latvian values after denouncing it for inculcating Nazism speaks to the reporter's, not Parādnieks', bias.
The original source, The Forward, includes the following in its self-description: "The Forward delivers incisive coverage of the issues, ideas and institutions that matter to American Jews. Its rigorous reporting and balanced commentary [our emphasis—Editor] on politics, arts and culture have won numerous awards year after year, including repeated recognition by the Society of Professional Journalists."
|DW report published at www.dw.de/putin-accuses-europe-of-ignoring-nazism-in-the-baltics/a-2817872, retrieved 11 June 2015.|
|June 28th. The first public execution of Jews in Kaunas, in the Lietukis garage in the Vytauto street. Over forty Jews are beaten with shovels and with iron bars until they become unconscious. Then cold water is thrown on them and they are again (beaten), but this time they are beaten to death. A political prisoner released from prison by the insurgents seated himself on top of the heap of dead bodies and began to play a polonaise on the Harmonica. —in some cases, it is the Lithuanian anthem which is played. This is only one of many Nazi-originated accounts designed to project the illusion of a Germanless Holocaust.|
|"Neighbors" Didn't Kill Jews, retrieved 12-June-2015|
|Latvian nursery school posts "No Jews" sign retrieved 12-June-2015.|
|Original article retrieved 11-June-2015.|
Updated: May, 2017