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It reminds me of Stalin It reminds me of Stalin
by Thanos Kalamidas
2007-04-29 10:35:35
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On my first visit to Estonia I visited a habitat museum where you could see buildings and houses through Estonian history. It was very nicely made in a beautiful park that gave you the chance to enjoy the green nature. In the very same museum and on some of the houses there were some small photographs with pictures of victims from the Soviet regime. I don’t know what it was, but one of the photos caught my attention. It was a 19th century style photo with the landowner, his workers and his family.

In our company we had a local friend with an excellent knowledge of Estonian history who explained to me that this was a local squire with his family. Funny how these photos of the early 1900s look, but the man looked somehow …evil and mean, which may be why it attracted my attention, my curiosity and naturally questions.

I found out that despite the heroism of the certain person in the last century that mainly because of his resistance to the Bolsheviks and Lenin’s army it resulted in his and his family’s death. The man was not an angel; on the contrary, he was a very hard man responsible for a lot of crimes, including violence, sex crimes and anything you can imagine with the locals and his workers. Actually, the man was a real tyrant who, under different circumstances, should have been charged for major crimes in front of a court.

I don’t remember the name of the man and unfortunately I lost my friend a long time ago, but the conversation we had about this ‘hero’ is something I cannot forget and the memory forced me back to what’s going on lately in many of the former Soviet states, now independent countries and most of them full members of the EU.

The Estonian authorities are removing a Red Army war memorial from Tallinn, the Estonian capital, and in Poland the twin brothers that rule the country expect everybody to sign a paper that says that they had nothing to do with the Communist ruling regime. In any case, any former relationship with the old regime can cost them their job and in extent their status and life. Already there is a suicide and a few high status officials refusing to sign.

So, these two modern states, full members of the most credible democratic institution, the united Europe are building their future with intolerance? Is this how they understand democracy?

In the case of Estonia the officials in the anti-Communist menace they are missing the point. The Red Army was not just Stalin or thousands of little Stalins. They were thousands and thousands of men and women that defended their country from the Nazis. Would they have liked it more if the Nazis had succeeded in their aim to occupy the whole of Europe?

Actually, and that’s very remarkable, all the Nazi movements seem to flourish in these former Soviet states endangering the whole of our European future. Already a lot of groups in Estonia organize events to celebrate collaborators of the Nazis. Is this what they consider democracy? Furthermore, were these countries ready to join EU if their tolerance finishes in speeches for their European partners but in their own countries they can show no tolerance even to their own history?

What happens at this moment in Poland is on the limits of a dictatorship. Only Stalin and Hitler demanded total abeyance and having it written and signed. Is this the democracy the people of Poland and Estonia dreamed for their future? A democracy that doesn’t know who to protect and forgive but is full of revenge and thirsty for blood? Doesn’t that remind them of the regime they are trying so hard to forget?

Are they ready for what’s coming next? As Karl Marx said, it is natural that action will bring reaction. And as harder is the action so harder will be the reaction.

    
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