Only Half of the Guilt
BERLIN/RIGA/VILNIUS Berlin's foreign policy pursues its revisionist offensive against the legitimacy of key agreements between the WW II allied powers and the Baltic states. After influential foreign policy officials rushed ahead in the international press and declared that the liberation from national socialism in the Baltic states was replaced ,,immediately by a new occupation (...) suppression and lack of freedom,"the presidents of Estonia and Lithuania refused to participate in Moscow's anniversary observance on May 9. For a number of years, the assault on the European postwar order (the Yalta Treaty) has been advanced accordingly by German foreign policy officials. Meanwhile, the former Lithuanian president, Landsbergis, declared in the German press that ,,Russia as represented by the Soviet Union"had ,,caused"WW II. Next week, Latvian organizations will celebrate, with official permission, the day on which the Latvian ,,Waffen SS"(armed storm troopers) had been established.
Lack of Freedom
Foreign policy officials Markus Meckel (SPD) and Matthias Wissmann (CDU) stated in an article that on the anniversary of liberation from National Socialist Fascism: ,,It cannot be ignored that after the defeat of National Socialism the populations of the Soviet Union and half of Europe were forced to endure oppression and lack of freedom under the yoke of Communism." 1)The text, appearing simultaneously on March 5, in prominent German, Austrian, French, Polish, Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian dailies as well as in the ,,International Herald Tribune,"states that ,,only after the fall of the Soviet Union"did the Baltic states escape ,,occupation and lack of freedom."Three days later, the presidents of Estonia and Lithuania announced that they would not participate in the Moscow observance on May 9. Latvia's president, who will be present under protest during the memorial celebrations in the Russian capital, explained that the end of WW II ,,had brought the brutal occupation by another totalitarian power, namely the Soviet Union." 2)
In the meantime, former president and current European parliamentarian, Vytautas Landsbergis, writes in the German daily Die Weltthat ,,Russia as the Soviet Union"had been the ,,cause"of WW II. Although Moscow did not start the war by itself but ,,in concert with Hitler"its ,,responsibility"is ,,undeniable." 3)Landsbergis alleges that ,,the death sentences and tortures, which affected almost complete nations and millions of persons, now are (...) to be loudly celebrated in Moscow."In 2000 he introduced an initiative in the Lithuanian parliament, requiring the same status to Lithuania's declaration of independence on June 23, 1941 as the corresponding declarations of 1918 and 1990. 4)In June of 1941, Lithuanian Nazi collaborators had greeted the advancing German army with great enthusiasm and had proclaimed independent statehood. During the pogroms and eventual mass murders the Germans, assisted by Lithuanian collaborators, killed approximately 90 percent of the Jewish population.
The current ventures in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have been backed by preparations of German foreign policy officials. Thus, Markus Meckel, SPD member of parliament declared on May 10, 2004 during the opening of an exhibition of the Latvian Museum of Occupation in Berlin's House of Parliament, that Latvia had ended up ,,between the mills of the two great dictatorships of the 20th century"during WW II. 5) ,,That German troops had been viewed as liberators by many Latvians"was due to the Soviet ,,terror."For years, Meckel has denied the legitimacy of the allied agreements (Yalta, Potsdam) which, after liberation from Nazi Germany and its collaborators, served the European new order. Recently, he repeatedly insisted before a committee of the European parliament that the agreed upon resettlements were unjust, stating: ,,Even democrats like Churchill and Roosevelt accepted that political stability would be created with ethnic homogenization, currently this is rejected by the international community."
Day of Commemoration
Meanwhile Latvian organizations planned to celebrate, with a permit issued by the state, the day commemorating the establishment of the Latvian SS. Similar applications for permits were approved by the municipal governments of the capital of Riga, as well as in Liepaja, the third largest city of the nation. 6)In 1998 the Latvian authorities had declared that day as the official ,,Day of the Soldier."However, two years later they had to withdraw their venture due to international pressure. Approximately 100,000 Latvians fought, alongside the German army against the Soviet Union during WW II. Germans and their Latvian collaborators murdered approximately 70,000 Latvian Jews.
1) Brüssel vor Moskau; Die Welt 05.03.2005
2) Moskaus Einladung entzweit Osteuropäer; Handelsblatt 10.03.2005
3) Zu Siegesfeiern nach Moskau?; Die Welt 04.03.2005
4) In alter Tradition; www.vvn-bda.de/_bund/sehen9.htm
5) Rede anlässlich der Eröffnung der Ausstellung des Lettischen Okkupationsmuseums im Abgeordnetenhaus Berlin; 10. Mai 2004, Markus Meckel MdB
6) Rigaer Stadtparlament gestattete Marsch früherer SS-Legionäre; RIA Nowosti 03.03.2005. See also Heroes
see also Total Revision, Potsdam and Versaillesand Disputing Yalta