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Soviet war monuments in Poland - what to do about them?


rattur  
28 Apr 2007 /  #1
Estonia removed "the bronze soldier monument" in Tallinn some days back and got a lot of riots instead.

What do you think about it?

How do you look at your soviet war monuments in Poland?

/citizen of Tallinn/
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,163  
28 Apr 2007 /  #2
All the Lenins were removed long time ago, "victory monuments" are often still standing and If local communities want to remove them then of course they should do It, but there shouldn't be any government's policy against these monuments.

For Poland Soviet liberation was rather "liberation", but Germans were butchering Poles in millions, so after all Sovets were "lesser evil". In Estonia or Latvia It's rather the other way around.
ella - | 46  
28 Apr 2007 /  #3
so after all Sovets were "lesser evil

that's absolutely not true Grzegorz, I'd say Russians were more evil
polishcanuck 7 | 462  
28 Apr 2007 /  #4
huh? How so?
Germans were trying to exterminate poles/jews. If i remember correctly, poles were to be worked to death by 1975. Russians were just suppressing poles/jews, they did not have an extermination policy. Therefore they were "less evil."

edit: oops, unless you are talking about latvia...
Casimir 2 | 45  
28 Apr 2007 /  #5
Germans were trying to exterminate poles/jews. If i remember correctly, poles were to be worked to death by 1975.

Indeed. Anti-polonism was a central aspect of Nazi Germany's Gameplan.

Russians were just suppressing poles/jews, they did not have an extermination policy. Therefore they were "less evil."

Yes, supposedly racism was to be extinguished by communism, but the lesser Soviet and communist states were still heavilly anti-polish. Look at Ukraine.

I'd say the Nazi's were more of a direct threat, while the Soviets were more subtle, but perhaps just as dangerous.
ella - | 46  
29 Apr 2007 /  #6
Germans were trying to exterminate poles/jews. If i remember correctly, poles were to be worked to death by 1975. Russians were just suppressing poles/jews, they did not have an extermination policy. Therefore they were "less evil."

No one knew at the time what Russians were doing to the Polish people, soldiers and the Polish Intelligence.
They've tortured and murdered Poles not only during the war but for many years afterwards.
Here are some of the facts:

"In 1939, during the Russian invasion of Poland, some 14,500 Polish officers were captured and interned in three P.O.W. camps in the Soviet Union. The next time the world heard of these prisoners was a news broadcast on April 13, 1943, from Radio Berlin. It stated that the German Army had discovered mass graves at Katyn, 18 kilometres north-west of Smolensk, near the village of Gneizdovo and containing the bodies of Polish officers. Eight graves were opened and 4,253 bodies exhumed. All were dressed in Polish uniforms, with badges of rank and medals intact. No watches or rings were found on the corpses. It was established that the bodies were of Polish officers from the camp at Kozielsk, situated in the grounds of a former Monastery, near Orel. Two other camps, at Starobielsk (3,910 men) and at Ostashkov (6,500 men) were wound up and closed in the first days of April, 1940. Whatever happened to these 10,000 odd officers has never been established. They were never seen alive again. From evidence obtained after the war, all prisoners of Kozielsk camp were shot by Stalin's NKVD.
On April 13, 1990, fifty years after the massacre, the USSR for the first time admitted its responsibility for the murders."

Link to more info :
members.iinet.net.au/~gduncan/massacres_east.html
jan 72  
29 Apr 2007 /  #7
Don't forget that 25% of Estonias population is Russian.
There has been growing unease between the two communities in recent years. Estonia tried to implement a policy that Russians had to learn Estonian (and pass exams) to gain Estonian (EU) citizenship - unlike Latvia.

In my experience, Estonians and Russians seem to co-exist quite happily.
I remember being surprised on my first vivits to Poland that there are no reminders of Soviet influence. In fact my wife said that through the years of communism it was quite possible to never see any Russians at all.

I had assumed that there must have been ruskies on every corner keeping control. But it seems that it was Polish security and Police enforcing communist rule - is this a fair comment?
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,163  
29 Apr 2007 /  #8
Estonia tried to implement a policy that Russians had to learn Estonian (and pass exams) to gain Estonian (EU) citizenship

And what's wrong with that ?
jan 72  
29 Apr 2007 /  #9
Well the Russians in Estonia seem proud to live in Estonia.
I think its also the sign of a tolerant society that allows people of different races and culture to live there.
What next chuck out anyone who can't speak the host country's language, If the Uk did that we would say goodbye to a lot of Polish People!
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,163  
29 Apr 2007 /  #10
What next chuck out anyone who can't speak the host country's language, If the Uk did that we would say goodbye to a lot of Polish People!

But we're talking about citizenship... Can Poles living in UK get British citizenship without knowledge of English ?
jan 72  
29 Apr 2007 /  #11
I'm not claiming to be an expert on Estonisn/Polish affairs - just personal observations.
And yes in the Uk you can get citizenship without speaking English - whether thats right or wrong, i'm not sure.
The Russians living in Estonia are in a difficult situation. They have lived there for generations. I dont think they are entitled to Russian passports.

I understand why the Estonians don't like the Russians (My mother is from Karelia in Eastern Finland, so I know what Russians are capable of!)
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,163  
29 Apr 2007 /  #12
And yes in the Uk you can get citizenship without speaking English - whether thats right or wrong, i'm not sure.

And I'm sure. That's idiotic.

The Russians living in Estonia are in a difficult situation. They have lived there for generations. I dont think they are entitled to Russian passports.

According to my knowledge those who were citizens (or their children and so on) of Estonia before 39 don't have any problems. Only the people who were moved in in Soviet times have to learn the language and in most of the world that's not really unusual that you have to know the official language to become a citizen.
Maxxx Payne 1 | 196  
29 Apr 2007 /  #13
Don't forget that 25% of Estonias population is Russian.

It was different for Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and the other so-called "satellite countries". They could maintain more independence in their politics compared to Baltic states that were direct part of Soviet Union.

Weird thing with the statue is: it was sculpted by an Estonian and the model for it was an Estonian wrestler. Also there were Estonians fighting in Soviet army as well. And the current sign on statue says it is dedicated to soldiers of WW II not to "liberators" as it was before. I think it was a mistake to move the statue.

I understand why the Estonians don't like the Russians (My mother is from Karelia in Eastern Finland, so I know what Russians are capable of!)

Before WW II it was Germans that were not liked by Estonians, Baltic Germans since times Teutonic Order were big bullies against the Estonians.

In Eastern Finland both sides did bad things, but both of them were nothing compared to German actions.
ella - | 46  
29 Apr 2007 /  #14
I am young / but I know Polish history / Estonians were a fiends of a Germans Nassis ....................SS/called "Gestapo "army from Estonia!!!!!

And the history must stop here...jan72
Bartolome 2 | 1,085  
29 Apr 2007 /  #15
And yes in the Uk you can get citizenship without speaking English - whether thats right or wrong, i'm not sure

No. There has been introduced a new scheme for people wanting to obtain British citizenship - one of its elements is an exam with required ESOL 3+.
jan72  
29 Apr 2007 /  #16
As i said I dont claim to be an expert, Just had Estonian friends both Russian and Estonian, been there many times and love the country.

Sure there were some Estonian nazi units - doesn't mean that all estonians were nazis - there were of Poles who joined in the persecution of jews - doesn't mean that all Poles did.

Poland and Estonia both suffered terribly at the hands of both the Germans and the Russians.

Still would be interested in your thoughts on this

I remember being surprised on my first visits to Poland that there are no reminders of Soviet influence. In fact my wife said that through the years of communism it was quite possible to never see any Russians at all.

I had assumed that there must have been ruskies on every corner keeping control. But it seems that it was Polish security and Police enforcing communist rule - is this a fair comment?
miranda  
29 Apr 2007 /  #17
But it seems that it was Polish security and Police enforcing communist rule - is this a fair comment?

yes
witek 1 | 587  
29 Apr 2007 /  #18
Sure there were some Estonian nazi units - doesn't mean that all estonians were nazis

Estonians formed SS units - we Poles did not.

On the first anniversary of the German capture of Tallinn, the Estonian capitol, the formation of an Estonian legion under the name of Estnische SS-Legion, a formation of three battalions, was initiated. The formation was to be placed under the control of Heinrich Himmler's Waffen-SS.
Maxxx Payne 1 | 196  
29 Apr 2007 /  #19
Estonians formed SS units - we Poles did not.

Yes this is right but Estonians on the whole were not Nazist. There was anti-German resistance even if it wasn't as strong as anti-Soviet.

Ukrainians also had SS-units. So did some Russians (Vlasov's army, Lienz Cossacks) fight for Germany.
But can one call the whole people of Ukrainians and Russians Nazis because of this ?
No.
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,163  
29 Apr 2007 /  #20
Estonians formed SS units

We were on the Soviet side.
Bartolome 2 | 1,085  
29 Apr 2007 /  #21
We had to be - otherwise bullet in the head or jail.
peterweg 37 | 2,321  
29 Apr 2007 /  #22
Here are some of the facts:

The actual total figure was 22,000 I believe. They have the death warrant signed by Stalin somewhere.
Casimir 2 | 45  
29 Apr 2007 /  #23
Estonia tried to implement a policy that Russians had to learn Estonian (and pass exams) to gain Estonian (EU) citizenship

Every country should, especially you european nations who have national de jure languages.

Yes this is right but Estonians on the whole were not Nazist. There was anti-German resistance even if it wasn't as strong as anti-Soviet.

Holy crap. Do you people have to be so definite in which countries were nazi or not? Oh my God, there were pro and anti nazi people in every country, even Germany. I mean, who actually thinks there was a country totally full of people with one politcal ideology? There were polish fascists, too! Obóz Narodowo-Radykalny and Narodowe Odrodzenie Polski were anti nazi fascist parties and still are.
Crow 139 | 8,395  
4 May 2007 /  #24
Support has come from Slovakia. I'm glad they've done the right thing.

Slovak MP says Estonian actions smack of "fascism"

en.rian.ru/world/20070503/64859380.html

while the US senate has openly taken up the Estonian side

en.rian.ru/world/20070504/64918547.html

and NATO even warns Russia
newsalerts.com/news/article/nato-warns-russia-on-estonia-row.html:worl d19:932257
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,163  
4 May 2007 /  #25
I'm glad they've done the right thing.

For me this is **** not the right thing.
Crow 139 | 8,395  
4 May 2007 /  #26
Quoting: Crow
I'm glad they've done the right thing.

For me this is **** not the right thing.

Why Grzegorz?

Dying for...Estonia?

by Patrick J. Buchanan

antiwar.com/pat/

Article in case the topic... let`s say balanced
Grzegorz_ 51 | 6,163  
4 May 2007 /  #27
First of all Estonia is a sovereign state and has a right to do whatever wants with monuments on their territory. And hisorically they have full rights to remove a monument glorifying a state, which invaded them without any reason and was etxterminating their people, It's like If there was a monument of a nazi in Warsaw. Besides Estonia is a NATO and EU member and others members of these organizations should support them unless they do something really stupid, so Slovaks should shut up.

The only one, which is becoming fascist is Russia, with the whole "cult of personality" of Putin, state controled media and provocations in realations with neighbours, be It Balts, Georgia - in fact almost every of their neighours. Russia has just came of the 3rd world thanks to very high oil and gas prices and they already act like they are once again a global superpower. It will work out like the last time and once again common Russians will pay the highest price.
daffy 23 | 1,508  
4 May 2007 /  #28
I agree with G
Crow 139 | 8,395  
5 May 2007 /  #29
I am familiar with negative historic role of Russia in that region but I don’t understand necessity that country which depend on Russian gas and have numerous Russian population trying to humiliate Russia. It’s against economic logic and tells me that must be something else (something behind that) in their decision to insult Russia. That isn’t necessary, it’s not wise and it’s not move in direction of good neighboring relations.

Russia is in defensive on all `fronts`. It is NATO who act like big boss and trying to encircle Russia. They push, push and push them and that`s not good. Pressure is too high and all regions which could be first affected are Slavic countries.

So, I say that it is good that Slovakia supported Russia over that issue. Situation must be relaxed so that Russians don’t feel like in the trap.

BDW, I also heard today that Serbian foreign ministry also reacted in the similar manner as Slovakia. I am glad that Serbian officials still can arise their heads, no matter on all NATO monitors.

Grzegorz, daffy

I suggest you to try to analyze things from different angle.

Look what happened to Yugoslavia, to Serbia (before Milosevic, during him and after Milosevic). Where is Serbian sovereignty? We are practically protectorate. We don’t want to join to NATO but, they force us on that. There are speculations that Kosovo can stay in Serbia if Serbia join to EU and NATO, etc.

When comes to Serbian question: NATO openly cooperate with mujaheedines, support extreme Croatian ustashe, first support Milosevic then put him in jail and kill him, dispute democratic processes in Serbia, support Albanin secessionism (drug smuggling, vehaby Islmists, Al Queada and mujaheedines), thousands of Serbs was killed in front of NATO soldiers in Srebrenica, about 500.000 Albanins was settled on Kosovo and Metohia from Albania after occupation, mujaheedines were settled in Bosnia in regions from where NATO/Muslim/Ustashe pushed Serbs- in the name of Christ, economic sanctions, blocade, enormous anti-Serbian propaganda histeria, etc.

I say that Russia gave chance to NATO but NATO used that chance to encircle and humiliate Russia, to destroy potential Russian allays (Serbs). Even Western analyzers say and criticize that.

Estonia is a sovereign country but look, Estonia is member of NATO. Now their sovereignty belong to NATO and depend (!) on NATO actions too. Expect all possible scenarios and don’t be surprised.

Few more words on this

Poland, Czeska and Slovakia is in similar situation as Estonia (I mean NATO situation). I want to say something on that, to express Serbian attitude.

Poles, you had problems with Russia in past but, please give them a chance in time when cruel people won’t give them a chance but push them on the edge of even nuclear conflict, with that push complete Slavic world in oblivion.

Poles, brothers, be wise, relax situation, don’t let that Germans smile on our agony.

And, for Serbs I telling you Poles, if Russia ever made any aggressive step on Poland, we- Serbs and Russians are brothers no more.

Just, you Poles don’t make mistake and try to go out from that NATO trap, which is treat to complete Slavic world.
daffy 23 | 1,508  
5 May 2007 /  #30
I suggest you to try to analyze things from different angle.

i would suggest the same to you. ive read your post and i would have to say i would nearly say the opposite to all of your points.

Poland and Estonia are EU and Nato members of there own free will and accord. They choose to disassociate from the old Russia and the new Russia is not making things any better for Poland and Estonia with its postering. Nato was an alliance in direct contrast to the USSR which was militarily superior in Europe at the time of its creation - so NATO was create to dissuade and ambitions of the communists.

I dont agree with you crow because you advocate give the russians a chance! and dont give the germans any - you see conspiracy where none exists and you refuse to accept that the rest of easten & central europe WANTs to be in the EU and it would seem, NATO. There can be no denying that fact as it IS what has happened.

The soviet war moniments in Poland/Estonia are under the Polish/Estonian jurisdications and it its the Polish/Estonian peoples that have the decision. not nato, not the eu, to do what they wish with there country.

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