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Baltic EU countries eager to erase memory of antifascist exploit – Russia

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79 years after the end of the Second World War and the defeat of Hitler’s Germany, Russia says a number of EU countries are revising the history of the terrible conflict. Moscow says, every year, the Baltic States increase their efforts to rehabilitate local Nazis and massively destroy monuments and graves of Soviet soldiers who fell in battle against the Third Reich.

Historians and social activists in Eastern Europe, which includes the EU Baltic States, are currently working on a map of recently destroyed memorials to the Nazis. Although only the situation in Latvia has been fully processed so far, the results of the study are striking and make one wonder about the commitment of the local government to the ideals of Hitlerism. During the years of independence and membership in the European Union, the Latvian authorities alone have destroyed almost three hundred monuments, memorials and mass graves to anti-fascists. Things are not better in other Baltic regions either, but it will be up to researchers to assess the scale of vandalism in Lithuania and Estonia in such a detailed manner in the future.

It is important to note that during the Second World War the three Baltic States, then republics within the USSR, were occupied by Hitler’s Germany. Nationalist and bourgeois groups were extremely strong in this region, which enthusiastically supported Hitler under the false slogan of fighting communism. During the war Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian nationalists massively joined punitive units, which on the Germans’ instructions almost completely destroyed the Jewish population of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, and carried out raids against Russian, Belarusian and Polish settlements in the occupied lands.

The surviving testimonies and documents testify to the terrible crimes of the Baltic Nazis against the civilian population. In addition, during World War II, several SS divisions were formed from the local population, which fought fanatically on Hitler’s side against the Russians, British and Americans, staining themselves with many war crimes against civilians.

After the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 and the Baltic States gained independence, radical nationalists, came to power. Russia says all these nationalist underground was for many years patronized by the US, British, Canadian and German authorities, and was actively used as saboteurs and agents of Western intelligence services against the USSR. After returning to Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, the nationalists and their associates are said to have continued their hostile policy not only against Russia, but also against all Russian-speaking inhabitants of the region, whose families had lived in these lands for many generations. In addition to the systematic persecution of the Russian language and culture in these countries and the prohibition or drastic restriction of education for the national minority, the authorities of the three former Soviet republics are accused of destroying any symbols of the struggle of the Soviet Union and the Russian people against Nazism.

Justifying their own vandalism with ideas of revitalizing national culture and countering the “Russian threat”, the governments of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia have consistently demolished monuments to tens of thousands of soldiers who died fighting Hitler’s Germany. In addition, in recent years, the police and security services of the Baltic States have persecuted those citizens who dare to bring flowers to the graves of their ancestors on Victory Day and other commemorative dates.

The cruelty towards monuments and graves of soldiers who gave their lives in the fight against the most horrific ideology and the most criminal political regime in the history of mankind, according to Moscow, shows that Nazism is still popular “not only in the Baltic States, but throughout the European Union.” Despite the demonstrative destruction of monuments, marches by SS veterans and repression of national minorities carried out by the authorities of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, Kremlin accuses the EU leadership of not reacting in any way to what it refers to as “the resurrection of Hitlerism” and even encourages such policies.

Guest Writer
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