“Sanktpēterburgas A. Hercena Valsts pedagoģiskās universitātes profesore un Ermitāžas direktora padomniece Jūlija Kantore [atbild]... ‘Zini, man liekas, ka tas nepatiks ne jūsējiem [?], ne mūsējiem [?]!’...Autore grāmatā nelieto apzīmējumu “okupācija”, uzskatot, ka šāds apzīmējums īsti neatbilst īstenībai, jo nevienā no valstīm neesot ticis fiksēts neviens pretestības akts padomju aneksijai, ar ko bija rēķinājušies pat padomju specdienesti. [Kantore, et al: See Rislakki, The Case for Latvia, chapter 6 “From…‘Chekist’ memoirs, it becomes apparent [to some, but not Kantore] that the occupation of Latvia had long been in the plans… .”; watch The Soviet Story with film footage showing the targeted area of occupation before the actual occupation by the Soviet military
From Soviet Occupation of Latvia, Wikipedia
June 15, 1940 - Soviet troops invade Lithuania and position troops to invade Latvia.
June 15, 1940 - Soviet troops attack the Latvian border guards at Maslenki, killing three border guards and two civilians, as well as taking 10 border guards and 27 civilians as hostages to the Soviet Union.
June 16, 1940 - the Soviet Union invades Latvia and Estonia. Soviets delivered ultimatums to Estonia and Latvia, to be answered within 6 hours, demanding: (1) the establishment of pro-Soviet Governments which, under the protection of the Red Army, would be better capable of carrying out the Pacts of Mutual Assistance; (2) the free passage of Soviet troops into Estonia and Latvia in order to place them in the most important centers and to avoid possible provocatory acts against Soviet garrisons. Unable to resist on their own, Latvia and Estonia capitulated.
June 17, 1940 - Soviet troops invade Latvia and occupied bridges, post/telephone, telegraph, and broadcasting offices.
Kantore, et al , see also: Andrejs Plakans, Experiencing Totalitarianism: The Invasion and Occupation of Latvia by the USSR and Nazi Germany 1939-1991; Nollendorfs, etc., The Hidden and Forbidden History of Latvia under Soviet and Nazi Occupations etc.; Heinrihs Strods, Top Secret Operation ‘Priboi’ for the Deportation of Populations from the Baltic Countries, etc.
Speaking of “nadir of inanity:”
Pehteris C. shares a review of a modern Soviet history from Russia about Latvia where Soviet-“educated” author Kantore shares her personal theory on occupation-not that ends with reviewer Kaspars Zellis summing up stupid: “Tomēr Jūlija Kantore uzskata, ka Baltijas atbrīvošana notikusi, paglābjot vietējās tautas vai nu no neizbēgamas “ģermanizācijas”, vai iznīcināšanas, un, lai arī kā PSRS republikas, tās tomēr esot saglabājušas savas pirmskara robežas. [What a relief for this, if not for brutal repressions and deporatations to Siberia , thanks be!!!!] Pēc kara ne tikai ekonomiski, bet arī politiski bijis svarīgi steidzami atjaunot Baltijas valstis [from Soviet destruction and with Russian occupants], kas vietējā komunistu varā raisīja cerības un pat zināmas pretenzijas uz patstāvību.” Zellis can’t leave “stupid” alone but adds: “Grāmata ir iznākusi [as in “suudi?”), tā sniedz Krievijas vēsturē jaunu, izsvērtāku [?] skatījumu uz vēstures norisēm Baltijā Otrā pasaules kara gados. Tā ne tikai glauda pa spalvai mūsu nacionālo vēstures izpratni [since Zellis thinks Latvians have a masochists’ sense of “pa spalvai”], bet arī aizskar virkni sāpīgu un neērtu jautājumu, uz kuriem var mēģināt atbildēt vienīgi atklātā un neideoloģizētā diskusijā, neaizstājot šos jautājumus ar mītiem un nenododot tos aizmirstībai.” Maybe with the next modern Soviet history from Russian about Latvia. One can fantasize.
The good news here is that a Russian academic historian in a conspicuous post has publicly accepted the following points, contrary to the Soviet version of events (vigorously propagated under Putin): the Baltic annexations and false elections were prepared in advance by the Soviets; Sovietization antagonized the population, and the Soviet repressive apparatus responded with deportations and killings (I assume this is what ‘likvideja’ means here); these in turn inflamed the Baltic peoples and led them to side with the Germans; the murder of the Jews was initiated by the Germans and not the locals (though many locals did take part); the Legionari were essentially a separate group from the murderers; the anti-Soviet ‘mezabrali’ were authentic partisans unlike the 1941-44 pro-Soviet ones; Soviet-era migrants contributed to ethnic conflict by viewing the Baltic as ‘ienaidnieku teritorija’. So in that sense the glass is half full.
Yet I find it hard to be very cheerful about this review. The one hand/other hand points are still unbalanced: (a) Latvia has failed to issue a Baltic regional history text lately, while (b) Russia loudly and officially denies a slew of atrocities and injustices that the Soviet regime inflicted on the Baltic lands, and whose effects are still being felt—so there’s equal fault on both sides. Some Latvian nationalists’ desire to bar ‘okupacija denial’ is proof of an official ‘mits’, just like Moscow’s assertion that the Baltic peoples voted for pro-Soviet parliaments in 1940. Sorry, no.
“Autore grāmatā nelieto apzīmējumu “okupācija”, uzskatot, ka šāds apzīmējums īsti neatbilst īstenībai, jo nevienā no valstīm neesot ticis fiksēts neviens pretestības akts padomju aneksijai, ar ko bija rēķinājušies pat padomju specdienesti.”
By this logic, Germany didn’t occupy Czechoslovakia in March 1939, since Prague didn’t engage in acts of resistance. It’s like blaming the victim of blackmail instead of the blackmailer, because the victim (a) reacted to the threat wrong, or (b) had vulnerabilities and weaknesses which the blackmailer took advantage of.
I think Peter K. was high on something hallucinogenic when he read about the “locals.” Peter Kalnin obviously has spent time with mind-altering sources that make him see “locals” - just like the German historians who can’t spot a German but see “locals” all over the place.
Peter Kalnin obviously has spent time with mind-altering sources that make him see “locals”.
So the whole question of what to think about a Russian history of the Baltic region from 1939 to 1945 which concedes many (but not all) of the points that the Russian Foreign Ministry version tries to deny—toss it aside. Fixate instead on the words “many” and “locals”—which I used in summing up Kantore’s work (as reported by Zellis). Well, how else would you translate ‘vietējo iedzīvotāju lielo skaitu’?
But here’s a formulation that should make you happy: the number of ‘vietējie iedzīvotāji’ in the Baltic countries guilty of complicity in the Holocaust was neither too ‘liels’ nor too ‘mazs’. It was just right.
I and others have previously cited many excellent sources to clarify WWII history and who did what to whom, if that’s your primary interest. A good overview of who to blame for what, if that’s your thing, would be to read NO SIMPLE VICTORY. WWII revealed the worst and best in humanity. There certainly are many outstanding Latvian historians and authors of WWII subjects, including about occupation and “the locals,” that you can read - and so can Kantore. It’s hard to be patient explaining that the world is not flat, that propganda is not history, and that Latvia was occupied by the Russians. Each country, each people, the locals, the individuals have a story and a point of view. It’s a huge task to do any of them justice in our understanding. It does help to have an open mind and have some fair commitment to truth-seeking. The more one reads the more one sees that stories compete, but that also some things are facts - like the Russian and German Pact, the Russian and German occupations of Latvia, etc. These clear facts are the foundations upon which to build, otherwise the story that one attempts to tell doesn’t make sense. Kantore’s story doesn’t make sense since she ignores Bolshevik and Nazi methods of madness and that which was pre-ordained with Stalin and Hitler. Why would the Baltics not want either, right? Propaganda and willful or ignorant untruths become facts in the imagination of the gullible because they are so often read and heard. So, Peter K, what is it that you think you know about “the locals?”
If a professional storyteller historian can’t write about the round wheel and the fact that Latvia was occupied, I don’t see my obligation to play along to make her feel better about her progress in accepting that the wheel is round. Russians deserve to know the truth about WWII, Latvia, occupation, their “no simple” roles as much as any people. Kantore’s obligation as a scholar and historian should be to the enlightenment of the Russians rather than to serving those Russian powers choosing to keep Russians in darkness fed by unending propaganda. It’s a shame that the Russians in Latvia are being served this inferior nonsense passed off as legitimate history from Kantore. I see that she is doing a book reading in Riga.
PS Kantore will be in Riga in two weeks. Look forward to meeting her. Another book by a Russian historian that tries to stick to historical documents rather than approaching a subject with a preconceived idea is Yelena Zubkova and her book Pribaltika i Kreml. (Published only in Russian as far as I know)
PPS The Iron Trimdie, I’m sure, will have a lot of hot air to waste on bashing this book by Kaspars Zellis. Mīti Latvijas vēsturē. Rakstu krājums
Kā raksta Kaspars Zellis, kurš skarbi apkaro “nevainīgos latviešus” konsolidējošo, vācu laika kolaborāciju attaisnojošo un aktuālās “krievbaiļu” izpausmēs reproducēto “baigā gada mītu” un skaidro divkopienu situāciju ar jauna, abas kopienas konsolidējoša mīta trūkumu, “mīts ir dzīvs, tas attīstās un nevar tikt demontēts, vietā neradot citu mītu. Cilvēki var nezināt faktus vai neticēt tiem, bet mīts ir tikai tas, kam tic.”
Aleksejs et al.,
“PS Kantore will be in Riga in two weeks. Look forward to meeting her. Another book by a Russian historian that tries to stick to historical documents rather than approaching a subject with a preconceived idea is Yelena Zubkova and her book Pribaltika i Kreml. (Published only in Russian as far as I know)”
The russian historians are moving in the right direction when now talking about the Baltic States and not just Latvia. However, they still have a long way to go, missing is the explanation for the invasions/occupations of Finland, Poland, and Rumania, that took place within the same one year time period as the invasion and occupation of the Baltic States.
Why stop there, Bruno? There’s a whole site devoted to historical politics of Russia. Its English-language version is much slimmer than the Russian-language version. For example, this tidbit that was published in the Russian newsweekly magazine Vlast. It details the number of the Red Army soldiers convicted in the first six months of the Soviet-German war, aka the Great Patriotic War. The document noted that 80 percent of investigations of those soldiers lasted 5 days or less. The document says in part, “State Committee of Defense must recognize that individual commanders and ordinary soldiers showing instability, alarmism, shameful cowardice, throwing weapons, and, forgetting their duty to their country, in flagrant violation of the oath, turned into a flock of sheep running in panic before the insolent foe.”
PS It would be nice if along with Russians facing their history, certain Latvians could face their own skeletons in their closets.
If you don’t want to take further responsibility for your embrace of Kantore’s writing your Latvian history that leaves you a “fascist” or a “coward” who “ran away” because there was no “oocupation” but “liberation” that left your physical but not mental borders intact, at least don’t fly off on another annoying sophomoric, sexist attack . Thanks to Pehteris C.‘s “childish vulgarity” with his common use of “suudi,” which of course you don’t notice or mind in your blind sexism, the rest of us mortals, even female mortals, are “liberated” to use it. Since you clearly don’t know from which garbage bag of smears you grabbed that “many locals” simple-minded insult on the “many locals” of your own Latvian family as far as anyone else knows, you are reduced to immaturely “showing your stuff.” It’s embarrasing both ways - even if the token Russkie and a collection of “many LOL locals” are high-fiving you from lurker space.
Since you clearly don’t know from which garbage bag of smears you grabbed that “many locals” simple-minded insult on the “many locals” of your own Latvian family as far as anyone else knows, you are reduced to immaturely “showing your stuff.”
Did you read the post where I tallied up the points Kantore’s work (as reported by Zelle) concedes—like the advance planning of the annexations by the Soviets, which gives the lie to the official Russian version? Apparently not. Or my conclusion, that her rationale for rejecting the word ‘okupācija’ is like blaming the victim of blackmail? Or is anything short of violent rejection of a Russian point of view tantamount to an ‘embrace’?
I feel sorry for you that you can’t seem to deal with people you disagree with except by throwing tantrums. Arguments like the above quote are to real discussion as pro ‘wrestling’ is to real wrestling: all that’s missing is a spandex costume. And a folding chair.
Aleksejs et al.,
“PS It would be nice if along with Russians facing their history, certain Latvians could face their own skeletons in their closets”
What skeletons ? Present day russian historians claim that the occupation of the Baltic States by Russia was because they were symphatetic to ” fascist Germany”’> This is a blatant lie by the present day russian historians.
Russia by far was more symphatetic to “fascist Germany” than the Baltic States, It was Germany going to war against Russia that soured the Russians against the ” german fascists ” Before this “betrayal” german military units trained in Ukraine, Russia supported the german war effort against the Western powers by supplying needed supplies, had secret agreements with the germans, and after the destruction of Poland russian and german soldiers shook hands and congratulated each other.