Baltic deportations 70 years on
Estonia commemorates today, Monday, the mass deportations from the Baltic which took place under Stalin 70 years ago. Between 25 and 28 March, 1949, roughly 90,000 people were arrested and deported to Siberia, including around 20,000 from Estonia. Journalists and researchers call for appropriate processing and commemoration of the atrocities.
Crimes must be dealt with in court
The crimes of communism must be tried in a court of law, Postimees urges:
“In the moral and historic assessment of communism and the Soviet past, chaos is still rife. In fact it would be good if the crimes could be condemned consistently, in the same way as Nazism. In Germany the Nuremberg trials took place in the 1940s, followed by the Frankfurt trials in the 1960s. In Russia there was a lame attempt to put the Communist Party and the former regime on trial in 1992. Too bad nothing came of it. We also still hear today, well over two decades after the fall of communism, that while 'the crimes were dreadful, the idea was good'. Such a romantic view of socialism and communism is hard to understand.”
Prevent new Stalins
History must never be allowed to repeat itself, Sandra Vokk and Sergei Metlev of the Estonian Institute of Historical Memory write in Eesti Päevaleht:
“The communist leaders called these people criminals, kulaks and nationalists. The ideas behind such comments have survived until today. ... The communist ideology adopts new forms: one must never forget how it appeared in the past, just as one must never lose the ability to recognise totalitarian thinking. The communist authorities used a pseudo-scientific world view to create enemy images which it then brought to life using propaganda and terror. The language of the totalitarian regime was clear: as long as you're not declared innocent, you're guilty. We must continue to remember the deportations so that no new Stalins emerge.”