OSCE Resolution: The case against Estonia

Friday July 3 2009, the Parliamentary Assembly of OSCE passed a resolution comparing Stalinism with Nazism. For Russia the distortion of history for political ends is unacceptable. This profound insult to the country that lost over 26 million souls, as it stemmed the Nazi tide, responsible for 90 per cent of Wehrmacht casualties, cannot go unanswered.

It was Vilija Aleknaite-Abramikiene, of Lithuania, who wrote the proposal Reunification of Divided Europe, asking for a condemnation of Nazism and Stalinism, as though they were one and the same thing. And it was Slovenia that supported the motion, accepted overwhelmingly by most of the Assembly. Let us then analyse, one by one, the history of the human rights records of the OSCE member states which insulted Russia.


Estonia had more concentration and extermination camps than Latvia and Lithuania: Auvere, Aseri, Dorpat, Ereda, Goldfields, Idu-Virumaa, Illinurme, Jagala, Johvi, Kalevi-Liiva, Kivioli, Klooga, Kukruse, Kunda, Kuremae, Lagedi, Narva, Narva-Joesuu, Petschur, Putki, Saka, Stara Gradiska, Sonda, Soski, Tartu, Vaivara, Viivikonna and Wesenburg. A violent anti-Romany policy was also carried out in this country, virtually annihilating all the country's gypsy population.

As in Latvia, the extermination policy counted on the willing participation of national citizens, the Estonian SS Division and the 287th Estonian Police Battalion bearing witness to this. As with the other Baltic States, little has been done to bring the criminals to justice.

Directly involved in the mass murder of Jewish citizens were the Estonian Security Police and the Omakaitse (Home Guard). They rounded up and exterminated between 400 and 1,000 Gypsies, 6,000 Jews and 15,000 Soviet p.o.w.s. Tens of thousands of Jews from other countries were sent to the Estonian extermination and work camps. The national Jewish population was virtually exterminated. It was the first country declared Judenfrei (Jew free) at the Wannsee Conference in Berlin in January, 1942.

The Estonian Aleksander Laak masterminded the Jagala Camp, where Jews were sorted into two categories: fit for work and unfit. The latter were sent by Laak to the Kalevi-Liiva extermination camp.

In the words of the OSCE document, genocide, human rights violations, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Photo: Corpses found by Soviet troops at Klooga, Estonia. The bodies had been stacked up for burning by the Estonian extermination camp guards.



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Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey