Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard at Stalker Zone
Now, the Baltic states consist of three countries – Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, which received sovereignty in the course of the disintegration of the Soviet Union. Each of these states position themselves, respectively, as the national states of Latvians, Lithuanians, and Estonians. Nationalism in the Baltic countries was raised to the level of a state policy, which explains the numerous examples of the discrimination of the Russian and Russian-speaking population.
Meanwhile, if to figure this out, it becomes clear that the Baltic countries are typical “replica states” with the absence of their own political history and tradition. Of course not, the states in the Baltic region existed before, but it’s not at all Latvians or Estonians that created them.
What did the Baltic region represent before its lands were included in the structure of the Russian Empire? Before the 13th century, when the German knights/crusaders started conquering the Baltic region, it was a complete and utter “zone of tribes”. Here lived the Baltic and Finno-Ugric tribes, which didn’t have their own statehood and professed paganism.
Thus, modern Latvians as a people appeared as a result of a merger of the Baltic region (Latgalians, Semigallians, Selonians, Curonians) and Finno-Ugric (Livonians) tribes. At the same time it should be taken into account that Baltic tribes themselves weren’t the indigenous people of the Baltic region – they migrated from the South and pushed aside the local Finno-Ugric population to the north of modern Latvia. It is especially the absence of their own statehood that became one of the main reasons for the conquest of the Baltic and the Finno-Ugric people of the Baltic region by more powerful neighbors.
Since the 13th-14th centuries the peoples of the Baltic region found themselves between two fires – from the Southwest they were squeezed and subordinated by the German Order of Knighthood, and from the Northeast – the Russian principalities. It’s not at all the ancestors of modern Lithuanians, but the Litvin – “western Russians”, Slavs, the ancestors of modern Belarusians – who were the “kernel” of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.
The adoption of the Catholic religion and the developed cultural ties with the neighbouring Poland provided differences between Litvin and the population of Rus. The situation of the Baltic tribes was far from being joyful both in the German Knighthood states and in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. They were subjected to religious, linguistic, and social discrimination.
The situation was even worse for the Finno-Ugric tribes, which subsequently became the basis for the formation of the Estonian nation. In Estland, like in the neighbouring Livonia and Courland, all main levers of governance and economy were in the hands of the East Sea [Ostsee – ed] Germans.
Before the middle of the 19th century in the Russian Empire such a name as “Estonians” wasn’t even used – all natives of Finland, the Vyborg Governorate, and some other Baltic territories were united under the name“chukhna”. Moreover, there were no distinctions between Estonians, Izhorians, Vepsians, and Finns. The standard of living of “chukhna” was even lower than that of Latvians and Lithuanians. A considerable part of villagers moved towards St. Petersburg, Riga, and other large cities in search of earnings.
A large number of Estonians even moved towards other regions of the Russian Empire – thus Estonian settlements appeared in the North Caucasus, Crimea, Siberia, and the Far East. They left for the “world’s end” not at all because they had a good life. It is interesting that in the cities of the Baltic region there were almost no Estonians and Latvians – it is they themselves who called themselves “villagers”, opposing themselves to city dwellers – Germans.
The main part of the population of Baltic cities up to the 19th century consisted of ethnic Germans, and also Poles and Jews, but not at all Baltic people. In fact, the “old” (pre-revolutionary) Baltic region was completely built by Germans. Baltic cities were German cities – with German architecture, culture, and system of municipal management.
In knighthood states, in the Duchy of Courland, and in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth the Baltic people would never become equal with title Germans, Poles or Litvins. For the German nobility dominating in the Baltic region, Latvians and Estonians were people of the second grade, almost “barbarians”, there couldn’t even be talk of equal rights. The nobility and merchants of the Duchy of Courland completely consisted of East Sea Germans.
The German minority for centuries dominated Latvian peasants making up the main part of the population of the duchy. Latvian peasants were enslaved and in terms of their social status they were equated to ancient Roman slaves by the Courland statute.
Freedom came to Latvian peasants almost half a century earlier than to Russian serfs – the decree on the cancellation of serfdom in Courland was signed by the emperor Alexander I in 1817. On August 30th in Mitava the release of peasants was solemnly declared.
Two years later, in 1819, Livonia’s peasants were also released. Thus Latvians received long-awaited freedom, with which the gradual formation of a class of free Latvian farmers started. If it wasn’t for the will of the Russian emperor, who knows how many more decades Latvians would’ve remained in the condition of being the serfs of German sirs.
The incredible mercy shown by Alexander I in relation to the peasants of Courland and Livonia had an enormous impact on the further economic development of these lands. By the way, it’s not a coincidence that Latgale turned into the most economically backward part of Latvia – liberation from serfdom came to Latgale peasants much later, and this circumstance affected the development of agriculture, trade, and crafts in the region.
The liberation of the serfs of Livonia and Courland allowed them to rather quickly turn into successful farmers who lived much better off than the peasants of Northern and Central Russia. An impulse was given to the further economic development of Latvia. But even after the liberation of peasants, the main resources of Livonia and Courland remained in the hands of East Sea Germans, who organically fitted into Russian aristocracy and merchants.
A large number of prominent military and politicians of the Russian Empire – generals and admirals, diplomats and ministers – emerged from the environment of the East Sea nobility. On the other hand, the situation of Latvians or Estonians remained denigrated – and not at all because of Russians, who are now accused of occupying the Baltic region, but because of the East Sea nobility that exploited the population of the region.
Now in all the countries of the Baltic region people like to argue about the “horrors of Soviet occupation”, but they prefer to keep quiet about the fact that it is precisely Latvians, Lithuanians, and Estonians who supported the revolution that gave them their long-awaited liberation from the domination of East Sea Germans.
If German aristocracy of the Baltic region in its majority supported the white movement, then whole divisions of Latvian Riflemen were at war on the side of the red movement. Ethnic Latvians, Lithuanians, and Estonians played a very large role in the establishment of Soviet power in Russia, and their percent in the Red Army and the state security bodies was the highest.
When modern Baltic politicians argue about “Soviet occupation”, they forget that tens of thousands of “Latvian Riflemen” fought all across Russia for the establishment of this same Soviet power, and then continued to serve in the bodies of the All-Russian Extraordinary Commission, Joint State Political Directorate, NKVD, and the Red Army, and not in the lowest posts either.
As we see, nobody oppressed Latvians or Estonians on ethnic grounds in Soviet Russia. Moreover, in the first post-revolutionary years Latvian formations were considered as privileged ones, and it is precisely they that guarded the Soviet leadership and carried out the most responsible tasks, including suppressing numerous anti-Soviet actions in the Russian provinces. It is necessary to say that, without feeling kinship and cultural proximity with Russian peasants, Riflemen dealt with the uprising quite rigidly, which the Soviet leadership appreciated.
During the inter-war period (from 1920 to 1940) several worlds existed in Latvia – Latvian, German, Russian, and Jewish, which tried to cross each other’s paths at a minimum. It is clear that the situation of Germans in independent Latvia was better than the situation of Russians or Jews, but there were certain nuances all the same.
Thus, despite the fact that Germans and Latvians were Lutherans or Catholics, German and Latvian Catholic and Protestant churches and schools existed separately. I.e., two people with apparently close cultural values tried to maximally distance from each other. For Latvians, Germans were occupiers and the descendants of exploiters/feudal lords, and for Germans the Latvians were almost “forest barbarians”. Especially because as a result of the agrarian reform, East Sea landowners were deprived of their lands, which were transferred to Latvian farmers.
Among the East Sea Germans pro-monarchic moods dominated at first – they hoped for the restoration of the Russian Empire and the return of Latvia into its structure, and then, in the 1930’s, German Nazism started to spread very quickly – it is enough to remember that Alfred Rosenberg, one of Hitler’s key ideologists, was from the Baltic region.
The East Sea Germans connected the restoration of their political and economic domination to the spreading of German power across the Baltic region. They considered the cities of Estonia and Latvia built by Germans falling in the hands of “villagers” – Estonians and Latvians – to be extremely unfair.
In fact, if it wasn’t for the “Soviet occupation”, the Baltic region would have been under Nazi rule, would be attached to Germany, and the local Latvian, Estonian, and Lithuanian population would be faced with second-class status and the subsequent fast assimilation. Despite the fact that in 1939 the repatriation of Germans from Latvia to Germany had started, and by 1940 practically all the East Sea Germans living in the country left it, they would anyway return there again if Latvia found itself as a part of the Third Reich.
Adolf Hitler treated the population of “Ostland” very disdainfully and for a long time hindered the implementation of the plans of a number of German military leaders for the formation of Latvian, Estonian, and Lithuanian units as a part of the troops of the SS.
On the territory of the Baltic region the German administration was recommended to forbid any slight movement of the local population towards autonomy and self-determination, and the creation of higher educational institutions with studying in the Lithuanian, Latvian or Estonian languages was strictly forbidden. At the same time, it was allowed to create for the local population vocational and technical schools, which testifies to only one thing – in the German-occupied Baltic region only the fate of service personnel awaited Latvians, Lithuanians, and Estonians.
I.e., actually it is precisely Soviet troops that saved Latvians from returning to a situation where they would be a majority deprived of civil rights under German sirs. However, taking into account the number of natives of the republics of the Baltic region serving in Hitler’s auxiliary police and the SS, it is possible to be sure that serving the occupiers as collaborators wasn’t a big problem for many of them.
Now, the auxiliary police that served Hitler are being rehabilitated in the countries of the Baltic region, and at the same time the merits of those Latvians, Lithuanians, and Estonians who took up arms and followed the way of fighting against Nazism, served in the Red Army, and fought as a part of partisan units are being suppressed and refuted.
Modern Baltic politicians also forget about how huge the contribution of Russia and then the Soviet Union was in the development of culture, written language, and sciences in the Baltic republics. In the USSR a large amount of books were translated into the Latvian, Lithuanian, and Estonian languages, and writers from the Baltic republics had the opportunity to publish their works, which were then also translated into other languages of the Soviet Union and were printed in huge numbers.
It is precisely during the Soviet period that a powerful and developed education system was created in the Baltic republics – both secondary and higher, and all Latvians, Lithuanians, and Estonians received an education in their native language and used their scripture, without experiencing any discrimination during subsequent employment.
It goes without saying that in the Soviet Union the natives of the republics of the Baltic region had the opportunity to develop their careers not only inside the borders of their native regions, but also inside the borders of the huge country in general – they became high-ranking party figures, military leaders and naval commanders, they formed a career in science, culture, sport, etc.
All of this became possible thanks to the huge contribution of the Russian people to the development of the Baltic region. Sane Estonians, Latvians, and Lithuanians never forget what the Russians did for the Baltic region. It’s not a coincidence that one of the main tasks of the modern Baltic regimes became the eradication of any adequate information about life in the Baltic republics during the Soviet period. After all, the main task is to forever tear off the Baltic region from Russia and Russian influence and to raise the younger generations of Latvians, Estonians, and Lithuanians in the spirit of total Russophobia and admiration for the West.
Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
International Institute of Social History: Why Amsterdam is home to a trove of archives on Spanish anarchism and the anti-Franco resistance | Culture
A significant part of historical memory regarding Spain’s anarchist movement and the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) can be found at the International Institute of Social History (IISH) in Amsterdam in the Netherlands.
Founded in 1935, the IISH is home to the historical archive of the National Confederation of Labor (CNT), an anarchist labor union, and the Iberian Anarchist Federation (FAI) – documents known in Spain as the so-called “Amsterdam boxes” – along with an extensive collection on workers’ activism and social movements across the world.
Sneaked out of the country to preclude confiscation by the regime of dictator Francisco Franco, these 47 boxes take up a stretch of the institute’s 20 kilometers of shelves and include the CNT-FAI’s order to the León-born anarchist leader Buenaventura Durruti to travel to Madrid in 1936, where he would meet his end in uncertain circumstances. The IISH also houses the archives from the anti-Franco resistance and the Ruedo Ibérico publishing house founded in Paris in 1961 by five exiles from the Spanish Civil War with the aim of producing anti-fascist material to counter the dictatorship’s propaganda. Adding to the cache are archives relating to the libertarian trade unionists and feminists, original letters from writer Pío Baroja, a member of the Generation of ’98, and thousands of photos of the Civil War that were thought to have been lost, including images captured by Polish photographer, Margaret Michaelis and Hungarian photographer, Kati Horna. Altogether, it amounts to the legacy of a polarized period of history that is a mine of information for researchers.
The unsealed document containing the order to Durruti, signed by the regional committees of the CNT-FAI, was dated November 9, 1936, and stipulated that “comrade Durruti, without further delay, leave for Madrid […] to intervene decisively in the defense of the capital of Spain.” According to Almudena Rubio, responsible for recovering the document, it is proof that “the leadership of the National Confederation of Labor and the Iberian Anarchist Federation was behind that decision, while Durruti himself wanted to take Zaragoza.”
Rubio adds that it was not uncommon for orders from the CNT-FAI to be unsealed, and that, though there was a rift between the union and its rank and file, “it seems that Durruti was considered essential to the anti-fascist struggle in the capital.” By ordering a change of plans for the anarchist, “the communists, who were already taking positions in Madrid, benefitted as did [Russian leader Joseph] Stalin, who was against the social revolution pursued by Durruti,” she says.
Those signing the document mention “the enormous possibilities of success [of our comrades] if our help reaches them,” and “the pleas of the people of Madrid, who are calling on us.” The reality, however, was quite different. Durruti was shot dead days after arriving with no conclusive explanation for his death. His driver, Clemente Cuyás, said in 1993 that he had been the victim of an accidental shot from his own rifle and that the CNT-FAI demanded any witnesses remain silent. Other versions speak of his death in combat or from a traitor’s bullet.
The arrival in the Netherlands of the CNT-FAI archive was not without its share of drama. “When it became clear in 1939 that the Republican side would not win the Civil War, union representatives took it to the Paris branch of the IISH,” says Leo Lucassen, IISH research director. “They did it as private individuals, to avoid the new fascist state being able to claim it later as belonging to a Spanish organization.”
Shortly before the outbreak of World War II, the archive was transferred from Paris to the United Kingdom and was taken to Amsterdam in 1947. Closed for three decades, until Franco’s death, an inventory wasn’t taken until the 1980s. Lucassen stresses that the Spanish Civil War generated ideas on an international scale that had an indisputable impact. “Proof of this is that among the International Brigades there were hundreds of Dutch people committed to what was presented as the ultimate struggle: the fight between good and evil,” he says, adding that it was, however, difficult for them to return to the Netherlands. “Their passports were taken from them as they had fought with a foreign army. They were seen as traitors to their homeland, but also as liberating icons.” The nationality of Dutch members of the International Brigades was reinstated in 1970, and Amsterdam dedicated a monument to them in 1986 in a square called Spanje (Spain) 1936-1939.
Among the Spanish correspondence preserved in the Archive of the Spanish Resistance, which collected documents up to 1974, are three original letters by the writer Pío Baroja. They are addressed to Concepción Martí Vall or Ada Martí, an anarchist writer and journalist who was an admirer of Baroja though she later distanced herself from him, feeling he had betrayed the social nature of his early works. Dated 1936, when Martí was 21 and Baroja 64, the letters’ tone suggests an exchange between an idealized professor and his pupil. For example, Baroja confesses his passion to “live to write, write to live;” while also telling Martí things such as, “I no longer need a compass because I am anchored in the harbor. You are the one who should be attentive to the marking needle.” The cultural center Ateneu Enciclopèdic de Barcelona has a photocopy of these missives and was unaware of the presence of the originals in Amsterdam until now.
Meanwhile, the archive of the Ruedo Ibérico publishing house contains the manuscript of Viaje al Sur (or, The Trip South) – a book the publishers commissioned Juan Marsé to write but which was assumed to have gone missing until it was realized that it has been renamed Andalucía, perdido amor (or, Andalusia, lost love) with Marsé writing under the pseudonym Manolo Reyes; it was published after the writer’s death, in 2020, by Lumen publishing house.
An archive of archives
Founded in 1935 by Dutch professor of social and economic history, Nicolaas Posthumus (1880-1960), the IISH has become an archive of archives. Its treasures include papers by Karl Marx, Freidrich Engels, Mikhail Bakunin and the anarchist Emma Goldman, which are among one million books and publications, 5,400 collections and 1.5 million audiovisuals. “Posthumus was interested in the intellectual roots of ideas from anarchists, socialists, liberals and Christian democrats,” says Lucassen. “Around 1930, when left-wing movements were threatened by fascism and National Socialism in Europe, he began to receive documents from social organizations, often taken under the radar from their countries of origin which enabled him to maintain the independence of the new center. Entire collections of left-wing publications from Latin American countries such as Argentina and Bolivia have been entrusted to us. It is a heritage that continues to be sent to the center from areas where similar conflicts persist.”
Rubio hopes to present an exhibition in 2022 with the Civil War images taken by Kati Horna, and her colleague, Margaret Michaelis, recovered from 2015. They were commissioned by the CNT-FAI to provide a graphic testimony of the social revolution it intended; the photos were in the photographic archive of the CNT-FAI’s foreign propaganda offices, included in the Amsterdam boxes.
English version by Heather Galloway.
US Anti-Immigration Website Vdare.com Raises $40K in 1 Day in Year-End Fund Drive
“Tuesday’s kickoff of VDARE.com’s year end fundraiser started with what I thought was a challenging goal: to bring in $5,000 in one day to meet a matching donation pledged by one of our standout donors. Little did I know what an enormous groundswell of support we would receive, ultimately breaking VDARE.com’s 20 year record for donations in 24 hours.
We promoted the initial challenge in the usual ways across all social media platforms and via email. But I’m always on pins and needles in anticipation of a fundraiser. On Tuesday morning the donations started coming in early and generous – what was encouraging quickly became astonishing, and by noon eastern time we were mere dollars from meeting our $5,000 goal. It was still mid-morning on the west coast! So I started calling around to some of our most generous friends.
My first call was to South Carolina, to the donor who gave us the initial $5k, to see if he, like me, was high on the turnout and inspired to increase his gift. He was, indeed, delighted by the money coming in but was tapped out. Too many obligations to the tax man and a nagging lawsuit.
Next call was to Washington state, to a donor who first donated last December after finding us on Twitter. He’s frequently in the wilderness, so I wasn’t surprised to have to leave a voicemail.
Then I rang Oklahoma, to one of our most engaged donors, a man who has been funding VDARE.com – and other dissident right organizations — for more than twelve years. But he’s already doubled his giving to VDARE.com this year and cheered me on to call upon someone else.
Finally, I called another Washington state donor (we have a very generous pocket of readers in the Pacific Northwest) who has been generously supporting VDARE.com for close to fifteen years. I hit voicemail with him, too.
Meanwhile the tally kept rising. As did the mood in the office, I can assure you! Noah on video support began putting together the intro and graphics for the evening’s livestream while my assistant and I called out each time a new donation came in. It was wild, and at times wacky.
“$55 from Pennsylvania!”
“OH! $200 from Idaho!”
Suddenly the phone rang. Our friend had emerged from the wilderness. “This matching grant has really inspired people today, and I think a stretch goal would keep the momentum up,” I told him, “we might even set a record for giving. What do you think about pledging $2,000?”
Without missing a beat, he said “I was thinking about $10,000.”
And just like that, we had a stretch goal twice the size of our original. Even more amazing: it was met by individual small donations within two hours.
I ordered Chinese takeout for the team – John Derbyshire, Noah the video tech, my assistant, Peter and myself – as we switched gears heading into the livestream slated for my living room. My kids were all excited to have so many guests for dinner, and it turns out John never has Chinese takeout, presumably because he has a Chinese wife, so I like to think it was exciting for him too! As we negotiated with the children about their appearance on camera to say “Merry Christmas,” the phone rang again.
As soon as I picked up the phone, almost without saying hello, my fifteen-years-loyal donor announced, “I’m pledging $5,000, how much do you have in so far?”
At this point, we had only barely met the first stretch goal and the night was closing in on the east coast. Sure, we had the livestream coming up, but I worried that maybe we had captured everything there was to capture. But why not give it a try? We’d already broken the record for one day of mass giving – but we may as well SHATTER IT! As Buzz Lightyear said, to infinite and beyond!
I shouldn’t have doubted. This community always comes through when we need you.
Two hours later, as we closed out the livestream, we were only $387 short of the super stretch goal. That amount – and more – came in within minutes of turning off the mics. By midnight we surpassed the super stretch matching by over $1,000, bringing our 24 hour total, including the fully matched pledges, to $42, 574!
That’s almost a quarter of the way to our final goal of $200,000 that we need to reach by January 1.
In one day.
Thank you. Thank you. THANK YOU!
We have a lot more in store for you during this Year End Appeal, and I’m so looking forward to amplifying different voices from our staff and supporters as they ruminate on VDARE.com’s 20 years of patriotic immigration reform. But ultimately, this is about you, our readers, America’s patriots.
VDARE.com may be the voice of the historic American nation, but we are only the voice. The community is the body. And we’re getting stronger every day.
Domestic air routes to be restored by mid July, says Minister
Regional flights to Donegal and Kerry should resume by the middle of July, Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan has said.
The Green Party leader said the Government has been in contact with a number of different airlines about restoring routes linking the counties with Dublin after the collapse of Stobart Air.
Both routes are subsidised by the State under Public Service Obligation (PSO) contracts.
Under EU rules, the Government is allowed to make arrangements to continue axed services for seven months before renegotiating a four year PSO contract, Mr Ryan told RTÉ radio.
Airlines interested in taking over the two routes are to be approached next week before a “judgment call” is made on the most suitable operators.
Mr Ryan said he expects them to be in place by “mid-July”.
Minister has ‘no idea’ how many funds will escape 10% stamp duty, says Doherty
UN put Rohingya ‘at risk’ by sharing data without consent, says rights group | Rohingya
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