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Euphemisms from Estonia 1

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in response to reader comment: continuing a sub-plot - peppered examples of excess from another non-religious kind totalitarian system.

Submitted by Ianus (Poland), Nov 19, 2009 at 15:13

Hi, my friend from Kafiristan

> Ianus writes:
" "The tribes from this loose confederation were as much willing to fight against foreigners as they were ready to raid and loot each other and ally themselves with these foreigners. In such tribal societies the traditional centrifugal forces are usually as strong as the centripetal ones."

>Language is a very strong factor in cultural cohesion.<

Self-interest is a much stronger force. World history is full of elqouent examples of that. The American war of independence and the 1812 war was fought against the linguistically identical state. Nestor's Chronicle names many Finnish tribes that joined hands with the Swedish Varangians and later the Russians in the expeditions against other Finnish tribes.

The blindness of the Baltic language-obsessed nationalists to this fact shouldn't make us as blind and uncritical as themselves, I presume.

> and easily within living memory , non-Russians (i.e. Estonians) had been more than openly discriminated against by Russians in Estonia. <

"Your emphasis on 'Russian' is a bit disconcerting , I think. With c. 160 nationalities and ethnic groups on their territory the Russians didn't develop and spread the same sort of nationalistic mentality the Estonians with their "one-nation obsession - were imbued with."

OK, in order not to lay blame where blame is not due, let me say predominantly Russian then. <

As far as I understand it the Estonians don't seem to be very good at making subtler distinctions. Anything that comes from the East and speaks Russian is Russian for them. In this respect they strongly resemble the Westerners.

"Under the Soviets much was invested in Estonia and labour was needed which Estonians couldn't provide"

> Right , an example that immediately comes to mind is the former cemetery in Kopli, a tramride away from the Old Town. An easy way to rip away all traces of cultural history and connectedness.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kopli_cemetery<

The example that immediately comes to mind is not necessarily the best example. The cemetery was within the Soviet military zone. No military have been particularly mindful of cultural remains that hinder their military base.

If your point was to expose Russia's barbarity, then may I draw your attention to the fact that thanks to the Russian military bases on the beautiful Estonian islands and ban on construction and enclosures the unique wild life there was preserved intact which is now endangered by wild construction activities after dismantling the bases ?

Anyway,I'd ask your humanist-minded Estonian friends how they 'cared' for the monuments and graves of the German or Russian aristocrats they had betrayed and abused after concluding the infamous Treaty of Tartu with Lenin –Estonia's new friend and now so widely hated fiend? That might show many an example on par with the Kopli cemetery.

When I say 'investment' I mean e.g. all the energy sector, cotton factories, metal manufacturing, the new port in Tallin etc. etc. which were all Soviet investments which relied heavily on the huge Soviet market both of raw materials and consumers. Even now the Estonians with no memory holes may remember that the Russian fuel was much cheaper once upon a time.

>. Now do you think the Russians/Ukrainians, Belorus/Uzbeks or the rest should learn Estonian to pelase to the erstwhile lords of the land? "

Of course, with Russain being the language of international friendship and cooperation - the Russians would politely request that Estonians learn to speak Russian.<

I don't know what stories Estonians told you. But if you are inquisitive and curious enough you'll find out on your own that under the bad 'totalitarian' Soviets Estonia had two official languages – Estonian and Russian. Quite unthinkable now with the triumph of the good 'democratic' Estonians!

> By the way, the first thing Estonia did in 1991 was to cancel and repudiate all debt to the USSR. Was it also part of the justice you mention below ?

> The situation currently I guess it's a bit of social justice - long term payback. Understandable but unfortunate.

"I don't understand what social justice is restored by revitalizing injustice and discrimination whereas I remember that the whole Estonian Popular Front movement under Gorbachov was a huge big-mouthed promise to restore justice and respect the Russians whom the Estonians were trying to win on their side for propaganda reasons. But when independence came, Estonian "justice" showed its true ,

'Social justice' - a euphemism I'm using for payback. viz: '.....

It's no euphemism , it's a caricature. "Payback" ? It works here as long as you uphold Russian 'collective guilt" – a notion known from the early medieval and barbarian legal systems. You first construe a collective guilt – the Soviet occupation for which you insidiously blame all the Russians in Estonia for it and then not finding any longer Stalin, Berya etc. and other real culprits you punish the imaginary collective "culprits" , i.e. any Russian who happens to be living within your jurisdiction. You "pay back" the wrong people ! I'll spare you my euphemism for it.

> In August 1940, Estonia was formally annexed by the Soviet Union as the Estonian SSR. Those who had failed to do their "political duty" of voting Estonia into the USSR, specifically those who had failed to have their passports stamped for voting, were condemned to death by Soviet tribunals.[18] The repressions followed with the mass deportations carried out by the Soviets in Estonia on June 14, 1941. Many of the country's political and intellectual leaders were killed or deported to remote areas of the USSR by the Soviet authorities in 1940-1941. Repressive actions were ... taken against thousands of ordinary people.'

I do assure you I know this story. This was routinely done to many more groups and nationalities. The Estonians were not so special. The Russian civil war exterminated the Russian officers, the cosacks, the priests, the intelligentsia. The collectivization of agriculture annihilated the Russian peasants. The Great Stalinist Terror decimated the army, the administration, the science... This all happened before and afterwards in Stalin's paradise.

I repeat. The conclusion you draw following your Estonian friends' tale is however a non-sequitur. How can you punish Gorbachov and the Russians in 1991 for what their fathers did ( rather or didn't do) ? Was it correct to stygmatize as a non-citizen and "occupier" any Russian child or youngster because they happened not to belong to the happy Estonian race? The Estonians wanted to re-create their alleged pre-war paradise but the way they have chosen leads there through the swamps and quicksands of misfortune and discrimination of non-Estonians.

>yes - the joke is replacing one red passport for another. I agree with you on the EU - the ratification of the Lisbon treaty and talk of EU-wide taxation and more power to the president etc is a dangerous thing.<

'....Some call it more poignantly - the Western Soviet Union - the EUSSR.'

sadly, I think that may well be the case. A bunch of power hungry politicians catering to the lowest common denominator.

You can see quite often graffiti in our cities saying "Yesterday Moscow, today Brussels !".

> So , naturally because they share a border with Russia - Rusia appears to become encircled..... The point I was making was based on the geographic locations of the EU states. The EU via the Baltic states immediately adjoin Russia - so naturally you could say that the EU is 'encircling' Russia. Russia does not adjoin Texas or Alaska or New England.

'.....As a matter of fact Russia adjoins Alaska through the straits of Bering and the Baltic states are the former Russian territory just like Kosovo is a Serbian territitory despite a big US military base and a jihadist pseudo-state there.'

> Surely you don't think then that these cultures somehow 'belong' to Russia - and should not have been given the chance to carve out their own future?

Well, if Hussein Obama 'reverts' openly to Islam, Alaska may feel tempted to declare independence from Islamized America. Who knows how the grave-diggers of the USSR will end themselves ? They are so many willing to play the role of the gravediggers and ghouls of the West.

> Having lived there I can guarantee you it is not as bad as you're making out.

"....Sure, in Chechnia it was much worse. Yet after promising a national paradise to the Russians in the 80-ies this Estonian paradise seems to hardly resemble the old promised land of freedom and equality."

> A Russian living in Berlin would not have too different a life from a Russian living in Tallinn. It is nothing like Chechnya. In fact many Estonians regard Russian Estonians as 'our Russians'.

How do you mean : Russians are occupiers and "our Russians" must sound like 'our occupiers", needn't it ?

> The Russians I met there were very friendly people and got on well with native Estonians. Those who weren't drinking vodka in parks were working normal jobs.

...Will you say that all Russians who can't get a job in Estonia to live from are alcoholics?

I can't draw that conclusion. I can state I did observe many (more than 50) highly intoxicated Russian-speaking people who were drinking vodka in parks in the daytime. But I also saw and met many Russians who were not drinking and holding down regular jobs.

The crucial question is "Did you see any Russians who were not drinking and yet remained unemployed ? "

"What is remarkable is that roughly the same happened after WWI. The German aristocrats were won with generous promises for the Esonian side and later betrayed and gradually stripped of their possessions. Their lands were confiscated and the German minority was oppressed and discriminated."

Well at least you can say the Estonians were fairminded in their revenge.

"Fairminded" ? Another of your euphemisms, my friend? They first betrayed Yudenich and concluded a perfidious treaty with Lenin and now they sermon unctuously on the 'sanctity' of this treaty basing their claims on it! They abused the Germans, dispossessed them and persecuted them and now pretend to care so much for their Germans! They fawned the local Russians during the days of the Estonian Popular Front and betrayed them as well the very day they got what they had been hankering for! And you call it 'fair-minded'!

> I can understand it actually - if you visit some of the outstanding moise scattered around the countryside - you get an idea just how well the Baltic Germans lived.

It's the past the Estonians ,however, can't identify themselves with. They want a myth of at least a 1000 year-old Estonia and what they see around is German mansions and relics and sad proofs that all of that 'myth' is not even 100 years old, i.e. it is too young to dupe the skeptics and hypnotize the youth. All that 'independence' happened in 1917-1918 with the advance of the foreign (German) troops of occupation which were too few to occupy the land and yet numerous enough to produce through their grace or rather a nessity a new statelet - Estonia. But this statelet has been stained from the moment of its birth until now. Not to see that is a remarkable success of Estonian propaganda!

"I doubt if not being a genius I could ever hope to learn Estonian with its 14 noun cases in both singular and plural and exotic non-Indo-European vocabulary and different anomalies of its grammar. I read once a Finnish grammar and it was impossible for me to remember most intricacies and vowel-and consonant changes etc."

It's actually a very pleasant and melodic language to listen too - less harsh than Finnish.

I wonder what sort of beauty would you relish in if one day the Aborigines declared independence of the part of Australia you're living in, made you a non-citizen and forced you to learn one of their dialects prohibiting to use Enlish in courts, shops , hospitals and otehr public places ?

"Anyway, what a waste of time to memorize all of that if one could devote one's time instead to learning English or German!"

I don't agree. learning a language like that will serve you in good stead - purely because you really have to try hard to understand it. At this point I must sincerely compliment you on your own command of English - it is excellent. You're obviously an educated guy.<

Thanks for the compliment although I hardly deserve it.

I agree that exotic languages like Estonian are curious and even charming but forcing people to learn them, blackmail and raid foreign institutions with Estonian language inspectors to extort the proficiency performance from non-natives under pain of depriving them of their jobs and dubious citizenship is the surest way to make this exotic language a curse and a joke to the civilized world.

"But Russian schools are raided regularly by Estonian language inspectors who check if Russian teachers are fluent enough in Estonian to prolong their work permit as Russian teachers ! What a parody! Needless to say, some 98% do fail the exams!"

If I was going to move to Estonia - I would make sure I spent the time to learn the language. I would be subject to the same language requirements as an Russian, no more , no less. I understand that they have a unique culture - and culture is underpinned by language. They want to protect it - that's their business. It's their country.

All would sound nice were it not for a few details, my friend. a/ Estonian is not a language like any other- it's much too difficult to demand from non-natives (particularly the older ones) to achieve a level necessary for intelligent communication. b/ Given the fact that every third inhabitant of Estonia (technically a non-citizen) doesn't speak or understand this exotic language , an alternative language of communication should be found. Under the bad Soviets two languages were official in Estonia. Until 1885 it was only German. But I am not naive. I know how skilfully language is used not to integrate but to down and humiliate the Russian minority. The Estonians tell the fairy tale of "protecting" their culture by imposing oppressive linguistic rules but what sort of danger would their culture or country run by allowing people who speak another language in private to use it in public ? What sort of 'unique culture' is it that needs this ridiculous linguistic oppression, nay terror to survive and thrive ?

"How much did he offer?

From memory about $2k

What would you do if you were a Russian in Estonia and the sum were offered to you ?

> It's remarkable, that teh Estonian jingoists have taken up his idea - and propose " to support re-emigration one should create a special governmental agency and allocate money from the budget". The Russians have aptly baptised this proposal "The Ministry of Expulsion".

The Danes are now doing the same thing aren't they - not with Russians though.So it isn't a bad policy in all cases.

All depends on whom you are going to get rid of. The Estonians will regret one day what they have been doing now with the Russians when a few refugee camps for "poor Palestinians", "miserable Aghans", or other 'displaced Moslems' are established in Estonia in accordance with the 'wise' EU-wide policy on refugee quotas and when the Estonian Moslems at large start their usual business of establishing the Islamic Third World Order in the country. The Russians share the same fundamental values as Estonians and want no sharia in Estonia. Moslems will not have such scruples.

"I don't think my perspective has anything to do with my Slavic origin. I would hardly show any sympathy to Croatians and their fascist ideology. I find simply that what is being done in Estonia and Latvia is unjust, wrong and counterproductive."

> My perception of Russians' life in Estonia (2005) was that they weren't having such a bad time - many own companies and many have their own houses and lots of flash cars. The economy then was doing very well - of course there has been a downturn but the fact is Russians there would still rather live in Estonia than Russia.

And don't you know where all this wealth comes from? Smuggling goods from Russia has assumed exorbitant proportins –cigarettes, alcohol, copper, nickel, works of art, drugs, illegal immigrants ... A quote from an older analysis will hopefully illustrate what I mean : "In the first nine months of 1994, $45 million worth of nonferrous metals passed over the border from Russia to Estonia-- most of it illegally--and out to the West. Tiny Estonia is now one of the world's largest exporters of nonferrous metals, even though it produces none."

Submitting....

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