by David Essel
Being a historian is a delicate matter: we readers of history have to trust our historians to collect the information they present properly and fully, collate it, and then present fairly an overall picture for us. There can result interesting and differing presentations even among fair-minded and honest historians, just as two good, pleasant, and honest intellectuals can see things from different angles, argue about the matter in question, and come to eventual agreement or disagreement. Facts can’t really be an issue; philosophical viewpoint can. When decent people do this, the result is that still more truth is elucidated.
Basically, therefore, when reading history, one has to decide if one trusts one’s historian. Putin was recently present at the presentation of a new handbook for teachers called A Modern History of Russia, 1945-2006: A Teachers' Manual. Obviously, if it comes with Prostitutin’s imprimatur, it must be good and it’s certainly official.
The question is therefore – does one trust the historian or historians who produced this? One of the authors is a certain Pavel Danilin. He apparently has a BA in history, works for the Effective Policy Foundation, a think tank with strong ties to the Kremlin, and also writes for journal called Русский Журнал.
It is my dubious pleasure to present an example of his writings from this journal. Should we trust a man who thinks and writes such things to contribute to a handbook for the formation of history teachers who will influence a generation of children? The question, alas – but not surprisingly – is purely rhetorical.
27 April 2007
Do the Estonians have the right to demolish the memorial to the Soviet soldiers? Indubitably – yes. They have just as much right to do it as the Taliban had when then blew up the Buddha statues. Just as much right as the Vandals had when they razed ancient Rome. This is the righteousness of the proud little fascist and lout. A country where the rights of a considerable proportion of the population are infringed, where fascists are publicly rehabilitated, has taken yet another step towards its eventual refascistication.
Europe looks down kindly on Tallinn and assures us that we should not interfere in the internal affairs of a NATO member country. But why not, in fact?
We could, for example, start by initiating a speedy programme for the repatriation of our fellow-countrymen from Estonia. Next, we could carry out longer-term agitation of the local Russian-speaking population. Following that, break off diplomatic relations with Estonia. Declare an economic blockade. Would that be enough?
I believe that is not sufficient. The people of Estonia have shown by their passive approval of the actions of their fascist government that they do not have a right to statehood – a statehood that Russia gifted to them in the 20th century. The fascist régime must be annihilated and replaced by a truly democratic one, cleansed of all traces of apartheid.
Russia could provide financial support for a number of NGOs for the development of democratic institutions in Estonia. Moscow could become a centre for activists who have proved by their resistance against the police that they are against fascist youth and against the régime of apartheid and stand for a democratic Estonia which is friendly to Russia. Something of this sort should be supported by all means.
Finally, I see yet another possible line of development. Little Estonia is after all just a successor state to Adolf Schickelgruber’s, a stinking cesspool full of floating SS brown waste, with an economic potential so insignificant that its precious industries and agriculture could be bought up lock, stock and barrel – bought up and closed down, for example.
That would be a brave step to take. The fascist régime in Tallinn found the courage to demolish the memorial to our soldiers. Can we not find sufficient firmness of decision to put those Estonian rabid dogs in their place?
It’s been a long time (but never long enough) since I’ve read quite such a nasty piece of bilious tosh.
And this is one of the contributors to a Putin-approved text-book for teachers! What can one say? As always: poor Russia...
TN: PS Anyone would think I’m Estonian from the way the Estonian war memorial issue keeps cropping up in what I present in LR. It doesn’t matter but in fact I’m not, although it’s not a nationality i would be in aby way ashamed of having – on the contrary. It is just that this actually rather minor issue of the relocation of a Soviet memorial in some strange way brought about a clear manifestation of the Russophile mindset and perfectly exemplifies it.