Interpreting The History

Different interpretation of historical events is THE TOPIC when it comes to Russia. I personally have been witnessing how Russians are teaching Georgian history.  This time I am not going to speak about Georgia but Baltic States. Actually it’s not me who will tell you about this, but Povilas Žielys in his opinion column for Baltische Rundschau. About the slaves and slaveholders from the Eastern Baltic countries – headlined his article Povilas Žielys arguing that Cardinally different interpretations of historic events are the key obstacle hindering good relationship between Lithuania and Russia.
These thoughts emerged after having read A. Fomenka‘s article „Eastern European Countries as the Russian Problem“ published in the magazine Meždunarodnaja žiznj.

It is understandable that this magazine publishes only „ideologically correct“ articles complying with the official Moscow‘s line. And, here appeared A. Fomenka‘s article telling the history of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania from 11th century until nowadays.

At the beginning of the article a writer and politician A. Fomenka states that the Russians have much more arguments in the historic dispute with the „new Europeans“ from the Baltic States. The reader could find here quite „interesting“ things. For instance, that in 18thcentury divisions of Poland and Lithuania took place in pursuance of democratic procedures and that historically and legally they were more justified than Serbia‘s division by uprooting Kosovo.  The author also explains that the Polish and Lithuanians revolted against the tsarist authority in 1830 and 1863 because it was very liberal compared to the Prussian authority.

Interpretation of the establishment of independent Baltic republics after the World War I is especially „interesting“. According to A. Fomenka, the will of the Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians to seek independence was „nearly exceptionally“ related to the fear of bolsheviks; moreover, the Baltic States established their statehood only because they were not able to resist the bolsheviks.

Besides, A. Fomenka considers the infamous Molotov-Ribbentrop pact as „the masterpiece of diplomacy of that period“ and refers to the membership of the Baltic States in the European Union as a greatly doubtful issue.

Having provided his own „portrayal“ of the history of the Baltic States, A. Fomenka started blackmailing the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian nations. He tries to prove that these nations used periods of independence for ethnic cleansings. According to A. Fomenka, during the interwar period the Germans residing in the Baltic countries suffered most of all, since they were deprived of their possessions, and after the fall of the Soviet Union the Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians started oppressing the Russians residing in these countries.

A.Fomenka highlights that the above actions of „pribalts“ were predetermined by their complexes and that they tried to undermine culturally superior nations, i.e. the Germans and Russians. According to him, the Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians are tortured by the syndrome of slaves: having regained independence, a slave becomes a slaveholder rather than a free citizen.

Different interpretations of history have the right to exist. All the nations are apt to tell their history by embellishing or concealing certain details.  But that‘s why the historians are for, i.e. for the investigation and determination of the margin between the myth and reality.

A. Fomenka’s article cannot be considered part of the discussion of historians. It more reminds a pseudoscientific propaganda humiliating the neighboring countries. The Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians are described as uncivilized nations, not respecting the human rights, and the author is sympathizing only to the stars of the soviet cinema, literature and stage who cannot dissociate themselves from Moscow.

All governments should suppress interpretations of history inciting hatred towards other nations. Regretfully, A.Fomenka‘s article was published in the magazine which is considered an official trumpet of the ministry of foreign affairs of Russia.


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