Friday, January 12, 2007

The power of symbols

I meant to comment earlier on the decision in Estonia to equate the symbolism of the Soviets with that of the Nazis and ban both.

The reaction from Russia- the usual offensive bluster- just reminds us that they still do not understand the scale of evil that these symbols represent.

All the Estonians I know- and I know many- had family members who were taken. Many never returned. Those that did were often broken in health and spirit. These were innocent victims of an inhuman ideology.

Of course the Estonians take it personally.

Russia still does not acknowledge that the occupation of the Baltic was a crime. It is not like the Balts intend to change borders or demand financial restitution. All they ask is an acknowledgment.

The silence from Putin's Russia is deafening- and it speaks in libraries of what the Kremlin still believes.


James said...

In fairness to the Russians Cicero, I can see how that within Russia the 'equivalence' of swastika and hammer and sickle is immensely provocative even if largely true.

Anonymous said...


Did you see the Economist piece on the new Highlander Poles. Was especially amusing to read that with thousands of scots having migrated to Poland in the 16th century where the names became polonised, eg Ramsay, Ramzy that if they stick around long enough the names may switch back. Would have thought with your interests you would have picked up on this excellent writing.


Anonymous said...

I have no sympathy for Russians. The Russian Federation has willingly idendtified herself as the successor state to the USSR, at least when it comes to goodies like the UN Security Council seat or the nuclear arsenal. It's about time they admitted the wrongs done to the Baltic States.

vaba cymrulane said...

There may be another scary symbol coming up...look at Russia's new fascist movement, Nashi ( They are scary and they are essentially turning into the "Putin Youth" -- and Estonia is their enemy number one. This could turn worse than the hammer and sickle...