The Soviet Union, Finland, and the Baltic StatesSoviet Information Bureau

Pamphlet cover

This monograph, published in 1941, details the Stalinist version of the history of Soviet-Baltic/Finnish relations. Based on its concluding section, it was apparently published while the Soviets still occupied the Baltic States. The Soviets accuse the Baltic States and Finland as the originators of all strife, accusing them of forming places d’armes for the purpose of “anti-Soviet attacks, expeditions, political combinations, alliances and coalitions—all directed against the Soviet Union.”

As Dawisha and Parrott write in Russia and the New States of Eurasia: The Politics of Upheaval:

… the consolidation of Stalin’s dictatorship produced especially egregious omissions and falsifications in accounts of the fate of various nationalities repressed during the period of Communist rule.

For now, official Russia increasingly views aspersions cast on the Soviet Union as attacks on itself, per President Medvedev’s establishment of the “Presidential Commission of the Russian Federation to Counter Attempts to Falsify History to the Detriment of Russia’s Interests” (комиссия при президенте Российской Федерации по противодействию попыткам фальсификации истории в ущерб интересам России) created to “defend Russia against falsifiers of history and those who would deny Soviet contribution to the victory in World War II.” One of the core tenets of that position is that the Soviet Union was a victim only in World War II—including its victimization at the hands of Finland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania—never the naked aggressor. After half a century of Soviet occupation, two decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union, this historical monograph is essential reading for anyone interested in the Stalinist account of Baltic relations and how that account continues to frame Russia’s official position.

...Timeline...An ABC of Latvian OrnamentsLatvju Rakstu Ābecīte [An ABC of Latvian Ornaments]. Latviešu Bērnu Draudzības Savienība. 1939.A child's primer on the basics of Latvian ornaments and examples of how more complex forms are then constructed. In Latvian. Facsimile. Molotov–Ribbentrop PactMolotov-Ribbentrop Pact, 1939. Text of the secret protocol carving up Eastern Europe between Stalin and Hitler. The First Months of the WarThe First Months of the War, Mr. Munters Speaks at the University, 1940. Foreign Minister Vilhelms Munters' speech at the University of Latvia, asking, infamously : "I should like to ask, where now is the sovietisation against which we were warned...?" Letters on Birch Bark In Siberia Written Letters on Birch Bark, UNESCO Latvia. Birch bark was often the only material to write on. Background on deportations, the letters, and a gallery of photos. EXTERNAL SITE Holocaust in Latvia (HAOLUSA.ORG) Prof. Andrew Ezergailis' web site on the Holocaust in LatviaScholarship on the Holocaust in Latvia: essays, letters, reviews. Prof. Ezergailis is the pre-eminent scholar in this field. EXTERNAL SITE Soviet War NewsThe Soviet Union, Finland, and the Baltic States. Soviet Information Bureau. Soviet War News, 1941. In a monograph published after the Winter War and toward the end of its first occupation of the Baltic states, the Soviet Union blames the Finns and Balts for their troubles, only the Soviets have consistently engaged in "neighbourly relations," rebuffed by its neighbors at every turn. A classic study in Stalinist propaganda and a version of history still familiar in official Russian rhetoric. These Names AccuseThese Names Accuse—Nominal List of Latvians Deported to Soviet Russia in 1940-41, second edition with supplementary list. Latvian National Foundation, Stockholm. 1982. (1942) History leading up to and including the Soviet invasion of the Baltics, the first Soviet occupation, and the first mass deportations of 1941. The originally compiled list of names was published in Riga in 1942. Documents, photographs, list of names (in progress). A Shepherd DiedViens Gans Nomira (A Shepherd Died). Margarita Kovaļevska, illustrator. 1942. A miniature booklet of a folk song, published by Tautas Palīdzība (Peoples' Aid) in war-time Latvia and given out for donations to help the orphaned and widowed, illustrated by a popular Latvian pre-war and diaspora artist—and who dated Peters' father while they studied together at the Academy of Art. Behind the Polish-Soviet BreakBehind the Polish-Soviet Break, Alter Brody, introduced by Corliss Lamont. Soviet Russia Today, New York. 1943. After the Poles rightfully blamed the Katyn massacre on the Soviets, the USSR denounced (per Molotov's letter, included) the accusation as a "Hitlerite slanderous fake." Within two weeks the USSR severed relations with the Polish Government-in-Exile. Beyond alleging Polish lies, Alter Brody's monograph goes on to characterize the Polish people as an ungrateful scourge upon history—portending the post-WWII portrayal of anti-Soviet Eastern European nationalists as fascists. Latvia Under German Occupation in 1943Latvia Under German Occupation in 1943. Latvian Legation, Washington, DC. 1944. The Latvian diplomatic corps reports on Latvia's third year under Nazi occupation, recounting still-fresh events. What Latvian Wishes From This War?What Latvian Wishes From This War? Alfreds Bīlmanis. Latvian Legation, Washington DC. 1944. As head of the Latvian Foreign Ministry's press division, Alfreds Bīlmanis (1887-1948) actively promoted independent Latvia's interests abroad. His war-time monograph, subtitled: "Background, Current Situation, Hopes for the Future"—written while there was still hope for Latvia's post-war freedom—dispels still-prevalent misunderstandings regarding the historical inter-relationships of the Baltics, Europe, and Russia.
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