Hungarian lawmakers have passed a bill equating Communist era crimes to the Holocaust and banned denying it under threat of imprisonment.
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And one more additional point to Larry, as you like the Wikipedia. Just finished reading the article about continuation war: http://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/Continuatio n_war
There's also written about Finns who were punished after the war because of their claimed actions in the camps:
"After the war, based on the testimonies of the former prisoners of war, criminal charges were filed against 1,381 Finnish camp staff, resulting in 723 convictions and 658 acquittals. They were accused of 42 executions and 242 murders. There were 10 cases of death from torture, eight infringements of property rights, 280 official infringements and 86 other crimes."
So here I think is quite clearly shown that the Finnish paid the price of their criminal actions. Case closed on this.
But when do we see the some of the Soviet war criminals (talking about Winter war and Continuation war here) on trial and not celebrated by Soviet successor state as heroes? And when will the Karelia and other areas be returned to whom it was taken by force? Probably never. And that is sad not only for Finns but in the long run for the Russians too.
Have you seen what is the condition of Viipuri (or other towns in occupied areas)? It is extremely sad place to visit. Maybe the city is feeling better now when it has been named for some military glory award by Medvedev. The knowledge of Russian president about history seems to come from some old Soviet school books.
Svetlana, do I detect another person without difficulties in reading? I wrote about Soviet State and not Russian people. I fail to understand your post.
People travelled to Leningrad because:
1) There was cheap vodka (lots of Finns have a drinking problem I agree)
2) It was interesting place to see how people in so different country lived (I was one of these)
3) Trips were cheap (Finland was a poor nation for 30 year after the war)
4) It was very much sponsored by labour unions and political parties at the time (There were lot of communists in Finland)
Lot of Finnish speak Russian. Why shouldn't they want to talk in Russian? We don't hate Russians.
We don't start to complain to a Russians about problems with Soviet Union at least before we know them. Finns are quite polite and reserved people generally. But ask them next time what they think about Stalin and you might get some light in the situation.
Also one good reason is that Finns were thought in the Sovietic time that there's never anything wrong with SU, only peace and cooperation. No critical words were allowed by Finnish self censorship by most of the media. Some parties didn't get to government because of "yleiset syyt" (Common reasons). Everyone knew this meant that SU didn't approve them, but it couldn't be said aloud. Kekkonen was in power so long he was already demented because he was thought to be the only person to keep Finland independent with his good relations to Kremlin. This kind of false reality we were living in made the more simpler people actually believe in these half truths.
Sorry for not replying for a while. Just back from Russia. Again basically met only nice people there. Even lost my bag with passport and money (no drinking involved here! ;) and it was found fully untouched!
Larry, where did I lie? I wrote that Finns fed them by best of their abilities and didn't deny anywhere that many died. I don't know if your numbers are right or not though. But, Finland was nation in war at that moment and as basically all the men were at war and 10% of farming area was lost in Winter War, Finland couldn't even feed it's own people without getting crops from Germany. So I don't see it as a big surprise that the prisoners weren't in the top priority to be fed. But this was again because of Soviet's aggression.
But I don't see any problem saying that I'm sorry for these people's deaths and suffering, if it makes you happy. Can you do the same for Soviet's actions in two war it started against Finland? SU's bombing the civilian targets, including all the major Finnish cities, taking over 10% of Finnish land, partisan attacks against civilians, causing by starting the war deaths of tens of thousands of Finnish soldiers and wounding many more, causing huge economical problems by destroyed Finnish infrastructure and in paying the war reparations? And 45 years of tight rope balancing because of a real danger that Finland would be turned in to one more Sovietic country if it just said one thing wrong.
And what comes patriotism, I don't consider myself patriotic person. I value freedom, equality and justice as important things in my life. I'm commenting here only because I wanted to correct some misinformation about about Finland as I happen to know more of that subject as some others.
Larry, surely you didn’t mean it when you wrote that, in terms of objectivity, “Finns are as bad as everyone else when given the opportunity.” Surely you didn’t include Russians in that denunciation as being part of the non objective everyone else, did you? Most Russians and Russia apologists have always represented themselves on this Forum as being the very pinnacle of objectivity, but you seem to disagree with them on this. If you believe Russians and Russia apologists are non objective after all, perhaps you might give a specific example or two of this. It might turn out that some of their prejudiced points are the very ones that I actually challenge on this Forum, but we’ll never know unless you detail what you believe Russian prejudice to be.
I am also fascinated by another accusation that you made, namely that I reputedly “avoid simple facts with ever more convoluted arguments.” Since you made the accusation, would you please specify some facts I avoid, simple or otherwise, and an example or two of a convoluted argument that I offer to hide my wickedness. In the absence of detailing your accusations, they remain simply that – empty accusations which might sound grand, but which are meaningless.
Hysteric =“wildly emotional and uncontrollable behaviour." ..Yes I think that's a fair description of Marco's response. He's obviously a patriotic Finn. No objectivity there. As his friend perhaps you can console him. Unfortunately Finns are as bad as everyone else when given the opportunity.
In any event, I rest my case and you, Marzipan, should as well, since you are avoiding simple facts with ever more convoluted arguments.
BTW, I'll be interested to hear what the Georgians' response is when you demand an apology from them for Stalin's behavior.
"So basically there has never been anything else than terror in one form or another coming from the Soviet state".
Do I detect another 'case' of profoundly 'damaged' individual looking for a cumulative sympathy with a view of some desirable 'remedy'?
The Winter war aside, the only realistic (non-wiki) "problem" encountered by many Finns in the Soviet Union was ...the Finland's drinking problem; since Finns didn't experienced difficulties in travelling to neighbouring Leningrad where vodka was infinitely cheaper than at home. I would think that many Russians still remember those choruses singing in unison from the tables (or under) of hotel dining rooms. With a sense of universal brotherhood the Russian security guards had to blow whistles only if there was an 'imminent' danger - to miss a coach back to Finland
I'm British, but in my work-related experience the Finns are only pleased to exercise their knowledge of Russian language with another Russian speaking colleague.
No one told me anything even remotely similar to your "terrors", fortunately.
Ok, I don’t know what “nebtuib” in par 2 of my post means, either. I do speak Estonian and know some Finnish, but that is a word in neither language! I must be suffering from the same hysteria as Marko. However, replace “nebtuib” with “mentioned”, and things fall into place. :)
Larry, there’s an interesting book that should be required reading for all who proffer numbers on the Forum. It’s called, “How to Lie With Statistics.”
Yo u give some numbers regarding prisoners in Finland and nebtuib a book which I am sure you have not read, because a few days ago you admitted you knew very little about Finland. For your statistics to have a bit of meaning, you need to substantiate the following:
(1) How were these numbers calculated, and by whom?
(1) How did those prisoners fall into Finnish hands in the first place, and what were they doing 10 minutes before they were captured?
(2) Where were they captured, and why were they there?
(3) At that same time, how many Finns themselves were suffering from malnutrition, and indeed dying from it, and why were they suffering thus?
(4) Exactly what were the Finnish captors of those prisoners doing or not doing to alleviate the prisoners’ suffering? What circumstances and resources were available to them, and were they making appropriate use of these?
You grandly ignored every one of these points and more besides, and imagined, I suppose, that you were providing irrefutable proof of Finnish crimes. You were not.
By the way, Larry, unlike yourself, I haven’t noticed Marko being particularly hysterical in his posts, “hysterics” being defined as “wildly emotional and uncontrollable behaviour.” Previously I might have expected that due to the operation of the Stockholm Syndrome whereby the abused defend their abusers, anyone who criticised any aspect of Soviet criminality would automatically be labelled by many Russians as “hysterical”. But you have confidently told us that the Stockholm Syndrome doesn’t apply in the case of Soviet Russia at all, only in the case of Nazi Germany. So now it is quite clear that Marko’s perceived hysteria cannot possibly be the result of the Stockholm Syndrome working in you, and must therefore be the result of a deep truth which only can see.
Well, well, Marko at least I'm not lying. I guess I'll have to accept an apology for name-calling as well as Finland's WWII atrocities...from you.
This is what you say:
" Finns fed them by best of their abilities but at war time food was scarce for everyone"
This is what your fellow Finn says:
-"Around 4,000 of the prisoners perished due to malnourishment, 90%"^ Suur-Suomen kahdet kasvot - Laine, Antti; 1982, ISBN 951-1-06947-0, Otava (Let me add that we're talking about civilians here...)
-"About 19,000 Soviet prisoners of war died in Finnish prison camps during the Continuation War.... The high number of fatalities was mainly due to malnutrition and diseases"
You continue crying about how the Russians deserve what they got for following Stalin and you end your hysterical rhetoric by saying, "all the Russians I know are extremely nice and wonderful people" ....That really smells of gross hypocrisy, especially on a Russian website....I'm not justifying Stalin or the mistakes of Communism...Russia has changed and at great cost to its own people..Finland committed these atrocities & I stand by the facts... and from what I can see you do not have the courage to do so.
As for you Marzipan...You shouldn't let others frame your argument for you. That usually means you don't have one...That psycho babble about the "Stockholm Syndrome" was much more true of the Nazis and their collaborators than the Communists. If you want to compare the Communists to something negative...I think Islamic Jihad would be a more apt analogy.
Larry you must be joking or just brainwashed by some glorious communistic ideas.
It is true that Finland occupied part of Karelia during the war. But this serves as a good example of different ways totalitarian government (Soviet Union) and democratic government (Finland) treats it's civilians during the war. Both times when SU attacked, Finland evacuated whole population from the front to save them from suffering. After loosing the Karelia it gave new land for the 400.000 refugees which was more than 10% of Finnish populace at the time. And this was in a country where tens of thousands had wounded or died in the SU's aggression and many factories and homes bombed and destroyed.
When SU was in the same situation in the Continuation war, when Finns conquered back it's land and some more mainly in Petroskoi area to get better defense positions, SU just left it's civilians there to be taken care by others. This is because Stalin didn't care a bit how their people would survive. And Finns fed them by best of their abilities but at war time food was scarce for everyone. People suffering in war camps is terrible of course but none of this wouldn't happened if SU wouldn't have attacked Finland already second time within short time.
All responsibility of these people's suffering is purely only in hands of Stalin and other Soviet leaders.
Marko, thank you for fine-tuning my comments about Finland.
I agree, most Russians I have met are very nice people, and yet Russians’ and Russian apologists’ collective attitude towards the Soviet Union, as displayed even on these Forums, is a bit bizarre. I have recently been reading about the Stockholm Syndrome, which is the name given to the strangely positive attitude hostages often develop towards their captors, and it occurred to me how accurately this describes Russians’ experience of the Soviet Union. Key elements of the Stockholm Syndrome are:
* Hostages view their captors as giving life by not taking it.
* The hostage is isolated from others and has only the captor’s distorted perspectives available.
* The captor threatens to kill the hostage and seems able to do so. Hostages therefore feel it safer to agree with the captor than to be killed.
* The hostage interprets occasional periods of a lack of abuse as a great kindness, and is grateful for this.
* Having had all independence and personal empowerment stripped from them, hostages regress to the psychologically immature self-perception of a child, and their captor then becomes a parent figure from whom the necessities and securities of life come.
The above points outline, to a frightening degree of accuracy, the attitudes to which Soviet terror drove generations of Russians. Even though intellectually Russians know better, they apparently find it hard to shake off the generations-long emotional conditioning that their Soviet experience imposed on them, and their foreign supporters seem to absorb elements of this attitude from them. You will have noticed that seemingly rational and well-informed people on this Forum overlook and justify Soviet crimes to a degree that is astonishing, and react vehemently towards any who suggest that either the Soviet Union as a whole, or individual perpetrators of individual Soviet crimes, should be held responsible for their deeds.
Hungary as I mentioned many times before looks to solve its problems by iredentism and chauvinism. They want war, if you didnt, now you do. Fools are doomed to repeat their mistakes again. It all looks very pre-1939-ish
Thank you for Marzipan6 to correct Larry's profound ignorance about Finland.
Just few detail additions:
- Soviet Union was the one who was "Nazi collaborator" when attacking Finland 1939.
- This war 1939-1940 is called Winter war in Finland. This Russo-Finnish war is used mainly by Russians.
- Our resistance didn't collapse, but was very close to it, as we were fighting alone against the super power without proper weapons. Stalin's goal in the war was not to get only these areas, but to add Finland back to Russian (now Soviet) empire. Only reason he accepted peace and only settling for Karelia (home for 400.000 Finns) was that he was afraid of English intervention in the war.
- After the second war with Russia, Finland lost even more areas than in previous war. We had to pay huge war reparations and lost a big chunk of our freedom in international politics until the collapse of Soviet Union.
So basically there has never been anything else than terror in one form or another coming from the Soviet state. Russia as it's successor is still occupying about 10% of Finnish land. But it's important to remember that all the Russians I know are extremely nice and wonderful people. And the Russians themselves have been and basically are still suffering very much of all things Sovietic. So it makes one wonder why it's so difficult for some Russians to admit that Soviet Union was monster and should be treated like one.
Marzipan...Clearly I may hot know much about Finland but the internet does....I'd say these two issues could be characterized as war crimes. So...yes..I'd like to hear an apology from Finland...but you'll do in a pinch.
When the Finnish Army occupied Russian East Karelia between 1941 and 1944, several concentration camps were set up for Russian civilians. The first camp was set up on 24 October 1941, in Petrozavodsk. Around 4,000 of the prisoners perished due to malnourishment, 90% of them during the spring and summer of 1942.
^ Suur-Suomen kahdet kasvot - Laine, Antti; 1982, ISBN 951-1-06947-0, Otava
About 19,000 Soviet prisoners of war died in Finnish prison camps during the Continuation War, which means that about 30 percent of Soviet POWs taken by the Finns did not survive. The high number of fatalities was mainly due to malnutrition and diseases. However, about 1,000 POWs are believed to have been executed.
Svetlana, I know that Russia has several internal monuments to Soviet crimes. I also know that its crimes against the Baltics were not internal crimes but international crimes against foreign sovereign nations whom Russians under the Soviet flag invaded and occupied, and whose people they murdered, enslaved and oppressed for some 50 years. The rest of the world knows this, too. Only Russia claims not to know it, but it should.
Internati onal outrages require international reconciliation, not domestic monuments relating to internal Russian matters. Else international trust cannot be re-established.
Larry, clearly you know even less about Finland that I know about Yugoslavia. First, Finland was not a “Nazi collaborator.” In November 1939 the SU attacked it without provocation, starting the Russo-Finnish War. Its reason was that Finland would not cede territory to Russia that Russia wanted. For three months the Finns fought back strongly, but then their resistance collapsed, and Russia took the territory it wanted.
When Germany attacked Russia in June 1941, Finns saw an opportunity to take back their land which Russia was still occupying, and to that end Finland sided with Germany. With the defeat of Germany, Finland again sued for peace, and most of the territory it had lost in 1939-40 became permanently lost to it, and is so to this day. Karelia, once a large part of Finland, is now a part of the Russian Federation. So much for your pronouncement that Finland “was barely touched” during World War 2.
As for your allegation of Finnish “crimes against humanity,” as far as I know no one, not even Russia, accuses Finland of any.
You also delicately asked, “Who are you going to bully for Soviet contrition anyway?” If you think Russia can be bullied, then you know even less about Russia than you do about Finland. Besides, contrition cannot be demanded or decreed – it is either genuine, or it is worthless. The Soviet State does not exist, and the Russian Federation is not guilty of Soviet crimes. But many individual Russians were, and are. The least Russia can do is express genuine regret for this to its neighbours. On a much smaller scale, at a time when the Estonia did not have a government of its own but was under German occupation, some few – very few – Estonians did participate in German war crimes. Today’s Estonian state carries no guilt for this, but it has felt a moral responsibility to apologise, and apologise repeatedly, for the behaviour of those individuals. Russia needs to do likewise.
I guess that's the closest we'll get to an understanding. My perspective is that with the Marshall plan (Western)Germany made out very well .After the war crimes trials and a little bit of lip service, (Western)Germany was guaranteed a generous economic recovery. The Nazi collaborators; Hungary, Austria, Bulgaria, Romania & Finland were barely touched during WWII...whereas Poland, Yugoslavia & the USSR were left smoking ruins with millions of dead & no plan to save them. Did the Hungarians, Austrians, Finns, Croats etc. own up to crimes against humanity like the Germans? No....Should they? Ofcourse...Will they? No.
Besides all that, who are you going to bully for Soviet contrition anyway? Stalin is now a Georgian. The Germans today have achieved what Hitler wanted. Germany runs the E.U. not the French or the Brits. NATO acts on the behalf of the EU/US. German troops actually occupy Kosovo like the Nazis of WWII...What's the problem? I'd say all things being equal, Germany won WWII...& Hungary is always kowtowing to Germany so they're on the winning team.
In your adopted Australia even cute koalas will fall asleep if you mention to them again and again about "Russia's denial of its past".
I refuse to believe that you're genuinely unaware of the "Butovo Poligon" near Moscow and the "Solovki's Stone" right in front of the former NKVD headquarters on Lubyanka.
I refuse to believe that you genuinely don't know that ceremonies of commemoration of ALL Stalin's victims are very low-profile and with emphasis on sensitivity and morality.
Mr Putin always attending these religious events led by the Patriarch of Russian Orthodox Church.
So stop earning the 'persona non grata' status and look forward to attending them if you're sincere about atonement.
Larry, I entirely agree with you, living in the past is pointless, seeing as life is in the present and future. However, it is not possible to have confidence and trust in either a person or a nation that absolutely monstered you in the past, and not only has shown no remorse about it, but denies that it even happened. Such an attitude casts a very worrying shadow over the future, and suggests that given the either genuine or dishonest denial of the assailant, the assaults might happen all over again. Russia, unfortunately, is such a nation, and continues to embrace Stalinist justifications for some of its worst assaults against its neighbours. For Russia’s neighbours to feel confidence about their future, Russia has to first emerge from its denial about its past.
German crimes against humanity were in the same league as Soviet Russia’s, but given Germany’s genuine change of attitude, no one worries about their future on Germany’s account. Unfortunately the same cannot be said regarding Russia.
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