It’s important to note that the Estonians are targeted not as enemies of Russians but enemies of Soviet power, a belief system and regime supporting repression and dominance over democratic neighbouring countries.
The document, discovered by historian and Estonian parliamentarian Aadu Must, was found in a Siberian archive and deals with a Communist Party Central Committee decision of January 31, 1938, designating Estonians as enemies. Must says he actually found an official copy of an original document that was intended for the incinerator, but wasn’t destroyed. He intends to explore the document’s implications in a book to be published next fall.
If the purported document proves to be authentic, then Soviets were simply following an historically time-honoured stance that often nudged imperial Russia into action. One of the most commonly used methods for Moscow (St. Petersburg during Czarist Russia) to intimidate and coerce its neighbouring nations was by deportations, mostly to Siberia.
The practice, as enforced against Estonia, dates back some centuries of which the 1941 and 1949 deportations are the best known – perhaps because of their meticulous planning, the ruthless execution of the plan (families were split, women and children were included) and the careful co-ordination of the plan’s implementation simultaneously within Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
Historically the first noticeable deportation was of the residents of Tartu to Pihkva (Pskov) in October of 1588. Thereafter:
July 9, 1565 – deportations of Tartu residents of German heritage
October 11, 1571 – deportations of Tartu residents
July 9, 1575 – deportations of Estonians in western Estonia
February 18, 1708 – deportations of Tartu and Narva residents
June, 1915 – deportations of Baltic-German baronial heritage and clergy from Estonia
January 28, 1918 – deportations of Baltic-German landowners from Estonia
June 14, 1941 – mass deportations
July 1-3, 1941 – mass deportations from Estonian islands
August 15, 1945 – deportations of people of German heritage from Estonia
1956-1947 – deportations of Ingerians from Estonia (a Finno-Ugric people)
1948-1952 – re-deportations of children who were initially deported in 1941 and in the interim freed
March 25, 1949 – mass deportations from Estonia
June 1949, - deportations of Ingerians and Finns from Estonia
February 1951 – deportations of believers from Estonia
If the recently found document proves to be authentic and accurate, then the efficiency of the Communist system, at least in terms of repression and cruelty, is remarkable. Or were the Soviets actually paying homage to continuity of tradition?
Communist Party document claimed to name Estonians as Soviet enemies (7)