Estonians in exile: worrisome irritants to Soviet authorities (II)
Archived Articles 16 Jun 2006 Estonian Central Council in CanadaEWR
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Arnold Green’s secret report to Karl Vaino

The prime goal of the anti-Soviet émigrés’ [in this context, ‘refugees’was not in the Soviet lexicon] BATUN (Baltic Appeal to the United Nations) organization is to gain accreditation at the UN’s Commission on Economic and Social Issues as a Non-governmental Organization [NGO].

The White House raised the “Baltic issue” in its anti-Soviet course to the level of national politics. Thus the President in 1986 proclaimed June 14 [commemorating the first large scale deportations to Siberia from the Baltic states in 1941] as “Baltic Freedom Day” and declared that the “incorporation of the Baltic states into the Soviet Union is illegal and unjustified”. Supported by a Congressional resolution, this has occurred four years in a row. On the annual anniversaries of the declarations of independence of the bourgeois Baltic states (in 1918) US Secretary of State D. Schultz sent “the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian diplomatic representatives in the USA” his usual greetings. [The USA did not recognize de jure the Soviet annexation of the Baltic States and thus maintained accreditation of the diplomatic representatives of the pre-war independent republics.]

With the public support of the USA a group of anti-Soviet Baltic émigré activists participated as observers at the human contacts experts meeting of the CSCE (Conference on Security and Co-operation in Europe or “Helsinki Accords”) in Berne, Switzerland in April 1986. There the émigrés visited 24 state delegations to deliver a memorandum which contained brutal attacks against the USSR on the questions of “human rights violations,” “Baltic russification” and “the politics of genocide” with respect to the indigenous peoples of the Baltic. M. Novak, the head of the US delegation, met personally with the “representatives of the captive peoples of eastern Europe” including the Balts.

A vile international anti-Soviet action was carried out on August 23rd which was called “Black Ribbon Day”. In various cities in the USA, Canada, Great Britain and Sweden demonstrations of mourning were held on that day, supported by local politicians and the participation of Baltic, Ukrainian, Polish, Hungarian, Czechoslovakian, and Afghanistani émigrés. Thus they commemorated the 1939 pact between the Soviet Union and Germany [commonly known as the Molotov Ribbentrop Pact], which the anti-Soviets believed assured the division of eastern Europe. The Canadian Estonian anti-Soviet émigrés were especially active in organizing the “Black Ribbon Day”. Markus Hess, a younger generation Estonian, headed the “international committee” of this initiative. Steps have been taken to establish the “Black Ribbon Day” as a tradition and to hold the event annually.

With Washington’s official support, the anti-Soviet Baltic émigrés were active during the first weeks of the CSCE conference in Vienna. In the name of the “Baltic World Council” a memorandum demanding “raising the question of the illegal occupation and the re-establishment of the sovereign rights of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania without foreign interference” was presented to all Vienna participants. O. Pavlovskis, the chairman of the “world union of free Latvians” was an official member of the US delegation. He represented the interest of the US public.

As a whole, the Baltic nationalist groups put total effort into exploiting the Vienna meeting, to draw the attention of the participating states, mass media and Western European public to the question of the “Baltic question”. To reach their goal, in addition to contacting all delegations of capitalist states in Vienna, the Balts also organized street demonstrations, press conferences, and even an act of vandalism – a Latvian lit in flames a statue of a Soviet soldier, a memorial to a liberator of Vienna.

(To be continued.)
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