The White Book: A summary with observations (6)
Archived Articles 01 Jun 2006 Viktor VirakEWR
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The chapters on Psychosomatic Diseases, Post Traumatic Stress Disorders and Influence of Repression Trauma on Personality discuss the causes and effects of those diseases in scientific terms, indicating that the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was the main health problem of the repressed (and of those close to them). Typical symptoms are recurrent episodes of experiencing the trauma in obsessive mental images and nightmares, numbing and dying of feelings. For recovery it was important to have the acceptance and attention of society and the family, and to receive legal, moral and material help and compensation.

It is also noted that those mentally repressed by the Nazis received several kinds of compensation, while the Soviet repression victims had to face surveillance, restrictions and injustice at work, choosing education or residence. It was a permanent, cumulative psychological trauma. “Your whole life was overshadowed by the GULAG.”

While coping with the repression trauma, the repressed developed personal defense and adaption reaction: depersonalization, avoidance, denial, looking for eternal consolation, rationalization, hostage syndrome, waiting for arrival of the “white ship”. These defenses lasted for years, involving double-thinking and splitting of personality. In coping with the situation, the companionship and feeling of conspiracy amongst the prisoners and deportees were strong.

Further, in scientific terms, as a indirect result of repression, the psychological contamination of the living environment occurred. This was caused by:

a) Over-industrialization and urbanization, subjecting education to one and only ideology;
b) Damaging the national and personal identity; repression of the Estonian culture;
c) Polarizing and splitting the nation under the false slogan of “class struggle”;
d) Forcing materialism and atheism; restricting church life;
e) Abolishment of all real convictions and principles. “Homo Sovieticus” developed.

One of the most serious damages was the distortion and injuring of human dignity. The notions of good and evil lost their meaning by spreading legal and moral nihilism, perversion of ethics, double thinking, negation of values and norms. Effects may — and have — reached into the future.

However, everything was not lost. The years of Singing Revolutions (1988-1991) introduced the re-awakening period of the nation, with the mutual feeling of togetherness, increase in hopefulness and a real affirmative political awareness, resulting in positive changes, lasting until the present.

The author makes an important statement:

“The severe results of Soviet repressive policy, especially the permanent damage on peoples health can still be observed today and need to be acknowledged and cured. In order to investigate the damages thoroughly we need further research in sociology, medicine, health care, psychology and criminology.”

And very fittingly he concludes:

“It is apparently necessary to claim for compensation from Russia, who is the legal successor of the Soviet Union — and also bearing the whole responsibility — for all the damages. It is natural and predictable that Russia has to feel sorry for the caused damages and ask for Estonia's acceptance of their apology.”

So far, nothing has happened...

V — Higher Education and Research Work

In this field,

“The most devastating were the losses inflicted on human resources. According to the 1945 census, Estonia had 83 doctors and 283 Masters of Sciences less than in 1940, which means a loss of 57% of the Doctors and 64% of the Masters. In 1941, 12 university lecturers and scientists were killed, 3 professors of the University of Tartu (UT) later died in Soviet prisons, and a dozen lecturers were deported. Over one-half of Estonia's Doctors of Sciences and 2/3 of Masters of Sciences were forced into exile. During the German occupation, 9 university lecturers were executed and a couple of dozen arrested. During the first years of the second Soviet occupation, 1944-1949, many renowned scientists were repressed and imprisoned. In 1950-51, during the campaign for “rooting out the bourgeois nationalists and unmasking and isolating those grovelling to the West”, many employees of the Academy of Sciences were repressed for ideological reasons and a total of 125 lecturers were dismissed from Estonian universities.”

Great and permanent damage was caused when valuable books and publications were destroyed and ideological censorship was established. Estonian economic and cultural development suffered greatly due to the submission of these fields to imperialistic occupation authorities, bureaucratization, occasionally disproportionate magnification in importance or limiting of research areas, and isolation of Estonian scientists from the global scientific community.”

Expanding further on the achievements of the scientific work, and higher education generally, it is noted that before the occupation:

• 156 Doctor's and 441 Masters' theses were defended at the University of Tartu;

• in 1940, there were 544 professional scientific workers in Estonia; there were 2,789 students at the University of Tartu;

• Tallinn's Technical Institute was founded 1936, being a technical faculty of the University of Tartu; in 1940, there were 628 students;

• The Natural Resources Institute was founded 1937. It had 66 members and 23 employees;

• The Estonian Academy of Sciences was founded in 1938, with a Division of Humanities and a Division of Natural Sciences. The EAS incorporated the Learned Estonian Society, the Society of Naturalists, and Academic History Society, and the Estonian Society of Local History.

Summing up, the scientific progress in Estonia owed much to amateur science, which functioned in different scientific societies and institutes. Total number of scientists: 700.

(to be continued.)
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