Friday, January 23, 2015

Whose Heir is Latvia?

Valsts valodas centrs (Center of the State Language) states on January 16:

Since now on use of foreign languages is unaceptable. The Russians, talking to each other in Russian, are threatening the Latvian language and show irrespect to the Latvians. It is cannot be tolerated when employers doing their service and professional duties are communicating in a foreign language.

According to the newly establishe requirement, if some employers' communication is heard by other people (e.g. in public transport, shops or offices), they are allowed to speak the one and only state language of Latvia, i.e. Latvian.

Here it should be metioned that according to the census of 2011 there are 26,9% Russians in the total population of Latvia, and 33,75% of Latvian population speak Russian at home.

A question arise: why is there only one state language in the country? At the same time there is no question why this Center is called by locals the "Language Gestapo".

For those who think Latvia is a European country duly presiding the EU I propose to check (at least in Wikipedia) the positions of Sweden in Finland and, say, German in Belgium. Have you noticed these language are spoken by considerably lesser part of population than Russian in Latvia? Do you know how long the territory now known as the Republic of Latvia was a part of Russia (whether the Russian Empire or the USSR)?

Well, taking into account the aforesaid, there is nothing to be surprised in the following info:

Poster of the exhibition that won't open in Paris....
Latvia blocked an exhibition in UNESCO devoted to the history of Holocaust. The title of the exhibition reads "The Hijacked Childhood: Holocaust Victims as Seen by Children Prisoners of the Nazi CC Salaspils"; all the materials for the exhibitions were delivered to Paris, yet the Riga officials decided the exhibition would spoil "the image of Latvia" during its presidency in the EU.

Salaspils was not a regular Konzentrationslager. One of its specialties was blood collecting from children for wounded Wehrmacht soldiers; witnesses reported, up to 500 ml at a time on a daily basis, till unavoidable and quick death. The report of investigating commission signed on May 5, 1945, read, in particular:
Having explored 2500 sq.m of territory at Salaspils camp and excavated just one fifth thereof, the commission found 632 child corpses supposedly from 5 to 9 years of age; the corpses were situated in layers...
At the distance of 150 m from this grave in the direction to the railway the commission discovered a place 25x27 m in size with the ground impregnated with an oily substance and mixed with ashes containing unburnt remains of bones of children from 5 to 9 years of age: teeth, articular heads of femoral and humeral bones, ribs, etc.
In my sincere opinion, such an exhibition can spoil the image of Latvia in the one and only case. In case the current Latvian government considers the country an heir of Nazis who established this concentration camp back in 1941. An heir of that Lettische freiwilligen SS-Legion veterans of which are considered by the Latvian establishment today as the most true WW2 veterans on the basis they were supposedly mostly conscripted legioners.

Even if someone disagree with the estimations and statements of the exhibition organizers, a proper scientific approach would be to arrange a panel discussion or whatever, to exchange opinions, arguments, prove one or another viewpoint, etc.

However, banning the exhibition means what? Does it mean today's Latvia accepts charges of WW2 crimes on its "current account"?

What a nice and exemplary tolerant European country is currently presiding the EU, isn't it?

Post Scriptum: Russian historian Alexander Dyukov, whose "Historical Memory" foundation organized the exhibition that Moscow and Minsk already saw, was announced persona non grata by Edgars Rinkēvičs, the Latvian Minister of Foreign Affairs. Evidently, to clean up the image of the country. I wonder whether the questions I ask here will bring me the same fruit as an answer.

No comments:

Post a Comment