94 years ago, on October 10, 1917, 12 leaders of a small group of revolutionaries — who called themselves Bolsheviks — met in Petrograd, now called St. Petersburg.
They decided to overthrow the Provisional Government of the Russian Empire by force. In 15 days they succeeded and set up a dictatorship. The people of Russia did not elect them.
To stay in power, they launched the most massive and sadistic terror in the history of the world.
From 1917 to 1959, the Bolsheviks murdered 66 million people, according to Russian statistics professor Ivan Kurganov, .
That number is confirmed by America’s leading genocide researcher, professor Rudolph Rummel of the University of Hawaii. He places the total killed at 62 million during the years 1917 to 1987.
The Bolshevik crimes against humanity are unique in the history of not only Europe but also the world. They vastly exceed any other in the number of victims.
Seldom do we read or hear about these 66 million victims of the Bolsheviks. They are the forgotten millions.
TODAY we mourn the victims of JUST ONE OF THE MANY horrible crimes against humanity committed by the Bolsheviks.
Almost exactly 70 years ago, during the night of June 13 to 14, 1941, the Bolsheviks took from their homes by force 11,000 (10,882) Estonians, 16,000 (15,424) Latvians, and 18,000 (17,730) Lithuanians. They crammed the victims into railroad freight cars — and deported them to remote parts of Russia.
Men were separated from women and children. Men were deemed “arrested” and routed to prison camps. Women and children were deemed “resettled” and sent to hard labor.
During the long journey lasting several weeks, some died en route as a result of the inhumane transport conditions. Fifty or more people were crammed into a single rail car. There was only one small window for air. There was a hole in the floor to use as toilet.
At the destination some were killed. Many others died from lack of proper clothing and shelter, from starvation, from disease, and from forced hard labor for long hours.
Most of those deported died at the destination. That was the intent of the Bolsheviks.
Even those who were able to return many years later continued to be repressed in various ways. Their lives and their health had been ruined.
These people were deported because the Bolsheviks regarded them as the elite of the invaded countries.
The Bolsheviks wanted no one left alive who might be looked upon as a leader of the masses, and therefore a threat, or even a potential threat to the rulers of Russia.
The deportation decision was not made in haste — shortly before the date of deportation.
It was actually made in 1939 — two years before the deportation, and even one year prior to the formal occupation of the Baltic States in June 1940.
The order was issued only six weeks after Russia and Germany signed the infamous Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact (MRP) on August 23, 1939.
That treaty was the death knell for the Baltic States and Poland.
A secret part of the MRP divided Eastern Europe between Russia and Germany. Most of Eastern Europe was assigned to Russia, but Poland was divided between the two imperialists.
Just one week after MRP was signed, on September 1, 1939, Poland was attacked by Germany from the West, Russia attacked it from the East on September 17. By the end of September Poland was conquered.
England and France declared war on Germany — allegedly for having attacked Poland. Yet, England and France did not declare war on Russia when Russia attacked Poland two weeks later — on September 17. It seems Poland was not the real reason for war against Germany.
Even before the conquest of Poland was complete, Russia starting issuing ultimatums to the Baltic States.
Estonia was the first target.
On September 24, 1939, Russia demanded that Estonia allow Russia to put its soldiers on military bases in Estonia, or face immediate military attack and occupation. If Estonia would allow the military bases, then Russia promised to respect Estonia’s sovereignty and independence.
Despite Estonia’s desperate search for help from other countries, none was forthcoming. Estonia was not vital to anyone else. Estonia was all alone.
On September 28, 1939, Estonia yielded to the ultimatum.
One often overlooked reason for yielding is that if Estonia had resisted militarily then, by that very act, the 1920 Tartu Peace Treaty with Russia would have been nullified under international law.
Please recall that under the Tartu Peace Treaty Russia recognized Estonia’s independence FOREVER.
During the following few days, the same ultimatums were given to Latvia and Lithuania. Both of them also yielded.
Having seen what had happened to Poland just days earlier, the Baltic States decided resistance would be futile. There was an overwhelming Russian military force at their borders, waiting to attack.
No western European country rushed to help Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
It is amazing that some commentators make an issue out of the three Baltic States having yielded to Russia — as if resistance would have avoided occupation and deportations.
Other countries have also yielded to superior force without much fight — both before and after the three Baltic States: Austria, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, Norway, Albania, etc.
No one criticizes Denmark for having yielded to Germany’s occupation without a fight.
When Finland received its ultimatum, it rejected the ultimatum on November 13, and Russia attacked Finland on November 30.
Finland put up a fierce and heroic defense, but after 3 months of war, Finland was forced to seek peace from Russia. A peace treaty was signed on March 12, 1940.
Finland was forced to give up a large part of its territory and even pay millions in reparations to Russia, but it did retain a precarious independence.
In later years, Finland’s special condition is referred to as “Finlandization” — meaning total subservience to Russia.
Of course, our three countries would have preferred to be Finlandized but that was not an option available.
The Finns can be justly proud of their valiant resistance, but it is a myth to suggest that its resistance was the reason why total occupation was avoided.
Finland was able to avoid complete occupation because its political situation was different from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania:
* First, Germany, an ally of Russia, opposed occupation of Finland because that threatened Germany’s access to Sweden’s iron ore. That iron ore was critical to Germany. Sweden supplied iron ore to Germany throughout World War Two.
* Second, Finland was promised military assistance by England and France, Both England and France were ready to send troops, and did send military supplies to Finland. They feared that Germany would occupy Sweden if Finland fell to Russia.
It is bad enough that the murder of 66 million is almost ignored in the USA, but even worse is the extreme resistance to investigation of the crimes of the Bolsheviks.
Here is just one example of such resistance: The last Tsar of Russia was murdered by the Bolsheviks in July 1918 — more than a year after his abdication in March 1917. When the Russians started investigating the circumstances of the murder in 1997, and its perpetrators, there was an immediate outcry in the USA that the investigation be stopped. Why would any decent person resist investigation of that horrible crime?
Is there any good news, you may ask? Well, there is some.
Although I wish much more could have been done to expose the Bolsheviks’ crimes against humanity I am grateful for what has been done.
Before restoration of independence in 1991, the books about Bolshevik crimes against humanity were few and far between.
In 1973, Russian author Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s book The Gulag Archipelago was published in English. That book informed the American public about the horrors of Bolshevik prison camps, It added the word “Gulag” to our vocabulary.
In 1983, Lithuanian Romuald Misiunas’ and Estonian Rein Taagepera’s scholarly book The Baltic States: Years of Dependence 1940-1980 described that period of history.
After restoration of independence in 1991, there has been much more possibility of learning about Bolshevism.
With the 1989 invention of the World Wide Web, in the 1990’s people could bypass the controlled media and learn the truth about Bolshevism.
Most importantly, the 1996 invention of the Google search engine greatly increased everyone’s ability to find information.
More recently, there has been even more exposure of Bolshevism:
In 2005, a Canadian Estonian, Marcus Kolga, produced a movie titled Gulag 113, which describes his grandfather’s survival and escape from the Gulag, .
In 2006, a German organization named “Memorial” did an outstanding job to map and document each of the GULAG prison camps in Russia. That information is available on the Internet.
In 2007, a monument to the victims of Communism was dedicated in Washington D.C. We appreciate the effort that went into that project.
In 2008, Latvian movie director Edvins Snore produced an excellent movie titled Soviet Story. If you have not seen it, please do. It is available from Amazon on DVD. For that movie, the life of Director Snore has been threatened in Russia and elsewhere and he was hung in effigy in Moscow.
In 2009, Imbi Paju’s book Memories Denied was published in English. It is an excellent treatise on the horrors during the Bolsheviks’ occupation of Estonia but sadly seems to be unavailable in the USA.
I am especially grateful to two Finns for their work:
In 2008, Jukka Rislakki’s book titled The Case for Latvia: Disinformation Campaigns Against a Small Nation: 14 Hard Questions and Straight Answers was published in English.
Also in 2008, Sofi Oksanen’s book The Purge about the occupation of Estonia. It earned the Finlandia Prize and the Nordic Prize. It has become an international bestseller. The book is about the suffering of Estonians under 50 years of Russian occupation.
I have listed a sample of the good news. Now for some not-so-good news.
Neo-Bolshevism is alive and well, even right here in America. One reason could be that thousands of Bolsheviks from Russia have been admitted to the USA masquerading as “refugees.”
Let me cite just one example: In 2010, in Bedford, Virginia a statue honoring Bolshevik mass-murderer Stalin was erected. Isn’t that incredible? Just who is behind the glorification of this Bolshevik mass-murderer?
But when in 2004 a private Estonian citizen erected a statue in a tiny village in Estonia, there was an instant demand allegedly directly from the U.S. government that the statue be removed. It was removed in the middle of the night by Estonian police — who used attack dogs against the crowd that was defending the statue.
So what was the crime of the statue? It was simply the figure of a soldier who had tried to defend Estonia from the second invasion by Bolshevik Russia in 1944. There were no Nazi symbols on the monument. The inscription read: To Estonian men who fought in 1940-1945 against Bolshevism and for the restoration of Estonian independence.
My friends, we have work to do.
We must expose the neo-Bolsheviks and Communists who now call themselves “anti-fascists.”
What happened 70 years ago cannot be allowed to go down “a memory hole” — and that includes the names of the perpetrators.
I believe it would be helpful if all of us would use different terminology.
* Let’s stop using the non-sensical term “Soviet Union.” Always use “Bolshevik-ruled Russia,” or just “Bolshevik Russia,” or even simply Russia.
* Stop using the untranslated Russian word “Soviets” to refer to Bolsheviks. Soviets in English means “councilors.” Use the term “Bolsheviks” instead. Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians were not deported by Councilors. They were deported by the Bolsheviks.
* There is an acronym which labels Germany’s National Socialists as “Nazis” but there is no good acronym for Russia’s International Socialists, otherwise known as Bolsheviks. If National Socialists are NAZIS perhaps International Socialists can be called InterNAZIS! This makes it clear there is not much difference between them, except that the InterNAZIS are a hundred times worse than NAZIS.
Also, please be sure to repeat often that “the Bolsheviks murdered 66 million Europeans.”
Let us all get involved in politics to oppose Bolshevism. If we don’t, we may discover one day that Bolshevism has come to America. If that happens, we may end up being deported to a re-education camp in Northern Canada in the middle of winter.
Thank you for your attention and may God bless and keep Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania independent.
By Alan Ago Koerv