A very partial view indeed.
There’s no gainsaying what they say and you may like it or you may like it not; you may even wonder what do I mean by “they” and for all I care you may even turn gray or blue or yellow or even green with envy because what they are now saying is that it’s now
O F F I C I A L
Pray. Pray. Pray every day. Pray for the nation, you know which one, and pray for yourself,
“Oh Lord, let them not drop that atomic bomb on me!”…
Whenever I think of Estland, I think of.1.Olof Palme, and 2, of someone called Eve Mandre, and more recently about that national disaster that traumatised so many, namely the sinking of the Estonia about which event our prolific contributor to The Local, Trowbridge H. Ford has other interesting perspectives.
About conspiracy theories in general, the latest that I’ve gobbled up is that of Randy Texas who is a regular contributor to Israpundit
What every Swede knows or ought to know: Latvia, Lithuania and Estland are our sister nations of the Baltic States and - it’s not every Swede who ought to know this – that somehow when I think of the Baltic States I think of, 1.Carl Bildt (will explain further on) and of the present Swedish Government and SEB giving loans and financial guarantees to the Baltic States ( you very well know that you are supposed to love your neighbour as yourself and the other saying is “a friend in need is a friend indeed.“) In the period 1997 – 2001 I was a member of the Baltic Forum for Jews of the Former Soviet Union and no further explanation is necessary except perhaps to know that Vilna the capital of Lithuania was once known as THE SECOND JERUSALEM through the proliferation of great rabbis, such as the Gaon of Vilna and great yeshivas – and to have an inkling about the modern history of the Baltic States under Nazi occupation and under the Soviet Union, and with reference to just Latvia , there is this on-going Project
On last Friday it was nine of us, something of a family excursion to Latvia on the M/S Romantika – a mostly unforgettable experience across the Baltic Sea and back on Swedish earth at 9.30 a.m. today.
It’s good to know that we are all Europeans and that the Baltic States are all members of the European Union. These boats – Tallink – ply the waters between Stockholm and our neighbouring countries – and once you go into the Duty Free shop on board – the system bolaget section, in that paradise for the sons and daughters of Bacchus, worthy members of the haram fellowship of the grape are all pleasantly informed that according to EU rules you are allowed to bring back the following:
10 litres al-cohol
20 litres Strong Wine
90 litres wine
110 litres beer.
I did not return with any of the above.
The holiday trip to Latvia is to be recommended - two cabs picked us up and drove us all the way to the Hotel Jurmala Spa .On the way I noticed the usual assortment of cars and a whole lot of motorcycles which brought me to the premature conclusion that the motorcycle is one of the most favoured means of transport in Latvia – only to discover as soon as we arrived at the Hotel where there was a splendid convocation of some fifty Harley-Davidsons parked there and that June -11-13 was billed as the 1st Baltic Bike Days
I asked a member of the Free Hawks of Latvia Mc how many people would be congregating for the motorbike Convention and he told me, “3,000!”
I asked a friendly-looking Latvian cop on the tourist beat in central Jurmala and he told me that last year it had been about 2,000 motorcyclists and that this year, it would be probably more. Finally met two Swedish motorcyclists, both blonde, both very tall (taller than me) the one from Globen in Stockholm, the other looking like Peter Fonda in his dark sunglasses and a leader of the gospel choir according to the Hells Angels – asked if they were Bandidos, but they said that they were independents and that this year the invitation had been extended to everybody, including Scandinavia and that there were even people from USA, Canada and Australia.
There’s the Jurmala Beach – clean, rumoured to have been one of the favourite resorts of the late Czar of Russia. There’s also the Dzintari Guest Hall where Russian stars perform and some good restaurants in Jurmala for example Majorenhoff – good food, at a fraction of what such meals would cost in Stockholm. And let me not forget to mention this very important event that took place on Sunday:
Early first impressions: prepare ye for some sweeping generalizations since in sum total I’ve only met a few, but Latvians are much like the Swedes; the Baltic beauties are mostly tall, blonde and slim, dress a little more flashily, the language is very different from Swedish, but with a little more Russian Vodka in your tumbler plus a concoction consisting of “27 legal herbs” you may find to your great surprise that you are speaking Latvian fluently, in a very fluid, vodka sort of way if you understand what I mean. I’m told that under the influence of the said national drink ( Vodka) the Russians tend to get a little more easily riled than the more easy going Swedes ( Male and female created He them) . Is it possible that that’s what Nikita Khrushchev had been drinking just before he took off his shoe to emphasise a point by banging it (his shoe) on the podium during that his famous UN speech? And when Yeltsin they say turned up at the local police station drenched to the bone in the national drink and claiming that he had fallen into a river. It’s said that Russians like such macho tales of their heroes – and as everybody knows Put-in has a black belt in Judo – and so does Pierre Schori who is said to be a good friend of Fidel.
I remember that in the old days, at the height of the propaganda war against the USSR, Billy Graham once said of the Russians – where Orthodox Christianity is more than a thousand years older than it is in the USA, said Rev. Graham not long after blessing the troops to Vietnam,
“They are not Christians, they are MUSLIMS! LOOK AT THEIR DOMES! (of the churches)
Unfortunately I did not have time to look at any in Riga, but followed a guided Swedish tour for a while and got as far as standing outside St. Peter’s in Riga, which the guide said had the highest church spire in Europe (123 meters) prior to the Second World War. The synagogue miraculously survived as burning it down would have endangered the adjacent buildings….
And now from the ridiculous to the more sublime. On my way to the synagogue, I was distressed to pass a pub on the street corner – not that I am against al-cohol or pubs, but this one had the name PUSSY in neon lights – and it left me very distraught – until the Swedish motorcyclist told me not to worry, because pussy is also the name of a popular al-coholic drink.
At the very beautiful synagogue in Riga, I met Michael Friedman and of all the Latvians that I met, he turned out to be the one with the greatest sense of humour. He told me about the 14 Commandments – the ten that the Almighty gave to the 600,000 souls assembled at the foot of Mt. Sinai plus an extra 4 which he ( Michael) said was specially for Americans and could perhaps have helped avert the financial meltdown and could certainly contribute to the healing of the present financial crisis. Michael’s thinking has obviously been deeply influenced by Milton Friedman, because at the end of our conversation and just before I waved goodbye, he asked me what I thought was the difference between now and then, when Latvia was first under Nazi and then under Soviet occupation. I told him, “The difference is that now you are FREE!” He laughed.
“The difference”, he said rather sternly, “is that before, it was Marx & Lenin, and now it’s Marks and Spencer .”
I’m sure that Carl Bildt will agree wholeheartedly with him.
On Monday my visit to The Museum of the Occupation of Latvia 1941-1991 was a much more sombre affair. It was a long walk with my better half and her niece, through the Old Town and past no.4 Amatu Iela, where I read the following plaque:
“At the end of World War 2 and during the following years many members of the Latvian National Resistance Movement were imprisoned, humiliated, tortured and murdered in this building. The counterespionage Division of the USSR “Smersh” and the Special Division of the USSR Baltic Military District are responsible for these atrocities in front of God and all humankind for eternity.”
Further down the street a small procession was on its way to somewhere. I thought that it was the funeral of an old nationalist (the Latvian flag and the sombre mien of the people. I was told that that Monday, 14th June is the Memorial Day for the Deportations of 1941, when some 15,000 Latvians were deported to Siberia and other Work Camps in Russia.
I arrived at the museum relatively ignorant and left very moved and very much better informed about how much the Latvians have suffered.
One the first floor of the Museum is a picture of Adolph H with the caption:
“The Soviet Nazi pact of August 23, 1939 is a prelude to World War 2.”
The Holocaust section covers two walls of the museum, with all the grim pictures and texts.
The introduction reads:
“Even before declaring war against the USSR. Adolf Hitler orders the extermination of Jews living in the occupied territories. The first murders on Latvian territory takes place end of June 1941 and at the same time the occupying forces begin a widespread campaign of anti-Semitic propaganda which continued to the end of the Nazi occupation. The order to separate Jews from the rest of the population, the Nazis require them to wear identifying symbols on their clothing, forbid walking on the city sidewalks and working together with people of other nationalities.”
In the Holocaust in Latvia, 70,000 Latvian Jews killed during the Nazi occupation. Only 1,000 survive…. 25, 000 Jews brought from Germany and other countries, to Latvia. 20, 000 of them killed at the end of the war.
Purchased a book, ” Unpunished Crimes” – Latvia under three occupations ( Momento – Daugas Vanagi , Stockholm, Toronto, 2003), in which there is a chapter entitled HOLOCAUST by Andrew Ezergailis pages 134 -138.
It begins: “Hitler alone would not have been sufficient, but without Hitler there would not have been a holocaust in Germany or in the rest of Europe. The doors to murder swung open only when Germany’s government was taken over by extremists. The Holocaust occurred by order of the German government. The Holocaust, like the war could not have started without Hitler. The destruction of Jews did not happen anywhere outside of the German occupied zones. And no country occupied by the Germans, including Denmark, remained without Jewish victims.
This truth has to be repeated again and again, for in recent years the idea has spread, especially in Germany itself among the so called revisionist historians, that Eastern European countries, including Latvia, were indistinguishable from Nazi Germany in their hatred of the Jews….”
Andrew Ezergailis: Holocaust
n. b : PAUL KRUMINS! The name of a Righteous Gentile: Paul Krumins
Lastly, I visited this place:
The Jewish Museum at Riga
which consist of two large rooms dense with hundreds of exhibits, mostly photographs – and the limited time that I spent there was overwhelming – it was as if the life-like photographs could breath, were souls and all very present, giving testimony.
Looked through a book with this title
signed the Guest book…
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