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03.04.2009
Pro Karelia ry

EU: EUROPEAN CONSCIENCE AND TOTALITARISM

- EU and EC have condemned communist totalitarism
- A part of the EU nations experienced the periods of nazism and communism
- Russia has made pre-emptive measures to prevent resolution
- Europe will not unite without honesty
- There will be no agreement without truth and memories
- Finland has yet to comprehend the spirit of EU Resolution
- There is a need for a forum for reminiscing and conscience
- EU endorses to support civic organizations
- Why did Finnish MEPs kept their silence?
- 555 yeas, 44 nays, 33 empty votes
- When will the official Finland awaken?

EU and EC have condemned communistic totalitarism

The general assembly of the European Parliament made on April 02, 2009 a statement on European conscience and totalitarism. The statement calls for throughout clarification, establishing of a separate Center for Documentations, and declaring a designated memorial day reminding the citizen of the era of the totalitarism and the nondemocratic past.

The grounds for the statement bring forth the Declaration of Human rights of the United Nations and the statement of the General Assembly of the UN concerning genocide, among other grounds. One of the others is the Resolution 1484 of the Parliamentary General Assembly of the European Council concerning the international judgment of totalitarist communist regimes.

In Finland, on many levels, it has been maintained that a mere small fraction of Finns supports the correction of the wrongdoings of the past wars. These issues include, but are not limited to revisit the rightfulness of the verdict of Finland being the culprit to the past wars, as well as receding Karelia and other forcefully occupied territories. The concluding statements issued by the European Council and European Parliament clearly indicate that these issues are legitimate and a subject to debate, beyond these so-called fractions.

Part of the nations experienced Nazism and communism

The Concluding Statement of the European Parliament concretically brings forth the grounds why the Nazism has been fundamentally in the most European countries. This, according to the resolution, is because “in Western Europe the essential historical experience was Nazism, and that, in addition to Nazism, countries of Central and East Europe had to experience communism”.

The European knowledge on the aggressive actions of communist regimes, and in particular that of the Soviet Union, is powerfully portrayed by the documentary Soviet Story by the Latvian director Edvins Snore. According to the director it is a tale of the most blood-thirsty empire which was guilty of inhumane archipelago of the gulags, and of torture and killings of the prisoners, innocent and guilty alike, years after the Nazism had been abolished.

The document goes on to show that Hitler’s Nazism learned substantially from the regimes of terror of Lenin and Stalin. The resolution of the Parliament does not acknowledge this difference in time, nor does it address the amount, quantity or quality, of the victims in any manner whatsoever.

It would seem as if the Parliament tries to politically juggle in between outright denunciation and with as little information as possible. After all, the Parliament had to decide upon the recommendation of the new pact between the EU and Russia (P6_TA-PROV(2009)0215) to the Council the very same day.

Russia has made pre-emptive measures to prevent resolution

This resolution may explain why the rethorics in Russia have taken a turn to more firm tune. Russia has tried to intimidate EU countries in order to prevent the judgment and the insist of further clarification of matters at dispute.

One example on Russian countermeasures is an initiative according to which the Duma should compose a law which would incriminate those who deny the victory of the Soviet Union in the Great Patriotic War. In addition to denial, it would be incriminating to claim that the ultimate goal of the Soviet Union was to liberate Europe from Fascists or that it would have occupied the Baltic countries.

The gas and oil pipe issues are a part of this battle Russia is engaged in order to prevent the examination of her history. By trying to create disputes between the European countries using the energy as a weapon of choice, the penultimate purpose is to hush the criticism and to make the victims perceive themselves as the criminal culprits.

Europe will not unite without honesty

The motivation of the decision of the Resolution is straightforward: ”Europe will never unite unless it is capable to outline a common view of history, recognize Nazism, Stalinism, and Fascist and Communist regimes as a common heritage, and to achieve an honest and thorough discussion about the totalitarian crimes of the past century”.

”...from the victims’ point of view it is irrelevant which government it was that deprived them from their freedom or tortured or murdered them from any reason whatsoever, or for no reason at all”

EU haluaa sitouttaa itsensä kansainvälisiin ihmisoikeusnormeihin: ”sitoutuu edelleen Eurooppaan, jossa vallitsee rauha ja vauraus ja jonka perustavina arvoina ovat ihmisarvon kunnioittaminen, vapaus, demokratia, tasa-arvo, oikeusvaltio sekä ihmisoikeuksien kunnioittaminen”.

There will be no agreement without truth and memories

It is expected in the Resolution that it is important to preserve the memories of the past, “for settling the disputes it is imperative that truth and memories remain”. It is of great importance that EU has brought forward this cornerstone of all human co-operation, the trust.

EU ”is convinced that the single most important aim is to make a menace which happens through unveiling the acts of the totalitarian Communist regimes, accepting the responsibility of these acts, seek for an apology, and thereby enhance moral renewal”.

Finland has yet to understand the spirit of the EU Resolution

The political elite of Finland has yet to comprehend the issues above. Rather they choose to adapt by silence even thought the matters at hand are related to the moments of the very destiny of our nation and, moreover, they canonize these issues as closed. Violating justice, however, does not vanish by burying one’s head in the sand. Chances are, rather, that the consequences of injustice only turn into more malignant ones.

There will not be a balanced situation between the political elite and the citizen if the elite chooses to primarily respect the rights of the nation offending our sovereignty and dismisses the rights of her own citizens. In excess of three quarters of Finns remain russofobic. This is a very clear indicator that opting silence by any means would improve the mutual relationships.

It is good reading for the Official Finland to read what is the verdict of EU regarding these human rights violations: “…deeply and without dispute condemns all the crimes against humanity and the enormous violations of human rights in which all totalitarian and authoritarian governments have found to be guilty of; to show compassion and understanding to the victims of these crimes and their families, and to acknowledge their sufferings”.

There is a need for a forum for reminiscing and conscience

It is the firm opinion of EU that acknowledgement of all the historical aspects will reinforce the unification of Europe. Therefore “a forum for reminiscing and conscience, which would support networking and co-operation among those national institutes which have an expertise in totalitarian history, and to create an Paneuropean center of documentation and reminiscing to the victims of all the totalitarian regimes”.

The importance of the Center of Documentation lies primarily where the experiences and testimonials of the victims are being collected. Although the people who have personally suffered from these crimes will eventually pass away, their memory will remain in the memes of the nation. It is important that there will be one centralized instance where the documentations are collected. Perhaps it would spark nations who, quite like Finland, would have the courage necessary to contribute in settling the state of affairs, past and present.

EU endorses to support civic organizations

In a parliamentary decision of the EU, there is an interesting detail which ”regarding this matter, prompts the Council and the Commission to endorse and defend the activity of civic organizations, such as the Memorial in the Russian Federation, which investigate and actively collect documents describing the atrocities committed during Stalin’s era.”

Memorial is the sole organization which has been named in the Resolution. This is likely to reflect the importance with which the Parliament wishes to emphasize the vital importance of the current and past state of Russia.

It is interesting to estimate how Finland, as a land of justice, but also as a land subject to injustice, has so far supported and defended civic organizations which pursue the settlement of the totalitarian crimes.

If one wishes to find something positive about the attitude of Finland, perhaps the most positive view to perceive this matter is that Finland has not very strongly tried to prevent such activity. This is, unless, one is to perceive that such organizations receive no public funding and that their attempts to influence political operators are being actively limited.

Why did Finnish MEPs kept their silence?

The discussion session of this Resolution took place on May 25, 2009. The excellent database of EU includes also the simultaneous interpretations of the discussions that took place.

Among those who exercised their right to speak were the Estonians Tunne Kelam (PPE-DE) and Katrin Saks, as well as Vytautas Landsbergis of Lithuania (PPE-DE).

No Finnish opinions were heard during these sessions. Must one deduce from this the conclusion that it is of no interest to Finnish MEPs the history in which Finland had a seminal part as a victim nation? And this even regardless of the fact that in Finland, the true matter of affairs remain untouched and unstudied. Is it just lack of courage of the Finns when this matter is concerned?

555 voted yea, 44 voted nay, and 33 refrained from voting

In the General Assembly of the Parliament, the Resolution was passed with 553 voting yea, 44 voting nay, and 33 refrained from voting. According to Finnish publicist of the EU not a single Finn voted for nay, but Esko Seppänen refrained from voting.

Concerning the Resolution of the European Council in 2006, two Finns, Mikko Elo and Sinikka Hurskainen voted ”nay”. They were unable to make a distinction between criminal totalitarian Communist country and a country in which the justice has prevailed. They were, however, deeming totalitarian Nazism as an act of crime.

Is the status of the victim so superior that there is no need for an improvement? When all is said and done, were the Finnish losses mere trivial and were the Finnish victims just worthless? One might assume that a victim of the secret minutes of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, Finland, had a vested interest in the current state of things.

When will the official Finland awaken?

How did the MEPs vote, and how would vote the current government and parliament of Finland regarding this matter?

Have to Finnish politicians awaken to notice that the ideological climate has changed as well as the attitude towards outrageous crime? It is no longer sufficient to hide behind silence, thus giving the blessings to criminal acts, and by the same token, allowing the same mistakes being repeated? What this country needs now is actions to find out the correct state of affairs, as outlined in this writing.

Why? Simply because there is no such option that trust between countries could be built upon lies and aggressions, nor by trying to hush them into oblivion. Only settling things can create the ground which is necessary to create true co-operation, resulting in a win-win situation which is beneficial for both the parties, and a loss to nobody.

Additional information: Veikko Saksi






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Karjalan ja Petsamon palautus -kirja on julkaistu 14.10.2010 Tarton rauhan 90-vuotispäivänä.

Kirja käsittelee Suomen, Venäjän ja EU:n välisten suhteiden kannalta keskeisiä, vielä avoimia kysymyksiä: sotaan syyllisyys, sotasyyllisyys, evakkojen omaisuuden restituutio ja pakkoluovutettujen alueitten palautus.

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