The Baltic republics prepare for the worst

The Weekly Standard
June 17, 2016

Tallinn, Estonia

In the 20th century, few nations suffered as much as the Baltic republics—Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Their brief taste of freedom, made possible by the collapse of the Russian Empire in 1917-1918, was snuffed out in 1940 when Russian armies marched back in, this time under the banner of the commissars rather than the czars. When the German Army invaded the following year, many Balts saw them as liberators. But the cruel nature of Nazi rule soon became apparent. The Germans carried out genocide against the substantial Jewish population, a project in which some Balts unfortunately assisted. The return of the Red Army in 1944 brought no respite, with the Communists shipping tens of thousands of people to the Gulag. In all, more than a million people were killed in the Baltic states during World War II, representing nearly 20 percent of the prewar population of 5.4 million.

Margarita Šešelgytė

 This artictle was publiched at the annual Academic Conference "WHAT NATO FOR WHAT THREATS? WARSAW AND BEYOND", which had been organized by NATO Allied Command Transformation (ACT), the University of Bologna and Istituto Affari Internazionali (IAI) of Rome.

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