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This Should Be Interesting

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The BBC reports on the latest “insult” to Russia: Lithuanian ban on Soviet symbols

Lithuania’s parliament has passed the toughest restrictions anywhere in the former Soviet Union on the public display of Soviet and Nazi symbols.

It will now be an offence in the Baltic state to display the images of Soviet and Nazi leaders.

This includes flags, emblems and badges carrying insignia, such as the hammer and sickle or swastika.

Comparing the Soviet Union to Nazi Germany is not exactly designed to elicit a reasoned response from Moscow. The Russians don’t appreciate being told that the people of the Baltic states don’t understand that they were “liberated” from Nazi Germany by the Soviet Army. They especially don’t like the older people who say the Germans liberated them from the Soviets.

People needs to look a little closer at Lithuania. Few are aware that it was once the largest country in Europe. You may not know it, but many Lithuanians remember.


1 Badtux { 06.17.08 at 9:19 pm }

Also interesting is the way the Lithuanians ended it — via a merger with Poland, then the whole country falling apart because all the various manorial lords refused to cooperate against the oncoming Teutonic Knights from the West and the Moskovites from the East and the Ottomons from the South… err… it was somewhat a perfect storm of shit that rained down on them, actually. Which possibly the commonwealth could have survived, if united, but the manorial lords were too busy ranting about their “rights” rather than uniting to take on the impertinent jerks who were failing to be grateful for the fact that it was Polish-Lithuanian troops that relieved the siege of Vienna in 1683 and thus saved European Christianity from the fate of becoming vassals of the Ottoman Empire.

So it goes. In 1683 there were only a handful of Europeans on the North American continent and the United States wasn’t a twinkle in Ben Franklin’s eye. But as far as Europe is concerned, it was the day before yesterday. That’s the difference between the Old World and the New World… in the Old World 100 miles is a long distance, and in the New World 100 years is a long time.

– Badtux the History Penguin

2 Bryan { 06.17.08 at 9:45 pm }

It’s the same thing that happened to the Rus. They had a chance to stop the Mongols at the Ural River, but they decided to stay home to see if the Mongols would ignore them. The Mongols didn’t, which is why Moscow is the capital and not Kiev.

The Poles have been their own worst enemies for much of their existence.

My great grandfather Dumka came from what is now the Kaliningrad Oblast, that isolated piece of Russia that was Prussia. He was Prussian and spoke Prussian as well as German. The native Prussians were another Baltic group, like the Lithuanians, but they adapted, repeatedly, to whoever own the area at any given time.

I’m waiting to see if the Latvians do something similar, or merely ban the Soviet symbols. The Latvians were big supporters of Nazi Germany, as an antidote to Stalin, and fought in the Waffen SS. That would be an interesting vote.