Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Königsberg - the good, Kaliningrad - the bad and the ugly.

Baltic Republican Party states, that Mikhail Kalinin is a children killer, the murderer of thousands of innocent Soviet citizens and an international criminal. It is a moral turpitude of Kremlin and local authorities, that Königsberg and our region still bearing the name of murderer of children .
The city of Königsberg was renamed to Kaliningrad in 1946 after the death of Chairman of the Praesidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR Mikhail Kalinin, one of the original Bolsheviks.
Who was actually Mr. Kalinin?

Kalinin was a factional ally of Stalin during the bitter struggle for power which erupted following the death of Lenin in 1924. Kalinin was one of comparatively few members of Stalin's inner circle springing from peasant origins. Kalinin kept a low profile during the Great Purge, he remained submissive to Stalin.
Kalinin's own wife Katarina Loorberg was arrested by the NKVD on 25 October 1938. She was forced under torture to confess to "counter-revolutionary Trotskyist activities" and sent to a labour camp ( the Gulag). She was released in 1945, not long before her husband's death. Kalinin has not taken any steps towards her liberation. He betrayed his closest person - his wife.

During his lifetime, three large cities — Tver, Korolyov and Königsberg — were named or renamed in his honour; the last has retained the name Kaliningrad after the fall of the USSR.
Mikhail Kalinin signed the "Law of Spikelets" or "Law of Three Spikelets". The common name came into use because peasants (including children) caught gleaning (hand-collecting the leftovers of grains or 'spikelets') in the collective fields after the harvest, were arrested for "damaging the state grain production". The punishment was 5 to 10 years of prison camp time. It has been estimated that a quarter of a million people were charged by the OGPU and there were more than 200,000 sentences.

Here are just some of the documents indicating the crimes of Mikhail Kalinin.
A decree about harsher law enforcement.
1 Investigate cases only for 10 days max.
2 By that decree the accused could see his case only 1 day before the trail.
3 The trail in court without hearings of sides.
4 No appeals are allowed.
5 Killing right after the sentence.

The Katyn massacre, was a mass execution of Polish nationals carried out by NKVD, the Soviet secret police, in April and May 1940. This official secret ( not any more) document was approved and signed by the Soviet Politburo, including Mikhail Kalinin. The number of victims is estimated up to 22,000.

Approved by Kalinin mass executions of innocent Soviet citizens. Thousands of such top secret documents in Russian archives. These mass killings were carried out by the security organisations, such as the NKVD ( now FSB), and reached their peak in the Great Purge of 1937-38, when nearly 700,000 were executed by a shot to the base of the skull. Following the demise of the USSR in 1991, many of the killing and burial sites were uncovered. Some of the more notable mass graves include:

Bykivnia - containing an estimated 120,000 - 225,000 corpses

Kurapaty - estimations range from 30,000 to 200,000 bodies found

Butovo - over 20,000 confirmed killed

Sandarmokh - over 9,000 bodies discovered

The Soviet law for execution of children approved by Kalinin. Decree signed by Mikhail Kalinin, which allowed to kill children, later article 12 of Criminal Code of Russia. That Russian law ended only in 1959.
Only in Butovo firing range a location where more than 20,000 political prisoners were shot, including 200 children during the Great Terror of the Soviet Union and thereafter from 1938 to 1953. It is located in the Yuzhnoye Butovo District of Moscow.

Yes, Königsberg went through 12 years of fascism. The Königsberg itself is not guilty of fascism. More then that Königsberg was the anti-fascist city, local Prussian bourgeois and military aristocracy hated Adolf Hitler and his fascistic clowns. At the East Prussian Landtag elections in 1928, the Hitler's party was at the end of the list. In 1932, at the presidential election, Hitler received only 34.5% of Königsberg votes (Social Democrats were leading). After Hitler came to power, many Germans anti-fascists of East Prussia were murdered in concentration camps. The list included, local union leaders, journalists and owners of newspapers, members of political parties (SPD, the Communist Party of Germany, etc.). On 20 July 1944, an attempt was made to assassinate Adolf Hitler, inside his Wolf's Lair field headquarters near Rastenburg, East Prussia. The plot was the culmination of the efforts of several groups in the German Resistance to overthrow the Nazi-led German government. Dozen Königsbergians were involved including Heinrich Graf von Lehndorff-Steinort, Heinrich Graf zu Dohna-Schlobitten, Fritz Goerdeler, Marion Dönhoff etc.

The legendary Soviet spy Richard Sorge, he became an anti-Nazi in Königsberg.

Königsberg - part of Russian History and cultural heritage. Imperial Russian troops occupied eastern Prussia at the beginning of 1758 during the Seven Years' War. On December 31, 1757, Empress Elizabeth I of Russia issued a decree about the incorporation of Königsberg into Russia. On January 24, 1758, the leading burghers of Königsberg submitted to Elizabeth. Five Imperial Russian general-governors administered the city during the war from 1758–62; the Russian army did not abandon the town until 1763. During this time no one tried to rename the city of Königsberg or Tilsit. The same with Tilsit (not Sovetsk), Tilsit written in Russian History as the city of "Treaties of Tilsit".

Baltic Republican Party was one of the first, who proclaimed in 1993, that historical name Königsberg should be returned to the city. We are still do not understand the reason why Kremlin authorities still keeping the name of Kaliningrad for the city of Königsberg. Mikhail Kalinin is a killer of children, the murderer of thousands of innocent Soviet citizens and an international criminal. It is a disgrace to all residents of Königsberg, that our glorious city still bears the name of one of the Kremlin`s murderer.

P.S. While I was writing this article, the Governor Nikolai Tsukanov spoke in Poland about the referendum on the renaming of Kaliningrad. The Baltic Republican Party is fully supports Mr. Nicholay Tsukanov and the head of administration Mr. Felix Lapin. In 2009, Felix Lapin, in an interview to radio "Echo of Moscow" did mention the possibility for returning historical name to the city.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The expulsion of German and Prussian families from East Prussia is a war crime.

The expulsion of German population of East Prussia in Germany, which took place in 1945-1948, was nothing but a war crime in peacetime. The Nazism and Fascism should have been convicted for sure, and many Nazi criminals were punished, but the forced eviction of civilians from their homes in peaceful time is a crime of the 20th century. Total forcibly evicted around 200,000 people. The Potsdam Conference was held at Cecilienhof, the home of Crown Prince Wilhelm Hohenzollern, in Potsdam, occupied Germany, from 16 July to 2 August 1945. Participants were the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The Potsdam Conference actually legalized the deportation of Germans from the Eastern Europe. From Potsdam Agreement:
V. City of Koenigsberg and the adjacent area. The Conference examined a proposal by the Soviet Government to the effect that pending the final determination of territorial questions at the peace settlement, the section of the western frontier of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics which is adjacent to the Baltic Sea should pass from a point on the eastern shore of the Bay of Danzig to the east, north of Braunsberg-Goldap, to the meeting point of the frontiers of Lithuania, the Polish Republic and East Prussia. The Conference has agreed in principle to the proposal of the Soviet Government concerning the ultimate transfer to the Soviet Union of the City of Koenigsberg and the area adjacent to it as described above subject to expert examination of the actual frontier. The President of the United States and the British Prime Minister have declared that they will support the proposal of the Conference at the forthcoming peace settlement.
Meanwhile, although a significant number of refugees, the problem of the expulsion of Germans from East Prussia, has remained a taboo subject for a long time. The cohabitation of German and Soviet civilians in East Prussia, which lasted for more than three years 1945-1948, was unique in the history of both nations. Two parallel worlds, each existed by itself, but by force of circumstances, forced to interact with each other, and even cooperate. Due to human nature, between these "worlds" quickly began to appear sincere and deep human connection. One of the main results of cohabitation was overcoming of open hostility of the Soviet people to the Germans. East Prussia (later Kaliningrad region) was the only Russian territory, where it happened so fast. The tendency to bring the two nations together are actively constrained by the policy of the authorities, and then was artificially aborted by the deportation of the German population in 1947-1948 years. Until 1951only a small number of Germans left in the region. Most of them were highly skilled professionals needed for the local economy. The last group (193 people), was sent to the GDR in May 1951.
In those postwar times, even in the Red Army were the voices opposing the bias of society towards the German population. One of these voices was a literary critic Lev Kopelev. When the German-Soviet War broke out in June 1941, he volunteered for the Red Army and used his knowledge of German to serve as a propaganda officer and an interpreter. He entered an East Prussia with the Red Army through the East Prussian Offensive. He sharply criticized the atrocities against the German civilian population. He was arrested in 1945 and sentenced to a ten-year term in the Gulag for fostering bourgeois humanism and for "compassion towards the enemy". Released in 1954, in 1956 he was rehabilitated. The present and future generations should erase the historical mistakes. We all, Russian and Germans paid in full for our mistakes. We're saying to Germans and Prussian families: "Welcome back to Konigsberg". It is a long way for the returning of Germans, but the first steps are taken.