torstai 25. syyskuuta 2008

International Press Release

Press release


Dr. Johan Bäckman from the University of Helsinki has decided to take legal measures against individuals who wrote and signed the "open letter" send to various media and Bäckman's superiors at the University of Helsinki. Bäckman says the letter, which compares Dr. Bäckman with holocaust deniers, claims Bäckman is spreading propaganda against various national groups and says Bäckman should not teach at the university, is a reason for criminal proceedings according to the article 24-10 of the Finnish criminal code (grieve slander). Bäckman says the writers of the open letter are spreading false information about him and his new book "The Bronze Soldier" in order to cause him damage and to disturb his work because he has criticised Estonian politics. Bäckman says two Estonians living in Finland, Imbi Paju and Iivi Anna Masso, are behind the letter. In Bäckman's opinion, Paju and Masso are trying to spread Estonian Apartheid policy in Finland and to limit freedom of speech about Estonian history, for which reason Bäckman is also contacting the ambassador of Estonia in Helsinki Mrs. Merle Pajula. 

In Bäckman's opinion, his book is only a comment about interpretations of history. He is also very worried about the future of Estonia, but the book does not contain a sentence claiming Estonia has only ten years left or that Estonia should join Russia. The book by Bäckman has been a subject of heated debate in Estonia already for three weeks. 

The book "The Bronze Soldier" by Dr. Bäckman, presented in Tallinn in September 22th, is about different interpretations of history. Bäckman has quoted several Finnish and Estonian scholars and writers in order to construct a theory about "myth of Soviet occupation". Bäckman says that before him also the Finnish history professor Martti Turtola, the Estonian historian Magnus Ilmjärv and Finnish journalist Leena Hietanen have said that Estonia was not occupied by the Soviet Union. Dr. Bäckman is developing in his book the theory of "myth of Soviet occupation", first constructed by the Finnish journalist Leena Hietanen in her recent book "Estonia's cold war". Hietanen said the "myth of Soviet occupation" is racist propaganda against Russians, the aim of which is to legitimise the Estonian Apartheid policy by labeling Russians as untrustworthy "occupants". Dr. Bäckman however has identified the historical roots of the "myth of Soviet occupation", saying that it is a Nazi myth, which was first used by the Nazis in the 1930s in order to persecute Jews. Now the myth is being used by Estonian authorities in order to persecute Russians. Bäckman says, that the real purpose of the "myth of Soviet occupation" of Estonia is to legitimise the Apartheid policy of the country against Russians and dissidents. 

Bäckman says the individuals who signed the "open letter" are trying to pressure the University of Helsinki to legalise the racist myth of occupation and spread the Estonian Apartheid policy in Finland. Bäckman finds it strange that the "open letter" demands punishments for individuals having certain interpretations about history. Bäckman says the "open letter" is a typical example of Soviet-style Stalinist campaign targeted at limiting his or any other individual's freedom of speech in issues regarding history interpretations. Bäckman says, that he does not teach Estonian history at the university, but his lectures are about the sociology of law and criminology. 

Bäckman says the "open letter" and Estonian politics today resembles the Stalinist purges of 1937. Today Estonia is full of spy scandals, fear, gossips and show trials. Everybody is afraid of the secret police "Kapo", which is said to pressure people. Bäckman writes in his book, that the show trial against the Hero of the Soviet Union Arnold Meri, the show trial against Dmitri Klenski, Maxim Reva and Dmitri Linter, and the show trial against the Finn Risto Teinonen, are typical Stalinist show trials without legitimation. Bäckman also does not understand the public glorification of Nazi symbols in Estonia, such as in the last year birthday party of the minister of justice Rein Lang. 

The book written by Dr. Johan Bäckman, "The Bronze Soldier", will be presented in Helsinki on Tuesday September 30th at 1 p.m. at the 4th floor of the Vltava restaurant, the Havana room, next to the Helsinki railway station. The publisher of the book is the secretary general of the Russia's writers' union Dr. Vladimir Ilyashevich, director of the publishing house "Tarbeinfo" in Estonia.  

More information: Dr. Johan Bäckman, tel. +358 40 503 5474, e-mail

30 kommenttia:

Karjala takaisin kirjoitti...

"...and the show trial against the Finn Risto Teinonen, are typical Stalinist show trials without legitimation."

This is becoming really hilarious. Teinonen is a real live neo-nazi, who has publicly celebrated Hitler's birthday and anniversary of the Wannsee Conference in Estonia.

Johan Bäckman kirjoitti...

Yes he is, but he is accused of organising an anti-constitutional organisation with armed wing. That is not true. It is a show trial. Teinonen is facing exaggerated accusations because Estonia is afraid of Nazi reputation. Even Teinonen has right to present his personal opinions.

Petri Krohn kirjoitti...

What Johan is saying in his book is, that it is OK to think like a Nazi in Estonia. This is evident from the Maarjamaa Cross awarded to Teinonen. Teinonen is no threat to state security; why should he be – his friends are already in power!

Teinonen is persecuted because of his threat to the international image of Estonia. His public display of Nazi imagery makes all Estonians look like Nazis.

J. Anderson kirjoitti...

So far 85% of your voters support the truth: that Estonia was occupied in 1940 (I would say in 1939-40). Isn't your quixotism actually rather pathetic?

Ivar kirjoitti...

Bäckman, like some other well-payed and naive finns mumble about things they know nothing. Soviet occupation was as real as it could get. In 1940, when soviets broke the pact of soviet bases, estonians could do nothing to stop it as the forces were too different. Estonians could only watch their fathers and mothers killed and taken to Siberia (as mr President, Konstantin Päts was).

Bäckmans, GO HOME. You are not welcome in Estonia. YOUR WORK IS SIMILAR TO DENIERS OF HOLOCAUST.

(Estonian citizen, grandfather killed by russians in 1949, parents lived under soviet occupation)

B. kirjoitti...

"Bäckman also does not understand the public glorification of Nazi symbols in Estonia, such as in the last year birthday party of the minister of justice Rein Lang."

That is rather ridiculous. Rein Lang visited the anti-Nazi play by a British actor and playwright Pip Utton. The scenery included a flag of Nazi-Germany. The author himself said that his play is certainly not pro-Nazi.

How is it possible to be so uninformed?

B. kirjoitti...

"What Johan is saying in his book is, that it is OK to think like a Nazi in Estonia. This is evident from the Maarjamaa Cross awarded to Teinonen."

I'm sure they were unaware of his personal inclination towards Nazism, because awarding the Maarjamaa Cross to a Nazi might be considered a 'threat to the international image of Estonia', too. I'm sure mr Petri Krohn will notice the inherent contradiction in his comment.

Best regards.

Ove kirjoitti...

Do not come to ESTONIA! NEVER EVER!!!

Andreas kirjoitti...
Kirjoittaja on poistanut tämän kommentin.
remo kirjoitti...

I don't understand the thing about Teinonen! He is a well known neo-nazi, and as Estonia has been blamed of admiring their SS legions, than why is Estonia blamed again because of trying to sentence one nazi?
The other thing is that the trials over the Klenski&co are not just shows. In my opinion these guys should be prosecuted and sentenced for life as they had direct funding and support from the Russian embassy to organize the April 2007 events! This should be considered as treason or not? And by the way this is an opinion of lots of intelligent Russians in Estonia as well!
Actually I would like to take a course with you and listen how do you explain your statements against your southern neighbor?

Best regards and keep on being on the front of the newspapers

Remo Kuldkepp

J. Anderson kirjoitti...

It's wrong to limit the discussion to June-July 1940. We must go back to where all this started, the Molotov-Ribbentrop secret protocol of 23 August 1939, which stated that 'in the case of a territorial-political reorganization', the Baltic states (Finland, Estonia, Latvia -- Lithuania being added later) would belong to the Soviet sphere of interest.

For us who know the outcome it is quite clear what was meant: invasion and occupation. How could anybody be in doubt, considering the attacks on Poland and Finland? Hitler and Stalin divided Poland in accordance with the secret protocol. Stalin aimed at occupying all of Finland -- there is no doubt about that either.

In September-October 1939 the three Baltic countries were forced to accept military bases on their territory. With the arrival of numerically superior Soviet forces, the military occupation of the Baltics had in fact already taken place. What remained was the political side of it -- the establishment of Soviet rule in the occupied, still pseudo-independent countries. As the occupation of Finland had backfired, Stalin wanted no more military encounters. Instead, a seemingly constitutional show was necessary.

In June 1940, when the Germans were busy defeating France, three Soviet commissars -- Zhdanov, Vyshinskyi, Dekanosov -- were sent to Tallinn, Riga and Kaunas respectively. Backed up by Soviet forces they staged the political take-over of the Baltic governments. With 200 Soviet tanks positioned in Kaunas for instance, there was not much the legal authorities could do, unless they were prepared to trigger off a major bloodshed.

Unfortunately it is always possible to find political idiots who are prepared to step in 'in the interest of the nation'. The list of these Quislings, and Husáks is legion. And so the commissars were able to create collaboration governments with whom they could carry out the final solution: the absorption of the occupied countries into the Soviet state.

Continuing the political show process (Vyshinkskiy was an expert, having been the mastermind of Stalin's purges in the 30's), elections were staged, but only the extreme left was allowed to put up candidates. The result was three totally communist-dominated parliaments. These were now ordered to apply for their country's membership in the USSR. It is well worth remembering that in Estonia even this communist parliament initially refused to comply. Only after threats of physical violence did the deputies vote in favour of the application.

The whole farce was staged only in order to fool the outside world into believing that the Baltic countries had not been occupied but had joined the USSR voluntarily. Well, it did fool a few people, mainly those with Soviet sympathies, and in the USSR itself it was of course the only accepted version. But ever since glasnost, even the Russians have become aware of its untruthfulness. It is only now, when power in Russia has been usurped by the ex-KGB pack, that the non-occupation fable has again surfaced and is being pushed -- undoubtedly with support from a Russian ministry of truth -- by useful idiots and mental quislings.

Ivar kirjoitti...

Dear J.Anderson,

>> The whole farce was staged only in order to fool the outside world into believing that the Baltic countries had not been occupied but had joined the USSR voluntarily.

Please, do not underestimate Europen politicians' intelligence back in 1940s. It is exactly what we see today in context of Russian occupation in Georgia - there are few countries that understand the Russian threat to Europe and democracy, and there are those who are rather quiet and protect their short-term interests (opposite to long-term view of what Russia will do when its influence will grow).

Bäckman is clearly financed by Kremlin supported publishing house, so the whole campaign is just a Kremlin lie propaganda with help of a pathetic "doctor" or whatever he calls himself.

If Bäckman would really like to know what russians have done to estonians in 1940s, he would dig deeper. I could give him true tales by my relative about russians arresting and shooting innocent estonians in summer of 1940.

KGS kirjoitti...

If I were Bäckman, I would seriously take a look in the mirror, and try to decipher what kind of man he is looking at, that would go through all the rouble to try and make a complete ass of himself....repeatedly.

Trying to convince others that the world is flat, is the only way to convince people that you are a bonified loon.

Equally laughable is your attempt to prove that Masso % company have slandered you. It's like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad trying to prove the Simon wiesenthal Center guilty of defaming him for calling him an anti-Semite.

get a life.

huguenette kirjoitti...

Does Mr. Bäckman has a bipolar disorder which has relapsed? Schizophrenia???

Ester kirjoitti...

I suppose Bäckman is prepared to declare to the rest of Finland that Karelia was not occupied by Soviet Union - and that it is not occupied by Russia now?

Juha Molari kirjoitti...

God's blessing for you, Johan. It is very diffucult to live in Finland, where our freedom is very limited. Now we have seen that political and tactical pressure have been terrible against you. I could understand that somebody doesn't like your argumentation, but difficulties are now more serious in Finland and in Estonia: they cannot accept that you have western freedom to write and to think about. Unfortunately I must confess as priest that Lutheran Church and its priest were one of the most significant factor that "Nationalsozialismus" and Hitler found own power and success. It was not right to say anything against Hitler's ideology. Jewish professors were sent away from Universities etc. ( Unfortunately we have seen again that few living new-nazis want to distroy you and your rights to write. But do not worry: you have always many friends, who will support you!

Ivar kirjoitti...

Dear Juha Molari,

I totally agree. Be free to start preaching that there havent been holocaust. That is equally big bullshit to that Bäckman's one about Estonia.

You are free to think and talk. Be free to preach facts, not bullshit.

subgrav kirjoitti...

Perhaps the problem we are having is that the real villain has always been, and will be, Communism.
The Soviet Union was in its grip, and the evils perpetrated on the world as a result were innumerable and unbelievable.
But perhaps both Russians and Estonians fail to see this distinction, in that Estonia was technically not invaded by Russia but actually by the USSR, and thus forcibly integrated into the Union.
Of course, many Russians used the "excuse" of the USSR and the so-called "Great Patriotic War," in and of itself a propaganda tool and a myth, to further their own imperialist aims.
But for men like Arnold Meri - they were doing it for the good of the Soviet Union! No border, no countries, no bourgeois elite, etc etc. Ethnicity had nothing to do with it, because the Soviet Man was beyond ethnicity (never mind that he spoke Russian :-)

Angry Russians, for their part, fail to see that the reach and expanse of the aforementioned USSR was not, strictly speaking, Russia. Thus they have lost nothing except a form of government. . They did, however, lose all their influence when they lost their military might and ability to threaten. This is why modern Russia is so frightening, as they have found new power and leverage through energy.

Perhaps this is why Putin, et al, speak more of a nostalgia for a Tsarist-era Russia. The Tsar's Russia was 'Mother Russia,' with manifest destiny over all of Europe.

For Estonians to take their anger out on Russians is perhaps naive when in their own government and top levels of leadership they have Communists and former high-level operatives in the Soviet government!
Of course these individuals now pretend that they were always working on the inside to free Estonia. That is laughable. Certain ones said as recently as 1989 that the Soviet Union would never collapse.
Estonia should have the courage that so many other former Soviet vassals have had, and outlaw Communism and other forms of hate-politics. Then clean house and get rid of the old apparatchiks.
Then they can begin working on coming to grips with their past.

Jaak kirjoitti...

Dear Subgrav,
While mentioning the Soviet past of current Estonian politicians you seem to neglect the political and social system at the time. Back then if one was to have a say in any field of leadership one was basically forced to be a member of the communist party. Based on that fact I am sure you can figure the rest of the details out.

Ivar kirjoitti...

Dear Subgrav,

You are so naive. It is not about estonians "taking their anger out" on russians. It is about the fact that Russia interferes neighbour countries life. Estonians are just as old nation as finnish. So why doesnt Bäckman talk about Finland to give up its souvereignity? You have already given Karjala, why stop? Become a part of great Russia :)

I doubt that there are much more cheap political sluts like Bäckman in Finland, but the fact that University of Helsinki refused to criticize his lies, is a sad one.

Bäckman really needs to go back to school, this time to study about times he is talking about. He should familiarise himself with a document from year 1939 - pact of the soviet military bases which clearly stated that Estonian president, government and all institutions will remain in status quo as they were until 1939, and there will be no more than 25.000 soldiers in Estonia. By autumn 1940 there were already over 35.000 soviet soldiers in Estonia, KGB was sabotaging Estonian Republic's institutions and murdering citizens.

martintg kirjoitti...

Remember Holocaust denier David Irving also sued his critics for libel, and he lost the case with great damage to his reputation.

So too will Dr. Bäckman lose his legal case with great damage to his reputation.

Ivar kirjoitti...

Dear Marting,

If Bäckman does not stop and does not apologise for estonians, somebody has to do that. In honour of our grandfathers and -mothers.

Luigi kirjoitti...

He is also very worried about the future of Estonia..

Im very worry about the future of Finland.... >>>>> Jokela, Kahuajoki,explosion at Shopping Center. Something is wrong in Finland or not??? Your opinion pls, Mr Blackman.



Anton kirjoitti...

Ivar: most Finns *definetly* disagree with Bäckman's views!

Ivar kirjoitti...

An estonian living in Finland commented anouther massacre (Kauhajoki) in a bit wider perspective. I do not know if its true, but he told Finnish food is so fat-free that children cant get their necessary fatty acids from it. Fyi - without fatty acids young nervous system can not grow normally.

I wonder if Bäckman gets enough fatty acids from the food he eats. That deficiency would definitely make one delirious about past.

Giustino kirjoitti...

It is well worth remembering that in Estonia even this communist parliament initially refused to comply. Only after threats of physical violence did the deputies vote in favour of the application.

Indeed. The Estonian parliament building was barricaded by Soviet tanks, and Soviet military personnel were in the chamber when the votes were being taken.

Valkobandiitti kirjoitti...

Red army in the Estonian "parliament" 21.7.1940


subgrav kirjoitti...

Dear Ivar,
Don't think me naive because I see Savisaar and Rüütel as being as great a threat, if not greater, to Estonia's future as Vladimir Putin. Russian youth looting and destroying is a symptom of the disease, and not the disease.

Russia has been (from the Czars onward) and continue to this day to be the most dangerous outside element that Estonia, and Finland, for that matter, must face.

Nevertheless, it is common for the Estonians (like Jaak, who commented before you) to turn a blind eye to the criminals and traitors and aim their anger at the foreigner.
The fact is that Estonia fell to the Soviets (and Russia, in effect) due to the work of traitors and communists in their own country. The traitor Johan Lauristin sold Estonia for his own political gain. His family burned books to cleanse Estonia of the bourgeois taint, echoing the acts of the SA in Berlin in 1933.
Estonia's history throughout the Soviet occupation is full of Estonian communists who continued to sell out their people and their country for either a misguided political zealotry or for personal gain. Either way this behaviour is morally reprehensible.
Despite what their propaganda has managed to fool people into thinking, none of them have contributed to the reindependence of Estonia, and none of them do anything to help Estonia further itself as a democratic nation.

Finland has its own share of problems. Mr. Bäckman and his revisionist ilk are one of them. Sadly, something is rotting from the inside. Just look at the fact that Finland cannot even control its youth ie. the tragic events in Kauhajoki. I actually feel embarrassed sometimes to be Finnish!
Czar Putin is biding his time while the West shoots itself in the foot. And sadly, Finland and Estonia are filled with people who are just wishing to play lap-dog to their great neighbor again.

Grygory kirjoitti...
Kirjoittaja on poistanut tämän kommentin.
Estonia in World Media (Rus) kirjoitti...

European Court for Human Rights:

Estonia lost its independence as a result of the Treaty of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (also known as “Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact”), concluded on 23 August 1939, and the secret additional protocols to it. Following an ultimatum to set up Soviet military bases in Estonia in 1939, a large-scale entry of the Soviet army into Estonia took place in June 1940. The lawful government of the country was overthrown and Soviet rule was imposed by force. The totalitarian communist regime of the Soviet Union conducted large-scale and systematic actions against the Estonian population, including, for example, the deportation of about 10,000 persons on 14 June 1941 and of more than 20,000 on 25 March 1949. After the Second World War, tens of thousands of persons went into hiding in the forests to avoid repression by the Soviet authorities; part of those in hiding actively resisted the occupation regime. According to the data of the security organs, about 1,500 persons were killed and almost 10,000 arrested in the course of the resistance movement of 1944-1953. Interrupted by the German occupation in 1941-1944, Estonia remained occupied by the Soviet Union until its restoration of independence in 1991. Accordingly, Estonia as a state was temporarily prevented from fulfilling its international commitments.