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Why should they learn language of the aborigines more than was needed for talking to the servants? Officially the murderer was never found. The local lore, though, had a suspect, who might have liked to consider the murder political, but it looks like it might have been a petty grudge, revenge for humiliation the German manor owner caused for an Estonian laborer, who made a mistake in manners. May-be this is place to, if not take back, then at least soften my words on failure of the former Baltic German nobility to fit in in the independent Estonia.

As there was resentment from the Estonian side and unwillingness to forget the years of slavery under the Baltic German yoke. Tania Alexander considered herself a Russian and was quite critical toward the Baltic Germans in her memoirs. She does write, though, that leaving Estonia for the Nazi Germany in was choosing between two evils.

To summarize — the memoirs are more fascinating when one is familiar with the history of former Baltic provinces of the Russian Empire and with the Russian history, but it is also a thought provoking family history on its own merit, even if told in fractured way.

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And if the latter, does it matter? Should one not welcome any convert to the cause, however late in coming, especially if he knows how to operate the machinery of government? Or are these the people one needs to beware of most? The dilemma is common to all the newly independent states.

A little of all these : an Estonian childhood : memoirs

To purge or not to purge is a major issue in Czechoslovakia and one that featured prominently in the polish presidential election. The role of writers under the East German regime is a question that is now tearing the German literary establishment apart. Many of the entrepreneurs of privatization are old apparatchiks writ large.

They know how to get to the front of the queue, and they have the dishonest gains from their previous incarnation as investment capital. I even met people in the Baltic states who advocated the retention of the KGB in some form.

Tania Alexander | The Independent

They fear that Estonia and Latvia will become the main conduits for the drug trade from Central Asia, and that the local police will simply not be able to cope. The Baltic states lost their independence thanks to the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact of August They were a present from Hitler to Stalin.

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The public line of present-day Balts is that of a plague on both their houses. The German upper class and patriciate did much for the culture of the region, in the architecture of Tallinn and Riga, the schools, universities, music and religion.

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Wagner composed most of Rienzi while director of the Riga opera. But this was a culture that excluded the Estonian and Latvian peasant population. The churches contain scarcely a single memorial in the language of the native population.

Demi More Reveals Details of Her Childhood Sexual Assault in New Memoir

But by such memories had faded. The reality that Balts faced then was Soviet annexation, confiscation and mass deportation. Under these circumstances there was a temptation to greet the Nazi invaders of as liberators, as also happened in the Ukraine and other parts of the Soviet Union.

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Members of pre-war ultra-right movements, such as the Latvian perkonkrusts and Aizsargi had no compunction in participating in massacres. The German occupiers looked on approvingly at the Riga pogrom of July , but they did not instigate it. The 12th Lithuanian Auxiliary Batallion was responsible for fifteen thousand deaths. Clare Thomson does not ignore these painful episodes, but treats them in a curious way.

There is a whiff of apologia about these remarks which contrasts strangely with the honesty of the rest of her book. There were Communists who collaborated with the Soviets and some of them were Jews. But no Balt was deported because he was a Gentile and the massacre of Jews at Klooga and Kalevi was politically quite indiscriminate. Why bring all this up now? It is not necessary to be virtuous in order not to be a victim.

We all know of the atrocities committed by the Croat Ustasha regime during the war, and that some at least of the Croat militia of today are inspired by an ideology not far removed from that of the Ustasha. But this hardly excuses the flattening of Vukovar or the destruction of Dubrovnik by Serbian chauvinists in No, the purpose of setting the record straight is not to redistribute collective guilt, but to promote self-knowledge. Indeed, she is sophisticated enough to know that she was entering a world whose complexities she had not suspected.