Aivars Slucis, M.D, 820 4th Ave., Albert Lea, MN 56007

The world believes that the modem day holocausts began and ended with the German Holocaust, against the Jews which began in Germany in 1940.

However, in reality the holocausts began at, least seven years earlier and in Russia, not Germany. We can take as one example the fate of the 230,000 Latvians living in Russia at that time. In 1937 a secret directive was issued from Moscow: latiđskoje gelo (the Latvian matter). It ordered the killing of Latvians. In the next few months 73,000 Latvians, almost all the men over age 15, with some educated and activist women, were arrested and shot. On the arrest order was written: pričina obvineniya-latiđ (reason for arrest — Latvian). That's all — Latvian. Three years later in Germany similar orders would say: reason for arrest — Jew.

Before the Latvian holocaust in Russia, there was the holocaust against the Ukrainians when in 1933/1935 creating artificial famine the Russians killed almost five million Ukrainians. In 1937-38 there were also holocausts against Estonians and Lithuanians living in Russia.

Altogether, from 1900 to 1940, the Russians killed tens of millions of people in the territory they controlled. And the world was silent No criticism of Russia was heard anywhere. Since at that time Russia. was the only power that Germany respected, and since Russia and Germany were signed allies, could the successful, uncriticized, unpunished Russian genocide against Latvians, Ukrainians, Estonians/ Lithuanians have set an example and pointed the way for the German Holocaust against the Jews? If so, then woe to those who knew and remained silent.

In 1939 Germany and Russia signed the Ribbentrop-Molotov (Hitler-Stalin) pact which divided Eastern Europe between them. It gave Germany control from mid-Poland to the west and Russia from mid-Poland to the east. Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania fell under Russian control. Now nearly two million more Latvians, all that there were in the world, were at Russian "mercy." In the German controlled area began the Holocaust which eventually cost six million Jewish lives. In Latvia, over the next 10 years the Russians killed, deported, and exiled the most able one third of the population (this in addition to the already killed 73,000 Latvians in Russia). The political, cultural, and moral leadership of Latvia was almost totally exterminated. Government officials down to village level, leading members of political. parties, military and police officers, higher civil servants, school principals and teachers, judges, religious leaders, and scoutmasters were all gone together with hundreds of thousands of others. Russians did the same thing in Estonia, Lithuania, Chechnya and other smaller nations which were under their control.

Some people feel that sympathy is a finite commodity and that if there is sympathy for the other people, who suffered in the Russian-led holocausts, then it will take something away from the Jewish Holocaust sufferers. l don't think that this is so, and in fact, ignoring some evil and criticizing only selective evil is. wrong.

What is more important— the Holocaust and the German genocide against the Jewish people ended 53 years ago, but the Russian genocide against the Latvian people continues uninterrupted to this day.

In 1937-38 in Russia, the Russians didn't kill all of the Latvians, only the men, but since the women and children were not allowed to return to Latvia they were lost to Latvia. The effect was the same as the millennia-long practice of barbarians to steal women. During the unlawful occupation of Latvia, 1940-1991, the Russians did not kill all of the Latvians, only the most able one third. Then they sent in 200,000 soldiers and 1 million support personnel — civil occupants and colonists to slowly eliminate, suppress, russify the leaderless remaining 1.3 million Latvians. This was done by terror and fear, further deportations (1949), and destruction by force and intimidation of the Latvian culture and language = genocide.

In 1991 Latvia regained its independence and the Russian occupation should have ended. While most of the 200,000 soldiers did leave (some only took off their uniforms and became Russian agents or, joined the Russian Mafia), the 1 million illegal civil occupants remained. They should not have been in;

Latvia in the first place for it is against all international laws for the occupying power to send masses of civilians into occupied countries. The fact that Russia refuses to remove its civil occupants from Latvia' proves that Russia plans to continue its program of elimination of Latvians and Russification of Latvia. The Russian holocaust and genocide against the Latvians goes on. Again there is silence just like that other time at the end of the'30s.

Now that many organizations (Red Cross, European churches) and countries (Sweden, Switzerland, Vatican) are admitting their guilt and immorality in keeping silent during the Holocaust against the Jews, why is similar silence and even collaboration continuing in the case of the ongoing Russian holocausts and genocide in Latvia and Estonia? In place of sympathy, Latvians would prefer practical Western help in removing the nearly one million Russian colonists and civil occupants — the unfinished business of WW II. What Russia is doing in Latvia today is as if Germany had continued to kill Jews after 1945 or was trying to bring about the destruction of Jewish Israel today. Who would stand by for that? Then why is the world silent about similar Russian actions in Latvia? The repatriation of the  Russian civil-occupants is the moral and legal obligation of the Yalta and Ribbentrop-Molotov countries, i.e., Germany, USA, Britain, France, Russia.

The U.N. statement on colonialism states "The colonial system causes conflicts and threatens world peace." Russia is the world's last and greatest colonial power. Today Russia is using its colonists to, bring about a holocaust and genocide upon the Latvian people.

Russia stop the holocaust! Take back your colonists! Let my people live and breathe free!

N.Y. Times. Dec 1, 1998

 Noziegumi pret cilvçci   Crimes against Humanity