It never ends

  • 2008-05-29
  • Monika Hanley in cooperation with BNS

Photo: Maurice de Beijer

TALLINN- The battle of themonuments continues in Estoniaas uber nationalist Yuri Lijm used a crane and removed a Soviet cadet monument anda statue of Hans Poogelmann, who founded Estonia's Communist Party. Thestatues were removed from AudentesUniversity.

Lijm, age 66, was quoted by Novosti News as saying "I came here to do thisbecause it is the responsibility of a citizen of Estonia.If the authorities are so helpless, I have to do this myself. It is our holy duty.

Lijm also gained international notoriety last year after threatening to blowup the Bronze Soldier in Tallinn'scity center before its relocation.

He went on to say "Estoniastill has too many these socialist monuments. I will definitely not stop untilI clean Estoniaof them. A period of cleaning out the trash has been declared in Estonia. I amcleaning out the red trash."

Hello Estoniareported that yet another wave of indignation in Moscowhas been recently caused by a trial of Arnold Meri, the last Hero of the SovietUnion in Estonia.Elderly Meri is charged with genocide over deportations to Siberiain 1949. The trial began on May 20. Meri, 88, pleaded non-guilty, but ifconvicted, he may be sentenced to life.

On Friday the Russian State Duma is likely to ask the OSCEand the Council of Europe to denounce the trial.

"Lawmakers will draw the attention of European parliamentariansto the attempts of Estonian authorities to revise the results of the SecondWorld War and the Nurembergtribunal," said State Duma speaker Boris Gryzlov.

Head of the Duma veterans committee Nikolai Kovalev said "thetrial of Meri in Estonia isa logical continuation of the official policy of the BalticRepublicto eliminate at the state level the very memory of the lessons of the SecondWorld War. I believe time has come to oppose such a policy. Not only Russia should occupy a tough stance, but veteranorganizations of the whole world should condemn Estonia."