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As a long-term reader of The Baltic Times, I’m always delighted to read the latest news you are offering. However, for some time the contributions of Rokas M. Tracevskis are increasingly irritating me. The latest reason for discontent is the article ‘Poland’s exotics,’ in which he compares pre-war Poland with Nazi-Germany, calling it a ‘fascist country.’ Being a historian myself, I know rather well that prewar Poland (suffering delusions of grandeur) had an image of an international trouble-shooter, but comparison with Nazi-Germany or fascist Italy is absolutely appalling. Let’s realize that the Polish and Lithuanian immature political culture do, in a way, reflect each other; before the war and to some extent nowadays as well: emotional rhetoric, stubborn provincialism, presenting themselves as victims and using historic arguments as a playground to swing public opinion to their respective side. The current exaggerated Polish-Lithuanian language row is essentially a row between the political elite in Warsaw and Vilnius, an artificially created conflict that needs a few symbolic gestures and a moderate tune to be solved.
Mr. Tracevskis is apparently infuriated by the ‘hysterical anti-Lithuanian campaign’ in Poland, which is of course understandable, but he is doing exactly the same thing, he is blaming the Polish side. And one more thing: the Lithuanian political elite contributed to this problem as well. For example: the Seimas voted down a proposal to include the Polish alphabet in Lithuanian passports for ethnic Poles at the same moment when the late president Kaczinsky paid a visit to Vilnius, which was viewed by Radoslaw Sikorski as an insult to his president. Is Lithuanian culture so vulnerable by the Polish ‘W’ or some bilingual place names in a few remote Polish-inhabited municipalities? I don’t think so.
I would like to continue to read Mr. Tracevskis’ contributions further, but then I expect him to report in a much more sober and impartial way, and please without all these tiresome historic comparisons (in the Golovatov case he began his article mentioning that it was of no avail that the Lithuanian army defended Vienna against the Turks 300 years ago...). Now his highly polemical and emotional articles belong, at best, in the opinion section.
And speaking about the opinion section, I would like to mention that I’m even more dissatisfied with the contributions of ‘political analyst’ Anna-Maria Galojan. I cannot help feeling that she’s using ‘The Baltic Times’ as a platform to settle accounts with the Estonian Reform Party, to which she used to belong herself. Claiming, for example, that Estonia is an ‘apartheid-state,’ without convincing argumentation, tells a lot about the poor quality of her contributions.
As a TBT reader I would like to see quality articles that are examining developments in a distanced and professional way.
Frederik Erens M.A.