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Tags Germany history , Russia history

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Old 4th June 2018, 02:07 PM   #1
Vixen
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Should the Baltic Germans be compensated by Russia?

Stalin stripped the nobility in the Baltic states of their privileges, causing Hitler to relocate them to Prussia in secret readiness to attack Russia.

These Baltic Germans received the most desultory price for the confiscation of their splendid estates and buildings and zero compensation.

Those who stayed behind, found they couldn't even expect recompense for the compulsory state purchase of their land.

During the war, many of these dispossessed Baltic Germans moved back to the area we now know as Estonia, Latvia and part East Prussia and Lithuania (Livonia, Courland, Ugania, Lettland, etc). This era was known as the White Terror as the returning Germans tried to suppress the communist regime now in place under Stalin.

On Nazi German losing the war, the Baltic Germans were subjected to Red Terror, with summary executions and being forced to flee, all of their land now in the hands of the gloating victorious Soviets, as part of the Allied defeat of the Nazis.

With Russia now thrown off its communist shackles, could it be time to reinstate the old ancient Baltic German nobility back in the lands were they belong, going back centuries, and or proper compensation to be paid for the theft of their property by the State?

Pictured: The Baltic States in their Swedish era.

Quote:
The Baltic Germans (German: Deutsch-Balten or Deutschbalten, later Baltendeutsche) are ethnic German inhabitants of the eastern shores of the Baltic Sea, in what today are Estonia and Latvia. Since their expulsion from Estonia and Latvia and resettlement during the upheavals and aftermath of the Second World War, Baltic Germans have markedly declined as a geographically determined ethnic group.[3] The largest groups of present-day descendants of the Baltic Germans are found in Germany and Canada.[citation needed] It is estimated that several thousand still reside in Latvia and Estonia.

For centuries Baltic Germans and the Baltic nobility constituted a ruling class over native non-German serfs. The emerging Baltic-German middle class was mostly urban and professional.
<snip>

Quote:
Baltic German history and presence in the Baltics came to an end in late 1939, following the signing of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact and the subsequent Nazi–Soviet population transfers. Almost all the Baltic Germans were resettled by Nazi Germany under the Heim ins Reich program into the newly formed Reichsgaue of Wartheland and Danzig-West Prussia (on the territory of the occupied Second Polish Republic). In 1945, most ethnic Germans were expelled from these lands by the Soviet army. Resettlement was planned for the territory remaining to Germany under terms of the border changes promulgated at the Potsdam Conference, i.e. west of the Oder–Neisse line, or elsewhere in the world.

Ethnic Germans from East Prussia and Lithuania are sometimes incorrectly considered Baltic Germans for reasons of cultural, linguistic, and historical affinities. But the Germans of East Prussia held Prussian, and after 1871, German citizenship, because the territory they lived in was part of Kingdom of Prussia.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baltic_Germans


What do the panel think?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Sw_BalticProv_en.jpg (41.5 KB, 3 views)
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Old 4th June 2018, 02:40 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
What do the panel think?
That you didn't read the wiki page properly:

Quote:
The Baltic Germans' rule and class privileges came to the end with the demise of the Russian Empire (due to the Bolshevik revolution of October 1917) and the independence of Estonia and Latvia in 1918–1919.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baltic..._Baltic_states

The ethnic Germans had lost their privileged status long before WWII and their land was taken by the independent Baltic states prior to 1939:

Quote:
On October 10, 1919 Estonian parliament expropriated 1,065 estates (96.6% of all estates). March 1, 1926 law set the compensation to the former owners of arable land at about 3% of its market value and no compensation at all for the forests. This almost instantly bankrupted German noble class, even if they were allowed to keep some 50 ha of their lands.

On September 16, 1920 Constitutional Assembly of Latvia nationalized 1,300 estates with 3.7 million hectares of land. Former German owners were allowed to keep 50 ha of land and farm equipment. In 1924, Saeima decided that no compensation will be paid to former owners. In 1929, Saeima voted that veterans of the Baltische Landeswehr cannot receive any land.
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Old 4th June 2018, 03:14 PM   #3
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Who did the Prussian nobles steal it from in the first place?
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Old 4th June 2018, 03:21 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by kookbreaker View Post
Who did the Prussian nobles steal it from in the first place?
They were originally Teutonic knights, who went on "crusade" to "christianize" (read: enslave and genocide) the local population.
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Old 4th June 2018, 03:23 PM   #5
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Betteridge's Law of Headlines strikes again!
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Old 4th June 2018, 03:26 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
Pictured: The Baltic States in their Swedish era.

What do the panel think?
Apart from Garrison's remark which completely undermines the whole premise of your OP, the above is also false. Your map shows that nowadays Estonia and roughly half of nowadays Latvia (Livonia) were Swedish. The southern half of Latvia, Courland, and Lithuania, were not. Courland was part of Lithuania, and the latter was one of the two constituents of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
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Old 4th June 2018, 03:34 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ddt View Post
They were originally Teutonic knights, who went on "crusade" to "christianize" (read: enslave and genocide) the local population.
Old Prussian = Dead Prussian.

New Prussian = Failed Crusader that spoke German.
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Old 4th June 2018, 03:52 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
That you didn't read the wiki page properly:



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baltic..._Baltic_states

The ethnic Germans had lost their privileged status long before WWII and their land was taken by the independent Baltic states prior to 1939:
I saw all that. It doesn't change the thrust of the OP.

You did realise the Swedish possession came to an end in 1721 by the Treaty of Nystad, and WWII was some >200 years later? In the interim, Russia did restore the privileges Charles X of Sweden had taken away. These privileges lasted until Stalin came along.
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Old 4th June 2018, 03:54 PM   #9
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What of the Volga Deutsche? Or the Black Sea Germans? Silesia, Prussia, Pomerania, Danzig, Konigsburg? My great-great grandfather's farm, which was north of Odessa? My wife's grandfather's village in Silesia?

The thing is, Germany renounced all claims - West Germany tacitly accepted all post-war borders and resettlement of ethnic Germans. Once reunified, Germany explicitly accepted it all.

It's done, has been for a few generations now.
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Old 4th June 2018, 03:56 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by kookbreaker View Post
Who did the Prussian nobles steal it from in the first place?
We are not talking about Prussians, strictly speaking, as they were German nationals from 1871. We are discussing the Baltic states.

However, why should you assume the nobility 'stole it' from anyone?

A large portion were knighted thanks to their gallantry on the battlefield, by grateful kings and queens.

Others were heirs to the kings (ditto) handed down by inheritance laws, as we know them today.
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Old 4th June 2018, 03:57 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by ddt View Post
They were originally Teutonic knights, who went on "crusade" to "christianize" (read: enslave and genocide) the local population.
It was the Christian crusades that founded the modern day northern european countries as we know them today.
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Old 4th June 2018, 03:59 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by ddt View Post
Apart from Garrison's remark which completely undermines the whole premise of your OP, the above is also false. Your map shows that nowadays Estonia and roughly half of nowadays Latvia (Livonia) were Swedish. The southern half of Latvia, Courland, and Lithuania, were not. Courland was part of Lithuania, and the latter was one of the two constituents of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
Part of modern day Lithuania as we know it was included in the Swedish empire. The boundaries are not fixed.
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Old 4th June 2018, 04:03 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
What of the Volga Deutsche? Or the Black Sea Germans? Silesia, Prussia, Pomerania, Danzig, Konigsburg? My great-great grandfather's farm, which was north of Odessa? My wife's grandfather's village in Silesia?

The thing is, Germany renounced all claims - West Germany tacitly accepted all post-war borders and resettlement of ethnic Germans. Once reunified, Germany explicitly accepted it all.

It's done, has been for a few generations now.
Ah, but we are not talking about Germany, per se. We are talking about the Baltic States.

During WWII they were largely under the heel of Stalin, so they have nothing to reparate. Whilst the nobility might be descended from German stock, they did not have German nationality.
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Old 4th June 2018, 04:05 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Doubt View Post
Old Prussian = Dead Prussian.

New Prussian = Failed Crusader that spoke German.
Wrong. Erik the Holy brought Christianity to the Swedish empire and is now the patron saint of Stockholm.

Anyway we are not talking about the West Prussians, but the east ones.
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Old 4th June 2018, 04:22 PM   #15
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I note I omitted to mention the following in my original post.

"Re the Baltic states, whilst, yes they were under Russian rule having been ceded by Sweden,they were enjoying enormous privileges with serfs paying them tithes, etc. The Baltic ruling classes pre-Stalin had had all of their privileges restored, removed by Charles X of Sweden in the 'Great Reduction' throughout the Swedish kingdom (this was the removal of the privileges of the nobility, or, 'free men', who were now expected to pay taxes like everybody else. Some had their estates confiscated to the Crown).

These people enjoyed large tracts of land and beautiful sprawling manors pre-Stalin, despite being under Russia.

Stalin stripping this 'bourgeois' class of landowners of their privileges, with the minimum of compensation and zero compensation, and caused a great deal of resentment." (from another thread)
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Old 4th June 2018, 04:30 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
Stalin stripped the nobility in the Baltic states of their privileges, causing Hitler to relocate them to Prussia in secret readiness to attack Russia.

These Baltic Germans received the most desultory price for the confiscation of their splendid estates and buildings and zero compensation.

Those who stayed behind, found they couldn't even expect recompense for the compulsory state purchase of their land.

During the war, many of these dispossessed Baltic Germans moved back to the area we now know as Estonia, Latvia and part East Prussia and Lithuania (Livonia, Courland, Ugania, Lettland, etc). This era was known as the White Terror as the returning Germans tried to suppress the communist regime now in place under Stalin.

On Nazi German losing the war, the Baltic Germans were subjected to Red Terror, with summary executions and being forced to flee, all of their land now in the hands of the gloating victorious Soviets, as part of the Allied defeat of the Nazis.

With Russia now thrown off its communist shackles, could it be time to reinstate the old ancient Baltic German nobility back in the lands were they belong, going back centuries, and or proper compensation to be paid for the theft of their property by the State?

Pictured: The Baltic States in their Swedish era.



<snip>

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baltic_Germans


What do the panel think?
No.
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Old 4th June 2018, 04:33 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
What of the Volga Deutsche? Or the Black Sea Germans? Silesia, Prussia, Pomerania, Danzig, Konigsburg? My great-great grandfather's farm, which was north of Odessa? My wife's grandfather's village in Silesia?

The thing is, Germany renounced all claims - West Germany tacitly accepted all post-war borders and resettlement of ethnic Germans. Once reunified, Germany explicitly accepted it all.

It's done, has been for a few generations now.
It's like suggesting that everybody in the US of European descent move back to Europe and give the country back to the Native Americans. No one with any sense denys the Native Americans got a very raw deal and were screwed over royally but what is done is done.
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Old 4th June 2018, 04:34 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by ddt View Post
They were originally Teutonic knights, who went on "crusade" to "christianize" (read: enslave and genocide) the local population.
Someone cue Prokofiev's score for Alexander Nevsky...
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Old 5th June 2018, 12:02 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
No.
I say yes, but let them then compensate in return the ethnic Poles and Jews that they replaced when they moved to Poland.
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Old 5th June 2018, 02:16 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
It's like suggesting that everybody in the US of European descent move back to Europe and give the country back to the Native Americans. No one with any sense denys the Native Americans got a very raw deal and were screwed over royally but what is done is done.
This is still in living memory.
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Old 5th June 2018, 02:18 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
I say yes, but let them then compensate in return the ethnic Poles and Jews that they replaced when they moved to Poland.
There is nothing to stop them from also putting in a claim.
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Old 5th June 2018, 02:28 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
There is nothing to stop them from also putting in a claim.
These victims are now unable to make a claim against the crusaders, unfortunately.
Old PrussiansWP resisted the Teutonic Knights, and received help from the Grand Duchy of Lithuania during the 13th century in their quest to free themselves of the military order ...

Because of the conquest of the Old Prussians by Germans, the Old Prussian language probably became extinct in the beginning of the 18th century with the devastation of the rural population by plagues and the assimilation of the nobility and the larger population with Germans or Lithuanians. However, translations of the Bible, Old Prussian poems, and some other texts survived and have enabled scholars to reconstruct the language.
it was a Baltic language like Latvian or Lithuanian.
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Old 5th June 2018, 02:39 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
This is still in living memory.
Barely.

And as was pointed out, they had their estates largely stripped before Stalin came along.
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Old 5th June 2018, 03:42 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
It's like suggesting that everybody in the US of European descent move back to Europe and give the country back to the Native Americans. No one with any sense denys the Native Americans got a very raw deal and were screwed over royally but what is done is done.
Yes, but what's done isn't necessarily admirable. The situation is more like this: in consequence of the Indian Removal Act, the Cherokee people lost their lands and homes in Georgia. They were sent into exile in a wilderness. Should their descendants be compensated for that loss?

Some of the evicted Cherokee people owned slaves. Should they be compensated for loss of their slaves, where these were lost in the expulsion?

I would think probably not, because in modern times the ownership of slaves is not lawful. Feudal rights over land and the labour of serfs aren't now lawful either, so I can't see that the loss of such resources, even when their possession was lawful, should attract compensation from any modern government.

Last edited by Craig B; 5th June 2018 at 03:51 AM.
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Old 5th June 2018, 04:25 AM   #25
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Short answer - no.

Longer answer - Also no, but with some context. In order to claim "compensation" for an event there has to be a tortfeasor - ie. someone who has done the harm. SO what we need to do is determine who was the tortfeasor who stripped the Baltic German nobility of their estates, titles and privileges without compensation and then determine if those parties are still around to claim compensation from.

The Baltic States of Lativia and Estonia started the 20th century as part of the Russian Empire, were created as client states of Imperial Germany after the Russian Revolution, became independent states post Russian Civil War, were absorbed by the Soviet Union in 1940, went back to being client states (this time of Nazi Germany), were reabsorbed back into the Soviet Union and then broke off from the Soviet Union in 1992 to become independent states again.

Now, which government dispossessed the Baltic German nobility? That would be the independent states that existed from 1918 to 1940. Now the Estonian government managed to maintain a government in exile from 1940-1992, but the Latvians didn't. There is an argument to be made that a disposed Baltic German noble could claim compensation from the Estonian government for the seizing of an estate without compensation, but they are going to have an uphill battle - proving the former ownership of the estate in question, determining fair market value at the time of the confiscation, etc.

The Latvian Baltic Germans are just plain out of luck as there is no continuity of government there which could allow you to make a claim.

Asserting that Russia should pay compensation as the successor to the Soviet Union is equally fallacious - their government did not strip the Baltic Germans of their estates. They did ethnically cleanse them from the Baltic States post WWII - however the West German government accepted the post WWII borders and population movements well after WWII, so again, making a claim for ethnic cleansing is going to face a horde of legal challenges.
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Old 5th June 2018, 09:07 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
Wrong. Erik the Holy brought Christianity to the Swedish empire and is now the patron saint of Stockholm.

Anyway we are not talking about the West Prussians, but the east ones.
Not wrong. Open a book or at least wikipedia:

"During the 13th century, the Old Prussians were conquered by the Teutonic Knights. The former German state of Prussia took its name from the Baltic Prussians, although it was led by Germans. The Teutonic Knights and their troops transferred Prussians from southern Prussia to northern Prussia. Many Old Prussians were also killed in crusades requested by Poland and the popes. Many were also assimilated and converted to Christianity. The old Prussian language was extinct by the 17th or early 18th century.[1] Many Old Prussians emigrated due to Teutonic crusades.[2] Old Prussians who emigrated to surrounding areas later returned."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Prussians

Swedish influence came later.
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Old 5th June 2018, 10:03 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Doubt View Post
Old Prussian = Dead Prussian.

New Prussian = Failed Crusader that spoke German.

Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
Someone cue Prokofiev's score for Alexander Nevsky...
Plus the movie itself. Its depiction of the Teutonic knights is, let's say, very suggestive.
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Old 5th June 2018, 10:07 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
I saw all that. It doesn't change the thrust of the OP.

You did realise the Swedish possession came to an end in 1721 by the Treaty of Nystad, and WWII was some >200 years later? In the interim, Russia did restore the privileges Charles X of Sweden had taken away. These privileges lasted until Stalin came along.
You saw that and still you decide to lie? Whatever happened before 1918 is irrelevant. Garrison's point is that the Latvian and Estonian governments expropriated those German nobles, so consequently, Stalin couldn't do that 20 years later.

For those not familiar with the MO of the OP, she
(1) more often than not makes a hash of history with wildly false claims (e.g.: all Jews who perished in the Holocaust were German citizens, and: it was legal for the Nazis to murder them).
(2) also has a habit to claim that her links support her claims, when, in fact, the text at the link contradicts it.
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Old 5th June 2018, 10:10 AM   #29
theprestige
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Originally Posted by ddt View Post
(2) also has a habit to claim that her links support her claims, when, in fact, the text at the link contradicts it.
This is hands down my favorite part of fringe claims.
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Old 5th June 2018, 10:26 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
I saw all that. It doesn't change the thrust of the OP.

The fact that you were completely wrong in claiming that Stalin and the USSR took away the Baltic Germans privileges and land doesn't affect your suggestion that Russia should compensate their heirs? That is utterly ludicrous, the facts render your entire 'thrust' moot and your determination to keep repeating what you now know to be untrue is perverse.
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Old 5th June 2018, 10:27 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by ddt View Post
For those not familiar with the MO of the OP, she
(1) more often than not makes a hash of history with wildly false claims (e.g.: all Jews who perished in the Holocaust were German citizens, and: it was legal for the Nazis to murder them).
(2) also has a habit to claim that her links support her claims, when, in fact, the text at the link contradicts it.

Are we sure this isn't Henri McPhee's long lost sibling?
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Old 5th June 2018, 10:34 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
I say yes, but let them then compensate in return the ethnic Poles and Jews that they replaced when they moved to Poland.
It's like trying to unscramble eggs, at this point.
And the Poles have already been compensated, what was Germany east of the Elbe has been Polish since 1945/46. It's not a nice story.
Hitler said the war he started would decide the fate of Germany in the East for a thousand years;he was right, but not quite in the way he expected.
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Old 5th June 2018, 10:35 AM   #33
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Vixen has jumped the shark; I has a lot of sympathy with her Pro Finnish attiude...which I share;but she is now being ridiculous.
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Old 5th June 2018, 10:38 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by ddt View Post


Plus the movie itself. Its depiction of the Teutonic knights is, let's say, very suggestive.
Yeah, that the Knights helmets resemble the German "Coal Scuttle" helmet is just coincidence.
The battle of Lake Peipus, on the frozen lake, is one of the greatest battle scenes ever filmed.
FUn Story, Nevsky was released in 1938 to great acclaim; but was quietely withdrawn from circulation right after the Nazi Soviet pact, but then was rereleased in July of 1941, and was massively shown to Russian recruits...
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Old 5th June 2018, 02:33 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
Barely.

And as was pointed out, they had their estates largely stripped before Stalin came along.
I am not sure that is correct.
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Old 5th June 2018, 02:37 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Border Reiver View Post
Short answer - no.

Longer answer - Also no, but with some context. In order to claim "compensation" for an event there has to be a tortfeasor - ie. someone who has done the harm. SO what we need to do is determine who was the tortfeasor who stripped the Baltic German nobility of their estates, titles and privileges without compensation and then determine if those parties are still around to claim compensation from.

The Baltic States of Lativia and Estonia started the 20th century as part of the Russian Empire, were created as client states of Imperial Germany after the Russian Revolution, became independent states post Russian Civil War, were absorbed by the Soviet Union in 1940, went back to being client states (this time of Nazi Germany), were reabsorbed back into the Soviet Union and then broke off from the Soviet Union in 1992 to become independent states again.

Now, which government dispossessed the Baltic German nobility? That would be the independent states that existed from 1918 to 1940. Now the Estonian government managed to maintain a government in exile from 1940-1992, but the Latvians didn't. There is an argument to be made that a disposed Baltic German noble could claim compensation from the Estonian government for the seizing of an estate without compensation, but they are going to have an uphill battle - proving the former ownership of the estate in question, determining fair market value at the time of the confiscation, etc.

The Latvian Baltic Germans are just plain out of luck as there is no continuity of government there which could allow you to make a claim.

Asserting that Russia should pay compensation as the successor to the Soviet Union is equally fallacious - their government did not strip the Baltic Germans of their estates. They did ethnically cleanse them from the Baltic States post WWII - however the West German government accepted the post WWII borders and population movements well after WWII, so again, making a claim for ethnic cleansing is going to face a horde of legal challenges.
Not really a claim for ethnic cleansing, more like bourgeois cleansing.

It was the Baltic Germans' land and culture for nigh on 800 years, they have a claim to it. You could call it their 'Isreal'.
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Old 5th June 2018, 02:41 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Vixen View Post
I am not sure that is correct.
We have the legislation from Estonia and Latvia dating from the 1920s expropriating the estates and we have the date that the USSR reabsorbed those same nations (1940).

What are you basing your doubt on?
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Old 5th June 2018, 02:47 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by ddt View Post
You saw that and still you decide to lie? Whatever happened before 1918 is irrelevant. Garrison's point is that the Latvian and Estonian governments expropriated those German nobles, so consequently, Stalin couldn't do that 20 years later.

For those not familiar with the MO of the OP, she
(1) more often than not makes a hash of history with wildly false claims (e.g.: all Jews who perished in the Holocaust were German citizens, and: it was legal for the Nazis to murder them).
(2) also has a habit to claim that her links support her claims, when, in fact, the text at the link contradicts it.
The operative word was 'largely'.

You didn't continue to read further, where it says:

Quote:
Baltic German outlying estates were frequent targets of local Bolsheviks (as portrayed in the film, Coup de Grâce) and the combination of local Bolsheviks and nationalists following independence brought about land nationalisations and a displacement of Baltic Germans from positions of authority. Baltic Germans of Livonian Governorate found themselves in two new countries, both of which introduced sweeping agrarian reforms aimed at the large land owners, absolute majority of whom were Germans.
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Old 5th June 2018, 02:48 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Garrison View Post
The fact that you were completely wrong in claiming that Stalin and the USSR took away the Baltic Germans privileges and land doesn't affect your suggestion that Russia should compensate their heirs? That is utterly ludicrous, the facts render your entire 'thrust' moot and your determination to keep repeating what you now know to be untrue is perverse.
See above.
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Old 5th June 2018, 02:52 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
Vixen has jumped the shark; I has a lot of sympathy with her Pro Finnish attiude...which I share;but she is now being ridiculous.
Why? The withdrawal of Russia brought about confiscation of Baltic German rights (the wiki piece says 'largely'). Stalin after the Bolsheviks took away even more. There is no anomaly. Garrison is just desperate to score a point so he scours the text looking for what he hopes are contradictions. Poor logical skills, indeed.
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