Estonian Historians Against Politicizing History

Historian Marek Tamm (Postimees/Scanpix)
3/26/2014 9:21 AM
Category: Politics

At Tuesday’s conference “How Should Estonia Remember?”, held on the occasion of the deportations remembrance day, historians and the young members of the audience said that history should not be fought over.

Historian Linda Kaljundi told ETV that in Estonia, there is no extreme policies towards teaching history, such as in Russia, but Estonia also wishes to forget certain events.

She said the historical events of the local Russian population have not received enough attention so far and the different interpretations of history should not be viewed in the key of conflict. Instead, we should find ways for them to complement each other, Kaljundi said.

She added this would be one of many options for avoiding a situation where Russia, but also to a lesser extent Estonia, could abuse history for political and propagandistic aims.

According to historian Marek Tamm from the Tallinn University, Estonian history policy or memory policy is relatively mild, and studying history is not dependent on state demand.

“I think the less the parliament, the government, even the president gets involved with issues of memory policies, the better,” Tamm said.

The young conference audience said history should not be fought over and uncomfortable sides should not be hushed up.

Tamm said Estonia should not be contrasting its suffering to the suffering of other nations and comparing body counts. Difficult events should be remembered but the “victim arithmetics” should give way to looking towards the future and finding common ground with others who have suffered, he said.


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