United States. Congress. House. Select committee o.

Baltic States investigation. [First interim report] (Volume pt. 1) online

. (page 5 of 75)
Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. House. Select committee oBaltic States investigation. [First interim report] (Volume pt. 1) → online text (page 5 of 75)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

hibited in Latvia on the grounds that it tends to overthrow by violent
means the existing Government of Latvia.

Mr. DoDD. It wasn't a recognized political party, then ?

Mr. DiNBERGS. It wasn't a recognized political party.

Mr. DoDD. Was it in the nature of an underground political organ-
ization ?

Mr. DiNBERGS. It wasn't marked, at least, and tlie numbers must have
been rather small.

Mr. DoDD. There seems to be a pattern, as has been suggested, here,
of taking over these countries. And I have also understood that one
feature of the pattern was infiltration by the Conuiiunists within the
government and political harassment of the government by the Con^-
munists within the country.

Did you have that situation in Latvia ?

Mr. DiNBERGS. To a certain extent, yes, because the Latvian people
are not comnumisticallj' inclined bj^ their mentality and nature, and
therefore the Communist activities in Latvia prior to the invasion
were rather the work of Soviet agents, I would say.

Mr. DoDD. Did they move behind some front, other than the Com-
munist Party itself, in Latvia?

Mr. DiNBERGS. It is difficult to give you a precise ansAver, sir, because
they were in various Government agencies, as we later discovered.

Mr. DoDD. You didn't know it at the time?

Mr. DiNBERGS. No, we didn't.

Mr. DoDD. You made reference to a charge by tlie Soviets that some
magazine had been suppressed, did you not, in your direct statement ?

Mr. DiNBERGS. Well, it wasn't suppressed, but that was one of their
excuses or reasons for the ultimatum presented to Latvia. It was a
publication for purely social and cultural understanding between
the three countries— between Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia — and
it was not a military publication as they alleged it to be.

Mr. DoDD. Besides the underground and infiltration of the Gov-
ernment agencies, then, you were subject to what is now known as
the traditional pattern, military and political threats by the Foreign
Minister of the annexing power.

Was there anything else which took place in Latvia, other than
these elements which we have suggested? Do you understand me?

As I understand it, these countries wdiich have been taken over
have been usually taken over under this formula : Infiltration by the
Communists in the Government itself, political harassment of the
government itself — that is the government to be annexed by military
threats and political pressures on the part of the annexing power.

Were there any other elements in the Latvian situation?

Mr. DiNBERGS. Those are the main elements, and of course this
infiltration mainly started with the execution of those nuitual-assist-
ance pacts by which some 30,000 Soviet troops were stationed in
I^atvia, and also some administrative personnel, and their families
that were taken along.

Mr. Donn. Tliat is all I have.


Mr. Machkowicz. I was rather interested in your answer to Mr.
Benin's question and I would like to pursue that a little further: You
say that you can see no reason to give any faith or credence to any
agreement that Soviet Russia assigns. Is that correct ?

Mr. DiNBERGS. That is correct.

Mr. Machrowicz. Do you see, then, any useful purpose that could
be served by this country negotiating for an agreement with Soviet
Russia ?

]Mr. DiNBERGs. I don't think it is within my competence to answer
that question.

Mr. jMachrowicz. Do you see any hope for the liberation of your
people, by agreement with Soviet Russia ?

Ml'. DiNBERGs. It is very hard to answer in principles because it
depends upon circumstances under which it is done.

Mr. Machrowicz. You said no faith or credence can be given to any
agreement signed by Soviet Russia. Wouldn't it then follow that
there is no hope for your people by means of an agreement with Soviet

Mr. DiNBERGS. If there is a possibility of securing the Soviet Un-
ion's keeping their agreement

Mr. Machrov.'icz. Do you think that is possible?

Mr. DiNBEEGS. That is a matter of force, I think.

Mv. Machrowicz. Yon think, in other words, the only way the ques-
tion of liberation of your people can be solved is by force?

Mr. DixBEKGS. Not by force, but by enforcing the Soviet Union to
kee]) their agreements.

Mr. Machkow'Icz. How could it be enforced ? Do you know of any
other way than actual warfare?

Mr. DiXBERGS. That would depend on the Soviet Union.

Mr. Machrowicz. That is all.

Mr. Kersten. Well, what you said in response to Mr. Bonin's ques-
tion, and I believe pretty much the same to Mr. Machrowicz's, is that
nobody can rely upon any agreements reached bj^ the Communists.
That has been j^our experience, has it not?

Mr. DiNBERGs. That has been our experience for the last 22 years.

Mr. Bextley. The original agreements between the Soviet Union
arid Latvia were signed when?

Mr. DiXBERGS. The peace treaty was signed August 11, 1920.

Mr. Bextley. And until 10o9 that agreement was pretty well kept
on the part of the Soviet Union ?

Mr. DiXBERGS. It was, yes.

Mr. Bextley. For the obvious reason that Soviet Russia didn't feel
itself in a position to move against Latvia during that time, is that
right ?

Mr. DiXBERGS. Yes.

Mr. Bextley. In other words, the conclusion to be drawn is that the
Soviet Union keeps its agreements when it is forced to do so. Would
yon accept that?

^Ir. DiXBERGS. That is my understanding.

Mr. Kerstex. Are there any further questions?

]Mr. Vishinsky was the man in charge of the Latvian takeover, is that
correct ?

INIr. Dtnbergs. That is correct.


Mr. Kersten. That is the same Vishinsky who is now the Soviet
representative in the United Nations, is that correct?

Mr. DiNBERGS. That is right.

Mr. Kersten. Was he personally in Latvia to help take over

Mr. DiNBERGS. He was.

Mr. Kersten. He appeared there in the ca^^ital, did he, and took
charge of the affairs of the takeover of this defenseless nation ?

Mr. DiNBERGS. That is right.

Mr. Kersten. And following the Soviet takeover, and the Com-
munist occupation, it was then over a period of time — weeks, months,
and some years — that the population proceeded to be Sovietized; is
that correct?

Mr. DiNBERGS. Yes.

Mr. Kersten. Thank you.

The hearings will now adjourn until 1 : 30, at which time we will
have an executive session until about 2 o'clock, at which time we will
resume public hearings. The next witness will be the Estonian

The hearings are now adjourned until 1 : 30.

(Whereupon, at 12: 15 p. m., the hearing recessed, to reconvene at
1 : 30 p. m. the same day.)

afternoon SESSION

(The committee reconvened at 2: 15 p. m.)

Mr. Kersten. Is Dr. Kaiv, the Estonian representative, here?


Mr. Kersten. Doctor, will you identify yourself? Give us your
full name and your title.

Mr, Kaiv. My name is Johannes Kaiv. My official title in this coun-
try is Acting Consul General in charge of the Legation of Estonia.

Mr. Kersten. What does Estonia maintain in Washington here,

Mr. Kaiv. The Estonian Legation is supposed to exist legally in
Washington, but actually all the functions of the Legation are per-
formed by the Consulate General in New York.

Mr. Kersten. Will you tell us this, Mr. Kaiv : Will you tell us for
how long a time the Estonian Government has continuously main-
tained diplomatic representation in the United States?

Mr. Kaiv. Since 1922.

Mr. Kersten. Shortly after the proclamation of the independence
and the recognition by the United States ?

Mr. Kaiv. Since United States gave recognition of Estonia.

Mr. Kersten. And the country of Estonia has maintained that rep-
resentation in the United States from that time continuously until
now; is that correct?

Mr. Kaiv. That is correct, sir.

Mr. Kersten. And the flag of free Estonia still flies in this country,
is that correct ?

Mr. Kaiv. Exactly.


Mr. KJERSTEN. Do you have a prepared statement ?

Mr. Kaiv. Yes, I have.

Mr. KJERSTEN. Will you give us such statement as you desire to

Mr. Kaiv. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, in giving
here a short summary of acts and facts pertaining to the relations
between Estonia and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, I would
make the following introductory remarks :

The Estonians do not have anything in common either racially,
linguistically, or culturally with the Russians. The Estonian people
have lived as an independent nation on their present territory since
time immemorial.

Because of its geographical location between West and East,
Estonia has been repeatedly invaded by foreign nations, mostly by
Russians. But the Russians have never succeeded in subjugating the
Estonians. In the 13th century, after a struggle lasting about 20
years, the Estonians were conquered by the Teutonic Order and the
Danish king. In the I7th century Estonia fell under Swedish rule.
As a result of lost wars, Sweden ceded Estonia to Russia by the
Treaty of Nystad in 1721.

Estonians never have voluntarily accepted any Russian rule.

Longing for the reestablishment of their rights, the Estonians
saw such a possibility in the downfall of the czarist regime in Russia,
The Estonians in a unanimous appeal urged the Provisional Govern-
ment of Russia to grant Estonia an autonomous self-government.
Under forceful petitions from Estonian organizations, and after an
impressive manifestation of Estonians in front of the seat of the
Provisional Government, in which manifestation also Estonian mili-
tary units, composed of Estonians in the Russian Army, participated,
the Russian Provisional Government yielded.

On March 30, 1917, the Russian Provisional Government, being the
sole legislative and chief executive authority in Russia, confirmed a
decree proposed by Estonian representatives, by virtue of which an
autonomous Estonia was established and an autonomous representative
body and executive organs formed. This representative body —
Maanoukogu — duly elected on democratic principles by the entire
population of Estonia, decided to separate from Russia and proclaimed
the independent Republic of Estonia, taking as basis the Soviet decree
of November 1917, which declared the right of self-determination of
nations, including separation from Russia. This decision was later re-
confirmed by the Constituent Assembly of Estonia.

Regardless of the proclaimed right of self-determination, Soviet
armed forces attacked Estonia in November 1918. They were repulsed
from the Estonian territory by the Estonian armed forces, and after
15 months of battles a peace treaty between Estonia and Soviet Russia
was signed on February 2, 1920. By this treaty, Soviet Russia un-
conditionally recognized the independence and sovereignty of the Es-
tonian Republic and renounced forever all sovereignty and other
rights which Russia had had over the Estonian people and their land.

A peaceful period of 20 years followed. Recognized de jure by
all other countries Estonia established a democratic form of govern-
ment based on the individual liberties of the people. This peaceful
period was interrupted only by an unsuccessful Communist uprising


on December 1, 1924, organized and armed by the Soviet Union in
violation of the treaty of peace.

Estonian international policy was based on neutrality, rigid ful-
fillment of treaties, and cooperation with other nations, especially
with neighboring countries, including the Soviet Union, as one can
see from a list of treaties registered with the League of Nations, of
which Estonia was a member.

The unconditional recognition of Estonia's independence and in-
tegrity found further confirmation in the Pact of Nonaggression and
Peaceful Settlement of Conflicts signed between Estonia and the
USSR on May 4, 1932, and prolonged in 1934 until December 31, 1945.
For the elaboration of this pact, the Convention of Conciliation was
concluded on June 16, 1932, and on July 3, 1933, the Convention for
Definition of Aggression was signed.

On September 28, 1939, a Pact of Mutual Assistance was signed for
10 years. The conclusion of this pact took place in very particular
circumstances. After handing, in the Kremlin, to the Estonian Min-
ister for Foreign Affairs a prepared draft of the pact, he was given
to understand that the Soviets would use force if the Estonians would
not agree to such an agreement. The Soviet Army had been concen-
trated in fighting order at the border of Estonia, the Soviet Navy was
demonstrating in front of Tallinn, the Estonian capital, and Soviet
war planes were circling over Estonian territory, et cetera.

By virtue of this pact, Soviet Russia acquired the right to establish
on Estonian territory in fixed localities, on lease terms, its naval and
air bases and to maintain on such sites a strictly limited number of
forces. Even here the USSR reaffirmed again that the treaties men-
tioned continue to be the firm foundation for the mutual relations.

During the first months of this pact period, the Soviets behaved ac-
cording to the pact stipulations, but later they grossly violated the
agreement by bringing into Estonia armed forces in excess of the
stipulated number and placing them in localities not agreed upon, and
using air bases in Estonia for bombardment of Finland.

The Estonian Government kept strictly to the provisions of the pact.
This fact was officially and publicly conceded by the representatives of
the Soviet Government as late as March 12, 1940, expressing full satis-
fact'on and reaffirming amicable relations between the two countries.
No charges were made by the Soviet Government to the Estonian Gov-
ernment about the fulfillment of the said pact.

At the time of the conclusion of the pact, the Estonians were not
aware of the existence of the secret protocol to the Treaty of Nonag-
gression between Germany and the USSR of August 23, 1939, accord-
ing to which Estonia and other Baltic States w^ere included into the
sphere of influence of the USSR. In the light of this secret Nazi-
Soviet agreement, the forcing of the so-called Mutual Assistance Pact
upon Estonia was just an implementation of the said agreement of

On Jime 16, 1940, the USSR presented suddenly an ultimatum to
Estonia, accusing Estonia of (a) military alliance with Latvia directed
against the Soviet Union, (h) expanding this alliance, and (r) estab-
lishing a special publication, "Revue Baltique" for this purpose. This
ultimatum demanded the formation of a new government and the
admission of an unspecified number of Soviet troops into Estonia.


These accusations were without any foundation. The Soviet Gov-
ernment has never taken even the trouble to prove them.

It has been established that at the time of the presentment of the
ultimatum, Soviet army units had been concentrated at the Estonian-
Soviet border and that Soviet army units at their bases on Estonian
territory had been alerted and put in combat readiness.

On June 17, 1940, Soviet armed forces invaded Estonia and the
Estonian constitutional government had to resign.

The presentation of the ultimatum itself was a violation of the
Mutual Assistance Pact and the Treatv of Nonaggression and Peace-
ful Settlement of Disputes of May 1932.

The invasion by armed forces of an internationally recognized coun-
try in violation of existing treaties is an act of aggression.

Tlie Soviet Army occupied all vital centers in Estonia. A puppet
government was set up of people selected by Moscow emissaries.
The Estonian parliament — the National Assembly — was dissolved.
Heads of governmental departments and agencies of any importance
were dismissed and replaced by obscure personalities. In some de-
partments, as the police, the discharge embraced close to 100 percent
oi the personnel. The same fate of dismissal befell also the elected
heads of the municipal and rural administrations, as mayors, county
and commune elders. The puppet government amended the electoral
law in violation of the constitution. Elections of a new Chamber
of Deiputies were proclaimed on July 5 and held already on July
14 and 15, 1940, so no time was left for a proper election campaign.
Only one list of candidates was permitted, that of the newly founded
Communist League of Toiling People, and the list was composed of
obscure personalities unknown in Estonian political life, with the
exception of a few leftist liberals. The control of impartial courts
was abolished. The freedom of organization, of public assembly and
of the press was suspended. The government took over all news-
papers, printing establishments, and the broadcasting systems. Man-
ifestations were organized against the constitutional Estonian regime
under the direction of a special Soviet representative, A. Zdanov.
Tliese manifestations were accompanied by Soviet tank units. No
campaign against the Communist candidates was allowed. The elec-
tions were carried through with the active participation of Soviet
soldiers and imported Soviet workers. When this illegally elected
Chamber of Deputies convened on July 21, 1940, there was submitted
to it by the puppet government, on instructions from the Kremlin, a
resolution to join the Soviet Union. At the time of the "elections,"
there was no mention of such a joining. On July 22 the resolution
was passed, and on August 6, 1940, the Supreme Soviet Council in
Moscow "incorporated" Estonia into the Soviet Union.

According to the Estonian constitution, Estonia is an independent
and sovereign republic. Consequently, the union with any other
country could be accomplished only by an amendment of the consti-
tution. Such amendments can be carried through in the way provided
in the constitution itself. All amendments have to be passed by the
National Assembly, consisting of the Chamber of Deputies and the
National Council, and have to be reconfirmed by a newly elected
National Assembly and then promulgated by the President of the


As shown before, the body concocted by Moscow emissaries and
being elected in usurpation of the constitution and electoral law can-
not be considered a chamber of deputies. The National Council had
not been formed at all. Neither was there a new National Assembly
convoked, nor any presidential promulgation as provided by the

There was no plebiscite in Estonia for joining the Soviet Union.

There were in Estonia no conditions which might have been con-
sidered as a justification for the application even of the principle of
the so-called law of revolution. In Estonia there was a democratic
system of government, civil liberties were guaranteed, the nation was
prospering economically and culturally. There was no unemploy-
ment, there was no miscontent with the regime, with the exception
of a few hundred underground Communists.

There was no revolution in Estonia.

The decisions passed on July 22 and August 6 are void, and the
invasion and occupation of Estonia on the part of the USSR remains
a flagrant act of aggression.

The U. S. S. R. introduced into Estonia a Soviet administration and
established a regime of lawlessness and terror. Thousands of Esto-
nians were imprisoned, sent to forced labor in Russia, over 60,000
people were deported to Siberia and other remote and wild parts of
the U. S. S. R., over 2,000 murdered, et cetera.

In 1941, the German armies, attacking Soviet forces, invaded and
occupied Estonia. The Germans established there a Nazi administra-
tion. As Estonia was not a belligerent country, but had declared its
neutrality, the German occupation of Estonia could not change ihe
legal status of Estonia as a sovereign and independent country.

In 1944, in the course of war, the forces of the U. S. S. R. again pene-
trated Estonia, forcing out the German army and administration.

Contrary to its international commitments and pledges, as the Atlan-
tic Charter, declaration by the United Nations, January 1, 1942, dec-
laration on liberated Europe made at Yalta, February 4-11, 1945, and
the Charter of the United Nations, the U. S.. S. R. has not withdrawn
from Estonia after the cessation of hostilities of World War II.

The same order of lawlessness and terror as during the previous
Soviet occupation has been reintroduced. The U. S. S. R. has sus-
pended all constitutional and other Estonian national institutions and
replaced them by a Soviet Russian administration. All civil liberties,
as inviolability of person and home, freedom of speech and press, free-
dom of assembly, freedom of movement and choice of employment,
freedom of education, et cetera, have been abolished.

Mass deportations have taken place on a larger scale than during
the first Soviet occupation. Deportations still continue. Besides mass
deportations, genocidal acts are disguised as sending Estonians to
serve their sentences to forced labor in Russia by the Soviet tribunals,
recruitments of "voluntary" labor in Russia, forcible sending of tal-
ented Estonian pupils to "further education" in Russia, forcible send-
ing of graduates of so-called labor reserve schools to Russia for com-
pulsory work — that means that 2 youths per 100 inhabitants are com-
pulsorily, without consulting parents, inducted into these schools.
The U. S. S. R. is drafting Estonians into the Soviet Army on the same
basis as Soviet citizens. They are educating Estonians into godless
Soviet Russian citizens through Communist indoctrination and by


^'Riissification." The U. S. S. R. is systematically exploiting Estonian
natural resources and labor to the benefit of Soviet imperialism.

Besides the general act of aggression against the Estonian Nation,
the representatives of the U. S. S. R. have committed and are commit-
ting at present other innumerable crimes against my people. It is im-
possible to enumerate in the present statement all Soviet crimes. Tak-
ing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the Gen-
eral Assembly of the United Nations on December 10, 1948, as a code of
principles governing the civilized world, I can state on the basis of
available evidence that there is not a single article in the said declara-
tion which has not been grossly violated by the Soviet Government.
There is no crime which they have not committed repeatedly for which
the Nazi War criminals were sentenced in Nuremburg on the basis of
the Charter of the International Military Tribunal to which the
U. S. S. R. also gave its signature.

The occupation of Estonia is a flagrant act of aggression, accom-
panied by innumerable crimes against the liberty, lives, and property
of Estonians.

While occupying Estonia, the U. S. S. R. is using Estonian territory
for the preparation for further aggression. The Soviets have
emptied Estonian islands of the Estonian population and are build-
ing there air and naval bases. Military experts assert that Estonia
has not had nor has any strategic value for the defense of Russia.
The sole reason of such bases can be only the preparation for further
Soviet penetration to the west.

According to the available statistical data, in Soviet-occupied Es-
tonia about 70 percent of the national production goes for strength-
ening the Soviet military might.

Ample evidence to substantiate this statement is available and will
be submitted when required.

Mr. Kersten. It will be accepted when submitted.

Mr. Kaiv. I thank the committee for listening to my report and
giving me the opportunity to appear here.

Mr. McTiGUE. You refer to certain pacts. Do you have those in
your possession this morning ?

Mr. Kaiv. Yes.

I have some basic treaties between Estonia and the Soviet Union.

Mr. McTiGUE. Will you identify them, please, and also give the
source ?

Mr. Kaiv. These documents I am submitting, they are photostatic
copies. They are from the League of Nations treaty series publica-
tion. The same treaties are published in the Estonia Official Gazette,
which is in my office.

The first of these is a treaty of peace between Russia and Estonia,
signed at Tartu, on February 2, 1920.

Mr. McTiGUE. The document will be marked "Exhibit 4— A."

(The document referred to was marked "Exhibit 4- A." See p. 510.)

Mr. Kaiv. The second is a treaty of commerce between Estonia and

Mr. McTiGUE. That agreement will be marked "Exhibit 4-B."

(The document referred to was marked "Exhibit ^B." See p. 519.)

Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. House. Select committee oBaltic States investigation. [First interim report] (Volume pt. 1) → online text (page 5 of 75)