Myth breaker 3: Estonians are supposed to be fascists


In the section where we break apart the most prevalent propaganda myths about Estonia, we have already immured the notion that Estonia voluntarily entered the Soviet Union. We also have demolished the misconception that the Estonian citizenship law harasses Russian speaking people.

Today we reject the propagandistic meme, as if Estonians were fascists.

We are fully aware that the dismantling of a concrete myth is a thankless job and can even be a comedic endeavor. Namely, this charge is not a statement based on facts, which can be fully proved or refuted. The word „Fascist“ is an emotionally labeled mark of shame, a swear word. How do you refute this?

However, let us see how we can fix this. Let us open up the background to this myth and bring forward the reasoning, which clears up the accusations. We present non-Estonian language links that can be cited – interacting with Estonian history and with the assistance of a person who is not well acquainted with it, we can justify our views.

Myth: Estonians are supposed to be fascists

The myth can be worded in different ways, for example: „Fascism is officially encouraged in Estonia“.

Where is this myth promoted?

The main distributor of this myth is the Russian media. This occurs both in the information stadium as an informal accusation, as well as in the official statements of our Eastern neighbour. In Estonia, there are networks of soft power, funded from Russia that seek to raise the topic of fascism and thereby harm Estonia in the eyes of Europe.

Fascism charges come up in the following topics:

  • Nazi crimes committed in Estonia during World War II
  • Participation of Estonians in the Second World War against the Red Army, the fight of the Brothers of the Forest
  • The gatherings of Estonian soldiers who fought in the German army and the monuments dedicated to them
  • Current events in Estonia which the Kremlin propaganda brings out as foreign expressions of hatred, racism or anti-Semitism

Why is this myth promoted?

The victory over Nazi Germany in the Second World War is central in the self-consciousness of Russia. This event is the foundation for national self-respect, which is also supported to this day through national propaganda. According to the myth, the Second World War was a battle against „Fascists“. In this context, the word has no real association with the original meaning, the totalitarian movement of Italy. Nor with the German National Socialism movement or the more wider ultra nationalistic ideology. For Propaganda, these subtleties are insignificant, Fascist means an opponent to a member of the Soviet Union / Russia, simply an enemy. It is convenient to stamp all opponents even to this day with a word that denotes the enemy. The fact that „fascist“ being synonymous with enemy has not only remained in the past is brought forth in the re-use of the word during the attack against Ukraine, where for example the annexation of Crimea was justified as a battle against „Ukrainian fascists“. The fact that it is taken seriously in Europe as result of the traumas of World War II makes it easy to use the accusation of Fascism.

For all these reasons, Kremlin propaganda uses this myth for accusing Estonia: the term is well known in Russia and Europe; it is based on historical facts. „Fascist!“ resounds heavily, this label does not have to be overly justified and it is hard to get rid of.

We suppress the propaganda myth

The myth is broken down by the following facts:

– Estonia has repeatedly condemned fascism and Nazism.

The Estonian President, Parliament and the Government have done this throughout the different years. Estonia has joined with international anti-totalitarian resolutions.

– Estonians did not fight for fascism in World War II.

Estonia is of the opinion that while fighting against the Soviet Union in World War II, it was not for fascism or National Socialism but for Estonian independence. For Estonia, the totalitarian ideologies of both Communists and Nazis are criminal; both regimes were trying to occupy an independent Estonia.

-Fascism is not tolerated in Estonia.

In Estonia, criminal cases have been brought against neo-Nazis; their activities have been spoken about by KAPO. In the case of the Lihula monument, the government removed the monument, which had Nazi symbols.

The accusation of Fascism is a Kremlin self-serving propaganda that cannot and should not be taken seriously.


Myth broken!

Estonians are not fascists nor do they encourage fascism.

If you want to contribute to the breaking down of the myth of Fascism or provide a letter of support, share your thoughts on the Propastop Facebook account.

Photo: Thomas Hawk / Flickr / CC