The Estonian authorities pay tribute to their own heroes by laying flowers to Hitler’s Cross of Liberty. This monument is a copy of the emblem of the Estonian SS Legion – it was erected in the city centre ten years ago.
This message is a part of the Kremlin’s policy of historical revisionism – it tries to promote the idea that there was no Soviet occupation of the Baltic states and that the local population actively welcomed the Soviet rule in their countries. Any disagreement with the official Kremlin’s view on the history of the Baltic states is labelled as a support for “Nazism”. In particular, this message indirectly accuses the Estonian soldiers, who fought in the War of Independence (1918–1920), of being “Nazis”. The Cross of Liberty monument has no connection to WWII at all – it was erected in the memory of thousands of Estonian soldiers who lost their lives in 1918-1920 during the War of Independence. The initial plan to create this monument first appeared in 1936; however, as a result of WWII outbreak, this plan was not realised. The symbols presented on this monument were used by the Estonian soldiers fighting in the War of Independence in 1918-1920. Thus, they have no connection to Nazism at all. During WWII, this symbol was unofficially used by the Estonian soldiers fighting for the Estonian Legion. According to the Soviet and Russian vision of history, all the historical and state symbols used by the forces supporting the German Army may be presented as “Nazi” (including the national flags and coat of arms of the Baltic states, Belarus and Ukraine). See similar cases on the Baltic states and the Soviet occupation here, here and here.