“Offensive, chauvinistic and unworthy of European policy behavior”, — the representatives of the liberal wing of deputies from party “Unity” designated used in article policy from the National Association of Edvins Snore, the phrase “Russian louse”. In turn, the radical Vladimir Linderman and some representatives of “the Consent” has addressed in law enforcement agencies with a demand to initiate criminal proceedings against the author of the publication. He Schnoor, notwithstanding all the hype, remains convinced that the use of such a phrase was appropriate.
Talking about Schnoor published in the print edition of the National Association Nacionālās ziņas (the”National news”) article “the Goal — Latvian Latvia”. In it the author quotes the phrase from the memoirs of a Minister for public Affairs of the times of Ulmanis of Alfred Berzins: “If you once let in a fur coat Russian louse, driving it out will be difficult”.* What is meant Schnoor under “lice” and how it assesses accusations addressed to him?
LA: Why did you choose for your article is the quotation?
Edvins Snore: I as a historian in his articles frequently refer to various historical figures and quote them. Specifically, this quote is often used in its publications, other historians, including Inesis Feldmanis in an article in Latvijas avīze. I think it’s very apt and appropriate quote.
— You consider the epithet of lice to a particular part of the Russian-speaking?
— To begin with, what is the Latvian proverb — “to put a flea in the fur”, this is indicated by Intrusive and subversive action, from which it is hard to get rid of. This proverb can be found in dictionaries. In his memoirs, Berzins mentioned the quotation used in connection with the debate in 1939 about the deployment of Soviet military bases in Latvia, and a possible occupation, which eventually followed. And I used that phrase, referring to the implemented of the Soviet Union occupation of Latvia and its consequences of Russification and colonization, which are still not resolved.
— Deputies from the “Unity” Lolita cigane, Andrei Yudin and Alexei Loskutov interpreted your statement as offensive, chauvinistic and unworthy of European policy.
— I absolutely do not agree with such accusations. In my opinion, unworthy of the rhetoric contained in the letter from the representatives of “Unity”. She suspiciously echoes the same rhetoric of the Soviet era. In July of 1959 took place the infamous secret Plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist party of Latvia, which dealt with Edward Berklavs and his associates. At the plenary session were made by the chief of the KGB of the Latvian SSR Janis Veveris. He delivered a lengthy speech. Took up arms against the “bourgeois nationalists”, the head of the Cheka criticized the novel “Northern lights”, which features the phrase about what other people climb on our land, “like lice in a fur coat”. The three mentioned member of the “Unity” will probably be quickly found common language with head of the Cheka comrade Vevers in identifying various nationalist elements.
— If such an epithet to insult or alienate those foreigners who live here, loyal to the government, respect the Latvian language and culture?
— No, such fear for no reason. Those foreigners who are really loyal to Latvia, to respect our language and understand the story very well aware of what was going on, and know the context. There is nothing further clarification is required. We had the occupation of the Soviet Union and those who sold it, but about this unpleasant topic, our politicians don’t like to talk. Valdis Zatlers, as President, flirted, that Russian of Latvia the best. But why, then, we have 250 thousand non-citizens, who for 25 years have not found it necessary to learn the Latvian language and naturalization? There is a large part of society for which the restoration of Latvian independence was unacceptable initially. 411 000 inhabitants of Latvia on March 3, 1991, voted against an independent and democratic Latvia. How long shall we continue to court them? Nothing to be hypocritical and take offense, especially Linderman and his associates. When a group of companies called “fascists” — immediately there is empathy. When you hear “Russian louse in the fur coat” from a fire and a great sensitivity. It is very hypocritical. It is necessary to stop unreasonable to coddle and hide the unpleasant truth.
Is used in your article symbols have become a tasty morsel for the Russian propaganda media to demonstrate that Latvia is dominated by chauvinism, that Russian humiliated and the like.
— We constantly hear that we should not say or do this or that, because Russia uses it against us. They say, you should speak softer. In my opinion, always to tell the truth at the time. In any case, it is necessary to reckon with the fact that it will distort and will present in a favorable light for themselves.
— In your article you talked about the goal — Latvian Latvia. What this implies? Latvia generally no foreigners or Latvia, where all foreigners were integrated?
— This means no Latvia no foreigners, such as Latvia, where the business is conducted in the Latvian language. Where education on one state language, where parents are forced to send their children to Russian schools and kindergartens. Where the applicant for the job of a janitor will not require knowledge of the Russian language. Where on the radio basically will sound the official language. Unfortunately, now in Latvia is not so. I don’t know any Latvians who liked that in the Soviet time moved there are a lot of immigrants from the rest of the USSR. I want the society of Latvia was more consolidated and cohesive. And it is therefore necessary to contribute to the Russian-speaking community was getting smaller — through education in the Latvian language and promote the departure.
* Alfreds Berzins, published in exile in 1976 the book “1939. On the eve of great events,” writes that in the summer of 1939 significantly increased fear of the Baltic States not to the German, and before the Russian aggression. The ambassadors in Moscow on 6 July agreed that in case of war the German danger will be less, than the Russian danger. They stated: “If you let a louse in a Russian coat, then it will not expel, because the Baltic States consider Russian their life space.”