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Public Diplomacy in Total War

Estonian efforts to guide opinion in Sweden, Britain and the United States, 1940-45

Kaarel Piirimae

on 11 March 2014

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Transcript of Public Diplomacy in Total War

August Torma in London
Rei & Laretei in Stockholm and Warma in Helsinki
Kaiv in New York and Pusta in Washington
Main directions of counter-propaganda, 1942:
1) the strategic argument - protection of Leningrad
2) the economic argument - untenable
3) barrier to trade
4) the social argument - public health and social insurance,
5) lack of civilizational development
A. Rei's propaganda:
"Estlands kyrka under Sovjetväldet 1940-1941"
"Have the Baltic Countries Voluntarily Renounced Their Freedom?":
elections of 1940 illegitimate
national liberty and political independence... most sacred and most precious assets...
Baltic peoples had proven their ‘capacity...to make valuable contributions to the general civilization’
The Political-Ideas debate
Self-determination no longer taken for granted. Liberal disappointment
EH Carr:
new means of total war
need for larger markets
Walter Lippmann: self-determination is
a licence to intervention and aggression
‘deeply un-American and uncivilizing’
leads to ‘atomization of human society’
Torma's memorandum 1942:
an Estonian bought 20 times more British goods than a Soviet citizen
Gladstone, Eden: equality of states, no zones of hegemony
peace in the Baltic affects general peace
The Manchester Guardian controversy, 1943
AJP Taylor:
Brest-Litovsk and the cordon sanitaire!
control of the Baltic states saved Leningrad
'fragments of peoples’ too small to exist
Soviet treatment of nationalities no worse than the British treatment
naive to expect Britain and the US to keep a military force in the Baltic
K.R. Pusta's campaigning
destruction of the right ‘caused the war’
'the only valid basis' for peace
Paper to Council of Foreign Relations:
freedom of the Baltic nations=freedom of the Baltic sea=freedom of the seas
integration replacing great-power alliances
Baltic achievements "magnificent"
strategically, Estonia proved a "trap for the Russian army"
Circulation & impact?
sent by post to 793 notables
personally distributed 157 copies
90 copies to the Estonian consulate
350 copies to prof. K. Jedrzcjewski (?)
700 copies to the Finnish legation
300 copies to the Polish legation
1 copy to the Russian Institute in the US
509 to Senators and Representatives (in 1943)
The Times, 17 October 1944:
show-windows for the Soviet Union
No collectivization of land
Freedom of religion guaranteed
Alexander Werth:
“There is no fundamental hostility”
Moscow planning ‘delicate handling of the Estonian people'
Home intelligence on opinion and morale:
complete lack of interest in Britain
Results, 1944
*H. Jackson: 'the most impartial that has ever come from a Legation'
*V. Raud: 'meek and totally out of place with the requirements of the time'
*EH Carr: reading with great interest but do not agree entirely
*Swedish ambassador: "tragic situation", Finland pleading for “strategic frontiers” and Estonia the non-importance of such frontiers’
Hans Ronimois:
no influence outside Sweden
the pathetic style unreadable for Anglo-Saxons
the discursive context
Rei in Sweden
Pusta in the US
Torma in Britain
The results, 1944
Thank you for listening!
Countering the Obtuse Arguments of the Bolsheviks: Estonian efforts to guide opinion in Sweden, the US and Britain, 1940-45
Torma's ghost writers:
Arthur Duncan-Jones, Dean of Chichester
Russia's security secured by assistance treaties in 1939
Re-occupation of Ireland not been advocated
Full transcript