Today Estonia marks its Memorial Day – the 61st anniversary of the second wave of deportation of thousands of her citizens to Siberia by the Soviets. In the morning we were filming outside and inside Stenbock House – a small and easily accessible Estonia’s Government Building. A modest memorial plate on its facade lists dozens of pre-WWII MPs murdered by the invading Soviet Communists. And inside the House, in the ante-chamber of Europe’s most sophisticated technology-ridden Cabinet Meeting Room, with not a single scrap of paper in sight, there hung portraits of eight former Presidents of Estonia, only one of whom died of natural causes, the rest perished… I stood there thinking that one cannot undertstand true reasons behind Estonia’s techno boom without looking at those sad portraits. The small country has learned her lesson of democracy the hard way and came to regard her cutting-edge technology of modern times: e-goverment, e-police, e-voting, e-schools etc. etc. – as the best guarantee that the tragedies of the recent past were not going to be repeated. Technology is democratic in its very esssence, and in Estonia it has already helped to counter Russia’s vicious cyber attacks; conduct the world’s first large-scale parliamentary e-lections and make everyday life of thousands of Estonians much easier and much more open – read more democratic.
We’ll be joining the candle-carrying crowds in the centre of Tallinn tonight to commemorate the victims of the Red Terror.