Friday, March 20, 2009

A jewess giving birth to two piglets

Bernhard Jobin, "A jewess giving birth to two piglets". Binswagen, Germany, 12. Sept. 1547.
A woman front of the scene: looking the piglets.
Left: men digging grave for two piglets.
A woman behind right: announcing to unhappy mom who are born.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Jaan Santa again!!

My favorite politician Jaan Santa, a representative of the Worker People´s Front was a member of Riigikogu, the Estonian Parliament, since 20th December 1920 until 20th February 1921. He was a filibuster and obstructionist, but after all he was a very quiet man.
"He is an excellent speaker when his audience consists only one or two men. If there are more people, Santa momentally ceases to speak. His best friend in Riigikogu is his colleague Reinberg, who sheds tears about his cow-cattle which remained alone after owner´s coming to the parliament."
But let him speak for himself, for his own mind:
"It once happened that representatives of the bourgeois parties forced me to reckon state´s Budget in the economical Commission. I never did it, because I know exactly which must be the worker´s administration that our bourgeois power is definitely not."
Famous young revolutionary Vilhelmine Klementi (1904-1929), second left at the picture above, speaks about Jaan Santa:
"Before he came into Riigikogu he was worker´s representative in Tallinn town council. There was also his colleague Samro whose name sounded almost the same. Santa had a red flag and Samro had a red flag. But Santa also had a red coat and long white beard!" Of course, Santa Claus!
Who else...
But let us yarn on these sweet memories about Jaan Santa. He lived in Tallinn, near Baltic railway station among the plain, almost vulgar people, but that was not actually true that he died in coup d´etat in 1924. His colleague Soans died there, but not he. As I put it in my last blog posting. We cannot even say, what happened to Santa. I constructed my hypothesis according to which Santa left Estonia and started to study in the Communist university of Petrograd, althought he was already almost fourty at this time. According to "History of ESSR" (author academician Gustav Naan) Jaan Santa was in 1953 still alive. So perhaps he lives forever.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Who are you, mr Jaan Santa?

I know who you are.
You lived 1880 until 1924. You were a member of the Estonian Worker People´s Front, whose leftism reached almost to its limits and whose representatives were elected into parliament and acted according to the will of the Communist Party Estonia leaders as Jaan Anvelt and Jaan Kreuks.
About you has written Estonian press.
You were been an awesome old man, a cattlesmith of Wiegand factory, and also a politician a little. Blond person with the sparsened hair and bush eyebrows. You had these bush eyebrows, but you actually weren´t Bush himself. You lived in Tallinn, Kalamaja 25-3 and worked in Riigikogu. For some time you worked for the economic commission of the Riigikogu, where you had been forced to reckon "the numbers of state budget", as you expressed it. While doing this, you never said anything and never made anything, so Jaan Tõnisson, your namesake accused you for your ´not-to-doing´.
You were executed after the Communist coup d´etat in 1. December 1924.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

What I understand II

Here is the first part of "What I understand".
""Don´t be naive, leutenant. Warship would be a suicide. But I know another possibility - a ship indeed, but not a warship."
"That´s interesting!"
"Come here, Tauber," Benhausen reached out at haven map on the wall. "Look, here, in the mole´s nook is located a two-masted sailer with auxiliary motor, which I have kept track of. At first I did just in case and as you see, I was not mistaken. I have a deal with the harbour authorities that the ship in no case to be let to sea. The ship comes here with military cargo of the Temporal government and her captain is aware about that against his own will. This very ship is to me, as it´s said, a trump ace."
"With sailer to the mined sea? It would be even worser than a suicide, mister captain of the first class," Tauber wondered.
"Draught of this ship is only about couple of feet long and this do not hinder her to sail even on the minefields. But why minefields while there exists a farvater, which mine lying scheme is in my portfolio," said Benhausen and smiled, self-satisfying.
Tauber got all the information at this very moment.
"By the way, leutenant Tauber, you are not obliged to participate in this sea journey."
"What? But who is obliged?"
"I and some passengers."
Tauber´s face brightened up. The risky adventure, planned by Benhausen, was not for him. The change on leutenant´s face did not remain hidden for captain.
"And now listen me attentively," Benhausen said and went to back of his worktable. "You, leutenant, must go immediately, as soon as our conversation ends to the trade haven and find skipper of the motor sailer "Skol". In case he is not in his ship, you can find him from some seaport inn. Explain him, that he has opportunity to get out from city, but only in case, when he picks up onboard some passengers and their luggage. But he should know that the passengers leave Petrograd secretly. If ship has not enough the fuel, she got it in the same evening. The fuel will be bringing out by a tug-boat, which also going to carry the ship out of harbour. I have agreement for anything and for the execution of all this is responsible an officer of Admiralty, of course - incognito. It´s not necessary to warn you, that you must fulfill your mission without officer uniform."
For giving time to digest all that to his subordinate, Benhausen opened his table-chest and started to rummage inside it.
"As I understood you, mister captain of the first class, my role is therefore quite simple," marked Tauber after a minute has gone.
This has been expected by Benhausen. It means, behind indifferent look of the leutenant´s face was also hidden something else.
"Your role will begin, when you execute my order for the sailing ship."
"All that was only for introduction," thought Tauber. Now he was being interested, what would follow.
"But if we suppose, that captain of the sailing ship refuses?"
"This case is also expected. You could say only few words about revolvers and he will render down as the candlewax."
Tauber was amazed and looked at his chief.
"With such kind of weapons "Skol" just arrived to Petrograd. If that will be known, there is no strokings for captain.""
Another interesting extract about Benhausen´s actions:
"In the foggy November evening darkness two seamen met a poorly weared man, who moved from Uus-Sadama street to Narva road. As reached near the seamen, he stared them curiously, while they also looked him attentively. After doing some steps, one of the seamen stopped and, grasping from his comrade´s bushlate sleeve, whispered:
"Do you know, Yegorytsh, who was that?"
"I don´t know. Some subordinate harbour official or worker, I guess," looked the other at go-byer.
"That was Benhuzov, an officer with full captain rank, who is wanted by our staff! And now, Yegorytsh, go to headquarters and I will begin to follow him. Say them, that Sidorenko caught a dangerous bandit and tries to find out, where he´s hiding himself," ordered seaman.
"But what happens, if you mistake, Pavel Ivanovitsh?" the younger seaman. "Weather is quite dark now."
"As sure as death, I do not mistake. Face of that beast, who repeatedly polished my face with fists, I would never forget. And I am going now, othewise I will lose him."
To Benhausen also seemed seamen´s behaviour doubtful. After reaching farer he stopped and looked behind him. He mentioned, that one of these seamen tracked him. Obviously, that man has got know he was discovered and then jumped behind plank.
"God damn," murmured Benhausen, still doubting.
As reached to Narva road, he did not turn towards city-centre and went straight over horsecar tram line and peeped behind him. While moved a couple hundred meters towards Kadriorg park, he looked behind twice. The follower made himself more unnoticeable and smaller than he actually was and as mentioning this, Benhausen realized that he is indeed found and recognized.
"I must get rid of this guy," Benhausen thought and begun to look his opportunity to do it."
It is my favorite book!
At the picture above: captain Heinrich von Benhausen and his wife Balatina. Author: Erik Vaher, copyright by edition Eesti Raamat.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

What I understand

What hatces out of my sweetest memories of youth reading? It was 24th February 1988, when I visited a bookstore "Võitlev Sõna" on the beginning of the Pärnu road in Tallinn. I bought Aleksander Lipp´s "Treasure of Suurupi" and read:
"The commander-in-chief of the mine-lying department of the Russian Admiralty, captain of the first class Heinrich von Benhausen rummaged nervously in the drawers of his work table. A rick of schemes and maps piled on the table before him, and all of these papers were constantly well-sorted and arranged by the importancy. There was a huge fireproof cupboard behind captain, wide open, wherefrom the rick of documents on the table got the addition. Captain Benhausen puts less important documents to the cupboard and, ending his sorting, closed the safe and puts its key into his pocket. The documents on the table he hide into his voluminous portfolio.
Then he was ready, he just called for his adjudant.
The adjudant appeared and stood in the alert.
"Leutenant Tauber," captain stood up from behind the table.
"I listen you, mister captain of the first class."
"Leutenant Tauber," the captain emphazised, "I am sure that you remember our last conversation a couple weeks ago?"
"About the evacuation, mister captain of the first class?"
"Yes, this could be named so. You didn´t give up your decision, did you?"
The examinee kept silent for a moment and then said:
"No, mister capten of the first class, I stand on my own."
Benhausen made some steps along the room and, reaching to Tauber´s place, said:
"Sit down, leutenant." He pointed to an armchair, upholstered with leather.
"Thank you," Tauber responded and felt himself astonished. Benhausen was never offered a seat to an officer with lower rank than himself. Even not for him, althought he was his adjutant for two years.
"Sit down, sit down and forget your prejudices, there´s nothing left of them." And the chief lead him to the armchair, holding of his arm.
"So, are you ready to risk?" he asked.
"I am a bachelor. It´s nothing to lose for me."
"I guessed that. And now - let us speak more detailed. The situation in Petrograd gets tenser, the bolsheviks turn more active."
While saying that, he stopped his wak in front of Tauber. His face has became angry grimace, as it happened often, when some of his subordinates have acted somehow against his will. His fisted hands evidently trembled.
A typical Baltic baron, aged about fourty, at middle height... Heinrich von Benhausen never choose means to establish himself among the subordinates and lower soldiers feared him in particular, because captain´s fist was quick to punch someone in the face.
As calmed down, Benhausen continued:
"Before a week´s out and life of the Russian officer will be worth nothing more than a penny, including your life, Tauber."
Tauber attentively listened all the words of his boss and asked then:
"Do you know some ways out, mister captain of the first class?"
"I do," said Benhausen quietly. "To Revel through sea."
"To sea?" Tauber raised his eyebrows. "With a warship?""
It is my favorite book!
Picture above: coat-of-arms of the Benhausen family.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Von der Goltz, my hero

He was leader of the Baltic German Landeswehr during the Estonian War of Independence. He was commander-of chief of the VI German Reservekorps and head of the military administration of Libau city (Latvia; now Liepaja). He was an eminent enemy of the Estonian troops. He had never let himself to being insulted. He always laid first his fist on the table to back his serious pretensions against Englishmen, as he stated them to be "the most cold-ass nation in the world". Every normal human being loves and supports the Englishmen, but von der Goltz did not, because they kept insulting him in many ways. In serious ways. So, that might be happened to anyone...
In 20th May 1919 von der Goltz tried to insist his puppet officer Bermondt-Avalov, so-called general of the White Russian army unit to attack Riga with all his powers. Von der Goltz was a German count and generalmajor, while Bermondt-Avalov´s noble rank was fake and bought. As an officer and outgrower of the Preußische Kriegsakademie, general von der Goltz disgraced Bermondt, a parvenu. But Bermondt wanted to postpone attack towards Riga and therefore pretended to sleep. While von der Goltz had arriving into the castle and beginning to wait on Bermondt´s awakening, the Russian officer sent his adjunct to meet and greet von der Goltz´s adjunct. And this man said to his general:
"General Bermondt ist erschlafft. Er ruht sich aus."
Suddenly von der Goltz stood up and crossed with long steps the hall´s floor. So he went into Bermondt´s headquarters and met the adjunct again. That man tried:
"Gospodin general, tuda nelzja! Moi general spit!"
Herr Graf gave him a direct jab with his right hand and entered his colleague´s bedroom. There he grasped him from his collar, lift him from bed of his mistress and said courageously:
"Ich erwarte Ihr eine minute in meine Wagen!"
Von der Goltz, my hero! My hero of loneliness and exceptionality...
In the cartoon above the text: comrade Stalin beats Rüdiger von der Goltz in Northern Front (sorry for this curious historical shift).