Estonian American author: Walmart making light of Soviet atrocities

Monday, September 10, 2018
Chris Woodward ( CCCP imageBaltic countries, where citizens once lived under the iron first of the Soviet Union, are asking a major retailer to remove Soviet-themed merchandise being sold online. is selling T-shirts and keychains (see image) featuring the infamous hammer and sickle, a throwback to the nostalgic times of gulags, bread lines, and a lack of basic individual rights to own a home, choose your job, or even complain to your neighbor about the government. According to The Associated Press, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania "have lashed out" and demanded the products be removed.

One of the loudest protests originating from the U.S. is coming from the Acton Institute, a Michigan-based think tank that promotes individual liberty and religious freedom. Acton senior editor Rev. Ben Johnson warns of the products' potential unintended consequences.

"As a matter of fact, one of the keychains not only has the hammer and sickle communist symbol, but it also has the letters KGB on it," says Johnson. "It's supposed to be an attempt to sort of make humor of the KGB – but there are, as we know, a large number of young people who are enthralled by democratic socialism or even full-blown Communism."

Last week, the Acton Institute held an event at Wheaton College featuring Estonian American and former member of the Estonian Parliament Mari-Ann Kelam, whose husband is a member of the European Parliament from Estonia.


"Mari-Ann wrote an article for our website about the reaction when she found out about this," Johnson continues. "Estonia was occupied for 50 years, first by the Communists and then by the Nazis and then again by the Soviet Union – and she was outraged at the idea that you would try to normalize this symbol of oppression and mass murder at the same time that, in Estonia, they've just unveiled a monument to the 22,000 Estonians who died after being exiled to Siberia."

That, says Johnson, is just a small fraction of the 100 million lives that Communism has claimed over the years. "So those are the people who are symbolized by that terrible symbol, and it's a shame that Walmart is popularizing that," he adds.

While Johnson doesn't suggest Walmart be boycotted for marketing the products, he does encourage regular shoppers to convey their displeasure to Walmart – at all levels. Kelam makes the same suggestion in her posted article.

"If they wouldn't carry something emblazoned with a swastika or the SS symbol, why should they carry something with the hammer and sickle or the KGB logo?" Johnson asks.

Consider Supporting Us?

The staff at strives daily to bring you news from a biblical perspective. If you benefit from this platform and want others to know about it please consider a generous gift today.



We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details




Who deserves the blame for Trump having to declare a national emergency at the southern border?





US-backed Syria force says IS holding 1,000 civilians
Iran pressures Europe for more effort to save nuclear deal
France’s yellow vests mark 3 months amid racist tensions
State Department: Nauert out as pick for UN ambassador
Police: Aurora attacker used gun he shouldn't have owned
Judge: Mississippi suit to cover all who lost voting rights
Illinois man being fired from job fatally shoots 5 workers
Trump emergency declaration faces fights in the courts
Nigeria delays its election; candidates rush back to capital


Two witnesses back account Rosenstein considered taping Trump
Former top FBI lawyer: 2 Trump Cabinet officials were ‘ready to support’ 25th Amendment effort
Pence chastises EU, rejects Merkel's call to work with Russia
Critical new evidence busts Jussie Smollett assault case wide open as he lawyers up
Video: Icy Missouri highway leaves one dead in 47-car pile-up


Cartoon of the Day
Facebook breaches 50M users' security, stock dives

Facebook CEO Mark ZuckerbergAfter discovering a security breach earlier this week exposing nearly 50 million user accounts, Facebook has seen its stock plunge 3.3 percent on the NASDAQ stock market, dropping it down to $163.13.