Murky

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar January 27, 2019 15:24

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Murky

By Satish Sekar in Talinn © Satish Sekar (August 21st 2018)

The Miksom Controversy

Estonian police like others assisted in the persecution of Jews and others. Some were brutal and venal too, especially in the Sicherheitspolizei (the Security Police). One of those accused in this context was a sporting great. Evald Miksom was one of Estonia’s great inter-war years footballers, a gifted goalkeeper, dubbed ‘100 Hands.’

His achievements on the pitch were great, but off the pitch he was a police officer and avowed anti-communist. That was far from unusual in Estonia during independence years, occupation and again now. But his police career was highly controversial. He had a driver, indicating that he was not an ordinary plod, and that driver and others accused him of excessive brutality and theft too.

There was further evidence, used by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre to pursue Miksom in KGB files. That was later used by supporters of Miksom to rubbish the war crimes claims against him.

War Criminal

Miksom fled when it became clear the Nazis were losing – they had occupied Estonia from 1941-44, and like elsewhere, the police and ‘puppet governments’ had to do as their Nazi overlords demanded. The Nazi occupation lasted until 1944. Estonia was occupied once more, and it would last 46 years. Only the fall of the Soviet Union would result in independence once more, but Estonia’s complicated past has not been properly addressed.

It has had a Commission to look into crimes, including involvement in the Holocaust – evidence was produced by this Commission against, among others, Miksom. The Estonian International Commission for the Investigation of Crimes Against Humanity (ICICAH) found that Miksom and others Estonians had signed death warrants during WWII.

Rewritten History

Readers can view that for themselves, but it is clear that despite his denials in his 1988 autobiography, in which he blames a disgruntled former police colleague, there was a case to answer.

In 1944, fearing execution in the USSR – that would have happened – he escaped to Sweden and requested asylum, but he was told to leave Sweden in 1946 after investigation on other offences led to him being declared undesirable. His attempt to reach South America, then a haven for Nazi war criminals failed – he was stuck in Iceland and became a citizen there, changing his name to Eðvald Hinriksson.

He is the father of Celtic legend Jóhannes Eðvaldsson, and also Borussia Dortmund’s former Atli Eðvaldsson – the latter has been vociferous in his father’s defence.

Irrefutable

But the evidence is hard to refute.

“The Commission particularly singles out the roles of Ain-Ervin Mere; Julius Ennok; Ervin Viks and Evald Mikson, who signed numerous death warrants:” ICICAH said in its final report http://www.mnemosyne.ee/hc.ee/pdf/conclusions_en_1941-1944.pdf

Miksom died shortly after Iceland bowed to international pressure and began investigating war crimes in 1993.

Satish Sekar
By Satish Sekar January 27, 2019 15:24