The following customer review on Amazon is a great example of counter-propaganda. Go to Amazon and click the button that indicates you found this review to be helpful. Also, consider writing your own review. This awful book, as the reviewer indicates below, is trying to rewrite history by depicting the Nazi-collaborator elites of the Baltic states as worthy victims and the Red Army as worse than the Nazis!
1-Star Review: A Fantasy of Rubbish by Drew Hunkins
Historical fiction – and it’s imperative to emphasize the “fiction” – masquerading as propaganda against 2016 Russia makes for sloppy and totally inaccurate reflections of the historical record.
Sepetys, with a straight face, contends that Russia was guilty of “genocide” in the Baltics – Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. This is hogwash and Sepetys probably fully realizes it, unless she’s the type of propagandist who completely internalizes the misinformation and deceit she’s peddling for a mainstream publishing house. The USSR – which accomplished one of the greatest and righteous feats in global history by defeating on the blood drenched battlefield the invading Nazi war machine, the Soviet Union having lost 20 million people – was in reality busy in the Baltics deporting the pro-Nazi elite of these nations. ‘Salt to the Sea’ gives these operations to restore some semblance of justice in the region very short shrift. In this book the heroin actually fleas the Red Army in order to reach Nazi Germany.
The novel ostensibly makes the false equivalency that’s now becoming so trite and nauseating which equates the Soviets with Nazis, communism with fascism and Stalin with Hitler; all utter baloney that only deluded buffoons and certain dilettantes still cling to. This distorted view of history is becoming incredibly tiresome to have to constantly lay eyes on. It doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to figure out why this false version has been taking off so prominently: a resurgent Putin and Russia are putting curbs on how much Washington and other Western powers can exploit and pillage Russian resources and harass its border regions, ergo it’s time to demonize Russia and its proud history. Even Larry Holmes could figure this out.
During the early 1940s the Baltics were riddled with pro-fascist and pro-Nazi authorities. In fact, they started the internment of much of their Jewish populations without the Nazis even having to tell them to do it. Sepetys conveniently leaves out this massive factoid which would make much of her plot essentially incomprehensible.
What’s dismaying and a bit chilling is the manner in which ‘Salt to the Sea’ has received so much fawning press upon its release. Most of the learned reviewers simply failed to point out many of its fatal flaws and prevarications, while going on to laud it anyway. Sepetys was recently awarded the “Cross of the Knight” which is nothing less than disturbing to those who cherish genuine historical scholarship that doesn’t champion a novel of historical fiction that should rightly be classified as fantasy.