Since historical memory is a vital element of national unity and identity in oppressed nations that challenges the legitimacy of an occupying power, an important goal of the oppressors becomes the distortion of this memory. The Soviet authorities put a massive effort into the legitimization of their power by creating official versions of histories of the nations they occupied to prove that their incorporation into the Soviet Union was a voluntary act. The article demonstrates how in Estonia, the so-called June Myth was created to justify the Soviet take-over on 21st June 1940 and the consequent annexation of Estonia. Discourse analysis of 25 articles from the leading Communist Party daily Rahva Hääl/ The People’s Voice demonstrates how argumentation strategies, ‘us – them’ polarization and three types of antagonisms were used for constructing the June Myth.
Keywords: Discourse Analysis, The Press, Collective Memory, Estonian History, 1940 Soviet Coup-d’État
How to Cite:
Lauk, E., (2017) “The 1940 Soviet Coup-d’État in the Estonian Communist Press: Constructing History to Reshape Collective Memory”, Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture 4(4), 42-64. doi: https://doi.org/10.16997/wpcc.111