Ilus Eesti, beautiful Estonia. My family's homeland. Estonia's countryside and people have an endearing gentleness about them which you fall in love with slowly and imperceptibly. I have nothing but respect and admiration for Estonians' courage and determination to survive despite centuries of repression, tyranny and foreign occupation. This blog showcases all the things I love about Estonia and seeks to enlighten readers about everything this unique country has to offer.
Friday, 14 June 2013
Estonia Honours Victims of Soviet Deportation
Today, Estonia commemorates one of the blackest days in its history - the start of the Soviet-era mass deportations - with a number of memorial events held around the country. On June
14, 1941, Soviet occupation forces deported over 10,000 people, mainly women
and children, to Siberia in the first wave of several directly targeting the
events in Tallinn will begin at the Linda Statue adjacent Toompea Castle at
12:00. There, speaker of Parliament Ene Ergma and Chairman of the Tallinn
Memento Association Leo Õispuu will deliver speeches. The event will also
include a prayer by the Archbishop of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran
Church Andres Põder and a wreath-laying ceremony. Survivors of the 1940s-era
deportations, including those from local Latvian and Lithuanian communities,
will be on hand.
13:00 to 20:00, Freedom Square will play host to an event called Kogu me Lugu
(Collect our Story), which aims to gather stories and information from the
families of the 1940s-era deportation victims. Organized by seven NGOs, the
project invites participants to share their stories by having them recorded on
video. Written documents and photos can also be scanned on-site. The stories
will also be marked on a wooden map of Estonia, which will later become an
exhibit at the Museum of Occupations.
same museum will today be opening a new exhibition titled "Totalitarianism
in Europe, Fascism - Nazism - Communism.
the Soviet occupation, June 14 was recognized in the US as Baltic Freedom Day,
as part of the country's policy of non-recognition of the Soviet
events also will be taking place in Latvia, which marks June 14 as the
Commemoration Day of Victims of Communist Terror, and in Lithuania, where it is
called The Day of Mourning and Hope.
Riga, a moment of silence will be held at the Skirotava and Tormkalns railway
stations and wreath-laying ceremony will take place at the Freedom Monument.
youth will take part in the annual “Mission Siberia” project, traveling to
sites in Siberia to maintain the grave sites of deportees as well as meet with
ethnic Lithuanians still living there.