Monday, 9 March 2015

Remembering the 9th March 1944 Soviet Bombings

71 years ago today, thousands of Soviet bombs fell on Tallinn, destroying one third of the city. The attack killed more than 700 people, destroyed 1,549 buildings and left another 3,350 badly damaged. Over 20,000 people were left homeless.  Today we remember this horrific event.

Tallinn was left in ruins after the Soviet air raid. 
Many of the city's former buildings no longer exist and some streets were shifted, widened or built over as part of new town planning. 

This building on the left  was the former Vaekoda which was located in the centre of Tallinn's Town Hall Square. On the 13th March 1920 the Tallinn Vital Statistics Department was opened here as well as the Family Registration Office which was run by Vladimir Smetanin (the husband of my great-grandmother's cousin).  It was here,on opening day that Smetanin performed the marriage ceremony of writer Anton Hansen Tammsaare and his wife Käthe.  Two weddings took place at the Family Registration office on that day, with Anton's and Käthe's being the second. After the Soviet bombing in 1944 the building was badly damaged and authorities decided to have it demolished.

How the Vaekoda looked prior to the Soviet bombing.

A list of the victims can be found here;