Sunday, 23 August 2015

Remembering the Victims of Communism and Nazism

Today is Black Ribbon Day on which Europe remembers and honours those who perished as a result of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact which was signed on 23rd August 1939. This pact forever changed the destinies of Estonia and many other countries in Europe. Millions of people across the continent were affected and in Estonia tens of thousands were either deported, murdered or forced to flee their homeland.  No family was left unaffected by these events.

On this day I honour two members of my family who were murdered as a result of communism and Nazism in Estonia.
My great-grandmother's cousin Martin Jervan. 
He studied medicine at the University of Tartu before joining the Estonian Army as a doctor.

Martin worked his was up the ranks and became a Major General in the Estonian Army.

Estonia's military elite were the first people to be targeted by the Soviets and like many of his peers he was taken from Estonia and murdered in Russia. He was executed in Chelyabinsk in 1942.

My beloved great-grandfather Arthur Lestal.

Arthur was an Estonian photographer who was executed in Albu during the German occupation of Estonia in 1941. For many years now I have been tracking down his works and have amassed a quite a collection. They can all be found on Flickr.