The Path Back to Nõo
Estonia experienced extraordinary change and upheaval during the 20th century. First there were the uprisings in the early 1900s inspired by the National Awakening followed by the elation of victory in 1920 after the Estonian War of Independence. A brief period of instability ensued as Estonia fumbled to find its feet a as nation and then came an idyllic time of growth and prosperity during the 1930s. Those who recall that period often remember it with great fondness. No matter if you were rich or poor, people were generally happy in Estonia during the 1930s. They worked hard, built houses, cultivated their land, life was good. That all came to an abrupt end in 1940 when the Soviet Union invaded and occupied Estonia. The Soviet occupation tore apart the fabric of Estonian society, robbing the country of its statehood and destroying family units. Those who managed to flee at the end of the war later found themselves new homes scattered across the globe, but family units were never really the same again. There was always someone missing, someone had either fled, been deported or died.