Not everyone who fled Estonia survived the ordeal. Many perished along the way, caught up in bomb raids in Germany or contracted illnesses such as typhus or tuberculosis. The fortunate ones were those who managed to find shelter in DP camps after the war and who later took up opportunities to resettle in other parts of the world.
I have often wondered what happened to some of these people. Where did they go after they fled Estonia and what was their experience in the DP camps? Did they find happiness in their new adopted countries? Did their lives flourish once again? Every Estonian has a story. There are those with tales of survival as they fled the Soviet occupation, and there are stories of endurance from those who stayed. It is through these stories that we frequently find similarities with our own lives, or those of our more senior family members.
I recently came into contact with Juhan Jurss, a WWII survivor who gave me his account. Juhan and his mother were two of the many Estonians who fled the homeland on 22nd September 1944. This is his story.
Juhan's passion for music was a driving force in his life that led to many successes. He has other interests of course, including sport, science, nature and mathematics and admires the work of Tesla and Einstein. One thing Juhan is particularly fond of is problem solving; he has always enjoyed a good challenge!