13 Forest Brothers Laid to Rest Ahead of Resistance Day ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Photo Credit: Estonian Defense Forces

The remains of 13 Forest Brothers who died in resistance fighting against Soviet forces in the 1940s and 1950s were reinterred at Vastseliina cemetery on September 21.

"Those people's deaths were ugly and violent, but their life and death were by no means in vain. We bow our heads to remember all the people, the men and women, who had the courage to step up against the communist regime," Defense Minister Urmas Reinsalu said in a statement, reported uudised.err.ee.

The remains of 10 of the Forest Brothers had been buried at a Soviet secret burial site in Reedopalo, where they were discovered underneath a garbage pile in 2011.

All of those being reburied had been killed in bunker battles against Soviet forces - in Luhasoo in December 1945; in Puutlipalu in March 1953; and in Viglasoo in March 1953.

The names of the fallen were Rafael Vähi, Väino Härm, Harald Keem, Henn Pihlapuu, Richard Vähi, Elsa Vähi, August Kuus, Karl Kaur, August Kurra, Leida Grünthal, Lehte-Kai Ojamäe, Endel Leimann and one unidentified person.

September 22 marked the anniversary of an attempt to restore the Estonian government after the retreat of Nazi forces from Tallinn and before Soviets recaptured the city in 1944. The national tricolor fluttered briefly from the Pikk Hermann tower in the Old Town on that day.