Europeana Nets 150 Reminders of Baltic Chain, Re-Independence Era Fervor
The Europeana 1989 memory drive held at the National Library over the weekend yielded about 150 items donated by people with first-hand experiences related to the watershed events of the late 1980s.
Among the items, which included many photos and published material, were a hand-sewn tricolor flag and an old Sony portable radio used at the Baltic Chain event where thousands joined hands from Tallinn to Vilnius.
Remembrances from participants indicated that other, hitherto unknown spontaneous celebrations and demonstrations continued in a number of places, such as a "green chain" held in Rohuküla, which drew people from Lääne county and Saare county.
Member of European Parliament Tunne Kelam, the Estonian delegate of Europeana 1989, donated his Estonian citizen's registration card.
Historian Küllo Arjakas discussed the events leading up to the Baltic Chain and donated the minutes of a meeting held by the Popular Front in Pärnu, at which the event was planned.
Film director Peeter Simm, the maker of "Baltic Way," also shown over the weekend, related stories from the documentary film shoot.
Photographer Peeter Langovits, then working for the Estonian wire service ETA, which was a part of TASS, talked about his impressions and how a picture he took of the red banner with hammer and sickle flanked by swastika was censored by TASS.
This year, Langovits said he was on assignment at the Baltic Way marathon, run each year in Vilnius. He said the Estonian flag was carried there by Lithuanian runners, as Estonian participation is scant at the event.
TV reporter Andres Raid delivered an emotional presentation, saying he had not seen so much spark in Estonians' eyes since.
The materials will be available for viewing at www.europeana1989.eu. The site also will include an upload facility until August 23, 2014, the 25th anniversary of the event.