Legendary founder of re-independence Defence League dies
Retired Captain Harri Henn, who became known to the public for the taking down the Lenin statue in front of what today is the Estonian National Defence College, died on 25 February.
Henn was one of the founders of Tartu’s Tamme group of the Defence League. The founding of the group on 29 March 1990 had great symbolic value, as it marked the reemergence of an organization that had its beginnings in Estonia's first armed militia, the Omakaitse, in the late 1910s.
On 23 August of the same year, the group took down the Lenin monument in front of what back then was the Agricultural University in Tartu’s Riia Street. The same building is occupied by the Estonian National Defence College today.
He lead the Tamme group and later became Tamme’s district commander. When the Defence League districts of Tartu and Tartu County joined, Henn was put in charge of the newly formed unit.
Henn worked with the Defence League’s youth organizations and for many years ran a drug and crime prevention project in Tallinn.
He was awarded the Ministry of Defence’s Cross of Merit II Class, the Defence League’s White Cross II Class, and the Memorial Cross of the Estonian War of Independence.
Commander of the Estonian Defence Forces Lt. Gen. Riho Terras at Capt. Harri Henn's funeral