Estonia commemorates end of World War II

Commemoration service by the statue of Bronze Soldier, once marking the graves of Soviet army soldiers. (Estonian Defense Forces)
5/8/2015 2:46 PM
Category: Politics

Estonian state, defense, church, and local council officials on Friday lay flowers on memorials to commemorate all those who lost their lives in World War II.

Wreaths were laid on the foot of all graves of victims of the Second World War at Maarjamäe Cemetery, the Bronze Soldier statue at the Defense Forces Cemetery of Tallinn, memorial for the victims of Nazism at Rahumäe Jewish Cemetery, and at the memorial for Estonian soldiers who fought against the Soviet Union in the ranks of the Finnish army.

World War II ended in Europe on 8 May 1945, when Germany surrendered unconditionally.

“Although the war ended for Estonia decades later, we have to remember those who lost their lives in that disaster,” Estonian Parliament Speaker Eiki Nestor said at the service. “Because of the tragic twists of history, our men were forced to fight on both sides of the front line. The arrival of peace was a common dream for all of them.”

Estonia lost around 25 percent of its population in the war, among the highest proportion in Europe. War and occupation deaths totaled at over 81,000. These include deaths in Soviet deportations in 1941, Soviet executions, German deportations, and victims of the Holocaust in Estonia.

 

Memorial for the victims of Nazism

Memorial for Estonians in the Finnish army

M. Oll

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