Six Forest Brothers to Be Laid to Rest

8/21/2012 2:49 PM
Category: news.err.ee

In southern Estonia, experts have identified the remains of six members of the guerrilla fighters known as the Forest Brothers who died fighting against Soviet forces in the Battle of Määritsa 66 years ago.

The fallen will soon be laid to rest at the Osula Cemetery beside three fellow combatants who were reintered last year, reported ETV.

Inspection of the remains has raised a puzzling fact: the bodies have similar bone fractures in almost exactly the same place, at the femur, according to researcher Arnold Unt.

On the night of March 31, 1946, a handful of Estonian fighters - thought to be around 10, but their exact number is not known - based at the Hindrik farmhouse were besieged by as many as 300 Soviet soldiers, according to the estimates of local residents who were witnesses. The battle lasted about seven hours before the farmhouse caught fire and the Soviets demanded that the rebels surrender. The fighters escaped from the farmhouse, continued fighting and were killed.

The freedom fighters were later buried in front of the farmhouse's doorstep. Hundreds of such make-shift graves remain in Estonia.

Some of the longest and fiercest resistance to Soviet forces happened in this part of southern Estonia, lasting several years after the end of WWII.

 

Ott Tammik


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