Memorial for victims of communism in Tallinn vandalized

The dedication ceremony of the Victims of Communism in Tallinn's Maarjamäe neighbourhood. 23 August 2018. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

The Estonian Institute of Historical Memory on Friday filed a report of criminal offence with the police as vandals had scraped five-pointed stars and other scribbles on the black wall of the memorial for victims of communism in the Maarjamae seaside area of Tallinn.

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"This is a memorial site dedicated to all Estonian people repressed by the communist Soviet Union," Sergei Metlev, the public and partner relations manager of the institute, said. "It is also a symbolic tombstone as many of the victims are resting in unknown tombs in unknown locations. The memorial maintains the connection between the generations and preserves our historical experience, which is why such scribbles are especially disgusting. We ask anyone with information about the violation to contact the police and report it if you notice anything suspicious about the memorial," he added.

"It is worth thinking about how to better protect the memorial from irresponsible vandals. Regardless of whether this is stupid hooliganism or malicious provocation, we expect the identity of the vandals to be identified this time," Metlev said.

The previous similar incident was recorded in November 2018. According to subsection one of section 149 of the Penal Code, interference with a funeral or any other ceremony for the commemoration of a deceased person, desecrating of a grave or other place designated as a last resting place or a memorial erected for the commemoration of a deceased person, or stealing of objects from such places is punishable by a pecuniary punishment or up to one year of imprisonment.

In addition to researching and spreading information regarding the crimes of totalitarian regimes, the Estonian Institute of Historical Memory collects and specifies data on Estonian victims of communism, documenting it on a running basis in an electronic memorial at The names of the identified victims will be included on the memorial wall with additional plaques. 

More Pictures of the damage can be viewed on Postimees' website here (link in Estonian).

Scratch marks on the Memorial for victims of communism in Tallinn. Source: Estonian Institute of Historical Memory


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Editor: Helen Wright

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