Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas spoke today at Klooga on the 70th anniversary of what he called the bloodiest single-day civilian massacre in Estonian history.
As many as 2,000 people were murdered at the camp by German occupation forces, many on September 19, 1944, as Soviet forces approached the area west of Tallinn. Most of the victims were Jews from Latvia and Lithuania.
"As the Republic of Estonia was occupied, it must be recalled especially today that Estonia's traditional Jewish community was also dispatched quickly. While under the Republic, Estonia's Jews were the first Jewish community in the world to receive cultural autonomy, the occupation forces rapidly made Estonia Judenfrei, a fact declared with malevolent pride," Rõivas said.
Estonia did not seek the war, the prime minister said, yet nevertheless, "Estonian territory became like a test firing range for various occupation forces and the ideologies they represented," Rõivas said. "Ultimately, the Klooga camp can be considered precisely this. The prisoners at Klooga who perished in Estonia and the their killers as well, had been brought here from elsewhere."
"Ideologies must never be allowed to grow bigger than humanity, humaneness," he said.