The Põhja-Sakala Municipality is requesting the reinternment of remains and removal of World War II communal burial monuments in Pilistvere, Suure-Jaani and Võhma.
Põhja-Sakala Municipality Mayor Jüri Hansen and Chairman of the Municipality Council Priit Toobal wrote in a letter to the Ministry of Defense's war graves committee that "the remains of victims currently buried in unsuitable locations should be reinterned at a cemetery (for example the Arussaare Cemetery or the one on Pihlaka puiestee in Suure-Jaani) and the graves marked with plaques that reflect true historical facts and are compatible with Estonian culture and public space."
The heads of the municipality find that the current burial monuments should be removed with the remains.
One of the graves in question is located in the village of Pilistvere where Russian military documents suggest 26 people are buried. The monument reads in Estonian and Russian: "Everlasting glory belongs to heroes who have fallen fighting the enemy and given their lives for the freedom and happiness of our people."
The second communal burial site from 1951 is located in the city of Suure-Jaani and is believed to be the resting place of 24 people two of whom have been identified. A document from 1971 suggests that four Red Army officers fell in Suure-Jaani in July of 1941 and were initially interned at the city cemetery but later reburied in a green area near Köleri tänav. The latter also became the resting place of Red Army soldiers who fell on the banks of Raguni stream on Sürgavere road. Local residents do not remember any reburial having taken place.
The third mass grave and WWII monument to be removed is located in the city of Võhma and, according to a Soviet passport, is the resting place of 60 soldiers. A marble plaque on the front of the monument reads in Estonian and Russian: "Everlasting glory belongs to heroes who have fallen fighting the enemy and given their lives for the freedom and happiness of our people."
Editor: Marcus Turovski