The anniversary of the Battle of the Blue Hills was remembered in Ida-Viru County on Saturday. The engagement between the Red Army and the German Army Detachment Narwa is considered the battle with the most casualties fought on Estonian soil.
The fighting was fiercest for Grenadier Hill in 1944. Today, there is a monument on top of the hill where people pay their respects to soldiers who fought for Estonia, while doing so in foreign [German] uniforms.
"The men who fell here fell for Estonia's freedom. They were not fighting for Germany, they were there for Estonia. And their memory must live on for us to stay strong here," said Ants Silm, member of the Virumaa Estonian Legion Veteran's Club.
The commemorative event this year coincides with bloody battles for the independence of Ukraine. Narva resident, Ukrainian Sergei Tsvetkov said that when one is fighting for their homeland, it is the idea, not one's nationality that matters.
"The important thing is to continue the fight for freedom and defend it despite the circumstances. As Finland did back in the day, as Estonia managed to do, even though it took time, and as Ukraine is doing today," he said.
The organizer of the event Heiki Magnus said that events in Ukraine compare to the Battle of the Blue Hills.
"Invaders are invaders everywhere and act the same everywhere. There is plenty we can learn from the Ukrainians today in terms of how consistent they are in their actions and goals. It is just fantastic to see," Magnus said.
The Battle of Tannenberg Line (Battle of the Blue Hills) for the strategically important Narva Isthmus is considered the bloodiest battle fought on Estonian soil. It is believed that around 2,500 Estonians alone were killed, while estimates for total casualties are as high as 170,000.
Editor: Marcus Turovski