Holocaust Remembrance Day marked in Tallinn

Holocaust memorial in Tallinn.
Holocaust memorial in Tallinn. Source: Haridus- ja teadusministeerium

Holocaust Remembrance Day was commemorated in Tallinn's Rahumäe Jewish Cemetery on Friday.

Alla Jakobson, a representative of the Estonian Jewish community, said the day needs to marked so that the same events never happen again.

"There must be empathy for the other person. People need to understand that you have to be kind to others. If the other person is different, it does not mean that he or she must be destroyed," she told "Aktuaalne kaamaera".

Speaking at the ceremony, Minister of Education Tõnis Luukas (Isamaa) said: "It is important to notice crimes against humanity and violations of human rights. We need to notice early enough, intervene early enough, and stop such acts early enough."

He also met pupils and teachers at Tallinn's Jewish School on Friday.

Wreaths were laid and a minute of silence was also held in Lasnamäe at the memorial which honors French Jews deported to the Estonian capital.

President Alar Karis marked the event on social media, writing: "#WeRemember the millions of victims of the Holocaust and work to not let history repeat itself.
Today's #HolocaustRemembranceDay reminds us of the importance of protecting human rights and human lives every day."

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) said: "Evil and horrors of the past remind us that our fight today against hate and for justice and accountability is even more important."

Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Reinsalu (Ismaa) said Estonian "commemorates all the victims, who were massacred because of the cruel, inhumane ideology" 80 years ago.

"Bitterly, today we are standing against aggression atrocities in the heart of #Europe again. And it must be stopped," he added.

The Holocaust was the genocide of European Jews during World War II.

Between 1941 and 1945, Nazi Germany and its collaborators systematically murdered some six million Jews across German-occupied Europe; around two-thirds of Europe's Jewish population

The Holocaust in Estonia

Below is a summary of the Holocaust in Estonia, published by the Estonian Institute of Historical Memory.

Before World War II, approximately 4,400 Jews lived in Estonia.

In June of 1941, up to 400 Estonian Jews were among the approximately 10,000 Estonians deported to Siberia by the order of the highest leadership of the USSR.

After war between Germany and the Soviet Union broke out in June of 1941, nearly 3,000 Jews were evacuated from Estonia to the Soviet Union.

Up to the end of 1941, approximately 1,000 Jews, who remained in their homeland, were arrested by the order of the German occupation authorities.

Estonian police forces under the command of the German Security Police and SD carried out their arrest, subsequent interrogation and registration.

Service commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Klooga concentration camp massacre on Thursday, 19 Sept. Source: Jewish Community of Estonia/Social Media

By the beginning of 1942, all arrested Jews had been secretly executed by the order of the German Security Police and SD. Only a few individuals managed to hide until the end of the war.

In a report dated 31 January 1942 by the chief of the Security Police and SD in Ostland Walter Stahlecker, who was responsible for the extermination of the Jewish population in the Baltic countries,  Estonia was declared to be "free of Jews".

In September of 1942 and during 1943–1944, an estimated 12,500 Jews were brought to Estonia from Germany and occupied countries. Of these, only approximately 100 were still alive in Estonia after the German retreat.

An estimated 7,000–8,000 Jews died or were killed in Estonia, while over 4,600 were taken to camps in other countries, where the majority of them perished

More information about the events and the memorial at Klooga can be read here.


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Editor: Merili Nael, Helen Wright

Source: Aktuaalne kaamera

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