Photos: Victims of June 1941 deportations commemorated in Tallinn

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Commemorations for the June 1941 deportations at the Balti jaam station in Tallinn.
Commemorations for the June 1941 deportations at the Balti jaam station in Tallinn. Source: -Priit Mürk/ERR

Wednesday is the 82nd anniversary of the June 1941 deportations, which were carried out by the Soviet Union. The day is marked with a series of commemorative events throughout Estonia.

June 14 is a national day of mourning and flag day in Estonia. All state, public and local government buildings will fly the blue-black-white flag, to commemorate tthe deportation of over 10,000 Estonians by the occupying Soviet authorities on this date in 1941. 3,688 of the deported were children.

President of Estonian Alar Karis tied symbolic black and white ribbons to a pole on the platform of Tallinn's Baltic Station (Balti jaam), as did Tiia Nurmis and Malle Järvik, both of whom were deported from Estonia as children in 1941.

Karis said, that the June 1941 deportations demonstrated the full ugliness of Soviet power.

"First they took away Estonia's power, and then they tried to subjugate the spirit of Estonian citizens. The trains were used to deport those, who were considered to play the most important roles in Estonia's statehood, and with them their relatives and entire families. Deportation, as a cynical technology of evil, has not disappeared. Today, we see the same (happening) in Ukraine. We will not forget those, who have been forcibly removed."

The black and white mourning ribbons will fly at 70 railway stations across Estonia throughout the day on June 14.

To mark the day of mourning, the Estonian Institute of Human Rights (Inimõiguste Instituut) brought a deportation van to Tallinn's Vabaduse väljak (Freedom Square).

The names of more than 12,000 victims were also displayed, including those who were deported and sent to prison camps and others who fled or hid, as well as children born into families that had been deported to Siberia.

In the afternoon, new name plaques will be unveiled at the Victims of Communism Memorial in Tallinn's Maarjamäe complex.

On June 14, 1941, the occupying Soviet occupation authorities deported more than 10,000 Estonians to Siberia, 7,000 of whom were women, children and orphans. The main aim was to eliminate moral, physical and legal resistance to the occupying regime.

In total, more than 30,000 people were deported from Estonia by the Soviet regime between 1941 and 1951. According to Memento, almost nearly 10,000 were children.


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Editor: Michael Cole

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