New names have been added to the Victims of Communism Memorial (Kommunismiohvrite memoriaal) in Tallinn, as part of events on Wednesday which marked 82 years since the June 14, 1941 deportation of Estonians by the occupying Soviet regime.
The plaques containing the names of victims who had not previously been included on the memorial, located in the Maarjamäe district of the capital and which opened in 2018, were added.
Today marks the 82nd anniversary of June Deportations carried out by Soviet forces. The memory of the deportations still stays with .— Margus Tsahkna (@Tsahkna) June 14, 2023
These grave crimes against humanity should not have occurred again. And yet, history is repeating itself in what Russia is doing in . pic.twitter.com/Ji8ARlp0rN
Of the approximately 10,000 people deported, mainly to the Gulag system and to penal colony towns in Siberia, around 7,000 were women, children or elderly people.
In addition, the deportations, which also hit Latvia and Lithuania in the same way, aimed to deprive the country of its best and brightest in order to hobble the massive progress made in the 20 or so years since Estonia had first become independent. Following an edict in 1942, many of these people were executed. Others returned later, and many Estonians were also born in exile, to return later.
While the occupying Soviet forces fled the Nazi German onslaught which began with Operation Barbarossa launched just over a month later, the returned from autumn 1944 and again instituted deportations and other repressions.
In total, the Soviet regime deported more than 30,000 people from Estonia between 1941 and 1951, according to Memento, nearly 10,000 of them were minors
Memento, a memorial society which commemorates those who were deported and shines a light on Soviet atrocities, estimates that over 30,000 people were deported from Estonia, by the Soviet regime, from June 1941 until around the time of the death of Stalin; of these, around a third were children, Memento says.
Unlike Germany in respect of the Nazi regime of 1932-1945, no hint of contrition or apology has ever been forthcoming from the Russian Federation, the Soviet Union's successor state – as referenced in its own constitution.
Wednesday, June 14 was a flag day, with many events nationwide marking the anniversary.
Editor: Andrew Whyte, Barbara Oja