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Heritage society organizing events to mark 80th anniversary of Tallinn bombings

Tallinn commemorates the March 9, 1944 bombing of Tallinn.
Tallinn commemorates the March 9, 1944 bombing of Tallinn. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Several commemorative events will be held on March 9 to mark the 80th anniversary of the Soviet Air Force attack on Tallinn which killed over 700 people and saw 20,000 residents lose their homes.

Tallinn City Government has allocated €5,870 from its reserve fund to the Estonian Heritage Society (Eesti Muinsuskaitse Selts) for events.

On the anniversary of the March Bombing in 1944, a traditional memorial service will be held at 12 a.m. at the Siselinna kalmistu (Siselinna Cemetery) near the monument dedicated to the bombing victims.

At 6 p.m., a memorial service and concert will begin in St. Nicholas' Church (Niguliste kirik), featuring a performance by the Veronika Portsmuth Choir Academy chamber choir.

Candles lit along Tallinn's Harju tänav in front of St. Nicholas' Church (Niguliste kirik) commemorating the March Bombing of 1944. Source: (Anna Aurelia Minev/ERR)

At 7:15 p.m., candles will be lit on Harju Street, and the bells of Tallinn's churches will toll in mourning.

At 8 p.m., Benjamin Britten's grand "War Requiem" will be performed at Charles' Church (Kaarli kirik).

This concert is organized by the Estonian Academy of Music and Theater in cooperation with the City of Tallinn, and tickets are available at Piletimaailm and Piletilevi.

The heritage society has been organizing memorial events on March 9 in Tallinn since 1989, honoring the victims of the bombing. 

Harju tänav and St. Nicholas' Church (Niguliste kirik) after the bombing raid on March 9, 1944. Source: Tallinn City Museum

In March 1944, the Soviet Air Force bombed Tallinn and other Estonian cities.

The capital was subjected to two bombing raids on the evening of March 9 and the following night, resulting in the destruction of 1,549 buildings and damage to 3,350 others, including the Estonia Theatre and St. Nicholas' Church (Niguliste kirik).

As a result of the March Bombing, approximately 20,000 residents of Estonia's capital lost their homes, 554 Estonian citizens, 50 German soldiers, and 121 prisoners of war were killed.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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