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Estonia to arrange reburial of German soldiers' remains found in Maarjamäe

Construction site in Maarjamäe where the remains of the soldiers were found.
Construction site in Maarjamäe where the remains of the soldiers were found. Source: (Siim Lõvi/ERR)

The Heritage Protection Board confirmed in a letter to state real estate administrator RKAS that according to an existing agreement between Germany and Estonia concerning war graves, the state will take on the cost of exhuming and reburying the remains of the German soldiers found in Maarjamäe earlier this week.

Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge e.V., the German organization taking care of war graves, has already given its consent to the exhuming of the remains found during construction works in Tallinn's Maarjamäe area.

They will be reburied on the plot of the German war cemetery a few dozen meters away from the site. The remains were found during excavation works for a new memorial dedicated to the memory of the victims of communism.

The role of RKAS will be to provide what is needed for the conservation of the soldiers' remains as well as resources to identify as many of them as possible before they are reburied, though the latter work will be carried out by Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge.

The exhumation can only be carried out by a contractor who has a valid permit for archeological digging, has the necessary experience, and is competent to rebury the remains as well.

The area, which includes the remains of some one hundred German soldiers and officers, is a previously unknown part of the existing German war cemetery in the vicinity of the Soviet-era Maarjamäe war memorial.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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