On June 14th, 79 years will have passed from the June Deportation.
On this National Day of Mourning, the victims of the 1941 deportation will be commemorated across Estonia.
IF YOU HAVE AN IDEA HOW TO execute JUNE AND MARCH DEPORTATION INSTALLATIONS IN THE FUTURE, THEN SEND YOUR IDEA AS A PICTURE OR DESCRIPTION TO THE ADDRESS: INFO@EIHR.EE
The keyword “tear“ (e.g. wagon of tears, sea of tears) must be related to the installation. Make sure the idea can be carried out by using materials that are at least 2/3 recyclable and the design should be weatherproof (rain, wind, sun, snow).
We commemorate innocent people, who fell victim to the inhuman terror of occupation forces.
By remembering, we hope such crimes against humanity will never be committed again.
he victims are commemorated with the installation “Wagon of Tears” on Liberty Square in Tallinn.
The names of more than 12 000 victims of repressions directly affected by the events that unfolded in 1941 will be displayed on the screen on Liberty Square in Tallinn.
Including those who were deported, sent to prison camps; who fled or hid and children born to families deported to Siberia. The list also includes the families of Konstantin Päts and Johan Laidoner deported in 1940.
Republic of Estonia Health Board recommendations are located here: https://www.terviseamet.ee/en/covid19
The border contour of the June Deportees` commemoration installation is the former border of the Soviet Union as with the March deportees . This motif is also depicted on the Maarjamäe mural with railway lines that led to camps in Siberia and points of deportation. The wagon placed on the railway, facing east, symbolises one of the 490 deportation wagons filled with “the tears of the deportees“.
All materials have been recycled or are reusable.
Original idea: NGO Estonian Institute of Human Rights /Aet Kukk
Videos and photos: Kaupo Kikkas, Kristian Kruuser
Technical execution: Go Track, Event Center, Lunester, Rahvapark
Drawings and other assistance: Kala Ruudus /Kent Raju
On-location help: Margit Leerimaa and Mattias Jürgens
“Marie Erits, sister of folklore collector and translator of epics Dr August Annist, put on a white apron and a starched headscarf and went outside smiling to welcome another tour at her exemplary farm, only to find that it was the deporters who came and took the family to Siberia.“
// Eesti elulood (Estonian biographies)
Early in the morning on June 14th, 1941, trucks with Russian soldiers and local deporters stopped in front of the doors of many of the educated and wealthiest families in Estonia. They demanded to be let in. “Nobody thought that women and children would also be taken away, people thought it would only be the men.“
The first destination was the railway station where cattle wagons with built-in bunks were already waiting. Wagons marked with the letter A (arrested) were for the men and the women and children were put in wagons marked with the letter B. That was the moment when most women saw their husbands and most children their fathers for the last time.
Altogether 8 deportation trains were meant for Estonia. In the end, the total number of trains with deportees from Estonia in target stations was nine with 490 wagons. The trains travelled east.
Before crossing the Estonian border, there was a brief stop after Irboska. On the journey through Estonia, very many letters to family and friends were thrown out of the railway carriages, people stood by the railroad in silence and wept. When leaving Rakvere, a powerful song boomed out of the arrested men`s wagon ”Mehe meel”. The men`s wagons of this train were separated in Pechory and Pskov.
At first, the A and B wagons travelled in one echelon, after a while, the first were decoupled and sent straight to forced labour camps. By spring of 1942, a few hundred of the 3500 men sent straight to prison camps were still alive.
The women and children in B carriages were taken to exile to Kirov, Novosibirsk, Omsk and Tomsk oblasts and to Altai and Krasnoyarsk krai. Every other woman and child died of cold, hunger and hard work. The arrests continued, and quite a few were taken from exile to a prison camp. The deportees managed to return home only at the end of the 1950s.
More than 10 000 people were deported from Estonia to Siberia in 1941 and approximately 6000 of them perished. During the same wave of deportations, more than 85 000 people were exiled from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova.
The 1941 June Deportation was a crime against humanity committed by the USSR security forces in the Baltics and the former Bessarabia to root out the “anti-Soviet elements”. The victims of repressions included politicians, municipality employees, civil servants, police officers and military staff, entrepreneurs and more successful farmers, intellectuals and socialites, many of whom were sent to prison camps and their families along with them. Most of the deportees exiled to Siberia were women and children, whose fathers and husbands had been imprisoned.
Each of us has their own story and role in other people`s stories. We are all someone`s children and inhabitants of a certain area, we all have our cultural, place of origin and family heritage. The Estonian story, the whole of our story, is made up of different Estonian people`s stories.