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Victims of the June deportations commemorated today

8. June 2014 - 21:29

MINISTRY OF THE INTERIOR, 14.06.2013 - Today, on 14 June, Estonia commemorates the victims of the 1941 June deportation. At a ceremony held at Lindamägi in Tallinn, memorial wreaths will be placed at the statue of Linda by the President of the Republic, the Riigikogu, the Government, the Defence Forces and the Defence League, Tallinn City, the diplomatic corps and civil organisations.

At the commemoration ceremony that starts at 12:00, the Chairman of the Riigikogu Ene Ergma will give a speech and the Archbishop of the Estonian Evangelic Lutheran Church Andres Põder will say a prayer. The chairman of board of Tallinn Memento Association Leo Õispuu will also give a speech.

Wreaths will be placed at the statue of Linda by the aide to the President of the Republic on behalf of the President, Chairman of the Riigikogu Ene Ergma, Prime Minister Andrus Ansip, Chief of the Headquarters of the Defence Forces Brigadier General Peeter Hoppe and the Commander of the Defence League Brigadier General Meelis Kiili, Deputy Mayor of Tallinn Mihhail Kõlvart and City Secretary Toomas Sepp, Ambassador of the Republic of Latvia Kārlis Eihenbaums on behalf of the diplomatic corps, and the chairman of board of the Tallinn Memento Association Leo Õispuu.

At 15:50, a wreath will be placed at the statue of Linda also by the head of the Russian Orthodox Church Patriarch Kirill, who is visiting Estonia.

At 16:00, a memorial service will be held at St. John’s Church on the basis of the original song sheet, which was used for consecrating the memorial plaque to deportation victims at the foot of the statue of Linda 70 years ago.

In addition to the commemoration ceremony held at Lindamägi and the service at St. John’s Church, civil associations also organise various commemoration events. At 13:00, the Institute of Human Rights, Foundation Unitas, the youth association Open Republic, the Museum of Occupations, the non-profit association Tulipisar, the Broken Cornflower Society and the Memento Association invite Estonians to share their stories of deportation. A map of Estonia will be set up at the Freedom Square and on the website, on which all the people and families living in Estonia can mark the story of their family according to where it took place. The collection of stories on the map will begin at 13:00 and end at 20:00. The map will later be taken to the Museum of Occupations. In addition, mourning day badges with a black and white Flower of Hope will be distributed at the Freedom Square. The Flower of Hope badge symbolises the mourning and commemoration of victims as well as hope and fortitude of such acts never being repeated.

From 14 June, the travelling exposition ‘Totalitarianism in Europe. Fascism–Nazism–Communism’ is open at the Museum of Occupations.

On 14 June 1941, the occupation forces deported more than 10,000 people to Siberia. Over 80 percent of them were women, children and the elderly. At the same time, operations were also carried out in the areas of Poland occupied by the Soviet Union, in Bessarabia (today’s Moldova), Lithuania and Latvia. Political arrests and murders continued in the years of the German occupation in 1941-1944 and during the second Soviet occupation in 1944-1991. The 1949 March deportation had more than 20,000 victims, most of them women and children.

Journalists are invited to cover the events; there is no prior accreditation.