|Photos from Memento 2001|
|2.2 THE FIRST DEPORTATION PERIOD 1941–1948|
|2.3 THE SECOND DEPORTATION PERIOD 1948–1958|
|2.4 BACK AT HOMELAND|
|4.2 DOCUMENTS ON THE FATE OF DEPORTEES FROM KGB CASE FILES|
2.4. BACK AT HOMELAND
Immediately upon their release from forced settlement the deportees of June'41 met with new problems. The most essential one was to get the permission to go back to Estonia and settle where one had lived before, i.e. to receive the new residence permit stamp in the passport. Release without it for some people lasted even up to 1989. In addition to this, former deportees and released political prisoners, in accordance with official regulations of both central and local authorities, encountered special treatment at places of work and in educational establishments. One had to fill large questionnaires on repeated occasions, procure personal characteristics, and write autobiographies. There were enforced bans concerning places of residence and work, fields of education, border zones and large cities, foreign trips, etc. Special approach was implemented when one was in queue to receive a flat, purchase a car or get a voucher for a rest-home, while serving in the army, etc. For us, this was perceived as repressions of the second degree. Albeit we were at home again, but mostly we had no safe home. At our home farms, houses, former flats now as a rule lived influential strangers.
Repressions of the third degree, which started later but for many are present even now, are obstacles (all too often even taunting) in connection with getting back our confiscated property.
This Chapter 2.4. collection of photographs provides a brief overview, 1-2 pictures for each field of activity, of the activities of former repressed persons upon their return to Estonia. Younger people belatedly resumed their education and created families in very hard conditions. In most cases one had to start from the beginning, purchasing first chairs or a couch for one's small rented room, procuring a blanket and a pillow, etc. At the same time we observed with sadness as our former homes were defiled and destroyed. Older people often established their new homes at a new location because they were not given permissions to reside where they had used to live.
Organised meetings began as shy celebrations of "birthdays" in obscure places and gradually these meetings became larger and more regular. In forest farms on such occasions the blue-black-white Estonian national flag was flown, earlier than many others dared to do that. We exchanged addresses and with lists of Russian Regions and villages began to arrange our memories. Sometimes the reason for a meeting was the funeral of one of our older companions in fate.
With the establishment of Estonian Association of Illegally Repressed Persons "Memento" in Tallinn's City Hall 25.03.1989, the 40th anniversary of March'49 deportations, Memento branches began to be established in all rural districts. In larger cities next to the Memento associations emerged also other organisations of repressed persons (Former Political Prisoners, Freedom Fighters, Finnish Boys, etc.) as it was necessary due to the large numbers of members. They began publicly defending the interests of former repressed persons and supporting the independence movement. Demands were voiced for return of confiscated property, financial support and compensation for years of illegally imposed forced labour, etc. Now, 10 years later, Estonian Republic is acknowledged by Europe, and yet our demands have changed very little. Despite difficulties, organisation of former repressed persons became a massive and determined force that helped shape Estonian Republic that is independent from Russia.
Restoration of monuments destroyed by communists and erection of new ones all over Estonia – reminding people about mass deportations and political terror – is still taking place today. We participate in politics through Estonian Democratic Cooperation Chamber of National Movements that unites the leadership of Memento Association and other organisations of repressed persons, and also through political parties. The still unsolved problems of former repressed persons and many other Estonians concerning evaluation of communist crimes we endeavour to tackle through international conferences and congresses.
A group of Estonians has returned to Estonia and they gathered on Harjumägi during the time of the Song Festival n 1960.
Standing (from the left): Heino Tammeaid, Arvi Koppel, Peeter Perens, Heikki Teär, Teisi Tõsine, hr. Kohandi and Otto Tuulik. Sitting(from the left): Leo Õispuu, Külli Kask, Linda Ääremaa-Hõbenik, Helvi Vaher-Teär, Antonie Tõsine, Helvi Koppel-Kohandi, Erika Tõsine, Helbe Perens (Kuus) and Lauri Hõbenik.
Photo from E. Õispuu-Palmipuu's collection
In one Tallinn Technical University mechanics department's study group alone in 1958–1960 there were 4 young people who had been deported in 1941.
Uuno Tomasson as TPI student, 1957. He was released from settlement in 1957, while conducting studies at the Iževsk Institute of Mechanics.
Photo from U. Tomasson's collection
In Estonia we began everything from the very beginning. In our homes, houses and flats lived strangers. After returning from Russia in 1956 Ella-Rosalie Luberg managed to get her first flat in this house. She had to live here together with her daughter Tiia from 1958 to 1962. The house stood in the territory of a gardening farm in Vabaõhumuuseumi Road in Tallinn.
Photo from Tiia Nurmis' collection
In living quarters lived strangers, farm buildings were demolished, mills crumbled. The windmill of Saare farmstead in the period of collective farms in 1950s. The family, being deported in 1941, was still in Russia at the moment. Later on the wooden parts of the grandfather's (deported in 1949) mill were used as firewood.
Photo from L. Õispuu's collection
Those who were deported in 1941 already, as grown-ups died, those who were sent to Russia still underage live on. Good mother, active until the very end of her life, she brought 3 children alive from settlement back to Estonia. One of the children died before her ... Burial of the 1941 deportee Juuli Kask at the Virtsu graveyard next to her daughter Vaike, 1999.
Photos from K. Kask-Väli's collection
Paying last respects to the 1941 deportee Vassilissa Teär at the Saaremaa Kihelkonna Church.
Her husband during the deportation was in foreign seas, being a ship captain. Son Heikki Teär died after release from the second deportation in Kihelkonna. Twice deported daughter Asta, wearing a black hat, is at the coffin. Communists failed to destroy the family of this well-known in all of Estonia captain – Heikki and Asta have 35 children, grandchildren and their children between them. Photo taken 10.02.2001.
Photos from A. Oll's collection
Back in the homeland, but we meet regularly every August. This time in Kuressaare in the house of Ülo Kann-Roos. At the window is sitting Lauri Hõbenik, then Silvia Õispuu and her husband Leo, standing is Anatoli Markand on the right is Hugo Tamleht with his grandchildren. Altogether over 20 people.
Photos from L. Õispuu's collection
Back home in Estonia, but in newly started homes. Laura Õunpuu-Niinemets in Järvakandi, Helvi Koppel-Kohandi in Pärnu and Valve Rihkrand-Kanter in Järvamaa.
Doctor Heino Noor in order to commemorate mothers that fell victim to Soviet genocide established in Haapsalu Dome Church MOTHERS' ALTAR, which was consecrated in 1992. H. Noor's father Karl was killed 09.03.42 and mother Salme 24.04.42, both in Sosva death camp.
Heino Noor was born 24.04.22; 14.06.41 his parents and he were deported to Sverdlovsk Oblast. He was arrested 29.01.44; found guilty according to §58-10, 58-11 and received 8 years. He was released from Sevurallag 29.01.52.
Monument in Tartu, Maarja cemetery, erected in 1998 by former political prisoner Heino Noor in memory of all victims of Soviet terror, and especially his parents Salme and Karl Noor, deported in 1941 and killed in Sosva death camp.
Photo from H. Noor's collection
In addition to the centrepiece memorial at Pilistvere, monuments are erected everywhere in Estonia.
The monument erected in 1999 in Läänemaa, at the Risti railway station. Constructed from rails, it commemorates the people, who on this station were loaded into cattle cars of deportation trains destined for Russia, both in 1941 and in 1949.
Many good Jewish families like the Estonian ones were meant to be destroyed in 1941 by the Communists. On the photo: a memorial dedicated to the deported at Rahumäe Jewish cemetery in Tallinn.
Photo from L. Rosenberg's collection
Chairpersons and representatives of officially registered organisations of repressed persons, united in the Joint Chamber, including Memento (E. Palmiste, L. Õispuu), demanding from Tallinn's Mayor Jüri Mõis to select a place on the plan of the city to erect the Freedom Monument on the Freedom Square, 08.02.2001.
Photo from L. Õispuu's collection
Back in the homeland. As members of Tallinn Memento, we meet twice every year near the figure of Linda on Toompea to commemorate the anniversaries of two mass deportations, in the photo it is June 14th, 1998. Group of Memento activists, from left to right Eino Eiskop, with Memento flag Hillar Vaherma, Aadu Oll, Lauri Hõbenik, Leo Õispuu, Mirjam Puhk-Kaber, Enn Tarto with his wife, Lea Palvadre, Aadu Rast, Feliks Tipner and Endel Palmiste. Altogether there are usually 100-200 people gathered to commemorate, depending on the weather.
Photo from L. Õispuu's collection
Memento Association leadership meetings take place several times every year. 10.02.2001 took place an open meeting, meeting chairman was Endel Palmiste. Participated, from left to right: vice chairman Heino Jalakas (from Harjumaa), Ülo Ojatalu (from Association of Freedom Fighters-Students), writing the meeting minutes Tiia Nurmis, Heino Lätt (from Jõgeva Political Prisoners' Association), Eldur Pardel (from Valgamaa). At the same meeting table also sat Maret Terav (from Rakvere), Kalju Kotkas (from Pärnu), Endel Paiso (from Läänemaa), Udo-Vello Lamp (from Tartu), Juta Vessik (from Saaremaa), Leida Kiiver (from Hiiumaa), Leo Õispuu (from Tallinn), Inga Saarva (from Tallinn), Lembit Leinjärv (from Järvamaa), Aino Kiiver (from Rakvere), Ants Salum (from Viljandi).
Meetings of Estonian Democratic Cooperation Chamber of National Movements take place regularly in the rooms of the chancellery of the Isamaliit political party. One of the meetings in 200, from left to right: Aadu Oll and Enn Sarv (both from Estonian Association of Former Political Prisoners), Andres Ammas (Isamaaliit), Jüri Teras (Estonian Union of Injured Soldiers), Leo Õispuu (Memento), Uno Järvela (Finnish Boys).
Session of International Public Tribunal in 2000 in Vilnius in the conference room of the Lithuanian Seim (parliament). On the picture, from left to right: prosecutors from Chechnya (female diplomat), Ukraine, Estonia, Lithuania (female lawyer), Slovakia, Latvia (behind the flowers); making the speech is the Byelorussian prosecutor. At the judges' desk, from left to right: judge from Germany with interpreter, Chairman of the Tribunal panel of judges Lithuanian lawyer Vytautas Zabiela, Latvian lawyer Aivars Liudvigs, etc. Representatives of 15 countries presented charges against the communist regime and communist parties to the Tribunal. The Tribunal judgement appeared as a book – Judgement of the International Public Tribunal in Vilnius (2000). – Vilnius, 2000, 186 p.