General information on the Museum

The Museum of Occupations provides a comprehensive overview of Estonian society during three periods of occupation: the first Soviet occupation 1940–1941, the German occupation 1941–1944, and the second Soviet occupation 1944–1991.

Audio-visual displays and photos highlight the events of the era, repression and national resistance, as well as showing how people coped with the day-to-day realities of this difficult period.


Temporary exhibitions    

Exhibition “Women are heroes too" - presenting the various roles Hungarian women had during the First World War.
Opened until January 8.


Exhibition "Woman who founded the Museum – Olga Kistler-Ritso"
Opened until January 8.

Olga Kistler-Ritso was born on June 26, 1920 in Kiev. She went to school in Tallinn and received  a medical degree from Tartu University.
 The return of the Red Army being imminent, Olga decides to go as a medic on a ship evacuating  wounded soldiers and refugees to Germany in August 1944. In spite of the attacks by the Soviet  Air Forces, and Olga sees other ships sinking, her ship Lapland reaches Germany.
 Olga immigrates to the United States in November 1949. Olga starts her practice of eye surgery,  becoming recognized in her field. She married a Swiss origin engineer Walter Kistler in 1960 and  their daughter Sylvia was born two years later.

 Family Kistler visited Estonia for the first time in 1976. The Kistler-Ritso Foundation was  established in the US and Estonia in 1998 for the purpose of studying Estonia’s recent history  and for cultural support, also the idea of founding a museum was born.
The Museum of Occupations opens for visitors in July 2003.




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