Photos from Memento 2001

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Below is presented a selection of photos taken before the June'41 deportation with the aim of acquainting the reader, albeit in a limited scope, with the people who are in the lists in this book. We shall try to introduce to you the people whom the Soviet occupational authorities deemed necessary to destroy. The photos presented here are very dear to the survivors and the family members and relatives who managed to return to Estonia. With heavy hearts they provided these pictures for computer scanning. Sometimes they do not even want to publish these sad recollections. The majority of these photos, along with their owners, were sent as prisoners into the deepest regions of Russia, many even twice. Having been kept for decades in inhuman conditions of forced settlement, these pictures were still carefully preserved.
Many such photos served as our connection with homeland, keeping our faith that one day we come home. There are some pictures that for decades were secretly kept by relatives who stayed in Estonia, hidden from repressive organs as dangerous proof of connections with anti-soviet elements.
Unfortunately, there are few photos here of the people who were deported from Central and Southern Estonia to Tomsk Oblast. There are more pictures of the inhabitants of Tallinn and the islands who were taken to Kirov (Vjatka) Oblast. Because ERRB is an affiliate of Memento in Tallinn, it is of course easier to borrow photos for publication in Tallinn or use pictures from albums of the book's authors or their relatives.
The essential drawback of this picture collection is the fact that there is a lack of photos from strong families taken from Estonia to Russia and shot there, all of them, or destroyed in the circumstances of severe conditions of imprisonment.
The families and individuals on the photos were designated for repression according to the joint decision nr. 1299-526 by Union of Soviet Socialist Republics' Communist (bolshevik) Party's Central Committee and Union of Soviet Socialist Republics' Council of People's Commissars on May, 14th, 1941 entitled "Concerning deportations of socially foreign elements from the Baltic republics, Western Ukraine, Western Byelorussia and Moldavia" [Kultuur ja Elu 3, 1988, lk. 11 in Estonia / ERAF, SM f. 17/2, n.1, s.-ü. 306, l. 21 in Russian].

Below is used the shortened reference "Joint decision by USSR C(b)P CC and USSR CPC". On the basis of this top secret joint decision for deportation were designated the persons divided into 9 categories from the recently occupied areas from the Finnish Gulf to the Black Sea. Deportations took place from May [Sabbo 1996, lk. 793/VFRA f. 9479, n. 1 c, s.-ü. 87, l. 143] until August of 1941. The implementation of previously compiled and the later added plans to deport the kulaks continued after the war and until Stalin's death in 1953.
In the practical "Beria's plan of measures" 11.–14.06.1941 and USSR State Security People's Commissar's summary for Stalin, Molotov and Beria 17.06.1941 the deportees were divided into the arrested family heads and the family members sent into forced settlement; together they were accounted for as repressed persons [see D. 17, D.11 and D. 22 in Chapter 1.1.]. From among these almost 100,000 repressed in 1941 persons on the photos presented below we can see only those people who were deported from Estonia, and even these are here only a few hundred. Groups and individuals shown on our pictures were designated for repressions on the basis of their belonging to categories 1, 2, 3 or 4 of the above mentioned classification.
The complete texts of the 9 categories of persons designated for deportation were published in Estonian in the magazine Kultuur ja Elu 3, 1998, page 11 and a document copy of the Russian-language text can be found in Chapter 4.1 of this book. The texts of these categories are used in the notes below the photos.

The Palvadre family in Estonia before the deportation, 1937. From left to right: mother Gerta, father Anton (condemned to death) and daughters Aime and Lea. A. Palvadre was Justice Chancellor in 1938-1940, earlier several times member of the Parliament, Vice Chairman of the Parliament, minister. This family was designated for repression on the basis of the joint decision by USSR C(b)P CC and USSR CPC as belonging to category 3 "Former estate owners, traders, factory owners and former bourgeois governments' high officials and their families". As of 26.05.1941, ESSR People's Commissariat for State Security accounted for and offered to Moscow's "slave market" 2100 family heads and family members in category 3 alone[Sabbo 1996, lk. 761 / VFRA f. 9479, n. 1c, s.-ü. 87, l. 189].

Photos from L. Palvadre's collection

Seeing in the new year 1939. From the left Heinrich Luberg (died in a camp in 1943), Alma Õunapuu (deported 1941-1954) Voldemar Toomingas, Juhanson, Jaan Piiskar (death sentence, died 19/12/41) Ella Rosalie Luberg (deported to Russia in 1941-1957)

Photo from Ivi Luberg-Pinn's collection

The Lubergs on the steps of their house in the summer of 1939 where they were deported from on 14 June 1941. Starting from the left Heinrich, Tiia, Ella-Rosalie and Ivi.

Photo from Ivi Luberg-Pinn's collection

The Tomasson family before deportation 12.04.1936 in Tallinn. From left to right: Salme, Uuno, father Johannes and Milvi. Father died in a Sverdlovsk Oblast prison camp in april, 1943.

Photo from S. Tomasson's collection

Victim of the communist campaign of terror, industrialist Johannes Tomasson in 1939 and first pages of his Estonian Republic Passport.

The photo and the passport from U. Tomasson's possessions

From left to right: Milvi Tomasson, grandfather Jaan Tuum and Uuno Tomason in Tallinn, 1937. Grandfather was not deported.

Photo from S. Tomasson's collection

That was the friendship that tempered during the War of Independence 1918-1920, which continued during the study years at Tartu University and the workman years as a minister and a manufacturer and which was ended by a remorseless and lawless murder by the Soviet Union KGB repressive organs in Sverdlovsk prison on 13 April 1942. Also O. Kask was executed in Sverdlovsk Oblast on the same day, 13.04.1942.At that moment Minister Oskar Kask was 44 and manufacturer Voldemar Virkus was 45.

Photo from V. Virkus' collection

House of the Virkus family (~400 m2) in Lelle settlement, picture taken in 1930 or 1931. The family was deported in 1941 to Tomsk Oblast, Tšainsk Region.

Photos from V. Virkus' collection

Family Leevald 16.02.37 in Valga (deported 14.06.41). From left to right: Riina, mother Alide, Maie (in mother's arms) and Ants. They were taken to Tomsk Oblast, the northernmost Aleksandrovsk Region.

Photo from Riina Leevald's collection

Police constable Gustav Talve (born in 1895) before he was arrested. Died 21.10.41 in Sosva camp. This strong, healthy man lasted only 4 months in the inhuman conditions of the camp for persons designated for extermination.

Photo from G. Talve's collection

At Tapa Secondary School before repression in 1941. The first from the left: Kalju Reitel (arr. on 19 Dec. 1950), later a sculptor; the second: Leo Talve (dep. on 14 June 1941), later Dozent at Tallinn Technical University.

Photo from G. Talve's collection

Salme Noor (born 1894), who was a nurse during the War of Independence, and Lieutenant Karl Noor (born 1986) at the end of the war in 1920. They were both arrested at Haapsalu on 14 June 1941, both were condemned to death and killed at Sosva extermination camp on 24 April 1942 and 09 March 1942.

Photo from H. Noor's collection

Alma Toom, died in Nagorsk in March 1945. Her 9-year-old daughter Vaike stayed with the Õispuu family and later via a children's home got back to Estonia in 1946.

Photo from E Palmipuu's collection

Vilsandi Lighthouse, the saving station, the centre of the bird sanctuary, a house and the inn. The Russian army drove away the inhabitants, first to Saaremaa and later to Russia (14 June 1941). The only person to return was the orphanaged daughter. Photo from 1940.

Photo from L. Õispuu's collection

August Kongats in 1938 in Kuressaare, owner of a leather factory, a store and a house (photo on the left), and in 1956, immediately after release from settlement. On the right photo he was 59, was arrested on 14 June 1941 and sent to Sevurallag camps on the basis of §58-4. He was banished to Asino, Novosibirsk Region. He was freed on 14 June 1946 and died in Tallinn on 4 November 1958.

Photos from M. Kongats' collection

Members of the family of Vassili Rihkrand, a carpenter and member of the Kaitseliit, before arrest and deportation, from left to right: Uno (b. 1931), Valve (1929) and Ilmar (1935). Children were photographed in Leisi 06.07.47, immediately after Valve's return to Estonia. Father died in a Russian prison camp in 1941, mother Magdalena died in settlement in 1941, son Ants (1940) also died in settlement in 1941. Thus out of the family of six, three people stayed in Russia forever. Security organs in 1947 in Tallinn demanded that Valve under signature should go back to Kirov Oblast within 24 hours, took away her release documents issued by security organs in Kirov and other documents. Nobody went back, but shaking with fear and disappointment still lingers.

Photos from Valve Rihkrand-Kanter's collection

A. Vokk in Kihelkonna 15.07.1928.

Farmer and Kaitseliit member August Vokk (born in 1904, shot in Sosva prison camp in 1942), deported to Russia in June, 1941, along with his family – wife Adeele (born in 1905), children from left to right: Leili (born in 1935), Elvi (born in 1933) and Hain (born in 1937). Together with the family were taken away grandfather Aadu Vokk (1872-1942) and grandmother Reet Vokk (1873-1942). Children Elvi, Leili and Hain escaped from settlement. In 1950 Elvi was arrested in Estonia and via various prisons taken back into forced settlement. Leili and Hain avoided being taken back into forced settlement because they were underage and prisons could not accept them. Thus, out of the family of seven, three succumbed in places of imprisonment.

Kaitseliit and Isamaliit member Vassili Kask (born in 1896, shot in a Molotov Oblast prison camp in 1942) together with wife Juuli (born in 1902), daughter Vaike (born in 1928) and Villem Grünthal, a visiting neighbour, in the home garden near the Muhu church. Juuli and Vaike stayed in forced settlement in Russia in 1941-1958. This picture was taken in the early 1930-ies.

Photos from Külli Kask-Väli's collection

Vassili Kask (executed in 1942), wife Juuli and older daughter Vaike in 1932.

On the photo there are the younger children, from left to right: Külli (born in 1936) and Tervo (born in 1935) in the home garden in Muhu, which has not yet been returned to these then children deported to Russia in 1941. Picture taken in 1938.

Photos from K Kask-Väli's collection