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At the memorial ceremony of the 25th anniversary of the reburial of President Konstantin Päts at Metsakalmistu Cemetery in Tallinn (Estonia), President of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) Eiki Nestor thanked those who had worked in the name of bringing the remains of the first President of the Republic of Estonia back to his homeland.

“Up to its last breaths, the Soviet totalitarian regime was afraid of even the dead Konstantin Päts. It feared the symbol that brought to mind the young Republic of Estonia that had flourished between the two World Wars,” Nestor said at the memorial ceremony. “This fear expressed itself in the destruction of symbols that were important for the people, destruction of both humans and monuments.”

The President of the Riigikogu noted that when the Soviet Union that was struggling in economic agony decided to allow looking at the past honestly in the name of détente, the victory monuments of the Estonian War of Independence that had been destroyed were erected again and searchers were sent out to find and bring back home our great men who had perished.

“I want to thank those who undertook this work. Thanks to their efforts, the first head of our state was laid to rest in his native soil,” Nestor said.

President Konstantin Päts and his family were arrested by the Soviet occupation forces on 30 July 1940, and were deported to Russia. His location remained unknown for a long time. The President died on 16 January 1956 in Burashevo near Tver in Russia. In summer 1990, the Estonian Heritage Society found his remains there.

Photos of the memorial ceremony: https://fotoalbum.riigikogu.ee/v/Riigikogu+juhatus/XIII+Riigikogu/Riigikogu+esimees+Eiki+Nestor/210102015/

Riigikogu Press Service
Urmas Seaver
Phone: +372 631 6352; +372 50 39 907
Questions: press@riigikogu.ee