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President of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) Henn Põlluaas delivered a speech in memory of the victims the June Deportation and laid a wreath on behalf of the people of Estonia at the Memorial to the Victims of Communism at Maarjamäe in Tallinn.

The President of the Riigikogu said at the memorial ceremony that today we bowed our heads, thinking of those who perished in the communist repressions or fell fighting for our country, our people and the future of Estonia. In his speech, he recalled all the victims. “Grandmothers, grandfathers, mothers, fathers, children and grandchildren. We will never forget them! As long as these crimes are justified, and not regretted, it is not possible to forgive,” Põlluaas said.

“But we survived and restored our state. It is our duty to tell about those events to the coming generations and to the whole world, and do everything we can to ensure that such horrors would never happen again,” Põlluaas added.

“Estonia, a small country with a population of one million, lost nearly every fifth of its inhabitants, almost every family was touched by violence,” Põlluaas said. He recalled that his family, too, had been deported in 1945. “My mother and her sisters were still children. My grandfather was executed in Patarei Prison in 1946 as a traitor. Because what else a pastor and an Estonian man who had been forced by circumstances to fight for Estonia’s freedom in a foreign uniform could be in the eyes of the occupants.”

On the night before 14 June 1941, mass deportation took place in Estonia. Soviet repressive authorities deported more than 10,000 people to Siberia. Nearly 6,000 children, women and men died of hunger and exhaustion there, or were executed. On the Day of Mourning, all victims of repressions are commemorated.

Speech by the President of the Riigikogu

Photos of the memorial ceremony of the June Deportation

Riigikogu Press Service
Epp-Mare Kukemelk
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