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International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Saturday, 20.04.2019, 09:40

NE Estonian manor owners put up monument to Baltic Germans

BC, Tallinn, 18.10.2018.Print version

A monument to the resettlement of Baltic Germans to Germany in 1939-1941 was about to be opened in the territory of Saka Manor in northeastern Estonia in conjunction with a conference on the same topic on Thursday, informed LETA/BNS. 

The monument was established as a private initiative by the owners of the manor, Eha and Tonis Kaasik, and is their gift to the Republic of Estonia on its centennial. Its inauguration is held on the 79th anniversary of the disembarkment of the first ship with Baltic Germans on board from Tallinn in 1939.

The authors of the monument are Aivar Simson, also known as Simson von Seakyll, and architect Kalle Roomus.

Tonis Kaasik said the monument was put up in memory of the contribution of Baltic Germans to the development of Estonia and Latvia. "Let this monument point attention to the heritage created and left behind here by the Baltic Germans, no matter whether it is works of art, buildings, more than a thousand manor buildings and parks around them. The contribution of Baltic Germans and the heritage created by them helped create the Estonian state both between the wars and during the past 25 years," Kaasik said.

On the occasion of the monument's inauguration, Saka Manor and the Society for Baltic German Culture in Estonia were to organize a conference to explore the reasons for leaving, who left, who left in the second wave of resettlement in 1941, and what became of Baltic German collections of art and family albums.  

Olev Liivik, doctor of history, described Saka as a symbolic place to talk about the resettlement of Baltic Germans. "In 1939, the last owners of the manor, the Lowis of Menar, who had remained in their home despite the land reform and the expropriation of estates in 1919, left Saka for Germany," he said.

During the first wave of the resettlement, from October 1939 to May 1940, over 13,000 ethnic Germans and people of German roots left Estonia for Germany, while several thousand Germans decided not to leave. After the occupation of the Baltic countries by the Soviet Union, the remaining Germans were allowed to leave by mutual agreement between Hitler's Germany and the Soviet Union. As a result, over 8,000 more people left Estonia in the winter of 1941.

Altogether more than 60,000 people left Latvia for Germany in the two weaves of resettlement in 1939-1941. 

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