Baltic States – CIS, Estonia, Forum, Technology

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Friday, 25.06.2021, 04:41

E-exhibition on Red Army terror unveiled in Estonia

BC, Tallinn, 07.05.2020.Print version
An e-exhibition titled "The Liberator Arrived," detailing the developments of the first years after Estonia had been recaptured by the Red Army in World War II, has been made available at the address

The exhibition prepared by the Estonian Institute of Historical Memory and the Estonian National Library takes the viewer to Estonia in the years 1944-1945, when the country had been reoccupied by the Red Army and the contradiction between Soviet propaganda and reality was big. The exhibition builds on the documents issued by the authorities of that time, presented side by side with Soviet propaganda posters, informs LETA/BNS.

Meelis Maripuu, board member of the Estonian Institute of Historical Memory, said it's important to remember that for many European nations the end of World War II meant not liberation, but finding themselves under a new conqueror.  

"The invasion of Estonia by the Red Army and the country's reoccupation in 1944 was not just a catastrophe in the meaning of international law, but first and foremost meant our people finding themselves under uncontrolled terror by Red Army soldiers and officers," Maripuu said.

Peeter Kaasik, senior researcher at the institute and curator of the exhibition, said that archives contain a big number of documents on said topic.

Arbitrary action by Red Army soldiers and officers and direct violence against defenseless civilians are reflected also in the reports of the communist functionaries of the time, who themselves felt powerless to control the situation.  

"Creating the myth of liberator was an important task of Soviet propaganda immediately after the reoccupation of Estonia in order to strengthen the legitimacy of their own rule. It has to be said that the creation of said myth failed, as real contact with Red Army personnel often ended for civilians with the loss of property, loss of health or loss of life. The people of Estonia understood that that was the enforcement of a new occupation, not liberation," Kaasik said.

Search site