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The 66th anniversary of the March Deportations



On March 25, a day of remembrance of the March Deportations will be held at the base of the War of Independence Victory Column in Tallinn. Thousands of candles will be lit all over Estonia in memory of those deported, and memorial events are also being held by Estonian communities in different parts of the world.
On Wednesday at the ceremony beginning at 12 o'clock, the Minister of the Interior, Hanno Pevkur will place a wreath "From the Estonian people" at the base of the Victory Column as a collective memorial by the national authorities of the victims of the deportation. The orchestra of the Police and Border Guard Board will perform under the conduction of Hando Põldmäe. The Archbishop of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church, Urmas Viilma, will conduct a memorial prayer service. A service of remembrance will be held at St. John's Church at 1:00 PM.

At 1:00 PM the Broken Cornflower Society (Murtud Rukilille Ühing) will hold a remembrance meeting of the 66th anniversary of the March Deportations at St. George's Night Park (Jüriöö park). At 4:00 PM, a seminar in the Tallinn Museum of Occupations dedicated to the remembrance of the March Deportations will introduce the youth history project "Mission: Siberia" as well as an initiative for the collection of memoirs about the deportation, "Kogu Me Lugu".

Throughout Estonia the victims of the deportations will be remembered with the lighting of a candle. Candles will be lit at 5:00 PM in Pärnu at Martens Square, at 6:00 PM in Tallinn at Freedom Square and in Tartu at Town Hall Square, and at 8:00 PM in Rakvere at the central square.

The Estonian Memento associations are conducting  remembrance events all over Estonia on Wednesday. In Tartu, St. Paul's Church will be holding a mourning memorial at 11:00 AM and at noon there will be a memorial event at the Cornflower Memorial (at Pepleri Street 27). At noon the victims of the deportation will be commemorated in Kuresaare at the Kudjape cemetery at the memorial there, in Narva at the Memento memorial, and in Pärnu at the Leinapark (Park of Grief).

Those deported will also be commemorated outside of Estonia. At Washington D.C.'s Victims of Communism Memorial, those deported will be commemorated with the lighting of candles on Wednesday at 5:00 PM. On Friday in Toronto, Canada, the conference "Repressions and human rights" will feature writer Sofi Oksanen, with her work on the topic of deportation. Candles will also be lit in memory of the deportation victims in Sweden, and in Russia the film "Risttuules" ("In the Crosswinds") was shown earlier this month.

In the course of the March Deportations in 1949, over 20,000 people were forcibly taken to Russia.

Merje Klopets
Press Adviser to the Ministry of the Interior
Tel. +372 612 5227, mob. +372 533 58687


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