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The changes in Estonian population after World War II Juhendaja: õp. Reet Kandimaa Kärt Anton, Marily Kool ja Triin Kesküla.

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Presentation on theme: "The changes in Estonian population after World War II Juhendaja: õp. Reet Kandimaa Kärt Anton, Marily Kool ja Triin Kesküla."— Presentation transcript:

1 The changes in Estonian population after World War II Juhendaja: õp. Reet Kandimaa Kärt Anton, Marily Kool ja Triin Kesküla

2 Introduction The flight of Estonians to the West during World War II Deportation of Estonians into Siberia in 1949 Immigration of Russians into Estonia during 50 years of the Soviet Era

3 Estonia was one of the smallest states in Europe in the 1920s and 1930s. Estonian population was about 1 million people. During and after WW II Estonia lost about of 150,000 people: people lost in war, war refugees, deportees.

4 Estonia before World War II

5 An Estonian housewife

6 A typical home of an Estonian family

7 Boys behind Aruküla manor

8 A beautiful summer day


10 Our wrestler – Olympic gold medallist

11 Kalevipoeg – our national epic

12 University of Tartu Theatre Vanemuine

13 1918-1940 Estonian Republic 1940 Soviet occupation 1941-1944 Nazy occupation 1944 – 1991 Soviet occupation 1991 Estonian Republic The change of power in Estonia

14 In 1940 Estonia was occupied by the Soviet Union as a result of the deal between Nazy Germany and the Soviet Union (Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact) Loss of independence

15 The first mass deportation in 1941 In June 1941 over 10,000 people from Estonia were arrested and deported to the prison camps in Russia, Siberia Similar things happened in Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine and Moldova The Soviet Union wanted to ruin the independent statehood and suppress the people with fear and terror Politicians, the military, scientists, the clergy, businessmen and their families were the victims of deportation

16 The victims of deportation in 1941 Prime minister Otto [August] Strandman shot himself when he was arrested Prime minister Friedrich Akel was murdered on 3 July 1941 in Tallinn Prime minister Jaan Teemant was arrested on 27 July1940 by the Soviet Union, died in prison

17,_Estland,_Angetretene_Soldaten.jpg?uselang=et,_Reval,_Besuch_General_Georg_v._K%C3%BCchler_in.jpg?uselang=et Nazy Germany occupies Estonia On June 22 1941 Nazy Germany declared war to the Soviet Union and invaded it. By the end of August 1941 Estonia was under the German occupation which lasted for about 3 years.

18 Nazy Germany occupies Estonia

19 The second Soviet occupation At the beginning of 1944 the Soviet Army was again at the borders of Estonia. The battles for Estonia lasted for about 6 months. The main cities were seriously damaged, the city of Narva was almost in ruins.

20 Narva in ruins

21 Theatre Vanemuine before and after the war

22 Tartu stonebridge before and after the war

23 Damaged Tallinn


25 Theatre Estonia before and after the war

26 The flight of Estonians to the West during World War II In 1944 about 80,000 Estonians escaped to Sweden and Germany They escaped because Estonia was occupied by the Soviet Union and they were afraid of arrest and deportation About 8,000 of 80,000 people died trying to escape because of autumn storms and they used simple fishing boats which were full of people

27 The flight of Estonians to the West

28 Escaping to Sweden About 25,000 people escaped to Sweden because Sweden was a rich, prosperous and neutral country Swedish government was ready to help the refugees – hot cocoa and warm, clean clothes were ready Leaving home

29 Waiting for the boat

30 Refugees leave for Gotland

31 Swedish warship saving the refugees

32 Arrival in Gotland


34 Escaping to Germany About 30,000 people escaped to Germany, because Germany was close and people could use horse carriages and the railway Estonian soldiers in the German Army left Estonia with the German Army Refugees were placed in refugee camps where food and shelter were poor because Germany was full of refugees In 1947 - 1949 people left Germany and went to other countries with better living conditions – the USA, Canada, Australia

35 On the road to Germany


37 After the flight Estonians had to get used to the new society, find new jobs People had to learn a new language – Swedish, German or English and do hard physical labour in the forests, factories or fields Estonians were valued because they worked hard and were well educated They were homesick because of lack of contacts with their relatives in homeland It was 30 years after the war that the emigrees could visit their homeland for the first time Laul - “Ma tahaksin kodus olla“

38 Estonians in the Estonian House in Sweden

39 An Estonian school in Stockholm

40 “Better to die at the sea as a free person than to die in Siberia as a forced labourer”

41 Memories “The first night at the sea passed peacefully, but in the morning a strong wind had risen, which turned into a storm. In the afternoon, the engine of the ship stopped working. Because of the strong wind we could not use any sails either. Fortunately, a Swedish warship noticed us the next morning and saved us.”

42 “We had been sailing for only a few hours, when the Swedish naval patrol spotted us and lead us to the port on Fejan island. Some people were saved from drowning by the naval ship and we do not know how many refugees died in that September storm. We know that of fourteen boats, which sailed out from Viimsi port, only nine managed to arrive in Sweden.”

43 The second mass deportation in Estonia In 1949 The second mass deportation in Estonia took place in March 1949. The deportation happened during one night, at the same time in all Baltic countries. From Estonia almost 20,000 people were deported to Siberia. The majority of deportees were rich farmers with their families. Some people resisted, they escaped with their families to the forests and to other cities. Children in a deportation wagon

44 Transportation



47 Wagons

48 Forest brothers The men who did not manage to escape to the West and were afraid of deportation, escaped to the forests They were called Forest Brothers and hunted by the Soviet Security forces. When captured, they were sent to prison camps in Siberia Metsavennalaul YcGmJA

49 Life in Siberia




53 Young Ants Laaneots and uncle Elmar

54 Memories “One captured woman poisoned herself at the train station, the woman's body was sent to the hospital.” “The Russian officer was not a cruel man. He was calm and showed what we should take with us. The Russians promised to take all we wanted.” “Two young people tried to escape, but they failed and were shot on the spot.” “My grandmother took the children away from the village when she heard the warning. My grandmother escaped to the forest. The parents of the children, however, were deported to Siberia.”

55 Life after deportation After deportation in 1941 Almost all men died in prison camps, few came back Their wives and children could return to their home country After deportation in 1949 People returned to their home country after being away for 8 years Their property had been destroyed, strangers lived in ther homes People who moved back to their home country could not live in big cities anymore Occupation bans, limited learning opportunities and other various restrictions remained for a long time

56 Influence of deportations Investigation and commemoration of deportation was banned for 50 years Deportations destroyed Estonian economic, political and military elite Small farmsteads were replaced by collective farms The lives of about 30,000 people were destroyed People lived in fear, they did not know what would happen next

57 Commemoration of deportees in Tallinn

58 Commemoration of deportees in Tartu


60 The immigration of Russians into Estonia after World War II From 1945 -1991 about half a million people from Russia and Ukraine migrated to Estonia Mostly the immigrants were Soviet Army personnel and Russians who began to work in the factories and oil shale mines State companies and ministries required cheap workforce Good salary and living space in blocks of flats were used as bait Some of the immigrants came to Estonia because of marriage or family relations

61 Soviet Army

62 Workers in the Kreenholm factory

63 New residential area for immigrants in Tallinn Lasnamäe

64 Town of immigrants: Sillamäe

65 Conclusion The Second World War changed Estonian population a great deal About 8% of Estonians fled to the West, they were isolated from their homeland for decades After the restoration of Estonian independence a younger generation of Estonian emigrees contributed to the restoration of independence. For example, President Ilves Many Estonians deported to Siberia returned to homeland after the death of Stalin in 1953 and had to start their life from scratch Russian immigration led to the Russian-speaking community, who did not speak Estonian and was located mainly in the North-East of Estonia and in Tallinn.

66 During the restoration of Estonian independence many Russians were against it and part of them returned to Russia and Ukraine. Nowadays the Estonian Government tries to integrate the Russian-speaking community - about 300,000 people - into the Estonian society

67 The Estonian flag on top of the tower Tall Hermann in Tallinn


69 Tallinn old town

70 Tartu city centre

71 Snail tower in Tartu

72 Jägala waterfall in spring

73 Jägala waterfall in winter

74 Thank you for your attention!

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