human cattle

Someone asked me about the legacy of the June 1941 deportations from Estonia. About 10,000 people were loaded into cattle cars in the span of two days and removed to Siberia. More than half of them were women. A quarter were children.

I would say that the deportations not only destroyed lives in the sense that many of those who were deported died from disease, hunger and horrendous working conditions, not to mention execution. They destroyed the families of those who remained behind. And even if the person who survived the deportation managed to return to Estonia, he (or she) was often a shadow of the person he once was.

For Estonia’s younger generations, the deportations are less tangible. But for the post-war generation, the memory of the broken families and broken people created by the actions of the Soviet state linger. I wonder sometimes how it is possible that Estonians, who can really be considered historical activists, like Mart Laar or Imbi Paju, are driven so passionately to tell the story of this period of history.

Then I remember that they were raised by those very people whose lives were destroyed by Soviet actions. And what a contrast it must have been to be a small Soviet child in the golden 1960s surrounded by adults who were not keen to talk about themselves or their childhoods or what had happened to their various relatives. Even for them it must have been hard to fathom a situation where they were woken up in the night and placed into a cattle car bound for Siberia.

I don’t know what to tell my own children about the deportations. I had a hard time explaining to my eldest, now seven, that Estonia was at one time not free. She did not understand the concept of an Estonia that was not independent. How do I explain to her how people were rounded up and loaded into cattle cars? How do I even try to explain to her what the motive behind such actions was? As time grows between the present day and the collapse of the Soviet state, its ideology becomes even more far-fetched and preposterous. Its crimes are inexplicable.


83 thoughts on “human cattle”

  1. Heabanger, you are such a perfect example for those kind of childish natiaonalism which gives Estonia such a bad image in Western Europe. Most of my German friends either see Estonia either as paradise for neoliberal freaks or an accumulation of some backward village-nationalists who obviously have not realized that the cold war has ended long ago… You are free to chose which interpretation you like more. But what to expect from a country where some village-nazis seriously debate about building memorials for former SS fighters? btw: this is the image you and people of your kind have among educated German people, not among russian people.
    what I also realize is the sharp contrast between nationalist freaks like you and the developments I can observe in Greece and Spain at the moment. there, people go on streets and places to claim their democratic rights at the moment. And in Estonia: nationalism, chauvinism, obedience and silence like on a graveyard. You know the difference? Many people in Spain and Greece are able to act and think for themselves while most Estonians still have learned nothing else than obidience, hatred and national chauvinism. So headbanger, you proud Estonian patriot, continue your chauvinist freakshow – the reputation of smalltown boy like you in civilized western European countries is ruined anyway. People like you just get what they deserve..As long as there are so many people like you outside in Estonia I would not bet a single cent for the future of your county.

    Greetings from Berlin..

    8:05 PM


  2. I am not estonian nationalist. I speak good russian, I have russians in my extended family I am huge fan of russian culture. I don`t think estonian history is unique but part of East European history. But I am against nashism, and russian imperialism.
    Sooooo civilized! And so well loved in civilized Western Europe:)
    Another childish full of wrong information post as Liivimaa Parim Ratsutaja produces.


  3. Now this will be me last post here. I will go to streets to protest and ask civil right to get pension in 50 and free flight in Estonian Air.
    But I still don`t get why Spain and Greece protest-Germany will help them out anyway!


  4. I speak Russian well, too, Headbanger, and I don't have any pro-Russian agenda or anything.

    As for Moevenort: don't feel bad about what he says, he's just one of those guys who has a grudge against Estonia and has to voice it (or else his belly hurts…).


  5. Moevenort, to your glee, I can only add, that the only thing we Estonians seem to dislike more than outsiders are fellow estonians. The obvious dislike of each other like the one you witness here between me and Headbanger, that is something that comes naturally to us. We seem to get this hostile disposition toward each other with mother's milk.

    Or is it just that we are extremely poor communicators?

    What ever it is, it is a dysfunction, but as bad as it is, it also keeps us clear from any cult of personality (except Savisaar).


  6. So, rasutaja, if a well-meaning foreigner like me were to come to an Estonian in Estonia and say, 'hey, Eesti on väga ilus maa, ja Eesti keel on väga ilus keel', he'd just be ignored? :-|…


  7. brave new world?

    “Viljandis tähistatakse Hitleri armee tulemise aastapäeva “

    “Homme kell 11 peetakse Saksa sõjaväe kalmistul mälestuskoosviibimine, sest möödub 70 aastat päevast, mil Saksa armee punaväe Viljandist välja tõrjus.
    Ürituse eestvedaja on Eesti Sõjameeste Sakala Ühing. Korraldaja Jaanika Kressa ütlemist mööda tähistatakse 1941. aasta sündmust Eestis esimest korda ning tõenäoliselt ei hakata seda igal aastal tegema.
    Sakslaste tulemist käsitletakse koosviibimisel Eesti vabastamisena, sest pääseti korra käest, mis oli 1941. aasta juunis üle 10 000 inimese Siberisse küüditanud ning siinset rahvast laastanud.

    «Eestlastele muutus olukord uuesti normaalseks,» leidis Kressa ja lisas, et tal pole põhjust kahelda tolleaegse ajakirjaniku Arnold Sepa kirjutistes, mis seda väidet kinnitavat. «Siiski tuleb arvesse võtta, et tegu oli sõjaolukorraga ning tsiviilelu kannatas seetõttu igal pool.»

    Viljandi muuseumi juhataja, ajaloolase Jaak Pihlaku sõnul sõltub hinnang Saksa vägede tuleku kohta hindaja seisukohast.

    «Kellele oli see vabastamine, kellele mitte,» ütles Pihlak. «Aga juriidiliselt asendus üks okupatsioon teisega.»

    Pihlak rääkis, et nõukogude võimuga võrreldes möödusid Hitleri režiimi aastad eestlastele kindlasti kergemalt.

    «1940. aasta terror oli kahtlemata palju hukatuslikum kui need repressioonid, mille sakslased kolme aasta jooksul toime panid,» hindas ta. «Muidugi hingati toona kergendatult, kui palju kurja ja hirmu külvanud kord kadus.»

    Jaanika Kressa kinnitas, et ürituse korraldajad ei soovi tundlikul teemal konflikte tekitada. «Me tahame allesjäänud sõdureid tänada ja öelda, et nad tegid bolševismi vastu võideldes õigesti,» sõnas ta.”


    …what a nice little country Estonia seems to be…When will you village-nazis begin to celebrate the killing of jews? Shame on you people of Viljandi. you are a shame for whole Europe.


  8. Hah, moevenort, since you seem obsessed with this jew gassing and labro camping and all, let me come on over and get nazi on your ass. Let it all hang out.

    Did you even read the text in Estonian? Did you understand?

    Wtf, man?


  9. may be the people of Viljandi should better remember something the same newspaper “Sakala” wrote some years ago in 2006 about a part of the towns history:

    “Before the Jews should lose their life, they had to lose their dignity. On July 31st 1941 the city council of Viljandi decided that jewish people had to carry the yellow star on the right chest 5 cm big. The supervision was carried out by local police and Estonian omakaitse- volunteers. From now on Jews were forbidden to use public means of transport, public places and even the pavements. Immediately after the German army arrived, Estonian police units and omakaitse were assembled and all Jews were arrested. They were put into the prison of the police building. The rooms were overcrowded with people. Jewish men were shot soon. In one night, all women and children (some women had babies) were ordered to enter trucks that were waiting in front of the building. the people were ordered to cast of clothing, shoes and jewels. Expecting the worst, the prisoners began to scream for help. Accomplished by the degradation of the guards, the train of death started its last way. The common grave was prepared already. The hangmen at least head enough pity to kill adult people first as mothers could not bear the pain to watch the killing of their children. As the babies could not stand alone. one guard was throwing them into the air, while another one was shooting at them.”

    so that is the event some inhabitants of Viljandi are obviously celebrating in 2011 as the “better occupation” in comparison to the Russians. I feel sick to my stomack when I hear so much stupidity out of a small nationalist East European country. btw: the Jewish council of Estonia was protesting sharply against the celebration of an Regime that commited the worst crimes against humanity ever.


  10. I do not know where you got this quote from, but it reads to me like something nazi krauts like yourself would be doing. I think you made this sheet up. Rooskies and krauts are good at that kind of sheet.

    This is your another pathetic attempt to try to smear your own national quilt on others.


  11. For me the link works. But you can go to their archive and try to find the article with the title 'Linnaäärsed karjamaad asusid haudadel' published on 27.01.2006.


  12. Should anyone wish to compare the actions of two horrible regimes in Estonia, it is plain that even the first Soviet occupation managed to be remarkably more brutal and commit more crimes than the subsequent Nazi occupation. I hope no-one is trying to deny that.


  13. @ Mart: do you seriously believe what you are writing here? what kind of freaky village-nazi you are? I indeed deny what you say and most of my fellow citizen in Germany would deny your trivialization of holocaust crimes as well. Do something for your education, boy. Here is a starting point. Under this link you can find pictures made in 19944 /1945 in the concentration camp Klooga:

    Have a close look at these pictures, you freaky bastard and then dare to spread your trivialization of nazi-crimes once again. btw: in the Klooga concentration camp half of the guards who killed the Jews have been Estonians who did a voluntary service there. No one forced them, they wanted to kill Jewish citizen voluntary. These criminals were members of the 287. Kaitse Vahipataljon and of the 30. Eesti Politseipataljon (from Dezember 1943 onwards).
    So you freak, when will you begin to deal honestly with your own history? Germany has dealt honestly with its history in the last decades. as well as other Western European countries have done (e.g. France with its collabaration history under the Vichy-Regime). Eastern European countries have not done it, including Estonia society which is one of the worst example for a mix of nationalism, national chauvinism and the falsification of history. What you are doing instead is puting yourself into a victims role you never had in reality. you are not the victims, you have committed crimes side by side with Wehrmacht and SS.


  14. In other words, moevenort, you are coming to us sinners with open arms and want us to repent alongside with you of the crimes that you and your brethern brought to us and made us part of?

    You brought us “drugs”, made us junkies and now you want to tell us that there is an AA meeting and it has been good for you and we should hurry and join you.

    I see.


  15. Linnaäärsed karjamaad asusid haudadel
    27.01.2006 00:01

    Minu lapsepõlv möödus Viljandis. Mäletan, kuidas varahommikul, silmad veel unest rähmased, Maasiku ja Miki kannul karjamaa poole lonkisin, lehmade sõrgadest ülesküntud tolmusaba kannul.

    Kantreküla loomaomanike ja lehmade igahommikune paraad suundus lennuvälja poole. Seal ampsasid lehmad mahlakat rohtu, naised-lapsed-ätid veeretasid ja kerisid jutusaba, mis ei tahtnud kuidagi lõppeda.

    See lõppes siiski, kui taevaservale ilmusid «metsavahi» laialiaetud tiivad. Siis näitas tuulelohe karjalistele, kuhu poole liduda, et mitte jääda ette maanduvale lennukile. Lehmad jooksid, piimast rasked udarad pendeldamas ja karjastekari kannul. Siis ajasime loomad Männimäele ja nautisime järve kiirustava allikavee värskust.

    Ikka ja jälle välja aetud

    Kümneid aastaid hiljem kuulsin, et just neis paigus tehti sõja ajal koletuid tegusid. Viljandi lennuväljal asus Eesti suurim sõjavangide laager. Siin lähikonnas Männimäel, Huntaugu mägedel, samuti lasketiiru ümbruses, Reinuvälja tankikraavis jätsid oma elu tuhanded inimesed.

    Juudid on elanud eestlaste keskel 5-6 sajandit. Pärast seda, kui piiblirahvas pagendati oma kodumaalt Iisraelist, on nad elanud võõrsil, kust neid on ikka ja jälle välja aetud.

    Esimesed legaalsed juudid Viljandis olid sõdurid Pavlovski ja Avrohom, kelle perenimed pole teada.

    Jaan Lattik kirjutab Viljandi 28 juudi pere elust XX sajandi hakul oma raamatus «Viljandi kirikumõis kõneleb» järgmist: «Klempner Marienburg, kellel oli suur perekond, kloppis ja tagus hommikust õhtuni oma töötoas, mille uks oli suvel alati avatud. Iga möödamineja võis näha, kuidas juut teeb pangi ja piimanõusid, higi otsa ees ja müts peas.

    Kaubapoodide ustel seisid sageli omanikud ise ja teretasid viisakalt tuttavaid möödakõndivaid pürjereid… Oli paar juudi arsti ja niisama palju hambaarste. Rahvast käis rohkesti nende juures abi ja nõu otsimas. Kõik nad olid ja elasid rahva keskel mitte võõrastena, vaid eesti juutidena, kellele ei saanud midagi muud ette heita kui seda, et on juut.»

    Piiblirahva suurim häving oli Teise maailmasõja aegne holokaust, mis tõlkes tähendab «täielik põletusohver».


  16. Süü: beebi, juut

    1934. aastaks oli juutide arv Eestis kasvanud 4381-ni. Umbes tuhatkond juuti otsustas sõja üle elada Eestis, ülejäänutel õnnestus pageda Venemaale. Kõik, kes jäid siia, hukati, kaasa arvatud Eesti rabi, Tartu Ülikooli juuditeaduse professor ja Eesti Vabadussõja veteranid.

    Viljandi sajakonnast juudist läks Venemaale enamik, natside kätte jäi umbes 20, kõik hukati. Viljandi poliitilise politsei aruande järgi hukati R. Timust, Isaak ja Jankel Schois, Reisa Brauns, Lina ja Maks Abel, A. Aviva, Z. Rosenblatt, M. Maroschnikov, Z. Kumer, Kalman Jakobson, perekond Donde: Hanna, Jakob, Nikolai, Meissa, Reine, Sara, Saul (nimedes võib olla ebatäpsusi — toim.).

    Inimsusevastaste Kuritegude Uurimise Eesti Rahvusvahelise Komisjoni raportis on kirjas: «Haarangud ja tapmised algasid kohe pärast esimeste Saksa vägede saabumist. Neile järgnes üsna pea hävitusüksus Einsatzkommando (Sonderkommando) 1A. Arreteerijateks ja peatselt järgnenud hukkajateks olid sakslaste järelevalve all eestlastest metsavennad, hiljem omakaitselased ja politseinikud.»

    Tartusse tulid sakslased 10. ja 11. juulil, kaks päeva hiljem käskis Lõuna-Eesti metsavendade üldjuht major Kurg arreteerida kõik kohalikud juudid ja suunata nad vastloodud koonduslaagrisse. Varsti viidi nad niinimetatud surmabarakki ehk Lepiku barakki, erilisse juutidele mõeldud getosse Pargi tänaval.

    Tartu koonduslaagri esimene ülem oli Juhan Jüriste, kes tunnistas kohtuprotsessil, et 1941. aasta juulis ja augustis ei olnud laagris mingisugust kohut, Saksa välikomandantuurile alluva eriosakonna politseinikud mõistsid inimesi, sealhulgas Tartu juute ka mahalaskmisele.

    Pärnus tapeti kõik juudi mehed paari kuu jooksul, naised hukati Rae metsas, lapsed mürgitati sünagoogis-palvemajas. Noorim lastest oli mõnekuune imik, kelle süüks oli märgitud süüdistuskokkuvõttesse: beebi, juut.

    Teises maailmasõjas tapeti 6 miljonit juuti, rahulikku elanikku, kellele mitte keegi polnud sõda kuulutanud. On öeldud: 100 inimese tapmine on katastroof, aga miljoni inimese tapmine statistika. Natsid hukkasid 1,5 miljonit juudi last ehk umbes 70 Viljandi-suuruse linna elanikku.


  17. Rahvas nägi ja kuulis

    Kuid enne elu pidid juudid loovutama inimväärikuse. Viljandi Linnavalitsus korraldas 31. juulil: «Juudid on kohustatud kandma paremal rinnal Taaveti tähte, 5 cm läbimõõduga ja kollane.» Järelevalve pandi politseile ja abipolitseile. Juutidel oli keelatud sõita ühistranspordis, käia kõnniteel, ilmuda avalikesse kohtadesse ja palju muud.

    Kohe pärast sakslaste tulekut kogunesid politsei ja omakaitse, kõik juudid vahistati. Nad pandi politseilossi arestikambrisse, vanglasse. Ruumid olid paksult inimesi täis.

    Mehed lasti peagi maha. Ühel sügisööl käsutati naised ja lapsed, mõned koguni rinnalapsega, vangla õuele, kus ootas veoauto. Vangidelt võeti ära riided ja jalanõud, samuti väärtasjad. Särgiväel käsutati nad veoautole. Aimates ette oma kohutavat saatust, hakkasid vangid appi hüüdma. Timukate sajatuste saatel hakkas surmarong mööda viimset teed liikuma. Ühishaud oli valmis.

    Hukkajatel oli nii palju kaastunnet, et emad ja täiskasvanud tapeti enne, sest emasüda ei suuda taluda lapse tapmist. Lapsed hukati seejärel. Rinnalaps ei seisa, seepärast viskas üks timukas ta enne õhku ja teised lasksid.

    Viljandi vanglas oli sel ajal elektrivalgustus rikkes, tapeti keskööl, inimesi hoiti pooleldi üksteise otsas, keskööl tuli vangla jaoskonnaülem laternaga ja hüüdis vange nimepidi välja. Kedagi neist enam tagasi ei toodud. Igal öösel viidi mahalaskmisele keskmiselt 50—100 inimest.

    Linna lehmanaised nägid sagedasti hommikul tankitõrjekraavis mullaga pooleldi katmata naiste valgeid käsi. Laibad olid hooletult maetud, sest timukad olid purjus. Enne hukkamist joodeti nad tavaliselt purju.

    «Eriti hirmsaks kujunes juudi rahvusest naiste ja laste tapmine. Igaüks, kes kuulis kord ühel tormisel pimedal sügisööl naiste ja laste surmaeelset appihüüet Tallinna tänaval ja kes hiljem kuulis nende metsikust tapmisest, sellel tarretus veri soontes. Natsiideoloogid leidsid, et saksa rahva viletsuse põhjus on juudid. Saksa rahvas arvas, et nemad on äravalitud rahvas,» kirjutatakse tollases Viljandi lehes.

    Tapetute vara jaotati tapjate vahel, osa sai vanglapersonal, osa politsei juhtkond.

    Arhiivis on Viljandi prefekti ettekirjutus politseikomissaridele septembrist 1941. «Väga kiire. Saksa sõjaväeüksuste korraldusel tuleb arreteerida kõik mustlased ja saata Viljandi vanglasse.» Viljandi mustlased hukati samuti.


  18. Kas lõpp vihkamisele?

    «Kuidas hinnata eestlaste osalust Saksamaa juudivastases poliitikas ning Eesti juutide hukkamises?» küsib oma artiklis «Eesti juutide holokaust ja eestlased» ajakirjas «Vikerkaar» (nr. 8-9, 2001) ajaloolane Meelis Maripuu. Ja vastab samas: «Eesti rahvas peaks olema piisavalt täiskasvanud, julgemaks endale tunnistada, et kõik eesti mehed, kes on minevikus relva kandnud, pole olnud sangarid. Aga meil ei ole ka mingit põhjust endale kui rahvusele tuhka pähe raputada.»

    Praegu elab Viljandis veel paar juuti, kes elasid siin enne sõda ja põgenesid natside eest Venemaale. Ei olnud kerge elu ka seal, kuid juudid on harjunud raskusi võitma.

    Kahjuks ei ole Teise maailmasõjaga vaen juutide vastu lõppenud. Üks Viljandi juuditaridest töötas pikka aega oma kodulinnas õpetajana. Koolis tuli nii mõnigi kord kuulda õpilaste suust solvavaid vihjeid õpetaja rahvuse kohta.

    Lootust annab see, et ka sõja ajal leidus Eestis inimesi, kes aitasid ja päästsid juute, praegugi leidub selle rahva sõpru mitmel pool maailmas.

    Ajalugu peaksime teadma ja mäletama selleks, et minevikuõudused enam ei korduks.

    Armas lugeja! Kui sinul on rohkem teadmisi sellest, mis juhtus juutidega sõja ajal Eestis, eriti aga Viljandis, siis palun kirjuta aadressil Laine t. 8-19, 80016 Pärnu. Piret Udikas.


    Holokaust (kreeka keeles holokauston — täielikult ohverdatud) on paljude rahvaste, usklike ja poliitiliste rühmade vastu toime pandud genotsiid natsionaalsotsialistlikul Saksamaal ja Saksamaa okupeeritud või liidendatud aladel aastatel 1933—1945.

    Kitsamas tähenduses mõistetakse holokausti all juutide kallal Teise maailmasõja ajal toime pandud genotsiidi; laiemas mõistes on holokaust igasugune genotsiid.

    Süstemaatiliselt tapeti holokausti käigus ka vaimuhaigeid, füüsiliste puuetega inimesi, homoseksuaale, jehoovatunnistajaid, kommuniste, poliitilisi teisitimõtlejaid ja kriminaalkurjategijaid.

    27. jaanuar 1945 on kuupäev, mil vabastati natside suurim surmalaager Auschwitz-Birkenau Poolas. Sellest päevast on saanud rahvusvaheline holokaustipäev.


  19. moevenort, I am well aware of the Klooga concentration camp, thank you. It does seem, however, that you are completely ignorant of Estonia's history and try to bolster your cluelessness with insults. Please do not do that, you will only embarrass yourself further.

    Here’s a long post about the two occupations in detail (I won’t even get into the third one for the time being).

    The crimes against humanity committed by the first Soviet occupation in Estonia (1940-41)
    1. Prosecutions, imprisonment and executions of the citizens and residents
    Starting from the June of 1940, national and local politicians, higher officials of the police, higher officers of the military, leaders of the Defence League, selected judges, selected members of non-governmental organizations, wealthier businessmen and wealthier farmers were arrested by the NKVD.
    According to the existing data, around 7500 people were imprisoned during those years, at least 2000 were executed and the rest were sent to prison camps in Russia, where at least 4000 of them died in imprisonment.
    2. Deportation of citizens and residents
    Mainly on the charge of counterrevolutionary tendencies, on the 14th of June 1941 over 10 000 people (with an additional 1000 people later in June) were deported from Estonia. Over 5000 women and 2500 children under the age of 16 were among the deported. Around 3000 of them (mostly men) were sent to prison camps. Nearly all of them were executed or died later in imprisonment. The rest were sent to Siberia, where about a half of them managed to survive until the end of war.
    3. Forced transfer of Estonian men
    From the beginning of July to the end of August 1941 around 32 000-33 000 of men born in the years 1907-1919 were gathered together under the guise of mobilization and taken to Russia. Due to the frequent use of forced march, at least 3000 of them perished on the way.
    4. Killing of citizens and residents
    From the June to the October of 1941, around 2000 civilians were killed by NKVD Destruction Battalions and retreating Red Army.


  20. The crimes against humanity committed by the German occupation in Estonia (1941-44)
    1. Killing of Estonian Jews
    All the Estonian Jews remaining in Estonia in 1941 (between 950 and 1000, including women and children) were rounded up and killed by Einsatzkommando 1a before the end of 1941.
    2. Killing of foreign Jews on the territory of Estonia
    A number of Jews from Lithuania, Poland and Czechoslovakia were transported to Estonia. A labor camp was established at Jägala, while those unable to work were killed at Kalevi-Liiva. Around 3000 were killed in both camps put together. Most of the prisoners of camps in Estonia were taken to Stutthof in the autumn of 1944, however approximately 2000 were shot and burned in Klooga.
    3. Use of slave labor
    There is evidence of the use of slave labor, where Jews and some Soviet prisoners were meant to be worked to death. It is approximated that this adds as much as 2000 persons to the death toll of camps in Estonia.
    3. Killing of Roma in Estonia
    An unknown number but most likely around 500 Estonian Roma were killed in the years 1941-44.
    4. Killing of other citizens and residents
    Around 6000 citizens of Estonia and an additional 1000 people with mostly Russian citizenship were accused of Communist sympathies, imprisoned and subsequently killed in the years 1941-1944.


  21. Yes, but why should Möwen-Ort pay attention to evidence? He's anti-Estonian, and it doesn't matter if things are more complicated than he wants them to be, he won't change his mind.

    He won't embarrass himself, because he doesn't pay attention to truth. If you wear bad clothes but are convinced they're good, you'll just ignore the public reaction. Or you'll think they're all secretly envious of your nice clothes.


  22. People were very lucky that they managed to go back from Siberia and stay alive. ~600.000 people who died during St-Petersburg blockage did not have such a chance and their children and grandchildren do not have chance to write about it, because they all are dead.


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