The book is placed in an easy approach. It is not infringement of copyrights.
Weak places of the book: German documents are not used.
http://europeliberty.com/userdata/Estonia_book.pdf (700 KB)
Authors are not specified. Their relatives live in Baltic. They are afraid of reprisals.
The Republic of Estonia, independent since 1991, has passed a long way in
buildings its state and economy, becoming a full member of the European Union,
NATO, and other international structures. Along with this, Estonia has been painfully
searching for a way of national self-identification. The independent history of the
Estonian State has not been long in historical measures, it only began in the previous
century when Estonia first received the status of autonomy from the Provisional
Government of Russia, and then, in 1920, the Bolsheviks declared its independence.
The first period of Estonia's existence as an independent State was extremely short,
and in 1940, Estonia lost the independence.
From the moment of Estonia's regaining independence in 1991, Estonian rightwing
politicians and nationalist historians have been exercising in justifying Estonian
own historical way which they see as constant antagonism with the “Russian
aggressors”. The Second World War and participation of Estonian armed groups in
this war on the side of the Nazi Germany looks to them logically consistent with the
struggle against the “Soviet invaders”. Estonian authorities also actively participate in
romanticizing Nazi criminals, thus creating grounds for independent observers'
speaking not only about separate rhetorical statements of “irresponsible politicians”
but a systemic policy on behalf of the Estonian state to revise of results of the Second
On October 15, 2005, on the territory of a private “Museum of struggle for
liberating Estonia” in Lagedi the monument to the 20th Waffen Grenadier Division of
the SS (1st Estonian) consisting of Estonians and dismantled in 2004 in a small town
of Lihula under international pressure, first of all on the part of Russia and the USA,
was set up again. On June 8, 2006, this private museum received a state grant of 375,
000 crones (nearly 25 thousand Euros) from the government of Estonia.
During the solemn ceremony marking the end of the Second World War on
May 9, 2006, Minister of Defense of Estonia J. Ligi addressed with words of
gratitude Estonians who were fighting on the Nazi Germany side, having declared:
“Your struggle in 1944 was the struggle for Estonian freedom”. The former prime
minister of Estonia, one of the leaders of the national radical party Pro Patria Union
(or Fatherland Union) and the adviser of the Georgian president Michael Saakashvili
Mart Laar assured that “sooner or later” a law in the interests of Estonians who
battled on the side of the Hitlerite Germany will be passed in Estonia. On July 8,
2006, at the Võru city meeting of Estonian “fighters for independence” - veterans of
the 20th Estonian voluntary Waffen SS division and gangs of the “forest brothers” -
the prime minister of Estonia A. Ansip addressed participants. In his opinion, their
struggle “was a feat which should be appreciated highly now and in the future”. “You
say to yourself - we have lost that battle, but on the whole we have still won that war.
You have won, and all the people have won... I cannot agree with those who consider
your struggle senseless. How is it possible to consider senseless that people carried
out their duty before their people and the state?”.
Simultaneously, defilement of memorials of soldiers killed at liberation of
Estonia from fascist armies proceeds in the country. In May 2006, the monument to
the Soviet soldiers located in Tallinn downtown called “The bronze soldier” (on
Tõnismägi) was profaned twice. Instead of condemning these acts of vandalism,
Estonian authorities voiced support of the demolition of this monument. The head of
the Estonian government A. Ansip called the monument “a symbol of occupation”
and supported its prompt dismantling.
Thus in today's Estonian political literature and in media the opinion has been
established that the Estonian soldiers fighting for Wehrmacht did not participate in
punitive actions and executions of peaceful population in Estonia, and in other
territories. Former president of Estonia Arnold Rüütel claimed that he had no data on
Estonians who would participate in executions of Jews during World War II and that
he was not aware of such facts to ever take place in Estonia.
Thus, if one would take for granted the official position of Estonian politicians
and authorities, he could get quite an idyllic picture of Estonian history of the 20th
century: Estonians in German uniforms battled for freedom of Estonia in the territory
of the country only against the Soviet authority and did that “to create a basis for
continued resistance that led to restoration of independence of Estonia decades later”
(Laar M. Estonia in the Second world war. - Tallinn: Grenader, 2005).
However, real documents and eyewitnesses' testimonies make one see these
The Estonian punitive police battalions and other divisions of collaborators,
which became the basis for formation of the 20th Waffen Grenadier Division of the
SS (1st Estonian), left a bloody trace during the Second World War in the territory of
Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Poland, and Estonia, participating in massacres of civilians.
Estonian Waffen SS members were qualified as war criminals by the Nuremberg
Trials: “Examining the SS case, the Tribunal includes here all persons who have been
officially accepted as members of the SS, including members of “the general SS”, SS
armies, SS “The Dead Head” formations, and members of any police services
which were SS members. The tribunal does not include here the so-called cavalry
SS formations” (The Nuremberg Trials. Collection of materials: In 8 volumes.
Moscow, 1999. Volume 8. Page 655).
The Estonian members of punitive expeditions participated in slaughtering
Jews in Vilnius Ghetto and convoyed Jews transported from Vilnius to concentration
camps of Estonia. Besides, the Estonian police and “self-defense forces”
(“Omakaitse”) liquidated adherents of the Soviet regime (in some villages and cities,
every ethnic Russian was considered to be one), Estonians who didn’t share radical
political right views, and peasants who received land during agrarian reform of 1940.
The Estonian police and Omakaitse were also actively used in fighting the anti-
Hitlerite coalition forces. So, in July 1943, the management of the Estonian political
police issued a circular concerning the struggle against the “Anglophiles”. It reads, in
particular, as follows: “Along with Bolsheviks we have a known amount of persons
which by their way of life represent no less danger than the former... Among them are
first of all the Anglophiles who up to 1940 adhered to the so-called English
orientation...” (Marinson E. Servants of Swastika. - Tallinn, 1962).
In this documentary volume, a number of documents are published, including
the recently declassified ones, which present an alternative view of 1941-1944 events
in the territory of Estonia and other territories of the former Soviet Union under the
Nazi German occupation.
The work on the volume became possible owing to the help of the “Free
Europe” non-governmental organization.
The collection's editors express special gratitude to the management and
employees of the State Archive of the Russian Federation and the Central Archive of
the FSB of Russia who helped presenting these unique archival materials.