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Estonia: Tallinn, unveiled memorial to the victims of communism. “For us, the price of freedom is not abstract”

Now, Tallinn too has its own memorial to the victims of communism to commemorate, one by one, the names of the over 22 thousand people who were destroyed by the Soviet regime from 1940 to 1990. It is split into two parts: a “journey” along a dark corridor of memory, its walls engraved with the victims’ names, and the “house garden”, a lush park around the corridor, meaning that those people were torn away from the peacefulness of their lives and taken to die by Stalin’s followers. Wanted by the Justice Ministry on the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Estonian Republic, which the country is celebrating in 2018, the monument was unveiled on August 23rd. A website (www.memoriaal.ee) helps people find the plaque with the name of the victim they are looking for. Part of the memorial also celebrates the “military elites and war heroes”, 801 servicemen who were the first victims of Stalin’s repression in 1940. “When we visit this place, we think that for us the price of our life as a free country is not abstract. The loss of freedom following the agreement between the Nazi and communist regimes cost the life of over one fifth of our population”, said the Justice Minister, Urmas Reinsalu. The Estonian government also wants to open an “international museum for the victims of communism” in Tallinn. The memorial and the victims’ databank, that are still being updated, are managed by the Estonian Institute of Historical Memory Foundation.

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