The first Soviet year in Estonia: mass arrests, -deportation and -executions

to map


First arrests took place already in June 17, 1940.

Until the end of 1940, about 1,000 people went missing, among those the previous political leadership, the high ranking military and police officers, economists and intellectuals. Very few succeeded in escaping abroad, or in hiding. Those caught, were convicted under the Soviet law, over the acts done during Estonian independence. Most were sent to labor camps in USSR, some were executed here, in Estonia.

In 1941, arrests became more common. Everyone, who was suspected in activities against the Soviet rule, were imprisoned: including farmers, workers and other common people. No-one knew, what tomorrow would bring.

On June 14, 1941, a mass-deportation took place in tree Baltic States. Adult men were taken to prison camps, large amount of them were executed. Their families, women and children, were sent to exile. Interestingly, no-one was charged or convicted.

Due to this, the news about war breaking out between the Soviet Union and Germany on June 22, was met with clear positive expectations.


You have finished watching the story. You can play the story again or close it and choose new stories from story selection menu. You can watch up to three stories simultaneously

You can choose up to three stories, if you wish to change choosen stories, please uncheck previous selections

Choose stories



  • ajalooline
  • kirik
  • kivid
  • mõis
  • NB
  • nool
  • ring
  • sadam