View Full Version : Candles Lit to Remember Victims of Soviet Regime

03-25-2011, 04:00 PM
Candles Lit to Remember Victims of Soviet Regime (http://news.err.ee/culture/b469d57d-0568-49d3-a008-7803453f517c)

On March 25, people will gather in Tallinn's Freedom Square and by the Tartu Town Hall to light candles to commemorate the 20,000 Estonians who were deported from their homes to Siberia 62 years ago.

During the four days in March 1949, families were given only an hour or two at night to pack their belongings. They were then herded into railroad cattle cars, regardless of age or sex, to be taken to their new destinations, either forced labor camps or collective farms. Some managed to escape; many perished on the way, others never made it back to Estonia.

According to Tanel Tsirgu, head organizer of the memorial event, candles are ignited by students so that people would stop and give thought, at least for a moment, to the fundamental values of life. One candle will be lit for every deported person. "If the memory of the crimes committed against innocent people is kept alive, deportation will never happen again," Tsirgu said.

Candles will also be lit by expat Estonian organizations in Finland, the United States, Germany, Czech Republic, Canada, Australia, Netherlands, Belgium and Latvia.