Two Estonian schoolgirls blew up a Soviet War monument to avenge the destruction of war memorials to the Estonian War of Independence

Add an event picture!
Events:
59List
Date:
08.05.1946
Additional information

After the Soviet re-occupation of Estonia in 1944, the Soviet occupation authorities began systematically destroying the war memorials to the fallen in the Estonian War of Independence, which had survived the war.

On 15 April 1945 a monument by Amandus Adamson, erected to 87 persons who had fallen in the Estonian War of Independence, was blown up in Pärnu with explosives. Also between 1944 and 1946 the gravestones of the Tallinn Military Cemetery were destroyed by the Soviet authorities and the Estonian graveyard was reused by Red Army.

Aili Jõgi has described why the two schoolgirls blew up a monument they considered a symbol of occupation and repression:

"How long should we watch this red star, a memorial for Russian looters. At the time when all our statues are being destroyed. We just couldn't get our heads around it. We decided that if such robbers are raging in Estonia, they should see how one of their memorials gets blown up. We could have just doused the wooden thing with gasoline and set fire to it, but we wanted it to go with a bang!"

Aili Jõgi (née Aili Jürgenson, born 25 May 1931 in Tallinn) is an Estonian schoolgirl who on the night of 8 May 1946, together with her school friend Ageeda Paavel, blew up a Soviet War reburial monument (a wooden memorial topped with a star): the preceding monument to the Bronze Soldier in Tallinn.

At the age of 14, she was taken to local MVD headquarters and detention center at Pagari Street in Tallinn, where she spent her 15th birthday. She was later found guilty as an under-aged terrorist and sent to a Gulag labor camp in the Komi-Zyryan ASSR, to the west of the Ural mountains in the north-east of the East European Plain. She was exiled from the Estonian SSR for eight years.

In February 1998, Jõgi and her friend Paavel were awarded the Estonian Order of the Cross of the Eagle for their fight against the Soviet regime ("Freedom fighter of military merit") by the Estonian President Lennart Meri. Aili Jõgi and Ageeda Paavel are the only women awarded the Order of the Cross of the Eagle.

***

Ageeda Paavel (sometimes cited as Ageeda-Andrea Paavel) (born 15 August 1930) is an Estonian woman who, as a schoolgirl, on the night of 8 May 1946, together with her school friend Aili Jürgenson, blew up a Soviet war monument (a wooden memorial topped with a star): the preceding monument to the Bronze Soldier in Tallinn.

Ageeda Paavel describes the events as follows:

"Our beloved monuments started to disappear one after another. They had to be paid back somehow and the so-called Liberators’ Monument on Tõnismägi was picked. It was situated in the square of the current bronze man on the side facing the church. It was about a meter high wooden pyramid, which was only about 20 centimetres in diameter; it was of a plain blue colour and its top was decorated by a red tin pentagon. /.../ Juhan [Juhan Kuusk] gave us the explosives and instructions. There was nothing really difficult about it. The important thing was that the fuse had to be long enough to give us a safe distance for running away. It was. We put in place the materials for the blast with Aili; we had no supporters. The fact that a militia officer who was on duty was flirting with a girl at a distance and did not notice us made it easier for us. Although this girl did not belong to our group, she was also later arrested."

 

The newspapers of that time censored reports about the demolition and local authorities restored the monument in time for Victory Day, but word of the incident spread quickly throughout the city. The initiative of the girls was followed and similar monuments were also demolished in Rakvere and Tartu.

Soon after the incident, Paavel and Jürgenson were apprehended by the Soviet authorities. Paavel was 15 years old at the time, and Jürgenson, just 14. Both were sentenced to a Gulag and were deported from Estonia to forced-labor camps in the USSR, where they endured many years of hardship before they were allowed to return to Estonia.

In February 1998, Paavel and her friend Jõgi (Jürgenson) were awarded the Estonian Order of the Cross of the Eagle for their fight against the Soviet regime ("Freedom fighter of military merit") by the Estonian President Lennart Meri. Aili Jõgi and Ageeda Paavel are the only women awarded the Order of the Cross of the Eagle.

Related events

NameDateLanguages
1Tallinā tiek pārvietots Bronzas kareivisTallinā tiek pārvietots Bronzas kareivis27.04.2007lv, pl, ru
2Leģionāru pieminekļu spridzināšana Latvijas kaposLeģionāru pieminekļu spridzināšana Latvijas kapos04.12.1990lv
3 Rīgā virs Ministru Padomes, Augstākās Padomes un pilsētas izpildkomitejas tiek pacelts sarkanbaltsarkanais karogs Rīgā virs Ministru Padomes, Augstākās Padomes un pilsētas izpildkomitejas tiek pacelts sarkanbaltsarkanais karogs28.02.1990lv
4Pirmo reizi Atmodas sākumā publiski Rīgas centrā tiek pacelts Latvijas Republikas karogsPirmo reizi Atmodas sākumā publiski Rīgas centrā tiek pacelts Latvijas Republikas karogs14.06.1988lv
5Notiek simbolisks grupas Helsinki-86 gājiens un ziedu nolikšana pie Brīvības pieminekļa Rīgā deportēto piemiņas dienāNotiek simbolisks grupas Helsinki-86 gājiens un ziedu nolikšana pie Brīvības pieminekļa Rīgā deportēto piemiņas dienā14.06.1987lv
6Tiek dibināta Latvijas cilvēktiesību aizstāvības grupa Helsinki-86 Tiek dibināta Latvijas cilvēktiesību aizstāvības grupa Helsinki-86 10.07.1986lv
7Limbažos uz komunistiskās partijas ēkas divi jaunieši Jānis Paucītis un Ojārs Vītiņš uzvelk Latvijas karoguLimbažos uz komunistiskās partijas ēkas divi jaunieši Jānis Paucītis un Ojārs Vītiņš uzvelk Latvijas karogu15.08.1982lv
8Ilgais ceļš kāpāsIlgais ceļš kāpās02.07.1982en, lt, lv, ru, ua
9Latvijas Republikas karoga uzvilkšana LPSR galvaspilsētas centrāLatvijas Republikas karoga uzvilkšana LPSR galvaspilsētas centrā05.12.1963lv
10Beidzas tiesas prāva pret Kurzemes nacionālo partizānu A. Janpētera grupuBeidzas tiesas prāva pret Kurzemes nacionālo partizānu A. Janpētera grupu23.05.1962lv
11Cīņai pret padomju okupāciju legalizējas "Pana" mežabrāļu grupa Cesvaines apkaimēCīņai pret padomju okupāciju legalizējas "Pana" mežabrāļu grupa Cesvaines apkaimē30.10.1956lv
12Soviet Genocides. January deportation. 2,195 Lithuanians deported to Krasnoyarsk kraiSoviet Genocides. January deportation. 2,195 Lithuanians deported to Krasnoyarsk krai23.01.1952en, lv
13Soviet genocides. Operation "Osen". 16,150 Lithuanians deported to Krasnoyarsk Soviet genocides. Operation "Osen". 16,150 Lithuanians deported to Krasnoyarsk 02.10.1951en, lv
14Soviet genocides. September Operation.  3,087 Lithuanians deported to Irkutsk oblastSoviet genocides. September Operation. 3,087 Lithuanians deported to Irkutsk oblast20.09.1951en, lv
15Communist crimes: Operation "North" started in USSR. 8576 deportedCommunist crimes: Operation "North" started in USSR. 8576 deported02.04.1951en, lv, pl, ru
16Saldū notiek čekistu kauja ar mežabrāļiemSaldū notiek čekistu kauja ar mežabrāļiem24.02.1950lv
17
Viļakas pusē kaujā ar čekistu karaspēku gāja bojā 14 A. Plešanova (Boļšaka) grupas nacionālie partizāni16.01.1950lv
18LPSR IeM A. Eglīša slepens ziņojums par LPSR IeM darbību 1949.gada 25.marta deportāciju akcijas laikā LPSR IeM A. Eglīša slepens ziņojums par LPSR IeM darbību 1949.gada 25.marta deportāciju akcijas laikā 24.04.1949lv
19Acts of genocide: 94779 Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians, labeled as enemies of the people, were deportedActs of genocide: 94779 Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians, labeled as enemies of the people, were deported25.03.1949de, ee, en, lv, pl, ru
20Īles kaujaĪles kauja17.03.1949lv

Map

Sources: wikipedia.org, news.lv

No places assigned

    No persons assigned

    Tags