"Who is red on the outside and white inside?" (1)

The topic of the Soviet rule in Estonian life stories

Kaari Siemer

In the course of World War II, which started in 1939, the independent state of Estonia vanished from the map of the world. The forced merger with the Soviet Union in 1940 put an end to the statehood that had lasted some twenty years. The power that ruled in the Soviet Estonia used different measures to achieve their aims, from active agitation to extreme violence. In such a situation many Estonians had to recant their nationalist frame of mind, repress their beliefs and 'forget' the Republic of Estonia and its national patriotic education.

'Forgetting' is a substantial and interesting problem in the biographies of the 20th-century Estonians, which not only characterises the reflection of a certain period in history, but is a separate phenomenon generally characteristic to biographies. Researchers have been interested why people choose to present in their biographies the stories they do, and not others. It is evident that people are not able to speak about everything and verbalise all their experiences (cf. Löfgren 1990: 146; Kõresaar 2001a: 46) - but why?

The narrator of a life story presents episodes of his/her life, which are important for him/her at the time and which spring from the general aim of the narration. For that purpose he/she chooses events from his/her course of life, the presentation of which would best meet the aim. At the same time, while making the choice, some episodes have to be 'forgotten'. For the narrators the primary goal of narrating is not describing the past 'as it was' nor as it was experienced, but first of all, they attempt to attach a certain meaning to their past experience, a meaning that would support the present meaning. Narrating one's life story is not just retelling or reminiscing, it is an activity, meeting the reality: first the person reconstructs the meaning of the past from the standpoint of the present, then he/she gives a meaning to his/her past with the aim of giving a meaning to the present as well (see Niedermüller 1988: 468-469). Starting one's biography a person has an idea what this story will have to be like, but also what kind of a person he/she him/herself is in this story. For this purpose the life events that drop out of this framework have to be 'forgotten'.

Great social changes, which involve the re-valuation and rewriting of history, also actualise the forgetting and blocking of knowledge in people's memories. In this respect more or less awarely caused 'collective amnesia' or 'loss of memory' may occur. Such loss of memory lasts as long as the course of certain events has been re-valued (cf. Korkiakangas 1997: 9). Such 'loss of memory' is also typical of many Estonian biographies describing the Soviet period, because in the Republic of Estonia that has regained its independence, this period has not been uniformly estimated yet and therefore people are uncertain how to remember some topics in their biography.

The study (Siemer 2001) on which this article is based observes how narrators born in the 1920s describe Soviet Estonia and their compatriots in the 1990s. The question is which topics from this era they point out and which they rather prefer to 'forget' about. The source material includes the biographies of older Estonians contributed to the Estonian Literary Museum in the years 1989-1998. Of the studied 71 biographies 11 were chosen for closer analysis, 4 men's and 7 women's biographies. The basis of such selection was the extensive treatment of the studied subject in these stories. All the narrators are Estonians. Ten of them come from the country: seven from a farmer's, one from a craftsman's, one from a tradesman's and one from a cottager's family. The author of one narrative is from a railwayman's family, who lived in several settlements by the railway lines and in town. Two of the narrators have elementary education, five secondary professional and four are university graduates.

For the purpose of the above-mentioned analysis, the topic of the Soviet rule has been divided into three: (1) political-ideological mass organisations; (2) 'the builders of communism'; (3) people's attitude to the representatives of the authorities and the ruling order. Of these, the following article deals with the subject of mass organisations and individual options, which open the narrators' evaluation of the Soviet society.


The Soviet period and narrative strategies

On August 6, 1940 the Estonian SSR was incorporated into the Soviet Union. According to the authors of the biographies, at first nothing changed in the daily lives of common Estonians - "In the country nothing changed at first […]" (EE 28, Heino, 1928). To some extent, people even believed there would be improvements, because the new government of Johannes Vares-Barbarus directed their activities to the interests of the poorer groups - more jobs were created, free education and medical help were introduced.

The turning point was the deportation in June 1941, which drew a deep line between 'us - Estonians' and 'them - Russians'. This line remained there for Estonians all through the occupation period and it was further deepened by later arrestments, collectivisation and the deportation in March 1949.

The biographies of Estonians born in the 1920s provide extremely detailed descriptions of their lives in the years 1939-1949. "It was a period in which the individual time and the historical time overlapped, i.e. personal events were described through historical events and vice versa, through one's personal destiny the destiny of the whole nation could be described. Not to mention that these were grievous experiences compared to which any later events might really have seemed less noteworthy" (Kõresaar 2001b: 121).

The stable life in the following years in the Estonian SSR is described in the Estonian biographies remarkably more laconically than the preceding revolutionary decades. While the descriptions of the years of World War II and the first two Soviet decades are at times extremely detailed, the narratives of the later peaceful life are often given in a few sentences only. Briefness in describing routine periods of life is generally characteristic to biographies as a narrative form. Focus is more laid on revolutionary periods and breaking points of life that have influenced people's lives (cf. Bohman 1986: 10; Kõresaar 2001b: 121).

Similarly, the authors of the analysed biographies are relatively short-spoken in describing personal daily life in the Soviet period. More attention is paid to the spheres of life through which the time-specific social atmosphere can be dealt with: political-ideological mass organisation membership; Estonians' adaptation to the Soviet environment and their search for a parallel world. All the mentioned areas are specific to the Soviet time and enable us to describe the strategies how to survive in this environment.


Political-ideological mass organisations

Together with the Soviet rule all associations, including Kaitseliit and the popular youth organisations Noored Kotkad and Kodutütred, (2) which supported bourgeois ideology, were immediately done away with. Instead of this, new pioneer and young communist organisation as well as the Communist Party were established, although Estonians were reluctant towards them. These organisations were to quickly erase the previous time of freedom from the memory of the local people and orientate them towards becoming genuine citizens of the Soviet Union. Membership of these organisations was regarded as a proof of one's loyalty to the state. Belonging or not belonging to these organisations started to play an important role in the career and security of people.

This topic is not often mentioned in the biographies. Firstly, because joining ideological organisations was not widespread among the Estonians who had lived during Estonia's statehood and if the problem was easily overcome, it was not regarded worth writing about. Secondly, such party membership was generally regarded a deplorable matter at the time the biographies were written (and is even now) and that is why authors do not wish to reminisce this circumstance in their life story. Membership in organisations is mentioned in biographies only in case there is serious justification to it (fear because of one's own and family's security, career). Much more frequently people explain how and why they did not join the pioneer or young communist organisation or the Communist Party, because that was like an evidence of their resistance to the Soviet occupation and their loyalty to the lost Republic of Estonia.


"None of us became a pioneer"

By the first year under Soviet rule (1940-1941) the Estonians born in the 1920s had reached their teenage years. The younger among them, 11-14-year-olds were recruited at schools into the newly founded pioneer organisation. Yet the former members of the national-patriotic organisations were not particularly eager to join this organisation, because the new power started to force its ideology on schoolchildren by condemning national patriotism and Estonian-mindedness:

Next schoolyear, when I was in the 5th class, the Soviet rule came. Our beliefs were overthrown and our love for our contry was trampled down. Both me and all the other adherents were frustrated and hostile to the new order. None of us became a pioneer. (EE 500. Helmi, 1928)

In the first Soviet year becoming a pioneer was not compulsory yet - the local authorities had taken a waiting attitude, following how people were accepting the reforms. In many towns schoolchildren started to establish opposing youth organisations to retain national spirit and education. The secret organisations of that time were characterised by strict discipline, rules, hand-written leaflets, vows and collecting arms. As signs of opposition they used symbols that emphasised their Estonian-mindedness, especially blue-black-white colour combinations.

By the Red October celebrations in November 1940 the Young Communist League had been founded. The agitator was a former student A. S. from the village. After the agitator's speech volunteers were registered. Of the 30 pupils in the 6th class 2 - a boy and a girl - registered, and in the whole school 7-8 young communists, which was not enough, of course. Everybody had to think twice. Teachers remained impartial in this matter. At the same time a so-called underground secret group was organised by former members of 'Noorkotkad' and 'Kodutütred', whose organisation had been liquidated and closed since summer 1940, their leaders arrested by the Red. The objective of the opposition group was to fight against Red ideology, to exchange information, to collect, write down and spread anecdotes and dirty ballads about the figures of the red organisation. The only sign of this secret group membership was a 5-cent postal stamp with the portrait of the President of the Republic of Estonia Konstantin Päts, this stamp was worn pinned under the left lapel. How many conspirators were there in the school I don't remember, I knew 5-6 boys. (EE 540. Johannes, 1926)

Resistance organisations are mentioned in biographies by many authors, regardless whether they themselves belonged to those or not. Yet the existence of such associations seems very important to the writers, as now (even if they knew nothing about the organisation at that time or would not have dared to belong to one) it symbolises for them the strength of the Estonians and their unyieldingness to foreign power. Writing about it proves the author's anti-Sovietism.

Pioneers wore red scarves in the school. Class photo from the 1970s. Private collection

Heino (EE 28. 1928) is one of the few who is not afraid to describe his boyhood eagerness and support to the new order and mentality in his biography. He was also one of those who was impatient to become a pioneer. Because of his poor health he had not been able to join Noorkotkad or boy scouts in the period of the Republic of Estonia. But now that a wonderful children's organisation is set up in the school, where all possibilities for exciting adventures are offered to a lively boy, he is not impeded by the education in a pro-Estonian school and he immediately agrees to join the organisation:

[---] one day a couple of young men from the town came to our school. Our lessons were called off, we gathered in the hall and they told us about a new children's organisation, about the most interesting activities there - of pioneer meetings and camps, even the Artek camp. After that there were conversations in classrooms and volunteers to become pioneers were registered. But it did not get going [---]. They got a few names, including mine, but that was evidently too little to start local activities and so this thing calmed down. (EE 28. Heino, 1928)

So Heino's wish did not come true then, because there were too few 'would-be' pioneers like him in the small school to found their own organisation. Yet it feels that later while reminiscing this incident, Heino is slightly ashamed of his attitudes of that time and pleased that in reality his dream to become a pioneer did not come true. Many years later, when Heino was recommended to join the Communist Party, there was nothing left of his boyhood eagerness - as a grown-up his attitude to this power and its measures were thoroughly changed and that is why he did not accept such invitation:

[The local party official] seriously advised me to join the glorious party [---]. I did not join in, because I had no inclination for such adventures. (EE 28. Heino, 1928)


"I have never been a real Young Communist"

The problem of joining or not joining the Young Communist League arose for the biographers studied in this article at the end of the 1940s - beginning of the 1950s. In those years people were governed by fear about the fate of themselves and their close ones. That is why they often behaved against their conscience and took measures because of their personal security. One of such decisions many people had to take in the interests of their own welfare was joining the Young Communist League. For example, this was a problem for Erna-Hellen (EE 501. 1929), for whom joining the komsomol was a vital issue - otherwise she was threatened by deportation to Siberia, because the girl's father had been taken a war prisoner in Germany and his charge with being a 'people's enemy' was extended to the daughter:

I "wriggled my way" until the final exams of medical school, I was neither an October child nor a pioneer nor young communist. Before the finals I was called to the director and the leader of the committee of Young Communist League. "Why aren't you a Young Communist?" - "Don't want to." - "But where is your father?" - "I don't know!" Afterwards the director said quietly: "If you want to graduate from the school, join the league." I did and no one bothered me any more. Another girl was sent to Siberia, her mother was there already. She was told that she would become a young communist there anyway if she wanted a job. (EE 501. Erna-Hellen, 1929)

Young people were often made to join komsomol out of fear because of their future career. For example, students in their final year were told that they could not graduate from the university and find a suitable job without a komsomol member card. Helmi (EE 500. 1928) was one of those who decided to join the organisation due to future considerations:

I had never been a pioneer or a real young communist. Only in the spring semester of my final year at university I was forced to take this step. We had a true communist Ludmilla V. in our group, who started to work on me in the issue of joining komsomol, because otherwise I would not graduate or get a job. Finally I agreed and graduated from the university as a Young Communist. (EE 500. Helmi, 1928)

The later ideologist Virve (EE 602. 1924) did not join the komsomol during schooltime. Her reason for that was the pressure exerted by the propagators of the organisation - she did not like pressure and although the principles were acceptable for her, she did not agree to join:

In my school years [1945] the whole of our course were advised to join the 'komsomol'. In our group only the group leader Aniita was a member of ELKNÜ ('Estonian Leninist Young Communist League'). None of us joined. I would have, maybe, because I liked the statutes, but as we were forced I was against it, because I can never stand pressure. (EE 602. Virve, 1924)

On the other hand, in the context of the whole biography the description leaves an impression as if the negative decision was caused by the anti-komsomol views of the whole group. That is why Virve, who came from the family of onetime new settlers (and presumedly also pro-Soviet family - "I would have joined, because I liked the statutes"), was afraid to differ from her coursemates, because they could have regarded the member of komsomol as a Soviet hanger-on and a traitor of the Republic of Estonia. It seems as though in her opinion the 'non-membership' might also serve as a justification to her later being an ideologist - later she worked as a Communist Party secretary.


Party member or nonpartisan?

Just like komsomol and pioneer organisation membership, it is important for Estonians in the newly independent Estonia whether a person belonged to the Communist Party in the Soviet period or not. The biographies of Estonians born in the 1920s reveal that actually it was a 'question of honour' already in the Soviet years, when the party member card was a certificate of 'guilty' conscience and 'faithfulness to the Republic' was proved by evading or opposing the Communist Party. Supporting the Soviet ideology and being a member of the party are described laconically in Estonia after it regained independence. At the same time, as evading the party has become almost an indispensable part in an Estonian biography today, the more excited and complicated the evasion was, the more 'unstained' one's patriotism is believed to be:

I was not left alone for long, they found that the director of a pioneer centre must be a member of the Communist Party. 'Komsomol', Education Board also supported this idea and I had to take their advice and go to the bureau of party committee. I was sent back twice, the reason was that I didn't take the party seriously enough. I was scared, that I would be fired and maybe sent to Siberia. I started looking for a new job and found it. (EE 389. Ants, 1928)

I haven't been in the Communist Party. They wanted to, forced me to the party meeting, where I had to join the party. I took a lorry from the dairy and drove off to bring sawdust for house repairs - the kolkhoz could not refuse to lend me this lorry. The construction supervisor was also invited to the meeting to join the party. I saw him and the builders driving in another direction, not where the meeting was. We waved each other and continued our way. But the kolkhoz chairman, who was the party official, saw me in the car and came to my house on his motorbike. I ran to the attic, behind hay, he didn't find me. He did not make me join the party any more. Maybe this was the reason why he [the chairman] started to hate me. (EE 554. Helmi, 1923)

In the case of the above people their evading the party also had a result - one of them changed jobs because of fear of repressions, in the other's opinion her boss started to hate her because she determinedly held on to her principles. Yet in their opinion just this is what makes them 'national heroes' and later on makes them worthier Estonians.

It is much more difficult for those people who still had become Communist Party members to prove their Estonian-mindedness. After rebirth of independence, the Estonian society has been critical about this issue, that is why former members attempt to excuse and justify their past conduct. The biographies expose four main reasons why people joined the party (the two first were evident already with respect to komsomol): 1) fear because of personal security; 2) considerations of future career; 3) belief that the party can be reformed from the inside; 4) taking sides with the Soviet ideology.

Ants (EE 389. 1928) faced the problem of joining the party quite many times. His parents had been declared kulaks ('expoiters, wealthy landowners') in the past and that is why their family lived many years in fear of deportation to Siberia. Fear is a dominant theme in Ants's biography and because he was afraid his background would be discovered, he finally, being a university lecturer, decided to join the party. Ants explains this unpleasant event as stepping "into shit" and points out that he was "in shit" only as long as circumstances required:

I got completely adapted to university life, taking active part in voluntary work. And then it was found that there were not enough communist party members in the university and they started to force me in again. Then I more or less knew already who of the university teachers was a "radish" and who was a careerist-communist or an informer. Fortunately, most were radishes, my former friends from student days. And I eventually stepped "into shit". There I got a strict party punishment for deceit of the party. When time came, I was the first to come "out of shit". I worked as a university teacher and the director of the motoring department until 1993. Then prostate cancer was discovered and I underwent operation in 1994. I think the cancer was caused by continuous stress. (EE 389. Ants, 1928)

Regardless of the fact that Ants had emphasised already before that the reason he joined the party was fear because of his security, he tries to excuse his membership even more and that is why he points out his punishment "for deceipt of the party". Because of his fear all his life in the Soviet years was "continuous stress" for him and it resulted in prostate cancer. Such suffering should probably be adequate proof of his pro-Estonian and anti-Soviet mindedness.

The period of 'thaw' after the 20th Congress of the CPSU in 1956 freed people from a lot of fears. (3) Now they started to look for possibilities how to make life under the Soviet power more decent. At that time people had great hopes for internal reform of the Communist Party: they thought that if the percentage of Estonians in the party increased drastically, the right of decision in ESSR would gradually go over to Estonians (Rikmann 1997). Valda (EE 804. 1926) was one of those who joined the party after the 20th Congress of the CPSU, because she believed that as a member, she would be able to do something for her nation and homeland:

After the 20th Congress of the CPSU I joined the party. It was unbelievable that a nonpartisan would teach history, moreover, history of the Communist Party [in a higher educational institution]. Besides, at that time I believed that the road is open to reasonable changes. The party was a strong well-functioning organisation. It had real potential to do something. (EE 804. Valda, 1926)

Virve (EE 602. 1924) joined the party as a supporter of its ideology:

Working in N. machinery and tractor station I became a candidate member of CPSU in 1955 and a year later, a member. And in autumn 1957 I was transferred to the position of instructor of the department of agriculture in the N. district committee of Estonian CP. (EE 602. Virve, 1924)

Already as a schoolgirl, the statutes of komsomol had appealed to her and she had been invited to join komsomol, but that time she had not joined the organisation. Now, ten years later, she finds her mission here in joining the party: soon she becomes the ideologist of the kolkhoz and gets a gratifying job for decades.


In conclusion

In their biographies older Estonians rarely describe their life in Soviet Estonia after the second half of the 1950s through the social prism. This period is rather described through the personal life story, which is at times intertwined with the social story. One reason might be the characteristic structure of narrative: depiction of changes in the situation and comparison of the new situation to the earlier one is more important a subject from the aspect of self-examination and more familiar than picturing daily routine as far as narrating methods are concerned. But probably the general separation of the state and the nation should be added here as a significant reason - the state and the nation developed separately from one another and there were but few common grounds (cf. Aarelaid 2000). Among the most vivid examples of such parallel life were the Song Festivals.

Many may not know what happened at that Song Festival [1960], but the participants will remember it for all their lives. When all the songs in the programme and the compulsory encores like "Suur ja lai…",(4) etc. had been sung, the choirs did not come off the stage. They did not want to leave yet. Suddenly the tenors started to sing "Mu isamaa on minu arm". (5) Others joined in immediately and the song rolled over the festival ground. Ernesaks wanted to come up to conduct but came back from the stairs. High party executives forbade him to go up. But we, and not only us, all the people in the square stood up and sang along. Seeing that they could do nothing against the people, Ernesaks was eventually permitted to go and conduct. This was the rebirth of this song, in dark Brezhnev years - this sentence is confusing [---]. It was a kind of victory, even though a small one, but yet a victory. (EE 267. Kalvi, 1925)

Mu isamaa on minu arm became a hymn, the singing of which symbolised the singing of all these songs that were forbidden in the Soviet period. (Kodanikualgatus... 1996: 47) With this song people started 'their own and national' singing party at the end of nearly each Song Festival and every time the authorities attempted to stop the singers. Year by year people became more courageous and at the end of the 1980s the Song Festivals became an efficient measure in the fight for independence (cf. Kuutma 1998).

At the social level, the Soviet period was a complicated and difficult era for Estonians. The biographies of the Estonians born in the 1920s give evidence that to survive as individuals and as a nation, they as people who had been raised in the conditions of an independent state and educated in national spirit needed certain survival strategies: 'forgetting' the independent Republic of Estonia, acceptance of the Soviet ideology 'to a certain degree' (in the interests of oneself and one's family people often reluctantly joined the Soviet political-ideological mass organisations) and the understanding that "speech is silver - silence is golden". Such keeping oneself back and a feeling of inability gave birth to bitterness against the ruling order and against people who carried its ideology, an escape of this was found in creating a parallel world for oneself - most often in escaping into amateur activities.

Yet despite everything unpleasant that the Soviet rule brought along, the Estonians who lived through this period emphasise that the life they lived was worth living even in these conditions and they would not and cannot change it backwards, because "nobody is given the chance to live two lives, to start all over again" (EE 137. Lehte, 1929).

Translated by Ann Kuslap



Estonian Cultural Historical Archives in the Estonian Literary Museum (Tartu).

EE - Eesti Elulood (Estonian Life Stories). A collection of biographies in manuscripts.
Fund No. 350, EE No. 28, 137, 267, 389, 500, 501, 540, 554, 602, 804, 868.

Aarelaid, Aili 2000. Topeltmõtlemise kujunemisest kahel esimesel nõukogulikul aastakümnel. - Akadeemia, nr. 4, lk. 755-773.

Bohman, Stefan 1986. The People's Story. On the collection and analysis of autobiographical materials. Nordiska Museet. Methodological Questions. No. 3. Stockholm, pp. 3-23.

Kodanikualgatus ja seltsid Eesti muutuval kultuurimaastikul. - Aarelaid, Aili (koost.) 1996. Tallinn: Jaan Tõnissoni Instituudi kirjastus.

Korkiakangas, Pirjo 1997. Individual, Collective, Time and History in Reminiscence. - Ethnologia Fennica. Finnish Studies in Ethnology. Vol. 25, pp. 5-16.

Kuutma, Kristin 1998. Festival as Communicative Performance and Celebration of Ethnicity. - Folklore, Vol 7, pp. 79-86. http://haldjas.folklore.ee/folklore/vol7/festiva.htm.

Kõresaar, Ene 2001a. Kollektiivne mälu ja eluloouurimine. - Anepaio, Terje & Kõresaar, Ene (toim.). Kultuur ja mälu. Konverentsi materjale. Studia Ethnologica Tartuensia, nr. 4. Tartu: Tartu Ülikooli etnoloogia õppetool, lk. 42-59.

Kõresaar, Ene 2001b. Nõukogude periood vanemate eestlaste elulugudes: probleeme ja tähelepanekuid. - Jaago, Tiiu (koost.). Pärimuslik ajalugu. Tartu: Tartu Ülikooli Kirjastus, lk. 120-131.

Laar, Mart & Vahtre, Lauri & Valk, Heiki 1989. Kodu lugu II. - Loomingu Raamatukogu nr. 42-43, Tallinn.

Löfgren, Orvar 1990. Learning to Remember and Learning to Forget. Class and Memory in Modern Sweden. - Bönisch-Brednich, Brigitte & Brednich, Rolf W. & Gerndt, Helge (Hg.). Erinnern und Vergessen. Vorträge des 27. Deutschen Volkskundekongresses. Göttingen 1989. (Beiträge zur Volkskunde in Niedersachsen, Bd.5; Schriftenreihe der Volkskundlichen Kommission für Niedersachsen e.v, Bd. 6) Göttingen, S. 145-161.

Niedermüller, Péter 1988. From the Stories of Life to the Life History: Historic Context, Social Processes and the Biographical Method. - Hofer, Tomas & Niedermüller, Péter (ed.). Life History as Cultural Construction / Performance. Proceedings of the IIIrd American-Hungarian folklore conference held in Budapest, 16-22 august, 1987. Budapest: The Ethnographic Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Science, pp. 451-473.

Rikmann, Erle 1997. Nõukogude perioodi konstrueerimine elulugudes. Final thesis. http://www.ehi.ee/ehi/oppetool/lopetajad/erler/index.html.

Siemer, Kaari 2001. Rahvus ja riik vanemate eestlaste elulugudes. Final thesis. Tartu. Manuscript in the department of etnology in the University of Tartu.


References from text:

(1)The question: "Who is red on the outside and white inside?" (answer: a communist) was a widespread joke in the Soviet time: using the common colour symbolics: red - communists, white - opposition; people expressed their attitude to communists and the hypocritical Soviet politics. The question could also be asked: "Who is the truest communist?" (answer: a radish, because the radish is red on the outside and white inside). Back

(2) Kaitseliit - 'the Defence Guard', a voluntary state defence organisation in Estonia. Founded 11 Nov. 1918. The main activities of the Defence Guard were 1) organisation of military training; 2) defence of order; 3) developing and practising physical education among its members and all the nation; 4) promoting the need for state defence among the population and developing people's understanding of the need for state defence (Eesti Entsüklopeedia 1934. Vol. IV, pp. 296-298). Noored Kotkad - or Noorkotkad ('Young Eagles'), the youth organisation of Kaitseliit, founded 27 May 1930, based on the principles of the Boy Scouts organisation. The aim is to educate young men into good patriotic citizens under the slogan "Always Ready!" (Eesti Entsüklopeedia 1935. Vol. VI, p. 247).
Kodutütred - a girls' organisation under Kaitseliit, founded in 1932 with the aim to educate girls into useful citizens of Estonia (Eesti Entsüklopeedia 1934. Vol. IV, p. 895). Back

(3) "In the 20th Congress of the CPSU in 1956 N. Khrushchev explicitly condemned the crimes of Stalin and demanded the results of the personality cult to be eliminated. The focus was on the liberalisation of the society and modernisation of economy. The latter was supported by restoration of contacts with other countries [---]. In the more open society the economic system based on prison camps became impossible and it had to be liquidated" (Laar & Vahtre & Valk 1989: 78, chapter "Adaptation to the system"). Although the open and democratic society was not achieved, the earlier fears of people disappeared, what is more, both prisoners and deportees started to return from Siberia. Back

(4) Suur ja lai on maa, mis on mu kodu ('Great and wide is the country that is my home') - a song by Issaak Dunayevski (1900-1955), Russian (Soviet) composer. Back

(5) Mu isamaa on minu arm ('My fatherland is my love') - a song by composer Gustav Ernesaks (1908-1993), written on the lyrics of Lydia Koidula (1843-1886), the first Estonian female poetess. The song became the hymn of the Estonian nation in the Soviet years. Back