25 March 18:00
On 25th March, Commemoration Day of the March deportations, NGO Tulipisar, Federation of Estonian Student Unions, Estonian School Student Councils’ Union and Estonian National Youth Council invite all people to commemorate the victims of deportations by lighting candles of remembrance. During the March deportation in 1949, over 20,000 innocent people were captured and violently transported from Estonia to Siberia, USSR. Since 2010 it has become a tradition to organise a public lighting of candles on the anniversary of the March deportations to commemorate all who were deported.
On this day of commemoration, we light candles to keep alive the memory of innocent people who suffered due to the crimes against humanity committed and terror inflicted by the occupying power, and stand united so that the deportations would never happen again.
We invite people to light candles on 25th March from 18:00 onwards at the Tallinn Freedom Square and Tartu Town Hall Square. Altogether over 20,000 candles will be lit. Candles will be lit also in Pärnu on Rüütli Square. In Tallinn, the candles will be placed according to the outline of the Estonian map marked on the ground.
A commemoration ceremony will take place in Tallinn at 17:00 next to the War of Independence Victory Column on Freedom Square. A projection of the 32,000 people who were repressed in March 1949 will be shown (including the ones imprisoned, who were forced to escape and who were born in Siberia). We ask all participants to bring candles and lighting equipment.
The event is organised by NGO Tulipisar, Federation of Estonian Student Unions, Estonian School Student Councils’ Union, Estonian National Youth Council. The event is supported by the Estonian Institute of Historical Memory, the Estonian Institute of Human Rights and the Estonian Ministry of Justice.
In 2018, The Republic of Estonia will establish a memorial and monument to the victims of communism in Tallinn. On 25th March 2017, a provisional list of deaths will be publicised for verification purposes on the website of the Estonian Institute of Historical Memory (www.mnemosyne.ee).
The list will include a search function so that people have the opportunity to check whether their family members or acquaintances, who were killed during the Soviet repression, are included in the list, and whether the data is correct. The opportunity to send comments or suggestions for edits will be provided.