Service marks 75th anniversary of Klooga concentration camp massacre


A ceremony on Thursday commemorated the 75th anniversary of the Klooga concentration camp massacre, where up to 2,000 people were killed. The ceremony took place at the site of the camp.
The opening speech was delivered by Alla Jakobson, the President of the Jewish Community of Estonia, with population minister Riina Solman, the Minister of Population, other Estonian officials, members of the board of the Jewish Community of Estonia, representatives of the diplomatic corps in Estonia, representatives of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, and from Tallinn Jewish School and other schools in Tallinn, all in attendance.

Rabbi Shmuel Kot of Tallinn Synagogue read the memorial prayer.

“It is our duty to commemorate the victims, stand up for historical truth and pass on knowledge from the past to future generations so that ideologies against humanity can never prevail,” said Riina Solman, according to the Jewish Community of Estonia social media page.

“Estonia was not free then to control its own destiny. But today Estonia mourns and remembers. Let us bow our heads in memory of those who were killed, let us not forget anyone, and look into the future with the knowledge that we ourselves can shape it, with our own thoughts and actions, for all our fellow citizens to be safe, happy and dignified,” she continued, thanking those teachers and students who also attended.

Klooga was a sub-camp of Vaivara concentration camp complex, established Estonia in 1943 by occupying Nazi German forces, a force labor camp where inmates, predominantly Jews from the Vilna (Vilnius) and Kovno (Kaunas) ghettos in Lithuania and also from locations further afield in Europe, were sent.

Ahead of advancing Red Army troops, Waffen SS personnel massacred as many as 2,000 inmates in a single day, during the course of the evacuation of the camp during Sept. 19-22 1944.

Many other inmates were transported to concentration camps in present-day Poland.

A memorial dedicated to those who died was unveiled at the site in 1994.

Photo: Service commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Klooga concentration camp massacre on Thursday, 19 Sept. Source: Jewish Community of Estonia/Social Media

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