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Estonia History WWII

Estonia History WWII had to fight for its independence with the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany.

Before World War II Estonia lapsed from democracy into authoritarianism, and prime minister Konstantin Päts took over as dictator in 1934.

The Soviet Union and Nazi Germany signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in 1939 in which Estonia was going to be under the Soviet "sphere of influence".

So the pact of Nazi Soviet in 1939 secretly placed Estonia under the Soviet sphere.

The Soviet imposed a regime of terror. During the first year of Soviet occupation over 8 000 important Estonians were arrested, about 2 200 of the arrested were executed while most others were moved to prison camps in Russia where very few of them returned alive. This mass deportations took place simultaneously in all three Baltic countries.

Because of the torture of Soviet Union some Estonians saw Adolf Hitler's troops as liberators when they invaded the USSR and occupied the entire Baltic states in 1941.

After Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union on 1941, most Estonians greeted the Germans with relatively open arms and hoped to restore independence. Soon it became clear that sovereignty was out of the question. The initial enthusiasm waned and some fled to Finland to fight rather in the Finnish Army than join to Germans. With the Allied victory over Germany becoming certain in 1944, the only option to save Estonia's independence was to stave off a new Soviet invasion of Estonia until Germany's capitulation.

About 38 000 volunteers registered for Estonian Army and those who went to Finnish Army came back to fight for their home land. But it was not enough and the Soviet Union reoccupied Estonia in 1944.

In 1944 the Soviet reoccupation began with a period of Stalinism highlighted by the collectivization of agriculture and the killing or deporting of thousands of Estonians.

In WWII Estonia lost about 200 000 people and also lost again its independence.

Read my next page about Independent Estonia

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