The monument to the resettlement of Baltic Germans (Umsiedlung) will be unveiled on 18 October 2018, the date on which the first ship carrying resettlers left the Port of Tallinn 79 years earlier.
The monument has been designed by sculptor Aivar Simson (known professionally as Simson von Seakyll) and architect Kalle Rõõmus. The ceremony will be followed by a conference dedicated to Umsiedlung.
The monument to Umsiedlung is a gift of Saka Manor owners Eha and Tõnis Kaasik on the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia, commemorating the resettlement of Baltic Germans from Estonia and Latvia. “Many Baltic Germans contributed to the creation of an independent Estonian state in 1918 and supported Estonians and Estonia in restoring their independence in 1991 and this is our way of expressing gratitude,” Mr Kaasik said.
The conference takes a closer look on the topics of who resettled and why and the destiny of the Baltic German art collections and family albums. The conference is organised by the Baltic German Culture Society in Estonia and Saka Manor.
Dr Hist Olev Liivik states, that Saka Manor is a symbolic place to recall Umsiedlung. „Family Löwis of Menar left Saka in 1939 to Germany, they had stayed here despite the land reform and other legal regulations in the Republic of Estonia from 1919. When talking about the resettlement we have to think about the meaning of home and homeland and understand, that the Baltic Germans were the first during the war to lose their homeland,” Liivik said. Discussion about the resettlement raises the eternal question about hope and hopelessness.
The resettlement of Baltic Germans (known in German as Umsiedlung) was linked to the treaty between Germany and the Soviet Union signed on 23 August 1939 in Moscow (the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact), which assigned Estonia and Latvia to the Soviet Union’s sphere of influence in a secret protocol.
Fearing invasion by the Red Army, over 13,000 people removed themselves from Estonia to Germany between October 1939 and May 1940. However, several thousand Estonian Germans decided not to leave their homeland, but following the occupation of the Baltic States, Germany allowed nearly 8000 more people to relocate in the winter of 1941. From Latvia, over 60,000 people left in two waves of relocation from 1939-1941. The resettlement marked the end of Baltic German influence in the region, which had played an important role and enriched local culture in the Baltic States for centuries.
Many Baltic Germans contributed to the creation of an independent Estonian state in 1918 and supported Estonians and Estonia in restoring their independence in 1991.
An article by Dr Olev Liivik in Estonica http://www.estonica.org/en/Umsiedlung/
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