The World at War

ESTONIA 1917 - 1945

ESTONIA Timeline

1917March 30 A Russian Provisional Government decree consolidates Estland and northern Livland into a single province of Estonia, abolishes Baltic-German dominated diets and other organs of the Czarist administration and establishes a new local government headed by an appointed Commissar responsible to an elected provincial assembly.
April Jaan Poska, Mayor of Tallinn, is appointed Commissar of Estonia by the Provisional Government of Russia.
The Provisional Government of Russia grants permission for the establishment of Estonian national military units.
May Alexander Kerensky acting as Minister of War for the Provisional Government of Russia restricts Estonian national military strength to a single regiment.
The Tallinn Soviet unsuccessfully seeks the removal of Commissar Poska for failure heed its directives.
June Elections for the local assembly (Estonian: Maapaev) are conducted in rural areas.
July The Menshevik candidate for chairman of the First Congress of Estonian Soviets defeats the Bolshevik candidate by a vote of 34 to 24.
The first Estonian military regiment numbers 8,000 men.
August 25 The Maapaev approves a proposal by Jaan Tonisson to create a diplomatic corps charged with protecting the interest of Estonian self-determination.
September The Provisional Government of Russia approves formation of a second Estonian regiment.
September 5 The Tallinn Soviet passes a pro-Bolshevik resolution.
September General elections are completed – Final distribution of the Maapaev’s 62 seats: Agrarians 13
Labor 11
Social Democrats 9 Socialist Revolutionaries 8
Democrats 7
Bolsheviks 5
Radical Democrats 4
Independents 3 German and Swedish 2
October The Second Congress of Estonian Soviets is dominated by Bolsheviks (18 of 26 delegates).
October 27 Viktor Kingissepp seizes power in the name of the Estonian Military Revolutionary Committee following the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia.
November 13 Jaan Anvelt, chairman of the Executive Committee of Estonian Soviets, informs the Maapaev that it will be dissolved and elections for a new Constituent Assembly will be held in January 1918.
November 14 Elections to the Russian Constituent Assembly are completed in Estonia. Parties of the Left capture 50.1% of the vote, parties of the Center and Right 49.9%.
November 15 The Maapaev declares itself the sole sovereign power in Estonia and transfers its powers to a Committee of Elders before it goes underground.
December 24 The Committee of Elders agrees to declare Estonia independent in the event of a German occupation.
1918January The Second Congress of Estonian Soldiers approves a resolution in favor of Estonian independence by a vote of 62 to 38 with 2 abstentions.
January 10 The Committee of Elders decides to send diplomatic representatives to the major Western powers, Germany and Scandinavia.
January 27 The Executive Committee of Estonian Soviets, alleging a conspiracy between Baltic-German aristocrats and the Estonian bourgeoisie to overthrow Soviet power, cancels elections for the Constituent Assembly after the Bolsheviks lose ground to the Labor Party in early balloting.
The Bolsheviks declare Baltic-Germans guilty of treason (500 are arrested along with Estonian nationalist leaders and deported to Soviet Russia).
February The Committee of Elders delegates its powers to a three member Rescue Committee composed of Konstantin Pats, Konstantin Konik and Juri Vilms.
Estonian regiments in Haapsalu declare their neutrality in the German-Soviet War.
February 24 The Committee of Elders declares Estonia an independent and democratic republic within its historic and ethnographic borders. A new Estonian Provisional Government headed by Konstantin Pats is formed in Tallinn.
February 25 German troops occupy Tallinn.
March 3 Soviet Russia signs the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk ending Russian participation in World War I and ceding the provinces of Estonia, Livonia and Courland to Germany. Estonian national military units are ordered to disperse.
April 12 The Joint Council of Livonia, Estonia, Riga and Osel (German:Vereiniger Landesrat von Livland, Estland, Riga und Osel), a handpicked assembly dominated by Baltic-Germans with token Estonian and Latvian representation, meets in Riga, proclaims the Baltic State (German: Baltischer Staat) and request a personal union with the King of Prussia.
April 13 Maapaev Rescue Committee member Juri Vilms is captured by the Germans near Helsinki and executed.
June Konstantin Pats is arrested by the Germans and imprisoned in occupied Beylorussia.
November 8 Baltic-Germans establish a regency council to preside over the Baltic State following Kaiser Wilhelm’s abdication. November 11
The Estonian Provisional Government and the Tallinn Soviet resume functioning after Germany signs an armistice ending World War I.
November 17 The German controlled regency council and the Baltic State collapse.
November 20 Provisional Government leader Konstantin Pats returns from prison.
November 22 The Soviet Red Army invades Estonia with the support of the Estonian Bolshevik leadership exiled in Russia. German troops repel an attack on Narva but soon withdraw leaving the city’s defense in the hands of Estonian national troops. November 28
Narva falls to the Red Army.
November 29 An Estonian Workers Commune led by Jaan Anvelt is proclaimed in Narva.
December 12 A British naval squadron delivers arms and ammunition to the Estonian nationalists and blocks a Soviet naval assault on Tallinn.
December 23 Colonel Johan Laidoner is named commander in chief of Estonian forces.
December 26 Konstantin Pats informs Finland that if it cannot provide assistance within 3 days there will be no need for it afterwards.
The Russian Bolshevik destroyers Spartak and Avtroil bombard the Estonian port of Reval on the Gulf of Finland.
December 27 The Russian destroyers Spartak and Avtroil are captured by the Royal Navy and turned over to Estonia.
December 30 A 140 man company of Finnish volunteers arrives in Estonia.
1919January Soviet forces occupy half of Estonia and advance to within 35 km of Tallinn.
January 7 Estonian forces halt the Soviet advance and begin a counterattack.
January 8 The first Finnish volunteers arrive at the front.
February Estonian territory is cleared of Soviet forces.
April 7 Elections to the Constituent Assembly are completed.
Centerist Parties 45.8% - 55
Parties of the Left 39.1% - 48
Parties of the Right 10.9% - 13
Ethnic Minority Parties 3.8% - 4
Bolsheviks - boycott - 0
April 23 The Constituent Assembly convenes. Social Democrat August Rei is elected chairman. The first Estonian cabinet is formed by Otto Strandmann of the Labor Party.
May 19 The Constituent Assembly unanimously affirms Estonian independence (German and Russian delegates abstain).
May A 1,000 man Estonian Communist regiment and a divisional commander desert the Red Army near Pskov to join the Estonian nationalists.
June Estonian forces defeat General von der Goltz’s Baltic and Reich German Iron Division in the Landeswehr War.
July 5 Bolshevik leader Viktor Kingissepp announces liquidation of the Estonian Workers’ Commune.September
Estonian–Soviet peace negotiations begin.
October Peace negotiations with the Soviets are interrupted by White Army General Iudenich’s offensive against Petrograd. The Constituent Assembly passes a major land reform act. 1,065 estates belonging to the Czar, the German-Baltic nobles and the churches (58% of the rural land) are expropriated and broken into small farms.
November The White Army of Russian General Nikolai Iudenich retreats into Estonia after a failed offensive against Petrograd. Iudenich’s army is disarmed by order of the Constituent Assembly.
November 18 Jaan Tonisson succeeds Otto Strandman as State Elder.
December 5 Peace negotiations with the Soviets resume.
1920January 3 An Estonian-Soviet armistice is concluded.
February 2 The Treaty of Tartu is signed ending the Estonian-Soviet War. Soviet Russia agrees to recognize Estonian independence, pay 15 million gold rubles in reparations and cede a ten kilometer wide strip east of Narva and the district of Setumaa to Estonia.
June 15 The Constitution of the Republic of Estonia is approved by the Constituent Assembly vesting supreme authority in the State Assembly (Estonian: Riigikogu) including the right to elect the head of government (Estonian: Riigivanem) and Supreme Court justices as well as the power to dissolve the cabinet.
June First election for the State Assembly:
Parties of the Left - 34
Centerists - 32 Parties of the Right - 29
ethnic minorities - 5
July 28 Ado Birk is elected State Elder but fails to form a government.
July 30 Jaan Tonisson is elected State Elder.
December 21 Ants Piip is elected State Elder.
During the Year The Estonian Communist Party affiliates with Comintern then goes underground.
1921January 25 Konstantin Pats succeeds Ants Piip as State Elder.
January Great Britain and France grant diplomatic recognition to Estonia.
1922May Communist leader Viktor Kingissepp is convicted of high treason by an Estonian court martial and executed. The Soviet border town of Iamburg is renamed in honor of Kingissepp.
July Estonia is granted diplomatic recognition by the United States of America.
November Estonia is admitted to the League of Nations.
November 21 Juhan Kuuk succeeds Konstantin Pats as State Elder.
December 28 Census taken – Estonia’s population: 1,107,059
1923May General election for the State Assembly: The Communists participate as the United Front of the Working People estonian: Toorahva uhine vaerind.
Parties of the Right - 33
Centerists - 30 Parties of the Left - 30
Ethnic Minorities - 7
August 2 Konstantin Pats is returned to office as State Elder.
December 16 Juri Jaakson succeeds Konstatin Pats as State Elder.
1924March 26 Freidrich Akel succeeds Juri Jaakson as State Elder.
December 1 A Communist coup attempt fails.
1925December 15 Jaan Teemant succeeds Freidrich Akel as State Elder.
During the Year Parties of the non-Communist Left (Social Democrats and Independent Socialists) merge to form the Socialist Workers Party
1926General election for the State Assembly:
Centerists - 35 Parties of the Left - 30
Parties of the Right - 30
ethnic minorities - 5
1927December 9 Jaan Tonisson succeeds Jaan Teemant as State Elder.
1928December 4 August Rei succeeds Jaan Tonisson as State Elder.
1929General election for the State Assembly:
Centerists - 33 Parties of the Left - 31
Parties of the Right - 31
ethnic minorities - 5
July 9 Otto Strandman elected State Elder succeeding August Rei.
1931February 12 Konstantin Pats is elected State Elder for a third time succeeding August Rei.
1932February General election for the State Assembly,
Parties of the Right 42
Parties of the Left - 27
Centerists - 23 ethnic minorities - 8
February 19 Jaan Teemant is elected State Elder for a second time succeeding Konstantin Pats.
June A Soviet-Estonian non-agression pact is signed.
July 19 Karl August Einbund (Estonian: Kaarel Eenpalu) is elected State Elder succeeding Jaan Teemant.
August A constitutional amendment, sponsored by the State Assembly, providing for a strong executive with the power to make law by decree is reject in a national referendum by a 50.8% to 49.2% margin.
November 1 Konstatin Pats is elected State Elder for a fourth time succeeding Karl Einbund.
1933March 3 A scaled back version of the State Assembly’s proposed constitutional amendment to provide for a strong executive is rejected in a national referendum by a 67.3% to 32.7% margin. May 18
Jaan Tonisson is elected State Elder for a second time succeeding Konstantin Pats.
July Martial law is imposed.
October 28 A constitutional amendment proposed by the neo-fascist League of Veterans of the Estonian War of Independence (estonian: Eesti Vabadussojalaste Liit) is approved in a national referendum by a 72.7% to 27.3% margin.
The State Elder (estonian:Riigivanem) chosen by direct election to a 5 year term with power to appoint and dismiss the Cabinet, to veto legislation enacted by the State Assembly and to rule by decree in cases of urgent State necessity.
The State Assembly reduced from 100 to 50 members.
The Riigivanem empowered to dissolve the State Assembly and call new elections at any time.
October 20 State Elder Jaan Tonisson’s National and Center National Party government ends martial law then resigns. October 21
Konstantin Pats is elected State Elder for a fifth time. Pats forms a transitional government with the support of the Farmers and Socialist Workers Parties.
December The League of Veterans makes abortive attempt to convince the State Assembly to outlaw the Socialist Worker’s Party. 1934
January 24 Constitutional amendments take effect. Konstantin Pats remains State Elder pending mid-April elections for a new State Elder and State Assembly.
March 1 Census taken – Estonia’s population: 1,126,413 March 11
Nominations for State Elder close with League of Veterans candidate General Andres Larka collecting 52,346 petition signatures. The three rival candidates, General Laidoner, Konstantin Pats and Socialist August Rei collect a combined total of 29,975 signatures.
March 12 Prime Minister Pats, citing an urgent state necessity;
Declares a state of martial law for six months
Postpones election for a new State Elder and State Assembly until the end of martial law (in violation of the Constitution)
Appoints General Laidoner commander in chief of the armed forces
Bans the League of Veterans and arrests 400 of its leading members
Orders removal of League of Veterans members from the Civil Service, local government, armed forces and the Defense League (a voluntary citizens militia).
Prohibits all political activity by any group.
September A State Propaganda Office is established to explain government policies and activities.
A Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation is signed with Latvia and Lithuania without inclusion of a military alliance.
November League of Veterans leader Artur Sirk escapes to Finland.
December Government approval of churches and religious organization bylaws is required.
1935March Pats' decree permanently postpones convening of the State Assembly and outlaws all political parties. Pats’ government establishes the Fatherland League to promote national unity and state stability. June
The Government takes over the Postimees newspaper and removes former Prime Minister Jaan Tonisson as editor.
1936February Pats’ proposal to convene a bi-cameral Constituent Assembly (estonian: Rovuskogu) to amend or replace the Constitution of 1933 is approved by 75.4% of the voters in a national referendum.
May League of Veterans leaders are sentenced to 10 to 15 years hard labor for plotting a coup against the Pats regime.
November Finnish newspapers publish a memorandum from former State Elders Johan Kuuk, Ants Piip, Jaan Teemant and Jaan Tonisson citing Pats’ declaration of the Estonian people’s return to “health” as grounds for ending martial law and rule by decree. The former State Elders go on to call for restoration of civil liberties and return to Estonia’s democratic traditions.
December Elections are held for the lower house of the Constituent Assembly. Organized opposition party activity is prohibited and no opposition candidates run in 50 of the 80 districts. The 40 member upper house is appointed by the government.
1937February The Constituent Assembly convenes to discuss constitutional changes based on Pats’ proposals.
July The Constituent Assembly approves the “Pats Constitution” providing for: Executive power vested in the head of state now called a President.
Nomination of presidential candidates by the two houses of parliament and an assembly of local government officials.
Election of the President for a six year term.
Presidential power to appoint and dismiss cabinets, veto legislation and dissolve either or both houses of parliament.
The President prohibited from issuing decrees while parliament was in session.
Legislative power vested in a bicameral parliament consisting of:
The Chamber of Deputies (Estonian: Riigivolikogu) 80 members elected in single member districts for 5 year terms by universal suffrage. (Legislation could only be initiated by the Chamber with the support of at least 1/5th of its members).
The State Council (Estonian: Riiginoukogu) 40 members serving 5 year terms, 10 appointed by the President, the commander in chief of the armed forces, the leaders of the Lutheran and Orthodox Churches, 2 university rectors, the president of the central bank and 24 members elected by corporative organizations, local governments and other public institutions.
September 3 Konstatin Pats assumes the title of State Protector (Estonian: Riigihoidja).
1938February Elections to the Chamber of Deputies: Campaigning by political parties other than the government’s National Front for the Implementation of the Constitution is prohibited. Government backed candidates win 54 of 80 seats. 10 opposition deputies join the government bloc when the State Assembly convenes.
April 24 Nominations for president: Konstatin Pats defeats Jaan Tonisson 65 to 14 in the Chamber of Deputies. Pats faces no opposition in the State Council or assembly of local officials. The three bodies meet in joint session and elect Pats President of Estonia by a vote of 219 to 19.
May 5 A Presidential amnesty is issued to League of Veterans and Communist opponents.
May 9 Karl August Einbund (Estonian:Kaarel Eenpalu) is named Prime Minister.
December 1 Estonia enacts a law outlining its conduct as a neutral state.
1939June A German-Estonian non-aggression pact is signed.
August 23 Germany and the Soviet Union sign a nonaggression pact containing secret clauses granting the Soviets a sphere of influence in Estonia
August 13,000 ethnic Germans emigrate from Estonia in advance of the Soviet invasion.
September 17 The Polish submarine Orzel escapes from internment in Tallinn harbor. Soviet ships begin patrolling Estonian waters.
September 24 Estonian Foreign Minister Karl Selter arrives in Moscow to sign a trade pact. Soviet representatives demand a mutual assistance pact allowing Soviet military and naval bases in Estonia.
Soviet bombers violate Estonian airspace.
September 26 The Estonian government agrees to negotiate a mutual assistance pact with the Soviets.
September 27 An Estonian delegation arrives in Moscow. Molotov demands right to station 35.000 Soviet troops in Estonia for the duration of the war (cites sinking of Soviet ship Metalist off Estonian coast). Stalin agrees to reduce Soviet demands to 25,000 troops and confine them to their bases.
Soviet bombers make low level flights over the Estonian cities of Tallinn and Tartu.
September 28 A Ten Year Mutual Assistance Pact is concluded after the Soviets drop demands for a permanent base in Tallinn. The Soviets are granted the right to build naval and air bases on the islands of Saaremaa and Hiiumaa and at Paldiski 50 km from Tallinn, the right to use Tallinn harbor for two years while the Paldiski naval base is constructed and the right to station 25,000 troops in Estonia for the duration of the war.
September 29 The Soviet Union ratifies the Mutual Assistance Pact with Estonia.
October 2 Estonia ratifies the Mutual Assistance Pact with the Soviet Union.
October 10 Estonia yields to Soviet demands for additional bases in the Haapsalu and Rapla regions.
October 12 Tartu University professors Juri Uluots and Ants Piip who negotiated the Mutual Assistance Pact are named Prime Minister and Foreign Minster, respectively.
October 18 The first Soviet troops enter Estonia.
November The Winter War between the Soviet Union and Finland begins. Soviet bombers based in Estonia bomb Finland in violation of Estonian neutrality and the Mutual Assistance Pact.
1940April President Pats predicts a war between the Soviets and Germany will begin in September.
May 28 Pravda criticizes the pro-British attitudes of Estonian commercial and intellectual circles and accuses the Estonian government of concealing the important role of the Soviet Union in Estonia from the Estonian people.
June 15 Soviet troops leave Estonian bases and begin an advance on Tallinn. Additional Soviet forces mass on the Estonian border.
June 16 Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov accuses Estonia of plotting military action against the Soviet Union with Latvia and Lithuania. A Soviet ultimatum demands the establishment of an Estonian government able and willing to institute the Mutual Assistance Pact and free passage of Soviet troops to garrison Estonia’s major urban centers. Estonia accepts the Soviet ultimatum within the allotted 8 hours.
June 17 General Laidoner signs an order allowing the free passage of Soviet troops.
June 19 90,000 Soviet troops enter Estonia. The civilian population including the 42,000 member Defense League is disarmed. Soviet Politburo member A. A. Zhdanov rejects President Pats selection of August Rei as Prime Minister. Zhdanov proposes his own candidate, provincial doctor and poet Johannes Vares.
June 21 “Spontaneous” demonstrations (accompanied by Soviet tanks and troops) in favor of a new government erupt in Tallin. Pats names Johannes Vares Prime Minister. Vares forms a “peoples government” of Socialists and intellectuals but no known Communists are appointed to the cabinet.
June 21 The Republic of Estonia in Exile is established by Prime Minister (acting as President) Juri Uluots. August Jurima is named Prime Minister of the Government in Exile.
June 25 The Vares Government begins disbanding mass organizations including the Defense League (militia) and Pats’ Fatherland League.
July 5 President Pats bows to Soviet pressure and calls for a general election in 10 days (ignoring the constitutionally mandated 35 day campaign period). The Estonian Communist Party and several front organizations form the Estonian Working People’s League (Estonian: Eesti Tootava Rahva Liit).
July 11 The last non-Communist candidates withdraw from the general election.
July 15 Candidates of the Estonian Working People’s League are approved by 92.8% of voters participating in the election for a new Chamber of Deputies.
July 19 General Laidoner is arrested and deported to the Soviet Union.
July 21 The newly elected Chamber of Deputies proclaims the establishment of the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic and declares its desire for membership in the Soviet Union. The Chamber declares all land in Estonia the property of the people in common and nationalizes all banks and large industrial enterprises.
July 22 President Konstantin Pats is forced to resign.
July 23 Prime Minister Johannes Vares is named acting President of Estonia
July 26 Banks and large industrial enterprises are nationalized
July 30 Former President Konstantin Pats is arrested and deported to the Soviet Union.
August 6 The Supreme Soviet accepts Estonia as the 16th republic of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.
August 25 Johannes Vares resigns as acting President and Prime Minister of the Republic of Estonia. The Chamber of Deputies adopts a new constitution establishing the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic and proclaims itself the Supreme Soviet of the Estonian SSR and names Vares head of the Presidium.
September The membership of the Estonian Communist Party numbers 1,344.
October 2 All private land holding exceeding 30 hectares, land belonging to churches and local municipalities and buildings containing more than 220 square meters of useful floor space are expropriated without compensation. The work day is increased to nine hours. Workers can no longer freely change jobs.
November The Estonian Kroon is replaced as the national currency by the Soviet Ruble at a conversion rate 1/8th the prewar exchange rate.
1941January All savings accounts containing more than 1000 Rubles are confiscated.
The Estonian Orthodox Church is compelled to merge with the Russian Orthodox Church
February The Fourth Congress of the Estonian Communist Party calls for the establishment of cooperatives in preparation for the transition to collectivized agriculture.
Spring 34,000 Estonians are conscripted for service in the Red Army.
April Reich Minister for the Occupied Eastern Territories, Alfred Rosenberg (a Tallinn born Baltic - German) outlines his plans for integration of the Baltic States into the Greater German Reich through colonization by Reich Germans, Germanization of “racially suitable” members of the native population and deportation of the remainder.
June The membership of the Estonian Communist Party numbers 3,732.
June 14 11,000 Estonians are arrested in the middle of the night by Soviet security forces and deported to Siberia.
June 23 The Soviet cruiser Maxim Gorky returns to Tallinn for repairs after hitting a German mine in the Baltic Sea.
June 29 German dive bombers damage the Soviet destroyer Karl Marx in Tallinn harbor.
July 3 Soviet forces evacuate the port city of Parnu.
July 5 German troops enter Estonia.
July 8 German troops capture the cities of Parnu and Viljandi.
July 10 The German advance halts on the outskirts of Tartu while pro-independence Estonian partisans wage a pitched battle for control of Estonia’s second largest city with Soviet regulars and Soviet backed Estonian destruction brigades (Estonian: havituspataljonid).
July 24 Tartu falls to the Germans.
July Postimees, the leading pre-Soviet newspaper in Tartu resumes publication under German censorship.
July 29 The Germans reject a memorandum from Juri Uluots (acting President under the 1937 Estonian Constitution) calling for establishment of an Estonian central government and an Estonian national army and offering full collaboration.
August 17 German forces capture Narva on Estonia’s eastern border with Russia.
August 26 Admiral Tributs receives permission from Moscow to evacuate Tallinn.
August 28 1120 - German forces enter Tallinn’s central business district.1325 – The first of seven Soviet evacuation convoys leaves Tallinn harbor.Fifty of 200 ships in the Soviet evacuation convoys are sunk by German mines and dive bombers with the loss of 14,000 lives.
September Hjalmar Mae, a leader in the pre-war Estonian League of Veterans, is named Landesdirektor of an Estonian puppet administration.
September 8 The Germans launch Operation Beowulf (invasion of Soviet held Estonian islands in the Baltic).
October A German naval squadron, Marinebefehlshaber Ostland, is based in Tallinn.
October 4 Soviet forces on Saaremaa Island surrender to the Germans. 4,000 Soviets are taken prisoner.
October 21 Soviet forces on Hiiumaa Island surrender to the Germans. 3,400 Soviets are taken prisoner.
December 5 A German organized civil administration unites Estonia with the other Baltic States and Belorussia as the Ostland. Karl Litzmann is appointed Generalkommissar for the Ostland based in Tallinn.
December Eesti Sona (The Estonian Word) begins publication as the official newspaper of the German backed Estonian puppet administration.
1942January The Soviets begin forming an Estonian national regiment within the Red Army.
February 16 Title to farmland is restored to pre-Soviet ownership.
May The Red Army’s Estonian national regiment numbers c.20,000 men. Himmler amends the SS Planning Office’s Generalplan Ost to call for Germanization of Estonia within 20 years.
June 3 An airplane carrying Hitler and Marshal Keitel to a meeting with Finnish Field Marshall Mannerheim stops in Tallinn.
August An Estonian Legion is organized within the Waffen SS.
September An Estonian national regiment is designated the 8th Estonian Rifle Corps by the Red Army.
October 13 The Germans begin conscripting Estonian policemen to supplement the meager 500 volunteers for the Estonian Legion.
December The Red Army places the 8th Estonian Rifle Corps in the frontlines at Velikie Luki. About 1,000 Estonians desert the Red Army to join the Germans.
1943February The editorial staff of Postimees is purged after publication of a special edition marking the 25th anniversary of Estonian independence.
February 18 Property expropriated by the Soviets in 1940 is returned to private ownership.
March 12,000 Estonian men born between 1919 and 1924 are mobilized for service in the Estonian Legion and support services of the Wehrmacht.
October Estonian men born between 1925 and 1926 are mobilized for service in the Wehrmacht.
1944February 1 Hjalmar Mae, head of the German controlled Estonian puppet administration, orders mobilization of 38,000 Estonian men born between 1904 and 1923 for service with the German army. Juri Uluots, last Prime Minister of the Republic of Estonia, makes a radio broadcast supporting Mae’s call up. March
The National Committee of the Estonian Republic is formed by pre-war opponents of the Pats regime and resistance groups in Tallinn and Tartu.
April 21 Alfred Maurer named is Prime Minister of the Republic of Estonia in Exile.
May German security forces arrest 200 Estonian nationalist political leaders.
July 26 Narva is captured by the Red Army.
August Supporters of the Pats’ regime agree to join their former opponents in the Estonian National Committee. Estonian volunteers in the Finnish armed forces vote to return for the defense of their homeland.
August 13 Soviet forces reach Voru on the Estonian border with Latvia. German forces prepare to withdraw from Estonia.
August 27 Tartu falls to the Red Army.
September 18 Hitler declares the Baltic islands Festung Estland orders them defended. Acting President Uluots names Otto Tief Prime Minister of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Estonia before going into exile in Sweden.
September 22 Tallinn is captured by Soviet forces. The Republic of Estonia in Exile establishes headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden.
September 24 German evacuation of Estonia (Operation Aster) begins with destruction of port facilities at Haapsalu. Parnu and Haapsalu are captured by Soviet forces later in the day.
September 29 Germans evacuate the islands of Muhu and Hiiumaa and concentrate forces on the island of Saaremaa.
October Prime Minister Otto Tief and several leading members of the Provisional Government are taken prisoner by the Soviets.
November 23 The Germans launch Operation Delphin to evacuate their last holdouts on Saaremaa Island’s Sorve Peninsula. 1945
January 9 August Rei succeeds Uluots as Acting President of the Republic of Estonia in Exile.
March The district of Petserimaa and all territory east of the Narva River is transferred to the Russian Federation.
JULY 1940 to SEPTEMBER 1941
Konstantin Pats – arrested and deported July 30, 1940
Lieutenant General Johan Laidoner – arrested and deported July 19, 1940
Ants Piip – Minister of Foreign Affairs Albert Wilhelm Assor – Minister of Justice Nikolai Reek – Minister of Defense Aleksander Jurima – Minister of the Interior Leo Sepp – Minister of Finance Oskar Kask – Minister of Health and Welfare Ants Oiderma – Minister of Propaganda Artur Tupits – Minister of Agriculture P. Kogerman – Minister of Education Nikolai Viitak – Minister of Transportation
F. Akel - Friedich Kukke - Hugo Pats - Viktor Anderkopp - Ado Kurvits - Johannes Rahamagi Bernhard Arnover - Eduard Korster - Oskar Remain - Mihkel Eenpalu - Kaarel Laidoner
Johan Riives - Rudolf Eenpalu - Linda Laur - August Roomet - Karl Haabpiht - Ernst Laurie Heinrich Roosiorg - Ado Haagivang - Johan Lehtmats - Elmar Roslavlev - Vladimir Jaakson
Juri Lovi - Oskar Rostfeld - Bernhard Jalakas - Karl Mottus - Alfred Roigas - Martin Juhanson Leopold Oiderma - Ants Saar - Aleksander Jurima - August Oinas - Aleksander Shiver
Juhan Jurison - Karl Orasmaa - Johannes Soots - Jaan Kadarik - Valter Orlov - Georgi Suursoot Oskar Kaliste - Nigul Ossipov - Aleksander Tandre - Jarvo Kalle - Jakob Otstavel - Hendrik Terras Karl Karimeel - Aleksander Pajos - Karp Tsank - Aleksis Kask - Oskar Peedosk - Eduard Tupits Artur Kasterpalu - Artur Perems - Johannes Tonisson - Aleksander Kendra - Albert Piip
Ants Tonisson - Jaan Kogermann - Paul Piirimaa - Johan Uesson - Anton Kohver - August Puhk Joakim Uuemaa - Juhan Kokk - Jaan Pung - Mihkel Viitak - Nikolai Konno - Evald Podra

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