An estimated 80,000 Estonians fled the country during World War II and the Institute of Historical Memory is now establishing a database to enable further research. It is also seeking people’s help.
“Despite great public interest in the matter during the past decades, we still do not have a clear overview of the number of refugees, their origin, nor their social background,” the institute says. “The database creates a necessary foundation for further research, and tells the story of our previous generations.”
Initially, the project is focusing on refugees’ first destinations – Sweden and Germany.
“We endeavor to compile a primary database of refugees using existing directories in archives. However, we will need people’s help in collecting the names of those refugees who went missing on the journey,” the institute says.
It is hoped the first stage will be completed by September 2024. President Alar Karis is the project’s patron.
More information about the project can be viewed here.