On 19 October 1968, a memorial was opened in Tahkuna to commemorate the Baltic Fleet seamen who fell in 1941. The memorial was designed and built by Vitaly Navozhnykh, stonemason from Kärdla who had fought as an officer in the Great Patriotic War. The author’s initial design had a much grander scale, with at least six sculpture walls of the same type, but the project was shelved due to a lack of support from the regional leadership. The remains of two unknown soldiers, found in the vicinity, were buried next to the memorial in 1973. The memorial has a massive scale, with 10 cubic meters of granite rocks and reinforced concrete sculptures measuring 2×1.5m in size. The sculptures were destroyed in early 1990s. On 21 October 2022, the memorial was dismantled and relocated to the Hiiumaa Military Museum. The grave and tombstone remained.
On 18 September 1966, a dolomite memorial plaque was placed at the foot of Tahkuna Lighthouse, with the following inscription: “This was the place of the last defence battle in Hiiumaa, in October 1941”. The plaque was removed from its original position in the 1990s during the renovation of the lighthouse. It was eventually reinstalled for a few years, but from 2011 it was once again placed, face down, on the ground floor inside the lighthouse. From 2015, the plaque is located in the Hiiumaa Military Museum.
A mass grave was established in 1945 in the park next to Kärdla Church, with the reburial of the remains of Soviet activists who had been killed in the autumn of 1941 as well as unknown Soviet soldiers from various graves in Kärdla. Further reburials took place in 1953, 1957 and 1965. According to the data of the Military Commissariat of the Estonian SSR, Kärdla mass grave no. 1 included the remains of 42 people (31 names are known and 11 are unknown Red Army soldiers). A dolomite obelisk was opened on 21 July 1950, with the following inscription: “Eternal glory to the heroes who fell for the freedom and independence of our homeland 1941–1945”. There is a slight difference in the inscription compared to other mass graves in Hiiumaa, as the words “in battles” are missing. Two name plaques with 33 names were added in 1964. The plaques were replaced in 1986, with the new list including 39 names. In 2022, a working group of the State Chancellery decided that it was a Soviet monument and needs to be removed. The name plaques are already located in the Hiiumaa Military Museum since December 2022.
On 18 September 1966, a granite sculpture was opened in Kärdla (sculpted by Endel Taniloo, designed by Ülo Sirp). The basis of the monument includes the inscription: “To the heroes of the 1941 defence battles in Hiiumaa”. Originally, the base also included a granite plaque listing the locations of the defence battles that took place in Hiiumaa from 12 to 22 October 1941 (with the following place names on an outline of Hiiumaa: Tahkuna, Tareste, Hüti, Nurste, Tohvri, Ulja, Käina, Nõmba). Today, the plaque with the map of battle sites is located in front of the museum in Kassari. The monument was protected as an historical monument and was reclassified in 1996 as an artistic monument. The monument was colloquially known as Kivi-Jüri (Stone-Jüri) for it was located on the property of Jüri Post, owner of the Kärdla tanning factory. Jüri Post was deported in 1949 and died in Siberia in 1952. On 27 October 2022, the monument was relocated to the Hiiumaa Military Museum in Tahkuna. In literature, the monument has been mistakenly referred to as the largest granite sculpture in Estonia, with an estimated total mass of up to 76 tonnes. However, during the relocation, it turned out that the head weights 8.8 tonnes and the base 22 tonnes, for a total weight of 30.8 tonnes.
Suuremõisa community house was built in Reikama in 1895. After World War II, the building housed the village council of Pühalepa. In 1948, a mass grave was established at the village council building for unknown Red Army soldiers who had been killed in 1941 in the Battle of Nõmba. The grave was marked with a concrete obelisk, based on the standard design by Alar Kotli. A fence had also been designed, but only two massive gateposts were completed. In the 1950s, each village council was allowed to have only one mass grave on its territory. Another reburial, now to the mass grave of Heltermaa, took place in 1957 after the merger of Suuremõisa, Pühalepa and Palade village councils. The Reiskama obelisk was lugged behind the cellar of the community house while the gateposts remained in place. The old community house was destroyed in fire in 1967. The remains of the mass grave obelisk were discovered in the brush in 2006 during the cleaning of the community house square. The grave marker and the two gateposts were brought to the Hiiumaa Military Museum in 2009. The lower half of the obelisk was lost and has been reconstructed.
On 9 May 1965, a memorial stone was opened in the Port of Heltermaa, with the following inscription: “The units of the Soviet Army – liberators of Hiiumaa from fascist occupants – landed near Heltermaa on 2 October 1944”. Measuring 2.3m in height, the natural granite rock bore a white marble plaque which was later replaced. The text remained the same, only the layout changed. The time and the circumstances of the plaque replacement are unknown. The stone was located on the lawn next to the port building; the view was obscured over time by the growth of the surrounding lilac trees. As the construction of the port building began in Heltermaa in 1996, the memorial stone was dragged into a pile of rocks next to the port workshop. It stayed there for over ten years, the plaque still attached and the text readable. In 2009, the memorial stone was relocated to the Hiiumaa Military Museum.
A concrete grave marker was erected on the mass grave of Heltermaa in 1950. The mass grave in Reikama, at the former community house of Pühalepa, was closed in 1957 and the remains of 12 unknown soldiers were reburied in Heltermaa. From 1957, the mass grave in Heltermaa is marked by the dolomite obelisk with the inscription: “Eternal glory to the heroes who fell in battles for the freedom and independence of our homeland 1941–1945”. According to the data of the Military Commissariat of the Estonian SSR, 88 or 89 Soviet soldiers were buried in Heltermaa mass grave no. 2, but only two are known by name. This is the largest mass grave of Red Army soldiers in Hiiumaa. In 2022, a working group of the State Chancellery decided that it was a Soviet monument and needs to be removed.
In 1957, a typical dolomite obelisk was placed on the mass grave in Käina, bearing the following inscription: “Eternal glory to the heroes who fell in battles for the freedom and independence of our homeland 1941–1945“. A name plaque was installed in 1966. This is the burial place of the Soviet activists who were killed in 1941 as well as unknown Soviet soldiers found in Hiiumaa. The latest reburial took place in 1967 with remains from Kassari and Hiiessaare. The name plaque was smashed in mid-1990s. There is some confusion about the names and number of the buried, as is often the case with Soviet mass graves. The name plaque included 11 names, plus 13 unknown soldiers. In 2022, a working group of the State Chancellery decided that it was a Soviet monument and needs to be removed.
The mass grave for Soviet soldiers who fell in World War II was established in the yard of shipmaster Georg Kaup, in the centre of Emmaste, in 1950. There were several rounds of reburials. A concrete grave marker was installed at first. In 1957, it was replaced with a dolomite obelisk bearing the inscription: “Eternal glory to the heroes who fell in battles for the freedom and independence of our homeland 1941–1945“. According to the data of the Military Commissariat of the Estonian SSR, Emmaste mass grave no. 4 included the remains of 42–44 unknown soldiers and two civilians (Rudolf Eelma and Eduard Eeltee who were killed by the self-protection units in October 1941), which raises the total number of the buried to 44–46. As was the custom at the time, the mass grave was maintained by the Young Pioneer detachment of the local school. The mass grave in Emmaste was closed in September 2022. The remains were reburied in Mänspe cemetery and the grave marker was relocated to the Hiiumaa Military Museum.
Isak Hanslep and his son Armand Hanslep were killed on 26 October 1941. Initially, they were buried at the site of execution on the forest edge. It is thought that the killing was motivated by a feud between neighbours. In the spring of 1945, the remains were reburied in Mänspe cemetery. In 1968, a fieldstone with a plaque was placed near the murder site next to the Luidja-Emmaste road. The text on the plaque reads: “This is the place where fascist butchers killed Isak and Armand Hanslep in October 1941”. By that time, the actual murder site was under a newly established field of the collective farm. In 2022, a working group of the State Chancellery decided that it was a Soviet monument and needs to be removed.
In 1941, Kõpu Lighthouse was a surveillance post of the Red-Banner Baltic Fleet. In the autumn, a residence next to the lighthouse was hit by a German airplane bomb and three seamen were killed. In 1971, a memorial plaque was placed on the remaining concrete stairs of the residence, with the inscription in Russian: “На море и на суше вы на смерть стояли, героями были безсмертными стали. Погибщим морякам балтийтсам” [You stood until death on the sea and land, you became immortal heroes. To the killed seamen of the Baltic Fleet]. The plaque disappeared from its original location at the end of the 1990s. The metal bars that supported the plaque remain on the concrete base. Today, a sea mine shell is displayed on the stairs. The pieces of the memorial plaque are in the Hiiumaa Military Museum since 2012.
Viimati muudetud: 20/04/2023