Soviet Estonia

                                                                                            SOVIET ESTONIA 


                                                                         
                           Flag of Soviet Estonia                                                        National emblem of 
                                     
                                                                 Eesti Nõugogude Vaabariik (Eesti NSV)
                                                                                                      (Free Republic of Communist Estonia)


The Estonian people were finally able to rid themselves of Russian rule after the First World War and declared independence, along with the other two Baltic nations of Latvia and Lithuania.  Subsequent to Estonian declaration of independence in February 1918, communists made several attempts to overthrow the freely elected Estonian government through agitation of the masses and armed revolt.  The most serious of these attempts occurred in December 1924 when Estonian communists, supported by Moscow revolutionaries, attempted to precipitate an armed uprising of the people by storming key locations in Tallinn and murdering resisters.  This uprising was quickly put down.  

The Molotov - Ribbentrop Pact of 1939 contained a "secret protocol" which assigned the three Baltic states to USSR sphere of influence and sealed the fate of the nations of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.  The Russians made demands upon the Estonia government to permit the establishment of military bases within the country.  This demand was just a thin veneer to conceal the true intent of Moscow to occupy Estonia.  The Red Army marched across the Estonian border at Narva with trumpets blaring in May 1940.  Concocted "elections" were held where people were only permitted to vote for communist candidates and independent free Estonia ceased to exist.  The communist NKVD and the Red Army began a purge of Estonian political and business leaders, military officers, intellectuals, and anyone deemed to be a "threat" to the communist rule.  Estonian farmers were arrested if they dared to oppose the takeover of their properties. These people were either executed or sent to Siberian gulags.

The German invasion of the USSR on June 22, 1941 gave the Estonian people a sense of salvation from the communist terror they had endured.  Estonians were caught in the middle of a death struggle between two bloody tyrants, Hitler and Stalin.  Some Estonians fought with the Germans and while others with the Red Army. 

The Red Army drove the German troops from Estonia in August of 1944 and ushered in a period of terror which has left an indelible mark on the soul of the Estonian people.  The NKVD and the Red Army began rounding up Estonians who supported the Germans or supported Estonian independence. Tens of thousands were arrested and sent to Siberia.  The survivors were finally able to return home after Stalin's death in 1953 and Khrushchev's "secret speech" of February 1956 wherein he condemned Stalin's crimes and released the people unjustly arrested by the communists. 

Estonia settled in as one of the 16 republics of the USSR.

            
Like all obedient former republics of the USSR, Estonia had her share of obligatory Soviet badges.  The following are the ones I collected during the period of 1993 - 1999 while living in Tallinn.
       
 
                                              
                                                     
Badge of NSV Supreme Central Committee 
        
                                                   

Throughout the landscape of Soviet Estonia there stood statues of Lenin.  The people debated how to dispose of these Soviet edifices after Estonia broke away from the USSR in 1991.  The city of Narva moved their Lenin to the courtyard of their fortress which was the location for old rusting cannons and other junk.   I suspect that Lenin above has already been melted down and made into manhole covers.
           

                                                                     

Külavolinik badge has an interesting history.  It is a village MVD policeman's badge, #4651, of Eesti NSV established in 1948.  This was the period of time when Stalin's NKVD shipping Estonians to the Siberian gulas and the MVD policemen played their role in this tragedy.
                                            
                                                     
                                                         For Soviet Power 1918-1920

Silver badge, # 311,  given to those Estonians who fought for the Reds during the Russian civil war.

       
                                                                             
               
Tallinn Police Academy      Tallinn Maritime School - 1968      Glorious Socialist Worker of ENSV
        
                  
                                                                               
   
This badge is loaded with praises for the                 Pin for the 15th ENSV Song Festival.  
   socialist hero worker in the shale oil and                 National song festivals have always been
   chemical industry.                                                  a way for the Estonian people to come together
                                                                                               
in a national setting to affirm their Estonian pride.
   
                 
                                                        
      
Kalev Sports Club with the                                                 Exemplary Pioneer
      obligatory Soviet red star.
     
                                                                        LABOR VETERAN MEDAL

Estonian workers received these labor medals by the box load. 

          

          
           "We shall arrive at communist labor victory"                  "For Tallinn food produce worker"
           V.I. Lenin



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