Change of government

Estonian President Konstantin Päts, 1939.


and after 15 years of NKVD prison, shortly before his death in 1956.


The photo gives 1894 as Päts’ year of birth. In the reality he was twenty (!) years older, as he was born on 23 February 1874.

Johan Laidoner, Commander-in-chief of the Estonian army, 1939.


in 1941, when the NKVD arrested him


after 12 years of NKVD prison, shortly before his death in 1953.


The 23 August 1989 issue of the Estonian journal Edasi (Forward) reviews with a vitriolic pen the curiosities to be read in the contemporary (Soviet) Estonian history books. The schoolbooks claimed in all seriousness that in 1940 Johannes Laidoner sent to Berlin Colonel Richard Masing with the question whether if Estonia will attack the Soviet Union, will Germany also be willing to declare war. The Soviet Union could not ignore this threat, so the Soviet Army was compelled to march into Estonia (see the phrasebook published for this occasion) which did not intervene in the internal affairs of the Estonian state, but due to its presence, the revolutionary atmosphere of the working class became stronger.

Three videos on contemporary Estonia, including a color fragment on the president and the commander-in-chief. It is also worth to read the comments on YouTube:

         

Johan Laidoner and his wife Maria Laidoner.



Maria Laidoner in 1941, when the NKVD arrested her


and about ten years later.


The Estonian governmental system was quite peculiar until the mid-thirties, in as much as the Prime Minister was also the head of state (riigivanem). Here we present all the riigvanems of Estonia.

Ants Piip. Died in an NKVD prison camp in 1942.

Johan Kuuk. Died in an NKVD prison camp in 1942.


Friedrich Akel. Shot dead by the NKVD in 1941.


Jüri Jaakson. Shot dead by the NKVD in 1942.


Jaan Teemant. Arrested by the NKVD in 1940, his fate is unknown.


Jaan Tõnisson. Arrested by the NKVD in 1940, his fate is unknown.


Otto Strandman. Fled to suicide before the arrest by the NKVD in 1941.


Kaarel Eenpalu. Died in an NKVD prison camp in 1942.


Only one former riigivanem was able to escape from Estonia.

August Rei. Died in Stockholm in 1963.