Archive for November, 2009

Unit 2 Estonian Consentration camps

November 20, 2009



 In Estonian area, there were about 120 camps that worked from several weeks to a year and had in average some tens to some thousand detainees. The most important concentration camps were in Vaivara, Kiviõli, Klooga and Ereda.

 The first time that foreign detainees were sent to Estonia by German authorities was in September 1942. That time about 1000 Czech Jews were brought to Estonia. Most of them were sent to Jägala’s concentration camp.  From more than 2000 Jews who were brought to Estonia during 1942 estimably 74 survived the war.
 There were basicly detainees of Lithuanian origin in Vaivara’s concentration camp. All in all about 10 000 Jews were brought there.
 On 15th May 1944 one echelon (so-called convoy nr 73) with 878 men on board was brought from France, Drancy’s concentration camp to Kaunas and some of them (according to the data of Tallinn’s central prison 300) reached to Tallinn.
By 1st September 1944 when German army retreated from Tallinn to Stutthof, 34 of them had remained alive.

 By the end of 1944 more than 1500 Jews had been killed in Estonian concentration camps. Many Jews that had been brought to Estonia were also taken to concentration camps in other countries where they were killed.



   Concentration camps

 Jägala camp: In 1942 German authorities sent 2000-2100 Jewry near to Tallinn, to Jägala concentration camp. They were from Germany and Czechoslovakia. Formally the camp was called work and education camp. 1600 Jewry were killed  on the first day, before making it to the camp. The others were killed after some time. Only 74 prisoners survived.

 Vaivara camp: Vaivara camp was a set of concentration camps. At first there were 3 different camps in Vaivara with 3300 prisoners. By the end there were 20 with 10 000 prisoners. The Jewry came basically from Lithuania. About 1500 persons died because of  the harsh conditions, other 1500 were sent to different camps where they were killed. There were two massacres in Vaivara camp in Klooga and Lagedi. Over 2000 prisoners were killed.








Unit 2 Jews situation in Estonia during the II World War

November 20, 2009


When the German military unit arrived in Estonia in July1941 there was about 1000 Jews, others (~2000) had gone to Russia with Red Army. In Estonia was German military branch called Sonderkommando that decided that destroying Jews here should seem legal so do not displeasure the people and avoid conflicts with them. The eradication of Jews can be divided into phases. In the first phase which began in the middle of July 1941 the Jews were arrested in the process of “cleaning” which began right after the Germans had conquered the respective area. The arrests were made by Estonians who were ordered by the German military authorities. In 10th September 1941 the second phase began. Then everything connected to Jews was handed over to Sonderkommando. Almost all of the Jews living in Estonia were excecuted. In the Wannsee conferencre on 20th January 1942 Estonia was declared as “Jew free area“.

Unit 2 The Story of Jewes in Estonia before the second World War

November 20, 2009


First time, when the jewish are mentioned in Estonia is 1373. The master of order forbidden jews to reside in Baltics.
Polish-Lithuanian country was favor of jews. When the were the master of this Estonian country- jewish came here a lot.
After this land went to Sweden, all jews had to be baptised, so a lot of them went out of the country. Lot of rich jews went to Sweden at the 1774, when Swedish republic allowed it.
Russians came here after the North war in 1721 and were here till the end of Russian country (then started Soviet Union)! Russians used jewish people communicating with german´s. Katariina II knew that the jews are very smart, clever and skilled, so she used them. After the end of a big Polish country Russians got a land full of jews. Estonian local jews were very politful and they protected the outsiders (jews mostly)!
Jews also take part in the Estonian war of independence.
In 1941 8% of Jews were taken to Siber. In Estonia it was hard time to do something at the time of Soviet Union, but it was still better than the situation in the other unionrepublics.


The first Jewish congregation was created in Tallinn at 1856 and in Tartu at 1859, at that time the area of Estonia was under the rule of tsarist Russia and in the middle of 19.  century an act was passed that allowed the Jews to chose a place to live (after the military service of 25 years.)

In year 1865 every Jew who was highly educated, was free to chouse a place to live in whole Russia and by the time of   1881 already 3704 Jews lived in Estonia. A proper synagogue was built at 1882 in Tallinn and at 1901 in Tartu, both of witch were destroyed in second world war.

The Jewish community in Tallinn stand mainly of merchants and entrepreneurs, Tartu was high on intellectuals, because many students stayd after  the graduation of University of Tartu. Many associations were created and Tartu was the culture centre of the Jewish community. Also the  first national Jewish school was created in Tartu at 1875.

The time of First world war was a difficult time for Jews.

1918 Republic of Estonia was founded and most of the Jews preferred that solution.

11.  May 1919, The Congress of Estonian Jew Communities (Eesti Juudi Kogukondade Kongress) was assembled.  It was decided to create many different commissions that would deal with different questions when the Act of Cultural Autonomy will be accepted.

1925 the Act of Cultural Autonomy was accepted and 1926 National Council of Estonian Jews (Eesti Juudi Rahvusnõukogu) was elected, they announced Jewish Cultural Autonomy (Juudi Kultuuriautonoomia) and elected Cultural Coverment (Kultuurivalitsus).

All that was unique in world history so even the Jewish National Found in Palestine  mentioned it in their Golden Book.

By the end of the nineteen thirties  32 national organisations practiced in Estonia. At the same time the Jews were well integrated in Estonian  community, they spoke Estonian and were equal with Estonians, many of them even joined different  political partys.

Unit 1

November 19, 2009


The declaration of human rights declares the basic rights every person is entitled to. It says that all people are equal and have to be treated equally.

The declaration is necessary because that is the way humans are – we need certain laws and regulations to coexist peacefully. History has shown as that without those rules some people just can not act civilized.

Of course all the points in the declaration are important but the article 16 seemed essential for me because it seems to me that violation of this point still often occurs in many societies.


The declaration says that all human beings are born free, they are free, they have the right to life, freedom, they are equal before the law and are protected by law, nobody is guilty before it is ruled so by court, everyone has the right to travel, men and women of full age have the right to marry, everyone has the right to own property, everyone has the freedom of thought, conscience and religion and the right to express their attitude, everyone has the right to take part in government, the right to work, healthcare, wellbeing, education, participate in cultural life.

These are important in a civilised society because they are the foundation of civility and human relationships. They help to keep order in society and keep it functioning. They give people equal right for their everyday life.
I think that the most important are right to life, freedom and protection by law for all human beings because they grant the basic needs for people to live. I think that these make the fundament of human rights.

The Declaration of Human Rights says that everybody must be treated equal and anybody shouldn’t be harmed.

These legislations are important in a civilized society because without them, it would be anarchy in the world. I think civilized society, as we know it nowadays, is based on Declaration of Human Rights.

The most important for me is Article 3 because it influences me the most. Also I think it is most important at all.


 These legistlations are important to ensure that every person has a livable life and his/hers basic  rights are not being ignored.

  The most important legistlations to me are

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. – I have the same rights as everybody else and I am free in my decisions.

No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. – I am not being treated in a cruel or degrading way.

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. – I have the right to express my ideas without being disapproved.

Everyone has the right to education. Education is free.  – I have the right to attend school without having to pay for it.


The declaration of human rights say that it is necessary to protect human rights. We need to obey the law to have a peaceful and friendly society, where there is no torturing and nobody feels fear or dearth.

These legislations are important in a civilised society because everybody has a right to be treated equally, everybody has a right to think and express their emotions. Without a law that protects people from unrightful behavior, there would soon be a rebellion against tyranny and oppression.
The most important legislations to me are article 1, which say that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, and article 4, which say that no one shall be held in slavery or servitude. These legislations are important to me because everybody should be treated equally, not based on their race, belief, sex or age. Nobody should suffer from slavery. It is humans torturing.

Human Rights and the Holocaust

November 19, 2009

This project is supported by Yad Vashem ( and European Union Agency for Human Rights (

Teachers, who are involved: Mirela Popescu (Romania), Charis Scholinaki-Chelioti (Greece), Steve Richardson (UK) and Aare Ristikivi (Estonia).

About the project

November 19, 2009

The project is divided into five distinct sections (outlined below) and will be classroom based. Students are encouraged to carry out their own research on the topics as well as use information and resources provided by the staff involved. Those participating will also be expected to add their own, personal reflections on the material covered. It is aimed at 16-18 year olds but younger students could participate if their staff think it is appropriate.  

Unit 1: What are our human rights?

 Suggested content:

  • Research – what does the declaration of human rights say?
  • Why are these legislations important in a civilised society?
  • Which ones from the list are the most important to you and why?


Unit 2: The Holocaust

 Suggested content:

  • Research – find examples from the Holocaust where specific human rights were violated

e.g. removal of civic rights in the Nuremberg Laws etc.

  • Use of survivor testimony – either by invitation into school or via video conference
  • Preparation for survivor testimony to include questions regarding the violation of human rights


Unit 3: Modern Genocide

 Suggested content:

  • Students to research one more recent act of genocide e.g. in Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda or Darfur
  • Research to focus on how / why it started, what happened and how human rights were violated
  • Use of survivor testimony from these genocides could also be explored either in written or film format


Unit 4: How can genocide be prevented?

 Suggested content:

  • Research the causes of genocide – focus on the common threads between the Holocaust and others
  • Explore what young people can practically do to ensure ‘Never Again’

e.g. democracy, political activism, government commitments, personal / social responsibilities

  • Raising awareness of key issues such as tolerance to fellow students and local community


Unit 5: Sharing experiences

 Suggested content:

  • Students to share their research projects and personal responses with the other EU schools involved
  • This could include examples of quality work, good practice, lesson plans etc.
  • Exchange of ideas via e-mail, video conference and a Web Site for the project created and managed by Mirela Popescu’s school in Romania
  • The possibility of students visiting each others schools could also be explored.

Hello world!

November 19, 2009

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