People in Holocaust

Careelika:

 The story of one foreign Jew who was deported to Estonian concentration camps.

Her name was Anna Bauer she was from Czech Slovaquie. She was one of 1000 Czech Jews deported to Estonia probably by the first echelon on September 5th in 1942. After their journey in train from Terezin (Theresienstadt) ghetto to Raasiku railway station the best ones were sorted out and sent to Jägala concentration camp, while the others where killed in Kalevi-Liiva gunnery-practice ground.

When the deported arrived at Jägala’s concentration camp, they were searched through. Living conditions were very bad, for e.g. they didn’t have any heat, water nor light there.
After Jägala’s concentration camp they were taken to Patarei’s prison, where they had central heating and water but very little room. Sometimes when working out of the camp they met Estonians who helped them and gave them food.

After Paterei’s prison they were sent to Vaivara’s concentration camp that was one of the worst concentration camps she had been in.
On September 1st 1944 when German army retreated from Tallinn to Stutthof, she was also one of those detainees who were taken to Germany. In Stutthof the conditions were a lot worse than in Estonian concentration camps and there was the first time she heard about gas chambers.
Having been to Danzig for a short time, they were finally closed to a shed, where they were found by the Russian army who rescued them. Anna Bauer was already unconscious by that time but she was saved by one of her mates.

Helen:

The perpetrator – Karl Linnas (1919-1987)

 Karl Linnas was an Estonian who was sentenced to capital punishment during the Holocaust trials in Soviet Estonia in 1961. He was later deported from the United States to the Soviet Union.

Linnas was tried in absentia and sentenced to death by a Soviet court in 1962 on charges that during the German occupation, between 1941 and 1943, he was the commandant of a Nazi concentration camp at Tartu and had personally shot innocent civilians, including Jewish men, women and children. After Soviet armies pushed the Germans out of Estonia, Linnas fought with the German army and was wounded in 1944. Then he stayed in Dispaced Person camps in Germany until emigrating to the USA in 1951.

Karl Linnas worked as a land surveyor, living quietly in Greenlawn, New York until 1979, when U.S. immigration officials charged him with making false statements to gain entry to the United States.

In 1981 the Federal District Court in Westbury, New York stripped the 67-year-old Linnas of his US citizenship for having lied to immigration officials thirty years earlier about his Nazi past. A 1986 federal appeals court upheld his deportation order, ruling that the evidence against the defendant was “overwhelming and largely uncontroverted.”

On April 20, 1987, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a final appeal. At that point Linnas was flown to the Soviet Union and almost three months later died in a prison hospital in the then Leningrad while awaiting trial (July 2, 1987). Linnas became the first naturalized American to be sent to the Soviet Union to face a pending death sentence.

 Ilmar Rebane was the defender of Karl Linnas. He said that Linnas shot only people who were in the grave and showed signs of life. He rarely beat prisoners. Soviet Union claimed that 12 000 people were killed in Tartu’s  concentration camp in 1941. Estonian detective Riho Västrik said that it was 4000. Karl Linnas himself told that Germans are responsible for what happened in the concentration camps.

 

We don’t know – Harri Männil

Alar:

Biography

Harry Männil was born on 17 May 1920 in Tallinn. He is a brother of geologist Ralf Männil. Männil graduated from Gustav Adolf Grammar School in 1938. In 1940–1943 he studied economy in University of Tartu and in 1943 business management in Helsinki. He left Estonia in 1943, and after staying in Finland and Sweden he has lived in Venezuela since 1946. In 1955 he married Mazula D’Empaire; they have four children.

In 1954 Männil was one of the founders of Aco Group, becoming its president in 1972. In 1994 he left Aco and became the president of Grupo Oriand. Männil has been a prominent entrepreneur in the automotive industry in the USA and Venezuela, and has belonged to managements of several Venezuelan companies. Around 2003 Männil retired from active business, having been succeeded by his sons.

Männil is known as an art collector and cultural benefactor in several countries. Männil has the largest private collection of pre-Columbian art in Venezuela, and his collection has been regarded as among the 200 largest private collections by the ARTnews magazine. He is the founder and the first director of West Venezuela Water Sport Federation, and has been the director of Ateneo de Caracas in Caracas and Maracaibo Art Center. Männil is a member of international council of Museum of Modern Art in New York. He is also Knight of Malta since 1968. He has been awarded several condecoracions and recognitions by Estonia, Venezuela and other countries for his endeavors in the cultural sector.

In 1990, Männil visited Estonia for the first time after 1943 on the invitation of Vaino Väljas, who he had met when Väljas was the Soviet Union’s ambassador to Venezuela. In the course of the restoration of Estonian independence 1990–1992, Männil was the president of the Prime Minister’s Economy Friends Club, which during the governments of Edgar Savisaar and Tiit Vähi. The club consisted of Estonian businessmen living abroad, who gave economic advice and helped to explain the Estonia’s situation in the western countries. Männil is also a godfather to Savisaar’s daughter. In 1998, Männil together with Henry Radeval founded Eduard Wiiralt Art Award.

Accusations of war crimes

Harry Männil has been accused of committing war crimes against Jews during the Second World War while working for three months in the Nazi-organized Estonian political police in Tallinn in 1941. In that time one of his labor conscriptions was arresting and interrogating of Jews. The Simon Wiesenthal Center claims that he participated in the persecution and murder of civilians, allegedly being responsible of murdering 100 Jews personally and indirectly being liable for the death of thousands of others. It is due to the fact that all of the Jews, who were interrogated by Männil, were later killed. Roland Lannes, a former co-worker of Männil, testified that Harry was involved in the execution of Jews, Communists and Estonian patriots and after that seizing their property.

Raul:

Harri Männil is accused by the Simon Wiesenthal Center of having participated in the murder of Jews during German occupation of Estonia. Estonian court found him not guilty. In April 1990, the chief of Estonian SSR’s KGB, informed Moscow that there is no evidence about Männil, and all reasons for obtaining such evidence have been exhausted. Estonian authorities have on multiple occasions indicated that they have found no evidence proving that Männil is guilty of war crimes. In 1995 Estonian investigators combed their files for evidence implicating Männil, but found none. In 2001 an Estonian International Commission for Investigation of Crimes Against Humanity (that has no Estonian members for independence purposes) announced that they have found no evidence which would indicate Männil’s participation in war crimes. However, the investigators did discover that 7 Jews Männil interrogated were later executed. In March 2001, “Kaitsepolitsei” started investigating Männil’s wartime activities at Efraim Zuroff’s request. After a nearly five year long investigation it was concluded that there is no evidence regarding Männil’s participation in war crimes. The state prosecutor Margus Kurm said that there are no documents or witnesses to prove Männil’s participation in executions, arrests, or other repressions. Regarding those individuals whom Männil had interrogated, Kurm said that there is no evidence that Männil was aware of them being destined for repression or execution. Several aspects support the view that Männil was unaware of such possibilities.

Kaie:

The Righteous Among The Nations – Uku Masing

In years 1941-1944 during the Second World War was Estonia under the occupation of Nazi Germany. Almost all the Estonian Jews who did not escape to Soviet Union were killed. Few had the luck like Isidor Levin (also Lewin) – a Latvian student in Tartu University, who later became a noted professor – he was helped by Uku Masing.

Isidor Lewin was Masing`s stundent and neighbor. Masing and his wife Eha helped Levin to stay undetected, helped him with  food and other needs. Doing so, they risked their lives only by having a contact with a Jew. But even more: Masing provided Levin with forged documents and shelter. He also gave a false testimony to Gestapo.

In year 1998 the Israeli state awarded Eha Masing with the Diploma Righteous Among the Nations. At that time his husband was already passed away. The award is given to people who risked their lives to save Jews. The ambassador of Israel sayd: “The jews fallow the principle: who has saved one Jew, has saved a hole community”.

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