24 September 2006

On September 21, 1944, as German forces left Tallinn, Estonia’s national flag was raised on Pikk Hermann Tower, the seat of the Estonian government. On September 22, the next day, Soviet troops conquered Tallinn. The country’s national tricolour was torn from the mast on the tower and was replaced by the red banner, the symbol of the new occupation. By the end of November, all of Estonia was again under Soviet control.

Estonia and the other occupied Baltic states were the only countries who had been overrun during the course of World War II but whose independence was not restored at the end of the war. Moreover, Estonia and the Baltic states were the only members of the League of Nations who were not given seats in the new United Nations.

Read more in The White Book, compiled by a special commission of the Estonian parliament.