For more than a decade, the Estonian Institute of Historical Memory has, besides its other tasks, recorded video interviews with people whose life was affected by the 20th century foreign regimes’ repressions and major historical shifts. The collected memoirs and the accompanying research has been gathered to the oral history portal Kogu Me Lugu.

We are currently focusing on the research of Estonian World War II refugees. We aim to compile a list of persons who fled from Estonia during the war, put together a short documentary of the refugees’ memoirs, as well as publish a book on the results of our research. We wish to reach these goals by next autumn, just in time for the 80th anniversary of the Mass Flight of 1944.

Thus, we invite World War II refugees to share their story in a video interview. The refugees’ routes varied: while some travelled on a ship, others fled on a small yacht, on the way to either Germany or Sweden. There were both easier journeys, and most nerve-wracking and arduous voyages. All these stories are of great value in order to better understand history, both for people nowadays and for future generations.

The interviews will be recorded using professional video equipment and will most likely be a couple of hours long. The interviewees will not receive royalties; however, in addition to the significant contribution to the preservation and research of our shared history, each interviewee will receive a copy of the recording that can be shared with one’s family and friends. 

Kogu Me Lugu (Collect Our Story) interviews will be recorded mostly in Estonia, but there is also an option to record some interviews this summer in Sweden. All those that are interested in sharing their story, please contact Ms Iris Piirak before 1 June 2023: 

The Estonian Institute of Historical Memory is currently one of the central institutions in Estonia engaged in investigating foreign regimes’ repressions and Estonia’s 20th century history, in addition to its awareness-raising activities.