Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Baltic Germans Began Leaving Estonia 75 Years Ago

75 years ago in October 1939, the vast majority of the Baltic Germans started leaving Estonia under the Baltic German Resettlement Scheme. For over 700 years these families had been the ruling class in Estonia and made up approximately ten percent of the population.

Prior to the all-out Soviet invasion of the Baltic States scheduled for the summer of 1940, the secret Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union permitted Baltic Germans to leave prior to the event.

Approximately 65,000 Baltic Germans were resettled from Estonian and Latvia to the Warthgau and other Polish areas that were conquered by Nazi Germany during the war.

Both the Estonian and Latvian governments published books listing the names of those who left. The entries lists the persons' names, date of birth, birth places and addresses. These books can be found in the respective national libraries.