Ingrid Teesalu, ERR News
On March 9, Tallinn will commemorate the passing of 68 years from the massive bombing of the capital by the Soviet air force.
At noon a memorial service will be held at the Inner City Cemetery. Another memorial service will be held at the St. Nicholas Church at 18:00 - one of the thousands of buildings that suffered devastating destruction in the 1944 raid.
As a tradition, the church bells will start tolling exactly at 19:15, marking the time that the first wave of bombers arrived with their deadly cargo. At the same time, candles will be lit along Harju Street in the Old Town.
The raid leveled one-third of the city, destroying thousands of buildings and turning a portion of the historic Old Town into rubble. Most of the bombs hit the dwellings and public buildings, with damage to the German military infrastructure being negligible.
Three hundred aircraft participated in the raid, dropping 3068 bombs which killed over 500 and injured 650 civilians. Another 20,000 were left homeless.
Capital Commemorates Victims of [Soviet] WWII Air Raid