Estonian Ministry of Defence commencing preparation work for the identification of the war graves located at the Tõnismägi green area
Archived Articles 26 Apr 2007  EWR
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The preparation work for the execution of identification procedures of the war graves at the Tõnismägi green area is beginning today, in the morning of 26th April. Archaeological excavations and identification procedures have been scheduled subsequently in order to positively identify the persons possibly buried at the site and their exact numbers.

During the preparation work, a perimeter fence surrounding the green area shall be erected at Tõnismägi. Moreover, in pursuit to ensure the treatment of the human remains in a respectful and dignified manner and the conduct of the identification procedures in accordance with the international regulations and best practices, a special tent will be set up at the scene.

The identification process will be carried out pursuant to the international best practises and agreements; most notably the DVI (Disaster Victim Identification) Guide developed by Interpol, and the general rules and best practises of forensic medicine and forensic anthropology. (Please refer to: http://www.interpol.intPublic/....

Subsequent to the completion of the preparation work, the Bureau of Forensic Medicine of Estonia together with the Forensic Service Centre will perform the identification of the remains of the persons buried in the war graves. Forensic pathologist will be present at the excavations conducted by archaeologists, supervising and instructing the latter in the processes of remains recovery, exhumation, documentation and packing. All the remains recovered will be recorded and packed by police experts – forensic science technicians.

The green area located at Tõnismägi in Tallinn, Estonia, has been designated as a cultural monument being a burial site of the victims of WWII. However, the identity of the persons buried at the site and their exact numbers have remained unclear as implicated by the historical statement composed by the Estonian Foundation for the Investigation of the Crimes Against Humanity in 2006 regarding the mass grave of the forces of the Red Army and the memorial located at Tõnismägi in Tallinn. (Please refer to:

The War Graves Committee to the Estonian Ministry of Defence has established the burial ground as war graves.

The archaeological excavations at Tõnismägi site will be conducted under the supervision of the Chief Inspector of the National Heritage Board. All the relevant operations will be performed in accordance with the provisions of the Protection of War Graves Act.
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