VEMU and Estonian Studies Centre representatives gave recognition to the more than 60 individuals who submitted accounts for their "70 Years from the Mass Exodus" campaign today at Tartu College. The campaign invited members of the community to record personal stories of fleeing Estonian from invading armies during World War II.
Jury members Piret Noorhani and Lea Krenin gave out certificates of thanks to all attending participants of the campaign. Monied prizes were given to individual winners as well as the Toronto Estonian Society Supplementary Schools for their work over the years in engaging children and youth to interview and write about their parent's and grandparent's wartime experiences.
The event also commemorated the March 1949 Soviet Deportations with the screening of the movie "In the Crosswind" (Risttuules). Alan Teder introduced the Martti Helde film, which deals with Stalin’s ethnic cleansing of 40,000 Baltic citizens during WWII. The horrors are memorably recounted in a story inspired by a real woman’s deportation to Siberia with her small daughter, while her husband was sentenced to the Gulag. Teder explained that the film itself is a noteworthy achievement in cinematography by the young director, who used the "tableau vivant" technique in which actors stand motionless for the panning camera. The film took four years to complete for Helde, who is now 27 years old.
Photos: Maimu Mölder
Estonia's Mass Exodus Remembered in Story and Film (2)