Kalevi-Liiva

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Kalevi-Liiva
  • Version 1.0
  • Last edited 23 June 2023

Kalevi-Liiva was a mass execution site for Jews and Roma, ca. 33 km east of Tallinn in Estonia. Until 1940, the Estonian army used Kalevi-Liiva dunes as an artillery range. On 30 August 1942, then Head of the Political Department of the German Security Police (Sipo) in Estonia, Heinrich Bergmann (1902–1980), notified his counterpart Ain-Ervin Mere in the Estonian Security Police about the decision to reroute two Jewish transports from the German Reich to Estonia. In conversation, they identified Kalevi-Liiva as the prospective mass killing site for the incoming German and Czech Jews. A group of inmates was sent from Tallinn Central Prison to dig a mass grave at Kalevi-Liiva in the first days of September. On two days, 5 September and 1 October 1942, a firing squad consisting of members of the Estonian Security Police murdered 1,754 Jews at Kalevi-Liiva. Subsequently Kalevi-Liiva served as a mass killing site for Estonian Roma. So far, five shootings of Roma have been reported that are linked to Kalevi-Liiva.

Forty-two Roma teenagers held in Laitse Juvenile Correctional Facility lost their lives at Kalevi-Liiva sometime between 15 October 1942 and March 1943. Details about this particular mass killing come from the records of a 1960–61 Soviet war crimes trial. From the context, this act of mass murder must have taken place around the time of the first larger mass execution of Roma in Estonia on 27 October 1942.

Most likely Kalevi-Liiva was also the site of the murder of the Roma who were sent to Tallinn Central Prison from all over Estonia between 8 and 14 February 1943. On 10 February, the German Sipo claimed 110 Romani inmates and on 17 February a further 337. In official parlance, those individuals ‘moved from the Tallinn labour education camp into the custody of the German Security Police’. This meant just one thing—mass murder.

At least six defendants in Soviet war crimes trials mention another mass killing of Roma at Kalevi-Liiva, in early March 1943. Using this evidence alongside available police records makes it possible to identify 36 Roma (22 women, four elderly, and ten small children) who were murdered there and then. Among the gruesome details that have emerged are the circumstances of the death of an elderly woman, who was truly the last to lose her life that day. She had no legs; the victim had given the guards her last money and a golden ring for the ‘privilege’ of being carried rather than dragged to the mass grave. In all likelihood, the victim was either the 70-year-old Anastasia Tsubulski or the 67-year-old Maria Ivanov, both from Petseri province.

There was one more occasion when Roma were shot in Kalevi-Liiva: In early spring 1944, the director of Laitse Juvenile Correctional Facility received an order from the German Sipo to hand over the remaining Roma children. He was allegedly told that the children were to meet their parents and would return within a week. But according to information he received later, they were murdered at Kalevi-Liiva.

In the spring of 1944, Sonderkommando 1005 under the command of Paul Blobel (1894–1951) began erasing the traces of mass murder at Kalevi-Liiva by burning the corpses. In March 1961, four defendants implicated in the crimes committed at Kalevi-Liiva and Tallinn Central Prison stood trial, an event which was widely publicised by the Soviet authorities. 0n 6 May 2007, the North Estonia Romani Association erected a monument at the former mass execution site in Kalevi-Liiva. This is the first and only monument commemorating the murdered Roma of Estonia.

Zitierweise

Anton Weiss-Wendt: Kalevi-Liiva, in: Enzyklopädie des NS-Völkermordes an den Sinti und Roma in Europa. Hg. von Karola Fings, Forschungsstelle Antiziganismus an der Universität Heidelberg, Heidelberg 9. November 2022. -

1942
1. – 4. September 1942Eine Gruppe von Insassen des Tallinner Zentralgefängnisses wird gezwungen, in Kalevi-Liiva (deutsch besetztes Estland) ein Massengrab für geplante Erschießungen in den ersten Septembertagen auszuheben.
15. Oktober 1942Zwischen dem 15. Oktober und März 1943, vermutlich um die Zeit der ersten größeren Massenexekution von Rom:nja im besetzten Estland am 27. Oktober 1942, werden in Kalevi-Liiva zweiundvierzig jugendliche Rom:nja ermordet, die im Erziehungslager für Jugendliche in Laitse eingesperrt waren.
1943
10. Februar 1943Massenerschießung von 110 Rom:nja, die zuvor im Zentralgefängnis von Tallinn (deutsch besetztes Estland) inhaftiert waren, durch die deutsche Sicherheitspolizei, wahrscheinlich in Kalevi-Liiva. Unter den Opfern ist Lonny Indus aus Narva, die Ehefrau von Willem Indus, zusammen mit ihren sechs Kindern.
17. Februar 1943Massenerschießung von 337 Rom:nja, die zuvor im Zentralgefängnis von Tallinn (deutsch besetztes Estland) inhaftiert waren, durch die deutsche Sicherheitspolizei, wahrscheinlich in Kalevi-Liiva. Willem Indus aus Narva ist unter den Opfern, ebenso der fünfzehnjährige Pavel Koslovski aus der Gemeinde Petseri und sein Vater, Nikolai Koslovski.
1. – 5. März 1943Sechsunddreißig Rom:nja (22 Frauen, vier ältere Menschen und zehn kleine Kinder) werden Anfang März 1943 in Kalevi-Liiva (deutsch besetztes Estland) ermordet.
1944
Frühjahr 1944Das Sonderkommando 1005 beginnt damit, die Spuren des Massenmordes in Kalevi-Liiva (deutsch besetztes Estland) durch Verbrennung der Leichen zu beseitigen.
1961
6. – 11. März 1961Vier Angeklagte, die in die Verbrechen in Kalevi-Liiva und im Zentralgefängnis von Tallinn verwickelt waren, stehen vor Gericht, ein Ereignis, das von den sowjetischen Behörden in großem Umfang publik gemacht wird.
2007
6. Mai 2007In Kalevi-Liiva wird das erste und einzige Denkmal für die ermordeten Rom:nja Estlands enthüllt, das von der Romani Association of North Estonia initiiert wurde.