• Version 1.0
  • Publication date 5 March 2024

The prison in Murru in Harju province, occupied Estonia, was a detention site for Estonian Roma from February 1943 to summer 1944. Murru was formally established in 1938 as a prison, and in July 1942 was designated a labour education camp [Arbeitserziehungslager] alongside Tallinn Central Prison and Tartu concentration camp.

As many as 78 Roma were interned in Murru in 1943. Eight, hailing from the southern part of Estonia, entered the camp on 3 February 1943. The largest group, comprising 34 individuals, reached the camp on 4 April 1943. Fourteen Roma arrived on 4 August, five on 8 September, and another 14 on 8 November. The last three known Roma prisoners were transferred to Murru on 23 December 1943. Twenty-eight-year-old Jürts Mitrovski (unknown–unknown) originally came from Elva. Nineteen-year-old Otto Koslovski (1924–unknown) was apprehended three months earlier near Haapsalu. Karl Mitrovski (unknown–unknown) from Võru had three different years of birth registered to his name: 1896, 1897, and 1898. According to the Tallinn Central Prison records, he entered that particular institution first on 7 January 1943, and then again on 4 August.

One of the defendants in a Soviet war crimes trial claimed during his interrogation in 1960 that the surviving Estonian Roma—between 150 and 200 individuals—were transferred to Murru camp in the summer of 1944. Shortly after their arrival, he said, the Estonian Security Police took away Roma prisoners and apparently murdered them. This testimony is not corroborated by any other written sources. According to the existing evidence, the Tallinn Central Prison held 31 Roma inmates in late March 1944; they may also have been transferred to Murru, but there is no further information about them. We also lack further information about the Murru camp prisoners. There is a chance some of them survived.

After the end of the Second World War and until 1994 Murru functioned as a ‘labour correctional facility’. It then regained its status as a prison, and in 2011 became part of a larger institution, Murru and Harku Prison. In 2013, Murru Prison closed down for good. At present, the former Murru Prison site is privately owned, offering guided tours of the facilities.


Anton Weiss-Wendt: Murru, in: Enzyklopädie des NS-Völkermordes an den Sinti und Roma in Europa. Hg. von Karola Fings, Forschungsstelle Antiziganismus an der Universität Heidelberg, Heidelberg 5. März 2024. -

20. Oktober 1942Von Ende Oktober 1942 bis Sommer 1944 ist das Gefängnis in Murru in der Provinz Harju (deutsch besetztes Estland) der Ort, an dem estnische Rom:nja eingesperrt werden.
27. Oktober 1942Ermordung von 243 Rom:nja in Harku (deutsch besetztes Estland), unter ihnen Karl Siimann, Leontine Siimann und Richard Siimann.
3. Februar 1943Acht Rom:nja aus dem südlichen Teil des deutsch besetzten Estlands werden im “Arbeitserziehungslager” in Murru inhaftiert. Bis November 1943 werden weitere 67 Rom:nja in das Lager gebracht.
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.
23. Dezember 1943Otto Koslovski wird in das „Arbeitserziehungslager” in Murru (deutsch besetztes Estland) eingeliefert. Dies ist die letzte verfügbare Information über ihn.