One of the bomb`s chips that flew into our living room.
It is the year 1944, evening of the 9th of March. Usual evening things were done in homes – some eat, some read, homework was learned, a few had already fallen asleep. Suddenly it became as light as on the midnoon in the city, grumble of the airplanes sounded and first thunders. It was the beginning of the bombing of Tallinn.
The crowd of our house rushed to the shelter. After some time a strong booze was heard – next door house had been hit. More and more houses burst, the streets were in flames, bombs rained down tightly, the sky was glowing of lighting candles. Then there was a little break. The air raids continued again around one o’clock at night.
Great-grandfather was not home at the time, but nearby. The rest of the family was in the countryhouse. The crowd tried to get out of town, but it was not easy. Streets were full of stone debris, flames and smoke everywhere, no vehicle moving. Great-grandfather started walking towards the family. As he heard on the way that it was all razed to the ground in our neck of the woods, he decided to come and take a look at the ruins.
And then he saw from afar the only remaining building of the area – our house.
Our house had survived the bombing by a miracle, and the people of our house bravely threw water to the walls to delete the flames. Of course, some bomb fragments were flown into appartments. Several of them were lying on the floor of our living room. One of the minor fragments was kept and we still have it in our cupboard.
View to the Old Town
Estonian National Opera
Burning in Old Town
St. Nicholas’ Church
People looking for their belongings.
Thousands of Soviet bombs set the town on fire, killed 757 people, of whom 586 were civilians and 75 prisoners of war, wounded 659, and left 25,000 people without shelter in the spring thaw.
Photos are taken from Tallinn City Museums Collections.