The memorial fills a significant gap in the memorial rituals of Estonian people and provides multifaceted means for relating to the Communist regime of terror. The darker side of the memorial, the journey constrained by black walls with their name plaques forms a cenotaph to the thousands who died and reminds us of all the victims who suffered. The outer side of the journey also accommodates the memorial to the Estonian officers falling victim to the terror. Next to the depressing journey, we find a bright home garden filled with apple trees – the place where people were uprooted from before they were sent on the journey of suffering and where the survivors yearned to come back to. The atmosphere created in the home garden gives faith and hope for a better future despite the atrocities suffered. In addition to the narrower meaning of the given monument, the architects have also managed to give a new perspective to the entire memorial area in Maarjamäe.
Meelis Maripuu / Estonian Institute of Historical Memory