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Explanations and Survey of the Material Presented in Tables and Figures


Personal data about people, imprisoned due to political reasons during the communist regime 1940-1990 will probably provided in four volumes.

Personal data about 15,001 Estonian resident, imprisoned due to political reasons, 2,215 personal data with a note “republished” and 471 references e. g. “Indrikus, Alfred, Karl, b. on Oct. 16, 1909 [see Hinrikus, Alfred, Karl]” has been published for the first time in the present book ”Political Arrests in Estonia”. Data with a note “republished” have been given in Volume 1 and in Volume 2 the data has been amended or elaborated with new archive data or data sent by relatives.

Statistical overview enhances 20,164 personal data published for the first time in Volume 1 and 15,001 in Volume 2 of the book “Political Arrests in Estonia”. Repeated data, i.e. 2,215 personal data with a note “republished” and 471 references have not been included in the total number of the arrested. So in the following tables and illustrations the maximum number of people is a sum of data in Volumes 1 and 2: 20,164+15,001-(455+90) =34,620. Due to different reasons 545 personal data were left out of the statistical overview. Taking a look at the data of the statistical overview in Volumes 1 and 2 concerning separately 20 thousand and 15 thousand people showed that excerpts of the total arrested people on the basis of those occasional (scattered files by KGB) blocks of shelves are representative. In Volumes 1 and 2 the average imprisonment time is accordingly 15,74 and 15,64 years, death sentence percentage 8,4 and 8,37, and the percentage of females among the arrested 11,2 and 7,75.

More than 18, 000 personal data of the arrested, 20% of which may be repeated names in previously published volumes, have been written down and inserted into computer’s memory for Volume 3 of the book “Political Arrests in Estonia”. The Estonian inhabitants arrested for political reasons are sufficient also for Volume 4, but their documented data is unknown yet in different Russian and Estonian archives.

Main conclusions from the Tables’ data.

Data of 34,710 arrested person, presented in Table 3.1 and Figures 3.1-1…3.1-6, prove following:

  • most of the people were arrested in years 1945, 1941, 1944 and 1950;
  • most females were arrested in years 1945, 1941, 1950 and 1949;
  • females’ share among the arrested was on the average 9,7%, whereas their share increased permanently between 1943–1949 and it was 21,0-17,1% between 1949–1954;
  • most of death sentences of the arrested were in years 1941 (1,622 death sentences), 1940, 1944 and 1945;
  • the average percentage of death sentences was 8,24 and the total number was 2,861;
  • on the average 23,56% of the arrested, i.e. 8,176 people from 34,710 died or were murdered in the inhuman conditions of prisons or prison camps;
  • death rate due to diseases and starvation and the share of the murdered by years of arrest was the highest in 1941 (67,1%), 1940 (48,5%) and 1944 (22,8%);
  • between 1947–1953 the rate of death sentences and deaths was low. After Stalin’s death (1953), in 1954–1989 there were at least 25 death sentences of the arrested and in addition at least 23 people died or were murdered in prisons or prison camps;
  • the average imprisonment (imprisonment + limited rights and deportation altogether) was 15,77 years, whereas the annual maximum imprisonment to the arrested were in years 1951 (25,94 years), 1952 (23,73), 1950 (22,14), 1948 (21,38) and 1953 (20,31);
  • after Stalin’s death, the average imprisonment was about 15 years in years 1954 and 1955 and more than 10 years in years 1956–1958, also in 1963 and 1965.

Data in Table 3.2 and Figure 3.2-1 prove that courts and the other condemnatory organs passed resolutions on the average 12,6% of cases 1-2 years after arrest and in 0,79% of the cases after more than 2 years.

These late sentences did not occur after 1953 (after Stalin’s death). In years 1941 and 1944 the percentage of condemnation more than a year after arrest was accordingly 34,89% and 19,99%.

Data in Table 3.3 and Figure 3.3-1 prove that at least 82, i.e. 0.24% (“at least”, because the age of 666 people unknown) 0-15 years old under aged were arrested, totally 1,786 people, i.e. 5,16% were up to 20 years old. Among them up to the age of 5 years old were at least 7 (per 34,640 people). There were 1,386 people, i.e. 4,0% (retired age) among the arrested. So 21-59 years old males and females, who might have been active family people, grow children and grandchildren made up totally 90,84% of the arrested.


War tribunals made 75,66% and special councils 9,14% of the prosecuting organs, which made decisions. After Stalin’s death special councils were still active, the impact of war tribunals decreased significantly, directives of the State Security Committee local organ disappeared but the role of the ESSR Supreme Court increased. See Tables 3.4, 3.5 and Figures 3.4-1 and 3.5-1.


Initial data in Volumes 1 and 2 has been classified into:


  • data from the Supreme Court of the Republic of Estonia (ük),
  • data from the rehabilitation files of the Prosecuting Archive of the Republic of Estonia (pr),
  • data from the files of KGB archive funds 129 and 130 in Estonian State Archive (ar) and
  • memory data from questionnaires (kl; on special form or letter).


In case of 1,064 of 34,620 arrested people the initial source (kind) and the number of the document or file is not noted (unknown). In case of many people besides archive data also data from questionnaire has been used. 59,74% of the initial data is from KGB archives, 22,38% from the archive of the Republican Supreme Court, 15,94% from the Republican Prosecuting Magistracy Archive and only 1,93% from the questionnaires. The use of the kinds of initial data has been given in Table 3.16.