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Holocaust Markers, Estonia

Commission Member Lee R. Seeman (third from left) attended a dedication ceremony of a memorial at the Kohlta-Nomme concentration camp site. She and Member Gary Lavine raised the funds to have the memorials created at eight sites of the German forced-labor camps.

Commission Members and then Member Lee R. Seeman led a Commission initiative in partnership with a British organization, the Holocaust Education Trust, to memorialize the site of Nazi labor camps and mass graves in Estonia. While some sites have markers, none accurately describe what happened there. With the Soviet occupation of Estonia in the summer of 1940, all Jewish organizations and businesses were closed. In June 1941, several hundred Jews were deported. After the German occupation later that year, all of the remaining Jews who had failed to flee were murdered. The Nazis then transported tens of thousands of Jews from other European countries to Estonian labor camps.

In addition to raising funds for the project, Lavine and Seeman worked closely with the leaders of the Jewish Community and the Government of Estonia to implement it. Markers were placed at a camp site in Aseri, Ereda, Kivioli, Kholta-Nomme, Klooga, Metaskalmistu, Soska, and Vaivara, Estonia.

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