Oral history with Artur Johannes Puppart and Arvo Pesti.
Puppart, Artur Johannes, 1924- and Pesti, Arvo, 1956-
Artur Johannes Puppart was born in Saaremaa, Saare County. Describes the Red Army soldiers and their shopping preferences in 1939. Saw the bodies which were removed from Saaremaa castle in 1941. Out of vengeance joined the German Army in 1942. In chronological order speaks about his service – took part in an execution of partisans in Russia. Joined the Estonian Legion in May of 1943. Recalls his time in Lauenburg NCO School in 1943. Took part in the Battle of Nevel from late 1943 to early 1944. Spent the rest of his service in the Estonian Legion as a firearms instructor in Jägala, Anija, Kohila and Kehra. Thinks back on how he was able to leave the Estonian Legion. Was mobilized into the Red Army and spent time in different labor battalions in Estonia – talks about his work and conflict with Red Navy sailors. Was imprisoned by the Soviet authorities and sentenced to 15 years for taking part in four executions of partisans. Recalls his time in Mordovian SSR and Perm Krai prison camps. Compares different prisons and prison camps. At the end of the video shows his medals. Arvo Pesti has a brief discussion with Artur Johannes Puppart about his pension.
Eerik-Niiles Kross lectures about Forest Brothers in Estonia 1941-1956. Defines the periodization of the movement and describes each period in more detail. Discusses the motivations of Forest Brothers, their guerrilla war tactics, outside support and their accomplishments. Mentions well known Forest Brothers. Talks about their tactics to avoid capture or what they did when they were captured.
Eino Eiskop recalls trying to escape to the West in 1944. His father was arrested by the NKVD in late 1944 or early 1945. He was pressured to become an informant. Because of this his father started to hide himself in the forest. The NKVD started to pressure Eino Eiskop’s family. Eino Eiskop had to leave his home and move in with his grandparents in Kadila Village, Vinni Parish. Describes the partisan movement in Lääne-Viru County and public defiance against collectivization. Talks about the mentality of the second half of 1940’s. Eino Eiskop was deported in March of 1949. In detail talks about the deportation process and how he was able to help his cousin escape. Recollects his train ride – no deaths but one birth -, slave auction in Siberia and making contact with people in Estonia. He was released in 1957.
Elise Mets talks in chronological order about her employment as a teacher. Recalls arrests, elections and education during the Soviet occupation of Estonia (1940-1941). During the June deportation of 1941 brought bread to a deportee in Jõhvi Railway Station. Remembers the changes in school during the German occupation of Estonia (1941-1944). Speaks in detail about the death of her husband in 1944 and the problems it caused – the authorities did not believe that her husband is dead (presumed to be hiding in the forest) and harassed her for years.