German World War II graves unearthed in Estonia | News | DW | 09.01.2018

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German World War II graves unearthed in Estonia

Workers building a memorial to victims of communism in Estonia have discovered a World War II-era German war grave. Authorities in Estonia said that the bodies would be re-buried in a nearby German cemetery.

Estonia: German WWII cemetery found

Estonian laborers working in a park near the capital Tallinn on Tuesday discovered a World War II German military cemetery.

The construction site was a future memorial to the victims of communism. Work came to a halt when the remains of around 100 German soldiers were found.

The director of the Estonian War Museum Arnold Unt, speaking on Baltic television, said that the bodies would be re-buried in a German cemetery nearby.

Estonia was absorbed by the Soviet Union and intermittently occupied by Nazi forces during World War II.

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Flowers on a Russian memorial in Tallinn Estonia

Estonian officials place flowers at the Bronze Soldier Memorial for Soviet soldiers.

During the war an estimated 35,000 German soldiers lost their lives in Estonian territory. 

Starting in 1995, the German War Graves Commission established military cemeteries in Tallinn and many other places in Estonia.

In 2007 Estonia moved the remains of Russian soldiers as well as a Russian war memorial out of Tallinn despite Russian protests.

When the Cold War ended, Estonia was one of the first republics to leave the Soviet Union. It is now a member of the European Union and the Western military alliance NATO.

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