Visit behind the Iron Curtain

Maie Currie was born in Estonia in 1939. Her mother escaped with her to Germany in 1944 and in 1949 they left for the United States. This is Currie’s emotional account how she went back to Soviet-occupied Estonia in 1968 for six days to meet her father who had been taken from her in 1941 to a labour camp in Siberia and eventually was made to go into the Soviet Army.*

Maie Currie was born in Estonia in 1939. In 1944 her mother escaped with her to Germany and lived for five years in a DP (displaced persons) camp.  In 1949 they left for the US, where Currie still resides. But her dad had been taken from them by the Soviets in 1941 and made to go into the Soviet Army. It wasn’t until 1968 when Currie had a chance to travel back to Estonia to see her dad again. At the time, Estonia was ruled by the Soviet Union, behind the “Iron Curtain” and foreign visitors were a rarity. This is Currie’s emotional recollection of her short journey back to her native land.

*****

Did I know or even care what was waiting for me in Estonia the first time I went back. Not at all since, I was more interested in meeting my father for the first time as an adult in 1968 than any of the unknown factors that might be looming in the dark. The fact that Estonia was behind the “Iron Curtain” had a certain mystery about it that was unfamiliar and scary to most in reality. We heard all kinds of stories, but as stories went, you never knew what was true and what was exaggerated.

The anticipation of seeing ‘Eesti’

The excitement within me was escalating as I boarded the ship in Helsinki for Tallinn. I would have really enjoyed a drink from the bar since that could have calmed my nerves. Since I was not sure how it would look if a woman walked up to the bar alone among all the joyful Finns and ordered a drink, so I refrained from it.

Helsinki-Tallinn passenger ship

The anticipation was peaking as I watched Tallinn’s silhouette get closer. I could hardly believe that I was going to be walking on the soil of the country of my birth, the country I had to flee from during the war, the country I loved so much, and the country that was occupied and suppressed by the Communism of the Soviet Union now. In spite of that, this was my “Eesti” (Estonia) and I always held it close to my heart. I had such a roller-coaster of emotions and they were hard to contain. So many questions ran through my mind – besides my father, who else was going to be waiting for me? Would I recognise them? How would I fit in? Would I be welcomed?

Detained by Soviet border control

I was the last one off the ship and I wondered if that was because I came from America. I had two very big suitcases and always needed a porter. I wanted to bring everyone something and that caused me to be detained in customs for endless hours. Every bag and piece of luggage was gone through with a fine toothcomb. Things were removed and my thrill of being there quickly changed to anger. No amount of arguing helped my situation. There was no winning with the “powers that were”. They were not even Estonian.

By this time, it was getting late and I had no idea where my family and friends were. Had they gone home? Did they last the hours of waiting and not knowing what was going on? The exhaustion was overtaking me and I could not think straight. Some items were confiscated, some were taken to the back room and inspected closer, there were questions, and heads were shaking. The bags were all a mess and the suitcases did not close properly. With no help, I had to struggle myself. “Oh, God!  Did I do the right thing in coming here?” I quickly dismissed that thought since I was already there and would still see my father.

Family reunion

As I struggled with my stuff and walked around the corner, I hear all kinds of cheering and greetings from a distance. “My God, they are all here!” I thought, as my heart could not have beaten any faster or louder in my chest. I still could not get to them since there was an eight-foot chain link fence separating us. As I was led into the fenced area, I quickly glanced to see where my father was.

I saw a very tall man, but I did not remember him from pictures to be looking like this man. In any case, I dropped everything, ran to him with an “isa” (father), and hugged him. Finally, I was here with my father. Once we let go and looked into each other’s eyes, the tall man said to me, “I am not your father.  I am your godfather.” It was as if a bolt of lightning had struck me. “Where is my father?” No one knew and everyone was almost as shocked as I was.

Waiting to transport me to the Intourist Hotell Tallinn (the Soviet-era state-owned hotel in the Estonian capital) was an official car. Truth be told, now I was scared to death and asked if “tädi” (aunt) Erika could come with me. I had initially wanted my godfather also to come but I was allowed only one person. “Tädi” Erika mentioned to them where we would be going after the hotel but some had to go home and I would see them another time. I just went along with whatever was decided by “my people”.

hotel-tallinn-in-1960s

It turned out we were going to my godfather’s apartment, which was not far from the hotel. In sign language, I was informed that the walls had ears and to be careful what I said. Since I would be too upset talking to my father over the phone, my godfather called him to find out where he was. My father wept because he did not know I was coming that day and was upset that he was not there to meet me. You see, with the letters being censored “they” decided not to have my father receive my last letter in which I told him of my arrival date and time. My godfather arranged that my father take the first train from Kohila and come to the hotel in the morning to meet me.

Counting the crumbs

In the meantime, they sat me at the only comfortable chair in the small apartment in front of a small round table. “Tädi” Leida placed a pancake on a plate in front of me with a small jar of berry preserve. Immediately I asked, what about the rest of you? The response was devastating because this preserve was saved especially for me. They did not have the heart to eat it themselves. So there I was sitting and eating alone at the table with the six or seven of them just watching me enjoying this “delight”. It broke my heart. I came from the land of plenty and here in Estonia they were counting the crumbs.

With the secret code of “watch what you say”, I waited for one of them to start all conversations. My mother had warned me of this even when I was writing letters to Soviet-occupied Estonia, so it was not difficult for me to abide by the same rules during my stay. This gave me an idea of what I could expect in the next several days but there was more to come.

KGB everywhere

As “tädi” Erika walked me back to the hotel, it seemed as if she had to have eyes all around. She did have only two eyes, but they were moving everywhere. It made me a little nervous as well. I was sad when she left because I was not sure when I would see her again.

I needed to change into my nightgown but hesitated because of the known bugs. I envisioned they also could be lurking at me with cameras. With that thought in mind, I took my clothes off in the windowless bathroom without turning the light on. I too became paranoid.

Of course, everyone back home had warned me about the lack of toilet paper in Estonia, but I forgot to bring a roll. I checked earlier and realised they had a roll, but it looked like crepe paper and felt like sandpaper. Luckily, I brought some tissues, but saved them for special occasions and going out.

Praying for the blue, black and white flag on the “Pikk Hermann” tower

Estonia is so far north that in June the nights were very short. I marveled as the sky swayed from dusk to dawn and never got dark. I sat on the bed and looked at the round vase on the windowsill with the flowers given me when I arrived. I especially admired the buttercups since I had not seen any back home.

Looking out of the two large windows was what should have been the second most beautiful site after the silhouette of Tallinn. There in front of me was the wall of “Vanalinn” or Old Town.  A light projected on the “Pikk Hermann” tower aiming at the flag. It saddened me to see a red flag up there instead of the blue, black, and white flag. I prayed that someday there would be the flag of free Estonia flying again and that would be a beautiful site for all to behold.

Reunion

On the morning when I was about to meet my father, I had to get up early. I hurried downstairs for breakfast. It was not the quick service you would get back home but I did manage to get a cup of coffee after a while and a “pisi” ham sandwich. Since there was nothing that came with the coffee like cream and sugar, I asked the woman at the next table if she would pass me hers. Very rudely, she said, “no, you order your own”. Welcome to Estonia behind the “Iron Curtain”.

It took two bites to eat that sandwich and a couple of gulps to drink the coffee and I was done.  Surprisingly “tädi” Erika was waiting for me outside the door. She did not want to bother me in the dining room and she seemed a little afraid. She had come early to say, “good morning” and see how I was. She suggested we take a walk. That was how people were able to talk freely because of the spying.

She took me to a small store not far from there, called “The Dollar Store”. It was not to buy anything, but to show me that only a foreigner with foreign currency, especially American dollars, was able to buy anything from this store. Even if a local had the dollars, they were not allowed to buy anything. Apparently, this was the only store to get something worthwhile, even though it was overpriced. We quickly went back to the hotel and she left immediately knowing that I was expecting my father.

About 11 o’clock, there was a knock at the door. I knew it was going to be a tall handsome man that I had seen in so many photos. Yes, my father, for whom I longed all these years. It was the father with whom I made a pact when I was a teenager that each night we would look up at the stars and pretend we could talk to one another. That father was now on the other side of that door. Open Sesame!

maie-currie-reunited-with-her-father-in-1968

I wanted that magic to continue to the other side of that door; but once opened, the magic was gone. Instead, it was the shock of my life to see a man hunched over, frail, and thin but with a big smile on his face. We hugged without skipping a beat with both of our hearts pounding like crazy. It broke my heart to see him so old looking at 59 and not well. What a moment in time!

There was an added surprise around the corner. He had brought his wife Alide and two sons, Urmas (13) and Tarmo (11). I had known about them and had received pictures and letters, so I was happy to meet them now. I finally had my own family with these two boys as my brothers. I was elated. Since I was so much older, they wanted to call me aunt. I kept insisting I was their sister and not their aunt. Alide was very nice and my mother had known the family earlier and was happy that he married her, especially since she was Estonian and a good Christian.

Painful memories

We made all kinds of small talk and then Alide let my father and I talk and had the boys sit very quietly and listen. I wanted so much to know about his life, but did not know how or what to ask. I waited for him and it was apparent that he was afraid to say too much. I learned of him being shot in the neck, which hit a vital nerve during the war. His left leg and arm were lame and his left hand shook. His eyes twitched and his speech was slurred. No longer did he stand tall and proud, but hunched and broken.

I was holding back tears until the night when I was alone. He did not talk about the labor camps or the suffering he lived through in the forest when he was first forced out of our home.

Father and I in the friend's garden 1968

He told me of how he came back home after he was released from being in a hospital due to his injuries for many months. With joy in his heart and with the great anticipation of seeing the love of his life, Ilona, and the other love of his life, his daughter Maie, he had knocked on the door of his once apartment. To his shock and disappointment, strangers opened the door, but no Ilona or Maie. Now, not so happy anymore, but sad and bewildered he turned around and in his pain walked several more blocks to my grandfather’s house hoping for some better news.

My grandfather, of course, knew what had happened to my mother and me because it was with his convincing that Ilona fled with Maie, leaving everything behind hoping to return when all this was over. Ilona never got the chance to return when Estonia was free.

with-father-and-friends-1968

My father waited several years in hopes that we might return, but that too did not happen. Being an invalid and homeless, he reached out to old family friends and eventually married Alide. It was a heart-wrenching story and I was hurting deeply. What anguish and grief he must have felt.

Soviet reality

With me being there, he seemed to have gotten extra energy and strength. He insisted on all of us taking a walk and he showed me our former apartment house and my grandfather’s house. All these were in extremely poor condition and total strangers were living in them. Everywhere the paint was falling off, the fences and gates were in disrepair, nothing green was growing, and everything looked dead and gray. The people had either a sad or mad look about them, as well as a colorless hue. Their clothes were drab and no one seemed to care much about anything. This picture will come back to haunt me.

He also took us to many tourist sites, like the churches, towers, and walls of the Old City. He would tell me a little history of everything. My father would lean on my arm most of the time. Other times he would hold my hand, look at me and say, “my little Maie”, as if I were that little girl whom he missed so much. He missed out on watching his little girl grow up and I desperately missed my father. For him these moments were priceless, as they were for me.

My visa was only for seven days and I was not allowed to go outside of the city limits. All but one day was spent with my father. On another day, we went to a department store and I believe there was only one in the entire city of Tallinn. People would go there in hopes to find something they needed or wanted. The choice was extremely small and the sizes few. Most of the tables were empty and others had only a few items on them.

tallinn-department-store-in-the-1960s

My father also took me out to dinner. The menu had but a few things to offer, the waitress was unfriendly, and the wait time was extremely long. We decided on hot dogs and sauerkraut. I do not believe my father had been to a restaurant in a very long time and did not realise how things had changed. He was complaining and apologising to me about everything . . . the lack of food, dirty tables, the poor service, and no tablecloths. I think having been a refugee made it easy for me to adjust to this sad situation, but apparently, it was unpleasant for my father.

KGB interrogates

I had requested permission to go to my father’s home in Kohila and one morning I was called down into the office.  I had my hopes high, but quickly they were shot down. I was asked to sit down. The room was long and narrow with two desks, some file cabinets, empty walls, and a bare window. The two men began questioning me by first telling me about the shooting of Robert Kennedy, waited for my reaction, and continued to question me for several hours. Why I left Estonia, what was going on back in the USA, specifically in Lakewood (where large expat Estonian community lives in the US – editor) with the Estonians, the Estonian House, church, school, and much more. I was scared and wanted to make sure I was able to leave Estonia.

I got back to my room before my father and family arrived. I was somewhat unnerved, but composed myself. We visited all the possible grave sites of the family. This was part of visiting the past, giving it meaning, and making that far-away land real after all. Even after so many years of being in foreign lands and finally making a home in America, I still felt a strong attachment to Estonia.

Leaving occupied Estonia

The day to depart arrived sadly and too soon. Getting to meet my father and all the family members and friends was a dream come true even if this dream was in a dark place where fear prevailed and nightmares occurred. Everyone was sad and crying on that last day, but I had brought them a few days of relief, happiness, and smiles. I was relieved to go home though.

Maie with her dad in Tallinn in 1968As we gathered on this side of the gates and fences to say our goodbyes, I was given a bouquet of flowers. I took out a red rose and pinned it on my father’s lapel. I knew I had to turn my back soon, walk through the gate and possibly never see them again. Oh, so painful. There were many secrets that could not or did not have time to come out and they will stay locked behind the “Iron Curtain” forever.

After some persuasion by my godfather, they allowed my father to walk with me to the ship. We walked in silence as we listened to the Oral Roberts Choir sing “Nearer My God To Thee” from the ship. They were in Tallinn for a concert, but were not allowed to sing religious songs. Now as they were departing, they sang as many as they could.

Last walk together

Our last walk together came to an end as we got to the steps of the ship. How do you say goodbye to your father, knowing you will never see him again? We hugged, we kissed, we cried, and then I had to leave my dear, poor father. I rushed to get up on deck from where I could see him. The tears were rolling down my cheeks uncontrollably as I looked down at him. I felt so much love, sorrow, and pity. I could not imagine the pain he was feeling to have his only daughter return into his life after so many years for seven days and then watch her leave again forever. I could almost see him losing his strength and getting weaker and weaker.

father-and-i-before-i-leave-1968

The ship started to pull away from the dock very slowly. My eyes filled with tears and I wiped them constantly in order to see my father waving. I took out my scarf and started to wave, so he could see where I was. He was standing alone on the dock with my rose pinned to his lapel. He was getting smaller and smaller but I could not take my eyes off him. Finally, he stopped waving; he turned and I watched a broken man limp further away until my eyes could see him no more. He did not turn around, he did not wave anymore, and I knew he was crying his heart out, as was I. All I could do was to stand there and watch the skyline disappear.

Gone! It was all gone. It was with regret and sorrow that I was leaving my loved ones. How I cried for my father and how he must have cried for me. During the 3½-hour ride back to Helsinki, I reflected back to where I had been and what I had seen.

The happiness was understandable. It was the depression, sadness, and feeling of doom of the Estonian people that will be etched in my heart. It was the importation and forced mingling of foreigners, the lack of food and clothing, the devastating ruins from the war, the disrepair, the fear in people, and so much more that changed a once beautiful country to a country with wounds and scars and a people in pain and in a state of hopelessness.

Unless you have lived there or visited during these hard times, you could not begin to understand. You read or hear their stories, but you cannot fully comprehend until you have been there and seen and heard what I have. The mental and physical struggles of suppressed people cannot be put into words, it is a feeling that stays with you once you have seen it and felt it…

I

Cover: Maie Currie visiting Tallinn in 1968. Photos courtesy of Maie Currie and Estonian World. * This article was first published in two parts on 1 May 2013.

33 thoughts on “Visit behind the Iron Curtain”

      1. Great article, I have similar experience but could not return till 1991. I spent 1945 -1949 in DP camp in Kempten and the came to America. I have been back to Estonia many times in search of family and have found my sister, brother and cousins. We have now all connected and see each other almost every year. I just returned from Estonia last week and it is doing great.
        Thank you for your story .

        1. To George Raunam – I now have published my book, “Shattered Lives,” which can only be purchased directly from me. Contact me on email at maie.currie1@verizon.net for more info. As a matter of fact I also was in Kempten. Maie Currie

  1. Wow. This is the best article I’ve read on this site, to be honest. Even the small details like toilet paper give a sense of what things were like back then. Please continue, and post as many photos as possible. They’re fascinating!

    1. Thanks! Part 2 should be up within a week, as I was told. It’s up to Estonian World to pick what pix they post. I appreciate your comments. It’s people like you that give me inspiration.

  2. I will definitely share this article with my daughter who is half Estonian born in the United States. She has had many arrivals to Estonia but none of them so shocking, I hope. Thank you for writing this story and will be waiting for the next instalment. Meanwhile many blessings to you!

    1. Thank you for your comments. Last year I published my book, “Shattered Lives”, where I talk about my life from the time I was 4 years old and how my mother and I escaped the Soviet Communism in 1944, lived as refugees in Germany for 5 years before making it to the US. Most of it is from the view of the young child (me). The last chapter is when I returned to Estonia in much more detail than the article.
      The price of the book is $15. and the postage in the US is $4. The postage would be the same for 2 books and you could probably sell or gift the other one if you’d like. My email address is maie.currie1@verizon.net You can write me there and let me know if you are interested. Maie Currie

  3. I am a young Estonian living abroad, I appreciate your love for the country even from far away. Thank you for sharing your story, I must admit I do not know much besides the facts of everyday life during that time and I think it is important to remember that time period and talk about it or we will forget about the joys of freedom.

    1. You are absolutely right. It is not that we’re living in the past, but we should never forget what happened in the past.

      1. Sharon Pearl-Yamamoto

        Yes, I think we should not forget the past, including the painful and dark days of the occupation. When I was in Estonia, I was shocked to learn that many young Estonians voiced the opinion that older people should stop talking about it (the pre-war and occupation)and move out of the way for the young to take over positions of power. This sort of attitude seems to be naive. If the past is not remembered, it can easily be repeated. A balance of understanding what occurred in the past with moving positively into the future will ensure good decisions are made in the future.

  4. My mother also left around 1944. I know she was in Germany then. Unfortunately for me, she cut all ties. But she was still very proud of her heritage. I was told families left Estonia together, she was by herself. I know little about what went on. “The Singing Revolution,” a documentary, has given me a picture of life there. Your story makes it all so more important to hear the truth. I do not know if I still have relatives.

    1. That’s unfortunate that your mother cut all ties, Christine. It’s true families tried to leave together but there were many that didn’t and some who found each other years later. Do you have any Estonian friends who could help you search for lost relatives in Estonia? If you ever have an opportunity to visit Estonia, do it. You’ll never forget it or regret it! I have a problem in reaching other relatives I know I have, but I think I’ve given up on that. It’s possible they don’t want to be found. Charles (Kalev) Ehin has written a book “Coming Home” where he describes his return to Estonia in 1982 which is very interesting and full of historical info. I’m in the process of working on mine, as well.

    2. Sharon Pearl-Yamamoto

      Hi Christine, I was in a similar situation to you and didn’t know if there was any of my family (Father’s side) still living in Estonia. He went to Germany with the retreating German Army, was later classified DP and immigrated to Australia. My Father died when I was three and half, so never got much cultural or linguistic input…. let alone our family story. I joined several family tree sites on the net and found Geni was the most useful for Estonia. I found my Father’s younger sister and her two daughters (my first cousins) and the three children of one and two children of one of theirs. I visited Estonia two summers ago, with my daughter. It was eye opening…. in a good way and with some shocking realities as well. I strongly recommend that you try something similar. It does give some reconciliation to one’s own story. Now I am filling in the blanks with regard to culture. X

  5. great read! I felt the pain behind the story and feel the same way every time I visit my family. Obviously a huge difference since I do get to see my family but there’s always a hole in my heart when I leave Estonia. The bond is as strong as it always has been. My children love to visit and want to move there (they’re 9 and 7), they see Estonia thru children’s eyes which seems to be a very magical place. For me it’s a home first and foremost, even though now I have lived half of my life in the states. Thank you again for your story and I hope you get to reconnect with your family again. Estonia today is different than during soviet times but lot of the heartache is still there.

    1. It is amazing how everyone who visits Estonia finds the land to be almost magical whether they have relatives there or are tourists.
      Last year I published my book, “Shattered Lives”, where I talk about my life from the time I was 4 years old and how my mother and I escaped the Soviet Communism in 1944, lived as refugees in Germany for 5 years before making it to the US. Most of it is from the view of the young child (me). The last chapter is when I returned to Estonia in much more detail than the article.
      The price of the book is $15. and the postage in the US is $4. The postage would be the same for 2 books and you could probably sell or gift the other one if you’d like. My email address is maie.currie1@verizon.net You can write me there and let me know if you are interested. Thanks for your comments. Maie Currie

  6. Your article is very interesting because our Estonian grandparents escaped from Russia and arrived in Canada in 1902. In 1968 we had no idea that people were still being mistreated. Please continue to share your stories.

    1. Last year I published my book, “Shattered Lives”, where I talk about my life from the time I was 4 years old and how my mother and I escaped the Soviet Communism in 1944, lived as refugees in Germany for 5 years before making it to the US. Most of it is from the view of the young child (me). The last chapter is when I returned to Estonia in much more detail than the article.

      The price of the book is $15. and the postage in the US is $4. The postage would be the same for 2 books and you could probably sell or gift the other one if you would like. My email address is maie.currie1@verizon.net You can write me there and let me know if you are interested. Thanks for your comments. Maie Currie

  7. Maie, Thank you for this touching life story. I live in Estonia, now for 3 years. I cant explain why or how much I love this land, Im from Costa Rica. I cant imagine how people were living at that time, not when I see all the beauty of the culture and love of the people here. Estonia is getting what it always it should have, Love and Freedom. Thank you so much for this.
    David.

    1. Last year I published my book, “Shattered Lives”, where I talk about my life from the time I was 4 years old and how my mother and I escaped the Soviet Communism in 1944, lived as refugees in Germany for 5 years before making it to the US. Most of it is from the view of the young child (me). The last chapter is when I returned to Estonia in much more detail than the article.
      The price of the book is $14. and the postage to Estonia is $25. The postage would be the same for 2 books and you could probably sell the other one to cover the postage. My email address is maie.currie1@verizon.net You can write me there and let me know if you are interested. Thanks for your comments. Maie Currie

  8. Jerome Walker

    Tere Maie!
    thank you for sharing this story with us. I’ve now read it twice. (Tulid küll pisarad.) I agree it’s very important to remember the past. Estonia and Latvia and Lithuania must remain free and independent countries now and forever more.

    Tartu is like my second home in my heart and in my soul. I’m happiest when I’m there.

    I saw you wrote that there is a second part to your story. I would very much like to read it if I could find the link.

    Parimate tervitustega,

    Jerry

    P.S. Minul ise on tugev ühendus Eesti rahvaga. Mul on eesti tütar, ja tema, nii armas ja kallis, on parim asi ikkagi minu elus.

    1. Hi Jerome,
      Thank you for your kind remarks. The article in the September Estonian World was a complete article. The earlier (2013) article was in 2 parts. They have done such a great job and we should donate what we can in order for them to keep up the good work they do with all the articles they publish. I have written a book, Shattered Lives, and soon you should be able to get it on Amazaon.com or contact me on my email maie.currie1@verizon.net Thanks, Maie

  9. Marie Currie:

    This is good that you write of your experienced and the experiences of the Estonians as a once oppressed and captive people.

    Here is my Story of how I went to Help the Fledging Estonian Republic back in 1995.

    My later father was an Estonian Army Soldier who had to endure the illigal humiliating Soviet Terrorist invasion,takeover and Occupation in 1940 and subsiquently serve in the Soviet,German and Finnish Armies as a rest of the brutal situation Estonia Channing occupiers.

    My mother was born in Germany of mixed background, German,Polish and Lithuanian East Prussian.

    I was born in the USA and always felt sad never to know my Estonian Grand Parents.
    My father was marked by the KGB for his service to Estonia and could not safely go to visit his parents and family during the illegal Soviet occupatuon. He died in exile in 1978.

    I remember seeing my father cry on Jaani paev when the Eesti humm was sung in exile at the Long Island Eestikodu in the early to mid 1970’s. All had a major impact on me.

    I decided to dedicate my life to fight Communism and Free Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania from Soviet oppressive illegal occupation and protect Liberty and Freedom So I started to learn to be a warrior, Lawenforcement Officer, learning Karate and Marital Arts, studying Criminal Justice and Military Science. I joined the US Army as a Military Police Officer.

    I was stationed in Germany from 1988 to 1992 during the time when the little Mouse that Rored
    (The Estonian SSR) challenged Moscow, the Baltic Chain and later Lithuania took the lead. I remember when the Putch came and Estonia declared Full Independence from the Soviet Union, something I feel should have happened in unison along with Lithuania and Latvia a year earlier.

    In 1994 came a pivital moment, I felt the need to spring into action. I started to formally study the Estonian language at the NY Estonian House.
    My intuition told me to apply my skills, knowledge and experience to help build and strengthen the New Estonian Army to never allow the horrific disasterous events of 1939/1940 to ever occour again.

    I was contacted by a Retired US Army Colonel who became the New Estonian Defense Forces Head. General Aleksander Einseln. Who said to me that he needs help to properly organize the fledging Estonian Defense Forces he made promises to me as well that he never keep.

    In 1995 I kept my side of the deal with General Einseln, I arrived in January as a
    “probe”. Later coming back to full serve almost 3 years. I was appointed the Provost Marshall of Tallinn in the Guard Battalion
    This was amazing here I am serving in an Independent Estonian Army with it’s new Military Police being issued new ID card and Uniforms, something my late father did at the last leg of the Republic of Estonia in 1940. In my father’s and Grandparent’s memories did I dedicated my service to Estonia.

    Within several months I observed difficulties
    General Einseln did not fufill his promises to Commission me as a Second Lieutenant, the other Commissioned Officers were not accepting me because of this and that I was born outside of Estonia, I was labeled a
    “Foreign Estonian”, mocked, ridiculed and started to become marginalized. My plans and ideas were plaugarised.

    Part of my duites was to supervise and train the Estonian Presidental Palace at (Kadriorg) Guard detail which I dilegently performed.

    Several times I had to physically defend myself from violent attack from other Servicemen who did not like me because I was born in America.
    I was mocked,harassed on a daily basis some called me ” Mickey Mouse”.

    Finally Estonia sent myself and several others in a Peace Keeping Military Police Mission to former Yugoslavia in Croatia.
    There we were out under NATO British control as a Partnership for Peace member State, Nit a full NATO member State.
    I was the senior ranking Estonian as such I handled administration and representation of Estonian Military personnel to the leadership of the Command and Mission.

    I was in for a suprise. One Austrian member of the Peace Keeping Mission informed me that ” Estonians have a bad reputation here as bring incompetent”.
    I asked him to elaborate, to which he explained that there was a traffic accident that Estonian Military Police were dispached to process and those Estonians responding could not properly conduct an investigation,
    and process the case. That others including himself had to come out and take over and conduct the investigation and process the case”.

    Shortly thereafter the two British Commanders in charge met with me and plainly stated,” We know your American”. Here your Estonian and Estonia is a former Soviet Republic that is nothing. Austria although not a full NATO member is much more advanced Militaraliry then Estonian is”.

    Immedetly thereafter Estonian Military Police Personnel including myself were given the lowest jobs on the mission in violation of protocall. Austrian Mission members who were several ranks lesser were put in charge as supervisors.

    I protested this disparging treatment to the British Commander who refused to change the ongoing situation with was clear marginalization and discrimination.

    I attended several official gathering’s with the Acting Commanding General A British General of Polish Decent there a Canadian Lieutenant Colonel befriended and mentored me. Canadian Lieutenant Colonel Springer partly was witness to the Marginalization and Discrimination that myself and the other Estonians had to endure. He wrote a statement to this which I have to this day.

    Shortly the Marginalization and Discrimination got worse and I again approached the British Military Police Commander and informed him that such treatment is unwarranted,Illegal and unexceptable. I was released of duty and sent back to Tallinn thereafter.

    Upon arriving in Estonia I was summoned to the Defense Forces Head Quarters where Colonel Sirel a former Soviet Polkovnik ran a Kangaroo Hearing telling me a decision was made to release separate me from Active Duty in the Estonian Defense Forces.
    I asked the Colonel why am I not given an opportunity to defend myself against all allegations and that I have evidence a witness statement from a Canadian Lieutenant Colonel who stated that my actions as a representative of Estonia was that of a professional Soldier, Lawenforcement Officer and Diplomat.Thst my actions and behavior were of a good Soldier and Diplomat.

    Colonel Sirel said in English Sorry and I was told my career in the Estonian Defense Forces was over. I was given a discharge other then Honorable.

    The US Military Attache Commander Peter Hendrickson made efforts to interceded for me to the Kaitsevae Juhataja General Johannes Gert to no avail. General Gert allowed this Arbitary Injustice to stand.

    Because of this I was thrown out of my Quarters with threats to gave me evicted by calling the Civilian Police by a certain Captain Noe.

    Now I had no choice but to flee Estonia ironically as my father did in 1944 except this is now 1997 and Estonia is Independent albit infested with former Soviet Officials.

    I had to flee my second Homeland to go back to the USA as I was falsely charged and convicted of Arbitary trumped up charges for standing up for Estonian Military Personnel who were being marginalized and discriminated against by the British leadership on that Peace Keeping Mission.

    When I arrived back in the USA. I made several attempts to clear my name if any wrong doing. I was able to call Lieutenant Colonel Springer on Canada and informed him of being discharged unbecoming for doing the right things,standing up for Estonian Military Personnel. Lieutenant Colonel Springer said he sticks by what he witnessed and write in his statement which I mentioned was not even taken into account.

    Back in the USA I joined the State of New York’s Military Police Forces and later the National Guard. I presented Letters of Recommendation from several Military Attache’s such as Commander Peter Hendrickson to the Military Police Unit leadership one who was of Polish Decent kept asking me ” Why did you go there,etc”
    This man was also a local Town Police Detective who had a bastards reputation for harassing town residents. One day this so called Detective threatened me he pressed me what I did for Estonia. I told him it was classified information and he became enraged.This situation with him got worse the Detective begin to threaten to search my home etc this was in 2006-2006.

    I was already hired as a US Department of Veterans Affairs Federal Civilian Police Officer in addition to being a Military Police Officer in the National Guard.

    What happened next is very disturbing.

    I was further targeted by local Town of Orangetown Civilian Police Terror on myself and elderly mother. Our house was raided and searched, my mother’s collapased during this, one of the searchers bragged that he protected the Estonian President, this goon threated to handcuff my mother and myself in our home. Mind you all this time I myself am a US Federal Police Officer.
    I was also targeted as a legal firearms owner something that’s supposed to be protected under the Second Amendment to the US Constitution which the Town of Orangetown Civilian Police Department did not care about, ironically this Police forces Terroristic illegal actions were eerily similar to that of the Soviet KGB. My mother’s health condition worsened after this terrible act if Government sponsored terror directed against us. She died shortly thereafter, her doctor stated to me this Government sponsored terror killed your mother.

    At the same time our family mail was being cut open and retaped something that reminds me of letters from my grandfather to my late father that the Soviet KGB opened and taped up. I was also being followed by Orangetown Police cars and even pulled over and had a gun pointed at me threatening my life.

    I was informed by a credible source that this is being done as I am an alledged ” Spy” and Assisin for Estonia. I told the person that Estonia is one of the best US Allies on the war on Terror, this should not be happening to.me and my family and that we will go to Federal Court over this I will legally pursue justice with those responsibile the Detective and all.

    Then at my job as a Police Officer I was referred to a Fittness For Duty Psycoligical evualation which I passed. I was again refered to another Psycoligical evualation which I again passed. Then again and again.
    Finally I retained an attorney who sat in 2 of these so called evualations which amounted to Soviet Style abuse if Psychology. I was then refered to a Seventh Psycoligical evualation which I declined and had my job as a Federal Police Officer promptly terminated. I took the US Government to Court over this and won,I got reinstated as a Federal Police Officer and was awarded some money for going g through the hell on Earth in what is supposed to be a ” Free Country,The ” Freest” they claim.
    With in a year of bring back on the Job as a police officer I was retaliated and fired Again.

    I took the US Government back to Court and won again this time I retired from the US Department of Veterans Affairs Police Department. As I knew they would not stop violating the rule of law and harassing me.
    America is not the Free Country it’s billed as
    My case is proof of that. Ironically my layer father an Estonian refugee fleeing Communist oppression and trynee is turning in his grave at what happened to my mother and me.

    My Attorney and myself have written the Estonian Consul Erriki Kirikimae in New York for Assistance which Was Not given.

    I have also written several Estonian Presidents including ex Patriot T.H. Ilves to
    have my name cleared with an Honorable Discharge from the Estonian Defense Forces as well as to be promoted to Second Lieutenant as was long promised to Mr by General Einseln to no avail.

    As well as to have the local Orangetown NY Police Authorites investigated and held accountable for their gross terrorism and Criminal misconduct for Violating my Late elderly Mother and my rights.
    A big part of this occoured because I was set up because of my service to help develop the new fledging Estonian Defense Forces Military Police. I know that to some this all may sound crazy, it all occoured and witness and evidence are there to establish these incidents as facts.

    I am no longer a Big Estonian Patroit as to being rejected by my own people and being Discriminated and marginalized mistreated by them.I do not trust most Estonians at all.
    Or Americans either as both countries did not treat me well according to my Church Pastor who observed this.

    I am a man of principal and honor. I went to the aid and Assistance of the fledging Republic of Estonia when it needed help.
    Yet that same Estonian Republic would not help me in my hour of need. That I will Never Forget!

    I will fight till the day I die to clear my name with the Estonian Defense Forces and be given the rightfully rank promised to me so many years ago.

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