Helene "Leen" Kullman (31 January 1920 – 6 March 1943) was an Estonian agent of Soviet military intelligence in the Baltic Fleet during World War II.[1]

Helene Kullman
Helene Kullman.png
Nickname(s)Leen Kullman
Born31 January 1920
Tartu, Estonia
Died6 March 1943(1943-03-06) (aged 23)
Tartu, Estonian SSR, Soviet Union
Allegiance Soviet Union
Years of service1942–1943
RankJunior Political Instructor
UnitBaltic Fleet
7th Infantry Division (Partisan)
Battles/warsWorld War II 
AwardsHero of the Soviet Union

Early lifeEdit

Kullman was born on 31 January 1920 to an Estonian family in Tartu; she was the sixth of eight children of a shoemaker. Her father died in 1933, the same year she left secondary school and enrolled in the Tallinn Pedagogical School. After Estonia was annexed by the Soviet Union in 1940 she joined the Komsomol, having graduated from the Tallinn Pedagogical School in 1937, after which she enrolled in the Tallinn Pedagogical Seminary. She became certified as a junior secondary school teacher in 1941, shortly before the German invasion of the Soviet Union.[2][3]

World War II activitiesEdit

After the German invasion of the Soviet Union Kullman was assigned by the Komsomol to help people evacuate Tallinn during the night. She was evacuated from the city on 28 August 1941 with her twin sister Anna to a collective farm in the Chelyabinsk Oblast of Russia. After the creation of the 7th Estonian Division in December 1941 she soon joined in 1942 and was assigned to a medical battalion as a nurse until she was transferred to the intelligence directorate in April 1942. In September 1942, she was dropped by parachuted behind German lines in the forest near Tartu. She then began to radio information on the locations and numbers of enemy garrisons, defences, and ships in addition to information about the presence and degree of ice in areas of the Baltic. In January 1943, she was arrested by the local Gestapo and subsequently shot by a prison guard after she spat in his face. She was declared a Hero of the Soviet Union on 8 May 1965.[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Sakaida, Henry (2012-04-20). Heroines of the Soviet Union 1941–45. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 9781780966922.
  2. ^ "Кульман Леэн (Хелена) Андресовна". www.warheroes.ru. Retrieved 2018-05-06.
  3. ^ a b Janina, Cottam (1998). Women in War and Resistance: Selected Biographies of Soviet Women Soldiers. Newburyport, MA: Focus Publishing/R. Pullins Co. ISBN 1585101605. OCLC 228063546.