NKVD prisoner massacre in Tartu

On July 9, 1941, 193 detainees were shot in Tartu prison and the Gray House courtyard by the Soviet NKVD; their bodies were dumped in makeshift graves and in the prison well.[1] The victims of the communist repressions of the summer 1941 were detained in Tartu prison, during the last days of June, 1941, 619 prisoners were detained in Tartu prison. As the German army approached, steps were taken to empty the prison, but as the arrests continued, on 8 July 1941 there were still 223 detainees. Thus, on a meeting of the Estonian Communist Party Tartu region committee on the demand of the local security leader Alfred Pressman (1894–1973) and with the consent of the Estonian NKVD Tartu district leader Pavel Afanasjev (1903–1941) and the Communist Party secretary Abronov, it was decided to execute the prisoners.[2] Out of the six murderers, four were ethnic Estonians, one was Peipsi area Russian. The most notable among them was the local Komsomol activist and later Thaw era deputy minister of interior of the Estonian SSR Edmund Näär (1920–1973).


  1. ^ Steenie Harvey, "The Dark Side of Tartu", at ExpatExchange.com
  2. ^ Antoniuse Õue verine punaminevik