Estonian Jewry revisited

The Nazis who proclaimed Estonia ‘Judenfrei’ are gone; a Jewish community is still there.

February 16, 2017 12:53
Estonian Jewry

Jewish youth holding placards at the Tallinn cemetery. The rabbi of Estonia, Shmuel Kot, is second from the right. (photo credit: BARRY DAVIS)

There are several countries with a proud Jewish heritage whose current communities are but a shadow of their former, pre-Holocaust selves.

The names of Germany and Poland spring to mind in that regard. Estonia may not be the first country people think about in the context of the Holocaust, but it was the first to be the proclaimed by Nazi Germany as “Judenfrei” – free of Jews. The concept was first discussed by the Germans, in Estonia, in December 1941, followed by a public declaration on January 20, 1942.


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