On 18 September 2019, the Estonian Institute of Historical Memory organised an international conference „The beginning of the End: Massacre at Klooga 75“ at Patarei Prison courtyard in Tallinn. The conference commemorated one of the largest mass murders that took place during the period of German occupation in Estonia. The press coverage of the Klooga massacre, and the photos of half-burned bodies, was the first obvious proof the international public had of the crimes committed by Hitler’s Germany. 

More than 70 people gathered to the conference. The event was opened by the Foreign Minister of Estonia Urmas Reinsalu, and the welcome address was given by the spokesperson of the Estonian Jewish community Alla Jakobson. Theodore Balberyszski, who is probably the last survivor of the 1944 Klooga massacre and is currently residing in Israel, also sent his message to the attendees.

As an introduction to the conference, a documentary was shown that featured shots of events that took place in autumn 1944 in Klooga, filmed just days before the massacre took place. This was followed by presentation by experts of the field from Estonia, Lithuania, Israel, France, Finland and Denmark. The presenters talked about the holocaust memorial in Klooga and the Yad Vashem museum in Israel, which both commemorate the massacre. The extermination of Jews elsewhere in Estonia and Europe, and the problematics of Holocaust commemoration in general were also discussed.

The conference can be rewatched here:

Part one

Part two