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Hot summer of 1940

The Red Army marched into Estonia on 17 June 1940. A radiogram from the Commander of the Estonian Defence League was sent to all district units that very same day, ordering members of the Defence League to gather all arms at hand and give these, along with all arms in any storehouses of the district units, to the stores of the Army. The dissolution of the Estonian Defence League had begun.

On 27 June 1940, the President of the Republic signed a law liquidating the Estonian Defence League, with the assets of the Defence League being given to the Estonian Communist Party (before 1940 the Defence League was the largest land and real estate owner in Estonia, ranking second to only the Estonian Evangelic Lutheran Church). Fear of the Estonian Defence League is demonstrated by the fact that the first victims of repressive bodies of the Soviet Union were the highest ranking officers of the Estonian Defence League. Later on, members of the Estonian Defence League participated in the resistance movement as “forest brothers”, both in 1941 and also after 1944. Regardless of their active operations, an organisational whole was missing.