On Saturday, July 22, the former KGB prison cells located in the basement of the house at Pagari, 1, will be opened for visitors. On the opening day, the guides will tell about the memories of those who were kept in prison cells, the museum will be open until night, according to a press release of the Occupations Museum (Okupatsioonide muuseum).
"During the Soviet occupation, there was the most terrible jail of pre-trial detention in this house on Pagari, from which many people have never returned to their families. The cameras unavailable to visit to this day must remind us how important it is to preserve freedom, and this will be an essential addition to the exposition of the Occupations Museum, aimed at coverage of crimes against humanity and dedicated to the centennial anniversary of the Republic of Estonia," - explained the Minister of Culture Indrek Saar.
Built in 1912 as a residential building, the building on Pagari Street plays an important role in the modern history of Estonia. After the proclamation of the Republic of Estonia, the provisional government was assembled several times in the building. During the Liberation War and the independence that followed it, there was military ministry and the General Staff of the Armed Forces in the building. In 1941, the People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs of the ESSR built prison cells in the basement. And although the prison was used only until the 1950s, what was happening there still lives in people's memory.
"The crimes committed against humanity in Estonia are part of the history of Europe, which should remain history," - the director of the Museum of Occupations, Marilyn Piipuu, quoted Lennart Meri. - To be sure that the events of the past do not recur, we need to think every day about the values that we carry in ourselves. Therefore, it is time to open prison cells on the Pagari, 1 for visitors. Together with the house development company and numerous partners, the long-awaited event has finally become a reality."
The KGB prison cells located in Tallinn in the Old Town, at Pagari, 1 will be opened for visitors on the opening day from 13:00 to 01:00. Guides will talk about the events that took place in the building at 13:00, 15:00, 17:00, 19:00, 21:00. At 23:00 and 00:00 there will be sightseeing tours accompanied by guides. Also during the day people`s memories of the KGB prison cells will be collected. On the opening day, a visit to the KGB prison cells is at a reduced price of 2 euros for everyone.
The exposition of the KGB prison cells was organized by the Occupations Museum in cooperation with the Estonian Institute of Memory and the Society for the Preservation of Antiquities. Also the project of opening the KGB prison cells is supported by the Ministry of Culture, the Estonian Cultural Capital, the Estonian Military Museum - General Laidoner's Museum and the Museum of Occupations.