In: Jahrbuch für Historische Kommunismusforschung 2012. Berlin: Aufbau Verlag, pp. 99-112.
In 1940 Estonia, like her neighbours Latvia and Lithuania’, was initially occupied then annexed by the Soviets. Stalinist terror became an important part of the integration of newly acquired territories into the USSR and the Sovietization process. Approximately 12 to 14 percent of the Estonian population became victim of Soviet mass violence and four percent lost their lives. Repressions were often at the centre of Soviet policies in the Baltic republics. In most of the cases, careful bureaucratic preparations accompanied the different campaigns of cleansing with their top-down approach. Moscow made the decisions and local authorities followed orders. Cases of spontaneous violence or local initiative were the exception. The categories of enemies changed over time, the most important being ‘social alien’ or ‘bourgeois-nationalist elements’. Most of the measures were based on Soviet policing methods including the necessary use of card files and bureaucratic work.