The Estonian War Museum opened the cenotaph of General Johan Laidoner at the Defense Forces Cemetery 23.02

On the 140th anniversary of General Johan Laidoner's birth, 12 February 2024, the Estonian War Museum - General Laidoner Museum opened the cenotaph of General Johan Laidoner at the Defense Forces Cemetery in Tallinn.
Born on February 12, 1884 in Viljandimaa Johan Laidoner was an Estonian general and statesman. He served as Commander‑in‑Chief of the Estonian Armed Forces during the 1918–1920 Estonian War of Independence and was among the most influential people in the Estonian politics between the world wars.

Similarily to many other Estonian state and military leaders the end of his life was tragic. The Soviet authorities deported him and his wife Maria to Russia in June 1940, later he was arrested and died in Vladimir prison on 13 March 1953. He is buried in an unmarked grave in the Vladimir prison cemetery, his remains have not been found. There was a memorial plaque to Laidoner designed by sculptor Mati Karmin at the memorial to the victims of the repressions of the Soviet Union in Vladimir, but the memorial was demolished last year.

The cenotaph was revealed by the Chief of the General Staff of the Defense Forces, Major General Enno Mõts, who said that monuments have been erected to Johan Laidoner at his birthplace in Viiratsi, Viljandimaa as well as in the center of the town of Viljandi, and at the Estonian War Museum in Viimsi manor park, but until now there was no central memorial in Tallinn. "Now this mistake has been corrected and Johan Laidoner's name has found a place among the leaders of the War of Independence at the Defense Forces' Cemetery," Mõts said.

Photo gallery

Photo: Defence Forces