Estonia in World War II - Attempt To Restore Independence

Attempt To Restore Independence

As the Germans retreated, on September 18 Jüri Uluots formed a government led by the Deputy Prime Minister, Otto Tief. The Nazi German flag on Pikk Hermann was replaced with the flag of Estonia two days later. On September 21 the Estonian national government was proclaimed. Estonian forces seized the government buildings in Toompea and ordered the German forces to leave. The Red Army took Tallinn on September 22 and the Estonian flag on Pikk Hermann was replaced with the Red flag. After the evacuation of the German forces, the Estonian military units under the command of Rear Admiral Johan Pitka continued to resist the Red Army. The Estonian troops were defeated by the Soviet advance units in the battles held on September 23 west of Tallinn near Keila and Risti.

The Estonian underground government, not officially recognized by either Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union, fled to Stockholm, Sweden and operated in exile until 1992, when Heinrich Mark, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Estonia in duties of the President in exile, presented his credentials to the newly elected President of Estonia Lennart Meri. On February 23. 1989 The flag of the Estonian SSR had been lowered on Pikk Hermann, having been replaced with the flag of Estonia on February 24, 1989.

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