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« Tuna 4 / 2019

The Story of the 1st Secretary of the Central Committee of the Estonian Communist Party in the Focus of Two Communist Party Functionaries of Long Tenure

The Soviet Union declared the former 1st Secretary of the Central Committee of the Estonian Communist (Bolshevist) Party [EC(B)P] a traitor at the 8th Plenum of the EC(B)P Central Committee in 1950. It was impossible to check this accusation because the archival records associated with him were inaccessible. An old Communist Party veteran started researching the underground communist movement, in the course of which she also gained access to materials associated with Karl Säre. Certain suspicions arose in her and she decided to write to Nigol Andresen, who had been in direct contact with Karl Säre in 1940–1941. Furthermore, Karl Säre turned to Nigol Andresen in particular first of all upon his arrival in Estonia in 1938. It appears from his letter in reply to Alma Vaarman that Nigol Andresen had also pondered over and thought about this matter. He knew a thing or two about Karl Säre’s captivity in Berlin. Säre had attempted to commit suicide and had written on the wall in blood: Es lebe der kommunismus! (Long live communism!). Based on existing information, Nigol Andresen finds that Karl Säre did not betray the Soviet regime, unlike the official version of that time. Alas, even 1981 was not yet the time when Karl Säre’s reputation as a traitor could have been refuted. As a matter of fact, such a situation did not come about until the end of the Soviet regime (1991). Hence Karl Säre continues to circulate with his reputation as a traitor in many publications to this day.