World War II Baltic Islands: Pakri Islands

Figure 1.-- The Parki Islanders are also known as Rågöbornas. Here are some taken in by the Swedes in 1940 after the Soviets seized their island first and than all of Estonia. Although part of Estonia, the islanders were mostly Swedes to begin with.

The Baltic islands are little known to people outside of the Baltic area, but many have interesting histories, inclusing roles in World war II. There are two Pakri Islands also clled the Rogoy. Bothe islands are located just off the coast of Estonia. The earlies rescords of human habitation date to the late-Medieval era (1345). Five Swedish families bought the western island from the Padise monastery. At the time of World War II, 354 people loived on the islands. [Estonian Census] They were all Swedish, except for 13 Germans. There were five small villages with 119 households. A small folk museum was opened (1935), but closed when the Soviets seized control of Estonia (1940). This waspart of the Soviet share from the alliance with the NAZIs. Both islands had their own church and school. After the signing of the NAZI-Soviet Non-Agression Pact, the islanders left the islands and were mostly taken in by the Swedes. The Soviets demanded the islands as a military base, one of several demands made on Estonia and the other Baltic Republics. In the end the, the Sovies simply annexed the Baltics. Some of the Parki Swedes left in 1940, the rest left as the Red Army reentered Estonia (1944). After the War Väike-Pakri had a few inhabitants until 1965. They were removed when the Soviets began using the islands as a practice ground for Soviet and other Warsaw Pact forces. The Russians returned the islands to Estonia (1994). Estiniaas faced with the task of clearing the islands of unexploded Soviet era ordinance. Estonia after achiebing independence began a land reform effort. Some of the land was returned to the survivibg pre-War owners. The northern parts of the islands and the southern part of Väike-Pakri were included in the Pakri Landscape Protection Area (1998). The major objective was to protect the dramatic limestone cliffs, alvars and rare species


Estonian Census (1934).


Navigate the CIH World War II Section:
[Return to Main World War II island territory page ]
[Return to Main Soviet seizur of Estonia page]
[Return to Main World War II Estonian page ]
[Biographies] [Campaigns] [Children] [Countries] [Deciding factors] [Diplomacy] [Geo-political crisis] [Economics] [Home front] [Intelligence]
[POWs] [Resistance] [Race] [Refugees] [Technology]
[Bibliographies] [Contributions] [FAQs] [Images] [Links] [Registration] [Tools]
[Return to Main World War II page]
[Return to Main war essay page]

Created: 8:16 PM 4/19/2016
Last updated: 8:16 PM 4/19/2016