May 8, 1946
Tallinn, Estonia
Schoolgirls Aili Jõgi (14, pictured) and Ageeda Paavel (15) use explosives to destroy a Soviet memorial, which they believed represented oppression and occupation

Jõji, maiden name Jürgenson, was quoted as saying of the destruction of the monument: “How long should we watch this red star, a memorial for Russian looters. At the time when all our statues are being destroyed. We just couldn’t get our heads around it. We decided that if such robbers are raging in Estonia, they should see how one of their memorials gets blown up. We could have just doused the wooden thing with gasoline and set fire to it, but we wanted it to go with a bang!”

Newspapers did not report the destruction of the monument, and it was rebuilt quickly in time for Victory Day. Jõgi and Paavel were apprehended, deported from Estonia, served several years in hard labor in the USSR, and we’re finally allowed to return to their home country. In 1998, the pair were awarded the Estonian Order of the Cross of the Eagle for standing against the Soviet regime, the only two females to receive the Order of the Cross of the Eagle.

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