Jägala camp and execution site at Kalevi-Liiva

In August 1942, the German Security Police and SD established a camp for Jews at the former Estonian military summer camp in Jägala, Harju County, approximately 25 kilometres east from Tallinn. The direct management of the camp was under the purview of Estonian officials of the German Security Police. Estonians had also been hired as guards. Jägala camp was established as a temporary camp, as it was not meant for long-term accommodation of prisoners or for putting the detainees to work. 

On 5 September 1942, a train carrying 1002 Jews from the Terezin (Theresienstadt) ghetto in Czechoslovakia arrived at the Raasiku railway station near Jägala. The second train with altogether 1049 Jews (or 1089 persons according to other sources) from Frankfurt and Berlin arrived in Raasiku station on 30 September 1942. 

Representatives of the Security Police selected approximately 400 younger persons from the arrivals in Raasiku railway station, who were sent to Jägala camp. Approximately 100 men from Germany were immediately sent back to Riga on the same train. 

The rest, altogether nearly 1,600 persons, were executed on the day of their arrival at the nearby Kalevi-Liiva polygon. The execution took place at the participation of the German Security Police’s high officials, as well as Estonians that had been recruited into the service of the Security Police. Some local Roma also were executed in the same place during the years of the occupation. The bodies of executed persons were burned in 1944 before the German forces’ departure from Estonia. 

Detainees that had been taken to Jägala camp began to sort out the arrivals’ dispossessed baggage. They also worked in construction, forestry and agriculture in smaller groups outside of the camp. Jews that had fallen ill or had disagreements with the camp’s management were executed at the Kalevi-Liiva polygon in the future as well. 

Jägala camp was shut down by 1 September 1943, when the last detainees were transferred to Tallinn Central Prison. Women were further transferred to the Vaivara concentration camp, but the fate of men is unknown.

According to known data, 74 persons survived the war of more than 2,000 Jews that had been brought to Jägala camp in September 1942.