The question of burial sites for German soldiers, who had fallen in the First World War, especially in the Second World War, was one of the most delicate taboo issues in the Soviet Union, which could most likely be brought to the attention of repressive bodies at that time.

The political changes that took place in the second half of the 1980s, along with other innovations, made it possible to start looking for and organizing the warfare of the warriors from the West. The impulse to organize the neglected soldiers' tombs was provided by the German War Graves Care People's Union (Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge e. V., Hereinafter referred to as the KGB), whose representatives provided a wealth of valuable lessons and experiences to the islanders.

Although the organization of the maintenance of the German war graves left in the Soviet territories was already on the agenda for decades at the level of transnational relations, more extensive cooperation in this area was reached just before the collapse of the communist empire.
Step by step, the politicians in the countries of the former Eastern Bloc began to resist the search and maintenance of German war graves. The first cemetery of the German War Victims Cemetery, organized by the first KGB in the jurisdiction of the Soviet Union, took place only on 15 June 1991 in Riga. This event also became an important sign for Estonia, where the first two German brotherhoods were rebuilt in Pärnu and Viljandi.

The search for German war graves initiated by the VDK was completed in Saaremaa only after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Of course, the Germans first drove things at the county government level and then at the level of the local government. As officials, Leo Filippov, a contact person at the county government level, Eevi Adoson, a methodologist for the protection of county cultural monuments, and Juhan Nemvalts, a deputy mayor of Kuressaare, were more involved in the search for German war graves and burial sites. Meanwhile, Saaremaa Union of the Union of Unlawfully Repressed Persons, the Society of Restoration and Development of Sõrve, as well as Saaremaa Freedom Fighters Association representing Saaremaa and the Society for Heritage Protection of Saaremaa, which participated in the armed struggle against the Soviet Union, were involved in these activities.

The center for coordinating all relevant information and dealing with all war graves was not developed in our county. It is therefore difficult, if not impossible, to obtain an exhaustive overview of all the activities in this area. As an on-site historian, the author of this article was included in the search conducted by the VDK shortly after their beginning, so the following could be considered a summary from experience and work done in this field, inevitably from a subjective point of view.

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In Saaremaa, as elsewhere, it has been possible to distinguish two main directions in the activities of the KGB. One of them is looking for, arranging and maintaining German war graves. Secondly, the less important work direction is public relations, with the aim of ensuring that the troops of former enemy combatants maintain a positive or at least predominantly neutral attitude on the part of the local population. In the present-day preamble of the present Statute, the PSC has set out the view that the memory of the millions killed in war and violence is exhorting all peoples to understanding and peace, in the spirit of the current understanding of developed democracies. Therefore, the maintenance of war graves is not only aimed at alleviating the pain of mourners, but also at influencing modern people to use non-violent methods of conflict resolution.

As with many others, the changes in Eastern Europe at the end of the penultimate decade of the twentieth century were largely unexpected. The preparatory work on literature and archive materials was still largely undeveloped at the beginning of fieldwork, so at least in the early years it relied mainly on the information gathered by collecting oral legacy.
It was not until later, that at least the Krieger-friedhof Arensburg and Torgus cemetery, founded in 1942-1943 in Kudjap, had a rather accurate record of the German archives. The relevant documentary material was also found locally. The research carried out by Kudjapel was greatly facilitated by the photographs of Richard C. E. Kirchhoff (1886-1972), which have arrived at the collections of the Saaremaa Museum as a donation by Mathias F. Kuester, who lives in Canada.

The main difficulty of practical preparatory work In the search for German war graves in Saaremaa, since the summer of 1992, youth camps with Estonian and German schoolchildren attended our county. Germany's organization work was co-ordinated by the Lower Saxony Association of the VDK, whose CEO Hannes Merten was able to ensure smooth co-operation with all the necessary institutions. The organizer of international youth camps here was Kuressaare Secondary School No 2 (now Kuressaare Gymnasium), whose director Toomas Takkis saw the opportunity for practicing German as a language for both pupils and foreign language teachers.

Since all the bodies of those who had fallen on the German side in the battles in Saaremaa and Hiiumaa in 1941 were already buried in the early 1940s around the abovementioned Kudjape military cemetery, the core activity of the youth camps was mainly to find burial sites that fell on the German side in 1944 - both individual graves and temporary cemeteries. and celebration.

Information about them was gathered by various social organizations, whose data were collected by Eevi Adoson, a methodology for the protection of the county's cultural monuments. As an organization, the Saaremaa Heritage Society, which has been operating since its foundation at the Saaremaa Museum's Office, has become central to the collection of information about tombs, and its management has been a custodian of time.

In the search for the German war graves, the islanders have been generally favored for at least the late twentieth century. To a large extent, this kind of sympathy maximize my enemy's enemy is my friend. Many Estonians see a force in Hitler-German soldiers that entered the Second World War - albeit not for altruistic purposes - in the struggle against the Soviet Union that stifled Estonia's independence and imposed a terrorist regime here. At the same time, it is understood that the soldiers who participated in the battles had very little chance of deciding their lives, and almost all of them, who were in bed with foreign soil, were unable to survive home to fate strikes.

In a county that lost nearly a third of its population in the wake of the Second World War, refugees and several mass repressions of the 1940s, it is well understood that the maintenance of many abandoned rocks was not only dependent on the goodwill of their own in the conditions of the Soviet occupation and closed border regime.

Initially, information about war graves was gathered only through face-to-face interviews. Due to low performance, this method did not prove to be the most expedient. As it can be seen from the protocol of the Saaremaa Heritage Society's big assembly held on December 7, 1991, only a little over ten graves had been collected by that time. However, the collection work continued, but it was only after the announcement of the appeal by T. Takkis on the Saarte Hääl newspaper on April 11, 1992 that a greater momentum and broader publicity was given.

The appeal emphasized that Estonians have always respected and commemorated their dead ancestors and compatriots, which is why we should understand the desire of the German people to find out the graves of the peoples of their people who fell in the Second World War. It was noted that the war was a tragedy for all the nations involved.

Over the next two years, one hundred written notifications of various German warrior burial sites were collected across the county.
The information collection center was formed by the Saaremaa Museum's office in the Kuressaare castle yard and the majority of the co-ordination of the collection work was done by Eevi Adoson in the early 1990s. For various reasons, more important than the temporary confusion resulting from the reorganization of national heritage conservation authorities, the collection and exchange of historical information about the German war graves in our county since the summer of 1993 was gradually transferred to the museum's senior researcher Raul Salumäe, who was also in communication with VDK. Chairman of the Saaremaa Heritage Society.

Praktilised välitööd, mille eesmärgiks oli seatud haudade ülesleidmine ning nende tähistamine looduses, algasid 1992. aasta suvel. 4.-19. juulini toimus meie maakonnas esimene VDK poolt korraldatud noortelaager, millest võtsid kahekümne saksa noore kõrval osa ka viis Kuressaare II Keskkooli õpilast. Laagrijuhiks oli Ingo Müller, pedagoogide ja tõlkidena kandsid suurt osa töökoormusest mainitud kooli saksa keele õpetajad Maimu Hirvoja ja Viivi Nepper

Töö käigus leitud matmispaikade tähistamiseks paigaldasid laagris osalenud õpilased ühtekokku 60 puuristi, neist kuus Läänemaal Kõmsi kiriku lähistel, ülejäänud peamiselt Sõrve poolsaarel ja mujal Lääne-Saaremaal. Praktilise otsingutöö käivitamise kõrval oli noortelaagri üheks tähtsamaks tulemuseks vastastikune tundmaõppimine. Oma rahvuskaaslaste jaoks olid sakslased suuresti esmaavastaja rollis, kes nimetamisväärsete eelteadmisteta omandasid vastvabanenud rahva hulgas esmaseid suhtlemiskogemusi. Teisalt aitas VDK noortelaager ka saarlastel oma senist maailmapilti laiendada.

Mõnevõrra nõutuks tegi siinseid teabekogujaid noortelaagris kasutusel olnud välitööde metoodika. Koos saatjatega umbes kolmekümneliikmeliseks paisunud laagripere sõitis iga üksikteate peale välja üheskoos, kasutades transpordivahendina autobussi. Kuigi teateid oli palju, tegeles sisulise otsingu-, tähistamis- ja kirjeldamistööga korraga vaid 2-3 inimest. Sealjuures jäid töö tulemused eeskätt pideva kiirustamise tõttu loodetust pinnapealsemaks ning suur osa laagrisolijaist ei leidnud võimetekohast rakendamist.

Siinsete abiliste poolt soovitati noortelaagri korraldajail jagada oma hoolealused kolme gruppi, mis oleksid haudade otsingutel eraldi tegutsenud. Nii oleks leitud rohkem aega kohapeal inimeste küsitlemiseks, mille tulemusena oleks nii mõnigi matmispaik saanud täpsemini tähistatud ning seega ka plaanitavaks ümbermatmiseks paremini ette valmistatud.

Kuigi otsingutega tegeleva grupi liigset suurust möönsid ka VDK esindajad, jätkus töö samal viisil ka järgnevatel aastatel. Taolist teguviisi saarlastele ei põhjendatud, ometi võis seda kõrvalseisjanagi kuigivõrd mõista. Laagri palgal oli liialt vähe pedagooge, tagamaks VDK kasvatuslike eesmärkide järgimist ka hajutatud tegevuse korral. Samuti osutus, et Saaremaal oli neil aastail veel liialt vähe vajalikul tasemel saksa keelt oskavaid inimesi, keda oleks saanud noortelaagri töösse kaasata.

Saavutamaks oma tegevusele kohapeal laiemat kõlapinda, püüdsid VDK esindajad saarlasi Saksamaa ametivõimudega kontaktiloomisel ja suhtlemisel aidata. Selles osas oli üheks tähelepanuväärsemaks ettevõtmiseks VDK ettepanekul Saaremaa Muinsuskaitse Seltsi poolt 25. märtsil 1993 Kuressaare linnuse roosas saalis korraldatud VDK esindaja Hannes Merteni kohtumine n.-ö. rohujuure tasandil asjasthuvitatutega. Umbes paarikümne kohaletulnu ees esinedes tutvustasid noortelaagri korraldajad VDK eesmärke ning vastasid rohketele küsimustele üsnagi erinevatest valdkondadest. Pikemalt vahetati mõtteid Saksa sõjaväesurnuaia taastamise, laiendamise ning ümbermatmistega seonduva probleemistiku ümber.

Koosolekul vastuseta jäänud küsimustele viisataotluste, kontaktandmete ja peamiselt sõjaväepensionide taotlemise asjaajamiskorra asjus tegi H. Merten kodumaal järelepärimised ning vastav teave jõudis asjahuvilisteni peamiselt Saaremaa Muinsuskaitse Seltsi kaudu.

Teine VDK noortelaager toimus Saaremaal 4.-14. juulini 1993. Seekord tähistati kogutud pärimusliku teabe alusel 49 matmispaika, peamiselt Ida-Saaremaal, mõni üksik ka maakonna lääneosas - Sõrves ja Kärla vallas. Laagriülemaks oli seekord Dieter Schewe, kes täitis samu ülesandeid ka järgnevatel aastatel. Seoses Maimu Hirvoja lahkumisega mandrile asus noortelaagris vakantseks jäänud tõlgist pedagoogi kohale samuti Kuressaare II Keskkoolis võõrkeeleõpetajana töötav Külli Kõvamees.

Seega suutis noortelaager kahe aasta jooksul läbi käia terve maakonna ning suurema, laiemalt tuntud ja ühtlasi kergemini leitava osa teadaolevatest Saksa sõjahaudadest ka looduses tähistada. Mõistetav, et järgnevatel aastatel kujunes kirjeldatud matmispaikade arv senisest väiksemaks, kusjuures tuli ette ka senitehtu kordamisi ja täpsustamisi. Teabevahetuse korras on VDK poolt Saaremaa Muuseumi arhiivraamatukokku hoiule antud vaid 32 matmispaikade arvelevõtukaardi koopiat 1994. aastast (26 juuli - 9. august) ning 1995. aasta (10.-28. juuli) kohta on vastav arv kahanenud 21-le. 

Of course, in such a situation, difficulties were encountered in finding an application for the participants of the youth camp, despite the fact that the use of the Kudjape military cemetery proved to be increasingly possible as an auxiliary workforce for students.

Gradually, work on literature and archives began to catch up with collecting oral success in terms of performance. It was again noted that the remains of all German soldiers, who had fallen in 1917 and buried in Saaremaa during the First World War, had been buried in the fall of 1940 in East Prussia, the new Königsberg military cemetery near the Sackheim gate.

These cemeteries have been destroyed by VDK today. However, the bodies of those who had fallen on the German side of Saare and Hiiumaa in 1941 were gathered together at the military cemetery, which was founded in Kudjap, just off the grave. Therefore, the task of VDK youth camps was to search for and mark the burial sites of soldiers who had fallen in 1944.

On the basis of hereditary records, it was noted that immediately after Saaremaa's recession under the Soviet occupation in 1944, the German military cemetery Kudjapel was grounded at the command of the new powers. On the other hand, a slightly smaller western area was largely set up by the Soviet brother-in-law mocking the German plan, which has now been rebuilt several times, well-maintained.

Just over one-fifth of the graves of the former German military cemetery were destroyed in the 1970s, mostly under the extension of the adjacent civilian cave. Some German war graves, however, were destroyed at about the same time by erecting a new monument, still in the same place, to commemorate Soviet soldiers.

In the summer of 1994, the VDK arrived in Saaremaa with a two-man research group with the task of finding out the possibilities of restoring the German military cemetery that had settled in Kudjapel. The members of the group, Fritz Tschiersky and Torsten Knoche, used a small excavator ordered from the public limited company "Kommunaal" as a local auxiliary as a tractorist. Several mines were made above and around burial sites, which revealed that, on the basis of existing plans, the locations of the German soldiers' graves can be determined with complete accuracy on the ground. It was also found that there is enough room in the adjacent fenced area for the initial planned reforestation.

At the same time, the excavations carried out by Kudjapel also caused the first serious disturbances of the local population towards the activities of the KGB. Many islanders saw unnecessary violations of the peace of the dead in extensive excavation work. The management of the Estonian Heritage Board, who held the case for German self-government, was also alarmed. However, the latter assessment was an obvious exaggeration due to the novelty of the problem, as well as problems related to the internal dissemination of information and the delegation of responsibility by the National Heritage Board.

Driven largely by the excavations at Kudjapel, Jaan Tamm, the Director General of the National Heritage Board, warned the public through the information agency ETA that the demolition of war graves is punishable without special permission from the subordinate authority. At the same time, J. Tamm argued that the illegal excavations of the remains of those killed in war have already taken place in many parts of Estonia, bringing Narva, Tallinn and Saaremaa as examples.

Having previously consulted with the representatives of the KGB, Raul Salumäe, as chairman of the Saaremaa Heritage Society, reacted to the statements of J. Tamm with memorandums to the National Heritage Board and ETA, pointing out that the opening of the war graves in Saaremaa was only carried out by the VDK at Kudjape Cemetery, and with the permission and permission of the Estonian Heritage Board. .

The written approval of excavations with the National Heritage Board was abandoned only because in the spring of the same year the representatives of the relevant agency who participated in the meeting of the relevant authority at the Kuressaare Town Hall on the initiative of VDK did not see the grassland burial site as a national monument, therefore the issue was not considered by them to be within the scope of national heritage protection.

On 19 September 1994, the Inspector General of the National Heritage Board, Andres Aua, spread an obvious response to the protests received, and in a much more restrained tone, through the ETA, the announcement of tombstones, the cases of which, according to him, have been in Valga, Ida-Viru County and elsewhere.

The misunderstandings about the excavations in Kudjapel led to the clarification of the procedure for applying for a permit for such research and the introduction of it by the National Heritage Board. At the same time, the impression was that, since then, the VDK began to restrict its information to interested institutions and organizations operating in Estonia. Despite earlier promises and subsequent reminders, the VDK did not forward a copy of the Kudjapel research report to the Saaremaa Museum, explaining the word of mouth that the members of the study group were on a way back to a serious traffic accident in Poland, so the notes made on Saaremaa were either lost or destroyed.

Nevertheless, the VDK considered the information at its disposal sufficient to begin the reconstruction of the Kudjape military cemetery. With regard to the design of the graveyard covering both the Soviet and the German soldiers, representatives of the VDK reached agreement with the relevant institutions of Kuressaare and Tallinn already in the first half of 1995. At the same time, it became apparent that there were no more noteworthy reports of war graves that had not been identified so far, and the participants of the VDK youth camp turned out to be underworked.

Therefore, the students who participated in the international goodwill mission were tasked with demolishing the stone garden separating the Soviet and German war graves and sorting the limestone pieces as construction material by size. The work that had been carried out somewhat prematurely at that time was also made in response to the order, and the limestone cliffs that emerged next to the stone bed remained in the same place until next spring.

However, more extensive reorganization work started in Kudjap only in the spring of 1996, as soon as the weather allowed. The massive concrete slabs built in the 1970s to commemorate the Soviet soldiers were placed in the cemetery for the sake of completeness a little lower in the ground. The surface of the area to be reconstructed was lifted to the ground, and so far the barely noticeable tombs were leveled.

Each warrior's grave was not marked separately. The intact German military cemetery area was scattered across a 120 Volli Saia stone cutter in Kaarma's dolomite cross. The names of the soldiers who had rested in the graves of civilian cave expansion have now been captured on thirteen dolomite plates attached to the stone wall separating the cage from the civilian cavern. According to currently known data, during World War II, a total of 674 soldiers who had fallen on the German side were buried in Kudjap. Of these, 658 are also found on grave markings: 505 on crosses and 153 on panels affixed to the wall.

However, the names of the German soldiers embedded in a monument to the Bronze Sculpture erected in the memory of the Soviet soldiers and placed in the immediate vicinity of the monument, are unfortunately not somewhere. Among the many foreign names, we can also find seven Estonian volunteers who fell on the German side in 1941, two of whom are unfortunately unknown. By judging by names and troops, the Germans may be more or less likely to separate up to five Estonians who have fallen into war.

The solemn embellishment of the reconstructed Kudjape military cemetery was reached on July 20, 1996. For this event, guests from several buses had arrived from Germany, among whom the relatives of soldiers killed in West Estonian islands during the Second World War. The commemoration day began with an Estonian and German memorial service at the Laurentius Church in Kuressaare, where the pastor, Theo Hasselblatt, was the master of both languages ​​as a guest from Germany. After the worship, Kudjape Cemetery headed for the ceremony of the commemoration of the new memorial facility with the speech of Bernd Mützelburg, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany, Adorbert von der Recke, Mayor of Lower Saxony, and Ülo Vevers, Mayor of Kuressaare. As a central monument to the Great Iron Cross erected in memory of the fallen on the German side, the Saaremaa Defense League stood in the apostrophe.

In the sermon before the incarnation of the memorial facility, Pastor Theo Hasselblatt stated that there was so much misunderstanding in the world that people felt sad and guilty. He called on all to overcome these death barriers and forgive each other. The performance of Kätlin Ivalo and Stefan Kühne, who spoke on behalf of the participants of the VDK youth camp, also sounded an effective conciliation message. As a sign of reconciliation efforts, the VDK took wreaths at the foot of the memorial ceremony at the foot of the monument set in memory of the soldiers killed in the repressions by the Soviet armed forces and the communist alien.

The same summer, on August 5, 1996, Wolfgang Dietrich and Klaus-Peter Schug, specialists of the KGB, arrived in Saaremaa with the task of commencing the identification and resettlement of German soldiers in Kudjapele as a result of the multi-year work of Estonian-German youth camps.

Established in 1994 by the Center of Estonian War Graves in Pärnu, the service was maintained by Urmas Esna and photographer Ain Krillo, who was assisted by German specialists. In addition, Sulev Salong was involved in the work of the group at Saaremaa.

As a result of nearly a month's work, the remains of 262 soldiers who died in 1944 were dug in our county. One of these findings was declared by the excavators to be the remnants of the Soviet soldier and was buried by the Torgu rural municipality government and the National Heritage Board with their arms brothers. The remaining 261 were buried in numbered plastic bags wrapped on September 3, around the Kudjape military cemetery. No solemn ceremony was held for rebellion, as the KGB representatives did not consider it necessary.

As a result of the work carried out by the Resettlement Group in 1996, it became apparent that there was no real need for the extension of the originally planned Kudjape Cemetery. If, in the summer of that year, the VDC apparently calculated on the basis of estimates made on the basis of oral legacy in the future about two thousand rebounds, the results of late summer surveys revealed that the total number of German soldiers to be resettled after the Second World War could rise to near 500. In his conversations with Tõnu Sepp representing the National Heritage Board and Raul Salumäe, who was present at the museum as a museum worker, W. Dietrich stated that the field tombs were marked by youth camps, but often with insufficient accuracy. Therefore, finding burial sites, even in the vicinity of large killer sites, has sometimes proved to be an overwhelming task.

For example, near the battlefield of Tehumard, only the remains of nine German soldiers were found and excavated. As the biggest venture, all the remains found in a burial site near Torgus in 1944 were buried, the identification of which probably did not cause any particular problems due to the existence of a proper graveyard plan. The excavation work was just underway in Kargis, where the remains of the Kudjap were replaced by the remains of only ten soldiers, but the excavations had to be interrupted due to the high status of the ground water.

There is still no grave markings bearing the names at the site of the new burial site of the Kudjapä landed in 1996. According to the re-casting group's opinion, it would take about a year to complete the processing of the data obtained. Unfortunately, real life has made its adjustments in this hope.

In response to an inquiry made on behalf of the Saaremaa Heritage Society, UD Paschke, a member of the Construction and Maintenance Department, announced on December 15, 1998 that protocols on rebellion had been developed by the VHC and forwarded to the Deutsche Dienststelle, a recent information center in Berlin. The establishment of grave markings is therefore now dependent on the speed with which the body can process the material submitted to it. It is clear from the same letter that the VDK does not consider the rejection work to be completed, referring to a high water level burial site where a longer dry period is required to carry out the work.

During the commemoration of German war victims, who had fallen in a foreign country, inevitably came up with different cultural beliefs, as well as misunderstandings arising from the political circumstances of each country. In retrospect, there is reason to note with satisfaction that, as a result of mutual aspirations, the dissenting opinions of the islanders did not bother with the representatives of the KGB.

In the course of the German war graves, a noteworthy fact was that a large part of the population here respects the grave as a burial site, above all where the dead flesh becomes soil. Reports were received from different parts of the county about the exterior gardens of the First World War, despite the fact that the remains of the soldiers were taken to Germany already in the autumn of 1940.

At the same time, reports of temporary burial sites in 1941 were extremely scarce, and finding additional information to find out the location scheme found in the German archives found near the Kuressaare-Kuivastu road near the Luuguse estuary station was surprisingly arduous.

The opening of the tombs of KDjapel carried out by the KGB in 1994 influenced many islanders as a rather frightening undertaking. Although excavations performed by the excavator seemed to be a sacrifice not only to the Director General of the National Heritage Board, Jaan Tamm, the violation of the deaths of the dead was largely a matter for the Germans, all the more so as it was not known that no Estonian grave was opened during the studies. However, it seems retrospectively that instead of the active effort to date, the attitude of the islanders towards the VDK began to become somewhat restrained since then.

The alienation of the inhabitants here was further aggravated by the rebellion of September 1996. While in 1994 there were two kinds of small coffins for the interested - plastic and cardboard - for the remains of relics, in 1996 the rebels only used plastic bags, which were buried together with the bones of the packed soldiers without the ceremony of naming the Kudjape Cemetery.

The archipelago, who was accustomed to the abundance of Soviet soldiers' brother-in-law, was also hard to understand why it was necessary to liquidate the former cemetery of a former hospital in the Torgus, which was more or less intact.

However, the German people have not been honored by the respect of human remains, as a stranger. After the fall of the Iron Curtain more and more often by German tourists visiting our county, one of the most sought-after sights has been the graveyard of Pöide's graveyard, writer Walter Flexi (1887-1917).

As a general manager of the 30-year-old reserve lieutenant, W. Flex was severely wounded near Oti Manor on 15 October 1917 during his struggle for Saaremaa. A day later, he died of the injuries he had received and a foreign soil was dropped into Pöide's cemetery. After the death, in the years between the two world wars, the soldier who died as a warrior became a huge member of his home country. His first personal work "Der Wanderer zwischen beiden Welten" ("The Traveler Between Both Worlds"), which appeared for the first time in 1916, rose to sixth place in World War II Germany, and the poem "Wildgänse" ("Wildgänse") by Robert Götz (1892-1978). Wild Goose ") is well known amongst the Germans as a journey of traveling today.

At the same time, the work of W. Flex is not considered to be compatible with the anti-war trends of modern Germany due to its struggling patriotic attitude. Therefore, the representatives of the KGB were distant from all the affairs of this writer, and there was a clear relief to the fact that the remains of the ever-glorified writer were taken to Königsberg during the rebellion at the end of 1940.

However, quite forgotten W. Flex is not. In many parts of Germany, first and foremost, the older generation, known as a writer, resembles the streets named after him. The monuments erected to commemorate the German soldiers who fallen in the First World War can often see quotes from Walter Flex's work. The first central monument of the Kudjape Cemetery, built in Saaremaa during the Second World War, had two lines, without any reference to the author's name, of W. Flex's poem "Dankesschuld": ("To get my hand, thank you, you silent man.")

Almost shortly after the opening of Saaremaa to foreign tourists, there were Germans who were looking for the fate of W. Flex's old grave. After all, the traces of the far-fetched care of the distant guests could be seen more and more often at the former burial site.
As initial signs, two half-meter-high columns of limestone without a mortar were erected in the tomb at the top of the tomb, at which the passers-by could see the bouquets or even the wreath. In 1995, one of the German schoolchildren group W. Flex, who defined himself as a "Wandervögel", placed a grave on a birch tree cut with a knife cut off from a birch tree, and somewhere in the Second World War found on Saaremaa battlefields.

Despite the fact that the tomb of W. Flex was becoming one of the most important attractions of Saaremaa for German tourists, we tried to take into account the attitudes of the KGB in the issue of memorizing the writer's memory. Saaremaa Heritage Conservation Society already received the first proposals for the installation of a memorial plaque or stone for the writer's grave in 1995. However, due to the political problem of this venture, it was expedient to delay a new grave mark, more precisely, to set up a canoe.

V.K.J., a joint-stock company for the donations gathered in Germany near Kuressaare. The memorial stone made in the stone cemetery was placed in the Pöide cemetery only in 1997, in connection with the festive celebration of the 110th anniversary of the writer.

VDK did not take part in commemorating Walter Flex. The Saaremaa Heritage Society, which organized the event as an external cultural association of political parties and national authorities, took all responsibility for the possible consequences of this venture.

Understanding the political problem of post-war Germany proved to be the most difficult task for the islanders involved in searching for and arranging war graves. In connection with a visit to Saaremaa by a well-known German philosopher Iring Fetscher in 1995, he was informed in the same year by his memoir "Curiosity and Furcht" ("Neugier and Furcht") 14 that 9th Grenadier Regiment was involved in the struggle against the Soviet army in 1944 also later German Federal President from 1984 to 1994 Richard von Weizsäcker.

As a traditional information exchange, Raul Salumäe, as historian, also drew the attention of the representatives of the VDK, proposing to invite, as a 24-year-old captain (Hauptmann), on 24 November 1944, during the evacuation of German troops who had been present in Saaremaa, to commemorate their fallen soldiers.

However, the highly respected guest was unfortunately not coming. According to Mr. Merten's information forwarded to R. Salumäki by word of mouth, VDK's invitation to R. von Weizsäcker was indeed communicated. There was no direct contact with the addressee himself in these cases, but his office was asked to understand the fact that the former president reminds him of his former warfare with extreme reluctance.

Since the autumn of 1996, VDK's interest in Saaremaa began to blur. Most of the set goals had been exhausted by then. 6-22 In August 1997, the sixth and probably the last youth camp organized by Saaremaa was organized by VDK. As there were no new reports of war graves as it was, campers were found to be used mainly for maintenance work at Kudjape surnuaia, at the Püha kiriku, and for helping disabled people.

Although the links between the islanders and the VDK have not been interrupted, the problems to be solved have remained relatively limited. In addition to organizing the maintenance of the Kudjape Military Cemetery, only the erection of grave marks on the same resettled warriors and the organization of the repairs to the burial site in Kargis or the transfer of the remains buried there are more acute.

The searches of the German war graves gave the islanders much needed thought over the constant values ​​of life during the great political changes. The experience gained in communicating with the VDK enabled the local people to set their minds on the cemetery culture. The reconciliation message forwarded in the search for and repositioning of grassy soldiers' troops has undoubtedly helped to prevent vandalism against the tombs of the opposing party, that is, the fallen soldiers of the Soviet Union. For Estonians, however, the contacts with the problems of the foreign cavalry cemeteries have proved to be a gratifying impulse for searching and organizing the burial sites of the fallen sons of our people.

Saaremaa Muuseumi Kaheaastaraamat 1997 - 1998