World Refugee Day at Seaplane Harbour

Date: 20. June 2018
Start time: 12:30
Location: Lennusadam, Tallinn, Estonia ()

Come to the World Refugee Day ‘The Great Escape’ on 20th of June in the Seaplane Harbour of the Estonian Maritime Museum!

70 000 people fled the Red Army in 1943-1944 from Estonia to the West, around 6000 people died during that Great Escape. At the World Refugee Day we will discuss the plight of refugees, past and present.


12:30 ‘Baltic Saga’ (2000)
The ‘Baltic saga’ tells the story of Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian refugees, who fled to Gotland during The Great Escape.

12:30 Role play ‘We’ll be back by Christmas’
It is 1944. You must escape from Estonia. You lose your passport and all your belongings. What will you do? The museum guide will lead you through a game, where you’ll have to find your way to the refugee camp.

13:30 ‘Sea of Sorrow. Sea of Hope’ (2018)
A short documentary about a Syrian boat refugee family, who escaped the war and ISIS across the Mediterranean sea.

14:00 ‘Escape’ by Andres Sööt (1991)
An emotional documentary with rare historical footage about Estonians fleeing the World War II to Sweden and Germany.

15:00 Excursion ‘The Great Boat Escape’
The Estonian boat refugees Helmi Warg and Li Suur Karlsson will join us from Sweden to tell the story of the refugee boat exhibited in the museum. The excursion will end with a newly found rare film footage about Estonian refugees arriving to Stockholm in 1944.

16:00 Discussion: ‘Refugee Crisis – Past and Present’
Participants: WWII boat refugee Ilvi Cannon, Syrian boat refugee Alaa, Sander Jürisson from the Museum of Occupations and the Estonian spokesperson for UNHCR Didzis Melbiksis. Moderator: Meelis Niine from the International Organization for Migration.

17:00 ‘Let’s Meet!’ with Estonian and current refugees
Let’s meet with refugees at the Living Library in the museum’s cafe Maru. Free entrance, snacks and refreshments prepared by the refugees living in Estonia.

Exhibition ‘Estonia in the Migration Era’. Virtual reality glasses with views to the refugee camps in the Middle East, Sudan and Ukraine.

Entrance and participation with the museum’s ticket, the living library in the museum’s cafe is free of charge.

The World Refugee Day is organized by UNHCR, Estonian Maritime Museum, Estonian Human Rights Centre, Estonian Refugee Council, IOM, Estonian Institute of Human Rights and the European Migration Network Estonia.

“Let’s Meet!” project is co-financed by the EU Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) and the Ministry of the Interior of Estonia.