The Estonian Institute of Human Rights has launched an informative and fascinating virtual exhibition called “Human Rights in the Soviet Society”, which can be used as a teaching resource in language, literature, history and social studies classes to cover the history of the Soviet Union.

The exhibition can be accessed online, free of charge, in eight languages: Estonian, English, Russian, Finnish, French, German, Spanish and Swedish. Using the example of Estonia, the exhibition introduces the human rights situation and everyday life during the Soviet occupation.

Visit the virtual exhibition here:

How much do people know about the forcible resettlement of people within the Soviet Union, which resulted in the share of Estonians in the population falling from 98% to 61%? Did you know that Estonia had cities that were no-go areas for ordinary people because they were located in border zones? Or that a prank as simple as sticking a thumbtack into Stalin’s nose on a photo could result in 10 years in prison? The virtual exhibition also familiarizes visitors with a machine used to steam open letters so that censors could read people’s correspondence, and the permits that people had to seek for visiting relatives.

The exhibition is aimed at students and anyone else interested in history and provides a comprehensive illustration of the situation with human rights in the Soviet era, including several history lessons’ worth of material in visual form. 

The virtual exhibition was put together by the Estonian Institute of Human Rights.

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