Julius Kuperjanov and his tomb

Vabadussõja kangelase Julius Kuperjanovi haud kujunes nõukogude ajal vastupanu sümboliks.

The tomb of War of Independence hero Julius Kuperjanov became a symbol of resistance during the Soviet era.

Kuperjanov and his tomb became symbols of the struggle for freedom during the occupation. People expressed their opposition by bringing flowers and candles to the grave on Christmas Eve and to mark other occasions. State security had many students expelled and people laid off from Tartu University in response to the protest.

Kuperjanov’s wife Alice was also active in the war, helping organise and establish partisan units and the Defence League in 1918 and 1919. When widowed, she assumed leadership of the Women's Voluntary Defence Organisation and was active in organisations for the protection of children. The Soviet regime sentenced her to death. She was executed in Sverdlovsk oblast in 1942.

Storyteller: Vootele Hansen
Used sources and references:

Vootele Hansen 31.01.2021

Related objects

Tomb of Lieutenant Julius Kuperjanov

This monument is situated in Raadi Cemetery in Tartu, to the left of the main pathway in the section near Kruusamäe Street.

The tombstone of War of Independence hero Lieutenant Julius Kuperjanov was designed by renowned Estonian sculptor Jaan Koort and unveiled on 11 October 1925. During the Soviet era, the bronze low-relief and the texts on the monument were removed. The tombstone itself was not demolished, however, and it became a symbol of resistance against the foreign regime, with flowers and candles secretly being placed there. The monument has been restored to its original state.