Helsinki to mark 20 years since fall of Iron Curtain

Book Presentation

The Finnish-language article compilation “Fear Behind Us All” (“Kaiken takana oli pelko”), which was compiled by authors and columnists Imbi Paju and Sofi Oksanen, will be released in Finland on Monday, 23 March.

The publication of the anthology marks 60 years since the March deportations took place in Estonia and 20 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain. “This is a book about the price that Estonia had to pay in order for the most violent utopia known to mankind to be implemented– about how Estonians lost their history and then got it back,” reads the press release by the compilation’s publisher WSOY.

The compilation “Fear Behind Us All” addresses the situation behind the Iron Curtain in occupation-era Estonia and the other Baltic countries and searches for an answer to the questions of whether the KGB was able to sway Western representations of history; why victims of Soviet terror could not talk about their experiences in public and what has been the effect; and how people managed to get by in a system supported by fear, discrimination and propaganda.

The collection compiled by Paju and Oksanen is written by well-known researchers of Estonian history and crimes against humanity, journalists, figures in society and victims of Stalinist terror, including President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Anne Applebaum, Edward Lucas, Iiva-Anna Masso, Lauri Mälksoo, Enn Soosaar, Sofi Oksanen, Imbi Paju, Vladimir Bukovsky, James Wertsch, Olaf Mertelsman, Heino Noor, Aigi Rahi-Tamm, Ivo Juurvee, Jukka Rislakki, Leo Kunnas, Maimu Berg, Igor Kotjuh, Toomas Hiio, Martin Arpo, Peeter Tulviste, Mart Laar,
Tauno Tiusanen, and many others.

The book release will be followed by a history seminar on the same topic and the premier of Jüri Reinvere’s music and video composition “Requiem” in the cinema “Orion” at 17.00. It will also be possible to view the film programme “Fear Behind the Wall” (Pelko muurin takana), compiled by Sofi Oksanen and Imbi Paju, at the cinema “Orion” from 24 March to 28 April.

Information for journalists

On 23 March at 15.00 the book release will take place in the Sanomatalo in Helsinki. The creators of the compilations Imbi Paju and Sofi Oksanen as well as political scientist and columnist Iivi-Anna Masso will all be given a chance to speak in a discussion led by journalist Tuomas Enbuske. Questions can also be directed to many of the authors that will be present, including Toomas Hiio, Martin Arpo, Jukka Rislakki, Tauno Tiusanen, Ivo Juurvee, Igor Kotjuh and Jüri Reinvere.

In order to set up interviews with the authors participating in the book release or the creators of the collection, please contact (Finnish authors) or (Estonian authors) or the compilers directly:;


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