Ain-Ervin Mere

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Ain Mere
Born(1903-02-22)February 22, 1903
Vändra, Governorate of Livonia, Russian Empire
DiedApril 5, 1969(1969-04-05) (aged 66)
Leicester, England
Allegiance Estonia
 Soviet Union
 Nazi Germany
Years of service1918–1940 Estonian Army
1940-1941 NKVD
1941–1943 Omakaitse
Estonian Security Police and SD
1943–1945 Waffen-SS
RankSS-Obersturmbannführer
Unit20th Waffen Grenadier Division of the SS
Battles/warsEstonian War of Independence
Eastern Front
AwardsOrder of the Cross of the Eagle
Iron Cross 1st Class

Ain Mere (from birth to Estification Ervin Martson; February 22, 1903 – April 5, 1969) was an Estonian military officer and collaborator with Nazi Germany in World War II. During the German occupation of Estonia, he served in the German-controlled Estonian Security Police and SD.

Career[edit]

He was born in Vändra and fought voluntarily in the Estonian War of Independence. In early 1919, Mere was wounded while serving on an armored train and was sent to the rear.

According to the KGB archives, he was drafted as an agent of NKVD in 1940–1941. Mere's reports on the resettlement of Baltic Germans and the exposure of underground Estonian organisations reached the desk of Lavrenti Beria.[1] In recognition of his performance[1] Mere was appointed the director of a special department of the Estonian Rifle Corps.[2] He was known under code name "Müller".[3][4] In July 1941 Mere surrendered himself to the German military.[1] He was a member of the Estonian Security Police (Group B of the Sicherheitspolizei) under the Estonian Self-Administration and participated in the Holocaust.[5]

On February 5, 1945, in Berlin, he founded the Eesti Vabadusliit, an anti-communist group, together with fellow Waffen-SS commander Harald Riipalu.[6]

Trial in absentia[edit]

In March 1961, the Soviet court accused during the War crimes trials in Soviet Estonia the German Security Police in Estonia, headed by Mere (and later by Julius Ennok) to have been actively involved in the arrest and killing of Estonian Jews along with Ralf Gerrets and Jaan Viik. The police were also actively engaged in actions against Estonians deemed to be opponents of Nazi Germany.[7] Though living in Great Britain, he was sentenced to capital punishment. Great Britain did not extradite him, due to the lack of evidence[8] and he died at the age of 66 in Leicester, England.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Weiss-Wendt, Anton (2009). Murder Without Hatred: Estonians and the Holocaust. Syracuse University Press. p. 116.
  2. ^ Snyder, Timothy (2016). Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning. Random House. p. 214.
  3. ^ (in Estonian) Koputajad raiuti raamatusse
  4. ^ (in Estonian) (in Swedish) [1] Archived 2009-03-19 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ Patricia Heberer (2011): Children during the Holocaust, AltaMira Press
  6. ^ Veebruari sündmused Archived 2008-03-19 at the Wayback Machine. (in Estonian)
  7. ^ Conclusions of the Estonian International Commission for the Investigation of Crimes Against Humanity Archived 2008-06-29 at the Wayback Machine. — Phase II: The German occupation of Estonia in 1941–1944 Archived 2007-06-29 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ Reuter, 11 March 1961