Ain-Ervin Mere

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Ain Mere
Born(1903-02-22)22 February 1903
Died5 April 1969(1969-04-05) (aged 66)
Criminal statusDeceased
War crimes
Criminal penaltyDeath (in absentia)
Military career
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
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; 22 February 1903 – 5 April 1969) was an Estonian military officer in World War II. During the German occupation of Estonia, he served in the German-controlled Estonian Security Police and SD.


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 5 February 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, during the war crimes trials in Soviet Estonia, the German Security Police in Estonia, headed by Mere (and later by Julius Ennok), along with Ralf Gerrets and Jaan Viik, was accused in a Soviet court to have been actively involved in the arrest and killing of Estonian Jews. The police were also actively engaged in actions against Estonians deemed to be opponents of Nazi Germany.[7] Though at the time he was residing in Britain, Mere was sentenced to death for his role during the war. The British government refused to extradite him, citing a lack of evidence on the part of the Soviet authorities,[8] and he died at the age of 66 in Leicester, England.


  1. ^ a b c Weiss-Wendt, Anton (2009). Murder Without Hatred: Estonians and the Holocaust. Syracuse University Press. p. 116. ISBN 9780815632283.
  2. ^ Snyder, Timothy (2016). Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning. Random House. p. 214. ISBN 9781784701482.
  3. ^ (in Estonian) Koputajad raiuti raamatusse Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ (in Estonian and 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 MachinePhase II: The German occupation of Estonia in 1941–1944 Archived 2007-06-29 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Reuter, 11 March 1961