This is the story told in the documentary Coming Home Soon. The story of Estonian children who had to flee Estonia in 1944 with their mothers, siblings, and sometimes even their fathers.
They didn’t know where the dangerous roads would take them, and when they made it to the refugee camps, they knew, this was temporary.
All interviewees in this film found themselves in Geislingen refugee camp from 1945 to 1950 in the South of Germany. Geislingen was an Estonian Assembly centre where some 4,000 Estonians lived for more than 5 years. The camp became a small Estonia with schools, workshops, post office, hospital, newspaper, theatre, orchestra, choirs...Estonians themselves were in charge of organizing the camp. According to the officer of the UNRRA (the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration) at the Geislingen camp, the Estonians did all the work while they did not have any say regarding the longevity or future of the camp. Geislingen was home for the refugees for five years, after which the residents had to depart once more, leaving their friends and familiar surroundings behind to start all over again in a new country unknown to them.
The film Coming Home Soon explores the influence which the experiences at Geislingen had on the lives of the Estonian refugees and their children.
It is a story about how to cope with extremely difficult circumstances, how to overcome your past and build a successful future. It is a story of hope and inspiration.
Although this film is related to Estonian post WWII history, one can observe strong parallels to the current refugee situation in Europe.
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