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War Of Independence Monument In Rõuge / DescriptionTo commemorate the 200 residents of Rõuge who had perished in battles of the War of Independence or had died from wounds sustained during the war, on the initiative of Valter Viks, pastor of the congregation, a monument was erected in 1926 near the church, on the other side of the Rõuge-Haanja highway. The monument was created by artist Voldemar Mellik (1887-1949) and the front side has the following text hewn in stone: "1918-1920. Honour to the fallen! Grateful Rõuge parish". General Juhan Tõrvandi (1883-1942) presided over the festive opening of the monument on 3.10.1926.
One autumn night in 1945 the Bolsheviks blasted the monument and the bronze soldier with its foundation stones were buried not far from the monument. Local artist Aksel Ollmann was aware of the cultural value of the monument and in the middle of the night dug out the bronze soldier broken apart at the knee, borrowed a horse and a carriage, took the sculpture weighing 320 kg and 2.28 metres long to his farm and buried it in the yard. He was assisted by August Kirch and Osvald Kimask. Later A. Ollmann built a wooden shed over the spot. When he got married, he shared the secret with his wife Linda.
In the summer of 1988 a meeting was held around the monument's pedestal to discuss its restoration. The participants did not know what had happened to the guardian of liberty and A. Ollmann's widow Linda informed them of the location of the statue. The people immediately proceeded there and dug out the bronze soldier, put it on a truck, covered with the blue-black-white flag preserved by Heino Kann from the time of the Republic of Estonia, transported it close to the pedestal and placed it in H. Kann barn for temporary storage.
The statue was restored by Ars Monumentaal and on the 30th of October, 1988, the monument was reopened.
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