Candles for the Defiant: Discovering My Family's Estonian Past

Candles for the Defiant: Discovering My Family's Estonian Past

Written by:
Kaia Gallagher
Narrated by:
Kiiri Sandy
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Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
April 2024
6 hours 14 minutes
Candles for the Defiant and Forgotten tells the courageous story of how one Baltic patriot resisted the Soviet occupation of Estonia during World War II by joining the Communist Party to spy for his countrymen. Trained as a lawyer, Bruno Kulgma Kull was smart, idealistic, and convinced that he could hide his true affiliations from the Soviet-controlled Party leaders, while he sabotaged their plans. Little could he have known that he would end up being distrusted by the Communists, reviled by his neighbors, and accused of being a traitor when the Germans invaded Estonia a year later in the summer of 1941.

As she was growing up, Kaia knew only that her mother’s family escaped from Estonia a day before the country was occupied by the Soviet Union in the fall of 1944 as World War II was coming to an end. Years later, she resolved to learn more about her family’s past and to uncover the tragic story of Bruno’s ill-fated heroism. With help from the Estonian National Archives, she uncovered documents that showed how Bruno tried to defend his actions at a time when the German legal system condemned anyone affiliated with the Communist Party to death.

Kaia’s family story highlights the stubborn determination shown by the citizens from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania who resisted the occupation of their homelands, a battle that would last for nearly fifty years when the Baltic states regained their independence in the 1990s. 
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