Kristjan Palusalu

Kristjan Palusalu, initially until 1935 Kristjan Trossmann, (born 26 Februarjul / 10 March 1908greg in the village Saulepi, today rural community Varbla, .. † 17 July 1987 in Tallinn, Soviet Union) was an Estonian wrestler.

Life and Sport

Kristjan Palusalu was active in sports Tallinn and met for the first time internationally in appearance, as he ranked fourth in Greco -Roman style wrestlers ranked at the European Championships in 1933. At the Olympic Games in Berlin in 1936 he won the gold medal in both the Freestyle Wrestling and Greco-Roman style in the highest weight class. He was the most successful athlete in his home country during the interwar period. At the opening ceremony of the Games in 1936, he wore the Estonian flag into the Olympic stadium. The Ringer 1937 European Championships he won the heavyweight title in Greco- Roman style.

After the annexation of Estonia by the Soviet Union in 1940 in the wake of the German - Soviet Non-Aggression Pact Palusalu was deported as many of his compatriots. After an escape attempt sentenced to death he enlisted as a "volunteer" at the Finnish front, where he deserted to Finland in autumn 1941. From Finland, he returned to the home that was occupied until 1944 by Germany. After re- entry of the Red Army in 1944 Palusalu was first imprisoned. In the Estonian SSR he was allowed to work as a coach.

Since Palusalu was the most successful Estonian sportsman of the interwar period and his fate exemplifies the plight of its people under the Soviet regime, he remained until today one of the most popular Estonian athletes at all. The Bronze Soldier of the controversial war memorial in Tallinn is modeled after the shape of Kristjan Palusalu.