Estonian history

Hope and freedom: remembering Estonia’s occupations

It might seem strange, but the main message to take away from the Tallinn Museum of Occupations is one of hope, at least that’s what managing director Merilin Piipuu wants visitors to think about when they come to see the museum’s exhibitions. Built on the corner of Toompea, the rectangular …

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75 years since the US refusal to accept the annexation of Estonia

On 23 July 1940, the United States’ acting Secretary of State, Sumner Welles, issued a declaration that condemned the Soviet Union’s aggression against Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. It became to be known as the Welles Declaration and for the next 51 years, it formed the basis for the American refusal …

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Life in Estonia at the outset of the Second World War and the occupation

An eyewitness account of life in Estonia at the beginning of 50 years of Soviet occupation in June 1940 – Estonia’s darkest hour. When World War Two broke out in September 1939, no-one could have imagined the horrific consequences it would have for Estonia and its people. At the start of …

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An Ethiopian in Tallinn, circa 1903

In the early twentieth century Estonian artist Ants Laikmaa created beautiful portraits of Ethiopians and North Africans, while still developing a distinct Estonian art. The range of his portraiture reveals the tolerance and acceptance in Estonia over a century ago. Estonia has always been multicultural, yet recent debates about EU migration …

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Estonians beat Columbus to north America

New evidence indicates Estonians may have been the first Europeans to settle North America. Archaeologists excavating in the rocky coast of Maine in the United States have discovered a historical encampment, which, if their theory holds true, will represent the earliest known European settlement in North America – predating Christopher …

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