Schlagwort-Archive: Estonia

Illegal border crossings between Estonia and the Soviet Union in 1920–1940

by Ott Koor, archivist at the National Archives of Estonia

Illegal cross-border movement across the Soviet border was a process that characterised the areas along the eastern border of Europe from 1920 to 1940. The communist ideology attracted many, which is why cross-border movements took place primarily towards the Soviet Union and not vice versa. One characteristic example is the case of Estonia. Illegal border crossings between Estonia and the Soviet Union in 1920–1940 weiterlesen

Noblemen who fell into serfdom

by Reet Hünerson, specialist at the National Archives of Estonia

While collecting data for the database “Land registers” at, I have sometimes come across rather unexpected stories.

Two decades before the Great Northern War, the Swedish King Charles XI initiated the Great Reduction of manors in the overseas provinces of Estland and Livland. About 80 per cent of all noble holdings in Livland and c. 50 per cent in Estland went into the crown possession. The war ravaged the provinces in 1700-1710 and the plague also took its toll. The human loss was huge, villages were suffering population decline or even became empty. Several manors were also damaged or desolated and their owners had either died or fled the country. Some parishes had no pastors who would have recorded the deaths of parish members in the registers. As a result of the war, Sweden lost Estland and Livland to Russia and the Russian Tsar Peter I restored landholding rights that had existed before the reforms of Chrales XI of Sweden. In the “unsettled times” after the war, hunt for ownerless landed properties started. In such a situation, minor heirs could even lose their noble title as well as their title to land, as the case of the descendants of Rittmeister and Baron (Freiherr) Heinrich Homburg shows. Noblemen who fell into serfdom weiterlesen

How the manorial lords wrecked ships

by Kersti Lust, PhD in history, National Archives of Estonia

Map of Hiiumaa, 1704. RA, EAA.308.2.28

Wrecking, the illegal seizure of materials and cargo of shipwrecks, was an important economic activity for several centuries, and it was performed along many coastal areas around the world. The international scholarly tradition usually views wrecking as an activity of the common people, but this blog post sheds light on the deceptive and opportunistic activities of manorial lords, who were responsible for enforcing the law at the local level by performing police and court functions, but who, at the same time, could benefit also from wrecking. How the manorial lords wrecked ships weiterlesen

ICARUS-Meeting #19 | 5th co:op partner meeting

The participants of the meeting were not only able to learn more about the best of Estonian digital heritage projects as well as the National Archives‘ best practices but also about cooperation projects across national borders. Furthermore, the event informed on Estonian e-Resedency, a transnational digital identity.

The ICARUS Didactics Group invited to a workshop on the Topotheques by the example of the Museum of Agricultural Sciences (MUSA) in Italy (click here for more information).

The meeting took place in the cozy university town Tartu –  town of students, intellectuals and creatives.  ICARUS-Meeting #19 | 5th co:op partner meeting weiterlesen

Virtual exhibition on Baltic refugee camps in Germany

by Birgit Kibal, Adviser of the National Archivist and exhibition team member

Chess players of DP camp in Amberg before the tournament in September of 1947. VEMU FK.61-47

Europe is facing the greatest refugee crisis since the end of the World War II. Therefore we find it appropriate and timely to introduce the stories of wartime Baltic refugees to a wider audience. During World War II, mostly in 1944, tens of thousands of citizens from the Baltic States fled to the West. They left their home countries for fear of Soviet re-occupation and falling victim to repressioon, most of them left their homes and friends forever. Virtual exhibition on Baltic refugee camps in Germany weiterlesen