Ajalooline Ajakiri. The Estonian Historical Journal http://ojs.utlib.ee/index.php/EAA <p>Ajalooline Ajakiri on eelretsenseeritav akadeemiline ajakiri, mis ilmub Tartu Ülikooli ajaloo ja arheoloogia instituudi juures.<br> “Ajalooline Ajakiri. The Estonian Historical Journal” is peer-reviewed academic journal of the Institute of History and Archaeology, University of Tartu.</p> Tartu Ülikooli Kirjastus en-US Ajalooline Ajakiri. The Estonian Historical Journal 1406-3859 Kooliõpetaja Gustav Martinsoni (1888–1959) rahvuslik-kultuuriliste vaadete mõjutegurid Esimeses maailmasõjas [Abstract: Influencers of the nationalist-cultural views of the school teacher Gustav Martinson (1888–1959) in the First World War] http://ojs.utlib.ee/index.php/EAA/article/view/AA.2018.1.01 <p><em>Abstract: Influencers of the nationalist-cultural views of the school teacher Gustav Martinson (1888–1959) in the First World War</em></p> <p>The passing of a hundred years since the start of the First World War, a milestone of world history, has also in recent years actualised research in Estonia of the events of that time. One field that has remained unexplored to this day is Estonia’s school teachers as a large social group in the World War.</p> <p>School teachers who participated in the war and survived later helped to defend and build up Estonian independent statehood. The main objective of this article is to elucidate the nationalist-cultural views of the school teacher Gustav Martinson, and the effect of the written word on his views under wartime conditions. Martinson had graduated from the Tartu Teachers’ Seminary, was fluent in several languages (Russian, German, French, Latvian), and taught in Sangaste rural municipality. In addition to the press of that time, the primary sources of this study are Martinson’s diaries from 1916–17 and 1917–21, and his correspondence (62 letters), all of which have been brought into academic circulation for the first time.</p> <p>The exact number of Estonian school teachers who were conscripted into the First World War is not known. We know that in 1914, at least 400 teachers were already mobilised from Estonia. Prior to the World War, 2,249 teachers worked in Estonian elementary schools (excluding city schools). Thus in the first year of the war, at least 18% of school teachers were conscripted into the armed forces. Historians of education consider the calling up of Estonian school teachers for military service as one reason for the decline in the number of schools that took place during the First World War. It is quite probable that school teachers were not enthusiastic about fighting in the war and looked forward to returning to their everyday work.</p> <p>Literate Estonians in the First World War found comfort in the printed word in Estonian, of which the most readily available were newspapers, especially Postimees (Postman) and Sakala. It emerges from several sources that school teachers were active newspaper subscribers since the start of the war. From among the Estonian press, the school teacher Gustav Martinson read the newspapers Postimees and Sotsiaaldemokraat (Social Democrat), and the periodicals Eesti Kirjandus (Estonian Literature) and Vaba Sõna (Free Word). He also had the opportunity to read books sent from home or brought along from when he was on leave, and also books acquired from where he was stationed. Despite of the horrors of war, he was able to think about values that have a constructive effect on life, including the importance of education. Regarding Estonian literature, he held the works of Gustav Suits, Juhan Liiv, Friedebert Tuglas, Ernst Enno and Henrik Visnapuu in particularly high esteem. Optimistic and positive reflections on the future of Estonian culture and the Estonian nationality, inspired by the media and by the books he had read, are the most prominent feature in Gustav Martinson’s diaries. As a great booklover, he drew support in the war from the written word, which was also the primary influence on his national self-identity. As a school teacher, he understood the importance of education and erudition for the process of building independent statehood.</p> <p>Unlike Western Europe, no so-called lost generation emerged in Estonia after the experiences endured in the First World War. Estonian intellectuals, including Gustav Martinson, continued their professional work after they returned from the war and assured the continuity of Estonian cultural traditions in independent Estonia.</p> Anu Raudsepp ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-11-18 2018-11-18 1 3 26 10.12697/AA.2018.1.01 Revolutsiooni sidemehed: Eesti enamlikud emigrandid Kopenhaagenis 1918–1921 [Abstract: The couriers of revolution: Estonian Bolshevik émigrés in Copenhagen 1918–1921] http://ojs.utlib.ee/index.php/EAA/article/view/AA.2018.1.02 <p><em>Abstract: The couriers of revolution: Estonian Bolshevik émigrés in Copenhagen 1918–1921</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The history of the early twentieth-century Estonian left-wing radicalism has remained a relatively neglected field in the post-1991 period; not least due to its previous institutional role as the most favoured, but also the most highly politicised subject of historical research in Soviet Estonia. This state of affairs resulted in voluminous scholarship in “party history” produced over the decades following World War II, but its findings and conclusions are almost entirely untrustworthy and thoroughly biased in favour of Soviet-style Communism.</p> <p>In the last five years, however, the history of the Estonian left has attracted new attention on part of both younger scholars and senior academics – a highly positive development in light of the major role that left-wing ideas and movements have played in Estonian history from the 1905 Russian revolution onwards. Nevertheless, this newer research has the somewhat thankless task of having to re-examine the fundamentals without being able to rely on previous scholarship, which perhaps understandably limits its ability to generalise or to draw overarching conclusions.</p> <p>The present article is a contribution to this burgeoning field in Estonian historical research, engaging with the little-studied history of Estonian left-wing radicalism in Western Europe (rather than in Estonia or in Soviet Russia). I am particularly focusing on four individuals among émigré Estonians in Copenhagen, Denmark: August Lossmann (1890–?), Oskar Lenk (1890–1919), Johannes Rumessen (1888–?) and Harald Triikman (1892–1964). The primary period of study is 1918–22, although reference will be made to both earlier and later years where appropriate. The study makes use of both Estonian and foreign archival materials, contemporary newspapers and, occasionally, published scholarship.</p> <p>While my focus is on tracing and contextualising the activities and involvement of these four young men in both Danish and Estonian radical leftist circles, I will also propose some preliminary hypotheses relating to the radicalisation process of left-wing Estonian émigrés more generally, which in the future can hopefully be tested on a broader range of comparable subjects.</p> <p>Firstly, I would suggest that the Bolshevik Russian revolution (the October Revolution) was likely a pivotal moment in the development of their views: having been the supporters of Socialist Russian revolution, the Estonian émigrés tended to distance themselves from the more sceptical Social Democratic parties of their countries of residence in its aftermath, instead moving closer to Left Socialist or Communist parties that fully embraced the new revolution. Furthermore, their distance from and relative ignorance of Estonian affairs probably left them more open to contemporary Bolshevik propaganda, which among other things depicted the Estonian War of Independence (1918–19) as a struggle between an alliance of foreign capital and the Estonian bourgeoisie on the one hand, and the Estonian proletariat on the other.</p> <p>In the case of Lossmann, Lenk, Rumessen and Triikman, they were all connected to one Estonian Socialist (or Bolshevik) Group, established in 1918 and affiliated with the Danish Socialist Labour Party – the first openly Bolshevik party in Denmark. This Estonian group was headed by the remarkably well-respected Socialist Oskar Lenk, who in early 1919 was expulsed from Denmark due to his involvement in Bolshevik activities (among other things, working from the Copenhagen bureau of ROSTA, the Soviet Russian news propaganda agency). Later, he was active in Russia as a fairly prominent activist of the Estonian Communist Party, before being killed in a battle against the Whites in the autumn of the same year.</p> <p>Lenk’s influence in 1918 was likely of formative importance for his comrades in Copenhagen, at least one of whom (Johannes Rumessen) also became involved in the underground transport and intelligence network of the Estonian Communist Party in 1919–20.</p> Mart Kuldkepp ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-11-18 2018-11-18 1 27 66 10.12697/AA.2018.1.02 Kuulujuttudest Nõukogude Eestis partei ja julgeoleku meelsusaruannete põhjal 1944–1953 [Abstract: On rumours described in Communist Party and state security organ reports in Soviet Estonia in 1944–1953] http://ojs.utlib.ee/index.php/EAA/article/view/AA.2018.1.03 <p><em>Abstract: On rumours described in Communist Party and state security organ reports in Soviet Estonia in 1944–1953</em></p> <p>The Soviet Union was characterised by total control over the expressions of opinion of its citizens. For this reason, public opinion was to a great extent expressed as rumours. The Soviet regime, in turn, treated rumours as anti-Soviet phenomena, on the one hand, because they contradicted official propaganda, and on the other hand because they also very directly hindered the implementation of Sovietisation and the ability of agitators to explain the advantages of the new regime. Thus rumours had to be combatted.</p> <p>This article does not examine rumours in Soviet society as a broader, separate phenomenon, rather it analyses how they were reflected in the period after the Second World War in state security organ and Communist Party reports, and how the effects and extent of the rumours of that time can be assessed.</p> <p>The reports of Communist Party organisers at the rural municipality level are used first and foremost in this article. These organisers were in close personal contact with rumours or heard them from their confidants. The state security organs used their network of secret agents to monitor people’s attitudes (including gathering rumours). Reports from local departments to the ESSR People’s Commissariat (Ministry as of 1946) for State Security, and reports from the latter to Moscow have also been used for this article. The attitude reports did not deal separately with gathering and analysing rumours, but rumours were presented together with other negative manifestations.</p> <p>The article focuses on four different categories of rumours for the purpose of illustration, assessing their effect primarily through the viewpoint of the Soviet regime. The first category comprises rumours that accompanied Soviet economic reforms. The article highlights the monetary reform of 1947 how alongside a short-lived period of panic buying, this reform also led to deepening mistrust of the entire Soviet economic model, including the longevity of the new rouble currency. The second category comprises rumours based on fear, in other words, rumours of an impending mass deportation that gripped people with fear for years. In direct connection with this, the Eighth Plenum of the Estonian Communist Party Central Committee in 1950, which was the culmination of the campaign to expose bourgeois nationalists, is also presented as an example. Rumours emanating from the Plenum made the concept of the ‘enemy of the people’ even more abstract and obscure. This all ultimately started hindering Sovietisation more broadly, because people awaited another deportation for years with their suitcases packed. The third category is that of rumours associated with hope, in other words, the persistent rumours of the imminent outbreak of war and Estonia’s liberation in connection with that war. The hope that the Soviet regime would prove to be a ‘temporary disruption’ was particularly negative in the eyes of the authorities. The disruptive effect of such rumours on the implementation of collectivisation was highlighted in the reports. The fourth category of rumours was somewhat exceptional, namely rumours directly fabricated by the state, with an aim to firmly establish the image of the enemy. The anti-Semitic campaign of 1953 is presented as an illustration of this category. The final example is an extraordinary event that lays claim to universality, in other words, the death of Jossif Stalin in 1953. It marked the end of an era and it remained unsurpassed in the Soviet Union in terms of the variety of rumours connected to it.</p> <p>Summing up what was presented in the attitude reports, regardless of their at times rather ideologised content and their avoidance of giving the prevailing situation a general assessment (which was expressed by the fact that anti-Soviet manifestations were as a rule presented as isolated incidents), these reports are very important sources for comprehending the</p> <p>fears and expectations of the inhabitants of Soviet Estonia of that time. Different rumours also genuinely illustrate the difficulties that the Soviet regime had to face in carrying out Sovietisation.</p> Peeter Kaasik ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-11-18 2018-11-18 1 67 88 10.12697/AA.2018.1.03 Balti uuringute 2018. aasta konverents Stanfordi ülikoolis http://ojs.utlib.ee/index.php/EAA/article/view/AA.2018.1.04 Liisi Esse ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-11-18 2018-11-18 1 89 92 10.12697/AA.2018.1.04