Meeting of the Estonian nationalists in Tallinn

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31. December 1917

On December 31, 1917 (January 13, 1918), the Committee of Elders and representatives of all political parties, except the Bolsheviks, gathered to the concert hall of National Theater "Estonia".

Main topic discussed was the increasingly important nationhood, as the threat of German occupation was increasing. Even though ideas of joining other countries were considered, ultimately it was decided that the best course of action would be to declare Estonia independent, and as soon as possible. This would make it possible to turn Estonia into a internationally discussed topic, something that would balance the German occupation.
At the same time, the Estonian and Tallinn Committees of Estonian Bolshevik Party were holding their own congress, debating over the plan that Vladimir Lenin had presented in the end of 1917: turning Estonia into autonomous soviet republic. The final decision was that it is not necessary, as the Soviet power has guaranteed Estonia already enough autonomy regarding the national matters. The plan of a democratic Estonian Republic was naturally rejected, seen as a bourgeois project.

On January 2 (15), the Esers, on the initiative of Gustav Suits (see image), presented the idea of Independent Estonian Work-Republic. This, however, found support only in the Second Congress of Estonian Military Personnel.

Source: Eesti ajalugu. VI, Vabadussõjast taasiseseisvumiseni. Tartu: Ilmamaa, 2005
Õie Elango, Ants Ruusmann ja Karl Siilivask. Eesti maast ja rahvast: Maailmasõjast maailmasõjani. Tallinn: Olion, 1998
Eesti ajalugu: kronoloogia. Tallinn: Olion, 2007
Eesti ajaloo atlas. Tallinn: Avita, 2006.

Image source: http://www.andreas-praefcke.de/carthalia/europe/images/ew_tallinn_estonia_4.jpg http://www.kirmus.ee/erni/foto/suit01.jpg


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