Forming the National Committee of the Republic of Estonia

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14. February 1944

During the German occupation, the resistance was limited to political opposition. No other, more active and armed resistance was formed. The main activities were the acquisition of truthful information and distribution of self-initiatives, that did not really find much response.

Estonia's national forces fell into two different groups, that, at first, opposed each other. The head of the older generation's circle was Jüri Uluots, who, as the last legitimate Prime Minister, directly bore the continuity of the republic. He tried to stay within a strict lawful frame and was therefore accused by the opposing activists of being "German friendly". Uluots' circle was united by a semi-legal Committee of Actual History, that actively dealt with investigating the crimes of the Soviet occupation.

The younger generation of Estonian nationalists eagerly propagated the "third road" option, that rested the restoration of Estonia's independence on Western countries. This vision was supported by former Estonian diplomats operating in the West (for instance August Rei and Heinrich Laretei). On February 14, 1944, he formed the National Committee of the Republic of Estonia, consisting of representatives of important political parties, whish supported the the "third way". Kaarel Liidak was elected chairman, contacts were made with the Latvian and Lithuanian oppositions and Estonian diplomats abroad. The Germans tried to nip any nationalist movements in the bud, arresting several hundred members of the committee in April of 1944, and accused them of espionage for Great Britain.

Source: Eesti ajalugu. VI, Vabadussõjast taasiseseisvumiseni. Tartu: Ilmamaa, 2005
Mart Laar. September 1944: Otto Tiefi valitsus. Tallinn: Varrak, 2007  


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