The parliament accepts the law on the cultural autonomy of the minorities.

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12. February 1925

Although the law on autonomy of the minorities was planned to be included in the constitution of 1920, the separate law was created five years later. It determined the principles of the cultural municipality of the minorities: it could be created by a national group of more than 3000 people. In Estonia at that time, the cultural autonomy was possible for the Russians, Germans, Swedes and Jews. The law allowed to establish schools of their own language, hold of different events and publish periodicals in their own language. This law was used by the Germans and Jews, but due to several reasons not by the Swedes and Russians. Latter used the local municipalities to arrange their cultural life, because they had gathered into a single area: Swedes to the coast of Western Estonia and the Russians to Petseri County, the area behind Narva and at the shore of Lake Peipsi. The Germans and Jews, on the other hand, lived in the cities and to them the law on cultural municipality became as an important tool to further their cultural life.

The law on cultural municipalities presented Estonia as the most minority-friendly country in Europe at that time, as other countries reached similar laws considerably later. Of course in 1940 the law was annulled, but a similar law came into affect in October 1993.


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