Unit 2 The Story of Jewes in Estonia before the second World War


First time, when the jewish are mentioned in Estonia is 1373. The master of order forbidden jews to reside in Baltics.
Polish-Lithuanian country was favor of jews. When the were the master of this Estonian country- jewish came here a lot.
After this land went to Sweden, all jews had to be baptised, so a lot of them went out of the country. Lot of rich jews went to Sweden at the 1774, when Swedish republic allowed it.
Russians came here after the North war in 1721 and were here till the end of Russian country (then started Soviet Union)! Russians used jewish people communicating with german´s. Katariina II knew that the jews are very smart, clever and skilled, so she used them. After the end of a big Polish country Russians got a land full of jews. Estonian local jews were very politful and they protected the outsiders (jews mostly)!
Jews also take part in the Estonian war of independence.
In 1941 8% of Jews were taken to Siber. In Estonia it was hard time to do something at the time of Soviet Union, but it was still better than the situation in the other unionrepublics.


The first Jewish congregation was created in Tallinn at 1856 and in Tartu at 1859, at that time the area of Estonia was under the rule of tsarist Russia and in the middle of 19.  century an act was passed that allowed the Jews to chose a place to live (after the military service of 25 years.)

In year 1865 every Jew who was highly educated, was free to chouse a place to live in whole Russia and by the time of   1881 already 3704 Jews lived in Estonia. A proper synagogue was built at 1882 in Tallinn and at 1901 in Tartu, both of witch were destroyed in second world war.

The Jewish community in Tallinn stand mainly of merchants and entrepreneurs, Tartu was high on intellectuals, because many students stayd after  the graduation of University of Tartu. Many associations were created and Tartu was the culture centre of the Jewish community. Also the  first national Jewish school was created in Tartu at 1875.

The time of First world war was a difficult time for Jews.

1918 Republic of Estonia was founded and most of the Jews preferred that solution.

11.  May 1919, The Congress of Estonian Jew Communities (Eesti Juudi Kogukondade Kongress) was assembled.  It was decided to create many different commissions that would deal with different questions when the Act of Cultural Autonomy will be accepted.

1925 the Act of Cultural Autonomy was accepted and 1926 National Council of Estonian Jews (Eesti Juudi Rahvusnõukogu) was elected, they announced Jewish Cultural Autonomy (Juudi Kultuuriautonoomia) and elected Cultural Coverment (Kultuurivalitsus).

All that was unique in world history so even the Jewish National Found in Palestine  mentioned it in their Golden Book.

By the end of the nineteen thirties  32 national organisations practiced in Estonia. At the same time the Jews were well integrated in Estonian  community, they spoke Estonian and were equal with Estonians, many of them even joined different  political partys.


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