In a couple of days it will be Feb. 24, the day when the nascent Estonian government declared independence from the Russian empire in 1918.
To me, the year 1918 is the year in Estonian history. It's simply amazing that a people whose centuries of legal enslavement had ended only five decades earlier could achieve such a feat, especially when pitted against two gigantic nations -- Germany and Russia.
What is more incredible is that Estonian national republicanism has outlived attempts from the most destabilizing forces to destroy it, including those acting on behalf of Nazi German and Soviet Russian ideologies. All of this leads me to think that this country has been built on solid footing.
What is lacking, though, is information on these historic events in English and other foreign languages. Not enough has been done, in my opinion, to remind people of the 1918 victory. If anyone has photos or facts to share, please put links in the
Just reading about World War I, you see why they called it World War II. Here you have the Russians and Germans, both times fighting over land. What I like of Estonia's role in both conflicts is how little they seemed to care about the ideology or imperial goals of their historical foes. To Estonians, it always seemed to come down to hardboiled nationalism, an ideology that endures.