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Estonian Life Stories

Edited and translated by Tiina Kirss
Compiled by Rutt Hinrikus, Estonian Life Histories Association

After a short period of independence, Estonia was occupied in World War II by the Red Army, then Nazi Germany, and again, for a lasting occupation, by the Soviets. No wonder that a greater part of the roughly one million Estonians had harshly eventful lives.

This anthology contains 25 selected life stories collected from Estonians who lived through the tribulations of the 20 century, and describe the travails of ordinary people under numerous regimes. The autobiographical accounts provide authentic perspectives on events of this period, where time is placed in the context of life-spans, and subjects grounded in personal experience. Most of the life stories reveal sufferings under foreign (Russian) oppression.

The product of a large-scale national project to record history by collecting autobiographical accounts, and a process of engaged selection for publication which followed. The variety of life-experiences recorded offers comparison across cultures, as well as an overview of the powerful neighbors as they relinquish and strengthen their hold on Estonia.

Preface (Rutt Hinrikus), Introduction (Tiina Kirss, Jüri Kivimäe); Life Stories: Hilja Lill (1905); Tuuli Jaik (1910); Elmar-Raimund Ruben (1918); David Abramson (1923); Evald Mätas (1921); Heljut Kapral (1923); Hans Karro (1923); Hillar Tassa (1923); Leida Madison (1925); Valter Lehtla (1924); Linda Põldes (1928); Tanni Kents (1920); Hans Lebert (1924); Voodel Võrk (1925); Peep Vunder (1936); Selma Tasane (1926); Asta Luksepp (1932); Heljo Liitoja (1923); Juta Pihlamägi (1927); Volita Paklar (1937); Raimo Loo (1929); Aili Valdrand (1936); Valdur Raudvassar (1939); Ene Ergma (1944); Tiia Allas (1973); Glossary; Index, Map

554 pages
ISBN 978-963-9776-39-5 cloth $60.00 / €49.95 / £45.00