National Committee of the Republic of Estonia

National Committee of the Republic of Estonia
The September 18, 1944 appointed Government of Estonia in Riigi Teataja

The National Committee of the Republic of Estonia (Estonian: Eesti Vabariigi Rahvuskomitee, EVRK) was formed by the underground resistance movements in German-occupied Estonia in March 1944.[1] By April 1944 a large number of the committee members were arrested by the German security agencies.[2]

The original initiative to form the committee came from the Estonian pre-war opposition parties but it was quickly joined by Jüri Uluots, the last constitutional pre-war Prime Minister of the Republic of Estonia and his supporters. The Committee aimed to establish of a provisional government during expected German withdrawal as the Red Army had reached the border of Estonia on February 2, 1944.

The Committee succeeded in establishing a communication network with the Estonian diplomats in Finland and Sweden.[3]

On 20 April 1944, the National Committee selected the Electoral Committee of the Republic of Estonia (Vabariigi Presidendi Asetäitja Valimiskogu, the institution specified in the Constitution for electing the Acting President of the Republic) held a clandestine meeting in Tallinn. The participants included:

  • Jüri Uluots, the last Prime Minister of Estonia before the Soviet occupation,
  • Johan Holberg, the substitute for Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces ,
  • Otto Pukk, the Chairman of the Chamber of Deputies,
  • Alfred Maurer, the Second deputy Vice-Chairman of the National Council,
  • Mihkel Klaassen, Justice of the Supreme Court of Estonia.

The Committee determined that the Soviet-era appointment of Johannes Vares as Prime Minister by Konstantin Päts had been illegal and that Uluots had assumed the President's duties from June 21, 1940 onwards.[4] On 21 June 1944, Jüri Uluots appointed Otto Tief as deputy prime minister.[5] On 18 September 1944, Uluots, suffering from cancer, named Otto Tief the Acting Prime Minister and appointed a Government which consisted of 11 members. On 20 September 1944, Uluots departed for Sweden. Tief assumed office in accordance with the constitution and took the opportunity with the departure of the Germans to declare the legitimate Estonian government restored. Most of members of this government left from Tallinn on 21 September and Tief on 22 September. As reported by the Royal Institute of International Affairs at the time: the Estonian national government was proclaimed in Estonia, the Estonian military units seized the national government buildings in Toompea Castle and ordered the German forces to leave.[6] The flag of Germany was replaced with the flag of Estonia in the Pikk Hermann tower of Toompea. Tief’s government however failed to keep control as Estonian military units led by Johan Pitka clashed with both Germans and Soviets. On 22 September, the Soviet Leningrad Front took control of Tallinn. Most of the members and officials including Tief were caught, jailed, deported, or executed by the advancing Soviets. Tief managed to survive a decade in Siberia and after return from deportation died back in Estonia in 1976. Only Kaarel Liidak, Minister of Agriculture, died in hiding on 16 January 1945.

After Uluots died on January 9, 1945 in Sweden, August Rei, as the most senior surviving member of the government, assumed the role of acting head of state. Rei was supported by the surviving members of the Tief's government in Sweden. Rei was the last Estonian envoy in Moscow before the Soviet annexation and had managed to escape from Moscow through Riga to Stockholm in June 1940.[7]

On 12 January 1953, the Estonian Government in Exile was established in Oslo, Norway.


  1. ^ Smith, David James (2001). Estonia: Independence and European Integration. Routledge. pp. 36. ISBN 9780415267281. 
  2. ^ Miljan, Toivo (2004). Historical Dictionary of Estonia. Scarecrow Press. pp. 21. ISBN 9780810849044. 
  3. ^ Laar,, Mart; Tiina Ets, Tonu Parming (1992). War in the Woods: Estonia's Struggle for Survival, 1944-1956. ISBN 9780929590080. 
  4. ^ L. Mälksoo, Professor Uluots, the Estonian Government in Exile and the Continuity of the Republic of Estonia in International Law, Nordic Journal of International Law, Volume 69, Number 3 / March, 2000
  5. ^ Chronology at the EIHC
  6. ^ By Royal Institute of International Affairs. Information Dept. Published 1945
  7. ^ Diplomats Without a Country By James T. McHugh, James S. Pacy; p. 183 ISBN 0313318786

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • National Security Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan — Kazakh: Қазақстан Республикасы Ұлттық Қауіпсіздік Комитеті; Russian: Комитет Национальной Безопасности Республики Казахстан …   Wikipedia

  • National Library of the Republic of Tatarstan — The National Library of the Republic of Tatarstan is the main state book depository in Tatarstan for national, republican, Russian and foreign publications. It holds over three million documents, including over 100,000 documents in the Tatar… …   Wikipedia

  • National parliaments of the European Union — European Union This article is part of the series: Politics and government of the European Union …   Wikipedia

  • National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Korea — The National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Korea, is the senior national organization of distinguished Korean scientists and scholars. It was founded to promote learning and research in all areas of sciences by conferring membership and… …   Wikipedia

  • National Olympic Committee of the Azerbaijani Republic — National Olympic Committee Country  Azerbaijan Code AZE Created …   Wikipedia

  • Committee for the Prevention of Torture — The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment or shortly Committee for the Prevention of Torture (CPT) is the anti torture committee of the Council of Europe. It has been described as a… …   Wikipedia

  • Committee of the Regions — Established 1994 Type EU body President Mercedes Bresso Members 344 …   Wikipedia

  • Foreign relations of the Republic of China — Building of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs in Taipei The Republic of China (ROC), commonly known as Taiwan, is recognized by 23 sovereign states. The course of the foreign relations of the ROC is dominated by maintaining diplomatic relations… …   Wikipedia

  • Armed Forces of the Republic of Kazakhstan — Қазақстанның Қарулы Kүштері …   Wikipedia

  • Foreign relations of the Republic of Macedonia — Republic of Macedonia This article is part of the series: Politics and government of the Republic of Macedonia Constit …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.