Aleksander Kesküla

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Aleksander Eduard Kesküla (21 March [O.S. 9 March] 1882 in Saadjärve Parish, Tartumaa – 17 June 1963 in Madrid, Spain) was an Estonian politician and revolutionary.

Kesküla studied politics and economics in the universities of Tartu, Berlin, Zürich, Leipzig and Bern.

In 1905, as a Bolshevik intended to create strife inside of the Russian empire and, as Elisabeth Heresch tried to prove, did it in Japanese spy's, Motojiro Akashi's interest.[1]

In 1913. he became an Estonian nationalist and wanted to play a role in the world's political arena.[2] In 1914-1915, he informed the German government about Lenin´s plans and intended to use Bolshevik agitation to replace the Russian empire with a number of national states. While earlier scholarship has expressed skepticism,[3] Estonian research indicates that 500,000 German Reichsmark was paid to Lenin by Germany using Kesküla as a conduit.[4] It is concluded that Kesküla exerted no visile influence on Lenin and that he had minimal contact with Lenin. Kesküla had given the Germans little of substance and he did not deliver any significant sums to the Bolshevisk.[3]

In 1918, he founded the Estonian Office in Stockholm to seek the support of the Entente states for Estonian independence. He acted in such status, until the official Estonian delegation forbade him to do that. The Estonian delegation was skeptical about Kesküla and considered him a German agent.

Central in Kesküla's thought was the region of Baltic Sea. According to Kesküla's approach, Estonia had originally belonged to the Nordic region, but as a result of the German conquest in the 13th century it was included in the alien Central European cultural space. It then re-established its Nordic heritage in the 16-17th centuries and in the 18th century fell under the yoke of the even more alien Eastern European (Russian) sphere. Kesküla thought that Estonia should separate from Russia and restore its place among the Nordic countries that were becoming increasingly unified.[1]

In his later years, Kesküla acted as the teacher of politics for several young Spanish scientists.


  1. ^ Heresch, Elisabeth, Geheimakte Parvus, S. 84
  2. ^ Erinnerungen an Aleksander Kesküla, Adolf Gasser. Zwischen Tallinn und Zürich, 2003
  3. ^ a b Alfred Erich Senn, "The Myth of German Money during the First World War", Soviet Studies, Vol.XXVIII, No. 1, January 1976, pp.83-90
  4. ^ "Aleksander Kesküla", Proceedings of Estonian Academy of Sciences, 1991, 40, nr 1, lk 28—37