Commune of the Working People of Estonia
Commune of the Working People of Estonia
Eesti Töörahva Kommuun
Location of Estonia in northern Europe.
|Status||Puppet state of Russian Soviet Socialist Republic|
|29 November 1918|
|5 June 1919|
|ISO 3166 code||EE|
The Commune of the Working People of Estonia (Estonian: Eesti Töörahva Kommuun, initially Eesti Töörahwa Kommuuna; Russian: Эстляндская трудовая коммуна ((Estlyandskaya trudovaya kommuna)), ЭТК or ETK) was an unrecognised government claiming the Bolshevik-occupied parts of Republic of Estonia as its territories during the Estonian War of Independence and the Russian Civil War.
Establishment and fall
The Commune was established in Narva on 29 November 1918 with the support of the Red Army. It was chaired by Jaan Anvelt for the duration of its existence. Within areas of their control, the Commune closed churches, nationalised industry and the banks and outlawed representatives of the Provisional Government.
The Communist offensive was initially successful and eventually reached as far as 34 kilometres from Tallinn. However, a counter-offensive begun on 7 January 1919 by the Estonian People's Force (Rahvavägi) under Commander-in-Chief Johan Laidoner eventually drove the Red Army out of Estonia, with international military aid primarily from the British Empire. The Commune was thus rendered defunct, claiming a government in exile in Pskov, then Luga and finally, from 17 May 1919, in Staraya Russa.
The Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic (RSFSR) formally recognised the ETK on 7 December 1918 and remained the only government to do so. At that time, Soviet Russia was itself not internationally recognised. One of the first international treaties recognising Russia's Soviet government as legitimate was the Treaty of Tartu concluding the Estonian War of Independence in 1920.
The regime instituted a reign of terror from November 1918 to January 1919. A considerable number of people were arrested in Tartu in December 1919 and a number of German estate owners were executed on the frozen river on January 9, 1919. Just before Tartu was seized, the communists executed clergymen and other prisoners in the basement of a town bank, among the victims were Bishop Platon, the priest Sergei Florinski and the pastor Traugott Hahn. Around 500 people were killed in total.
Members of the Commune
- Jaan Anvelt – chairman and military
- Viktor Kingissepp – interior (actually underground in Estonia, Johannes Käspert acting for him)
- Hans Pöögelmann – economic affairs
- Artur Vallner – culture and public education
- Johannes Mägi – foreign affairs (from 20 December 1918 Max-Alfred Trakmann) and state control (later Karl Mühlberg)
- Rudolf Vakman – social insurance (acting Otto Rästas)
- Johannes Käspert – secretary
- Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic
- Soviet Republic of Naissaar
- Estonian War of Independence
- Latvian Socialist Soviet Republic
- Finnish Socialist Workers' Republic
- Finnish Democratic Republic
- Eesti ajalugu, a textbook for grade 11 by Küllo Arjakas, Mati Laur, Tõnis Lukas and Ain Mäesalu; Koolibri, Tallinn 1991; p. 261.
- Miljan, Toivo (2004). Historical Dictionary of Estonia. Scarecrow Press. p. 226. ISBN 9780810865716.
- Brüggemann, Karsten (29 August 2008). ""Foreign Rule" during the Estonian War of Independence 1918–1920: The Bolshevik Experiment of the "Estonian Worker's Commune"". Journal of Baltic Studies. Routledge. 37 (2): 210–226. doi:10.1080/01629770608628880.
- Eesti ajalugu, a textbook for grade 11 by Küllo Arjakas, Mati Laur, Tõnis Lukas and Ain Mäesalu; Koolibri, Tallinn 1991; p. 263.
- Miljan, Toivo (2004). Historical Dictionary of Estonia. European Historical Dictionaries. 43. The Scarecrow Press. p. 226. ISBN 0810849046.
- Von Rauch, Georg (2006). The Baltic States - The Years of independence 1917 - 1940. Hurst & Company. pp. 58–59. ISBN 1850652333.
- Tannberg, Tonu; Maesalu, Ain; Lukas, Tonis; Mati Laur; Ago Pajur (1997). History of Estonia (2nd ed.). Avita. p. 212. ISBN 9985206061.
- Kaljuvee, Ardo (22 September 2007). "Hea kommunist on surnud kommunist". Eesti Päevaleht (in Estonian). Retrieved 7 March 2013.
- Szajkowski, Bogdan. The Establishment of Marxist Regimes. London: Butterworths, 1982. p. 21-22. (ISBN 0-408-10834-7)
- "The Baltic States from 1914 to 1923: The First World War and the Wars of Independence" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 June 2007. (1.24 MiB) in Baltic Defence Review, No.8, Volume 2/2002.