German advance and declaration of the Republic of Estonia

to map

24. February 1918

Haapsalu instead. Germans, however, got there first, and the members of the Salvation committee were force to return to Tallinn, together with the soldiers of Bolshevik Estonian force.

Despite this, Estonian nationalists managed to take the manifest to Pärnu, and on February 23, 1918, member of the Provincial Assembly, Hugo Kruusner, read it out loud to the townsfolk, while standing on the balcony of Endla theater house (see image).

In the morning of Ferbuary 24, 1918, three officers of Estonian Battalion hoisted Estonian tricolor to the tower of Tall Hermann. Estonian nationalists, lead by the Salvation Committee, gathered to national credit bank, and the manifest that had been pasted onto the streets before hand, was read to the people gathered in front of the house.

The members of the Salvation Committee formed the Provisional Government right there, in the rooms of the bank. Estonia was declared neutral in the ongoing war, granting all the citizen's rights, restoration of ownership and cultural autonomy to the minorities were promised.

On February 25, 1918, Estonian Provisional Government was appointed, Konstantin Päts becoming its chairman and the Minister of Domestic Affairs. First meeting was held. Around mid-day, German troops entered Tallinn, meeting some resistance only in Tallinn's port, from where the Bolsheviks were trying to flee. Germans did not acknowledge the newly formed Estonian Republic; also Pärnu, Viljandi and Paide fell to their hands on the same day.

Source: Eesti ajalugu. VI, Vabadussõjast taasiseseisvumiseni. Tartu: Ilmamaa, 2005
Õie Elango, Ants Ruusmann ja Karl Siilivask. Eesti maast ja rahvast: Maailmasõjast maailmasõjani. Tallinn: Olion, 1998
Eesti ajalugu: kronoloogia. Tallinn: Olion, 2007
Eesti ajaloo atlas. Tallinn: Avita, 2006.

Image source:



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