First congress of the Union of Participants in the Estonian War of Independence

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26. January 1930

In 1920, the Union of Estonian Demobilised Soldiers was established, which assembled many veterans of the War of Independence and stood for their economic interests.

In 1923, the Union also participated in the elections of the Riigikogu, but with no significant results. In 1925, the Union crumbled, but part of its members established the Tallinn Union of Participants in the Estonian War of Independence. Similar local unions were established in other towns as well.

On 2 July 1929, the unions in Tallinn, Haapsalu and Tapa joined into the Union of the Participants in the Estonian War of Independence (EVKL).

On 26 January 1930, the first congress of the EVKL was held in Tallinn, which was attended by 60 delegates from 11 local organisations. First, it was a non-political union that was supposed to protect the interests of the veterans of the Estonian War of Independence, organise national-public education among the youth, help reinforce the Estonian statehood and nationalism and deepen the sense of duty and responsibility.

Regardless, the proliferation of party corruption in Estonia was already criticised at the first congress. Several well-known generals of the Estonian War of Independence were elected into the management of the union; for example, Andress Larka (on the photo: speaking) and Ernst Põdder.

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

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