The Romanian Journal for Baltic and Nordic Studies



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Olaf Mertelsmann


Tartu University, E-mail:




The period of Stalinism is usually overshadowed by accounts of terror and a topic like leisure seems not to be appropriate. Nevertheless, leisure was an important aspect of everyday life in Estonia under Stalinís reign. Some elements of continuity with the interwar period might be identified. The state struggled to control leisure activities and to re-educate the population but obviously failed. Listening to foreign radio stations or reading forbidden books might have been subversive but were not yet signs of resistance. Many leisure activities bore the character of escaping from a harsh reality and from poverty. The paper is based on archival documents, oral history and life stories.



Perioada stalinismului este de obicei umbrita de dovezi ale terorii si prin urmare un subiect precum petrecerea timpului liber nu pare a fi adecvat. Totusi, petrecerea timpului liber a reprezentat un aspect important al vietii cotidiene Ón Estonia Ón timpul regimului lui Stalin. C‚teva elemente de continuitate cu perioada interbelica ar putea fi identificate. Statul a luptat sa controleze activitatile de timp liber si sa reeduce populatia, dar a esuat Ón mod evident. Ascultarea posturilor de radio straine sau citirea cartilor interzise putea fi subversiv, dar acestea nu erau Ónca semne de rezistenta. Numeroase activitati de petrecere a timpului liber au avut caracterul de evadare din realitatea dura si din saracie. Lucrarea de fata se bazeaza pe documente de arhiva, istorie orala si povesti de viata.


Keywords: Stalinism, leisure, Estonia, censorship, state policies, everyday life

08. Mertelsmann.pdf

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Seventh annual international conference on Baltic and Nordic Studies in Romania. Good governance in Romania and the Nordic and Baltic countries

Nicolae Iorga Institute of History of the Romanian Academy, Romania
November 24-25, 2016

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