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Timo Aava

Junior Fellow (10/2021-08/2022)


Jewish Cultural Autonomy in Interwar Estonia and the Life Trajectories of Jewish Autonomy Activists After Its Dissolution


AavaThe principal aim of the project is to study Jewish cultural autonomy in interwar Estonia. The Law on Cultural Autonomy for National Minorities (1925) enabled ethnic minorities to establish their own self-governments to independently administer and fund through taxation their cultural and educational affairs. Two minority groups, Germans and Jews, established their self-governments. I aim to trace how Jewish autonomy was established and how it functioned. Furthermore, the aim is to analyse to which extent the Estonian Jewish community participated in broader debates over Jewish autonomy in late Tsarist and Revolutionary Russia. Furthermore, I will focus on some leaders of autonomy, and trace the trajectories that they experienced in these tumultuous years.


Timo Aava is a PhD student and a member of the ERC-funded project NTAutonomy in the East European History Department at the University of Vienna. He has also worked as a researcher at the Institute for Modern and Contemporary Historical Research at the Austrian Academy of Sciences. He has studied history at the University of Tartu and obtained his MA in 2015. His main interests are the history of political thought with a focus on the end of 19th century and first half of 20th century, Baltic and Estonian history, Marxism, nationalism, non-territorial autonomy.


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May 2024
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The Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies (VWI) is funded by:


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