eesti teaduste
akadeemia kirjastus
SINCE 1997
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Acta Historica Tallinnensia
ISSN 1736-7476 (Electronic)
ISSN 1406-2925 (Print)


Full article in PDF format | doi: 10.3176/hist.2014.1.06



Estonian Community houses were built in towns and the countryside by local people, who joined cultural and other societies since the second half of the 19th century. These cultural centers supported the process of Estonian state building. During the years of the first Estonian independent state (1918–1940), the network of community houses was set up by the state.
After the
invasion of the Baltic states by the Soviet Union in 1940, extensive restructuring or sovietization of the Estonian public administration, economy and culture, began. The article examines the sovietization process of Estonian community houses, i.e., how they were turned into the ideological tools of Soviet totalitarian propaganda.


1.        Ordinary people are understood as “little men”, as opposed to the “great” or elite.

2.        New cultural practices of Estonians were borrowed from the Baltic-German aristocracy, in the light of postcolonial theories. See Kulbok-Lattik, E. Estonian community houses as local tools for development. – Nordisk Kulturpolitisk Tidsskrift, 2012, 2, 253–283.; Jansen, E. Estonians in the Changing World: From Estate Society to Civil Society. Eesti Ajaloo Arhiiv, Tartu, 2007; Karu, E. On the Development of the Association Movement and Its Socio-Economic Background in the Estonian Countryside. (Acta Universitatis Stockholmiensis, Studia Baltica Stockholmiensia, 2.) Stockholm, 1985.

3.        Author’s translation.

4.        Kurvits, A. Rahvamaja: käsiraamat rahvamajade asutamise ja ülalpidamise, ruumide ja ümbruse korraldamise ja kaunistamise ning tegevuse juhtimise ja edendamise alal [Community House: Handbook for the Foundation and Management of Community Houses]. Kirjastus kooperatiiv, Tallinn, 1935, 72.

5.        Uljas, J. Rahvamajad Eestis, 1920–1940 [Community Houses in Estonia, 1920–1940]. E. Vilde nim. Tallinna Pedagoogiline Instituut, Tallinn, 1987, 19, 28.

6.        Aigi Rahi-Tamm has mapped Estonian deportations in her PhD dissertation: dspace/bitstream/handle/10062/528/RahiTamm.pdf?sequence=5;, see also

7.        Red Corners were special areas (pinboards or table with books) set up by Soviet authorities in public places in Soviet Russia with the aim to disseminate Marxist ideas and promote the Communist classics.

8.        Propaganda is the dissemination of information – facts, arguments, rumors, half-truths, or lies – to influence public opinion. Propaganda is the more or less systematic effort to manipulate other people’s beliefs, attitudes, or actions by means of symbols (words, gestures, banners, monuments, music, clothing, insignia, hairstyles, designs on coins and postage stamps, and so forth): Smith, B. L., Lasswell, H. D., Casey, R. D. Propaganda, Communication, and Public Opinion: A Comprehensive Reference Guide. Princeton University Press, 1946, vii, 435.

9.        The concept of the cultural policy model helps to identify the way how the state’s interference in culture is organized in different states and political systems. Various cultural policy models are described and defined by Hillmann-Chartrand, H., McCaughey, C. The arm’s length principle and the arts: an international perspective – past, present and future. – In: Who’s to Pay? for the Arts: The International Search for Models of Support. Eds M. C. Cummings Jr, M. Davidson Schuster. American Council for the Arts, N.Y.C., 1989.

10.     Mertelsmann, O. Everyday Life in Stalinist Estonia. (Tartu Historical Studies, 2.) Peter Lang Internationaler Verlag der Wissenschaften, 2012; see also Zubkova, J. Problematic zone: peculiarities of sovietization in the Baltic States during the post-war period in 1944-1952. – In: Tannberg, T. (ed.). Soviet Estonia 1944–1953: Mechanisms and Consequences of Sovietization in Estonia in the Context of Development of Soviet Union and East-Europe. Tartu, 2007.

11.     Mertelsmann, O. Everyday Life in Stalinist Estonia, 14–19.

12.     Gerlach, C., Werth, N. State violence – violent societies. – In: Beyond Totalitarianism. Stalinism and Nazism Compared. Eds M. Geyer, S. Fitzpatrick. Cambridge University Press, 2009, 133–179.

13.     Indoctrination refers to infiltrating (drilling, inculcating, etc.) concepts, attitudes, beliefs and theories into a student’s mind by passing her free and critical deliberation. According to Huttunen the opposite of indoctrination, is communicative teaching, which is based on “The Bildung as a human teaching situation” referring to Schäfer and Schaller (1975, 57), where students are not treated as passive objects but as active learners. The Communicative teaching is a simulation of democracy and democratic mode of action, Huttunen explains. See more:

14.     R. Raud defines cultural canon as an outlook on cultural tradition established in the cultural environment by a symbolic authority, a list on texts supporting its development, which is used as the most valuable part of heritage: Raud, R. What is Culture? Introduction into the Theories of Culture. Tallinn University Press, 2013, 430.

15.     Hoffmann, D. L. Stalinist Values. The Cultural Norms of Soviet Modernity [1917–1941]. Cornell University Press, 2003; Hoffmann, D. L. Cultivating the Masses: The Modern Social State in Russia, 1914–1939. Cornell University Press, 2011.

16.     Fitzpatrick, S. Everyday Stalinism. Ordinary Life in Extraordinary Times: Soviet Russia in the 1930s.

17.     Ibid., 226.

18.     T. Raun presents data and statistics: in 1904, Estonians achieved their first major political breakthrough at the Tallinn municipal elections. In 1913, the percentage of ethnic Estonians had increased in Tallinn to 71.6% and in Tartu to 73.3%, the two largest towns in Estonia and Northern Livland. The movement of young Estonian intellectuals called “Young Estonia” and its principles developed a fundamental aim for cultural nation-building in 1905: “More culture! This is the first condition for the emancipation of ideals and goals. More European culture! Let’s be Estonians, but let’s also become Europeans!” (Raun, T. The Estonian engagement with modernity: the role of Young-Estonia in the diversification of political and social thought. – Tuna [Magazine Past]. Special issue on history of Estonia of National Archives, Tartu-Tallinn, 2009.

19.     According to the statistics presented by Uljas (1987), in 1929 there were 1385 societies of culture in Estonia, in 1940 there were 2200 organizations of non-formal education in Estonia, 60,000–70,000 individual members.

20.     In 1925, the law of Cultural Endowment (Kultuurkapital) was completed and passed: Kulbok-Lattik, E. Eesti kultuuripoliitika ajaloolisest periodiseerimisest [On the historical periodization of Estonian cultural policy]. – Acta Historica Tallinnensia, 2008, 12, 120–144.

21.     Authoritarianism is the principle of submission to authority, as opposed to individual freedom of thought and action. In government, authoritarianism denotes any political system that concentrates power in the hands of a leader or a small elite that is not constitutionally responsible to the body of the people. Authoritarian leaders often exercise power arbitrarily and without regard to the existing bodies of law, and they usually cannot be replaced by citizens choosing freely among various candidates in elections. The freedom to create opposition political parties or other alternative political groupings with which to compete for power with the ruling group is either limited or non-existent in authoritarian regimes. EBchecked/topic/44640/authoritarianism

22.     Authoritarianism stands in fundamental contrast to democracy. It also differs from totalitarianism, however, since authoritarian governments usually have no highly developed guiding ideology, tolerate some pluralism in social organization, lack the power to mobilize the entire population in pursuit of national goals, and exercise that power within relatively predictable limits.

23.     Linz, J. J. Totalitarian and Authoritarian Regimes. Lynne Rienner Publisher, Colorado, 2000, 70.

24.     Smith, B. L., Lasswell, H. D., Ralph, D. C. Propaganda, Communication, and Public Opinion: A Comprehensive Reference Guide, vii, 435.

25.     As Vladimir Mayakovsky had declared after the revolution, “We are shooting the old generals! Why not Pushkin?”, cited in Hoffmann, D. L. Stalinist Values, 150.

26.     Hoffmann, D. L. Stalinist Values, 152.

27.     Ibid., 160–161.

28.     Groys, B. Stalin – stiil [Stalin-style]. – Akadeemia, 1998, 2, 427.

29.     Medvedjev, A., Hlõstov, F. Külanõukogude kultuurharidustöö [Cultural Educational Work of Local Administrations in the Villages]. Eesti Riiklik Kirjastus, Tallinn, 1954, 10.

30.     Pushkin, Tolstoy, and others were enshrined in the Soviet literary canon, in the music of Glinka and other classical composers of the pre-revolutionary era, particularly the “Russian Five” (Balakirev, Cui, Mussorgsky, Borodin, Rimsky-Korsakov) – all famous for their efforts to compose Russian classical music. Also certain political and military leaders from the tsarist past were rehabilitated (Yaroslav the Wise, Ivan the Great, Peter the Great, etc.): Hoffmann, D. L. Stalinist Values, 163.

31.     Hoffmann, D. L. Stalinist Values, 166–169.

32.     Slezkine, Y. The USSR as a communal apartment, or how a socialist state promoted ethnic particularism. – Slavic Review, 1994, 53, 2, 447.

33.     Oinas, F. J. The political uses and themes of folklore in the Soviet Union. – In: Folklore, Nationalism, and Politics. Columbus, 1972, 77–78, cited via Hoffmann, D. L. Stalinist Values, 166–169; see also Shay, A. Choreographic Politics: State Folk Dance Companies, Representation and Power. Wesleyan University Press, 2002.

34.     See also Warshovsky Lapidus, G. Ethnonationalism and political stability: the soviet case. – World Politics, 1984, 36, 4, 555–580.

35.     Stalin, J. Sochineniya, 3(XVI), 100: cited in Slezkine, Y. The USSR as a communal apartment, 449.

36.     The coercive mechanisms of institutionalized structures and practices as the impact of Soviet institutionalization on Estonian cultural policy can be analysed referring to the theoretical concepts of institutional isomorphism. See DiMaggio, P., Powell, W. The iron cage revisited: institutional isomorphism and collective rationality in organizational fields. – American Sociological Review, 1983, 48, 2, 147–160.

37.     Hillmann-Chartrand, H., McCaughey, C. The arm’s length principle and the arts, 7–8.

38.     Ibid., 225.

39.     Kornai, J. Economics of shortage. – In: Contribution to Economic Analysis #131, 2 vols. Amsterdam, 1980, 315, cited in Fitzpatrick, S. Everyday Stalinism. Ordinary Life in Extraordinary Times: Soviet Russia in the 1930s.

40.     Ray, L. Civil society. – In: Ritzer, G. (ed.). The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology. Blackwell Publishing, Malden, 2007, 512–513.

41.     Riigi Teataja (RT) 1940, 109, 1105.

42.     Eesti NSV kultuuriasutuste ajaloo teatmik, I osa [Reference Book of the History of Estonian Cultural Institutions, I part]. Ed. E. Taal. Central State Archives of Estonian SSR, Tallinn, 1982, 4–14 (hereinafter: Reference Book).

43.     The Commissariat for Education of the ESSR issued guidelines for community houses on October 15, 1940. Reference Book, 1982, 4–5.

44.     Law: ENSV RKN määrus nr. 260 9. oktoobrist 1940. a. ENSV ORKA f R-1, n 1, s 37, l 457 jj. Reference Book, 1982, 4–14.

45.     Kurvits, Aleksander (1896–1958) state official of the Ministry of Education during 1921–1940, who contributed to the development of Estonian free education and establishment of the network of community houses. See Kurvits, A. (ed.). Eesti rahvaharidus ja kultuuriala korraldus [Administration of Estonian Free Education and Culture]. Haridusministeeriumi väljaanne, Tallinn, 1938.

46.     Kurvits, A. (ed.). Eesti rahvahariduse ja kultuuriala seaduste, määruste, ringkirjade ja juhendite süstemaatiline üldjuht [Systematic Guide to Acts, Regulations, Circular Letters and Guidelines on Estonian National Education and Culture]. Haridusministeeriumi väljaanne, Tallinn, 1940.

47.     Kurvits, A. (ed.). Hariduse Rahvakomissariaadi Teataja. Ametlik Ajakiri [Bulletin of the People’s Commissariat, the Replacement of the Bulletin of the Ministry of Education]. Tallinn, Jan, 6. 1941.

48.     Kurvits, A. (ed.). Hariduse Rahvakomissariaadi Teataja. Ametlik Ajakiri [Bulletin of the People’s Commissariat of January 6 (the Replacement of the Bulletin of the Ministry of Education)]. 1941. Author’s translation.

49.     Wiselgrad, P. Fran Hammaren till Hakkorset. Estland 1939–1941. Ide och Form Förlag, Stockholm, 1942, 105.

50.     Double-mindedness (the emergence of double standards) is a deep socio-psychological mechanism for the adaption of people living under the unfavourable conditions caused by major historical upheavals. The main function of this mechanism is the self-protection of individual identities in the permanent coercive process of switching over from one ideological system to another (Aarelaid-Tart, A. Cultural Trauma and Life Stories. (Kikimora Publications A., 15.) Gummerus Printing, Vaajakoski, 2006, 192–193.

51.     Methodical guidelines from the N. Krupskaya All-Union House of Folk Art in Moscow
to Estonian Centre for Folk Art in 1955. Eesti Riigiarhiiv (ERA) [Estonian State Archive]. ERA.R.-28.2.147; Archival Documents of the
People’s Commissariat for Education of the ESSR (1940–1941). ERA.R.-14.1.926; ERA.R.-14.1.914; ERA.R.-14.1.556; Archival Documents of the Committee for Organizations of Cultural Education (1945–1953). ERA.R.-1570.1.57; ERA.R.-1570.1.247; ERA.R.-1570.1.179; ERA.R.-1570.1.152; ERA.R.-1570.1.192; ERA.R.-1570.1.262; ERA.R.-1570.1.339; ERA.R.-1570.1.434; ERA.R.-1570.1.131; Archival Documents of the Folk Art House (1940–1959). ERA.R.-28.2.87; ERA.R.-28.2.147; ERA.R.-28.2.151; ERA.R.-; Archival Documents of the Folk Art House (1966, 1967, 1973). ERA.R.-28.2.318; ERA.R.-28.2.338; ERA.R.-28.2.314; ERA.R.-28.2.369; ERA.R.-28.2.487.

52.     Reference Book, I, 84–85.

53.     ENSV Teataja 1940, 37, 442.

54.     Archival documents of the People’s Commissariat for Education of the ESSR (1940–1941). ERA.R.-14.1.926; ERA.R.-14.1.914; ERA.R.-14.1.556.

55.     Karjahärm and Luts (2005) and Kuuli (2007) describe the preparatory steps in re-education the intelligentsia and creating the new cultural elite by the Soviet authorities during the war. See Karjahärm, T., Luts, H.-M. Kultuurigenotsiid Eestis. Kunstnikud ja muusikud 1940–1953 [Cultural Genocide in Estonia. Artists and Musicians from 1940–1953]. Argo, Tallinn, 2005; Kuuli, O. Stalini aja võimukaader ja kultuurijuhid Eesti NSV-s (1940–1954) [Stalin-era Cadres in Power and Cultural Administrators in the Estonian SSR (1940–1954)]. Tallinn, 2007.

56.     Referencwe Book, I; Kuuli, O. Stalini aja võimukaader ja kultuurijuhid Eesti NSV-s (1940–1954).

57.     Borkman, A. (ed.). Eesti ENSV RKN määruse juurde nr. 464 25. maist 1945. Rahvamajade töö korraldamise eeskirjad. Eesti NSV Asjadevalitseja Riiklik Kirjastus “Poliitiline kirjandus”, trükikoda “Kommunist”, Tallinn, 1945.

58.     Reference Book, I, 84–85.

59.     Kinkar, F. EK(b)P Keskkomitee pleenumite ja büroo istungite protokollid Eesti NSV-s toimu­nud kultuurirevolutsiooni uurimise allikana (1944–1948) [On the activities of the Central Committee of the Estonian Communist Party in leading cultural work in the years 1944–1948]. (Töid NLKP ajaloo alalt,V.) Tartu Riiklik Ülikool, 1967, 111–123.

60.     Kuuli, O. Stalini aja võimukaader ja kultuurijuhid Eesti NSV-s (1940–1954).

61.     Archival documents of the Committee for Organizations of Cultural Education (1946). ERA.R.-1570.1.57 and (1948). ERA.R.-1570.1.131.

62.     Archival Documents of the Folk Art House (1940–1959). ERA.R.-28.2.87; ERA.R.-28.2.147; Dossiers of the Committee for Organizations of Cultural Education (1945–1953). ERA.R.-1570.1.322; ERA.R.-1570.1.434; ERA.R.-1570.1.192; ERA.R.-1570.1.152.

63.     Kozlov, M. D. Õppekava Elektrotehnika ringile rahvamajas [Programme for the Electrotechnical Group in the Community House]. – In: Eesti NSV Kultuurhariduslike asutuste peavalitsus, kultuur­haridustöö metoodiline keskkabinet. Ed. H. Kulbok. Trükikoda “Kommunist”, Tallinn, 1953.

64.     Õmblemisringi näidisõppekava [Model Program for the Sewing Group]. Kultuurharidustöö metoo­diline keskkabinet, trükikoda “Tallinn”, 1957.

65.     Bender, N. A. Deklamaatori töö [The Work of a Declamator]. Eesti NSV Kultuuriministeeriumi kultuur-hariduslike asutuste valitsus, Eesti NSV Rahvaloomingu ja metoodilise töö keskmaja, trükikoda “Tallinn”, 1958.

66.     Temaatilised õhtud [Thematical Evenings]. Eesti NSV Rahvaloomingu Maja, trükikoda “Tallinn”, 1970.

67.     Sõjalis-patriootlik kasvatustöö [Military/Patriotic Education]. Eesti NSV Rahvaloomingu Maja, trükikoda Tallinn, 1971.

68.     Such a semi-socialist reform was possible mainly because the upper class had hitherto consisted of ethnic Others (Baltic Germans and Russian officials) and this had also prevented further stratification among Estonians. See Annist, A. Otsides kogukonda sotsialismijärgses keskus­külas: arenguantropoloogiline uurimus [Seeking Community in Post-Socialist Central Villages]. Tallinna Ülikooli Kirjastus, 2011, 76–79.

69.     Kõll, A. M. Peasants on the World Market: Agricultural Experience of Independent Estonia 1919–1939. Stockholm, 1994, 12–15, 130.

70.     Mertelsmann (2012) and Keep (1995) introduce the wider aims of Stalinist agricultural policy, which might be seen as a mode to channel funds from agriculture into the hands of the state to finance industrial investments: Keep, J. L. H. Last of the Empires. A History of the Soviet Union 1945–1991. Oxford University Press, 1995, 244–262.

71.     Stalin 1934, cited in Medvedjev and Hlõstov: Cultural Educational Work, 10.

72.     Liquidation of the kulaks as a class was carried out according to the Stalinist model, with at least 1,200 families deported in 1947, and in March 1949, 20,700 people were deported to Siberia, with the aim of scaring the Estonian people into submitting to the kolkhoz regime (Aarelaid-Tart, A. Cultural Trauma and Life Stories, 168).

73.     See Paavle, I. Sovietization of Local Administration in Estonia 1940–1950. Thesis of Tartu University, 2009.

74.     Kinkar, F. EK(b)P Keskkomitee pleenumite ja büroo istungite protokollid Eesti NSV-s toi­mu­nud kultuurirevolutsiooni uurimise allikana (1944–1948), 123.

75.     Kolhoosiklubi tüüp-põhimäärus [Standard Statutes for Kolkhoz Clubs].Trükikoda “Punane Täht”, Tallinn, 1949, 20.

76.     However, it was not the case everywhere in the Soviet Union. In general, agriculture in the Soviet Union remained inefficient despite enormous inputs of money and manpower, explains Keep, J. L. H. Last of the Empires. A History of the Soviet Union 1945–1991, 119.

77.     Abiks klubitöötajale. Põllumajanduse eesrindlaste õhtu Keila rajooni kultuurimajas [A Guide for Club Workers. Evening for Advanced Agricultural Workers in Keila District Cultural House]. Ed. K. Võsa. ENSV Rahvaloomingu ja metoodilise töö keskmaja, trükikoda “Bolševik”, Viljandi, 1958.

78.     Põllumajandusnurk klubis [Agricultural Corner in a Club]. Eesti NSV Rahvaloomingu Maja klubi­töö metoodiline kabinet, trükikoda “Kommunist”, Tallinn, 1961.

79.     Virkus, M., Kivi, A. Näitliku agitatsiooni ABC. Metoodilisi juhendeid näitlike vahendite kujun­da­miseks klubis [The ABC of Visual Agitation. Methodical Guide to Creating Visual Means in Clubs]. Eesti NSV Rahvaloomingu maja klubitöö metoodika teaduslik kabinet, trükikoda “Pärnutrükk”, 1962.

80.     Kasekamp, A. A History of the Baltic States. Palgrave Macmillan, 2010, 155.

81.     Eesti ja vene rahva sõpruse näitamine muuseumi ajaloolises ekspositsioonis [Demonstrating the Friendship between Estonian and Russian People in Historical Expositions of Museums]. Kultuurharidustöö metoodilise keskkabineti materjal. Ed. A. Sillaots. 40 eksemplari, paljundatud Loengute Keskbüroo rotaatoril. Tallinn, 1952. 

82.     Poola, M. Tutvustame vennasvabariike: Ungari ja Tadžiki NSV [Introducing Brotherly Republics: Hungary and the Tajik SSR]. (Eesti NSV Rahvaloomingu Maja klubitöö metoodika teadusliku kabineti väljaanne.) Tallinn, 1965.

83.     Veskimägi, K.-O. Nõukogude unelaadne elu [Life as a Dream in the Soviet Union]. Tallinna Raamatutrükikoda, Tallinn, 1996, 327–329.

84.     Kunstilise isetegevuse repertuaar (soovitav nimekiri) [Repertoire for Amateur Arts (Recommended List)]. Ed. L. Levald. Eesti NSV Kultuuriministeeriumi Kunstide Peavalitsus, Eesti NSV Rahva­loomingu Maja kultuurharidustöö metoodiline keskkabinet, trükikoda “Kommunist”, Tallinn, 1953.

85.     NSVL kultuuriministri asetäitja V. Kuhharski käskkiri 8. dets. 1967. NSVL Ministrite Nõukogu 29. augusti 1967 määrus nr. 829. Juhend kontserdi- ja muude segaeeskavade eelregistreerimise korra kohta [Decree of the Deputy Minister of Culture of the Soviet Union, V. Kuhharski, about the Guidelines for the Preregistration of Concert and Other Mixed Programmes]. Tallinn, 1968.

86.     Veldi, H. Imelik töö [Strange Work]. Haljala, 2012.

87.     Documents of the Committee for Organizations of Cultural Education (1945–1953). ERA.R.-1570.1.57; ERA.R.-1570.1.131; ERA.R.-1570.1.262; ERA.R.-1570.1.339; ERA.R.-1570.1.322.

88.     Archival Documents of the Folk Art House (1940–1959). ERA.R.-28.2.87; ERA.R.-28.2.147; ERA.R.-28.2.151; ERA.R.-

89.     Archival Documents of the Committee for Organizations of Cultural Education (1950–1951). ERA.R.-1570.1.262; ERA.R.-1570.1.339; ERA.R.-1570.1.322.

90.     Veldi, H. Imelik töö; Archival Documents of the Committee for Organizations of Cultural Education (1950–1951). ERA.R.-1570.1.262; ERA.R.-1570.1.339.

91.     Uljas, J. Rahvamajad Eestis, 1920–1940 [Community Houses in Estonia, 1920–1940]. E. Vilde nim. Tallinna Pedagoogiline Instituut, Tallinn, 1987, 19, 28.

92.     New soviet terms were implemented – community houses, in official documents, changed into clubs, cultural houses or organizations of cultural education. In Stalinist Estonia, the name community house was no longer suitable, since the era the term had stemmed from had to be erased from people’s memory. While society houses and society movement as symbols of the Estonian civil society disappeared instantaneously in 1940 as the societies were dissolved, community houses made way to clubs and cultural houses in mid-1950s, during the heyday of Stalinism and the active defamation campaign and overall denigration of the Republic of Estonia.

93.     Archival Documents of the Folk Art House (1966, 1967, 1973). ERA.R.-28.2.318; ERA.R.-28.2.338; ERA.R.-28.2.314; ERA.R.-28.2.369; ERA.R.-28.2.487.

94.     Arendt, H. The Origins of Totalitarianism. A Harvest Book, New York, 1948, 1985, 318–323.

95.     Esimese seltsimaja Kanepis rajas 1887. aastal kohalik lauluselts.

96.     Aleksander Kurvits (1896–1958), riigiametnik aastatel 1921–1940, panustas olulisel määral Eesti vabahariduse ja kultuuripoliitika arengusse. Eesti kultuuripoliitika uurijad võlgnevad Kurvitsale süsteemsed ülevaateväljaanded seadustest ja määrustest, mis reguleerisid kultuurielu ning vaba­hariduse toimimist (nt Kurvits, A. Eesti rahvaharidus ja kultuuriala korraldus. Haridusminis­teeriumi väljaanne, 1938).

RT 1940, 109, 1105. 1940. aastal tegutses Eestis 2200 vabahariduse- ja kultuuriseltsi 60 000 – 70 000 liikmega.

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