Piet J. Kroonenberg, Amsterdam and WOSM, Geneva.


, ,

It is easier to understand the birth and growth of Scouting and Guiding if a little is known of the country itself.

The original Estonians are kinsmen of the Finns. Their common ancestors - the Ugrofinns also known as the Finno-Ugric nations - thousands of years ago, came from Asia beyond the Ural Mountains and settled in the Valley of the River Volga. But - much later - they went on the move again and migrated into Europe. During the process, for reasons unknown, they divided into two main groups, one going south settling in what is presently known as Hungary. The other one going north and settling in northern Russia between the Baltic and the Ural, but more in particular in the vast country which is presently called Suomi or Finland, whereas some populated the southern bank of the Gulf of Finland, to the west of Lake Peipus and the river Narva, to the east of the Baltic and the Gulf of Riga, to the north of today's Latvia, the area presently known as Estonia.

All this happened at least a 5 thousand ago years but the Estonian and Finnish languages (which are said to be among the most difficult languages in Europe to learn) have a good deal of similarity between them still, and traces of them are said to be still found in Hungarian.
The Estonians, the Finns and the Hungarians have nothing in common with the Slavs or theTeutons, neither by race nor by language. Yet particularly during the last 2 thousand years the Estonians' destiny was always greatly influenced and dictated by their neighbours and as a result - during that period - the Estonians - as the Finns - have known little independence, freedom and self determination as they were mostly dominated by foreign powers.

The Swedish Vikings were the first to bother the Aesti or Esti. In their Long Ships they crossed the Baltic Sea, and, as was their usual style, raided the villages on the Estonian shores. Later they came as traders and even as settlers and one way or the other some mixed with the Esti and left their traces.

Meanwhile Christianity had spread over southern and central Europe and the Teutons had been converted. So all the others with deviating religions were branded as being peagans and as usual the Christians thought it their duty to convert them, if necessary by force. In today's Germany there were many second and third sons of Knights and other gentry that - knowing that they would never inherit their fathers' property, and that they would have to carve their own living - sought adventure and loot. They united and were known under several names such as the Teutonic Knights, the Knights of the Sword, the German Order or the Fratres Militiae (The Armed Brotherhood). Pretending it to be their main task to spread the Christian civilization and religion by converting the heathens of the east and north, sword in hand, they conquered the so called peagan territories. They went on crusade. Taking Prussia, entering today's Lithuania and Latvia and, in 1184 founding the city of Riga in Latvia. The Danes had meanwhile occupied northern Estonia and theEsti had to fight the Danes as well as the Teutonic Knights. In 1227 they were finally beaten and their country was divided between the Danes and the German Knights. The Estonians had lost their liberty and independence and during the next 7 centuries were ruled by foreign rulers whereas their country was the arena in which these uninvited guests fought their many battles. In 1346 the Danes were defeated by the Knights who took possession of all of Estonia. In 1561 theTeutonic Order disbanded though many Knights, who had, in one way or the other, obtained large estates, remained behind and would always keep a hold and maintain a German influence. Estonia was taken over by the Swedes.

The originally small Principality of Moscow extended and became known as Russia. It came to many wars between Sweden and Russia. During the Great Nordisk War (1700-1721) the Swedes were driven out of Estonia which the Russians officially annexed in 1710. The war ended with the Peace Treaty of Nystad. Sweden kept Finland but had to surrender to the Russians its Baltic provinces, including Estonia. A situation to remain unaltered until 1917.

In August 1914 the Great War, later known as World War One, began. Russia belonged to the Allies, Germany to the Centrals. The German Imperial Armies invaded Russia and occupied large areas. Tsaristic Russia was ended by a Revolution in March 1917. The Tsar's regime was overthrown and replaced by a democratic administration consisting of social-democrats, liberals and technocrats. A new form of government hitherto totally unknown to the Russians and the other subjected peoples. In October 1917 the Bolsheviks or Communists committed a Coup d'Etat. A civil war began between the Bolshevik Red Army and the Russian White Armies. The latter, divided in their loyalties to either the Tsar or the new democracy, were defeated. Russia's early and still tender democracy was strangled and replaced by the Soviet Union, a tough, stonehard, one-party dictatorship that was to last almost 70 years and finally ceased to be on December 8th, 1991.

The Russian front collapsed, the German armies advanced without meeting much resistance and occupied the Baltic provinces, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. On February 24th, 1918 they marched into the Estonian capital Tallinn, also known as Reval. In Brest-Litowsk on March 3, 1918 the Bolsheviks signed a peace treaty with the German Empire, surrendering the Baltic provinces and Poland to the Germans and recognizing Finland and Ukraine as independent states. It is not known what Imperial Germany's intentions with the Baltic countries were. Would it annex them as part of its Reich or grant them independence under German supervision? No one was ever to find out as Imperial Germany also collapsed and World War One ended with the armistice at 11the hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. The German army had to retreat from the Baltic countries. But that did not mean that the war in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania was over, on the contrary.

Their peoples pleased to have gotten rid of the Russians at long last, may not have been so pleased with the German occupation as an alternative, not knowing what the Germans intended. But when the Germans withdrew the Latvians, Lithuanians and Estonians smelled freedom. In 1918 the Estonians proclaimed their independence as a democratic republic. Atthe same time the Red Army attacked, intending to retake the Baltic provinces. But theEstonians had armed themselves and fought. Fierce battles raged but the Red Army wasrepulsed. In 1920 a peace treaty finally settled the conflict. Soviet Russia recognized Estonian independence. After 207 years of Russian domination Estonia was a free country at last, as were Latvia and Lithuania.

The first scout troop ever in Estonia was founded in 1912 in the city of Parnu on the west coast. The city, a sea port and a trade centre, had a very mixed population. The scouts originated from all over the western part of Tsaristic Russia, and were Estonias, Latvians, Lithuanians and Russians. The impulse came from the Russia. In 1909 Oleg I. Pantuhoff had founded the first Russian scout troop ever in the city of Pavlosk to the south of St Petersburg. (see THE UNDAUNTED I, Russian Chapter.) From there Scouting spread and consequently also reached Estonia. Russkii Skautizm, not a National Scouting Organization but a Co-operative Society, was founded and the Parnu troop registered with it as being the first troop in the Tsar's Baltic provinces and it remained the only one of its kind in Estonia for the following 4 years. It florished and developed well.

When World War One began in 1914 the German armies, on their way to St Petersburg, slowly advanced from East Prussia, through Lithuania and Latvia. In 1915 units of the Imperial Baltic Fleet appeared off the port of Parnu and shelled the town, causing considerable damage and victims. Further the city was bombed by German Airships, particularly so in 1917 when the German armies were approaching. The Russian authorities in charge decided that all, but the Estonian population, had to be evacuated. And so in the troop the Estonian scouts were the only ones left. During the uncertain period when the Russian army had not yet left, but had lost control and the Germans had not yet occupied the town, the Estonian Scouts carried on and during their opening ceremonies replaced the Russian Tsaristic flag by the old national Estonian one, the tricolour of blue, black and white.

In 1916 two All-Estonian scout troops were founded at Tallinn at the initiative of Anton Ounapuu, a teacher of physical education. He had studied in Finland and had acquainted himself with Finnish Scouting. Although his scouting activities were not to last long - in April 1919 he was killed in action during the following War of Independence - the Estonian Scouts always considered him as to be their "Founder Father" and as such he was and is still held in high esteem. At about that time scouting troops were also founded in various other cities. From Latvia and Luthiania evacuees had arrived and were temporarily housed in Estonian villages and amongst them were enthusiast students from high schools and universities, scouts in their own areas, who now helped founding troops in their new places or residence. These attracted local Estonian boys. And so, despite the war and the constantly advancing Germans, scouting grew in numbers and popularity. All used the Russian translation of Baden-Powell's SCOUTING FOR BOYS.
Meanwhile the German Forces in pursuit of the retreating Russians advanced, and after the Peace Treaty of Brest Litowsk had been signed (03/03/1918) all of Estonia was officially occupied by the German Imperial Army and put under its military rule. The Estonians having seen the Russian departure, smelled liberty and independence but all demonstrations of such were strictly forbidden by the Germans, as was all nationalism and were all associations promoting nationalism and independence. Scouting was supposed to be such an institution and so the German Command ordered the banning and disbanding of all troops and the cessation of all scouting activities. But as would be proven very often in later years all over the world, the scouting spirit survived and scouts carried on illegally until the Germans had to retreat from the country after 11/11/1918.

The Estonian War of Liberation began and there was a temporary halt in Scouting's development. Most of the leaders and boys of 16 and older joined the Estonian Liberaton Forces and fought the attacking Red Army.

In 1920 the Russian Bolshevist regime had to recognize Estonia's independence. Scouting was reactivated immediately. Those who had survived the war rejoined the younger ones who had kept the troops going. It spread all over the country and many more wanted to join. This in itself was a problem as there was a lack of experienced leaders. So many of the leaders' ages desired had fallen during the War of Independence so that there was a real shortage of able men.

Some problems were solved during the 1st Estonian Scout Conference held in Tartu in March, 1921. The Eesti Skautide Litt or Estonian Boy Scout Association was founded under the leadership of Jaan Hunerson as its NHQ chief. In December 1921 Nikolai Kann, headmasterof a Tallinn school, was elected Estonian Peaskaut = Chief Scout. He held his post until his death in exile in a West German Displaced Persons Camp in 1948.

In 1920 the 1st World Jamboree was held in London,England. Ten Estonians participated. The camping was in Richmond Park, the public demonstrations were performed in Olympia, a large hall. Baden-Powell, proclaimed Chief Scout of the World, called a meeting of all leaders present. This meeting was later considered as to be the First International or World Conference. B-P and many of his co-operators in many countries had been much impressed by the bloodshed during WW I and as so many they understood that that war had been caused by overdone nationalism. So in order to contain nationalism and to concoct a better understanding between the nations and their youngsters in particular, it was proposed the creation of an International Movement under an International Leadership, with the emphasison International Brotherhood. All leaders present were requested to discuss the plans in their own movement and - having come to a conclusion - to come to the Second International Conference to be held in Paris in 1922.

As in so many other countries the activities of the first Estonian Scouts were also eagerly watched by their sisters. They also wanted to be part of the game and so it happened that some Estonian troops had girl patrols. A co-educational movement. But not for long. During the War of Independence separate girls-troops were formed. 1920 and 1921 saw the creation of the Eesti Gaidide Maleva - Estonian Guide Assocation - and the first Girl Guide Districts in and around Tallinn and Tartu were founded. In 1921 1720 Girl Guides and Scouts paid a visit to Finland to meet the Finnish Movements. In 1922 as Chief Guide was elected Eleonore Hunerson, (Jaan's sister) a teacher of English. She remained in office until her death in Exile in Great Britain in 1949. A country which, as representative of her movement, she also visited many times, beginning in 1920 when she attended the 1rst GG International Conference in Oxford.

Baden-Powell's achievement to curtail if not bann nationalism in Scouting and to replace it by internationalism was more or less successful in that during the Scouts' 2nd International Conference (1922) in Paris all movements represented accepted the proposals made and the International or World Movement was founded with an International or World Committee leading it and an International or World Bureau adminstering it. The movements present were admitted as members to the International Movement and since were known as the "Founder Members" and Eesti Skautide Litt was one of them.

But nationalism as such was still at large in many countries. This was, maybe, not surprising in countries like Estonia which had only recently obtained their freedom and independence. But regrettably it caused a split in Estonian Scouting. B-P's plans were discussed during the 1st National Conference, December 1921, and it was found that some Estonian Scoutleaders considered the internationalism of World Scouting not to be quite compatible with their nationalistic ideas and wanted to keep a more nationalistic outlook in their Scouting. As early as 1920 they left Eesti Skautide Litt and founded a new association more in line with their trend of thought. They chose the name Noorsepad or Noored Sepad = Young Smiths. Initially Noorsepad was a great success. Many scouts left their original movement and soon Noorsepad's numbers were so large that a dozen districts could be formed.

Eesti Skautide Litt.
Despite this drain the movement, under the strong leadership of its President Jaan Hunerson, survived this crisis. Its membership went down to a fraction of what it had been and in some places the movement disappeared when its troops joined Noorsepad. In 1923 new rules and regulations were introduced, a strict translation of the B-P's British originals, as in so many other countries. He also introduced the Council of Scouters and his initiative also led to the founding of the Skaudi Sofirade Litt = Scouts Friends Organization, and adult support group. It had its branches in every district and its task was to support and above all sponser not only the scout troops but also the guide companies..

After a couple of years purposeful measures began to show effects. A national camp or a Suurlaager (Big Camp) was organized in 1926 which brought together about 500 boys including some foreign scouts. This was the first Suurlaager of a long sequence to follow. In 1932 the second one was held with 1200 participants, including 200 from abroad. From then onwards the movement went upwards again, recovered and prospered.

The Guides held their First National Guiders Conference at Valga in 1924. A Peastaap = NHQ was created and a Committee was formed with the task to formulate the association's statutes which were based on those of the Scout movement and were approved and accepted in 1929.

Marcia O. Dunham, a British Guider, visited Estonia and sent her detailed report dated 07/12/1920 to Gladys Bretherton at British GG Imperial Headquarters in London. In it she stated that in Tallinn/Reval she had "inspected" three companies, two of Estonian Girl Guides and one of Russian Girl Guides. In 1925 Miss Bretherton herself came to see and offered a lot of advice. Apart from being involved in British Guiding she was also a leading person in the British and World YWCA and as such an organisation also excisted in Estonia. she brought the two together. Eversince YWCA and YMCA, as in most of the Scandinavian countries too, influenced Estonian Scouting and Guiding very much until this very day.

In 1926 another conference was held in Tallinn. The guide uniforms and the badges were standarized. The membership badge to be a Green Metal Trefoil, which in 1931 was replaced by a beautiful Green Enamel Trefoil. There were Brownies - Hellakesed (motto Saa Paremaks = Try to Improve) , Guides - Gaidid, Rangers - Venemgaidid and Commissioners = Vanem, all with the motto Ole Valmis = Be Prepared, also used by the Scouts. Next to Promise and Law there were the Iron Commands : A Guide learns deligently - A Guide uses neither alcoholic drink nor tobacco.

In 1928 - during an International Conference in Parad/Hungary - WAGGGS was founded and Eesti Gaidide Maleva was represented and belonged to the "Founder Members". During this founding meeting it was decided that each member movement was to send WAGGGS a Biennial Report regarding the "State of the Movement". Stating names of the leadership, particulars re training and activities etc, the number of members. First report covered the period July 1rst 1928 - June 30th, 1930. Five such Estonian Reports were preserved and are giving the membership as 710, 802, 1271, 1840 and - in the very last report - as per June 30th, 1938 : 2463.
In Southampton, on August 12th, 1933, the Chief Scout and Chief Guide of the World boarded the White Star Line's luxery liner "CALGARIG" for a seventeen days' Baltic Cruise. . The Baden-Powells were accompagnied by 650 British Guiders and Scouters. The ship had several ports of call in the Netherlands, Poland, Latvia, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Lithuania and also Estonia, where she moored on August 19th. The B-Ps and the others went ashore in Tallinn and were - as everywhere else - greeted with great enthusiasm by the local scouts and guides. The happening stopped all traffic, attracted the public's attention and boasted the movements' popularity.

NOORED KOTKAD = Young Eagles..
More trouble ahead. In 1938 the Boy Scout International Bureau in London received an Estonian report (1) quote :
" Immediately after the Revolution or War of Independence, a voluntary Defence League, or, as it it sometimes called, Civil Guard, was formed in order to help to secure the defence of the country and its establishment as an independent unit. This Defence League is still maintained as a voluntary body, under State supervision. It has both men and women members, organised separately but dependent on each other"
" There is now a men's membership of some 150.000."
" Eight years (1931) ago the question of future recruitment to the Defence League was considered and it was decided to establish a Youth Branch consisting of Noored Kotkad = Young Eagles for boys and Koduttred =Home Daughters for girls, not in opposition to the existing Scouts and Guides, but complementary to them."
" Speaking in general terms this new movement was not welcomed by the Scouts who resented its introduction. The Chief Scout Dr N. Kann, principal of one of the Estonian Colleges in Tallinn was also in opposition, partly on political grounds. Some individual scouters took up work with the Young Eagles. and were unfortunately suspended and removed from the Scout Association for so doing."

The Civil Defence's Youth Branch was founded in May 1930 and the boys' part was operative in November, whereas the girls began in 1933. .Sponsered by the government it had a solid and sound financial backing. The leaders were salaried and many scout and guide leaders were lured to its ranks. The new movement soon attained a membership double that of the scouts. It used the scouting method but with additional military training and could thus not be considered as being a scout movement according to the World Movements' rules. As some English Guiders, who were sent to Estonia to help with the original Movement stated in their report to the International Bureau:
One of the principal difficulties is that the Guide Movement has to compete with an official youth movement, which is encouraged and subsidized by the State, whereas the Guides are only tolerated. We found small groups of girls in out-of-the have paid leaders, whose uniforms are given them, and whose camps are free. But there is an inspiration in the World Movement which seems lacking in the other."

The Eesti Skautide Litt. and Eesti Gaidide Maleva again lost members to this new movement. A rivalry developed which had a positive effect on the scout and guide organisations. They improved the quality of their training and activities now that there was more competition. Generally speaking, despite everything, the movements were not doing too badly afterall. They held their own and also increased their numbers including an influx of new leaders, that is adults who had been scouts and guides from the beginning and had now reached the age required for leadership. But they also wanted more say in the running of the movements and in Eesti Gaidide Maleva a National Guiders Council was created with as its first Chairwoman Aty Joks.

In 1932 a Guide Shop was opened and the first Guide's Handbook was published. Also for the first time a national Scout and a national Guide magazine were published. The scouts held their 2nd Suurlager or national camp attended by 1200 scouts, including 200 guests from Finland, Sweden, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. Camp Chief was Herbert Michelson who was also to be in charge of the Suurlagers in the following years and whose name will be mentioned again later.
In 1933 the Girl Guides had their Suurlager from July 15th - 25th and British Guiders visited this camp. It was during this camp that the above mentioned National Guiders Council was created. The visit by the Baden-Powells and the large a number of British leaders for the Guides proved to also be an important boost of morale and good propaganda in general.

The great advantage of Scouting and Guiding is that they are open to all, that neither on the national nor the international level do they meddle with party-politics and they do not attach themselves to a political party or ideology. So everybody of every background can be a member. This, as related in other chapters, did not mean that politics did not try to interfere with or even attempt to annex scouting and guiding.

Estonia's geographic situation was not favourable. In the east the adjacent Union of Socialist Soviet Republics was getting stronger all the time and it looked upon the Baltic States with an envious and greedy eye. Reluctantly and under pressure of the circumstances having permitted them to become independent. Its leaders - or rather its leader Joseph Stalin - had still not forgotten that for hundreds of years these now independent territories had until recently been Russian provinces. Further the USSR was intent on spreading the "blessings" of communism to other countries but at the same time it was afraid of being counter attacked by capitalist states, a fear which increased when in January 1933 Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP) had taken over and turned Germany into a one-party, dictatorial state. The Nazis, as Hitler and his gang were known, were declared enemies of communism, which they promissed to destroy. Even though Poland and the Baltic States were buffer-states separating the two arch enemies, both were trying to get - in particular - the Baltic States under their influence. The Nazi-Germans had it easy. Throughout the ages Germans had been living in the Baltic states. There had always been a German minority, mostly a wealthy one, and their influence in every level of society was strong. The Nazi propaganda had a great impact and not only on them. They had the advantage that the populations of the three Baltic countries were much afraid and in fear of the power of the Soviet Union. Above all they wanted to maintain and protect their independence for which they had sacrificed so much in 1920. Yet there were small communist and small nazi-parties. The Estonian government in its efforts to remain neutral and to maintain independence took harsh steps.
In March 1934 Konstantin Pats installed his dictatorship and promoted strict neutrality.

Everybody of German lineage, living abroad, including those whose ancestors had settled there generations ago - and consequently had the nationality of their country of birth - according to the Nazi ideology was still considered to be a German (Volksdeutsche) whether he or she liked it or not. Some liked it and the Nazi Party and its Hitler Youth, had many units in other European countries and the USA. The German element in Estonia was rather strong and most, not all, felt very close to Nazi Germany. Obviously their youngsters joined the Hitler Jugend or the Bund Deutscher M"del (Leaque of German Girls). Some other Estonians, attracted by the Nazi ideas, were also permitted to join. In 1936 the Hitler Jugend made approaches to Civil Defence's Noored Kotkad = Young Eagles. In order to avoid and prevent a take-over the government decided to place all Youth Organisations - Scouts, Guides, Young Eagles, Home Daughters and all the others - under State supervision, disbanding and banning some. The Commander-in-Chief, General Laidoner, was named by the President as the Supreme Head of all Youth Movements because he was responsible for the peace and defence of the country and also because he was not a politician. The amalgamation of the Youth Movements was supposed to be concluded on December 31st, 1939.

The Estonian Girl Guides were prepared to cooperate more with the trend of affairs than the Eesti Skautide Malev. The latter feared political influence and was afraid that it might, as a result, lose its World Movement recognition and membership.
The "Camp Chief" (1) was rather pessimistic in a report to Wilson - the Camp Chief of Gilwell Park near London :
"There are at present negotiations in progress about the amalgamation of the Scouts with the Nationals. The Scouts have not yet said their last word, but they will have to so do, otherwise the organisation will be suppressed. The Scouts' chief objection in that the youth organisations are being controlled by the Ministry.
The head of the Youth Organisation is Laidoner.
The name of the organisation will be "Teras-Poisid" (Steel Youth) for the boys and "Kodututred" (Home Daughters) for the girls. The organisations belong to the Defence Corps and the leaders are paid. The program shall be 100% Hitlerian."

Eesti Gaidide Maleva's Secretary Sigrid Elken 's letter to Dame Katherine Furse of the WAGGGS International Bureau - dated 08/09/1937 - reported :
"Now it is almost a whole year that the Estonian Guides are under the control of the Government's Youth Department. In your last letter you seemed rather anxious about our independence. I may tell you that we ourselves were also very anxious about all the new arrangements, but everything has turned out quite nice in the end.
The National Movement, the "Kodututred" (Home Daughters) is called the official youth movement and the Guides are considered a private organization but with all the official right and duties the other youth movements in our contry have. But ofcourse we are always secondary."
"Our numbers have increased greatly on account of the Russian National Guides who have to cooperate with us as no other nation's youth movement is allowed to exist separately any more in Estonia. The German Hitler Jugend have changed into School Clubs. The Jews have not yet joined us as far as I am informed." (2)
"To help each other in training leaders and make close friendship between Guides of the Baltic States, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, the Headquarters of all the three countries have decided to make a Union, the constitution of which will be sanctioned this autumn in October in Tartu. It will be a small conference of the Chief
Guides and Secretaries of the three countries. Lithuania and Latvija have had a Union for two years already and the Estonian Guides are very happy to join."
".....the Director of our Youth Department is quite satisfied with us and always and everywhere declares in his speeches that the Guides have the same rights to live as the official youth movement, and the schoolmasters ought to treat the Guides on the same lines as the "Kodututred", but ofcourse they are the "official" and we are the "private" organization."

But apparently State supervision appeared not to be political indoctrination and Eesti Gaidide Maleva as well as Eesti Skautide Malew were more or less left alone, discrimintated but tolerated to carry on. The International Bureaux investigated but saw no reason to expell them from the World Movements' memberships.
In 1937 the 25 Estonians were present in subcamp 6 (blue/white badge) of the 5th World Jamboree at Vogelenzang in the Netherlands.

In 1939 the Noored Kotkad, using the scouting method, and the Eesti Skautide Malew formed the Estonian Boy Scout Union resulting in the former being able to send 3 of its officers to the Gilwell Course in England, to consign observers to the Lithuanian national camp in 1939 and to let some of its members participate in the last pre-war Rover Moot in Scotland in that year.

Adolf Hitler, leader of the German Nazi Party and "Fuhrer" of the Third Reich, which he intended to be "the Thousand Years' Reich", had made many demands and had had his way for some time detrimental to the countries surrounding Germany. The European democracies desiring to prevent a war, hoped to appease him by giving in to his demands. Hitler considered this attitude as being an expression of weakness and fear and so time and again he increased his demands. Until Poland refused to obey and decided to resist. So September 1st, 1939 at 0445 hours he ordered the German armies to cross the German-Polish border and the conflict had begun. Hitler was convinced that England and France would - maybe - protest but give in again. But to his surprise and disappointment this time the reaction was quite different. On September 3rd at 0900 hours Great Britain presented an ultimatum demanding the immediate withdrawal of all German forces from Poland. If not Great Britain would consider itself at war with Nazi Germany as from 1300 hours. France delivered a similar ultimatum at 1230 hours saying that unless the demands were met, it would be at war as from 1700 hours.

Hitler's Nazi Germany had always declared the communists and the Jews to be its main enemies and the destruction of same to be its main task. Yet, what the Germans and in particular the High Command feared most, was an other war with a Western and an Eastern front. So in order to prevent this - to the world's utter surprise - the Nazis changed their tune when on August 23, 1939 their foreign minister Ribbentrop and his Soviet colleague Molotov, in Moscow's Kremlin, under the watchful eye of the great dictator Joseph Stalin, signed a non-aggression pact. What was not told was that there was also a secret agreement dividing Eastern Europe in a nazi and a soviet sphere of influence. To the former were to belong Western Poland and Lithuania, to the latter Eastern Poland, Rumania's Bessarabia (now Moldova), Finland, Latvia and Estonia. Least of all the inhabitants of these region were to know, but they were soon to find out.

It all began when on September 17th, 1939 the Soviet Red Army suddenly attacked Poland, stabbing in the back the Poles fighting the Germans. A Red Army was concentrated near the Latvian and Estionian borders which put pressure on Estonia. On September 27th, 1939 Estonia and the Soviet Union signed a support or security treaty. Thereupon the Soviets demanded army and navy bases and the Latvians and Estonians had to give in and their frightened and worried populations had to watch the Red Army march in and occupy their country. In June 1940 the Estonian communists backed up by the Red Army committed a coup d'tat overthrowing the legal government and installing a communist one-party administration which requested its masters in Moscow to kindly accept Estonia as a member of its Union of Soviet Republics. Moscow gracefully obliged and from then on Estonia was known as Eesti Noukogude Sotsialistik Vabariik or the Estonian Socialist Soviet Republic. (3).and as such would exist until 1989.

Right away the Soviets began a process of curtailing all opposition. The non-communist officials were removed from office. The Civil Defence Leaque and its youth organizations Noored Kotkad and Kodututred were disbanded and abolished. Strangely enough the scout and guide movement were permitted to continue their activities though camping was notallowed anymore. Reason why the first Estonian Gilwell Course, which DCC Herbert Morisson (1) had prepared was not held.
In August 1940 the representatives of all bodies sponsering the scout and guide movements were called to attend a meeting. The pretended purpose was the electing of a new executive for the Federation of Friends of Scouts, which had sponsered and promoted Scouting and Guiding almost from the beginning, and to install a new leadership and a new NHQ staff for the scout and guide movements. But no elections were held. Instead the communist party representatives just dictated the names of the new members, all of them communist party members and most of them had never been scouts or guides. The former leadership was removed from office whereupon the new "leaders" issued the first order : to liquidate the scout and guide organizations and to surrender all its properties, membership administration and archives to the Komsomols and Pioneers, the communist youth organizations. The motivation (not unlike the Nazis' ) was that Scouting and Guiding were Anglo-American espionage organizations in disguise serving their capitalist masters. Continuation of all activities
thereafter was illegal and would be punished.
The Sovietisation and purges began. Leading Estonians were arrested and deported to camps, sometimes as far away as Siberia. All those suspected of having the abilities to lead a possible resistance were also removed such as professors, teachers, journalists and last but not least scout and guide leaders. Some left home and went into hiding. Their officers having been removed the other ranks of the Estonian army were forced to join the Red Army. An estimated total of 60.000 Estonians was deported, most of them never to come back.

On Sunday June 22nd, 1941 Nazi Germany dropped its mask of friendship and attacked its ally the Soviet Union. There were several spearheads, one in the south intended to occupy the fertile Ukraine and the oil fields on the banks of the Caspian Sea, the central one aimed at taking Moscow and eliminating the Soviet leadership and the third one heading north to conquer Leningrad, marching through the Baltic States. The German armies did not meet much resistance and sliced through the Soviet defence lines like a hot knife through butter. The Red Army retreated and those Estonians still at liberty watched and, in the period between the Red Army's retreat and the actual arrival of the Nazi forces, the Estonians rose. Some armed themselves and harassed the retreating Russian units also settling a bill with agents of the secret police and their collaborators who had terrorised the people. The scouts and guides also reappeared and the Estonian flag was hoisted again. The expectation being that liberty and independence would be restored.

But the Germans had other ideas. In the long run the Baltic States were supposed to be annexed by Germany and to become provinces of same. A Nazi administration under the leadership of a Reichscommissar was installed. The Estonians who had armed themselves were disarmed, the national flag was no longer tolerated, the revived movements, including and above all scouting and guiding were banned again. The Estonians were soon to experience that the Red Terror had been replaced by the Brown Terror. No independence but an occupied country and the front lines' hinterland.

The German Wehrmacht reached the outskirts of Leningrad (now St Petersburg) as early as September 6th, 1941. Shortly thereafter the city was surrounded, cut off from the rest of the Soviet Union and a long siege began. The Germans never succeeded in entering the city but it was not until January 18th 1943 that the Red Army broke through though it took until January 14th, 1944 until the Germans really retreated from the city's outskirts.

And all the time Estonia served as the front's hinterland. On all its fronts Nazi Germany lost millions of soldiers and it was soon forced to recruit other nationals for its "crusade to eliminate communism" as its propaganda called it. The Estonians' position was difficult. By now they fully understood that the Germans were not intent on restoring their independence on the other hand they had every reason to fear the return of the Soviets. The Nazis also changed their tune and Estonian nationalism was used. It was an uncomfortable situation, difficult to make choices. So some fell for the German propaganda, and donned the German uniform. Others were pressed to do so. They were sent to the Waffen-SS. and were suddenly permitted to wear on the German uniform a shield with the Estonian national colours, suggesting they were fighting for a free Estonia.

Though Hitler did not permit it, the slow German retreat in the north actually began in january/february 1944 when the Red Army got on the move. But the rear guard fighting was fierce.
The Estonians understood that one day the Red Army would return and most of them did not fancy that at all. So some decided to flee and to keep ahead of the advancing Red Army. All in all an estimated 66.000 Estonians went on the move. Some took the land route south via the other Baltic states and Poland into Germany going as far west as possible hoping to meet the American, British and Canadian armies advancing. But most went to the seaside intent on escaping across the Baltic. Everything that floated was used. Small freighters, fishing vessels, rowing boats and canoes even or rafts towed by other craft. Many never made it and perished.

In August and September 1944 the first refugees reached the shores of neutral Sweden. They were made welcome, were accommodated in comfortable reception camps and they were taken good care of. It was understood that in particular the kids had to be entertained. Now it so happened that there were large numbers of scouts, guides but also scout and guide leaders amongst the many refugees and the latter soon took the initiative and in several camps scout groups and guide companies were begun. One of the groups met as early as October 22nd, 1944. They received the assistance of the Swedish movements and authorities. It is said that in the camps 17 scout groups were operational and an equal number of guide groups. The refugees did not stay in the camps long but were distributed all over Sweden as soon as work and permanent new residences were available. In particular in the big cities there were fair concentrations of Estonians and as soon as they had got used to the new environment the scouts and guides used to find each other and between 1944 and 1946 various scout and guide groups were founded.

The guides were supported by the Swedish YWCA or KFUK Guides and Eesti Gaidide Maleva was reestablished in very close cooperation with and within the KFUK Guides. In June 1945 the Guiders held their first annual leaders meeting in Stockholm and in July the first summer camp. By 1949, when the first GG Suurlaager was held, the membership was 525 with a total of 12 groups.
The Scouts did not so badly either. Groups were founded in Stockholm, Goteborg
(Gothenburg) Uppsala, Malm", Boras, Norrkoping, Eskilstuna etc.. These groups belonged to the Sveriges Scoutforbund the overall body in which the various Swedish Scout Organisations were united. Their sub-section was named Eesti Skautlike Noorte Malev. In 1957 the scouts numbered 693 members. But soon the membership of the Scouts and Guides in Sweden decreased as many Estonians found a new home in Canada.

The Estonian refugees that took the land route down south soon mixed with Latvians and Lithuanians also prefering not to wait until the Red Army returned. Behind them the retreatingGerman army and the advancing Red Army. Above them, quite often the Soviet Air Force which - without investigation too thoroughly - fired at everything that looked like a military column. Many died during this trip, which began in summer but got worse when a harsh, cold winter set in and the Red Army reached East Prussia. The sad stream of refugees was augmented by Germans also wanting to get as far away from the Soviets as possible. Again hundreds died during the trip across the frozen coastal waters of East Prussia, some times fired at by long distance guns or straffed by low flying Russian fighter planes. Many lost their lives. Family members got separated in the turmoil. Thousands of several nationalities thus arrived in Germany and went through cities destroyed and were subjected to the massive bombardements. But they headed to the west as much as possible until they were in the western part of Germany and could not go any further as they were now approaching the western front. It was difficult to find accommodation. Some were put in camps, others in schoolbuildings, army barracks but most of them had to stay in the open air, day and night and food was a problem. The desperate Nazis, aware of but not admitting that they were losing the war, forced them to dig fortifications or even pressed some to fight for them. Food was difficult to be had. Then the advancing units of the American, British and Canadian forces reached them. The new authorities took over and tried to sort things out. Only when Nazi-Germany had finally accepted defeat and surrendered unconditionally on May 8th, 1945 things gradually took a turn for the better.

Added to the refugees were concentation camp and prison inmates, the labourers who had been forced by the Nazis to work in their war industries and also those who had been serving in the German army or the SS and had, in time, donned civil clothing thus escaping being taken Prisonners of War. All sorts of former German camps, barracks, factories, schools etc. etc. were turned into accommodation for the refugees. At first there was a mixture of various nationalities, later, when the turmoil died down a bit, nationalities were sorted out and concentrated in several special "national" camps. But the living was still far from pleasant. Food, medical care, clothing etc. etc were missing and had to be provided by the Allies. The later soon experienced that the refugees from Eastern Europe did not desire to return to their homelands "liberated" by the Red Army. From that moment on the refugees became Displaced Persons and as such they were officially registered.

In the drab existence the Scouting Spirit revived. The kids were suffering most and had to be entertained so that there would be a ray of sun shines in their daily lives. Scout and Guide leaders and older scouts and guides collected the boys and girls, formed groups and activities began. This did not go undetected as in the armies of the Western Allies many scouts and guides were serving. In the British occupation zone the Guide International Service and the Scout International Relief Service were active and in some of the camps they were in charge. (5). Their task was not to revive scouting or guiding but, as the scouts and guides amongst the army officers and the other ranks, they were attracted by the activities of the DP Scouts and Guides. They reported their findings to their NHQs and the International Bureaux and soon the DP scouts and guides received assistance.

As early as May 13th, 1945, five days after World War 2 had officially ended in Europe, the first Estonian groups was founded in a refugee camp. Practically all Estonian kids in all the camps joined the scout and guide groups, whether before they had been members or not or had perhaps belonged to one of the other associations which were not revived in the camps. Thus they were kept occupied and were protected from the deteriorating effects of the poverty and sadness of the empty camp life.

During the following summer when things got a bit easier, with the assistance of scouts and guides serving in the occupation forces, contacts could be made between the Estonian groups in the various camps. A sort of inventory was made of who was there and where and it was found that the Eesti Gaidide Maleva's Chief Guide Eleonore Hunerson had survived and was in Germany and so were Eesti Skautide Malev's Chief Scout Nikolai Kann and DCC Herbert Michelson. The former was able to contact the BSIB or Boy Scouts International Bureau in London, the latter the former Gilwell Camp Chief J.S. Wilson, then the BSIB's director, whereas the Chief Guide resumed her communications with the WAGGGS in London. (6)
The above mentioned and some other leaders created the Estonian Central Bureau which was headed by DCC Herbert Michelson. It acted as a kind of a National Headquarters in the beginning covering the British and US Zones of West Germany only but later contacts were also made with the Estonian groups in Sweden. It organised camps and above all training activities. Herbert Michelson was at last able to conduct his first Estonian Gilwell Course which was originally planned for August 1940. Between 1946 and 1949, in close cooperation with BSIB and Gilwell Park in England, he lead three Woodbadge Course in Germany as well as nine other training camps for cub scout, scout and rover leaders.

The Estonians, as the others DP scouts, operated under the protecting wings of the BSIB and were able to participate in the 6th World Jamboree at Moisson/France in 1947 with a fair contingent of scouts from Germany and Sweden. During the 11th International Conference of August 1947 the Displaced Persons' Division of the Boy Scouts International Bureau was created. It registered all DP scouts and issued them with an identity card. It also supported all DP Scout activities, such as training and other camps, provided them with uniforms, manuals etc. The DPDoBSIB organized some DP Scout International Patrol Rallies, no 1 in Wellerode Walk near Kassel (19-31/08/1948) and no 2 near Nurnberg-Fischbach (19-29/08/1949) and a 3rd was to have been in 1950. But by then most of the DP scouts had left Germany and so the rally was never to be. Estonian patrols participated.

But the BSIB also informed the DP scouts that, as soon as they would be leaving the camps for their new residences in the countries, that were willing and able to offer the DPs a new existence, they would have to join - as groups or individuals - the NSOs of the countries concerned as no "National Scout Movements on Foreign Soil" could be recognized.(6) These NSOoFSs were tolerated in Germany as there was no official German movement they could have joined. In 1948 the DP Division of BSIB registered 32 Estonian groups with a membership of 1104.

Gradually the Displaced Persons were leaving the terrible camps, conditions of which had, however, changed during the years, but were never pleasant. The Chief Guide Eleonore Hunerson, thanks to WAGGGS' influence, was invited to settle in England (1947) where she died in 1949. But others were going too. In September 1948 1000 Estonian Scouts were left in Germany. In 1950 it was reported that only one Estonian Girl Guide patrol was still active in West Germany and that it had joined a German guide company. By 1952 only 45 Estonian scouts were still resident in Germany (6) who had joined the Bund Deutscher Pfadfinder in 1950 as associated members. But in 1976 there were 60 again, mainly in the rover-ranger (over 18) age group and, despite its small numbers, in l970, it managed to organise a camp to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Estonian Scouting in which participated Estonian scouts from all over the world. (6).


Some Estonian refugees had managed to get to Great Britain. Two scout units have been known to have been operating in that country. A Rover Crew was formed in 1948 in Yorkshire and in 1949 a scout group in Corsham, between Bath and Chippenham in Wiltshire. In 1950 the latter had more than ninety members but the next year it did no longer exist, the families having left for Canada.

In November 1947 a ship, carrying a large number of DPs, left a German port and set sail for Australia. The Estonian scouts aboard formed a group and during the long voyage held normal pack, troop and rover meetings, inviting non-members. Having arrived at destination the DPs were received in a comfortable government camp for a period of adjustment. In it the group continued its activities. Thereafter, as the other DPs, the Estonians settled in several places. Their numbers were increased when other contingents arrived and the scouts and guides, once in their permanent residences, rallyed again and formed groups. In Sydney, May 1949, the 9th Sydney-Estonian was founded. Considering name and number it had joined the Australian Scout Movement.(7) Sydney was also the city with the first Estonian Guide Company in 1950. In Melbourne and other cities groups were founded too.

This country took a large number of Displaced Persons. Estonians from Germany but also Great Britain and Sweden were offered a new existence in this vast country and the first Estonian scout and guide groups were founded soon. The first scouts in Toronto in 1948. In 1952 there were about 400 Estonian scouts and an almost similar number of guides, whose first start was one patrol in 1949 but in 1959 had about 400, most of whom were born in Canada. Throughout the years their numbers remained rather constant always about 600 of each. The relationship with the Canadian NHQ progressed nicely as did those with the Canadian districts. All groups joined the Canadian Scout and Guide Associations, wore Canadian uniforms but were permitted to have on it a special badge indicating them as being Estonians. (7). In cooperation with the Ontario Scouts the Estonians were able to arrange a number of Wood Badge training courses in Estonian led by DCC Jaan Lepp.

The States also took their fair share of Displaced Persons, including Estonians. As early as May 1949 the first Estonian groups was founded in Seabrook, New Jersey, followed by a rover crew in New York City that very same year. The Boy Scouts of America HQ considered the matter and in autumn 1949 gave its official consent and recognition. Several other groups came to being and by 1952 there were 13 Estonian scout groups most of them in the Eastern States where most Estonians had settled. The first Guide companies were founded in 1949.

Some Estonians landed in South America, very far away from their home country , but they were mostly widely scattered, which was a handicap when it came to organizing scout and guide groups. Yet, encouraged and sponsered by the Estonian community, groups were founded in Buenos Aires in 1951 and they remained active ever since.
The number of Estonians that had chosen Brazil for settlement was very small. Estonian scouting began in Sao Paulo, in 1968, one patrol of three boys and three girls. In 1969 there were seven and they participated in an Estonian camp organized by the Argentinian Estonians.
But in 1976 it was all over in Brazil.

Those who had not attempted to escape or had not succceeded in so doing and were unlucky to have to stay behind saw the German military forces retreat and their country once again reoccupied by the Red Army. In its wake returned the KGB - Secret Police - and the Estonian communists. Basing themselves on the assumption that all who had had to live under the Nazi occupation also had collaborated with the latter, which some had and others had not, they took revenge and reinstituted the terror. Between 1945 and 1949 an estimated number of more than 500.000 Estonians were arrested and deported to far away places, prisons or concentration camps. Many were killed whereas others, in the long run, perished. After Stalin's death in 1953, when the regime showed more leniency, only 25% of the deportees managed to return to the home country. The Sovietisation was continued and thousands of Russians, Ukrainians and Belarussians were - compulsory or voluntary - sent to Estonia to take the empty places and to live and work. In later years, when these imported citizens had been living there for decades, they were to become a minority problem. Though in name the Eesti Noukogude Sotsialistik Vabariik was supposed to be a souvereign state, the instructions came directly from Moscow and had to be obeyed. All expressions of nationalism were forbidden and persecuted, the national flag was banned and replaced by a "national Soviet" one. Such was the terror and the fear of it that scouts and guides, as all the others had to be very careful in everything they did and said and they could only talk to and vent their real feelings to a few trusted friends or relatives and even than ! But small numbers used to meet on a regular basis and it is known that several met on Thinking Day or St George's Day to repeat the Promise once made. Scouting and Guiding were not forgotten. But since they could not be practised they were remembered only and the survivers concentrated on the idealistic side, the Promise and Law. Whereas at first Estonia was totally isolated from the outside world in later years communication by means of correspondence was possible be it that there was a censorship and relatives in exile were able to carefully be in touch with their kinship in the home country. Information regarding the harsh situation filtered through the Iron Curtain.

During the period known as the "Cold War" there was an arms race between the communist block and the socalled Free Western World lead by the USA. On both sides millions were spent on the arms race. This caused the economic situation in the the Soviet Union to deteriorate but neither its inhabitans nor the outside world was to know. On March 11th, 1985 Gorbatchev was appointed secretary general of the Russian communist party, the most powerful position in the USSR. Slowly but gradually he introduced changes. The remaining die-hards of the old regime were being removed from office. Glassnost - Openness and Perestrojka - Renewal or Renovation were being introduced. At first undetected by the outsideworld, changes set in. There was unrest in various communist satelite countries such as Poland and Hungary and the latter's regime was the first to open the Iron Curtain (11/09/1989) permitting its citizens and East Germans to travel freely to the Free West. British and American radio stations, broadcasting in almost all the languages spoken in the Soviet Union, spread the news. But the peoples of the Baltic States were also getting restless. The new wind that blew in Moscow gave the Estonians new hope for a better future and it electrified them. They demanded economic independence. In winter 1988/1989 they tested how far the regime would permit them to go. In January 1989 some one had the courage to hoist the old Estonian national flag (Blue-Black-White) and since nothing much happened it soon proudly flew everwhere. In July 1989 they were given economic independence.
But the population wanted more. One protest after the other and on August 23rd, 1989 a human chain was created by the peoples of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, right from the north to the south, one thin line of human beings. On October 23rd, 1989 the populations of the Baltic States organized a large protest demonstration. This very day, 50 years ago, Nazi- Germany and the Soviet Union signed the infamous Ribbentrop-Molotov treaty with the secret additional putting Lithuania in the Nazi and Latvia and Estonia in the Soviet sphere of influence with as a result the occupation and the annexation of the two states by the Soviet Union. The ball started roling. On November 9th, 1989 the Berlin Wall came tumbling down and the Iron Curtain was opened. Meanwhile the Western press had free access to the Soviet Union and all these occurances were seen on Western TV. In December 1989, Gorbatchev, visiting the Baltic States, promised the possibility for them to secede from the Soviet Union and to regain independence. On 18/03/1990 the first free elections were held and the
opposition entered parliament whereupon the Estonian communist party broke away from Moscow and on 29/03/1990 the oppositional Estonian Nationalist People's front (which had been permitted) proposed to declare independence which was accepted by a majority in parliament on the very next day.

But in Moscow Gorbatchev had to deal with a strong opposition which wanted to keep the situation as it used to be and so developments were slow and certain fractions, such as the army, tried to halt them, also in the Baltic States. It was a period of high tension and even fighting, when communists, backed by Soviet special forces were trying to regain power and turn the clock back. On March 1st, 1991 a referendum was held and 80% of the Estonian population voted for independence. But the troubles were not over yet. On August 19th, 1991 the world was shocked and held its breath when the news reached it that a communist coup d'etat in Moscow had removed Gorbatchev from office. Three uncertain days, during which, on August 20th, at 2310 hours, the Estonian Parliament declared its country's total national independence as from that very moment. An independence which - a few days later - was recognized by most of the West European countries and the United Nations. Estonia was a free country again after 51 years !

Quotes from a report dated November 29th, 1991 written by by Jaan Lepp of the Estionan groups in Canada and sent to the World Bureau WOSM in Geneva.
"The years of depression after World War 2 instilled fear in the Estonians and helps us to understand their reluctance to initiate the regorganization of scouting.
However, even during these years, the scout and guide leaders maintained social contacts and retained their scouting identity."
"The first independent youth groupings evolved from the nationalistically thinking
youth, who wanted to express their independence and anti communist/USSR feelings. They called themselves "scouts". It is evident, that they were not scouts as we know them, but they adopted scouting's name to underline their independence from the ruling authorities. These first groupings formed in summer 1988 showed that under the new political thaw independent youth organizations such as former banned scouting would be tolerated."
"The formal rebirth of the scouting movement is traced back to a meeting in March
of 1989, when a group of leaders met with former scoutmasters in Nomme (near Tallinn) for the specific purpose to re-eastablish the former Estonian Scouting. This meeting was attended by 8 Scoutmasters, 5 Guiders and 13 new leaders. At the meeting an action committee was elected to develop and prepare documentation for the formal re-registration of the Estonian Scout Association (Eesti Skautide Malev).
The documentation was completed within a few weeks in March and presented for acceptance and approval to the Ministry of Education. The charter received formal governmental registration on 22. June, 1989."
"Where possible former scouting documents were consulted. But as can be expected, most of the documentation was derived and developed on common logic and extensively based on memory. As ownership of scouting materials during the preceding years was interpreted as anti-governmental action, there were very few scouting documents from 50 years back."

Ofcourse the Ministry refered to above was belonging to the communist government, still in power, but understanding that Gorbatchev's actions were to be taken seriously and had to be followed, it showed some leniency. Yet these authorities expected or hoped that they would be able to remain in office -and so in order to remain in control of the situation - they took some steps to keep their influence in all renewals. This was made quite clear in another letter by Jaan Lepp which the World Bureau in Geneva received on March 17th, 1989.
"As the scouting movement in Estonia is independent, it has not been wellcomed by the government. While not formally prohibited, nor are they encouraged, but rather tolerated. In order to overshadow the scouting, the government has formed a parallel organization, which first was called "Estonian Youth Organization" (Eesti Laste Organisatioon) and which changed its name to Estonian Boys Federation (Eesti Poiste Liit). The latter has adopted as its symbol the scout emblem, with a minor difference from the scouting one. In the center, the Estonian Crest has been replaced with the Estonian National colours - blue, black and white. To the best of our information, this organization does not follow scouting principles nor does it use any religious teachings in its activities. As we understand it, this organisation was formed with one purpose - to overshadow the scouting movement. To this extent, they have also received governmental support for their activities. We also understand, that their leader Leho Manniksoo, has been a governmental employee for many years, with the specific task to organize youth movements that reflect the Communist Part ideology.

The Eesti Poiste Liit 's constituent meeting was held in the White Hall of the city of Tallin on December 10th, 1988. According to a report dated Helsinki 20/12/1988 it members were to be called Eetserit = "activists moving forward" and its objective was to be a centre organization for all youth clubs, a way to maintain government control. The name "activists" was also a bit suspicious, having a Soviet ring. No wonder some - e.g. the Exiles - looked at it with certain misgivings and doubts.
Meanwhile others were busy re-establishing the real scout and guide movements and communicated with the World Bureaus in Geneva and London.

Patrick McLaughlin, the director of the European Scout Office WOSM in Geneva, in
Helsinki/Finland on 16/01/1990 had a meeting with the representatives of Estonian guiding and scouting movements in the foundation process. As he reported to the combined WAGGGS/WOSM meeting on Scouting Revival in Eastern Europe (02-04/02/1990) at Geneva :
"Two Scout and two Guide movements exist. One Scout and one Guide association operate a bit like IFOFSAG (8) members, being largely composed of people who had been in Scouting and Guiding before and during the Second World War. They believe that they are the continuity of Scouting and that no new Scouts can be created without their involvement."
During the meeting the Finnish International commissioner gave a detailed presentation on the cooperation between the Fins and the Estonians, which had sprung up..

Meanwhile the World Bureaux WAGGGS and WOSM, apart from replying to a load of letters from Estonia, also provided all sorts of information on the rules to be met to be recognized as members of the world organisations.
From January 22nd - 27th, 1991 Yrj" Gorski, a Finnish profesional member of staff of the World Bureau WOSM in Geneva, went on a fact-finding-mission to the three Baltic Republics. His findings regarding Estonia were that there were several movements united in ESOKL, the Cooperation Union of Estonian Scouting Organizations. On January 22nd and 23rd he met the representatives of the following movements being :
1) Eesti Skautide Maleva, ESM which considering itself as being the revival of the movement of the same name, in 1922 Founder Member of the World Movement, and banned in 1940. It held its first informal meeting in 1988 and organized its first summercamp in that year. The re-establishment meeting was held on March 18th, 1989 and offical recognition was granted on June 22nd, 1989 by the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic.
2) Eesti Eetserskautide uhendus. EEu. Gorski was told that this movement had been originally established under the government's auspices of the as the Eesti Laste Organisatioon (Estonian Youth Organization). In December 1988 had changed it name into Eesti Poiste Liit (Estonian Boys Federation). To later rename it again
as Eesti Eetserskautide uhendus.
3) Eesti Gaidide uhendus -EGu, originally the EPL's girl section and closely
cooperating with EEu.
4) Eesti Skautlik Antoni Kesk Gild - ESAKG an association of former Scouts, saying that they sought recognition by IFOFSAG but for the moment were reviewing the situation in ESOKL.
5)Noored Kotkad/Kodututred, also revived. Gorski was supposed to meet their
representatives at the meeting, but they never came.
6)Eesti Gaidide Maleva, EGM. claiming to be the continuation of the original WAGGGS member of that name, as banned in 1940.

A second WOSM mission was in Estonia on the 2nd and 3rd of September 1991. Yrjo Gorski discovered that the ESKOL had been but a name during his the 1st visit and had - in reality - been founded after the first mission's visit, viz on March 10th, 1991. and was now said to be
representing :
1) Eesti Skautide Malev - ESM (900 members/boys.)
2) Eesti Gaidide Maleva - EGM (200 members/girls.)

3) Eesti Eetserskautide uhendus - EEu (400 boys and girls.)
4) Eesti Gaidide uhendus -EGu. (700 members/girls.)
5) Estonian Union of Noorkotkad and Kodutytred. (300 members/boys and girls)
6) Estonian Ukrainian Guide Group. (numbers unknown.)
7) Eesti Skautlik Antoni Kesk Gild. (former scouts and guides. )

A few days before this meeting, on August 20th, 1991, Estonia had declared its independence but no one was at all certain whether this was a bold move that would be severely punished or that it would really work. Well it worked when the various West European countries recognized Estonia as an independent state.
A little later WOSM was informed that the ESM and the EEu intended to merge and to create one single association: The Estonian Scouts. The General Assembly to take place on November 9th, 1991. (WOSM's Situation Report no 6, 01/10/1991). The merger had already been broadcast by the the Estonian radio on 07/09/1991.
Ofcourse at the time neither Yrjo Gorski nor the World Bureaux WOSM and WAGGGS may have been aware of the character and the origin Eesti Eetserskautide uhendus. EEu. And Eesti Gaidide uhendus -EGu. though warnings were being received from the Swedish movements and the Estonian Exiles, as mentioned earlier. It, however, struck Gorski that the Eesti Gauide Maleva EGM ''s representatives stressed in particular that the movement was not an ESKOL member and they were at the meeting as observers only.

After the declaration of independence the country's situation changed. The original fear, impressed upon the nation by the Soviet Secret Police for so long gave way, people tended to speak their mind again as free people ought to. The Eesti Skautide Malev - ESM, sent an extensive letter (17/10/1991) on EGu and EEu to WOSM and WAGGGS, These, however, were willing to give the EEu and the EGu the benefit of the doubt and requested them to merge with ESM and EGM as, for recognition of a National Movement, one organisation would be required.
Yet is was all very confusing - no wonder under the circumstances prevailing.

A quote from WOSM's Situation Report no 7, March 1992, adds to the confusion. Under the heading ESTONIA the following is said :
"In addition to being a link with WOSM, the Cooperation Union of Estonian Scouting Organisations - ESKOL -, the umbrella structure founded in March 1991, has helped the two Estonian Scout associations - Eesti Eetserskautide uhendus (EEu) and Eesti Skautide Malev (ESM)) - to examine whether they should merge an create a single Scout Association or establish a federation. The same discussion have been taking place between the two Guide Associations - Eesti Gaidide uhendus (EGu) and Eesti Gaidide Maleva (EGM). The other associations, such as the Estonian Union of Noorkotkad and Kodutytred and the Estonian Ukrainian Guide Group, have incorporated in the above mentioned associations."
"In a meeting held between the associations on 11th of January 1992, the decission was taken to structure the Cooperation Union into a dormant body."
which meant the final collapse of ESOKL. Unity was not yet to be.

The EEu met on 12/11/1991 and again on 23/11/1991 and 4 leaders were appointed to negotiate. More and more meetings between the two movements in November 1991 and January 1992 and in February one in the presence or Yrjo Gorski, who being a Finn, thanks to Finnish having a similarity to Estonian, had the great benefit of not needing an interpreter. No agreement was reached however.

WAGGGS was also very active in Estonia. In its Central and Eastern Europe Report
-November 1991 - March 1992, its Executive for that region - Rosie Dunn - revealed that she had been visiting Estonia from February 20th - 25th, 1992, also participating in the Thinking Day and Independence Day celebrations (22nd and 24th of February). Quote :
" the Estonian Associations, Eesti Gaidide Maleva - EGM - and Eesti Gaidide
uhendus -EGu, created a joint union on the 25th of January 1992 and are now working to develop the cooperation. Their combined membership is 1300 girls and they have groups in most parts of Estonia." .
In her report to the WAGGGS Constitutions Commitee dated 28/02/1992 :
" The 2 Guide Associations have now formally agreed to cooperate to apply for membership of WAGGGS."
"This cooperation will begin as a Federation but with the aim of becoming one organization as a natural consequence of working together. After extensiv meetings with both associations it was agreed on a federation structure and ways work. The Constitution will be forwarded to the World Bureau as soon as possible."

It so seemed as if the ladies were making more progress than the men. As Rosie Dunn reported in her "Update on the Situation in the Countries" of Central and Eastern Europe of May 1993:
" Following the collapse of ESOKL at the end of 1991, the two Guide Associations developed a stronger relationship and formed a Federation in February 1992. The 2 Associations have developed from different traditions : Eesti Gaidide uhendus -EGu. has worked closely with Finland while Eesti Gaidide Maleva - EGM, has had strong links with the Exile Associations particularly in Canada and Sweden."
As had Eesti Skautide Malev - ESM - and it had its effects.

The collapse of the communist regime and the declaration of total independence had caused the Estonians-in-Exile, all over the world, great joy and satisfaction. Some older ones, belonging to the original 1940-1944 refugees, having prospered in their new countries of residence, actually returned to their homeland as pensioners, and settled there once again after so many years of Exile. Experiencing, however, that during their prolonged absence the general situation and the mentality of those that had stayed in the homeland had been strongly influenced by the circumstances and had changed a lot more than they had expected. That nothing was the same anymore as in 1940 or 1944 when they left. That, also, the clock could not be turned back. Consequently they were sometimes feeling as being strangers in their own homeland. Ofcourse they themselves having lived in other countries for so long had also changed without sensing it, influenced and moulded as they had been by
their long domicile elsewhere.

But there is no doubt that the Exiles considered the liberation of the homeland to be their finest hour and the Exile Movement immediately took action to support reviving Eesti Skautide Malev - ESM and Eesti Gaidide Maleva - EGM in the material as well as the financial way. Considering their own backgrounds the Exiles were not so much in favour of - Eesti Eetserskautide uhendus - EEu and Eesti Gaidide uhendus -Egu which, because of their roots. They too considered to be a communist cuckoo egg laid in the wrong nest. (The WOSM and WAGGGS recognized Finnish Movement, supporting and cooperating with them, did not seem to object.) Even before the restored independence ESM and EGM leaders were invited to come to Canada and Sweden - all expenses paid by the Exiles - for training courses at the Exile Movement's own training centres. Thereafter the experienced Exile Movement training teams went to Estonia and ran instruction courses for not the leaders only but also to for the boys and the girls. But most of them could not stay, having jobs in their countries of residence in which most of them had been born and bred. Further badges, manuals and other handbooks - or their printing plates - as used by the Exile Movement were sent to Estonia in large quantities. A strong relationship was also established between the Exiles and the Eesti Skautlik Antoni Kesk Gild, in which had united most of the pre 1940 scouts, guides and some surviving leaders of those days. Mostly these Seniors were the ESM's and EGM's revivors. Remembering their own happy scouting and guiding days, they offered their experience and assistance. Although the ESM's Chief Scout was 30, the other leaders were sometimes fairly aged, as were the Gild members.

But in most of the Exile movements, Scouting and Guiding in the free world had changed considerably between 1940 and 1989. Their power of survival had been that they had constantly adjusted to the possibilities of the modern world and the demands of the modern youngsters. In many aspects an improvement, in others not so much as many valuable traditions had also been thrown overboard. The Exile Movements - and not the Estonian one only - had stuck to the old game and the old traditions and with pride, had always kept the Flame of Estonian Scouting burning on Foreign Soil. Though most of the groups, particularly in Canada, the USA and Sweden had been members, with a special status, of their country of residence's NSOs they had fostered and nourished pre-1940 Estonian Scouting and Guiding and so the Gild members and the Exiles were well suited to each other. Under their combined influence and training ESM and EGM very much took the shape of the pre-1940 movements. Hence the ESM and the EGM stroke the Westerners, including the WOSM, WAGGGS staff members and the representatives of the several NSOs involved, as being rather old- fashioned. But the younger Estonians scouts and guides, and the younger leaders got the same idea. They met Swedish, Finnish and Canadian/Estonian scouts and leaders of their own age groups and detected a different, more moden scouting style than they were being taught.
Modernisation and adjustment to the Scouting and Guiding as they had developed in the Free West, was necessary but this was not always understood and accepted by the seniors and some of the Exiles. who - during all those long and dark years, when Estonia was not a free country - had in their hearts kept alive the Scouting and Guiding as they had known it in better days. This again was not understood by the younger Westerners representing WOSM, WAGGGS and the NSOs that offered assistance. They had never known war, had been bred and born in free countries, never had they experienced oppression, foreign occupation, loss of freedom and the fear, above all the everlasting fear. So how would they have been able to understand. Whereas in turn the Seniors and Exiles could not understand them and thought that Western Scouting had drifted away from B.P., the Founder. They were living on different planets. And not in Estonia only, it was a problem in so many reviving movements. A conflict between older and younger generations - tradition versus modernity - endangered the further development as there might be a split into rival fractions.

Meanwhile Yrjo Gorski having found other employment in his home country Finland, had left the WOSM World Bureau and his place was taken by Jacqueline Collier, a former French International Commissioner and Dominique Benard, also a former French IC, who had succeeded Patrick McLaughlin as head of the European Scout Region.

Situation Report no 8 of May 1993 was published by the European Scout Office. It revealed that the two had been in Estonia in March 1993.

They spoke to Eesti Skautide Malev - ESM and to Eesti Eetserskautide uhendus - Eeu. There being no religious differences between the two and hence no need for a Federation, the visitors insisted on a merger and the creation of one single Scout Association. There were some obstacles to the unification. Its constitution, historical continuity and the name of the future association. The latter two could be solved by WOSM making a statement that the new association would be recognized as being the legal successor to the association established in 1920 and the 1922 Founder Member. The Estonian Union of Noorkotkad and Kodutytred (Young Eagles and Home Daughters), had also revived, though - as before 1940 - bearing some similarities with Scouting and Guiding, were again strongly linked to the Ministry of Defence and refused to join a new association to be created and vanished from the scene.

Another problem was that of the minorities. As related earlier, during the Soviet period - in order to take the places of the thousands of Estonian deportees, and in order to Russify Estonia, Russians, Ukrainians and Belorussians - under pressure or voluntary - had been settling in Estonia. At the time Estonia regained its independence some of their youngsters were second or third generation, considering Estonia as their home. But the Estonians had always thought of them as being intruders, uninvited and unwelcome guests. And these minorities also formed scout and guide groups. And now the question was were they to be permitted to join the revived Estonian movements ?

Further as in most of the countries which had reemerged from under the communist pressure, nationalism was very much alive. Now one cannot blame a people - having had to live under foreign denomination and a system they found difficult to accept - for having fostered nationalistic feelings and, when freedom returned at last, to fully surrender to such feelings., Which had its repercussions with regards to "those foreigners living amongst us." The slogan "Russian Go Home" was often heard. But where could they go ?

In Western Europe the approach towards nationalism and patriotism had changed. The West Europeans in particular - including the scouts and guides - were flabbergasted and shocked when they were confronted by this nationalism. An - in their eyes - old fashioned phenomenan which they considered as belonging to the past. (10) On the other hand they knew so little of what had happened in the revived countries, between 1940 and 1989, that it was all difficult for them to understand and so there were misunderstandings on both sides and sometimes conflicts.

How to achieve unity and create one National Scout and one National Guide Association?
There were endless discussions and there was a split between the older generations and the younger ones.

Whilst these were going on the root levels were enjoying their freedom and their scouting and guiding. Training camps were held for leaders but also for scouts and guides and often Exile instructors or instructors from other countries came to assist. Suurlagers were held too and enjoyed by all. Often foreing scouts and guides came to participate in these camps and the Estionians got to know these foreigners, their attitudes and their scouting and guiding and often admired and accepted the more modernized style. Estonian scouts were enabled to go to the 17th World Jamboree at Mount Sorak National Park in South Korea in 1991 and later (1995) to the 18th at Dronten/Flevoland in the Netherlands. Generally speaking the kids enjoyed it all and were not so much bothered by the discussions going on at higher levels. But younger leaders too attended all sorts of WOSM and WAGGGS meetings and conferences and got to know things better and from a different angle.

Whilst the bickering went on in the Scouting world, as is often the case, the ladies of the two guides associations were more easy going, less fanatic, and tackled the differences in a more lightly way. The Eesti Gaidide uhendus -EGu. and the Eesti Gaidide Maleva - EGM founded a Federation Eesti Gaidide Maleva Ja Eesti Gaidide uhenduse Kkostooliit with a joint Executive Committee and a Federation Congress which was to meet once a year. The general idea was that the Federation would - one day - develop into one National Guide Association. This was acceptable to WAGGGS. During its 28th World Conference (01-09/07/1993 at Nyborg/Denmark) WAGGGS admitted the Federation as an "associate member". So after 53 years the Estonian Guides were back home again where they belonged.

In the scouts' world things did not go so smoothly. The World Committee, the World Bureau WOSM, the European Scout Office and the supporting NSOs did what they could under the motto : "The target is to feed the fire, not to guard the ashes". But there was a conflict of generations and the generation gap only widened. Regretfully it came to a split between those who wanted to stick to the old and those who wanted to progress and be recognized. Following a period of endless talks and negotiations during which Scouting split into various factions most of the young leaders and the youth members of Eesti Skautide Malev - ESM and Eesti Eetserskautide uhendus - EEu got very much fed up with the situation, stuck their heads together, united and founded the Eesti Skautide uhing - ESu. An act strongly supported by the Finnish NSO, the KFUM Spejderne Danmark (11) and the Estonian groups of the Canadian NSO and applauded by WOSM. The ESu stated that it would be open to all young people in Estonia without distinction of race, origin, creed or sex and its groups are well- established om about all parts of the country. It pledged to unify scouting and to try and persuade the remaining parts of ESM and EEu to also join. The Russian and Ukrainian speaking groups operating in Estonia were invited too to enrol.
The ESu sent an application for membership to WOSM. The World Scout Committee considered same during its meeting of September 23rd - 24th, 1995. On October 16th, 1995 WOSM issued its Circular 23/95 stating that ESu had been accepted as a WOSM member as per January 17th, 1996.
As Dr Jacques Moreillon, WOSM's Secretary General put it in his Report on his visit to the Baltic States 26/06 - 02/07/1999.:
" This did not take place without a few problems. Scouts from the country who had lived in exile and returned home -. as well as those who had stopped practising Scouting in 1939 while staying under Soviet, then Nazi, then again Soviet rule - tended to reintroduce a form of Scouting which had aged considerably and which had partially lost its original purpose of personality and citizenship building to become essentially an organization for culture-preservation. However, young people born locally, whilst ready to keep the flame of tradition, were not interested in its ashes. They wanted to belong to a forward-looking movement, not to one only foscused on the past. Yet many of the older genertion saw themselves as holders a holy grail that had to be handed over intact: theirs was the only true form of Scouting and they found it hard to accept that this was contested. One can well imagine the tensions which this type of situation created over a period of transition

lasting many years. However, that period is now nearing its end and the scoutleadership is young and most of the older generation has accepted that Scouting is indeed a movement of young people and not only for young people."

Regretfully some were not involved and are now not able to enjoy the benefits of the membership of the World Wide Scout Movement. They chose to be outsiders. The Eesti Skautlik Antoni Kesk Gild, not willing to recognise ESu could not join the International Fellowship of Scouts and Guides as the latter can accept only organizations of "formers" that have been recognized by the WOSM and WAGGGS' recognized NSOs.(8) Some individual members, however, registered with IFSG's General Branch (8).

But it is hoped that one day all will see the light and that unity will be restored to the benefit Estonian's Youth.

Piet J. Kroonenberg, Amsterdam, January 2000.

1) Quotes from a "Report on the Scout Union in Estonia" to the Boy Scout International Bureau in London, dated July 25th, 1938, signed "Camp Chief". This may have been Herbert Michelson as - at the time - he was the only Estonian DCC and consequently the only one that could sign that way. He had been to Gilwell Park in England and returned, not only as a Gilwellian but also as a Deputy Camp Chief (DCC) thus entitled to run Estonian Gilwell training courses. He collected a Gilwell training staff and prepared the first Estonian Gilwell Course, the practical part of which was to have been in July 1940. In June 1940, however, the Estonian communists committed a coup d'etat and camping was forbidden, including the Gilwell training camp.

2) During the Tsar's Empire Russian was the one and only official language but there
were so many different nationalities in the vast realm that more than 100 languages were spoken. Also the various nationalities were mixed. Some were simply deported and thus forced to settle elsewhere, whereas others did so voluntary. This is the reason why - this very day - some, presently independent countries do have minorities. Estonia, during its short spell of independence harboured its original, ancient German and Swedish minorities but in addition there were Latvians, Lithuanians, Poles, Jews and Russians. During the Russian Civil (1917-1922) more White Russians had found refuge in the Baltic States. Apart from the Russian National Guides - mentioned in this report - the other minorities also had their own Scout and Guide movements which must, however, have been small, one or two groups mainly. The government measures forced them either to disband and cease to be or to join the other movements officially permitted to exist.
Some of the German minorities all over the world were so enticed by Adolf Hitler's unbelievable radiation that they were hypnotized. Hence the fact that in Estonia and many other countries (e.g. the USA) branches of the Nazi party including the Hitler Jugend (Hitler Youth or HJ) and the Bund Deutscher Madel (League German Girls or BDM) were founded and operating.

3) Estonian Socialist Soviet Republic. Soviet in Russian characters is written as CoBeT and translated is : Council. During their coup d'etat of 1917 the Russian communists, in the areas they conquered removed the authorities and initially put CoBeT's of intellectuals and workers in their place. But in later years, when a dictatorship was introduced, these councils were just bodies that only had to do what they were told. They became just a cover like also the word Socialist was missused as the system had nothing to do with real democratic socialism.

4) a) NSDAP = National Socialist German Workers Party - not founded but led by Adolf Hitler.
b) POLICE. Germany, before the Nazi take-over in January 1933, had a normal policeforce - Die Polizei - divided in the Ordnungspolizei(= Order Police) doing street duties, directing traffic and maintianing law and order - dressed in green uniforms they were also known as the Grune Polizei or Green Police - and the Kriminalpolizei or Kripo, the normal criminal investigation department. Added were .
the Sicherheitspolizei or Sipo (= Security Police) in charge of the state's security.
the Geheime Staats Poilizei or Gestapo (Secret State Police) controling the people
c) PARTY. HJ = Hitler Jugend or Hitler Youth. Founded 1926. Units Deutsche Jungvolk : 10-14 years, HJ: 14 - 18.
d) BDM = Bund Deutsche Madel - German Girls Leaque, Deutsche Jungmadel : 10-14 years and BDM : 14-18.
SA = Sturmabteilung = storming unit. Dressed in brown uniforms. Used to protect the Nazi leaders during their propaganda meetings before 1933. Like the communists the nazis misused and word "socialist". Some, having joined the NSDAP, expecting it would introduce real socialism, got disappointed soon after the Nazis had take over in Germany. There was unrest and discontent in the ranks and the SA was considered not to be trustworthy anymore. (The Night of the Long Knives!) Consequently was created the
SS = Schutz Staffel (Protection Unite) dressed in black uniforms and at first a small unit to take over the protection of the Nazi leaders from the SA. Later known as the Allgemeine SS (General SS) from which recruits were attracted for the Waffen-SS and the SS-Totenkopf-Verbande (SS-Skull-Units). The former the well trained, tough army which fought side by side with the Wehrmacht, the regular army. The latter the Concentration Camp guards.
GESTAPO, the Geheime Staatspolizei (Secret State Police). Originally a unit belonging to the Nazi Party and meant to detect unwanted elements in the Party and to register those opposing the Party. After 1933 to arrest all those Germans opposing the Nazi regime.

When Adolf Hitler and his party had attained power in German the police forces was nazified. In 1936 the Gestapo was united with the Kripo and the Sipo and was known as the Sicherheits Dienst or SD though they mostly operated under their original names: Gestapo, Kripo or Sipo. The SD was part of the SS and led by Reichsfuhrer SS Heinrich Himmler.

5) The GIS = Guide International Service and the SIRS = the Scout International Relief Service were part of British COBSRA = Council of British Societies for Relief Abroad. COBSRA's task was to operate behind the front lines in the just liberated parts of Western, South Eastern Europe, the Middle East and the Far East bringing relief to the civilian population. The British government provided the means such as lorries, canteen trucks, motorbikes and the food. The members were provided with military uniforms but with Scout or Guide insignia. The money to pay for the operations was provided by the movements. Some of these units were later in charge of some of the Displaced Persons Camp in West Germany. Wheresoever GIS or SIRS teams - their vehicles showing either the Trefoil or the Arrowhead - arrived they attracted the attention of the just liberated scouts and guides of the reemerging movements, but it was not GIS or SIRS's tasks to assist them, nor was it to assist the Displaced Persons' Scouts and Guides in the camps. But blood being thicker than water, they paid attention to them. See the special chapter on these services.

6) For more specific and detailed information see Chapter One of "THE UNDAUNTED" part one.

7) The Boy Scouts International Committee, through the Boy Scouts International Bureau informed all "DP National Scout Associations" founded in the camps in occupied West Germany that their members - not the associations - would be protected and sponsered by the Displaced Persons Division of the BSIB for only as long as the members would be in the camps. As soon as they would be moving to their new countries of residence they would be losing their special status within the International movement and if they desired to remain scouts, they would have to join the National Scout Organizations of their new countries or cease to be scouts. Under no condition would the "DP National Scout Organizations" be recognized as members of the International Movement as membership of same was open only to those movements operating within the bounderies of their homelands. "National Scout Organisations on Foreign Soil" would not be tolerated.
Whereas many of the Movements in Exile did not take this seriously, such as the Poles, Ukrainians etc. etc. the Estonians apparently did.
During their stay in the DP Camps the Estonian leadership created the Central Bureau of Estonian Boy Scouts in Germany which, in close cooperation with the DP Division of the BSIB, lead the Estonian DP groups, at first in Germany later also in Sweden. In August 1949 representatives of the groups in Germany, Britain and Sweden met in London and signed the Charter of "The Estonian Boy Scouts in Exile". In later years Estonians in Australia, Canada and the USA. Joined. In 1954 the institute was renamed "Eesti Skautide Liit" or Estionian Boy Scouts Federation. The "Estonian Girl Guides in Exile"'s Central Organization established in 1949 was later also renamed "Eesti Gaidide Liit" or Estonian Girl Guides World Federation. Wheresoever they were the Estonians also revived their " Federation of Friends of Scouting" as a sponsering and supporting body for both movements.
But unlike other Scouts and Guides in Exile these bodies never pretended to be NHQ of an Estonian National Movement in Exile. In Australia, Canada and the USA the groups founded joined the National Scout or Guide Organisation. They were given a special status permitting them to use their own language during meetings, and to hoist the Estonian flag next to the National Flag. They wore the uniform of the NSO of their country of residence, permitted, however, to wear a special badge indicating them as being of Estonian origin. Further the "Eesti Skautide Liit" or Estionian Boy Scouts Federation, the "Eesti Gaidide Liit" or Estonian Girl Guides World Federation and the " Federation of Friends of Scouting" were permitted to freely finance, sponser and promote them, which they did in generously but never acting as or even pretending to be the NHQs of a National Exile Organisation on Foreign Soil.
These institutes arranged special trainings courses, also the Suurlaagers which Estonian Scouts or Guides from all over the world attended and to which others were invited. As special units of the NSOs they belonged to, Estonian scouts participated in all World Jamborees and they could use all the services the World Organizations had on offer.
The Estonians were often held up as an example to other Scouts-in-Exile and it is unbelieveable that the others would not accept. Particularly the Poles-in-Exile desired nothing but recognition as a full member of the World Movement, which was impossible.

The International Fellowship of Former Scout and Guides founded during international conference at Lucerne/Switserland 25/10/1953 by 18 National Organisations of Old or Former Scouts and Guides.
During its 21rst World Conference - 30/06-06/07/1996- in Montegrotto Terme/Italy IFOFSAG was renamed International Scout and Guide Fellowship (an organisation for adults) - ISGF. In 1999 there were 35 such national organizations registered. A disappointing small number considering that the fact that there are an estimated 250 millions of former scouts and a 150 millions of former guides all over the world.

As per agreement with WAGGGS and WOSM the ISGF can accept as members only those national associations that in turn have been recognised by their National Scout and Guide Organisations registered with WOSM and/or WAGGGS. As the Estonian Eesti Skautlike Antoni Kesk Gild refused to agree with the founding of the ESu, the latter when recognized by WOSM, could automaticly not sanction the Gild's joining of ISGF.

9) The vast Empire of the Tsars as well as the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics was inhabited by more than one hundred different nations all with a language and culture of their own. Both regimes were afraid of outbursts of nationalism leading to revolts of even civil war. Hence Russian was introduced as the overall language and was also used to promote the Russification of all citizens. But sometimes even more drastic means were used and whole nations or parts of nations were simply deported to other, sometime very distant parts of the extensive country.
When in 1940 the deporation of Estonians began and was continued again in 1944/1945, whereas thousands had fled the country before the Red Army returned in 1944, there was a shortage of labour and to meet this and, at the same time boost the Russification process, Russians, Belarussians and Ukrainians were - forced or voluntary - transfered to Estonia. Some of these were so convinced that the situation would never change that they simply never bothered to learn the Estonian language. The Estonians considered them as to be intruders, uninvited and unwelcome guests, instruments of the system that repressed them. In the vast Union the Estonians were a minority but as soon as Estonia was a free country again the Russians and the others were minorities in Estonia with all the consequences of same. They were not considered to be Estonians by the Estonians.

Now one cannot blame a people - for decades having had to live under foreign rule and a system they found difficult to accept - for having fostered nationalistic and patriotic feelings and, when freedom returned at last, to fully surrender to such feelings. Which had its repercussions with regards to "those foreigners living amongst us". The slogan "Russian Go Home" was often heard. But where could they go? Some were bred and born in Estonia. and had lived and worked their all their lives. (Proving once again that nationalism is one of humanity's worst enemies. )

10) The communist dictatorships - hiding behind the mask of "Democratic and Socialist People's Republics" - made great efforts to keep their peoples well isolated from the outside world which was presented as being hostile and oppressing its peoples. Those able to listen to foreign radio stations - which was not always permitted - used to pick up some smatterings of news from the Free World but they were mostly not aware that there had been a change in the mentality of most of the westerners, particularly the younger ones, a far as their attitude towards patriotism and nationalism were concerned.

1.1. Patriotism = a natural affection and/or liking for the city, the region and/or the country one is born and bred in but with an understanding for and a friendly approach to the peoples of other neighbouring countries or their minorities living in one's country.

1.2. Nationalism =a strong, mostly overdone predilection for one's own people, country and culture, all foreign nations, peoples, countries and cultures considered to be inferior. Some extreme nationalist feelings need "an enemy" as without one's own national group cannot excist.
2.1. Nationalism, often mistaken for patriotism, it cannot be denied, was one of the
causes of World War One (1914-1918). Hardly had it begun when the citizens of the countries concerned lined the streets to cheer the young men, who cheerfully singing patriotic songs, marched to the battle fields to - as they did not know at the time - be sacrificied on the altar of nationalism. War was considered to be a feast, a splendid adventure.
2.2. The senseless slaughter on the blood drenched battle fields soon opened the eyes of many. Baden- Powell, despite his military background, was also much impressed and shocked by all the bloodshed and apparently also learned to understand the true meaning and dangers of nationalism and the disasters it caused.
2.3. Against the expectations of many, Scouting managed to survive the conflict. B-P. and his associates gradually began adding a new element to the principles of Scouting viz Scouting for Peace and International Understanding and Brotherhood. Teaching all members that all human beings were considered to be equal, despite their various nationalities, languages, religions, the colours of their skins.
2.4. Gradually Baden-Powell and his men made Scouting drift away from nationalism to internationalism. He proposed a structure of international leadership (1921) and during the 2nd International Conference in Paris (1922) the foundation of the World Brotherhood of Scouting was definitely laid. The International (now World) Conference was created (1922) in addition to the International (now World) Bureau (1921).
2.5. It was a gradual process of evaluation which met resistance in some of the movement causing some nationalists/patriots to cede from the World Movement and found truly real nationalist movements. The various peoples - still drenched in nationalism, mistaken for patriotism opposed the revolutionary idea and became enemies of scouting.
2.6. These were still early days when nationalism and patriotism were still confused and some fanatic nationalists filled with hatred for the surrounding countries, created fascism and national socialism - the latter being the worst miscarriage of nationalism - rejecting all internationalism and equality of the human race. Whereever they gained power Scouting (and Guiding) were disbanded, banned an persecuted.
2.7. National Socialism, (abusing the word socialism and what it stood for as the
communists also did all the time) fostered a revenceful nationalsm which led to World War II (1939-1945), racism, the holocaust and the preaching of a doctrine declaring all races, other than the Teutonic one, to be inferior and their peoples to be just fit enough to serve the master race as slaves. Not only the Jews were exterminated, so were the gipsies and millions belonging to the Slavonic peoples such as the Poles, the Ukrainians, the Russians etc. were treated very badly, deported and very often killed starved to death in nazi camps.


5.1. In Western Europe, the peoples of the nazi occupied countries and in paticular the younger ones - involved or not involved in the resistance - were taught the lesson that nationalism was a danger and one of the enemies of the human race. It, throughout history, not only having caused many wars but also having given birth to national-socialism and fascism. So during those dark years the understanding grew gradually that nationalism was no longer to be tolerated after the war and that it should be abandonned in order to prevent that the European nations from ever going to war again.
5.2. WW II over and done with in the West Europan countries was founded the European Federalists Movement, aiming at the creation of a Federal or United Europe in which wars between the nations would never be possible again and nationalists would never be given the chance again to mislead the people and lead them to slaughter and disaster omnce more.
5.3. The Federalists European flag and symbol was the Green Capital E on a white field. Around this Flag rallied thousands of West European youngsters and others, including Germans, who - despite what had happened during the nazi-era - were made welcome and were accepted as equal partners, and more important, also as victims of overdone nationalism.
5.4. Scouting, being a world movement and non-politcal was not involved in this new Federalism but thousands of scouts and guides were - privately - also members of the Federalist Movement, whose ideals - such as the equality and brotherhood of men and all peoples being equal, were very much the same as what the World Brotherhoods of Guiding and Scouting taught.
5.5. The 6th World Jamboree, Jamboree de la Paix - Jamboree of Peace, at Moisson in France in summer 1947 became a great incentive for the World Brotherhood and the aversion to nationalism. Many WestEuropean scouts, on their shirts, next to their national flag badge, also wore the European E strip badge. Hands across the borders for a better understanding, the prevention of nationalism and war.
5.6. The European Federalist movement grew larger and larger in all West European countries. European institutions were founded, viz the European Economic Community, the Coal and Steel Community. Nationalism either disappeared, faded away, lost importance and was replaced a longing for Peace and an United Europe. Patriotism meaning affection, love and liking for ones place of birth was at last separated from nationalism. National frontiers faded away too and though many, many difficulties had to be overcome in the end, after many years, it lead to the European Union and the introduction of the Euro.
5.7. The European Union is still not perfect, far from it and much will still to have to be done. It certainly is not what the original European Federalists had in mind. But hopefully in another 50 years the men and women won't know any better and will be puzzled how it was possible that in the previous century nationalism and racism held humanity in such a terrible and disastrous grip. .

11) The YMCA (Young Men Christian Association) and the YWCA (Young Women Christian Assocation) of British origin both embraced scouting and guiding and within its system many groups were founded. In some countries these groups joined immediately the NSOs, whereas in other countries they - at first had separate movements which later joined the NSOs and thus WAGGGS and/or WOSM. In particular in the Scandinavian and the Baltic countries the YMCA and the YWCA were very active in scouting and guiding.