The Baltic Germans ( _de. Deutschbalten, or "Baltendeutsche") were mostly ethnically German inhabitants of the eastern shore of the
Baltic Sea, which today form the countries of Estoniaand Latvia. They formed, the social, commercial, political and cultural norm in that region for several hundreds of years. Some of them also took high positions in the military and civilian life of the Russian Empire, particulary in Saint Petersburg. Danesbegan arriving in the Baltic territories just prior to the Northern Crusadesin the 12th and 13th centuries, followed almost universally by Germans, both colonists ("see Ostsiedlung") and crusaders. [ Christiansen, Eric, "The Northern Crusades - The Baltic and the Catholic Frontier 1100 - 1525, 1980, ISBN 0-333-26243-3] After the Livonian Crusades they quickly came to control all the administrations of government, politics, economics, education and culture of these areas for over 700 years until 1918, despite remaining a minority ethnic group. Whilst the vast majority of urban lands were colonised by traders, ruralestates were soon formed by crusaders and their descendants. Examples of the latter are the crusader castle at Kokenhusenin Livonia, and Schloss Doblen(ruinous by the 19th century when a new country house, 'Villa Todleben', was constructed) and the mansion of 'Postenden', both in Courland. With the decline of Latin, German quickly became the language of all official documents, commerce and government business for hundreds of years until 1919.
Despite being politically subordinate to the rule of the monarchs of
Swedish empireuntil 1710, and the tsars of the Russian Empireuntil 1917, both successive ruling kingdoms guaranteed the continuation of Baltic Germans' special class privileges and administration rights when they incorporated the provinces into their respective empires.
Ethnic Estonians and Latvians in the Baltics, who always formed the majority of the population, in contrast to the Baltic Germans, had restricted rights and privileges and resided mostly in rural areas as
serfs, tradesmen, or as servants in urban homes. This was in keeping with the social scheme of things in Imperial Russia, and lasted well into the 19th century when emancipation brought increased political rights and freedoms.
The Baltic Germans' effective rule and class privileges came to the end with the demise of the Russian Empire (due to the
Bolshevik revolutionof October 1917) and the independence of Estonia and Latvia in 1918-1919. After 1919, many Baltic Germans felt obliged to depart for Germany, which was as foreign to them as any other country, bar the language they spoke. Some stayed as ordinary citizens in the newly formed independent countries. [ Hiden, John, "The Baltic States and Weimar Ostpolitik", Cambridge UniversityPress, 1987, ISBN 0-521-32037-2]
Their history and presence in the Baltics came to an abrupt end in late 1939 following the signing of the
Molotov-Ribbentrop Pactand the subsequent Nazi-Soviet population transferswhen practically all the Baltic Germans were resettled by the German Government into areas Germany had invaded in western Poland.
The present day descendants of the Baltic Germans can be found all over the world, with the largest groups being in Germany and Canada.
It should be noted that in the course of their 700 year history, Baltic German families often had not only ethnic German roots, but also mixed with peoples of non-German origin, such as native Estonians, Livonians and Latvians, as well as with Danes, Swedes, Scots, Poles and Dutch.
In those cases where intermarriage occurred, the other ethnic group usually assimilated into the German culture, adopted the German language and customs which often included "Germanizing" their names and surnames. They were then considered Baltic Germans as well. (see also:
Territories and citizenship
In Baltic German settlement patterns, the Baltic area consisted of the following territories:
*"Estland" ( _la. Estonia) (Estonian: Eesti), roughly the northern half of present-day Estonia; major towns: "Reval" (
Tallinn), "Narva" ( Narva), "Wesenberg" ( Rakvere), "Weissenstein" ( Paide), "Hapsal" ( Haapsalu).
Livland" (Latin: Livonia) (Estonian: Liivimaa) (Latvian: Vidzeme), roughly the southern half of present-day Estonia and the northern and eastern part of today's Latvia; major towns: Riga, "Wenden" ( Cesis), "Wolmar" ( Valmiera), "Walk" ( Valga), "Dorpat" ( Tartu), "Pernau" ( Pärnu), "Fellin" ( Viljandi).
Kurland" (Latin: Curonia, also English: Courland) (Estonian: Kuramaa) (Latvian: Kurzeme), roughly the western half of present-day Latvia; major towns: "Mitau" ( Jelgava), "Windau" ( Ventspils), "Libau" ( Liepāja).
*"Ösel" (the island of Saaremaa) belonging to present-day Estonia; major town: "Arensburg" (
Incorrectly, ethnic Germans from
East Prussiaare sometimes considered Baltic German for reasons of cultural, linguistic, and historical affinities. However, the Germans of East Prussia held Prussian, and after 1871, German citizenshipbecause the territory they lived in was part of Prussia. From 1871 onwards, East Prussia became part of the newly formed unified German state, also known as the German Reich.
However, the Baltic Germans held citizenship of the
Russian Empireuntil 1918 and Estonian or Latvian citizenship from 1918-1939.
Ethnic Germansbegan to settle in what are now Baltic countriesin the 12th century when traders and missionaries began to visit the coastal lands inhabited by tribes who spoke Finnicand Baltic languages. Systematic settlement started during the Northern Crusades. Moving in the wake of German merchants, a monk named Meinhard had landed at the mouth of the Daugava riverin present-day Latvia in 1180. In 1184, the First Christian church was built in Livonianvillage of Uexkyll, and in 1186, Meinhard consecrated as the first Bishop of Uexküll. The Pope proclaimed a crusade against the Baltic heathensin 1193 and a crusading expedition led by Meinhard's successor, Bishop Berthold of Hanover, landed in Livonia. In 1196, the New Bishop of Uexküll, Berthold assembled the first crusading army in the Baltics. In 1199, Albert of Buxhoevedenwas appointed by the Archbishop of Bremento Christianise the Baltic countries. To ensure a permanent military presence, the Livonian Brothers of the Swordwere founded in 1202. Thirty years later, the conquest and formal Christianisationof present-day Estoniaand northern Latviawas complete. [The Chronicle of Henry of Livonia, translated and edited by James A. Brundage, Columbia University, 1961; revised 2003; 288 pages ISBN 0231128886] At the same time, German-speaking merchants and craftsmen constituted the majority of the quickly growing urban population in the area. The Livonian Sword Brothers became part of the Teutonic Orderin 1236. For 200 years, the knights on the shores of the eastern Baltic had support from the Holy Roman Empire.
As the Teutonic Knights were weakened during the 15th century through wars with
Polandand Lithuania, the Livonian branch in the north began to pursue its own policies. When the Prussian branch of the Order secularized in 1525 and became the Duchy of Prussia, the Livonian Order remained independent, although surrounded by aggressive neighbors. In 1558, Russia's invasion of Livonia began the Livonian Warbetween Russia, Poland, Sweden, and Denmarkwhich lasted for 20 years. In the course of the war, the state was divided between Denmark (which took Ösel), Sweden (which took Estonia), Poland (which took Livland), and the Protestantstate of Courland, a fief of Poland.
Courland existed as a country dominated by German-speakers for over 200 years, while Livland was once again split. Sweden controlled Estonia between 1561 and 1710 and Livland between 1621 and 1710, having signed an agreement not to undermine Baltic German autonomy. The German-language Universität Dorpat, the foundation of which was supported by King Gustav II Adolf of Sweden, remained the only one in the former Livonian territory for centuries and became the intellectual focus of the Baltic Germans.
Russian control 1710-1917
Between 1710 and 1795, following Russia's success in the
Great Northern Warand the Partitions of Poland, the areas inhabited by Baltic Germans became Baltic governoratesof Imperial Russia. However, the Baltic provinces remained dominated and self-governed by the local German-speaking aristocracywhich included the descendants of the former knights as well as some more recent immigrants from the German principalities to the west. Most of the professional classes in the region, the "literati", were German-speakers. Government, however, was in the hands of the Knighthood of each province, in which only members of the matriculated nobilityheld membership.
was guaranteed by the various rulers, especially during Russian times. Germans, other than the estate-owners, mainly settled in the cities, such as
Riga, "Reval", "Dorpat", and ("Pernau"). As late as the mid-19th century the population of many of these municipalities still had a German majority, with an Estonian or Latvian minority. By 1867 Riga's population was 42.9% German. [ [http://www.history-museum.lv/english/pages/par-mums/muzeja-vesture.php National History Museum of Latvia] ]
The region's indigenous rural population enjoyed fewer rights under the Baltic German nobility compared to the farmers in Germany, Sweden, or Poland.
Serfdomwas officially abolished in the Baltic provinces in the beginning of 19th century, about half a century earlier than in Russia proper. There was less tension between the German speakers and indigenous urban residents.
cultural autonomyceased in the 1880s, when Russificationreplaced German administration and schooling with the usage of the Russian language. The Revolution of 1905led to attacks against the Baltic German landowners, the burning of manors, and the killing and torture of members of the nobility, even if usually not by the local inhabitants but by outside revolutionary bands. Owing to their German heritage, during World War IBaltic Germans were sometimes seen as the enemy by Russians, yet also as traitors by the German Empireif they remained loyal to Russia. As a result of the Russian Revolution of 1917and the subsequent Russian Civil War, many Baltic Germans fled to Germany. Baltic German outlying estates were frequent targets of local Bolsheviks (as portrayed in the film, "Coup de Grace") and the combination of local Bolsheviks and extreme nationalists following independence brought about land nationalisations and a displacement of Baltic Germans from positions of authority. As the Russian Civil War weakened the Russian Empire, the Baltic countries won the independence war against both the Russian army and the Baltic Germans of the United Baltic DuchyFact|date=November 2007, making the former Baltic German elite lose their status and influence.
Independent Baltic states 1918-1940
After the Russian surrender at the
Treaty of Brest-Litovskin 1917, the German Empireorganised the occupied territories into the Ober Ost. In 1918, it created the United Baltic Duchy, a short-lived client state dominated by the Baltic Germans.
When the republics of
Estoniaand Latviawere founded in 1918-19, the Baltic German estate owners were largely expropriated in a land reform, although the Germans were given considerable cultural autonomy.
During the time of the
Russian civil warfrom 1917 to 1921, many young Baltic Germans signed voluntarily into the newly formed Estonian and Latvian armies to help secure the independence of these countries from Russia. These Baltic German military units became known as the "Baltenregiment". The State archives of Estonia and Latvia keep individual military records of each person who fought in this war.
Estonia's Baltic German population was smaller, so as Estonians continued to fill professional positions such as law and medicine, there was less of a leadership role for the Baltic Germans. Many Baltic Germans began to leave during the interwar era. No precise numbers are available for the emigration during this period.
In Latvia, Baltic Germans remained the most politically active and organized ethnic group, although they lost some influence after
Karlis Ulmanis's coup in 1934.
Resettlement of all Baltic Germans 1939-1944
As a result of the secret agreements of the
Molotov-Ribbentrop Pactbetween Nazi Germanyand the Soviet Unionin 1939, Estonia and Latvia were assigned to the "Soviet sphere of influence". Hitlergave Stalinfree rein over these countries and he made immediate use of this to set up Soviet military bases in Estonia and Latvia in late 1939. This was in preparation of an all-out invasion of the Baltics by the Soviet Unionin the summer of 1940. One of the main conditions posed by Hitler to Stalin in August of 1939 was the prior transfer of all ethnic Germans living in Estonia and Latvia to areas under German military control. These became known as the Nazi-Soviet population transfers.
Several small treaties were signed with Estonia and Latvia in 1939 and 1940 concerning the emigration of Baltic Germans and the liquidation of their educational, cultural, and religious institutions. Nazi Germany succeeded in getting the Baltic Germans to abandon their homes and homeland in haste, disposing of their belongings at cut-rate prices.
*Some 13,700 Baltic Germans were resettled from Estonia by early 1940.
*Around 51,000 Baltic Germans were resettled from Latvia by early 1940.
The Estonian and Latvian governments each published a book for the peroid covering the population transfers from 1939 to early 1940. Both books contained an alphabetical list of the names of each Baltic German adult that was resettled together with their birthdate, birthplace and last address in the Baltics. These books can be found in various European libraries and their titles are:
*"Eestist saksamaale ümberasunute nimestik" : "Verzeichnis der aus Estland nach Deutschland Umgesiedelten", Oskar Angelus, Tallinn 1939
*"Izceļojušo vācu tautības pilsoņu saraksts" : "The list of resettled citizens of German ethnicity". 1940
Almost all the Baltic Germans were resettled by ships from the port cities of Estonia and Latvia and to the Wartheland (in these times sometimes also called "
Warthegau") and other Polish areas annexed by Nazi Germany. (The action was called "Umsiedlung"). The "new" homes they were given to live in had mostly been owned and inhabited by Polish citizens a few months earlier who were deported eastwards when Nazi Germany invaded Poland.
*Spring 1941 resettlement
In early 1941, the Nazi German government arranged another resettlement for all those who had refused to leave in 1939 or 1940. This time around no compensation was offered for any property or belongings left behind and this group of resettlers were treated with intense suspicion or considered traitors because they had refused Hitler's first call to leave the Baltics in 1939 and 1940. Unknown to the general public, the
Nazi invasion of the Soviet Unionwas only 2 to 4 months away and this was Hitler's last chance to transfer these people in peacetime conditions. The action was called the "Nachumsiedlung".
By this time, the remaining Baltic Germans in Estonia and Latvia found themselves in a vastly different situation than in 1939. Their countries were now part of the Soviet Union and intense pressure and intimidation had been put on anyone with a position of privilege or wealth before 1939. Mass arrests and some killings had taken place. Fearing a worsening of the situation, the vast majority of the remaining Baltic Germans decided to leave.
*About 7,000 resettled from Estonia by late March 1941
*Approximately 10,500 resettled from Latvia by late March 1941
No books were published listing those who resettled in 1941, however the present day archives of Estonia and Latvia still have the lists of all those who left in this year.
A very small minority of Baltic Germans refused again to be resettled and remained in the Baltics past March 1941.
*Some fell victim to the
Soviet deportationsto Siberian gulags from the Baltics in early June 1940. The names and data those deported from Estonia from 1941 to 1953 have been published in books. Details are kept at the Estonian occupation museum.
*Others fled with the retreating German army in 1944. No precise numbers or lists are available for those who fled.
*A tiny number remained in the Baltics after 1944, but these were subject to widespread discrimination (and possible deportation to Siberia until 1953) by the Soviet authorities ruling Estonia and Latvia. As a result of this, many hid or lied about their Baltic German origins. Most of these Baltic Germans who stayed past 1944 were children of mixed ethnic marriages or themselves married to ethnic Estonians, Latvians or Russians.
"Second resettlement" 1945
The Soviet Union's advance into Poland and Germany in late 1944 and early 1945 resulted in the Baltic Germans being evacuated by the German authorities (or simply fleeing) from their "new homes" (in which Hitler had resettled them in 1939) to areas even further in the west to escape the advancing
In stark contrast to the resettlements in 1939-1941, this time around the evacuation in most of the areas was delayed until the last moment, when it was too late to conduct it in an orderly fashion and practically all of them had to leave most of their belongings behind.
Seeing as they had only been living in these "new" homes for only about 5 years, this was almost seen as a "second forced resettlement" for them, albeit under different circumstances. Fact|date=November 2007
Many Baltic Germans were onboard the "
KdF Ship Wilhelm Gustloff" when it was sunk by a Soviet submarine on January 30, 1945, in the worst loss of life from a single vessel in maritime history. Additional Baltic Germans died during the sinking of the " SS General von Steuben" on February 10, 1945.
Two books listing the names and personal data of all Baltic Germans who died as a result of the resettlements and wartime conditions between 1939 and 1947 have been published by the Baltic German genealogical society. These are:
*Deutsch-baltisches Gedenkbuch. Unsere Toten der Jahre 1939-1947 by Karin von Borbély, Darmstadt, 1991
*Nachtrag zum Deutsch-baltisches Gedenkbuch by Karin von Borbély, Darmstadt, 1995
Later, with Estonia and Latvia falling under Soviet rule after 1944, the Baltic Germans never came to live in the Baltics again.Fact|date=November 2007
Most of them settled in
West Germany, some ended up in East Germanyand a significant minority emigrated to Canadastarting in 1948 with the support of Canadian Governor General Lord Viscount of Tunis who had known many Baltic Germans during his time that he lead the Baltic German Landeswehr.
Destruction of cultural heritage in the Baltics 1945-1989
During the 50 year long
occupation of the baltic states, Soviet Russian authorities governing the Estonian SSRand the Latvian SSR, politically empowered by their victory in World War II, were keen to erase any traces of ethnic German rule in past centuries.Fact|date=April 2008 Numerous statues, monuments, structures or landmarks with German writing were destroyed or altered.Fact|date=April 2008
The largest Baltic German cemeteries in Estonia,
Kopli cemeteryand Moigu cemetery, both standing since 1774, were completely destroyed by Soviet authorities. The great cemetery of Riga, largest burial ground of Baltic Germans in Latvia standing since 1773, also had the vast majority of its graves destroyed by Soviet authorities.
1989 to present
The present day governments of Estonia and Latvia, who regained their independence in 1991, generally take a positive, or sometimes neutral, view towards the contributions of the Baltic Germans in the development of their cities and countries throughout their history. An occasional exception to this comes with some criticism in relation to the large landowners, who controlled most of the rural areas of the Baltics, and the ethnic Estonians and Latvians, until 1918.
After Estonia regained independence from the
Soviet Unionon August 20 1991, the exiled association of the German Baltic nobility sent an official message to the president-to-be Lennart Merithat no member of the association would claim proprietary rights to their former Estonian lands. This, and the fact that the first German ambassadors to Estoniaand Latviawere both Baltic Germans, helped to further reconcile the Baltic Germans with these two countries.
Cooperation between Baltic German societies and the governments of Estonia and Latvia has made the restoration of many small Baltic German plaques and landmarks possible, such as monuments to those who fought in the 1918-1920 War of Independence.
Since 1989, many old-age Baltic Germans, or their descendants, have taken holidays to Estonia and Latvia to look for traces of their own past, their ancestral homes, and their family histories.
In some cases, this can be an emotional experience, in particular for surviving older generations, who lived in the Baltics prior to 1945. Often this is the first time they have had the chance to see their birthplaces and childhood homes in over 50 years.
Notable Baltic Germans
Baltic Germans played leading roles in the society of what are now Estonia and Latvia throughout most of the period from 13th to mid-20th century, with many of them becoming noted scientists or explorers. A number of Baltic Germans served as ranking generals in the Russian Imperial army and navy. Several Baltic Germans sided with the Whites during the
Russian Civil War.
* The Burchard (Burchart) family, owners and managers of the
Raeapteekin Tallinn, one of the oldest pharmacies in Europe
Patriarch Alexius II, born Alexei Ridiger ("von Rüdiger")
Friedrich Amelung, chess master
Karl Ernst von Baer, biologist and a founding father of embryology
Michael Andreas Barclay de Tolly, field marshal and Minister of War (Russia)
Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen, admiral and naval explorer (Russia), discoverer of Antarctica
Alexander von Benckendorff, general and statesman (Russia)
Konstantin von Benckendorff, general and diplomat (Russia)
Werner Bergengruen, writer
August Johann Gottfried Bielenstein, linguist, folklorist, ethnographer, and theologian
Emil Bretschneider, Russian legation physcian, sinologist.
Johann Christoph Brotze, pedagogue and ethnographer
Friedrich Georg von Bunge
Georg Dehio, art historian
*Kaspar von Dönhoff, Imperial Reichsfürst and Polish Diplomat
Franz Burchard Dörbeck, artist, caricaturist
Oskar von Ekesparre
Heinz Erhardt, comedian, musician, entertainer and actor
Johann Friedrich von Eschscholtz, botanist and naturalist
Gregor von Helmersen, geologist
Oskar Hoffmann, painter
George Hoyningen-Huene, fashion photographer
Maksimas Katche(Max Kattchée), Russian and Lithuanian military officer
Dennis Keller, (Denis Immanuel Keller), German poet
Woldemar Kernig, internist, neurologist
Alexander Keyserling, geologist, paleontologist
Eduard von Keyserling, writer
*Hermann Alexander Graf Keyserling, philosopher
Lionel Kieseritzky, chess master
Otto von Kotzebue, naval officer and explorer (Russia)
Adam Johann von Krusenstern, admiral and naval explorer (Russia)
Ernst Gideon Freiherr von Laudon, field marshal and commander-in-chief of the armed forces (Austria)
Heinrich Lenz, physicist
Werner Zoege von Manteuffel, a surgeon, a pioneer of sterilization in the field of surgery
Garlieb Merkel, writer, Estophile and Lettophile
*Alexander Theodor von Middendorff a famous zoologist and explorer
*Eugene Miller, general and counterrevolutionary (Russia)
*Burkhardt Christoph von Münnich, a Russian field marshal and famous politician
Vladimir Dmitrievich Nabokov, politician, son of a Russian and a Baltic German noblewoman
Carl Timoleon von Neff, a world-famous portrait painter
Alexander von Oettingen, theologian
Wilhelm Ostwald, chemist
Johann Patkul, nobleman of Livonia
*Adolf Konstantin Jakob Baron Pilar von Pilchau, a politician, land marschal of Livonia/Livland, regent of the United Baltic Duchy (1918)
Alexander Pilar von Pilchau, painter
Wolter von Plettenberg, Master of the Livonian Order
Georg Wilhelm Richmann, physicist
Alfred Rosenberg, Naziparty ideologist
Max Erwin von Scheubner-Richter, early Naziparty leader, inspired the Beer Hall Putschof 1923 in Munich
Marie SeebachGerman actress
Thomas Johann Seebeck, physicist
Jacob Sievers, statesman and reformer
Heinrich Freiherr von Stackelberg, economist
Friedrich Georg Wilhelm von Struve, astronomer
Inge E. M. Thiel, chemist
Frank Thiess, writer
Eduard von Toll, Russian famous Arctic geologist and scientist
Jakob von Uexküll, biologist, semiotician
Roman von Ungern-Sternberg, commander of White Russian forces
Siegfried von Vegesack, writer
*Edgar von Wahl, creator of
Peter P. von Weymarn, chemist in colloid science ("von Weimarn law")
Gero von Wilpert, writer
Ferdinand von Wrangel, admiral and naval explorer (Russia)
*Peter von Wrangel,
Lieutenant General, one of the leaders in White movementin Southern Russia, known there as Pyotr Nikolayevich Wrangel
Friedrich Zander, rocketry engineer and space flight pioneer
Walter Zappinventor of the Minoxsubminiature "spy" camera
History of Germans in Russia and the Soviet Union
Nazi-Soviet population transfers
Great Cemetery (Riga)
* [http://www.z-g-v.de/english/aktuelles/?id=56#deutschbalt Short history of Baltic Germans from Berlin centre against expulsions]
* [http://www.einst.ee/factsheets/factsheets_uus_kuju/baltic_germans.htm Detailed history of the Baltic Germans in Estonia]
* [http://www.li.lv/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=78&lang=en Detailed history of the Baltic Germans in Latvia]
*European Population Transfers, 1939-1945 by Joseph B. Schechtman
*"Eestist saksamaale ümberasunute nimestik" : "Verzeichnis der aus Estland nach Deutschland Umgesiedelten", Oskar Angelus, Tallinn 1939
*"Izceļojušo vācu tautības pilsoņu saraksts" : "The list of resettled citizens of German ethnicity". 1940
* [http://vip.latnet.lv/lpra/kangeris.htm THE "REPATRIATION" OF THE BALTIC GERMANS AFTER THE SIGNING OF THE PACTS]
*International Affairs: The Return of the Baltic Germans, E. C. Helmreich, The American Political Science Review, Vol. 36, No. 4 (Aug., 1942), pp. 711-716
*Helmreich E.C. (1942) [http://www.jstor.org/view/00030554/di960830/96p01493/0 The return of the Baltic Germans] . "
The American Political Science Review" 36.4, 711-716.
*Whelan, Heide W. (1999). "Adapting to Modernity: Family, Caste and Capitalism among the Baltic German Nobility". Ostmitteleuropa in Vergangenheit und Gegenwart, vol. 22. Cologne: Böhlau Verlag, 1999. ISBN 3412101982
*Hiden, John W. (1970). [http://www.jstor.org/view/0018246x/di013388/01p02712/0 The Baltic Germans and German policy towards Latvia after 1918] . "
The Historical Journal" 13.2, 295-317.
*Hiden, John (1987). "The Baltic States and Weimar Ostpolitik". Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521893259
*Anders Henrikkson (1983). "The Tsar's Loyal Germans. The Riga Community: Social Change and the Nationality Question, 1855-1905". Boulder, CO: East European Monographs. ISBN 0880330201
* Mikko Ketola (2000). "The Nationality Question in the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1918–1939". Helsinki: Publications of the Finnish Society of Church History. ISBN 9525031179
* [http://www.deutschbalten.de/daten1.htm A Baltic German site.]
* [http://www.baltische-ritterschaften.de/ The association of German Baltic Nobility] (rulers of Estland, Livland and Kurland between 1252 and 1918) - also see [http://www.baltische-ritterschaften.de/Englische%20Version/index-engl.htm English language version]
* [http://www.mois.ee/english Estonian Manors Portal] the English version introduces 438 well-preserved manors historically owned by the Baltic Germans (Baltic nobility)
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
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