Sound recording of final speech of Estonia's 1st president found ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Konstantin Päts
Konstantin Päts Source: (ERR Archive)

A sound recording of the last public speech of Estonia's first president Konstantin Päts dating back to June 21, 1940 was found in a film and sound collection given to the National Archives by the Estonian National Congress of Sweden.

"A recording of the speech of Konstantin Päts and the June 21 insurgents is the only sound recording of these events that has survived," the National Archives said on Thursday. "On the recording, which was considered perished, it can be heard that the president tried to enter into a dialogue with the crowd who had gathered in Kadriorg, but it failed as a result of forceful interjections and he had to leave the balcony," it was said in the press release.

So far information about what happened on June 21, 1940 had only been gathered from newspapers and inconsistent recollections written down later. The recording which was made by the public broadcaster was considered hopelessly lost several decades ago.

There are other interesting findings in the collection, including film recordings of president Päts and the life of Estonian refugees in Sweden, the National Archives said.

The author of many of these films and sound recordings is Harald Perten. The findings will be presented on February 4 at 15:30 at the cinema of the Tallinn University.

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