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 Lennart Meri

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Lennart Meri

  • Birth 29 Mar 1929 Tallinn, Tallinna linn, Harjumaa, Estonia
  • Death 14 Mar 2006 Tallinn, Tallinna linn, Harjumaa, Estonia
  • Burial Tallinn, Tallinna linn, Harjumaa, Estonia
  • Plot vana osa, Kuulsuste küngas, 37
  • GPS
  • Memorial ID 13620863

Estonian President. The second President of modern Estonia and considered the Father of Estonian independence, he led the movement to grant Estonia its independence when the USSR broke up in 1991. Born in Tallinn, Estonia, then a newly independent republic following the end of World War I, he was educated in four different countries and learned to speak in five languages. In June 1940, the Soviet Union invaded Estonia, and the next year, he and his family were deported to Siberia. The family survived, and managed to return to Estonia just after World War II, and in 1953, he graduated cum laude from the University of Tartu, majoring in history and languages. Meri became a writer and dramatist for the Vanemuine, the oldest theater in Estonia, and later, a filmmaker. In the mid-1970s, he had joined the independence movement, and quickly became one of its underground leaders. Meri's best known book is "Silver White" (1976), which reconstructs the history of Estonia and the Baltic Sea Region, tying in Estonians with Finland and its people through the similiarities in their two languages. In 1988, he founded the non-governmental Estonian Institute, to promote cultural contacts with the West. Following the Soviet Union's collapse in 1990, he was appointed Foreign Minister, in which he developed an open channel to the West, and began making ties to Western Europe and the United States. On October 6, 1992, he was elected to be Estonia's second democratically elected President, serving two terms, from 1992 to 2001. During his tenure, he sought both closer ties to the West and reconciliation with the former Soviet Union.

Bio by: Kit and Morgan Benson





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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 15 Mar 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 13620863
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Lennart Meri (29 Mar 1929–14 Mar 2006), Find A Grave Memorial no. 13620863, citing Metsakalmistu Cemetery, Tallinn, Tallinna linn, Harjumaa, Estonia ; Maintained by Find A Grave .