Werner Hasselblatt on Cultural Autonomy: A Forgotten Manuscript

Jörg Hackmann (University of Szczecin, Poland)

During the years Werner Hasselblatt spent in Estonia, while pushing the well known project of cultural autonomy for Estonia’s national minorities he was also working on an accompanying book project.  It would seem that the manuscript remained unfinished in Estonia, and Hasselblatt headed for Berlin in 1931 to take up new responsibilities in Germany as secretary of the association of German national groups in Europe.  The manuscript was rediscovered only in the 1990s.  Although the text was far from finished, it offers an opportunity to examine Hasselblatt’s notion of cultural autonomy first against the background of Baltic German politics in Estonia, and second with regard to Hasselblatt’s own shift towards Nazi minority and nationality politics after 1933.  This paper gives a critical assessment of the manuscript and of the Baltic German discourse on cultural autonomy.

Keyword: Jorg

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