“There seemed to be no time for sitting down and writing books,” said the late Juhan Simonson of his generation of Estonian freedom fighters. He was talking about a long-awaited documentary volume from the Estonian American National Council (EANC).
Now seems like the time. “Estonian Americans: Exiles in a Land of Promise” is due for publication in late 2016. Covering the fifty years between 1945 until 1995, at more than 500 pages, it will be part documentary, part reference, and part narrative.
It will tell the story of the Estonian Americans’ “Greatest Generation,” those who came after World War II from Europe’s displaced persons camps with a passion to right the injustice of Estonia’s occupation. Editor for the volume is Priit Vesilind, retired Senior Writer and editor at National Geographic magazine.
Vesilind has been compiling manuscripts collected by previous editors Enn Koiva and Marju Rink-Abel, and written by a host of regional correspondents from throughout the Estonian-American community since 1995.
He’s now searching for photographs and illustrations to round out the coverage.
According to Vesilind, he still needs old photo material from these geographical areas and topics: Boston, Washington DC, Buffalo, Fresno, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Florida, Indianapolis, church life, charities, fraternities and sororities, and women’s organizations.
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