Lennart Meri
President of Estonia
Lennart Meri
Lennart Georg Meri was a writer, film director and statesman who served as the second President of Estonia from 1992 to 2001. Meri was a leader of the Estonian independence movement.
Biography
Lennart Meri's personal information overview.
{{personal_detail.supertitle}}
{{personal_detail.title}}
{{personal_detail.title}}
Photo Albums
Popular photos of Lennart Meri
Relationships
View family, career and love interests for Lennart Meri
News
News abour Lennart Meri from around the web
Soviet collapse or Germanic reform?
The Economist - over 4 years
THE latest issue of Diplomaatia, the Estonian foreign-affairs journal, published to coincide with the annual Lennart Meri conference in Tallinn earlier this month, is filled with great insight on the European crisis. My contribution on the euro's turmoil appears in the next post. But I want to draw readers' attention to other articles that offer some good perspective. Ivan Krastev, head of the Centre for Liberal Strategies, a Bulgarian think-tank, compares and contrasts the collapse of the Soviet Union with the woes of the European Union. He warns European leaders: The Soviet collapse teaches us that just because the economic costs of disintegration would be very high, this is not a reason for it not to happen. To believe that the EU cannot disintegrate simply because it would be too costly offers only weak reassurance that the Union will continue to be stable. Paradoxically, the belief that the Union cannot disintegrate, backed by the economists and shared by Europe's politi ...
Article Link:
The Economist article
5th Lennart Meri Conference Discusses Future of Capitalism
ERR News - almost 5 years
Today is the opening of the fifth annual Lennart Meri Conference in Tallinn, with foreign and defense ministers, economists and foreign policy analysts among guests.
Article Link:
ERR News article
Maimu Berg: ootan presidendilt empaatiavõimet - Delfi
Google News - over 5 years
Lennart Meri tegi seda ja rahvas meenutab seda siiani.“ Berg leidis, et kui on olemas ametikoht, mis võimaldab teist ametiaega, siis enamasti on esimene ametiaeg sisseelamiseks ja alles teine ametiaeg näitab täpsemini, kellega on tegemist
Article Link:
Google News article
Uudelepp ei usu Ilvese stiilimuutusse teisel ametiajal - Postimees
Google News - over 5 years
«Ma ei usu muutust, sest Toomas Hendrik Ilves on põhiseaduse raamidest kinni pidanud, näiteks Lennart Meri üritas neid piire pidevalt kombata ja võimalusel ka laiendada,» meenutas Uudelepp. «Ei usu, et Toomas Hendrik Ilves oluliselt stiili muudab,»
Article Link:
Google News article
Estonia and Russia, 20 Years on: Stuck in History - ERR News
Google News - over 5 years
After the restoration of independence, Estonia embraced the Tartu peace treaty of 1920 as its "birth certificate," as the late Lennart Meri once termed it, and the idea of legal continuation of the Republic during the Soviet occupation has become an
Article Link:
Google News article
Helsingin Sanomat: Soome kaalus Lennart Meri maalt väljasaatmist - Delfi
Google News - over 5 years
Soome ajaleht Helsingin Sanomat avaldas pikema kirjutise Nõukogude Liidu lagunemisest ja Eesti taasiseseisvumisest, muuhulgas kirjutab leht, et Soome välisministeerium oli Lennart Meri toonasest Tuglase Seltsi peetud kõnest sedavõrd jahmunud,
Article Link:
Google News article
Tarand Champions Direct Presidential Elections - ERR News
Google News - over 5 years
Despite the support of the former presidents Lennart Meri and Arnold Rüütel, the draft was soon shelved, according to Tarand. "No bigger hypocrisy and cheating can be found in the history of Estonia," he said. Despite Tarand's chances of winning the
Article Link:
Google News article
Director of ICDS Resigns Over Fraud - ERR News
Google News - over 5 years
Liik will remain the chief organizer of the Lennart Meri Conference, reported ETV. Liik's resignation came after the alleged misuse of funds by the former office manager of the ICDS. According to initial reports, Leelet Nellis, the office manager of
Article Link:
Google News article
Jakko Väli: Poliitkaksikud Laar ja Savisaar - Delfi
Google News - over 5 years
Lennart Meri joonistab riste taevastele gloobustele, Siim Kallas juhib Euroopat ja Tiit Vähist on saanud Ida-Virumaa arengu garant. Laar ja Savisaar on läbi kahekümne aasta olnud tigedad konkurendid ja kumbki pole kokku hoidnud teise suunas sapi
Article Link:
Google News article
Soomes ilmub augusti lõpus raamat Toomas Hendrik Ilvesest - Delfi
Google News - over 5 years
Uusim tekst on Lennart Meri konverentsi lõpukõne tänavu kevadest ja kõige vanem aastast 1998. Masso sõnul on idee Ilvese tekstidega raamatu avaldamisest soome keeles olnud õhus juba pikemat aega. Esialgse kava kohaselt oleks tõlgitud soome keelde 2006
Article Link:
Google News article
Seven Estonian hostages freed in Lebanon - Baltic Times
Google News - over 5 years
They were met by their loved ones in the VIP area of the Tallinn Lennart Meri Airport and gave a short press conference. The men appeared to be of good health and sound mind. During the press conference in Tallinn Airport it emerged that,
Article Link:
Google News article
AINULT DELFIS: "Harry Männil tundis, et ka tema kuulub president Gerald Fordi ... - Delfi
Google News - over 5 years
Saatuse iroonia seisneb selles, et just Männili isik (tema väidetav natsiminevik) takistas mõniteist aastat hiljem Henry Kissingeril Lennart Meri loodud Balti Strateegiliste ja Rahvusvaheliste Uuringute Instituudi avakonverentsile Tallinna tulemast,
Article Link:
Google News article
Poola õhujõud suurendavad lennuulatust: soetamisel on hävitajate tankerlennukid - Delfi
Google News - over 5 years
President Lennart Meri sõnul Eestile sõbralikuma suurriigi Poola kaitseministeerium teatas kavatsusest soetada hiljemalt kahe aasta jooksul riigi õhujõudude tarbeks kaks tankerlennukit. Neid hakatakse kasutama hävituslennukite F-16 Fighting Falcon
Article Link:
Google News article
Estonia - Address by Foreign Minister Urmas Paet at the 16th Council of the ... - ISRIA (registration)
Google News - over 5 years
Estonia's late president Lennart Meri said: “The Baltic Sea area is not only a geographical concept, but also a mental, cultural, and economic one. /.../ Our economic culture and structure have quickly readjusted themselves to those of our Northern and
Article Link:
Google News article
Alguses ei saa vedama, pärast pidama - Ekspress
Google News - over 5 years
1988–90 tekkis Gustav Naani ja Lennart Meri vahel isegi väike diskussioon teemal, kas eestlaste iive on nii madal Nõukogude võimu tõttu. Naan sellega nõus ei olnud ja viitas, et demograafia on osa üldisematest probleemidest, kui aga valitsema pääsevad
Article Link:
Google News article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Lennart Meri
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2006
    Age 76
    The tumor was found to be malignant and he died in the morning of 14 March 2006, fifteen days before his 77th birthday, after being hospitalized in Tallinn for months.
    More Details Hide Details In a televised national speech, his successor, President Rüütel, said, "In his nine years as head of state, Meri both restored the presidency and built up the Republic of Estonia in the widest sense." Finnish President Tarja Halonen stated, "The Finnish nation lost in Lennart Meri a close and sincere friend and the world, a great statesman who was one of the leading architects of the post-Cold War world." Latvian President Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga said, "the world has lost a great Estonian, a great statesman and a true European." Meri's funeral was attended by (among others) former Swedish premier Carl Bildt In 2009 Tallinn Airport was renamed Lennart Meri Tallinn International Airport.
  • 2005
    Age 75
    Diagnosed with a brain tumor in mid-2005 after experiencing strong headaches, he underwent surgery in August.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1999
    Age 69
    In 1999 he received the highest distinction of the Federation of Expellees (Bund der Vertriebenen).
    More Details Hide Details Lennart Meri was married twice. His second wife Helle Meri (born in 1949) worked as an actress in the Estonian Drama Theatre until 1992. Lennart Meri’s first wife Regina Meri emigrated to Canada in 1987. Lennart Meri is survived by three children: sons Mart Meri (born in 1959) and Kristjan Meri (born in 1966) and daughter Tuule Meri (born in 1985), and four grandchildren. Lennart Meri was chosen the European of the Year in 1998 by French newspaper La Vie.
    In 1999, Meri was once again given the Year's Press Enemy award.
    More Details Hide Details He was a member of Club of Madrid. Lennart Meri was engaged in the work for the human rights of German refugees from Central and Eastern Europe and other victims of ethnic cleansing in Europe, and was a member of the jury of the Franz Werfel Human Rights Award, which was awarded by the Centre Against Expulsions (Zentrum gegen Vertreibungen).
  • 1998
    Age 68
    Interestingly, in 1998, Meri was given the complementary award and titled the Year's Press Friend.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1996
    Age 66
    On 20 September 1996, he was re-elected for a second and final term.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1994
    Age 64
    In 1994, the Estonian Newspaper Association declared Meri the Year's Press Enemy.
    More Details Hide Details This was the first time this award was given; since that, it has been a yearly occurrence.
  • 1992
    Age 62
    Lennart Meri was sworn in as the President on 6 October 1992.
    More Details Hide Details
    After a brief period as Ambassador of Estonia to Finland, on 6 October 1992 he became the 2nd President of the Republic of Estonia.
    More Details Hide Details Meri was the candidate of the Pro Patria Union. Although, on the first ballot, Arnold Rüütel, a former leading communist and Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the Estonian SSR, had led with 42 per cent of the total vote, the final choice for the nomination was made by Parliament, the Riigikogu, which was dominated by the Pro Patria Alliance. During the campaign, some of his opponents tried to bring up questions about Meri's alleged former links with the KGB. However, these allegations did not harm Meri's reputation and public image.
    In 1992, Lennart Meri, together with 9 Baltic Ministers of Foreign Affairs and an EU commissioner, founded the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS) and the EuroFaculty.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1990
    Age 60
    After the first non-communist-style multi-party election in 1990, Meri was appointed to the post of Foreign Minister.
    More Details Hide Details As Minister of Foreign Affairs, Lennart Meri’s first task was to create the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He developed around him a group of well educated young people, many English speaking, in order to establish an open communication channel to the West, and at the same time to represent Estonia more widely on the international scene. He participated in the CSCE Conferences in Copenhagen, New York, Paris, Berlin and Moscow, and the foundation conference of the Council of the Baltic Sea Countries. He also had several meetings with American and European Heads of State and Foreign Ministers, and was the first Eastern European guest to give a presentation at NATO Headquarters in Brussels.
  • FIFTIES
  • 1988
    Age 58
    In 1988, Meri became a founding member of the Estonian Popular Front, which cooperated with its counterparts in Latvia and Lithuania.
    More Details Hide Details
    Meri founded the non-governmental Estonian Institute (Eesti Instituut) in 1988 to promote cultural contacts with the West and to send Estonian students to study abroad.
    More Details Hide Details Most recently Meri appeared in the documentary film The Singing Revolution as an interviewee discussing the fall of the Soviet Union. After more than twenty years of refusals, the Soviet administration finally gave permission for Lennart Meri to travel beyond the Iron Curtain in the late 1970s, and Meri persistently used the opportunities open to him in Finland to remind the free world of the existence of Estonia. He established close relationships with politicians, journalists and Estonians who had fled from the occupation. He was the first Estonian to publicize abroad the protests against the Soviet plan of mining phosphorite in Estonia (known as the Phosphorite War), which would have rendered a portion of the country uninhabitable. In Estonia, environmental protests soon grew into a general revolt against Soviet rule: "the Singing Revolution", which was led by Estonian intellectuals. Lennart Meri’s speech Do Estonians Have Hope focused on the existential problems of the nation and had strong repercussions abroad.
  • FORTIES
  • 1976
    Age 46
    Meri's best known work is perhaps Hõbevalge, which translates into Silver White and was published in 1976.
    More Details Hide Details It reconstructs the history of Estonia and the Baltic Sea region. The Estonian language belongs to the Finnic group of the Uralic languages and Estonian is closely related to Finnish and distantly related to Hungarian. As in his other works, Meri combines documentary sources and scientific research with his imagination. "If geography is prose, maps are iconography," Meri writes. Hõbevalge is based on a wide-ranging ancient seafaring sources, and carefully unveils the secret of the legendary Ultima Thule. The name was given in classical times to the most northerly land, reputedly six days' voyage from Britain. Several alternative places for its location have been suggested, among them the Shetland Islands, Iceland, and Norway. According to Meri, it is possible that Thule derives from the ancient Estonian folk poetry, which depicts the birth of the Kaali crater lake in Saaremaa. In the essay Tacituse tahtel (2000), Meri examined ancient contacts between Estonia and the Roman empire and notes that furs, amber, and especially Livonian kiln-dried, disease-free grain may have been Estonia's biggest contribution to the common culture of Europe – in lean years, it provided seed grain for Europe.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1964
    Age 34
    Tulemägede Maale, created in 1964, which is translated as To the Land of Fiery Mountains, chronicled Meri's journey to Kamchatka Peninsula in the 1960s.
    More Details Hide Details Other members of his expedition group included well known scientists Harry Ling, Kaarel Orviku, Erast Parmasto, Ants Raik, Anto Raukas, Hans Trass, the artist Kalju Polli, and filmmaker Hans Roosipuu. "Traveling is the only passion that doesn't need to feel shy in front of intellect," wrote Meri. Urban people still have an inner urge to see the world, hunger for nature. Meri did not underestimate the drawbacks of mass tourism but concluded that "science will liberate us from the chains of big cities and lead us back to nature". Meri's travel book of his journey to the northeast passage, Virmaliste Väraval (At the Gate of the Northern Lights) (1974), won him huge success in the Soviet Union. It was translated into Finnish in 1977 in the Soviet Writers series, which also introduced to Finnish readers works by the Estonian writers Mats Traat, Lilli Promet, and Ülo Tuulik. In the book Meri combined the present with a perspective into history, and used material from such explorers as Cook, Forster, Wrangel, Dahl, Sauer, Middendorff, Cochran, and others. When he sees a mountain rising against the stormy sky of the Bering Strait, he realizes that Vitus Bering and James Cook had looked at the same mountain, but from the other side of the strait.
  • 1963
    Age 33
    He became a member of the Estonian Writers' Union in 1963.
    More Details Hide Details In the 1970s, he was elected an Honorary Member of the Finnish Literary Society.
  • TWENTIES
  • 1958
    Age 28
    After a trip to the Tian Shan Mountains in Central Asia and the old Islamic centres in the Kara Kum Desert in 1958, Lennart Meri wrote his first book, which met with a warm reception from the public.
    More Details Hide Details Already as a student, Lennart Meri had been able to earn his living with his writing, after his father had been arrested by the Soviet authorities for the third time. With the help of his younger brother who had been forced to leave his studies and take a job as a taxi driver, he managed to support their mother and to complete his own studies. The film The Winds of the Milky Way (Estonian: Linnutee tuuled), shot in co-operation with Finland and Hungary, was banned in the Soviet Union, but won a silver medal at the New York Film Festival. In Finnish schools, his films and texts were used as study materials. In 1986, Lennart Meri was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Helsinki University.
  • 1953
    Age 23
    On 5 March 1953, the day of Joseph Stalin's death, he proposed to his first wife Regina Meri, saying "Let us remember this happy day forever."
    More Details Hide Details The politics of the Soviet Union did not allow him to work as a historian, so Meri found work as a dramatist in the Vanemuine, the oldest theatre of Estonia, and later on as a producer of radio plays in the Estonian broadcasting industry. Several of his films were released to great critical acclaim.
    The Meri family survived and found their way back to Estonia where Lennart Meri graduated cum laude from the Faculty of History and Languages of the University of Tartu in 1953.
    More Details Hide Details
  • TEENAGE
  • 1941
    Age 11
    In 1941, the Meri family was deported to Siberia along with thousands of other Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians sharing the same fate.
    More Details Hide Details Heads of the family were separated from their families and shut into concentration camps where few survived. At the age of twelve, Lennart Meri worked as a lumberman in Siberia. He also worked as a potato peeler and a rafter to support his family. Whilst in exile, Lennart Meri grew interested in the other Uralic languages that he heard around him, the language family of which his native Estonian is also a part. His interest in the ethnic and cultural kinship amongst the scattered Uralic family had been a lifelong theme within his work.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1929
    Born
    Born on March 29, 1929.
    More Details Hide Details
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
All data offered is derived from public sources. Spokeo does not verify or evaluate each piece of data, and makes no warranties or guarantees about any of the information offered. Spokeo does not possess or have access to secure or private financial information. Spokeo is not a consumer reporting agency and does not offer consumer reports. None of the information offered by Spokeo is to be considered for purposes of determining any entity or person's eligibility for credit, insurance, employment, housing, or for any other purposes covered under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)