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Tartu in the memoirs of Baltic-German students

Place and people



According to the memoirs of Baltic-German students the role and significance of the town of Tartu was rather unambiguous: like Estonian and Latvian students, their Baltic-German peers perceived Tartu first and foremost as a  university town, which is hardly surprising as this is exactly where most of the 19th-century Baltic-German intellectuals received their higher education. Mirrored in the memoirs of about 30 people, which cover the period of 1802−1918, their student years tend to acquire a certain mythical dimension, showing Tartu as the stage of a timeless student operetta, where the progression of decades changes only the actors, while the role division of the main and supporting characters remains the same, as does the scenery set in Tartu as a town with different memorable places that have passed on to the Estonian tradition.