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In memoriam Linnart Mäll


Linnart Mäll (7th June 1938 –14th February 2010)


Linnart Mäll, a man whose passing sorely touches us all, once said that a wise thought is only justified by history.

Linnart Mäll always had thoughts that have been justified by history, and he shared them with those who have walked the same paths. This is what made him strong and his steps firm.

He knew that keeping one’s silence may be fatal and he gave a voice to the nations deprived of their autonomy – those to whom many do not want or dare to listen.

As one of the founders of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation and, therefore, a spokesman for those oppressed, he took the burden of suffering from many, never dismissing it, never turning away.

This is what made Linnart Mäll a model of ethical politics for all of us.

He was a humanist, one of the founders of orientalism in Estonia, a teacher of thousands of students, and one who brought Eastern thought to Estonia. The research done by Linnart Mäll and the many books he translated helped direct and widen Estonian thought, and he was one who broke down the barriers between distant cultures and Estonia. This is how, as a teacher, he made us much richer and more tolerant, though ignorance was something he did not tolerate.

Decades ago, Linnart Mäll translated the words of Mahatma Gandhi into Estonian: “If someone told me that my dream could never be realised, I would agree but would continue on my way.”

This is the way that Linnar Mäll himself took, a path supported by justice and courage that was carried by thoughts already justified by the present.

I bow my head and extend my condolences to the family of Mr. Linnart Mäll, his friends, those who shared his ideas, his students, and to all who value the principles that were represented and defended by Mr. Linnart Mäll.