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Estonian-Swedes, Swedish-Estonians and Swedes in Estonia Estonian-Swedes have most probably been living along the north-western Estonian coastline and the Estonian islands for close to 1.000 years. The majority of them, as well as many Estonians, managed to flee to Sweden and escape the Soviet occupation with 1943 - 1944 marking a peak in the number of people leaving their homes in Estonia.

The Estonian-Swedish times of today started to pick up towards the end of the 1980's and Estonia's restored independence 1991. Some of the refugees, as well as many of their descendants, started to return, and additionally the last twenty years have also seen a new and diversified generation Swedes establishing themselves in the Estonia.

It is the close cooperation between Estonia and Sweden, including the intensity in Estonian-Swedish commerce, trade and investments, that has made today's Swedish related community in Estonia both bigger and more diversified. In addition to Estonian-Swedes and Swedish-Estonians, this community also includes Swedes having moved to Estonia to set up their own businesses or taking part in the management of Swedish owned and Swedish related companies.

The Swedish Chamber of Commerce in Estonia is the meetingplace for the business community having an interest in Estonian-Swedish related commerce, trade and investments. And as private individuals, Estonian-Swedes, Swedish-Estonians and Swedes in Estonia have Svenska Odlingens Vänner i Estland/Rootsi Hariduse Selts Eestis as their meetingplace.

The association was formed at Bysholm's Mansion/Vööla Mõis 1909 as a cultural association for the Swedish minority in Estonia. During Estonia's first Republic the association had a comprehensive activity program and founded several schools and arranged cultural activities.

img The association was banned by the Soviets in 1940 and was reopened in Sweden 1945, where it still exists as an active meetingplace for the Estonian-Swedes. In 2004 Svenska Odlingens Vänner/Rootsi Hariduse Selts was relaunched in Estonia and today this association aims to be an active meetingplace bringing its heritage into the 21st century's Estonia.

More information on Svenska Odlingens Vänner i Estland/Rootsi Hariduse Selts Eestis (Swedish and Estonian languages) is available online at