Abruka Island: “Linked To The Land”

Letter from Estonian Writer Ülo Tuulik:  Part 1.

I was born here on the Island of Abruka in the cold winter 1940 although my family comes from Muhu Island.  Long ago, in the 16th century, when Estonia was enslaved under German rule, my ancestor Hansken, which was his first name because we did not get his surname, rescued Walter von Plattenberg, the Master of the Livonian Order, from falling through the thin ice on Muha street.  For this, in 1532, he was rewarded land and freedom.  With this gift came a trustworthy and honorable duty – to handle postal delivery between the islands and the mainland of Estonia.  My ancestors delivered the mail for 362 successive years, a task that deserves to be in Guinness Book of World Records.  The members of our family are laid to rest in the graveyards of Muhu Island.

My father, mother and little brother Vaino, however, are buried here in Abruka.

My favorite writer Albert Camus wrote:  “Man is linked to the land where rest those who have departed from him.”

This sentence contains my personal connection to Abruka.

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Filed under Civil Society, U.S. -Estonian Relations

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