Elisabeth Vilhelmine Alver (1906 - 1989) MP

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Nicknames: "Betti Alver", "Elisabeth Wilhelmine Alwer"
Birthplace: Jõgeva, Laiuse, Estonia
Death: Died in Tartu, Estonia
Managed by: Märt Aab
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About Elisabeth Vilhelmine Alver

The wind won’t ask: to what did life amount?

To yourself you’ll render your own account.

However long, however dark the night –

your forehead bears your name in plain sight.

Betti Alver's poetry in English: http://elm.einst.ee/issue/23/poetry-betti-alver/


Betti Alver, born in 1906 in a small railway settlement in Jõgeva, was part of the first generation of Estonian intellectuals to acquire their education in the predominantly Estonian-language educational system of the Republic of Estonia (1918-1940). Alver finished grammar school in Tartu and studied for a while at the University. For her generation, using one’s mother tongue in every field of life was natural, although their knowledge of foreign languages and world literature was quite impressive as well. After President Konstantin Päts established his authoritarian regime in 1934, a number of younger intellectuals opposed the simplified understanding of literature in cultural policy, and its usage as a mere tool of national propaganda. Alver’s later work in the 1960s– 1980s also shows her intellectual superiority and opposition to the Soviet totalitarian power.

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Betti Alver's Timeline

November 10, 1906
Jõgeva, Laiuse, Estonia
Age 30
Age 49
June 19, 1989
Age 82
Tartu, Estonia
Tartu Raadi kalmistu