Journal of Baltic Studies 53/2 Now Available Online

Jun 7, 2022

The second 2022 issue of Journal of Baltic Studies (Vol 53, Issue 2) is now available online. The issue contains articles such as a comparative study of social welfare policies in the Baltic and Nordic countries, a literary-historical analysis of the Christianization of the Lithuanian pagan priestess vaidilutė, and a comparative analysis of adaptivity in the Baltic states’ stock markets.

The issue also includes a special section, “World War I in the Baltic States: Wartime Experiences and their Aftermath,” featuring articles on Estonian troop mobilization, German propaganda and treatment of Estonian prisoners of war, war and postwar experiences in Estonia through the lens of Oskar Nõmmela’s life story, Latvian women and children in the Russian army, and an overview of Lithuanian experiences.

The issue also includes four book reviews and a list of recently published Baltic titles.


Current trends in social welfare policies toward the older people in the Baltic and Nordic countries: an explorative study

Jolanta Aidukaite, Sven Hort & Mare Ainsaar

This article reviews welfare policy arrangements developed in the Baltic and Nordic countries to address the problems of aging. The findings show that after almost thirty years of redesigning social policy and welfare systems in the Baltic countries, senior citizens remain in a precarious situation. As expected, the Nordic countries are yet superior in terms of benefits and services. The trend toward marketization and re-familialization of elderly care, and ‘go towards the EU average’ in public expenditures is, however, also identified in the Nordic countries. In the Baltic states, in contrast, the ‘go towards the EU average’ indicates an increase in public social expenditure directed toward aging.

The vaidilutė: how Lithuanian Catholic youth made a pagan priestess Christian

Indrė Čuplinskas & Jūratė Motiejūnaitė

Combining literary analysis with historical study, this interdisciplinary article examines how, in interwar Lithuania, the Catholic youth organization Ateitis made use of the vaidilutė – a fabled pagan priestess that tended sacred fires in pre-Christian Lithuania – as an image assisting a newly emerging class of young educated Catholic women to envision their role in nation- and state-building. Analyzing the use of the vaidilutė in both dramatic productions put on by the Ateitis organization and in the magazine Naujoji Vaidilutė, the article investigates how this medieval figure functioned as a locus for negotiating national, religious, and gender identity.

Behavior of calendar anomalies and the adaptive market hypothesis: evidence from the Baltic stock markets

Vilija Aleknevičienė, Vaida Klasauskaitė & Eglė Aleknevičiūtė

This research tests the Adaptive Market Hypothesis (AMH) regarding calendar anomalies in the Baltic stock markets. Analysis of known calendar anomalies over time is carried out by using sub-sample GARCH (1,1) regression with Kruskal–Wallis statistics and rolling windows. Three calendar anomalies were confirmed in these markets: Friday, MoY (July and January), and ToM (turn-of-the-month). The Baltic stock markets demonstrated behavior supporting the AMH. It was found that the opportunity to earn abnormal returns on investment strategies based on Friday, July, and ToM effects disappeared during the financial crisis of 2007–9. The Friday and the ToM effects follow a more time-varying pattern, while the July effect is less so.

Mobilizations during World War I and national troop units in Estonia in 1914–1917

Tõnu Tannberg

The aim of this article is to provide a more complete overview of the mobilizations that were carried out in Estonia during World War I, to give a more up-to-date estimate of the numbers of men that were mobilized, and to examine the formation of Estonian national units in 1917 as one of the more important pre-conditions for the achievement of Estonian independence.

German propaganda and the special treatment of Estonian prisoners of war in Germany in World War I

Mart Kuldkepp

About 3,000–5,000 Estonians who served in the imperial Russian army in World War I ended up as prisoners of war (POWs) in German prison camps. Initially, they were treated as any other ‘Russians’ and endured malnutrition, backbreaking labor, and harsh treatment by the guards. From 1917, however, as Germany settled on the strategic aim of conquering the whole of the Baltic region, they began to be subjected to special treatment with the goal of making them more ‘German-friendly.’ The new German policies meant better living conditions, but also some exposure to German propaganda. This article considers the impact of these German policies on the lived experience of the Estonian POWs.

‘In spite of everything, life is still beautiful!’ war and postwar experiences in Estonia on the example of Oskar Nõmmela’s life story (1893–1969)

Aigi Rahi-Tamm & Liisi Esse

This article formulates some key aspects of the experiences of Estonian men who served in World War I, and went through subsequent critical situations during and after World War II–including interrogation, imprisonment, and forced settlement. By focusing on the case study of Oskar Nõmmela (1893–1969), the article analyzes various coping mechanisms and strategies – especially those relating to interpersonal relationships – that were used in difficult situations. We investigate how successful or unsuccessful these strategies turned out to be in aiding Nõmmela to navigate between hope and despair; and how the strategies evolved throughout his life from one critical situation to another.

Latvia in World War I: Latvian women and children in the Russian army (1914–1917)

Ēriks Jēkabsons & Klāvs Zariņš

This article focuses on the experiences of Latvian women and children in Russian military service during World War I, seeing their involvement as a logical result of the societal developments and a rise in the level of patriotism. It discusses voluntary military service, nursing, and other activities closely connected to the army that women and children participated in right from the beginning of the war. This was the first time in history that women and children took part in warfare in such relatively large numbers.

The Great War experiences of Lithuanians: an overview

Vasilijus Safronovas

In the 1920s and 1930s, public attention was mostly focused on two experiences of World War I in Lithuania: the misery of everyday life during the German occupation and the efforts of political actors to cope with that misery and struggle for national independence. A variety of other experiences of the Lithuanian population during the Great War attracted much less attention. This had a subsequent impact on how the importance of the Great War was represented to Lithuanians for several generations. This article presents an overview of the experiences of the Lithuanian population during the Great War with a focus on the quantitative data on those experiences.

Book reviews and recent publications

The tsar, the empire, and the nation: dilemmas of nationalization in Russia’s western borderlands, 1905–1915
edited by Darius Staliūnas and Yoko Aoshima, Budapest: Central European University Press, 2021, 408 pp., $95.00, ISBN 978-963-386-365-7

John W. Steinberg

Slēptā dzīve: homoseksuāļa dienasgrāmata
Vol.1, 1927–1949, by Kaspars Aleksandrs Irbe, Riga, Ascendum, 2021, 532 pp., €25.00, ISBN 978-9934-8795-8-6

Karlins Verdins

Weaving the Iron Curtain, the Allies, and the Baltic states, 1939–1944: public opinion, propaganda, and caricatures
by Eero Medijainen, Lanham, Lexington Books, 2021, 270 pp., $105.00/$45.00, ISBN 978-1-79360-925-0 (hbk), 978-1-79360-926-7 (ebook)

Kristo Nurmis

Occupation and communism in eastern European museums: re-visualizing the recent past
edited by Constantin Iordachi and Péter Apor, London, Bloomsbury Academic, 2021, 304 pp., $103.00/$83.00, ISBN 978-1-350-10370-2 (hbk), 978-1-350-10372-6 (ebook)

Eva-Clarita Pettai

List of books received and recent publications

About the journal

Journal of Baltic Studies (JBS), the official journal of AABS, is a vital source of scholarship for those engaged in Baltic state and Baltic Sea region studies. JBS is a peer-reviewed, multidisciplinary journal published on a quarterly basis that aims at progressing and disseminating knowledge about the political, social, economic, and cultural life – both past and present – of the Baltic states and the Baltic Sea region. JBS seeks high-quality original articles and review of broad scholarly interest that advance knowledge of the Baltic states and Baltic Sea region.

Published quarterly by the AABS, the annual fee for both membership in the Association and a subscription to JBS is $70.00, $35.00 for full-time students, and $35.00 for emeritus members. Members of the Association receive a free personal subscription to the Journal.

JBS welcomes article and book review submissions from AABS members and other scholars. See the Instructions for Authors page for more info.