to the Website of the Association of the Four Baltic Noble Corporations,
Livonia, Estonia,Courland and Oesel
It was in the aftermath of World War I that the states of Estonia and Latvia were founded where once, the historical territories Livonia, Estonia, Courland, and Oesel had existed. In the centuries before, their history had been determined by the Noble Corporation (Ritterschaft) which were made up of the German nobility resident there. In 1920, however, they lost their political functions under public law. They continued in existence in the newly created Baltic states in the form of social associations contributing to public welfare. When the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact of 1939 provided for all Balts of German origin to leave their homeland, this also affected all of the member families of the Baltic noble corporations. In 1949, their representatives formed the Verband der Baltischen Ritterschaften e.V. (the Association of Baltic Noble Corporations, an association registered in a Vereinsregister, a roll of associations kept by a local court). Its objective is to uphold the traditions of old and the knowledge of the history we share with the Baltic states, while also intensifying international awareness of the Baltic states in the Western part of the world.
(We regret that at present not all texts are available in English. Further translations are in preparation. Thank you for your patience.)