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Johannes Lapmann papers

Identifier: IHRC3791


Johannes Lapmann's biographical documents, memoirs, manuscripts, notes, clippings, note books. Drafts, multiplied copies and work sheets of Johannes Lapmann's vision on how to solve world's (mostly economic) problems. Public letters and appeals concerning publishing his works and their introduction to the general public.


  • 1959-1993

Language of Materials

Estonian, English, Russian


Open for use in the Elmer L. Andersen Library reading room.


This collection may be protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials. Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law.


Lapmann, Johannes (Lapman) (Johannes-Rudolf?) Born on April 3.1913 in Vihterpalu parish, Harjumaa, Estonia. Sailor, mechanic. From 1927 J. Lapmann served as a sailor on many boats. In 1930s worked at an Estonian newspaper in New York. He decided to return to Estonia in 1940, where he became chairman of a local Soviet council. However, when the Soviet Union took over Estonia after the Hitler-Stalin Pact, Lapmann grew disenchanted with the Communists. He began protesting publicly, and was charged with counter-revolution and betraying his homeland. He was sentenced to 15 years in Siberian prison camps. Released in 1958, Lapmann returned to Estonia. But he was unhappy living under the Soviet system. On 10.09.1972, he tried to escape across the Baltic Sea in a small boat, the attempt failed. This time, he was declared insane and sentenced to a Soviet psychiatric hospital. He was finally released in 1989. His mission was to reform the USSR economy, he also wrote a manuscript about ideological economy. He wrote he had "discovered a new precise and extremely important program of reorganization the USSR economy".

When he was freed in 1989 he was invited to the United States by a Seattle journalist who had interviewed Lapmann. Lapmann lived as a homeless on the streets of New York in 1990. Determined to clear his name, he went to Moscow and, after a hearing, received a certificate from the Independent Psychiatric Association declaring that he was sane and was wrongly institutionalized. He also won verdicts that Estonian courts had violated his human rights. Father: Juhan; Sister: Elfriede (1908-1988).

More information about Johannes Lapmann: "Human Rights Internet Reporter." By Human Rights Internet. Published by Human Rights Internet, 1982.


1 Linear foot


Collection transferred to the IHRC from the Estonian Archives in the U.S.A. (EAU) in 2003-2005. It was processed as part of a collaborative project between the Estonian Archives in the USA (Lakewood, New Jersey), the National Archives of Estonia (NAE), and the IHRC in March 2012. Gristel Ramler and Tiina Trumberg of the National Archives in Tallinn, Estonia, worked with IHRC staff on the project.


Estonian State Archives in Tallinn, Estonia: Lapmann, Johannes – Rudolf (born1913) file ERAF.129SM.1.29052Estonian State Archives in Tallinn, Estonia: Lapmann, Johannes citizenship file ERA.14.14.144 and passport file ERA.1.3.2199

Inventory of the Johannes Lapmann papers.
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