47 min

070: Sylvia Kistler Thompson – American Estonian philantropist, helping to keep the Estonian memory alive Globaalsed eestlased

    • Society & Culture

Sylvia Kistler Thompson is an American Estonian philanthropist and the President of Kistler-Ritso Foundation. Sylvia was born in the United States to an Estonian mother Olga Ritso, who was an eye doctor, and a Swiss father Walter Kistler, who was an precision instrumentation engineer.

Over the years, Sylvia and her husband Andy Thompson have been the champions and sponsors of Vabamu, Museum of Occupations and Freedom based in Tallinn. Vabamu – where this discussion takes place – is the largest privately funded museum in Estonia.

The Kistler-Ritso Foundation has made generous contributions to the Stanford University Library and has supported Baltic studies at Stanford and elsewhere in the United States.The family has also supported projects, events, books, and films aimed at introducing Estonian culture and history, such as Arvo Pärt’s 2014 concert in Washington, DC, the book and film The Singing Revolution, and another film called To Breathe as One.

In this podcast, you’ll hear us focus on a variety of thought-provoking topics:


Biggest lessons learned from her parents and about the Estonian community in the U.S. growing up
How has her understanding of cultural identity evolved over the years
First visit to Estonia in 1976
A bookworthy story of her mother, Olga Ritso, who had to be an immigrant – twice
The purpose of Kistler Ritso Foundation and about the past, present, and future of Vabamu.

Liitu uudiskirjaga www.globaalsedeestlased.org, et uus saade jõuaks iga nädal sinu postkasti!

Sylvia Kistler Thompson is an American Estonian philanthropist and the President of Kistler-Ritso Foundation. Sylvia was born in the United States to an Estonian mother Olga Ritso, who was an eye doctor, and a Swiss father Walter Kistler, who was an precision instrumentation engineer.

Over the years, Sylvia and her husband Andy Thompson have been the champions and sponsors of Vabamu, Museum of Occupations and Freedom based in Tallinn. Vabamu – where this discussion takes place – is the largest privately funded museum in Estonia.

The Kistler-Ritso Foundation has made generous contributions to the Stanford University Library and has supported Baltic studies at Stanford and elsewhere in the United States.The family has also supported projects, events, books, and films aimed at introducing Estonian culture and history, such as Arvo Pärt’s 2014 concert in Washington, DC, the book and film The Singing Revolution, and another film called To Breathe as One.

In this podcast, you’ll hear us focus on a variety of thought-provoking topics:


Biggest lessons learned from her parents and about the Estonian community in the U.S. growing up
How has her understanding of cultural identity evolved over the years
First visit to Estonia in 1976
A bookworthy story of her mother, Olga Ritso, who had to be an immigrant – twice
The purpose of Kistler Ritso Foundation and about the past, present, and future of Vabamu.

Liitu uudiskirjaga www.globaalsedeestlased.org, et uus saade jõuaks iga nädal sinu postkasti!

47 min

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