Jaak Treiman

Jaak Treiman

Jaak Treiman (born 27. VII 1943) is an expatriate Estonian attorney and diplomat, who as a writer is known for his memoir Võlulehviku tuules. Ühe eesti pere lugu kolmel mandril (‘Carried by a Magic Fan: Memoir of an Estonian Refugee Family’, 2018).

Jaak Treiman was born in Võru. During the Second World War when Estonia was occupied by Germany, his father migrated to Sweden on a boat to escape mobilization. His wife and infant son followed in secret in the fall of 1943 by taking a coal ship from Tallinn to Helsinki. In 1947, the Treimans emigrated to Australia where they made a living by producing and selling honeycomb paper decorations. However, Jaak Treiman’s father was not happy with the newly incumbent leftist government of Australia and they relocated to Los Angeles, USA, in 1951.

Jaak Treiman graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in political science in 1964 and another degree in law in 1967. In 1969, he received a master’s degree in international law from The University of Chicago. Since then, he has worked as an attorney. He is an alumnus of the Estonian Students Society Põhjala.

After the passing of honorary consul Ernst Laur, Treiman was appointed his replacement on 6 March 1985 in Los Angeles. He is active to this day, which makes him the longest serving diplomat of the Republic of Estonia. In 2006, he was recognized with the Order of the National Coat of Arms of Estonia, IV Class.

In 2018, Treiman’s memoir Võlulehviku tuules. Ühe eesti pere lugu kolmel mandril (‘Carried by a Magic Fan: Memoir of an Estonian Refugee Family’) was published in Estonia, which collects the autobiographical writings of Jaak Treiman and his parents from the early 20th century to the modern day. Treiman has not attended Estonian school. He speaks Estonian well but writes in English. Treiman has good knowledge of English writing styles, which makes passages of his memoirs artistically interesting – these are translated to Estonian by the translator Merike Pilter.

L. P. (Translated by A. A.)

Books in Estonian

Võlulehviku tuules: üle 30 aasta Eesti aukonsulina teeninud Jaak Treimani pere lugu kolmel mandril. Inglise keelest tõlkinud Merike Pilter. Tallinn: Tammerraamat, 2018. 239 lk.

Travel Guide
A diplomatic guide to Los Angeles: discovering its sites and character. Woodland Hills: Velak, 2011. 249 lk.