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The Baltic Tragedy - Nazi and Soviet occupation in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania
The Baltic Tragedy - Nazi and Soviet occupation in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania
Published: 2011/09/05
Channel: EstoniaANTICOMMUNIST
German Invasion of Latvia, Lithuania 32610f HD
German Invasion of Latvia, Lithuania 32610f HD
Published: 2015/02/01
Channel: PeriscopeFilm
Escaping Kovne (Kovno or Kaunus, Lithuania) During World War Two
Escaping Kovne (Kovno or Kaunus, Lithuania) During World War Two
Published: 2015/03/10
Channel: Yiddish Book Center
WAR WITNESS: Heritage. 71. Leonid Zavirkin. Lithuania’s Resistance Movement.
WAR WITNESS: Heritage. 71. Leonid Zavirkin. Lithuania’s Resistance Movement.
Published: 2015/05/08
Channel: RT Documentary
Liberation Of Vilna (1944)
Liberation Of Vilna (1944)
Published: 2014/04/13
Channel: British Pathé
Life in post-War Eastern Europe
Life in post-War Eastern Europe
Published: 2015/09/28
Channel: iamandris
The Murder of Lapichi
The Murder of Lapichi's Jews during WWII
Published: 2010/06/28
Channel: Yad Vashem
Partisan War In Lithuania (Fight against Soviet Occupation)
Partisan War In Lithuania (Fight against Soviet Occupation)
Published: 2010/02/28
Channel: Alian Alis
" MY LATVIA " COLD WAR SOVIET OCCUPATION OF BALKAN STATES 74582
" MY LATVIA " COLD WAR SOVIET OCCUPATION OF BALKAN STATES 74582
Published: 2015/07/09
Channel: PeriscopeFilm
A LARGE BUT WEAK LITHUANIAN RESISTANCE!! Medieval 2 total war.
A LARGE BUT WEAK LITHUANIAN RESISTANCE!! Medieval 2 total war.
Published: 2017/04/10
Channel: Falcon
Interwar and Soviet crimes in Lithuania.wmv
Interwar and Soviet crimes in Lithuania.wmv
Published: 2010/02/16
Channel: Otonas Patlaba
Jewish Partisans(Eng)
Jewish Partisans(Eng)
Published: 2011/11/14
Channel: Alexander Stupnikov
National-Socialist Lithuania (1941-1944)
National-Socialist Lithuania (1941-1944)
Published: 2016/04/01
Channel: White Warrior
POLISH UNDERGROUND AND RESISTANCE MOVEMENT IN WWII
POLISH UNDERGROUND AND RESISTANCE MOVEMENT IN WWII
Published: 2017/06/04
Channel: Jim J
World War 2 Germans and Lithuanians part 2
World War 2 Germans and Lithuanians part 2
Published: 2009/05/27
Channel: mureikos
partisan bunker Lithuania
partisan bunker Lithuania
Published: 2016/10/23
Channel: kadre TV
Nazi Waffen-SS veterans march free in Riga, Latvia
Nazi Waffen-SS veterans march free in Riga, Latvia
Published: 2016/03/17
Channel: Russia Insider
Forest Brothers Resistance (Men of War GSM Mod)
Forest Brothers Resistance (Men of War GSM Mod)
Published: 2016/07/01
Channel: Cookie Killah
WORLD WAR II SOVIET PARTISAN OPERATIONS BEHIND GERMAN LINES 48864
WORLD WAR II SOVIET PARTISAN OPERATIONS BEHIND GERMAN LINES 48864
Published: 2016/12/26
Channel: PeriscopeFilm
Nazi occupation of Holland - Remembered, Part one
Nazi occupation of Holland - Remembered, Part one
Published: 2007/02/17
Channel: allantowns
WWII Factions: The German Army
WWII Factions: The German Army
Published: 2017/03/22
Channel: Simple History
Werhmarcht  on the advance to Schaulen and Libau, Lithuania and Latvia, 1941, Operation Barbarossa
Werhmarcht on the advance to Schaulen and Libau, Lithuania and Latvia, 1941, Operation Barbarossa
Published: 2017/01/08
Channel: World War 2: The Lost Footage
Germany occupies Lithuania WWII
Germany occupies Lithuania WWII
Published: 2007/01/15
Channel: niekas
Lithuanians Against the Red Army 1944-1966
Lithuanians Against the Red Army 1944-1966
Published: 2009/03/31
Channel: Lituae
Lithuania - Crossroads of the Baltic (Myth20c - Ep24)
Lithuania - Crossroads of the Baltic (Myth20c - Ep24)
Published: 2017/06/28
Channel: Myth of the 20th Century
French Resistance Archive Footage Paris Partisans SOE Charles Bovill
French Resistance Archive Footage Paris Partisans SOE Charles Bovill
Published: 2013/09/07
Channel: PublicEnquiry
The Invisible Front Official Trailer 1 (2014) - Documentary HD
The Invisible Front Official Trailer 1 (2014) - Documentary HD
Published: 2014/11/03
Channel: Movieclips Film Festivals & Indie Films
Jewish Vilna After World War Two
Jewish Vilna After World War Two
Published: 2014/09/22
Channel: Yiddish Book Center
Alternate History - Polish Resistance
Alternate History - Polish Resistance
Published: 2015/06/24
Channel: Hylerann Maps
The Invisible Front (trailer)
The Invisible Front (trailer)
Published: 2012/03/29
Channel: Mark Ryan
Polish Resistance: A Documentary
Polish Resistance: A Documentary
Published: 2017/02/02
Channel: History In Action
7 Facts about Poland
7 Facts about Poland
Published: 2015/09/05
Channel: Sebastian Ioan
True Nazi vs Partisan testify on the War
True Nazi vs Partisan testify on the War
Published: 2017/01/18
Channel: Thirstypioneer
Warsaw - City that came back from the dead
Warsaw - City that came back from the dead
Published: 2010/08/04
Channel: bpiotrAgain
Armia Krajowa (AK), or the Home Army; Polish resistance movement
Armia Krajowa (AK), or the Home Army; Polish resistance movement
Published: 2014/02/03
Channel: Studiomde
The "Japanese Schindler" Who Saved Thousands in WW2
The "Japanese Schindler" Who Saved Thousands in WW2
Published: 2016/08/08
Channel: Journeyman Pictures
Playwright Joshua Sobol on Theater as a Form of Resistance
Playwright Joshua Sobol on Theater as a Form of Resistance
Published: 2017/03/27
Channel: College of the Holy Cross
Lithuania wants to grill former IDF general
Lithuania wants to grill former IDF general
Published: 2007/09/19
Channel: RT
Lithuanian president comments ahead of Bush visit
Lithuanian president comments ahead of Bush visit
Published: 2015/07/21
Channel: AP Archive
WWII Poland, Armia Krajowa Exercises, 1944 Rare Amateur Footage, Polish Resistance
WWII Poland, Armia Krajowa Exercises, 1944 Rare Amateur Footage, Polish Resistance
Published: 2014/05/07
Channel: thekinolibrary
Lithuania  Partisan leaders
Lithuania Partisan leaders
Published: 2014/04/01
Channel: Jūratė Balukevičienė
Gladiators of World War II 5/13 - The Free Polish Forces
Gladiators of World War II 5/13 - The Free Polish Forces
Published: 2017/01/11
Channel: Documenlicious
Zamach - the best scene
Zamach - the best scene
Published: 2011/11/06
Channel: Bartosz Ryś
Following World War II, prisoners are repatriated to Soviet Zone of Occupation fr...HD Stock Footage
Following World War II, prisoners are repatriated to Soviet Zone of Occupation fr...HD Stock Footage
Published: 2014/06/21
Channel: CriticalPast
Joseph Stalin 12 -- World War Two Begins
Joseph Stalin 12 -- World War Two Begins
Published: 2013/03/06
Channel: LittleBillysWorld
Nazi Collaborators - on DVD from July 18th
Nazi Collaborators - on DVD from July 18th
Published: 2011/07/06
Channel: Andy Green
Polish Wilno (Vilna) in 1936
Polish Wilno (Vilna) in 1936
Published: 2009/02/23
Channel: 240252
World War II Weapons of The Netherlands    ( Nederland )
World War II Weapons of The Netherlands ( Nederland )
Published: 2015/10/07
Channel: jmantime
1,7 million Poles deported to the Soviet Union 2WW
1,7 million Poles deported to the Soviet Union 2WW
Published: 2008/09/17
Channel: motherheartpolonia
Jewish resistance
Jewish resistance
Published: 2012/10/03
Channel: Zack Kaneshiro
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WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE

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Eastern Front, June 1941-December 1941
Eastern Front, August 1943-December 1944

During World War II, Lithuania was occupied by the Soviet Union (1940–1941), Nazi Germany (1941–1944), and the Soviet Union again in 1944. Resistance during this period took many forms. Significant parts of the resistance were formed by Polish and Soviet forces, some of which fought with Lithuanian collaborators. This article presents a summary of the organizations, persons and actions involved.

First Soviet occupation[edit]

In 1940, President Antanas Smetona fled to Germany, not wanting his government to become a puppet of the Soviet occupation. Soviet attempts to capture him were unsuccessful, and he was able to settle in the United States.

In 1940, Chiune Sugihara, the Japanese consul in Kaunas, and his wife Yukiko disobeyed orders and saved thousands of Jewish refugees from Poland by granting them visas.[1]

In 1941, the Lithuanian Activist Front (Lithuanian: Lietuvos Aktyvistų Frontas) formed an underground government, and following the June uprising, the Provisional Government of Lithuania maintained sovereignty for a brief period.

Nazi German occupation[edit]

Soviet partisans began sabotage and guerrilla operations against German forces immediately after the Nazi invasion of 1941. The activities of Soviet partisans in Lithuania were partly coordinated by the Command of the Lithuanian Partisan Movement headed by Antanas Sniečkus and partly by the Central Command of the Partisan Movement of the USSR.[2]

In 1943, the Nazis attempted to raise a Waffen-SS division from the local population as they had in many other countries, but due to widespread coordination between resistance groups, the mobilization was boycotted. The Lithuanian Territorial Defense Force (Lietuvos vietinė rinktinė) was eventually formed in 1944 under Lithuanian command, but was liquidated by the Nazis only a few months later for refusing to subordinate to their command.[3][4][5]

There was no significant violent resistance directed against the Nazis. Some Lithuanians, encouraged by Germany's vague promises of autonomy,[6] cooperated with the Nazis. Pre-war tensions over the Vilnius Region resulted in a low-level civil war between Poles and Lithuanians.[7] Nazi-sponsored Lithuanian units, primarily the Lithuanian Secret Police,[7] were active in the region and assisted the Germans in repressing the Polish population. In the autumn of 1943, the Armia Krajowa began retaliatory operations against the Lithuanian units and killed hundreds of mostly Lithuanian policemen and other collaborators during the first half of 1944. The conflict culminated in the massacres of Polish and Lithuanian civilians in June 1944 in the Glitiškės (Glinciszki) and Dubingiai (Dubinki) villages. See also Polish-Lithuanian relations during World War II.

Also in 1943, several underground political groups united under the Supreme Committee for the Liberation of Lithuania (Vyriausias Lietuvos išlaisvinimo komitetas, or VLIK). The committee issued a declaration of independence that went largely unnoticed. It became active mostly outside Lithuania among emigrants and deportees, and was able to establish contacts in Western countries and get support for resistance operations inside Lithuania (see Operation Jungle). It would persist abroad for many years as one of the groups representing Lithuania in exile.[8][9]

Jewish partisans also fought against the Nazi occupation. In September 1943, the United Partisan Organization, led by Abba Kovner, attempted to start an uprising in the Vilna Ghetto, and later engaged in sabotage and guerrilla operations against the Nazi occupation.[10]

In July 1944, as part of its Operation Tempest, the Polish Home Army launched Operation Ostra Brama, an attempt to recapture that city. See also Polish–Lithuanian relations during World War II.

As of January 2008, 723 Lithuanians were recognized by Israel as Righteous among the Nations for their efforts in saving Lithuania's Jews from the Holocaust.[11] The total number of people who helped the Jews may be much higher.[12]

Second Soviet occupation[edit]

Lithuanian partisans, known as the Forest Brothers, began guerrilla warfare against the Soviet forces as soon as the front passed over them in 1944, and continued an armed struggle until 1953. The core of this movement was made up of soldiers from the Territorial Defense Force who had disbanded with their weapons and uniforms and members of the Lithuanian Freedom Army, established in 1941. The underground had extensive clandestine radio and press.[13] Thousands of people engaged in active and passive resistance against the Soviet authorities.[8] The various resistance organizations eventually united under the Movement of the Struggle for the Freedom of Lithuania (Lietuvos Laisvės Kovų Sąjūdis, or LLKS), issuing a declaration of independence in 1949 that would ultimately be signed into law by the independent Republic of Lithuania in 1999.[14] The most famous of these partisans is probably Juozas Lukša, author of several books during the resistance and the subject of a recent film.

While armed resistance ended in the 1950s, nonviolent resistance continued in various forms (e.g. through Lithuanians living abroad, the Catholic press, safeguarding local traditions and the Lithuanian language, the Sąjūdis movement, etc.), until 1991 when Russia recognized the independence declared by Lithuania on March 11, 1990.

Significance of February 16[edit]

February 16, the date that Lithuania first declared its independence in 1918, played an important symbolic role during this period. The call for volunteers for the Lithuanian Territorial Defense Force, the VLIK declaration of independence, and the LLKS declaration of independence were all made on February 16. This day has become a national holiday in Lithuania.

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Chiune and Yukiko Sugihara". Jewish Virtual Library. Retrieved 2006-06-29. 
  2. ^ Janavičienė, Audronė (2004-01-30). "Soviet Saboteurs in Lithuania (1941-1944)". Genocide and Resistance Research Centre of Lithuania. Retrieved 2006-06-30. 
  3. ^ Peterson, Roger D. Resistance and Rebellion: Lessons from Eastern Europe, p. 164. Cambridge University Press, 2001-05-07. ISBN 0-521-77000-9
  4. ^ Lane, Thomas. Lithuania: Stepping Westward. p. 57, Routledge (UK), 2002-08-23. ISBN 0-415-26731-5
  5. ^ Mackevičius, Mečislovas. Lithuanian resistance to German mobilization attempts 1941-1944, Lituanus, Vol. 32, No. 4, Winter 1986. Ed. Antanas Dundzila. ISSN 0024-5089
  6. ^ Piotrowski, Tadeusz (1998). Poland's Holocaust. McFarland & Company. p. 163. ISBN 0-7864-0371-3. 
  7. ^ a b Snyder, Timothy (2003). The Reconstruction of Nations: Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, Belarus, 1569-1999. Yale University Press. p. 84. ISBN 0-300-10586-X. 
  8. ^ a b Kaszeta, Daniel J. Lithuanian Resistance to Foreign Occupation 1940-1952, Lituanus, Volume 34, No. 3, Fall 1988. Ed. Antanas Dundzila. ISSN 0024-5089
  9. ^ Banionis, Juozas (2004-03-10). "The Liberation of Lithuania in the West under détente, 1970–1974". Genocide and Resistance Research Centre of Lithuania. Retrieved 2006-06-29. 
  10. ^ Rosenberg, Jennifer. "Abba Kovner and Resistance in the Vilna Ghetto". About.com. Retrieved 2006-06-29. 
  11. ^ "Righteous Among the Nations - per Country & Ethnic Origin January 1, 2008". Yad Vashem. Retrieved 2009-02-04. 
  12. ^ Procuta, Genius. How Many Rescuers of Jews Were There?, Tėviškės Žiburiai, Missisauga, Ontario, Canada, 1999-03-16.
  13. ^ Lane, p. 58
  14. ^ Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania. Law on the February 16, 1949 Declaration by the Council of the Movement of the Struggle for Freedom of Lithuania, Law No. VIII-1021, 1999-01-12, Vilnius.

Further reading[edit]

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