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Litauen Nyheder - Historie

Litauen Nyheder - Historie


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Litauen Nyheder

LITAUEN

I nyhederne


Tidslinje: Litauen

1915 Litauen besat af tyske tropper under første verdenskrig.

1918 - Litauen erklærer uafhængighed.

1920 - Sovjetrusland anerkender Litauens uafhængighed under Moskvatraktaten.

1926 - Nationalistpartiets leder Antanas Smetona tager magten ved et militærkup efter venstrefløjen vinder valg.

1939 - Sovjetunionen tvinger Litauen til at acceptere sovjetiske militærbaser.

1940 - Sovjetiske hær invaderer. Smetona flygter. Litauen indarbejdet i Sovjetunionen.

1941 - Tusinder af litauere deporteret til Sibirien. Nazisterne invaderer Sovjetunionen og indtager Litauen.

1944 - Røde hær vender tilbage, forudser yderligere deportationer og undertrykkelse af modstand.

1988 - Gruppe af forfattere og intellektuelle opretter litauisk bevægelse for genopbygning (Sajudis). Dens ledere erklærer ved et massemøde i hovedstaden Vilnius, at Sovjetunionen ulovligt besatte Litauen.

Ringaudas Songaila afskediget som chef for det litauiske kommunistparti. Erstattet af Algirdas Brazauskas.

1989 - Parlamentet godkender erklæringen om litauisk suverænitet og fastslår, at litauiske love har forrang for sovjetiske love.

Det litauiske kommunistparti bryder fra det sovjetiske kommunistparti og erklærer støtte til uafhængighed.

Uafhængighedskamp

1990 - Sajudis vinder flertallet af pladserne ved parlamentsvalg. Dens leder, Vytautas Landsbergis, vælges til formand for parlamentet, der erklærer genoprettelse af uafhængighed.

USSR pålægger embargo, standser brændstofforsyningen og forårsager alvorlige økonomiske vanskeligheder. Litauen er enig om at suspendere uafhængighed, afventer samtaler.

1991 Januar - Da der ikke gøres fremskridt i forhandlinger med Moskva, og økonomien står over for uro, afslutter Landsbergis suspension af uafhængighedserklæring.

Sovjetiske tropper skyder på civile uden for fjernsynstårnet i Vilnius og dræber 13 og skader flere hundrede.

1991 Februar - Folkeafstemningen viser overvældende stemme for uafhængighed.

1991 September - Efter et mislykket kup i Moskva den foregående måned anerkender USSR Litauens uafhængighed. Litauen slutter sig til OSCE og FN.

1992 - Ny forfatning introducerer formandskabet. Det tidligere kommunistparti, omdøbt til det litauiske demokratiske arbejderparti, vinder flere mandater end sajudere ved folketingsvalg. Koalitionsregering dannet.

1993 - Brazauskas valgt til præsident. Litauen slutter sig til Europarådet. Ny national valuta, litas, introduceret. Sovjetiske tropper fuldstændig tilbagetrækning.

1994 - Litauen slutter sig til Nato Partnership for Peace -programmet. Venskabstraktat underskrevet med Polen.

1995 - Litauens to største forretningsbanker kollapser. Politisk skandale følger.

1996 - Statsminister Slezevicius afskedigede efter bankkrisen. Folketingsvalg indbringer midter-højre koalitionsregering.

1997 - Præsident Brazauskas besøger Rusland. Grænsetraktat, samarbejdsaftale underskrevet.

1998 - Valdas Adamkus, en amerikansk statsborger, der tilbragte næsten 50 år i eksil, valgt til præsident.

1999 - Kontroversiel kontrakt underskrev salg af en kontrollerende andel i det litauiske statslige olieselskab til den amerikanske energikoncern, Williams International. Den konservative premierminister Rolandas Paksas træder tilbage. Andrius Kubilius bliver statsminister.

2000 - Folketingsvalg vender tilbage til en anden center-højre koalitionsregering. Paksas udnævnte igen til premierminister, denne gang som medlem af Liberal Union.

2001 Juli - Brazauskas bliver premierminister efter sammenbrud i koalitionen i skænderier om privatisering og andre økonomiske reformer. Han lover at arbejde for at fremskynde medlemskab af EU og Nato.

2002 November - Nato -topmødet i Prag inkluderer Litauen på listen over lande, der formelt er inviteret til at slutte sig til alliancen.

2002 December - EU -topmøde i København inviterer formelt Litauen til at deltage i 2004.

2003 Januar - Rolandas Paksas valgt til præsident.

2003 Maj - Litauisk folkeafstemning resulterer i afstemning for tilslutning til EU.

2003 November - Demonstranter kræver, at præsident Paksas fratræder efter anklager om forbindelser mellem hans kontor og russisk organiseret kriminalitet.

2003 December - Retssager mod Rigsformand begynder mod præsident Paksas, efter at parlamentarisk undersøgelse konkluderer, at påståede forbindelser mellem hans kontor og russisk organiseret kriminalitet udgør en trussel mod den nationale sikkerhed.

2004 Marts - Litauen slutter sig til Nato.

2004 April - Parlamentet anklager og afviser Rolandas Paksas.

2004 Maj - Litauen er en af ​​10 nye stater, der tiltræder EU.

2004 Juni - Valdas Adamkus genvalgt til præsident.

2004 Oktober - Algirdas Brazauskas fortsætter som premierminister i ny koalition efter folketingsvalg.

2004 November - Litauen bliver det første EU -medlemsland til at ratificere ny EU -forfatning.

2004 December - Reactor one på Ignalina atomkraftværk lukker ned i overensstemmelse med EU -adgangskrav. I henhold til samme aftale skal den anden reaktor lukke inden 2009.

2005 Januar - Udenrigsminister Valionis indrømmer, at han engang var officer i de sovjetiske KGB -reserver. En parlamentarisk undersøgelse indledes i hans fortid og i lignende påstande mod to andre højtstående embedsmænd.

2005 Marts - Præsident Adamkus afviser invitation til at deltage i ceremonien i Moskva i maj, der markerer afslutningen på Anden Verdenskrig.

2005 Juni - Arbejderpartiets leder Viktor Uspaskich fratræder som økonomiminister på grund af påstande om, at hans forretning havde overtrådt de etiske regler. Hans parti fortsætter som en del af den regerende koalition.

2005 September -oktober - Russisk kampfly styrter ned på litauisk territorium og skaber diplomatisk spænding med Moskva. Situationen blev afbrudt, når undersøgelsen finder, at tekniske og menneskelige fejl skyldes.

2006 Maj -juli - premierminister Algirdas Brazauskas træder tilbage, efter at Labour Party trækker sig ud af den regerende koalition. Parlamentet godkender præsidentens anden kandidat til stillingen, Gediminas Kirkilas.

2008 Maj - Parlamentet ratificerer EU's Lissabontraktat.

EU -Kommissionen afslår Litauens ansøgning om at blive medlem af eurozonen den 1. januar 2007 med henvisning til landets inflation.

2008 April-maj-Litauen truer med at afspore partnerskabssamtaler mellem EU og Rusland om energiproblemer, men dropper veto under pres fra andre medlemsstater.

2008 Juni - Parlamentet forbyder visning af sovjetiske og nazistiske symboler. Begrænsningerne er de hårdeste i nogen tidligere sovjetrepublik.

2008 Oktober - Det konservative Homeland Union -parti bliver det største parti efter parlamentsvalg og presser premierminister Gediminas Kirkilas socialdemokrater på andenpladsen.

2008 November - Homeland Union's leder Andrius Kubilius udnævnte til premierminister i spidsen for en center -højre koalitionsregering.

2009 April - Det nationale statistikkontor offentliggør tal, der viser, at Litauens BNP faldt 12,6% i første kvartal af 2009, sammenlignet med samme periode sidste år.

2009 Maj - EU's budgetkommissær Dalia Grybauskaite, der står som uafhængig, vinder præsidentvalg med mere end 68% af stemmerne.

2009 December - Den anden reaktor ved atomkraftværket Ignalina lukkes, i overensstemmelse med Litauens EU -adgangskrav.

2011 Juli - Litauen protesterer over for Østrig over frigivelsen af ​​Mikhail Golovatov, en tidligere sovjetisk officer efterlyst i Litauen over de sovjetiske specialstyrkers angreb på et fjernsynstårn i Vilnius i januar 1991, hvor 14 civile døde og hundredvis blev såret. Østrig siger, at litauiske oplysninger om sagen var & quottoo vage & quot for at retfærdiggøre Golovatovs tilbageholdelse.

2012 Januar - Regeringsrådgiver Virgis Valentinavicius siger, at Litauen er på vej til at indføre eurovalutaen i 2014, selvom præsident Grybauskaite siger, at målet er & urealistisk & givet en inflation på over fire procent.


Top 10 litauiske historiske figurer nogensinde

Litauens historie er fyldt med legendariske ledere og historiske helte, der har gjort Litauen til det, det er i dag. Efter at have set på tværs af Litauens lange og stolte historie, her er vores liste over de 10 mest litauiske historiske figurer gennem tiderne.

Litauens historie er fyldt med legendariske ledere og historiske helte, der har gjort Litauen til det, det er i dag. Efter at have set på tværs af Litauens lange og stolte historie, her er vores liste over de 10 mest litauiske historiske figurer gennem tiderne.

1. Gediminas (ca. 1275-1341)

Gediminas er en af ​​de mest huskede med storhertug i Litauen og krediteres for at have gjort sin stat til en spiller, der skal regnes med i Europa - og med at stifte nationens hovedstad, Vilnius.

Efter alt at dømme var Gediminas en strålende hersker og strateg og udvidede sit rige langt ind i slaviske lande i sydøst (Storhertugdømmet Litauens område ville nå Sortehavet under hans barnebarns styre) og holdt pres fra de stridende kristne missionærer fra vest.

Selvom Gediminas aldrig omfavnede den kristne tro, inviterede han berømt kristne købmænd og landmænd til at komme og bosætte sig i hans land - og hans by - og lovede dem skattelettelser og religiøs tolerance, der kom til at præge Storhertugdømmet indtil slutningen af ​​dets dage.

2. Mindaugas (ca. 1203-1263)

Mindaugas er udgangspunktet for Litauens historie, den første og eneste konge i Litauen. Efter at have forenet modstridende litauiske krigsherrer under sit styre - nogle ved strategiske ægteskaber, andre ved strategiske attentater - skrev Mindaugas til Paven i Rom for at blive døbt som romersk katolik i 1251 og to år senere for at blive kronet som konge.

Lidt kendes om Mindaugas herkomst, og endda placeringen af ​​hans kongesæde er diskuteret, men hans navn er nu eponymt med mange gader i Litauen, og den formodede dag for hans kroning, 6. juli, er en national helligdag.

Efterhånden som Litauens kejser blev Mindaugas regeringstid afsluttet med en attentatssammensværgelse, der skubbede staten, han havde skabt, ind i en længere periode med uro og usikkerhed. Kristendommen tog ikke fat blandt hedenske litauere (Mindaugas selv menes at have afvist den nye gud mod slutningen af ​​sit liv), og han startede ikke et dynasti, men Mindaugas tager stedet for den semi-mytiske grundlægger af staten Litauen.

3. Vytautas (ca. 1350-1430) og Jogaila (ca. 1352-1434)

Kærligheds-had-forholdet mellem de to fætre (og barnebørn til Gediminas) Vytautas og Jogaila (eller Jagiello) afspejler på mange måder spændingerne mellem de broderlige nationer i Litauen og Polen, der sluttede sig til en personlig union under Jogaila, den første hersker, der blev både storhertugen i Litauen og kongen af ​​Polen.

Efter flere perioder med magtkamp, ​​hvor begge havde fængslet hinanden og stået sammen med Litauens største fjender på det tidspunkt, Den Teutoniske Orden, bare for at detronisere den anden, sluttede Vytautas og Jogaila til sidst fred for at opnå en stor arv. De kristnede Litauen under Unionen Kriewo i 1387 med Polen og besejrede Teutonic Knights i det historiske slag ved Grunwald (eller Žalgiris på litauisk, navnet bruges i næsten enhver litauisk holdsport i dag), og snusede den største trussel mod Polens suverænitet. og Litauen ude af eksistens.

4. Martynas Mažvydas (1520-1563)

Den litauiske folkesprog var sent til at slutte sig til de lærdes sprog, og det var først i 1547, at den første litauiske bog kom ud af trykpressen. Dens forfatter, den unge protestantiske præst Martynas Mažvydas, skrev de linjer, som generationer af litauiske elever har måttet lære udenad.

Mens håndskrevne bønebøger var dukket op kort efter, at Litauen omfavnede kristendommen, var Mažvydas ' Catechism (eller & quotKatekizmo prasti žodžiai & quot - & quotSimple Words of Cathechism & quot) den første trykte bog. Og det blev ikke trykt i Litauen, men i Østpreussen (hvoraf en del ville blive kaldt Mindre Litauen), som var et sikkert tilflugtssted for protestantiske litauere fra den katolske kirkes dominans i selve Litauen.

Det var i Mindre Litauen, at Mažvydas tilbragte sin karriere som præst, tog sig af sine sognebørn og uddannede og skrev i stor udstrækning, mest bønbøger og salmebøger.

5. Jonas Basanavičius (1851-1927)

Hvis nogen fortjener titlen som national patriark, er det Jonas Basanavičius, hvis imponerende skæggede tilstedeværelse plejede at stirre på litauere fra de 50 litas regninger og fortsætter med at udøve autoritet fra monumenter og gader opkaldt efter ham i stort set alle byer i Litauen.

Basanavičius, en læge af erhvervslivet, var en af ​​lederne for den nationale vækkelsesbevægelse i slutningen af ​​det nittende århundrede og deltog i hvert trin i opbygningen af ​​den moderne litauiske nation. Han grundlagde den første litauiske avis, Au & scaronra, var formand for organisationsudvalget for Vilnius Great Seimas i 1905 og underskrev Litauens uafhængighedslov den 16. februar 1918.

6. Dronning Bona Sforza (1494-1557)

Som udlænding og en magtsøgende kvinde er Bona Sforza længe blevet fordærvet af historikere. Hun blev kastet som hovedskurken i en af ​​de største renæssancekærlighedshistorier, der mellem hendes søn Sigismund Augustus og Barbora Radvilaitė (eller Barbara Radziwill), den smukkeste kvinde i Litauen, der angiveligt blev forgiftet af sin vrede svigermor.

I de senere år er Dronning Bona imidlertid stort set blevet rehabiliteret, hvor historikere er enige om hendes rolle i at bringe den italienske renæssance til Polen og Litauen.

Bona var medlem af Milanos hus i Sforza og blev gift med Sigismund den Gamle, kongen af ​​Polen og storhertugen i Litauen næsten 30 år hendes ældre, ved en ceremoni i Napoli uden brudgommen til stede. Ved at flytte nordpå bragte Bona et følge af italienske kokke, arkitekter og håndværkere, hvis indflydelse på kunst og kultur i Nordøsteuropa ikke kan overvurderes. Bona blev endda krediteret med at have introduceret grøntsager til den polsk-litauiske kost, selvom historikere siger, at dette er en overdrivelse.

Dronning Bona gennemførte forskellige økonomiske og landbrugsreformer i Storhertugdømmet, herunder den vidtrækkende Wallach-reform, hvilket gjorde sig til en utrolig rig grundejer. Noget af hendes arv vises på det nyligt rekonstruerede palads for Storhertugene i Litauen i Vilnius.

7. Stephen Bathory (1533-1586)

Den tiår lange regeringstid af Stephen Bathory (eller Steponas Batoras på litauisk), en prins fra Transsylvanien, som kongen af ​​Polen og storhertugen i Litauen er et af højdepunkterne i Commonwealth-historien. I Litauen er hans største arv grundlæggelsen af ​​Vilnius Universitet i 1579, som længe bar hans navn.

8. Jurgis Bielinis (1846-1918)

Litauere rejste sig mod reglen i det russiske imperium, der tøjlede over dem gennem det nittende århundrede, flere gange og efter et sådant mislykket forsøg besluttede Rusland i 1863, at den eneste måde at knuse de nationale følelser for sine nordvestlige undersåtter var at forbyde pressen i det latinske alfabet.

Forbuddet var gældende i 40 år og gav anledning til et enestående erhverv, knygne & scaroniai, som groft oversættes til & quotbook -handlere & quot eller & quotbook -smuglere & quot. Jurgis Bielinis var en af ​​de mest fremtrædende boghandlere fra perioden og smuglede litauiske bøger og tidsskrifter trykt i Østpreussen (eller Litauen Mindre) til selve Litauen. Historikere vurderer, at Bielinis ' -netværket var ansvarligt for halvdelen af ​​alle ulovlige litauiske bøger, der cirkulerede under presseforbuddet.

9. Jonas Žemaitis (1909-1954)

Selvom Jonas Žemaitis aldrig var politiker og ikke stillede op til noget valgt embede, blev han i 2009 erklæret for Litauens fjerde præsident. Dette ville sandsynligvis have overrasket selv Žemaitis selv, hvis han havde levet, men titlen anerkender hans lederskab i den del af landet, der fortsatte med at kæmpe mod den sovjetiske besættelse i næsten et årti efter sejrherrerne fra Anden Verdenskrig erklærede fred i Europa.

Žemaitis, der adopterede kodenavnet Vytautas (hvilket tyder på, at han sandsynligvis ikke ville have haft noget imod at blive tituleret som præsident), ledede den litauiske frihedshær, en guerillamodstand, fra 1949 til hans arrestation af sovjetiske agenter i 1953.

General Žemaitis har nu Litauens militærakademi opkaldt efter sig, og der er en uundgåelig buste af ham, der står rejst foran ministeriet for nationalt forsvar i Vilnius.

10. Tadeusz Kosciuszko (1746-1817)

Tadas Kosciu & scaronka, eller Tadeusz Kosciuszko, er en nationalhelt for mange nationer: litauere, polakker, hviderussere og amerikanere. Hans navn afstiver endda den højeste top i Australien.

Kommer fra en familieejende familie i Storhertugdømmet Litauen, kæmpede Kosciuszko i den amerikanske uafhængighedskrig og ledede efter at have vendt tilbage til Europa et oprør i Polen-Litauen mod det russiske imperium. Kosciuszko-oprøret mislykkedes, satte fart på opløsningen af ​​det polsk-litauiske rigsfællesskab og gjorde denne sidste søn til den tabte republik til den ultimative romantiske helt.


Litauen danner et nyt forhold til sin fortid - og med Israel

Kort efter at Yossi Levy overtog sin rolle som Israels ambassadør i Litauen i august, stødte hans assistent, Ana Maizel, på et hagekors, der var fremstillet af snavs på jorden foran et jødisk forsamlingshus - en uhensigtsmæssig begyndelse på hans embedsperiode. Han trådte forsigtigt i sit svar og fordømte forbrydelsen, mens han tilbød tryghed. "Vi jøder kommer ikke her for at anklage," sagde han. "Vi bebrejder ikke Litauen i 2019."

Levy ankom til Litauen i et øjebliks forandring: Selvom landet håndterer antisemitiske hændelser, er det midt i en pro-zionistisk rebranding, der kombinerer en ufuldkommen offentlig revurdering af landets oplevelse i Anden Verdenskrig med en inderlig påskønnelse for Israel under premierminister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Kort efter at Yossi Levy overtog sin rolle som Israels ambassadør i Litauen i august, stødte hans assistent, Ana Maizel, på et hagekors, der var fremstillet af snavs på jorden foran et jødisk forsamlingshus - en uhensigtsmæssig begyndelse på hans embedsperiode. Han trådte forsigtigt i sit svar og fordømte forbrydelsen, mens han tilbød tryghed. "Vi jøder kommer ikke her for at anklage," sagde han. "Vi bebrejder ikke Litauen i 2019."

Levy ankom til Litauen i et øjeblik med forandring: Selvom landet håndterer antisemitiske hændelser, er det midt i en pro-zionistisk rebranding, der kombinerer en ufuldkommen offentlig revurdering af landets oplevelse i Anden Verdenskrig med en inderlig påskønnelse for Israel under premierminister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu er blevet kritiseret for sin venlighed med den litauiske premierminister Saulius Skvernelis, der ses som en deltager i bestræbelserne på at fremme historiske fortællinger, der formindsker litauernes rolle i Holocaust og forherlige nazistiske samarbejdspartnere, der modstod Sovjet. Men landet er begyndt at tage stramme skridt mod et nyt forhold til sin fortid.

Litauens opvarmning mod Israel er kommet ved siden af ​​begyndelsen på en ny opgørelse med arven fra Holocaust. Mainstream litauiske holdninger til landets omtumlede krig og efterkrigstidens historie har længe haft privilegerede historier om at overleve kommunismen og satte forbrydelser i sovjettiden på niveau med dem i nazistiden. I maj modtog denne fortælling en offentlig udsendelse, da en kapelan fra en anden verdenskrig for en litauisk politibataljon, der blev anklaget for at have myrdet tusindvis af jøder, blev hædret med en plakette for sit arbejde med at servicere soldater. I avisspalter og politiske taler kommer henvisninger til litauiske lidelser og gerninger fra litauere, der hjalp jøder under Holocaust, ofte hurtigt i hælene på enhver omtale af folkemordet.

I 2006 startede landets chefanklagere en undersøgelse af ødelæggelsen af ​​en landsby under krigen. Som en del af denne sonde anklagede de en gruppe jødiske ghettooverlevende for at have sluttet sig til de sovjetiske guerillaer, hvilket indebar, at de var pro-kommunistiske. Men anklagen kunne ikke erkende, at deres vej var almindelig blandt dem, der håbede at besejre nazisterne. To af disse guerillaer, nu ældre, havde base i Israel. De frygtede at vende tilbage til Vilnius, Litauens hovedstad, usikre på, hvilket slags vidnesbyrd de forventede at afgive. Den almindelige opfattelse var, at de overlevende i ghettoen undgik retfærdighed. Israel var utilfreds. En tidligere israelsk ambassadør fordømte efterforskningen, og Pinhas Avivi, den daværende underdirektør i det israelske udenrigsministerium, fortalte det israelske dagblad Haaretz, "Ministeriet tager forfølgelsen af ​​de jødiske partisaner meget alvorligt."

I 2010 skrev den nazistiske jæger Efraim Zuroff, der hjalp med at bringe fascistiske krigsforbrydere for retten,: “Ingen steder i verden er en regering gået så langt for at skjule deres rolle i Holocaust [som i Litauen]. Statsinstitutioner trak fødderne i at søge retfærdighed mod påståede nazistiske kollaboratører, mens de løb efter ethvert bevis for, at jødiske modstandsfolk samarbejdede med Sovjet.

Men når det kommer til ghetto -krigernes historie, er der en tankegang i gang. Fania Brancovskaja var en af ​​de overlevende i ghettoen, der blev indkaldt til at afgive vidnesbyrd for en anklager, da anklager dukkede op igen om hendes guerillagruppes deltagelse i en massakre mod civile. Hun blev fremstillet i litauiske medier som en sovjetisk samarbejdspartner og en jøde - men ikke som en ghettooverlevende og en litauisk. Men så, i 2017, modtog hun en præsidentpris, og i 2018 inviterede Delfi -nyhedswebstedet hende som en beæret gæst til at tale om Holocaust -hukommelse.

Landet er begyndt at fejre - og markedsføre - jødisk arv i byer og byer. Mainstream -politikere og medier taler nu om en kollektiv sorg over Litauens tabte indbyggere.

Anden Verdenskrig decimerede størstedelen af ​​det enorme litauiske jødiske samfund, der talte mere end 150.000 før krigen, og spredte de fleste af de få overlevende. I den officielle fortælling og personlige historier videregivet inden for familier var litauere ofre, og samarbejdspartnere var ekstreme. Som Robert van Voren skrev i sin bog Ufordøjet fortid: Holocaust i Litauen, efterkrigstidens dødsfald og lidelser var dybt præget i den litauiske kollektive hukommelse og overskyggede årene under nazisterne. Efter at Litauen genvandt uafhængighed og kæmpede for at få historien om sine lidelser accepteret i Vesten, betragtede mange i Litauen det som uretfærdigt, at præsident Algirdas Brazauskas undskyldte for litauisk deltagelse i Holocaust i en tale til det israelske parlament i 1995. Litauiske jøder i Israel syntes det var for lidt, for sent. Men forholdet til historisk retfærdighed er begyndt at ændre sig.

Nu tweetede højtstående politikere nu hilsener på jødiske helligdage, markerer Holocaust-relaterede mindedage og føler sig ikke længere tvunget til at nævne i samme åndedrag, at den litauiske nation også led. Og en ny konsensus mod at udfordre hinandens nationale fortællinger er ved at blive en integreret del af israelsk-litauiske forhold.

Skiftet begyndte for alvor i 2016. En milepæl var en mindemarch for at mindes ofrene for Holocaust i august 2016 i Moletai, en by cirka en times kørsel nord for Vilnius. Efter et offentligt opkald fra den kendte dramatiker og instruktør Marius Ivaskevicius samlede marchen mere end 1.000 fremmødte og trak fremtrædende højtstående personer.

Den august i Moletai lagde daværende præsident Dalia Grybauskaite en sten på massemordstedet, flankeret af den daværende israelske ambassadør i Litauen og repræsentanter for det jødiske samfund. Præsidenten havde deltaget i mindehændelser på præsidentpaladset i Vilnius, på stedet for koncentrationslejren Auschwitz i Polen og ved Yad Vashem Holocaust -mindesmærket i Jerusalem, men begivenheden i Moletai skilte sig ud. Hun rejste sammen med andre højtstående politikere til en fjerntliggende region for at sende et signal om, at Holocaust-hukommelse fra den dag af ville være en del af mainstream-ritualet i et land, der var fyldt med mange massemordsteder. En måned senere trak et optog til minde om ødelæggelsen af ​​Vilnius -ghettoen i Paneriai igen folkemængder.

For at være sikker kan man stadig høre højreekstreme grupper synge "Litauen for litauere" ved uafhængighedsdagens parader (herunder den i 2019). Og i juli tiltrak fjernelsen af ​​en plakette og ændringen af ​​et gadenavn dedikeret til mennesker, der mistænkes for at hjælpe nazisterne, masser af demonstranter. Men mens litauiske nationalister blev hørt synge "Juden raus” - Jøder ude - i 2008 (og seks personer blev dømt for tilskyndelse til had et år senere), synes den ekstreme udkant af den nationalistiske bevægelse siden at have fokuseret deres vrede igen på LGBTQ -samfundet og muslimske flygtninge.

Antisemitisme i Ukraine er langt fra besejret. Violeta Davoliute, der forsker i Holocaust -hukommelse ved Vilnius Universitet, har observeret, at selvom tabuerne omkring jødisk historie i Central- og Østeuropa falder, forbliver historisk forskning stærkt politiseret. "Alt er så politiseret og konfronterende, at ... det er svært at foretage neutral forskning," sagde hun. Der er især visse røde linjer for, hvor langt det litauiske etablissement - og en stor del af samfundet - er villig til at gå for at udfordre den officielle fortælling. ”Vi led, vores jøder led også. De, tyskerne og Sovjetunionen, var gerningsmændene, ”sagde Davoliute i opsummering af etableringsperspektivet.

Israel blev generelt mere populær i Litauen efter den russiske invasion af Krim i 2014. Litauen så, at håndvridning fra NATO, vestlige magter og Europa-Parlamentet ikke var nok til at stoppe Ruslands stadig mere aggressive holdning i regionen. Som svar på et nyligt muskuløst Rusland fordoblede Litauen sine militære udgifter mellem 2013 og 2016 og genindførte værnepligten. Da han talte på Vytautas Magnus University i maj 2015, roste Darius Degutis, den tidligere litauiske ambassadør i Israel, den israelske værnepligt for at indgyde patriotisme, som han fastholdt, trængte ind på andre områder af israelsk liv, fra beskæftigelse til dating. Da Litauens præsidentvalg nærmede sig i maj 2019, bad LRT, den offentlige tv, kandidaterne om at sige, hvor de stod til ideen om at indkalde kvinder - og ekspert henviste positivt til Israel i analysen af ​​deres svar.

I år meldte Skvernelis sig frivilligt til at udråbe Litauen til "Israels stemme i EU, som kan uddybe Israels holdning." Han besluttede også ikke at møde repræsentanter for Den Palæstinensiske Myndighed (PA) under sit officielle besøg i Israel. Selvom Litauen fortsat yder udviklingsbistand til PA - dets fokus flyttede fra demokrati til iværksætteri - ser det ud til i stigende grad at betragte sidstnævnte som et diplomatisk ansvar. I 2011 stemte Litauen imod det palæstinensiske UNESCO -medlemskab.

Litauen køber israelske våben. Det køber også ind i Israels ret til selvforsvarsfortælling. Litauens udenrigsminister har en tendens til at bekræfte det på Twitter hver gang, han hører om et nyt udbrud af vold mod israelere. På den måde bekræfter han Litauens ret til det samme. Til gengæld ser det ud til, at israelske embedsmænd er villige til at acceptere Litauens mangelfulde nye indsats for genopstandelse af Holocaust.

For østeuropæiske populister er Israel i dag en "gammel drøm realiseret", skrev statsforsker og populisme-ekspert Ivan Krastev i optakten til det israelske valg sidste forår. Med andre ord føles et Israel, der er militaristisk og skamløst etnocentrisk, som en behagelig model for litauiske og østeuropæiske ledere.

I sommeren 2018 blev Netanyahu den første israelske premierminister til at besøge Litauen, og da han gjorde det, knyttede han eksplicit den nye historiske tilgang til landenes nyligt robuste forhold. ”Jeg tror, ​​at man ved at affinde sig med fortiden, bestræbe sig på at bekæmpe antisemitisme, som den litauiske regering gør, fortæller de nye generationer sandheden om den historiske tragedie, så sådanne sager kunne undgås i fremtiden gennem dette vi kan skabe stærke bilaterale forbindelser, ”sagde han til journalister. "Endnu en gang, ligesom med teknologier, med fremskridt, lige meget i dette - kan vi gøre mere sammen."

Kritikere siger, at Litauen ikke har gjort nær nok - og Israel lader det være af politisk bekvemmelighed. Mange litauere er fortsat uvillige til at omarbejde deres krigshelte som Holocaust -gerningsmænd. Men nogle ændringer, hvor rystende som helst, er bestemt i gang.

Daiva Repeckaite er en litauisk journalist, der i øjeblikket er baseret på Malta. Twitter: @daiva_hadiva


Litauisk historiehøjdepunkter: de litauiske kvinder i legende og historie

Ingen har bidraget mere til bevarelsen af ​​Litauens nationale identitet - og måske dens eksistens - end den litauiske kvinde.

Gennem alle de turbulente tider i litauisk historie spillede den litauiske kvinde en vigtig rolle og påtog sig ofte tunge byrder og ansvar for bevarelsen af ​​nationens identitet og endda dens eksistens. Den litauiske kvinde blev forherliget i legende og episk. Som dronning, prinsesse, adelskvinde udmærkede hun sig i konger og storhertuger i Litauen. Århundreder senere, under den nationale renæssance, blev hun, selv som en simpel landmands kone, set hævde sig selv og hjælpe med at bane vejen for genoprettelsen af ​​Litauens uafhængighed. Da uafhængigheden kom, skuldrede hun med frisk energi nye pligter og tjente til sig selv nye laurbær på alle områder af det nationale liv.

I vores behandling af den litauiske kvinde har vi begrænset vores valg til repræsentative kvinder fra antikken til genoprettelsen af ​​litauisk uafhængighed i 1918. For at undgå forvirring i læserens sind, der ikke er bekendt med det komplekse på det litauiske sprog, kvinders efternavne i næsten alle forekomster er skrevet i maskulin form.

I LEGEND OG TIDLIG HISTORIE

Siden umindelige tider har litauere haft deres V -kvindeideal. Deres symbolske og animiske mytologi legemliggjorde det feminine ideal i en sylvan eller vandsprite, som de kaldte laume, et væsen, der ligner de gode feer i vesteuropæisk folklore. Denne åndepige, der overlevede den dag i dag i hundredvis af folkeeventyr, var en symbolsk personificering af den ideelle litauiske kvinde: høj, hørhåret, blåøje, buxom jomfru, med rolig og melodiøs stemme en medfølende sygeplejerske og flittig moderværge af de ældre og børnene.

Legender - folkeskabelser fra en svunden humanistisk eller romantisk æra - har givet os mange slags kvinder. Nogle af disse legendariske kvinder er sublimerede eksempler på heroiske litauiske piger. Sådan var for eksempel Pajauta, den kaste datter af chefdruiden Lizdeika. Folketraditionen har det, at i stedet for at gifte sig med en fremmed ikke-troende og derved forråde den gamle hedenske religion, ofrede hun sig selv for ulvene.

En anden Pajauta var den smukke datter af hertug Kernius. Hun levede et eksemplarisk liv som ægtefælle og mor og blev respekteret af sine undersåtter. Da hun døde, rejste hendes søn Kukovietis et træmonument til minde på bredden af ​​søen Žasliai. Med tiden rådnede dette træmonument og faldt væk, men i stedet opstod et mirakuløst lindetræ.

Loyalitet var en anden feminin dyd, der blev lovprist i historiske sagn.

The Lithuanian woman of earlier times liked to adorn herself, as these silver and amber ornaments from the 13th century testify.

Gražina, the wife of Liutaveras, Duke of Naugardukas, learned that her husband was plotting with the Teutonic Knights against his liege lord Vytautas. Donning her husband’s armor, Gražina led the forces of Naugardukas against the invading Teutonic Knights. Though the Knights were soundly defeated, Gražina fell in battle, preserving the honor of her household.

Another princess of Naugardukas was Živile, whose father would not permit her to marry her lover of lower rank. The lover, however, was determined to free her from her father’s clutches and with a band of Ruthenians forced his way into the castle. But Zivile’s loyalty to her father and his people was stroger than her love for the swain. She stabbed her would-be rescuer and ralied the men-at-arms of the castle to rout of enemy, Zivile stabbed herself to death, to atone for the strife she had caused.

IN THE LAND OF KINGS AND PRINCES

The first Lithuanian woman known in history is Queen Morta (Martha), wife of King Mindaugas, creator of the Lithuanian State. The stature of this renowned couple assumes monumental proportions in Lithuanian history of the thirteenth century. It was Mindaugas and Morta who accepted Christianity for the Lithuanian nation in 1251. Two years later Morta was crowned queen. An energetic and ambitious woman, she not only performed her family duties with dignity, receiving foreign envoys in the regal castles, but she also participated in the political activities of her husband, who spun intrigues against the Teutonic Knights, an aggressive crusading order recently established on the Baltic shores and scheming to plunder Lithuania. Queen Morta was Mindaugas’ adviser and assistant. Friends and strangers alike had to reckon with her. She died earlier than Mindaugas, the exact date being unknown.

In this painting by adolfas Valeska, which is in Chicago’s Holy Cross church, Morta is seen standing next to her husband Mindaugas as he being baptized into the Christian faith.

In the next century another woman enters the spotlight of Lithuanian history. She is Aldona, the daughter of the ruler, King Gediminas. Because of reasons of state, namely, Lithuania’s need to effect an alliance against the growing threat of the Teutonic O rder, Aldona was married to Wladislaw Lokietka’s son Casimir, who was later known as King Casimir the Great. For her dowry she asked her father for the return of 25,000 Polish prisoners of war to Poland—a country whose queen she was about to become. Amid universal acclaim and blessings, Aldona journeyed from Vilnius to Cracow, Poland’s capital. Unfortunately, she did not fare well in her new country. Her husband proved unfaithful. The queen sought solace in charitable work and music. She died a young woman, leaving two daughters, who later married into the Luxembourg and Habsburg families of the Holy Roman Empire. Aldona’s granddaughter became the wife of Emperor Charles IV.

The fate of Birute was different. To this day she is surrounded by emotional legends and a veil of poetry. This daughter of a Samogitian Duke from the Palanga seacoast became the wife of King Kestutis and the mother of the genius Vytautas the Great. Birute came to be regarded as guardian of the Lithuanian national hearth and symbol of dedicated Lithuanian motherhood. A mound held to be her burial site is still kept in high esteem after more than six hundred years.

Birute’s son, Vytautas, had an illustrious spouse, Ona, sister of Lord Sudimantas.

The legendary meeting of Birutė and Kęstutis is fancifully portrayed by children’s book illustrator Povilas Osmolskis.

The personality of Ona (Anna) is characteristic of the typical Lithuanian woman. A mother— but not merely a mother, she was a boon companion of her husband. She was never satisfied with only the maintenance of the household. Her interests were wide. She was a public figure and a politically-minded woman. (The women in Lithuania had been enjoying full freedom and taking part in public activities since olden times.) Ona loved honors, but she also knew how to make sacrifices. She did not avoid obstacles, but overcame them. During the political chaos in Lithuania toward the end of the fourteenth century, when her husband was thrown into prison by his wily cousin Jogaila, she assumed responsibility and devised a way for his escape by exchanging her clothes with him, letting him walk out in disguise while she remained in prison.

Free once more, Vytautas forced his cousin to recognize him as Grand Duke of Lithuania.

Under Vytautas Lithuania became one of the most powerful states of Europe. After Jogaila was crowned King of Poland, Vytautas became a virtual sovereign of the Lithuanian Grand Duchy. Ona was his co-worker. She signed writs of warranty which her husband would fulfill, received emissaries of the Teutonic Knights, went to their capital Marienburg as a hostage to advance her husband’s political cause. She stood firmly at his side when war broke out with the Teutonic Order of Prussia and Vytautas with Jogaila dealt the Teutonic Knights a mortal blow in the battle of Žalgiris (Tannenberg) in 1410. Ona died in 1418, without seeing the day the Holy Roman Emperor granted her husband a royal crown. In the chronicles of the Teutonic Knights Ona is described as “The most elegant woman in Europe.”

Vytautas’ daughter Sofia is shown with husband Vasily, Grand Duke of Moscovia, in
an old woodcut.

The only daughter of Vytautas and Ona was Sofia, an energetic and strong-willed woman, who married the Grand Duke of Moscow. Though living in an alien environment where women were traditionally kept in the terema, the Muscovite equivalent of the oriental harem, Sofia did not accept this strange custom. She was not a slave to her husband, but actively engaged in the politics of the Kremlin. After her husband died she doggedly fought for her son’s rights to the throne. While her father Vytautas was alive, she felt secure, seeking his protection over her family. After his death she continued her firm rule in the Kremlin, although she was driven from the throne and even imprisoned.

She ultimately regained the throne for her son, chose a wife for him, and defended Moscow against the inroads of the Tartars. When Jogaila became the king of Poland, ushering in the renowned Jagelonian Dynasty, his sister Aleksandra exercised great influence in Polish politics. Aleksandra had married the Duke of Mazovia. She went down in posterity as cofounder, with Jogaila, of the University of Cracow. Her capable daughter was to be the mother of the Habsburg Emperor, Frederick IV. The fourth wife of Jogaila was a Lithuanian, Sofia, Duchess of Alšenai. She was the first queen of Poland to see to it that her subjects had the Holy Scriptures in their native language. She played a prominent role in having her offspring chosen as rulers of Poland and Lithuania.

From the fourteenth to the middle of the sixteenth century, a heated conflict between the Lithuanians and the Poles raged over the political union of the two states. The Lithuanians sought to break the ties with the Poles, while the latter wanted a closer union. These strained relations can be seen in the fate of Duchess Barbora Radvila, whose brother and cousin were high dignitaries of Lithuania.

Vytautas’ wife Ona, as painted by Kazys Šimonis.

Duchess Barbora was a ravishing beauty and a true child of the epoch of humanism and the Renaissance. Her love affair with Lithuania’s Grand Duke Žygimantas (Sigismund August) led to a stormy episode in Polish-Lithuanian history. The ruler’s mother and the Polish nobles were opposed to the marriage of the heir to the Polish throne to the daughter of Lithuania’s most influential family. “I would rather see in Cracow the Turkish Sultan than see her as queen of Poland,” said many a Polish magnate. Conventions and parliamentary assemblies discussed the question of the ruler’s wedding. After days of waiting, fear, and insults, the young couple married in secret. Finally, the vacillating Sigismund August became king of Poland and had Barbora crowned queen. But their joy was short-lived. Weakened by a long illness (it is said that the dowager queen Bona poisoned her), Queen Barbora died, a victim of the quarrels between the Lithuanian and Polish nobility.

Among the leading lights of the Renaissance period in Lithuania is the personality of Sofia Vnucka Morkus, a wealthy estate owner and an advocate of Calvinism and secular education. Her contemporary was Sofia Chodkevicius (Katkus), who exerted an influence on the illustrious hetman (military marshal) Jonas Karolis Chodkevicius (Katkus). She was an independent woman, who managed vast estates and built churches and monasteries. One of the most educated and influential women of the eighteenth century in Lithuania was Zabiela-Kosakauskas. The list could be expanded indefinitely.

DURING THE ECLIPSE OF LITHUANIAN LIBERTY

From 1795 to 1918 was a long and difficult period that followed Imperial Russia’s annexation of Lithuania. During those years the Lithuanians repeatedly rose against the czarist despotism, women joining their men folk in the struggle to restore the nation’s freedom and independence. In the 1831 rebellion, Countess Emilija Plateris, a patriotic Samogitian girl, distinguished herself as a guerilla colonel and died from wounds received in combat. Two other Samogitian noblewomen, Marija Asanavicius and Antuane t e Tamašauskas, who gained recognition for their great courage on the battlefield, were fortunate to survive, but were obliged to leave the country and, fearing Russian persecution, did not return.

Queen and Grand Duchess Barbora.

In the same 1831 uprising Princess Kunigunda Oginskis achieved distinction for her heroic devotion as a nurse to the wounded rebels. With her husband, General Gabrielius Oginskis, who had led the Lithuanian units during Napoleon’s march on Moscow in 1812 and who was now Vice-President of Lithuania’s temporary government, she shared the trials and dangers of underground warfare. After the suppression of the revolt, she and her husband emigrated to France. Later, with the Czar’s permission, they returned to Lithuania. It was her fate, however, to experience the tragic loss of her husband, who was seized and tortured by the Russians and died in a Vilnius prison.
The rebellion was suppressed with great bloodshed. The old University of Vilnius, a fountainhead of national thought and aspirations, was closed. Men and women who participated in the rebellion were deported to Siberia. Some succeeded in escaping to the West.

In the 1863 revolt, the sisters of Liudvikas Narbutas, one of the leaders of the revolt— Teodora Monciunskas and Emilija Jucevicius—stand out as women rebels. Teodora supported her brother’s unit as an active liaison runner. Emilija sheltered the units of Ostroga and Lenkevicius. Kazimiera Žebrauskas helped the units of Saurimavicius and Olšauskas in Ukmerge and Panevežys counties. Karolina Gouvaltis residing in Vilnius helped volunteers, hid and clothed rebels.

Women also gave food, shelter, and other aid to the families of men who joined the revolt. Many women were subjected to punishment because their men were in rebel ranks. Without doubt, Dominika Dalevskis, a widow in Vilnius, suffered the most. Her son Titas was executed in Vilnius. Another son, Pranciškus, received a twentyyear hard labor sentence. Konstantinas migrated to France. Aleksandras, returning from Siberia, died in Vilnius before the revolt. Mrs. Dalevskis and her six daughters were deported to the depths of Russia. Banishing her to Ufa province, Governor General Muraviev declared: “Let this mother, who has nurtured so many mutineers, settle near the road to the penal camps. Let her observe her sons, relatives and friends being driven along this road in chains.” On this road Mrs. Dalevskis saw Pranciškus being taken to Siberian exile. The son, as told by Apolonija Sierakauskas— another woman in exile who witnessed the meeting—fell at his mother’s feet, while she only pressed his head to her breast, without a sob or a tear.

Countess Emilija Plateris

Russian gendarmes sent hundreds of rebels to the gallows, Thousands were deported to desolate wastelands of Russia. All Lithuanian schools were closed. Obscurantism clouded the horizon. In 1864 the Lithuanian language was banned in all public offices, and the use of Latin characters in Lithuanian publications was prohibited.

The reactionary czarist regime in Lithuania began a policy against the Catholic Church. This was coupled with Russification and colonization of sequestrated lands by Russian settlers. Dark days had indeed descended upon Lithuania.

During the struggle against Russia, Lithuania lost many of her notables and intellectuals. The only positive development was the abolition of serfdom in 1861, which permitted the sending of peasant children to school. As a consequence, a generation of intellectuals of peasant background sprang up, which took up the struggle for the peasantry and for the nation as a whole. They were, without doubt, the prototypes of the Lithuanian youth a century later that rose up to wage open and guerilla warfare against the overwhelming forces of the Russian Soviets, who had occupied their country and had deported countless thousands of their relatives and neighbors to the barren reaches of Siberia.

In the struggle with the czarist government, women were active participants—not as wives of kings and dukes, but as peasant women. During and after the period of serfdom it was the Lithuanian peasant women who did so much to preserve their ancient language. Seated at her spinning wheel, the Lithuanian mother taught her children to read in the native language. She told them stories and legends about the country’s great past when the land was free and powerful. These legends survived, being passed on from generation to generation. The Lithuanian woman knew that she would be punished for this, but her love of her country was stronger than her fear of punishment.

A Lithuanian peasant woman washing linen in a brook. (Turn of the century photograph.)

The Lithuanian woman was brave. When the Russian authorities ordered the church at Kražiai in 1893 shut down to prevent the people from praying in Lithuanian, the women would not abandon this sanctuary. Thereupon the Russian gendarmes broke in among the worshipers and hacked them with their swords. But the Lithuanian woman bravely and patiently bore her suffering. It was her way of protesting against the regime for forbidding the worship of God in her own language.

The political maturity of the woman runs like an unbroken thread throughout Lithuanian history. Women were among the devoted book smugglers who clandestinely brought into the country Lithuanian books and newspapers, printed in East Prussia and the United States, and distributed them among the common folk hungry for the forbidden Lithuanian word. For their patriotic work many of these book carriers were arrested and banished to Siberia. Among the most prominent women who directed book smuggling from Tilže (East Prussia) was Morta Zaunius, who later helped to organize the Lithuanian exhibit at the World’s Fair in Paris in 1901.

In 1883 the fledgling Lithuanian newspaper Aušra formulated the national aspirations, demanding reestablishment of the Lithuanian press and the opening of more schools. By 1889 another Lithuanian newspaper, Varpas, was asking for acknowledgment of national rights, land reform, civil rights for all, and ultimately national independence.

After years of constant struggle, the Lithuanian press was finally restored in 1904.

The 1905 revolution in Czarist Russia had repercussions in Lithuania. Uprisings broke out all over the country, and regional functionaries of Russia were swept aside in the rural areas. On September 22-23, 1905, the Alliance of Women of Lithuania was formed. The goal of the country’s first women’s organization was the restoration of the Lithuanian State and securing of women’s rights. (Russian law accorded very limited rights to women, especially in the field of inheritance).

That same year a Lithuanian Conference was called in Vilnius. It was attended by two thousand delegates. Women actively participated in the work of this conference. Its resolutions demanding human and political rights for Lithuania later circulated throughout the country. Gabriele Petkevicius, Felicija Bortkevicius, Ona Šapkauskas, Katre Jane lis, and Ona B raza us kas were among the vocal women at the conference.

This sculpture by Petras Rimša, showing a mother at a spinning wheel teaching her child to read during the “Press Ban” in 19th century Lithuania, personifies the indomitable spirit of the Lithuanian woman.

At the end of 1905 a meeting of peasant women took place at Lotove- nai, in Šiauliai County. The women declared that they must have equal rights with men. Being subject to the same taxes, they argued, their rights should also be the same. They also demanded Lithuanian language schools, protested against unrestricted sale of liquor, and came out in favor of a strong, nationwide women’s society.

Growing czarist reaction, however, ruined their hopes. The reprisals were similar to those that took place after the 1831 and the 1863 revolts. Again many Lithuanian patriots were banished to Siberia, while others managed to escape to western Europe and America. Among the emigrants to America were young men fleeing from service in the Czar’s army. Lithuanian women sent their sons abroad that they may escape doing military duty in the Caucasus, Turkestan, and Far Siberia.

In 1907 the first Women’s Conference took place in Kaunas. Because of possible political reaction, the women had to formulate their demands carefully. The conference, with Gabriele Petkevicius as chairman and Ona Pleiris-Puida as secretary, saw a need for a general women’s organization. The meeting raised the question of women’s rights, suggested that women also organize by profession, concern themselves with education, and protest against the government’s open sale of liquor.

In 1908 two women’s organizations were founded—the Lithuanian Catholic Women’s Society in Kaunas and the Lithuanian Women’s Association in Vilnius.

Prior to the First World War, the national political work of women was clandestine. Women often engaged in underground party activities. They peasant women took place at Lotove- nai, in Šiauliai County. The women declared that they must have equal rights with men. Being subject to the same taxes, they argued, their rights should also be the same. They also demanded Lithuanian language schools, protested against unrestricted sale of liquor, and came out in favor of a strong, nationwide women’s society. Growing czarist reaction, however, ruined their hopes. The reprisals were similar to those that took place after the 1831 and the 1863 revolts. Again many Lithuanian patriots were banThe goal of the country’s first women’s organization was the restoration of the Lithuanian State and securing of women’s rights. ished to Siberia, while others managed to escape to western Europe and America. Among the emigrants to America were young men fleeing from service in the Czar’s army. Lithuanian women sent their sons abroad that they may escape doing military duty in the Caucasus, Turkestan, and Far Siberia. In 1907 the first Women’s Conference took place in Kaunas. Because of possible political reaction, the women had to formulate their demands carefully. The conference, with Gabriele Petkevicius as chairman and Ona Pleiris-Puida as secretary, saw a need for a general women’s organization. The meeting raised the question of women’s rights, suggested that women also organize by profession, concern themselves with education, and protest against the government’s open sale of liquor. In 1908 two women’s organizations were founded—the Lithuanian Catholic Women’s Society in Kaunas and the Lithuanian Women’s Association in Vilnius. Prior to the First World War, the national political work of women was clandestine. Women often engaged in underground party activities. They Year o f the Lith u a n ia n Bo o k helped liberate political prisoners and arranged their escape abroad. They edited clandestine and public newspapers and wrote articles on women’s rights. They were often under police surveillance.

When the Kaiser’s armies occupied Lithuania in 1915 and the retreating Russians transported part of the population to Russia Proper, Lithuanian women faced adversity with patience and fortitude. With the fall of the Russian colossus during the March 1917 revolution, Lithuanian women in Russia organized in groups, in order to speed up their return to their homeland. In Moscow they formed the Lithuanian Women’s Freedom Union, with Ona Mašiotas as its suffragette-type chairman.

During the Lithuanian Conference in Petrograd (St. Petersburg) in May of 1917, the women participants—among them: Felicia Bortkevicius, Liuda Purenas, Birute Grigaitis, and Emilija Spudas-Gvildys —insisted that the assembly extend equal rights to women, and their demand was accepted in resolution form. During the German occupation, the Vilnius-based Committee to Aid War Victims was for a long time the only official Lithuanian institution. Two of its more active members were Emilija Vileišis and Sofia Smetona.

On February 16, 1918, Lithuania declared her independence. Even before the impending collapse of Imperial Germany, many refugees had started on their return journey from Russia. The Lithuanian women were going back to rebuild their homeland.

Jadvyga Chodakauskas was among the first women to be sent abroad. In 1918 she headed the Lithuanian Information Center in Bern, Switzerland. For a while she was the representative of Lithuania in Switzerland. In 1919 she went to Paris with the Lithuanian Peace Delegation as the Director of the Lithuanian Information Center.

• This article was adapted from The Lithuanian Woman, edited by Birute Novickis and published by the Federation of Lithuanian Women’s Clubs, Brooklyn, 1968


LRT FACTS. Are Lithuanian cities 'deadliest' in Europe and is drinking to blame?

Fox News ranked Kaunas, VIlnius and Klaipėda as the top three “deadliest” European cities, basing their claim on a UN study from 2019.

Once the story was picked up by all major news outlets in Lithuania, social media exploded with comments, the police held a press conference disputing the “deadliest” label, and government representatives claimed to have contacted Fox News for clarification.

Did Fox truthfully present the figures from the UN Global Study on Homicide, and does Lithuania indeed have the “deadliest” cities in Europe? And why did the deputy police commissioner say it’s enough for Lithuanians to “drink less” for the problem to be solved?

Safe streets, dangerous homes

The Lithuanian police hosted a dedicated conference to present its own statistics – they said most homicides in Lithuania are domestic, therefore Lithuanian cities cannot be seen as dangerous.

The police representatives also said the UN data of the number of homicides per 100,000 people wasn’t up to date.

“The difference is that the domestic crimes, in essence, do not cause danger to the society, to other residents,” the head of communications at the Lithuanian police, Ramūnas Matonis, told LRT FACTS.

“Two people drink, get drunk, get into a fight, use a knife or something, and that’s it. Of course, every murder is a tragedy, but it’s not right to scare people that Lithuanian cities are unsafe,” he added.

The publication by Fox News was disingenuous, said the police.

Researcher Maryja Šupa from the Criminology Department of Vilnius University (VU) said most crimes in Lithuania are committed in domestic environment.

“It’s important to note that no single figure – like the number of murders per 100,000 people – can tell if a city is safe,” she told LRT FACTS, adding it was necessary to look at contextual factors.

Seventy percent of homicides in Lithuania happen in the homes of the victims or the accused, according to an investigation by VU researchers. A completely unrelated person is the victim of murder only in 20 percent of cases.

“Although the number of murders [in Lithuania] is relatively high in comparison with other EU states, only a minority of the murders happen in public spaces,” said Šupa, adding it would be “completely wrong” to say that a random person faces any real risk of being attacked and killed on the streets.

The safety of a city depends on various factors, she said, including “subjective safety – how secure people feel regardless of criminal statistics.”

Therefore, the Fox News “dealiest cities” headline “says very little about the cities themselves,” as it avoids saying “who exactly, why and under what circumstances has died,” said Šupa.

And although Lithuania has the highest number of homicides in the EU, “the statistics are more than 10 times higher in North and South America,” where crime is often linked with drug trade and organised crime, she said.

Lithuania's culture of violence and social exclusion

During the police press conference on February 6, Deputy Police Commissioner Edvardas Šileris said Lithuanians “should drink less” when asked what could help solve the problem of murders.

According to the VU criminologist Šupa, murders committed at home “do not pose a direct threat to the public,” but are "often connected with alcohol [abuse], as 70 percent of murders were committed under the influence of alcohol".

This shows "a culture of violence [that is] a problem common in the whole post-Soviet [sphere]”.

“In countries where alcohol is used in public – in cafes, bars, other spaces – there is more social control, more safeguards, other people that can notice a conflict situation and intervene before something happens.”

Meanwhile, closing oneself up in domestic environments is common in post-Soviet countries, she said.

Crime often results from social exclusion, many of the accused tend to have only school-level education, some have committed other crimes before, and at least 40 percent have previously been imprisoned, added Šupa.

“And it’s again a question for us, the society – is there really no direct danger to people in the streets, does it mean that everything is alright?”

Official but inconsistent data

In a Facebook post, political scientists Mažvydas Jastramskis has criticised the ranking of cities based on statistics from a single year. He said he made several calculations himself which, depending on criteria, completely change the “deadliest” list.

“One of the statistics’ [. ] principles is that you cannot take one measure and present it as if it reflects the entirety,” he wrote.

Jastramskis proceeded to use the UN database to take data from 2011 through 2016, which showed statistics from cities in “almost all European nations, except Kyiv and Dublin”.

The information surprised Jastamskis.

“For example, the deadliest European city isn’t Moscow or Kaunas, but Cahul” in Moldova, he wrote.

When he adjusted the filter to include cities with at least two data entries, the top 10 he got were “Bijelo Polje (Montenegro), Kasnodar (Russia), Prešov (Slovakia), Klaipėda, Kaunas, Vilnius (Lithuania), Moscow (Russia), Riga (Latvia), Liepāja (Latvija), Schaan (Lichtenstein),” according to Jastamskis.

When measuring statistics per 100,000 people, all it takes is for one small town to have a single murder for the statistics to inflate, he wrote.

“This happened with Schaan in Liechtenstein, where one banker was killed in 2014. For a town of 6,000 people this meant 16.9 murders per 100,000 people.”

Comments on social media also pointed to the fact that the quoted statistics are from 2016 and are therefore outdated.

According to Statistics Lithuania, the number of murders in the country have been steadily decreasing for a long time.

The UN report does not rank cities, but profile different countries based on regional and year-frame filters.

“The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime seeks to shed light on different phenomena, from lethal gang violence and the role of firearms to links with inequalities and gender-related killings, and in this way support targeted action,” Yury Fedotov, head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, is quoted in the report.

“I hope that the research and analysis contained in the study are used in this spirit – not to designate “murder capitals” but to learn, understand and strengthen prevention.”

The report did not analyse statistics of different cities, which can only be found in a separate UN database.

Fox News ended up using the statistics differently than intended by the UN and presented them as a rating of “deadliest” cities, contrary to what the report aimed to do.

Verdict: manipulation / sensational headline

Although Lithuania definitely stands out among EU member states with a high number of murders, it isn’t accurate to say that the country’s cities are unsafe or “deadly”, as Fox News claimed. Based on Lithuania’s crime statistics, most murders happen in domestic environments and not in the pubic. Critics said it was wrong to analyse the UN data in the way Fox News did, basing the story on a single criterion of murders per 100,000 inhabitants. Experts, however, said that although the data was inconsistent, it still showed problems arising from social exclusion.


Lithuania News - History

Lithuanian Jewish leaders on Tuesday accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of "falsifying" history after he defended the Soviet annexation of the Baltic states during World War II.

While paying tribute to those who perished fighting the Nazis, the Jewish community dismissed Putin's attempt to play down Soviet crimes in Lithuania and fellow Baltic states Latvia and Estonia.

"We, the descendants of the Jews of Lithuania, oppose this falsification of the history of the enslavement of our independent Lithuania," community leader Faina Kukliansky and lawmaker Emanuelis Zingeris said.

They issued a joint statement in response to Putin's article in US magazine The National Interest earlier this month in which he described the Baltic states' annexation as "incorporation".

"Their accession to the USSR was implemented on a contractual basis, with the consent of the elected authorities," Putin wrote, saying it was in "line with international and state law of that time".

Putin has repeatedly accused the West of playing down the Soviet contribution to the Nazi defeat -- an estimated 27 million Soviet troops and civilians were killed in World War II.

But for many in the Baltic states, which were independent states after World War I, the Soviet takeover marked the start of decades of often brutal Soviet occupation rather than liberation.

"Lithuanian Jews who had a guarantee of ethnic continuity in independent Lithuania became the ethnic group most persecuted by the Soviet occupiers," Jewish leaders said.

"The majority of Lithuania's Jews didn't want a Soviet government. The massive fight later by the Soviet Union and its satellites against Zionism became the hallmark of the entire period of Communist rule."

The Soviets invaded the Baltic states in 1940 under their infamous Molotov-Ribbentrop pact with Nazi Germany. A year later, in June, they deported some 43,000 Baltic citizens, including thousands of Jews.

That drive was cut short when Germany turned on its former allies the same month, pushing the Red Army out of the Baltic region as it invaded the Soviet Union.

In 1944-45, the Soviets put an end to the Nazi occupation -- during which almost all of the region's Jews were killed -- heralding the renewed deportations of hundreds of thousands and prompting an armed resistance that only ended in 1953.

Moscow refuses to recognize the Soviet takeover of the Baltic states as an occupation and it has never offered an apology or reparations.

It was only in March 1990 that Lithuania became the first Soviet republic to declare independence, before joining the European Union and NATO in 2004.


Litauen

Lithuania is the southernmost of the Baltic states. During the Holocaust, the Germans murdered about 90 percent of Lithuanian Jews, one of the highest victim rates in Europe.

Nøgle Fakta

Lithuanians carried out violent riots against the Jews both shortly before and immediately after the arrival of German forces.

In June and July 1941, detachments of German Einsatzgrupen together with Lithuanian auxiliaries, began murdering the Jews of Lithuania.

By the end of August 1941, most Jews in rural Lithuania had been shot. By November 1941, the Germans had also massacred most of the Jews who had been concentrated in ghettos in the larger cities.

Dette indhold er tilgængeligt på følgende sprog

Lithuania is the southernmost of the Baltic states.

The Jews of Lithuania had their own distinct and highly developed Jewish culture, including a special dialect of the Yiddish language. Lithuanian Jewry played a profound role in many Jewish ideologies, including the Jewish workers' movement, Zionism, and rational religious thought. Before World War II, the Lithuanian Jewish population was some 160,000, about 7 percent of the total population.

Lithuania was an independent country from the end of World War I until 1940. In March 1939, Nazi Germany delivered an ultimatum to Lithuania to cede the territory of Memel (Klaipeda), a region with an ethnic German majority, to the Reich. On March 21, the Lithuanian government agreed to the German terms. The following day the German and Lithuanian foreign ministers signed a treaty that returned the Memel territory back to Germany and included an non-aggression pact between the two parties. The Soviet Union occupied Lithuania in June 1940 and annexed the country in August 1940. By 1941, the Jewish population of Lithuania swelled by an influx of refugees from German-occupied Poland to reach about 250,000, or 10 percent of the population.

In June and July 1941, following the German invasion of the Soviet Union, the Germans occupied Lithuania. During the German occupation, Lithuania was incorporated into the Reich Commissariat Ostland (Reichskommissariat Ostland), a German civilian administration covering the Baltic states and western Belorussia.

The Lithuanians carried out violent riots against the Jews both shortly before and immediately after the arrival of German forces. In June and July 1941, detachments of German Einsatzgruppen together with Lithuanian auxiliaries, began murdering the Jews of Lithuania. By the end of August 1941, most Jews in rural Lithuania had been shot. By November 1941, the Germans also massacred most of the Jews who had been concentrated in ghettos in the larger cities. The surviving 40,000 Jews were concentrated in the Vilna, Kovno, Siauliai, and Svencionys ghettos, and in various labor camps in Lithuania. Living conditions were miserable, with severe food shortages, outbreaks of disease, and overcrowding

In 1943, the Germans destroyed the Vilna and Svencionys ghettos, and converted the Kovno and Siauliai ghettos into concentration camps. Some 15,000 Lithuanian Jews were deported to labor camps in Latvia and Estonia. About 5,000 Jews were deported to killing centers in German-occupied Poland, where they were murdered. Shortly before withdrawing from Lithuania in the fall of 1944, the Germans deported about 10,000 Jews from Kovno and Siauliai to concentration camps in Germany.

Soviet troops reoccupied Lithuania in the summer of 1944. In the previous three years, the Germans had murdered about 90 percent of Lithuanian Jews, one of the highest victim rates in Europe.


Lithuania marks 80th anniversary of Soviet mass deportations

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. Alle rettigheder forbeholdes.

A man lays flowers on rusty railway tracks near old wagons at the Naujoji Vilnia railway station in Vilnius, Lithuania, Monday, June 14, 2021, as Lithuania marked the mass deportation 80 years ago by the Soviet Union that was occupying the Baltic nation. Deportation started on June 14, 1941, where some 280,000 people were deported to Siberian gulags, a year after Soviet troops had occupied Lithuania. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)

VILNIUS – Flowers were laid on rusty railway tracks Monday as Lithuania marked the start of a mass deportation 80 years ago by the Soviet Union that was occupying the Baltic nation.

People who were considered opposed to Moscow or deemed counter-revolutionary elements were sent to Siberia from Lithuania and few returned. Others who owned land or houses were evicted and sent there too.

Some 280,000 people were eventually deported to the Siberian gulags, a year after Soviet troops had occupied Lithuania. Many of those sent away never returned from the long journey in the cattle wagons.

“Two evil forces — Nazi Germany and the Soviet Communist regime — had entered a secret agreement to divide Europe,” President Gitanas Nauseda said during a solemn ceremony in Vilnius, on a day considered one of the darkest pages in the Baltic nation’s recent history. These “regimes caused unspeakable pain and suffering.”

One of those attending the ceremony Monday was deported and spent almost 11 years in Siberia. Aurelija Staponkute and her family were deported only because they had a small farm that was seized.

“We do not know what the future might bring. Whatever happens, we must protect our freedom. After all, we fought for it so hard,” the 83-year-old said.

Only one-third of those deported ever returned, according to historians, and the mass deportation affected all walks of life in the Baltic nation, where it's considered a genocide by an occupying power.

The Soviet occupation of Lithuania lasted for five decades. After regaining its independence in 1991, Lithuania joined the European Union and NATO in 2004.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. Alle rettigheder forbeholdes. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


Lithuania marks 80th anniversary of Soviet mass deportations

Lithuania Deportations Anniversary A man lays flowers on rusty railway tracks near old wagons at the Naujoji Vilnia railway station in Vilnius, Lithuania, Monday, June 14, 2021, as Lithuania marked the mass deportation 80 years ago by the Soviet Union that was occupying the Baltic nation. Deportation started on June 14, 1941, where some 280,000 people were deported to Siberian gulags, a year after Soviet troops had occupied Lithuania. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis) (Mindaugas Kulbis)

June 14, 2021 at 12:01 pm EDT

VILNIUS, Lithuania &mdash (AP) — Flowers were laid on rusty railway tracks Monday as Lithuania marked the start of a mass deportation 80 years ago by the Soviet Union that was occupying the Baltic nation.

People who were considered opposed to Moscow or deemed counter-revolutionary elements were sent to Siberia from Lithuania and few returned. Others who owned land or houses were evicted and sent there too.

Some 280,000 people were eventually deported to the Siberian gulags, a year after Soviet troops had occupied Lithuania. Many of those sent away never returned from the long journey in the cattle wagons.

“Two evil forces — Nazi Germany and the Soviet Communist regime — had entered a secret agreement to divide Europe,” President Gitanas Nauseda said during a solemn ceremony in Vilnius, on a day considered one of the darkest pages in the Baltic nation’s recent history. These “regimes caused unspeakable pain and suffering.”

One of those attending the ceremony Monday was deported and spent almost 11 years in Siberia. Aurelija Staponkute and her family were deported only because they had a small farm that was seized.

“We do not know what the future might bring. Whatever happens, we must protect our freedom. After all, we fought for it so hard,” the 83-year-old said.

Only one-third of those deported ever returned, according to historians, and the mass deportation affected all walks of life in the Baltic nation, where it's considered a genocide by an occupying power.

The Soviet occupation of Lithuania lasted for five decades. After regaining its independence in 1991, Lithuania joined the European Union and NATO in 2004.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. Alle rettigheder forbeholdes. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


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