To understand what happened in the Baltic States in the summer of 1940, make out internal and external political situation prevailing in Lithuania. In the First World War in 1915 Vilna province of the Russian Empire was invaded by Germany. In February 1918, in Vilna, Lithuania Tariba (Council of Lithuania) announced the restoration of independent state. First you want to make the kingdom, inviting German prince to the throne, that is, if I did not fall in the German Empire, Lithuania (as well as other Baltic areas) would be subordinate to the Germanic territory. During the war, civilian clothes in Russia and the Soviet-Polish war of Lithuania, with the help of the Entente and Poland, has retained its independence. In 1922, a constitution was adopted, providing for the creation of a parliamentary republic. Part of the area between Lithuania and Vilnius was incorporated into Poland. In December 1926 in Lithuania there was a municipal coup — the center-left government was removed, seized power Lithuanian state alliance (Tautininki). In the end, right up to the accession of Lithuania to the Soviet power in the country belonged to a limited authoritarian government nationalists, led by the dictator President Antanas Smetona. The leaders of the Lithuanian Communist Party were executed.
Antanas Smetona in 1928 was formally proclaimed "leader of the nation", concentrating in his own hands the power of a giant. Leading Lithuanian political parties were banned, and the Lithuanian parliament consisted only of members of the ruling party. Representatives of the opposition movements in the main belonged to leftist political organizations, and the first — the Communists were in a deep underground. Some of the opposition was thrown in jail and two concentration camps, located in Varniai and Dimitrave. In Lithuania, the prohibition also included labor unions and other labor organizations. In the second half of 1930 broke out in the country and then the peasant uprisings, people protested against low prices for their products and the highest taxes. Rebellion oppressed, and the participants were subjected to violent persecution, right up to the death penalty. Taking into account the fact that people got the news about the successes of Russian industrialization, the growth of welfare of the people of the USSR, in an environment of Lithuanian intellectuals and students have grown and spread the pro-Soviet, leftist sentiments.
Tensions have been the case with Poland, which in 1920 occupied the Vilnius region. Lithuanians sought to return the ancient capital of Lithuania — Vilnius, and the Polish elite nurtured plans further territorial gains. I must say that Lithuania was the first half of the 20th century, as well as Estonia, Latvia, was a common buffer, LIMITROPHE state. In fact, these countries had to be patron — First, it was the German Empire, then the Western democracies. With increasing the Third Reich, the Baltic countries automatically entered his sphere of influence, which could not arrange Moscow.
In addition, the Baltic countries and almost could volunteer to be satellites of Germany, if their forces defeated the fascist, Nazi character. Thus, in June 1934, Lithuania was organized by a bad coup. Its organizers were pro-Nazi sentiments Augustinas Voldemaras (he was twice Prime Minister of Lithuania — the first Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania in 1918, and then in 1926-1929 was the "Fuehrer" National Fascist paramilitary group "Iron Wolf") and the Chief of the General Staff Gen. P. Kubilyunis. It is clear that behind the back of the rebels looked through the interests of management in Germany. The coup failed, its members were arrested, many after the amnesty moved to Germany, where he made the group "Union activists Lithuania" (LAS). During the second World War, many members of the movement "Iron Wolf" cooperated with the German authorities.
Germany and Poland encouraged her from the 2nd half of the 1930s began to exert massive pressure Lithuanian government, seeking to Kaunas foreign concessions. March 17, 1938 Poland focused on the Polish-Lithuanian border and brought a significant force Lithuania ultimatum. Warsaw sought immediate and incontrovertible diplomatically relations. Earlier Lithuania refuses to do so because of the occupation of the Vilnius region, and it is virtually meant the abandonment of the rights to the Lithuanians Vilnius. March 19 the Lithuanian government was forced to admit ultimatum Poland. Such acts have caused governments nation-wide outrage, which was accompanied by mass anti-government protests in large Lithuanian cities. Through year, In March 1939, Hitler's Germany, which is heavily encouraged the pro-German separatism in the area of Klaipėda Region (Klaipeda had a certain degree of autonomy, and until 1919 belonged to Germany), Lithuania also issued an ultimatum, demanding the return of Klaipeda region. Lithuania was obliged to give way — March 22 signed a contract on the transfer of Klaipeda (Memel) of Germany. Already on March 24 arrived in the city and Hitler said that the port of Memel will be the basis of German Navy and Marine fortress. Lithuania was in danger of complete occupation. Berlin held back only strategic enthusiasm of the USSR.
German troops in Klaipeda, in March 1939.
In the end, the only guarantor of the independence of Lithuania country that was willing to come to her aid in the event of aggression of Germany or Poland, was a Russian alliance. A significant part of the Lithuanian public welcomed the conclusion of the Contract of Non-Aggression between Germany and the Russian Union of 23 August 1939, and following the defeat of Poland. Lithuanians believed that such makarom Vilnius Lithuania will be returned. September 18, 1939 Wilno Wilno and Russian troops occupied the area, but unlike the rest of the captured city area was not included in the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. October 10, 1939 between the Russian Union and Lithuania signed a contract on mutual assistance and the transfer of the town of Vilna, Lithuania and the Vilnius region. How to write a recognizable Lithuanian left public figure Antanas Wenzl "Russian Alliance solemnly handed over the ancient capital of the region of Vil
nius and Lithuania. It was the only ray of sunshine and a tremendous satisfaction that dark, black in the fall. Hard to imagine for yourself what I experienced then every conscientious Lithuanian — regardless of his views! There was an age-old dream — Lithuania regained its heart! "This contract foresaw entry 20000th contingent of the Red Army in Lithuania.
The situation in Lithuania, as in all the Baltic republics, was quite controversial. You can not say that the anti-Soviet sentiment prevailed. Part of the ruling circles of the Baltic States was ready to continue the rapprochement with the Third Reich, at the same time, many were opposed to Germany and hoped for Moscow's help to maintain the balance of power in the region and state independence. In addition, operating in the underground leftist forces were ready to support their own accession to the Russian republics of the Union. September 26th Central Committee of the Lithuanian Communist Party has called up committees to protect the country from the Third Reich and the Lithuanian collaborators, based in the struggle for freedom in the Soviet Union. October 5, the chairman of the banned Union of Youth of Lithuania Justas Paleckis announced the establishment of a committee of Communist Liaudininkai (Alliance peasant populists) and the Social Democrats. Committee filed a claim on the development of the Republic of Lithuania, the Free Labor, calling nationalists "enemies of the people." October 11 in Kaunas and other Lithuanian towns held rallies in support of Soviet-Lithuanian Mutual Assistance contract. Yu Paleckis claimed the resignation of the government and the president Smetona. He was arrested, the rally was dispersed in Kaunas. The next day broke up another rally, there were beatings of Jewish students (on a wave of nationalism in the Baltic bad attitude to foreigners). The pro-government press has accused Paleckis in matching funds "from the 1st foreign countries and foreigners."
At this time, the Lithuanian government noted not well on the newly acquired lands. The Lithuanian authorities have noted the fact that the people ecstatically took the arrival of the Red Army in Vilnius and ransacked in pursuit of pro-Soviet elements, including the Jews. It should be noted that people understand what they are threatened by the transfer of Vilnius in Lithuania (by this time the ethnic Lithuanians, according to official statistics, in the minority — about 2%), up to 20 thousand people took of the Red Army together with. Polish nationalism was replaced by a concrete Lithuania. People who could not prove they lived in Vilnius until its capture by the Poles in 1920, were deprived of the rights of civilians and even the right to work (become "non-citizens"). As a result of the 250 million people living in the town, only 30 thousand civilians were able to get right. Triumphant bureaucracy, corruption — citizenship could be bought for a bribe, but not everyone had the means. Bureaucrats spoke only in Lithuanian, who do not understand the vast majority of the inhabitants of the area. School teachers, if they could not pass the examination in the Lithuanian language, dismissed. Poles fired from all municipal offices, even in churches Polish priests, priests have changed Lithuanian.
But, despite the repression, in the Republic of Lithuania has continued to grow and pro-Soviet revolutionary sentiments. It is noted in the reports of their own and the Director of State Security A. Povilaitis, who stressed that the communist propaganda finds a good ground in the middle of the workers. Held constant demonstrations, rallies and meetings in support of strengthening ties with the Russian Union and the requirements of the democratization of political life. Their participants were not only workers, and students, representatives of the peasantry and the intelligentsia. In addition, the Lithuanian public is very worried about the news from Western Europe. One after the other under the blows of the armed forces of the Reich fell European countries — in April 1940, captured by Denmark and Norway, in May, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg. The British, throwing technique and a heavy gun, ran on its own peninsula, France surrendered. People worried about the future of the country.
According to the views of a number of researchers, Lithuania revolutionary situation is brewing. People were ready to return to the Soviet regime, crushed with the support of the Allied invaders in 1919. The Nationalist government of Lithuania only increased the hatred of the population, increasing repression and anti-Soviet propaganda. So, first opened in 1940 was the third in a concentration camp Pabradė. In addition, the government pursued a policy of "isolation" locations of the parts of the Red Army, made provocations against the Red Army. Intimidate the people who worked on the ground troops. Some researchers, for example, the historian Alexander Dyukov believe that part of the Lithuanian elite was ready to make a separate agreement with Germany to Berlin took part in the Third Reich, the whole of Lithuania. The Germans expressed their willingness to similar scenario, only the presence of the Red Army in the area of Lithuania, vosprepyadstvovalo its implementation.
June 14, 1940 Moscow claimed by the Lithuanian government to remove from the central government more limited items. June 15, the Lithuanian government, in spite of not a good position of the president, has taken this requirement. Smetona was obliged to transfer to the possibility of President Antanas Merkis head of the government and fled to Germany and then to Switzerland. June 16 in Lithuania was introduced additional contingent of Russian troops. The Communist Party of Lithuania held in the towns of mass rallies in support of these events. June 17 Merkis instructed left politician Yu Paleckis to form a "national government"Legitimately started to go out of the newspaper of the Communist orientation. June 19 in Lithuania has been banned nationalist party tautininkov ("Union of Lithuanian nationalists"). On the same day the government came first communist — Mecislovas Gedvilas, he was given the post of Interior Minister. Then, in the Lithuanian government was introduced a few communists. June 24 was held in Kaunas 70 th. demonstration in support of a "people's government". June 25 was legalized activity of the Communist Party, the Communist Youth League and the union. From prisons and concentration camps were liberated more than four hundred political prisoners, an old dissolving the Diet. In Lithuania, doing the people's militia, began the process of restructuring of the armed forces in the people's army. July 5, it was announced that new elections to the People's Diet and announced programm pro-Soviet "Bloc of the working people." Elections were held on July 14-15, where 95.5% of voters participated (1 million 386 thousand people). Of these 99.19% (1 million 375 thousand people) gave their votes for the "Block of the working people." It was a triumph of the left movement.
Pro-Soviet population was dictated by the choice of not only the errors of authoritarian nationalist dictatorship Smetona, foreign threat, and severe socio-economic status of the population. In 1939, Dr. Grinius said the survey results 150 farms. According to him 19% of children die before they reach the year, meat once a day to eat 2% of the farmers, four times a week — 22%, at least — 7%, others do not eat, eat parasites in 95 of the 150 families, 76% of the patients are of wood boots, only 2% — leather shoes. According Griniusa placed in January in 1940, the death rate exceeded the birth rate in Lithuania, the country is slowly, but died out correctly, the state had 150 thousand patients with tuberculosis, and 80% of children suffered from rickets. Thousands of people left the country in search of work and more than happy shred.
July 21 People's Seimas adopted a declaration on a brand new municipal structure Lithuania — proclaimed the establishment of the Lithuanian SSR and issued a resolution requesting that the Republic of the Union of Russian. In addition, the land was declared state property. From 3 to 6 August 1940 at the 7th extraordinary session of the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Union of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic was part of the USSR. Immediately USSR gave Lithuania a part of the Republic of Belarus terrain — settlements Swieciany (Shvenchenis) Solechniki (Šalčininkai) Devyanishki (Devyanishkis) and Druskininkai (Druskininkai).
It is clear that the policy of the Soviet Union welcomed the connection not all (especially in the shower). Enemies of the Russian authorities, the Soviet Union was lurking and will manifest already in the occupation of the Baltic states by the German troops. In particular, were unhappy with the representatives of the former ruling class and their surroundings. Thus, according to the Lithuanian People's Commissariat GB of disk imaging, in connection with terrorist acts and manifestations of gangs in February and April 1941, 262 people were arrested. On the night of 14 to 15 June 1941 conducted a special operation to eliminate probable "fifth column" of Germany on the eve of the war. In the course of its 5664 people were arrested and another a little more than 10 thousand people were evicted. Among those arrested and deported were former active members of the nationalist White Guard, right-wing organizations, police officers, prison guards, the representatives of the big bourgeoisie, landlords, bureaucrats, some of the former officers of the Lithuanian army and snow-white, etc. These hit and the criminal element.
In concluding this article, it is worth noting the fact that the modern Baltic sick actually the same diseases as Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania 1920-1930-ies. Because at some point, these areas will be required to return to the Russian civilization, it will be a completely logical step, in other Lithuanians, Latvians and Estonians simply disappear.