By Alfred Erich Senn
In June 1940, as Nazi troops marched into Paris, the Soviet crimson military marched into Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia; seven weeks later, the USSR preferrred Soviet ratified the Soviet takeover of those states. For part a century, Soviet historians insisted that the 3 republics had voluntarily asked incorporation into the Soviet Union. Now it has turn into attainable to ascertain the occasions of that tumultuous time extra conscientiously. Alfred Erich Senn, the writer of books at the formation of the Lithuanian kingdom in 1918-1920 and at the reestablishment of that independence in 1988-1991, has produced a desirable account of the Soviet takeover, juxtaposing an image of the disintegration and cave in of the outdated regime with the Soviets' imposition of a brand new order. Discussing the historiography and the dwelling reminiscence of the occasions, he makes use of just like a "shell video game" that targeted realization at the paintings of a supposedly "non-communist" executive whereas within the hothouse stipulations of army career Moscow undermined the state's self reliant associations and brought a revolution from above. Alfred Erich Senn is Professor Emeritus of the college of Wisconsin-Madison, united states, and he's an accessory professor at Vytautas Magnus college in Kaunas, Lithuania. along with his paintings on Lithuania, he's the writer of The Russian Revolution in Switzerland (1971) and tool, Politics and the Olympic video games (1999).
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Extra resources for Lithuania 1940: Revolution from Above. (On the Boundary of Two Worlds: Identity, Freedom, and Moral Imagination in the Baltics)
On a map, Kaunas essentially lies on a line drawn between Moscow and Berlin, and both Germany and the Soviet Union considered it in their own interests to help the Lithuanians on occasion. At times, to be sure, Lithuania’s two large neighbors considered the Lithuanians too adventuresome and demanding, even irresponsible. In 1927, for example, talking with German Foreign Minister Gustav Stresemann about the latest crisis in the Polish-Lithuanian conflict, Maxim Litvinov, Soviet Deputy People’s Commissar for Foreign Affairs, sighed, “Remember, in this serious question you represent three countries.
In September 1939 the voldemarininkai demanded that the Lithuanian army take Vilnius, and in their frustration when the government refused to act, they threatened a coup. No such action occurred, but Smetona was always concerned about Voldemaras’s intentions. After Smetona forced Voldemaras out of the government, the two men had harsh words about each other. ”47 In his thirteen years in power, Smetona had reinforced his position with martial law or “heightened state protection,” a strict “Press Law” (adopted in 1935), and a secret police system, the Saugumas, that worked to identify all possible opponents, including army officers, priests, university professors and students.
43 In 1939 the head of the Lithuanian government was Antanas Smetona, whom a military coup had installed in power in December 1926. At that time, charging that a communist plot had been afoot, the new government had promptly executed four Communist Party members and had subsequently dissolved the parliament, the Seimas. Since then, Smetona’s position and his authority rested on the support of the military. He liked to say that the “nation” had called him to power, first in forming a new government in 1918–1920, and then again in 1926 when a leftist coalition government was allegedly steering the country to disaster.