1922-1926 World War II

Lithuania a Dictatorship, 1926-1938

In Lithuania, the democratic experiment ended earlier than in most of it's neighbouring countries - Poland 1926, Germany 1933, Latvia and Estonia 1934. In a coup d'etat on Dec. 17th 1926 ANTANAS SMETONA seized the presidency; in 1927 he dissolved the SEJMAS (parliament), in 1928 he promulgated a new constitution widening presidential powers. A patriot, he rejected Italian Fascism and German National Socialism.
Lithuania continued to claim the Vilnius region, a claim which was an obstacle to improved relations to Poland, as well as to the Vatican; as Lithuania demanded the inclusion of Vilnius territory into the Lithuanian church province to be created, a CONCORDATE did only materialize after long negotiations. The church administration of Lithuania was reformed, the DIOCESE OF TELSIAI established (1926), replacing the old, but defunct Samogitian Diocese.
In 1934 the BALTIC PACT (with Latvia and Estonia) was signed.

Lithuanian Stamp featuring President Antanas Smetona (in office 1918-1920, 1936-1940) , issued in 1934

History of Lithuania, from Scantours
History of Lithuania, from Ramunas' Personal Pages
Biography of Antanas Smetona, from Lithuanian Home Page
The Telsiai Diocese, from Samogitian Cultural Association
DOCUMENTS List of Presidents etc. of Lithuania, from World Rulers by Ben Cahoon Convention between Lithuania and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics for the Definition of Aggression. Signed at London, July 5th, 1933, from LETTONIE - RUSSIE, Traites et documents de base
REFERENCE David G. Kirby, The Baltic World 1772-1993, London : Longman 1995
Manfred Hellmann, Grundzüge der Geschichte Litauens (Main Features of Lithuania's History), Darmstadt : Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft 1976 (in German) [G]
Chapter XXXIV : Poland and the Baltic States, pp.484-495, in : John Gunther, Inside Europe, 1940 war dition, NY : Harper & Bros. 1940 [G]
Article : Lithuania, in : Statesman's Yearbook 1928 pp.1091-1095, 1929 pp.1074-1078, 1932 pp.1090-1094, 1937 pp.1126-1131 [G]
Article : Lithuania, in : Americana Annual 1927 pp.506-508, 1928 pp.463-464, 1930 pp.451-452, 1931 pp.451-452, 1932 pp.420-421, 1933 pp.442-444, 1934 p.345, 1935 pp.412-413, 1936 pp.416-418, 1937 pp.419-420, 1938 pp.400-401 [G]
Article : Lithuania, in : New International Year Book 1928 pp.417-418, 1930 pp.442-443, 1932 pp.464-465, 1933 pp.452-453, 1934 pp.386-387, 1935 pp.403-405, 1938 pp.418-421 [G]
Article : Lithuania, in : Funk & Wagnall's New Standard Encyclopedia Year Book 1932 pp.357-358, 1933 pp.324-325, 1934 pp.339-341, 1935 pp.338-340, 1936 pp.316-317, 1937 pp.318-320, 1938 pp.321-323 [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2000, last revised on August 24th 2007

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