Volume 21

Acta Historica Universitatis Klaipedensis, Vol. 21Klaipėdos krašto aneksija 1939 m.: politiniai, ideologiniai, socialiniai ir kariniai aspektai
The 1939 Annexation of Klaipėda Region: Political, Ideological, Social and Military Issues

Acta Historica Universitatis Klaipedensis, Vol. XXI

Editor Silva Pocytė

Klaipėda, 2010


INTRODUCTORY WORD
(authors of Introduction: Joachim Tauber and Silva Pocytė)
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ARTICLES

Česlovas LAURINAVIČIUS
Ką reiškia Lietuvai turėti Klaipėdą?
EN title: What is the Significance of Klaipėda to Lithuania?

Abstract and Full Text
The article deals with the historical circumstances and reasons which predetermined the possession of Klaipeda by Lithuania, with the idea and the practice of the Versailles system mainly taken into consideration. As argued by the author, Klaipėda’s jurisdiction to the Lithuanian Code is linked to the balance of power which predetermined the existence of national states in the Eastern and Central Europe, especially in the East Baltic region.
Key Words: international transit, Versailles system, national state, imperial reaction, balance of power.

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Vasilijus SAFRONOVAS
„Memelenderių“ daryba, arba ideologinis 1939 metų Klaipėdos krašto aneksijos parengimas
EN title: The Making of “Memelländer”: How the 1939 Klaipėda Region Annexation was Ideologically Prepared?

Abstract and Full Text
The article examines the impact of the identity-making processes on the ideological preparation of the annexation of Klaipeda Region in 1939. As early as in 1919-1920, efforts were made to unite local inhabitants of Klaipeda Region on the basis of their common past, shared traditions, and belonging to the German culture. For that purpose, a new identity concept “Memelländer” was designed. In 1938, its content was partially geared to another concept of “Memeldeutsche”. The paper analyzes and compares the meanings attributed to both of those concepts and supported within the public communication space, as well as the ceremonies and rites which were to unite local inhabitants on the basis of those meanings. It examines which institutions and groups of people made efforts to maintain them and why. By analysing the possibilities of the impact of those meanings, a new interpretation of Memelländer is proposed. It is based on the view that the concept of “Memelländer” (and subsequently, “Memeldeutsche”) should be treated as situational rather than a stable expression of the identity of Klaipeda Region’s local inhabitants.
Key Words: Klaipėda Region, public communication space, identity making, Memelländer, German nationalism.

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Vygantas VAREIKIS
Politiniai ir kariniai Klaipėdos krašto praradimo aspektai 1938–1939 metais
EN title: Seizure of Klaipėda Region in 1938-1939: Political and Military Aspects

Abstract and Full Text
The article analyzes the plans of Germany to seize Klaipėda Region in 1938, the political circumstances of the German ultimatum issued to Lithuania on March 20, 1939, the response of the Lithuanian Government to the German demands, the organization of the retreat of Lithuanian military units and state institutions from Klaipėda, its process, and the dynamics of German units marching into Klaipėda Region.
Key Words: Klaipėda (Memel) Region, Parliament of Klaipėda Region, Third Reich, Adolf Hitler, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Juozas Urbšys, Stasys Raštikis, Lithuanian Riflemen Union, 6th Infantry Regiment of Lithuanian Army.

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Vytautas JOKUBAUSKAS
Lietuvos kariuomenės parengti Klaipėdos krašto gynimo planai ir realybė 1939 metais
EN title: Klaipėda Region Defence Plans Drawn up by the Lithuanian Army and Reality in 1939

Abstract and Full Text
The article deals with the Lithuanian Army Headquarters’ defence plans for Klaipėda Region (Memel Territory) and Klaipėda City against Germany of the 1930s, providing options of implementation in the event of a military conflict between Lithuania and Germany. The article also provides the data on the Lithuanian armed forces at disposal in 1939, the size of the forces deployed in Klaipėda Region and on its borders, the Army Headquarters plans to use the said military forces, and the potential scenarios of the events. In terms of the military doctrine, an overview of the condition and its potential significance for the sea frontier defence of the Lithuanian Navy is given.
Key Words: Lithuanian armed forces, Lithuanian military doctrine, Klaipeda defence plan, ŠADIR Directive, Klaipėda Region (Memel Territory), operational plan V, border police, Lithuanian Riflemen Union, warship Prezidentas Smetona, Brigadier General Stasys Raštikis.

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Šarūnas LIEKIS
1939 m. Vokietijos karinė agresija ir Lietuvos galimybės valdyti karinę krizę
EN title: 1939 German Military Agression and Lithuanian Potential to Manage Military Crisis

Abstract and Full Text
The western European powers and their allies, including the Baltic States, were more concerned about the unavoidable economic losses of war, while Germany was a prisoner of its delusions about the potential economic advantages of war. The commanders of the Lithuanian army benefited from some tactical lessons during the Klaipėda crisis. The first and most important lesson was that it was nearly impossible to defend the country without some impact on the society as a whole and on the mobilisation of the economy. In reality, only a few units could be activated, and even those available to provide road cover had a shortage of personnel and modes of transport. The commanders realised that even if they were to develop plans for mobilisation, the implementation of those plans could not be assured, as the enemy forces were significantly more advanced technologically. The danger of a politically motivated delay or demands by a foreign country would postpone any plans and make mobilisation too late. The analysis of the principal problems demonstrated that the main issues were not even grounded in the clear technological advantages or differences between the Lithuanian and other armies. Quite the opposite: the most important problems were related to slow planning, a lack of coordination, late communications, and unclear subordination in the chain of command. Not less problematic was the basic discipline of the commanding officers, as well as a lack of political resolve in the climate of authoritarian dictatorship which paralysed the whole decision-making process. This combination determined the system’s outlook and its capacity to resist a foreign, that of German Reich’s, invasion in 1939.
Key Words: military, aggression, crisis management, Klaipėda (Memel).

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Zenonas BUTKUS
SSRS požiūris į Klaipėdos atplėšimą nuo Lietuvos 1939 metais
EN title: The USSR Position on Klaipėda’s withdrawal from Lithuania in 1939

Abstract and Full Text
The article argues that the Soviet Union, like other powerful states, supported Lithuania’s decision to give up the idea of fighting for Klaipėda Region and obeying Nazi Germany’s demand for its occupation. Such a position was not openly and vividly demonstrated by Moscow politicians for the purpose of sustaining a two-decade-lasting image of being Lithuania’s protectors and supporters in the international arena. During the interwar period, the Soviets acknowledged Germany’s rising interest in Klaipėda, and since 1938, they were sure that Lithuania would have never managed to safeguard Klaipėda’s territory. Despite the fact that the Soviets did not intervene in the Nazi expansion, they indirectly responded by spreading their influence on the Baltic region. That was done by demanding territorial extensions from Finland and thus limiting the political sovereignty of Lithuania and Estonia. Hence, in the spring of 1939, more clearly pronounced zones of influence were drawn onto the Baltic States by Germany and the USSR.
Key Words: Klaipėda, Baltic States, tear-away of Klaipėda in 1939, the relationship of Lithuania and the USSR, the relationship of Germany, Lithuania and the USSR.

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Arūnė Liucija ARBUŠAUSKAITĖ
Klaipėdos krašto pabėgėliai Didžiojoje Lietuvoje 1939 metais
EN title: Klaipėda Region Refugees in Lithuania, 1939

Abstract and Full Text
The paper aims to review one uninvestigated episode on the territory known as Klaipėda Region (Memelgebiet) in March 1939, before the Second World War. On 22-23 March 1939, Lithuania was coerced into yielding to Hitler‘s ultimatum for Klaipėda (Memel) to be ceded to Germany which caused a mass surge of refugees from Klaipėda to Lithuania Major. Many Lithuanian workers, employees, and businessmen in the region were scared by the aggressive Nazi Anschluss and fled from the region in panic, mostly to Lithuania. Another segment of the population was subsequently also expelled from the annexed region to Lithuania Major. The Lithuanian Government and its officials were not prepared for the large influx of refugees. To provide additional support, the Lithuanian Red Cross and many social and voluntary organisations became engaged in the refugee accommodation, catering, protection, and dealing with other problems.
Key Words: Klaipėda Region (Memelgebiet), refugees, March 1939, Anschluss, Lithuanian Red Cross.

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Arūnas BUBNYS
Lietuvos interesų gynimas Klaipėdos krašte 1939–1940 metais
EN title: Lithuania’s Interests Protection in Klaipėda Region in 1939-1940

Abstract and Full Text
On the basis of archival documents, the interwar Lithuanian press, and historical literature, the article analyzes the policy of Lithuania’s Government in Klaipėda Region occupied by Nazi Germany in 1939. The author argues that Lithuanian authorities were not merely passive spectators of the events; they actively responded to the Nazi policy in Klaipėda Region, tried to defend the national and private economic interests and the rights of their citizens, made an effort to stop Lithuanians’ deportation from the region, as well as mediated in releasing Lithuanians from the places of imprisonment and recreated the abolished educational and cultural institutions. The efforts of Lithuanian authorities to change the situation in Klaipeda Region to its advantage were thwarted by the Soviet occupation in June, 1940.
Key Words: Klaipėda, Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Lithuanian Embassy in Germany, Lithuanian Consulate in Klaipėda, Kazys Škirpa, German Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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Arminas ŠTUOPYS
Kranto ir priešlėktuvinės (FLAK) artilerijos baterijos Klaipėdoje: bandymai datuoti statybų laikotarpį
EN title: Coastal Defence and Antiaircraft Artillery Batteries in Klaipėda: Attempts to Date the Period of Contruction

Abstract and Full Text
The key topics discussed in the article are related to the dating of the commencement of construction of Kriegsmarine coastal defence and antiaircraft (Flak) artillery batteries in Memel (Klaipeda). The author argues that the most important goal of Kriegsmarine was to protect the port entrance channel from attacks or blocking from the sea. Therefore, the period of March 1939 to the early 1940 discussed in the article could have been used to build fortifications for coastal defence batteries. Stationary fortifications for Flak batteries around the city could have been built in a later period. Until then, temporary emplacements for Flak guns could have been constructed in the surrounding areas. Field research data on Tauralaukis Flak battery gave more credibility to the presumptions presented in the article. Some shell remains revealed ammunition marks stating that this ammo was made in 1941.
Key Words: Memel, Klaipėda, coastal defence, battery, Flak, Nazi Germany, Kriegsmarine, Tauralaukis (Tauerlauken).

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SOURCE PUBLICATIONS

Silva POCYTĖ
Klaipėdiškių/lietuvininkų politinės ir tautinės nuostatos 1939 m. kovo išvakarėse
List of sources:
Lietuviškųjų organizacijų komiteto, Seimelio atstovų ir Klaipėdos miesto ir apylinkės senųjų lietuvių veikėjų pasitarimo protokolas (1939 02 13–14, Klaipėda);
Penkių Komisijos pasitarimo protokolas (1939 02 17, Klaipėda)
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Vygantas VAREIKIS
Pasitraukimas iš Klaipėdos
Source:
6-ojo pėstininkų Pilėnų kunigaikščio Margio pulko vado, gen. štabo pulk. Antano Breimelio raportas 3-iosios pėstininkų divizijos vadui (1939 04 03, Plungė)
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REVIEWS
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Arūnė Liucija ARBUŠAUSKAITĖ
Atsiskleidžia slaptoji Kaliningrado srities istorija (A Review of: КОСТЯШОВ, Юрий. Секретная история Калининградской области. Очерки 1945-1956 г. Калининград: Терра Балтика, 2009).

Vasilijus SAFRONOVAS
Ką naujo lenkai galės sužinoti apie Klaipėdos krašto 1918–1945 m. istoriją? (A Review of: ŁOSSOWSKI, Piotr. Kłajpeda kontra Memel. Problem Kłajpedy w latach 1918–1939–1945. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo „Neriton“; Instytut Historii PAN, 2007).

Arminas ŠTUOPYS
Memelio gynybos epizodai 58-osios Vermachto pėstininkų divizijos veterano memuaruose (A Review of: LUBBECK, William; HURT, David. B. At Leningrad’s Gates. The Story of a Soldier with Army Group North. Philadelphia: Casemate Publishers, 2006).

SCIENTIFIC LIFE
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Vygantas VAREIKIS
Dar viena istorikų disertacija, apginta Klaipėdos universitete

Vasilijus SAFRONOVAS
Pergalės kare atminimas: tarp autentiško išgyvenimo ir ideologinės panaudos