Thursday, 15 February 2007

16th of February - Lithuanian Day of Independence

Today is the Independence day of my country. I guess Lithuania is one of the few countries where two independence days are celebrated. Therefore it is important to strike the difference between the two.

1918 February 16 is a day of re-establishment of Lithuanian State (direct translation from Lithuanian)
On that day Lithuanian Council has signed the declaration of independence. This declaration pronounces that Lithuanian Council, an institution that was at the forefront of Independence movement in the end of 19th and beginning of 20 century, separates Lithuania from any state ties that ever existed with other nations. (At that time we were under Russian empire, during first world war, we experienced short occupation by Germany).

This declaration of independence was recognised by Russia on the 20th of July 1920 through signature of peace treaty with Lithuania. Unfortunately this treaty did not last too long...only until 1940. With arrival and departure of the II WW Lithuania was occupied first by Nazis and then by the Soviet Union. At that time most of the signatories of the independence declaration were prosecuted, deported to work camps. During the times of Soviet occupation celebration of the independence day was forbidden. On the 11th of March 1990 Lithuania's reestablishment Seimas (Parliament) announced an act of re-establishment of Lithuanian independence.

On the 16th of February country celebrates restoration of statehood of Lithuania that was lost since last division of Polish - Lithuanian (Two Nation Republic) Rzechpospolita in 1795. So after the period of existence from 1009 until 1795 country has vanished. That is why after 123 years this declaration brought back Lithuania on the maps of Europe.

Am I emotional about this? No, but I think the key to the future of the country lies in its history, well not to mention that no one really knows the history of the country as small as Lithuania is, so I hope this read will tell a short story of a small country ;)

1 comment:

Camilla Blomquist said...

Renaldas! 'Happily Married' - Congratulations old friend!!! Hope life is treating you well in Brussels. Ole Hammer asked for your mail and that is how I somehow noticed on LinkedIn that you had a blog. Best way to track down the current e-mail.

I wish you all the best!

(The old DUF'er, who has now moved on to Boston)