- A Week In Lithuania - Aug. 2009

Introduction     Background    Machtas     Kaunas    Vilnius     Lietuva



The Language

Lithuania - History

Vilnius - History

Kaunas - History

The Jews - Lithuania

The Jews - Kaunas

History-Lithuania-King Mindaugas-Grand Duke Gediminas-Jogaila-Vitautas-
Polish Lithuanian Union-Russian Empire-Republic-Smetona-USSR-
Sajudis-independent-United Nations-NATO-European Union 
ההסטוריה-נסיכות-איחוד עם פולין-האמפריה הרוסית-רפובליקה-סמטונה-ברית המועצות-עצמאות-נאטו-האיחוד האירופי
Lithuania - History

In the year 1009 the name "Lithuania"
was first mentioned in a written form.
The various tribes that had settled
in the area which is now Lithuania
were united in 1240 by Mindaugas.
The first and only King of Lithuania.
In 1316 they were united again
by Grand Duke Gediminas
who chose Vilnius as the capital.
Lithuania expanded to areas
now part of the Ukraine and Belarus.

In 1386 Grand Duke Jogaila
married Queen Jadwiga of Poland.
Jogaila was now King of Poland
and his nephew Vitautas the great
was now Grand Duke of Lithuania.
Under his rule the powerful nation
expanded far away to the east.
In 1447 Grand Duke Casimir Jagiellon
became king of Poland.
The two nations had now one ruler.
In 1569 The Lublin treaty resulted in
the establishment of the Rzeczpospolita.
The Polish-Lithuanian Union.
Lithuania and Poland now shared
the same currency and parliament.
They kept their own armies and laws though.
Poland began to dominate Lithuania.
Polish became widespread there as well.
Russia was often at war with the union.
In 1611 the union occupied Moscow.
In 1654 though Russia captured Vilnius.

for more on that click here

The union started to decline
following several partitions of the union
by the then leading super powers
in 1773 , 1793 and 1795.
Lithuania became now in fact
a part of the Russian Empire.
In 1832 and 1863 the Lithuanians
tried in vain to rebel against the Russians.
In the coming years the Russians
restricted everyday life in the country.
Only Cyrilic letters could be used in books.
Only Russian could be used in schools.
Polish was totally banned now.
Many Lithuanians fled to countries overseas.
Others who stayed had a growing interest
in Lithuanian national culture and history.

In 1915 Germany occupied Lithuania.
In 1917 as the first world war went on
the Lithuanians were allowed
to form their own assembly - the Taryba.
On 16 Feb. 1918 the Taryba declared
the independent Republic of Lithuania.
In 1920 the Russians recognised the new state.
Later on that year Poland occupied Vilnius
and diplomatic relations between
Lithuania and Poland were at its worst.
Kaunas became now the temporary capital.
After a military coup in 1926
Antanas Smetona became the new leader.

In Aug. 1940 as the second world war went on
the country was occupied by the Russians.
Lithuania became now a part of the USSR.
In 1941 the Germans occupied the country.
Under the nazi rule the Jewish community
was almost exterminated in its entirety.

for more on that click here

After three years of nazi occupation
the Russians captured the country again.
Lithuania became a republic of the USSR.
Collective farms were established.
Many people were deported or executed.
The communist political party was now
the only one allowed.

In 1988 a new movement - Sajudis was formed.
In 1989 the local communist party
became independent of the Russian one.
In 1990 Sajudis won the elections
to the Lithuanian Supreme Soviet.
An independent nation was declared.
In 1991 the Russians recognised at last
The independent Republic of Lithuania.
Later on that year Lithuania became
A full member of the United Nations.
A free market economy was reintroduced.

In 2004 Lithuania became a member of NATO.
Later on that year Lithuania became
a full member of the European Union.
Lithuanian became now as a result
one of the official languages
of the expanding organisation.
In the year 2009 the capital Vilnius
was the European capital of culture.

for more on that click here Lietuva- Machtas - Lithuania - Macht - kaunas - Vilnius - Summer ליטא-ליטא  - טיול שורשים לליטא  - קובנה - וילנה  - קיץ  2009