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THE VOICE OF INTERNATIONAL LITHUANIA

27 July 2017
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The Polish-Lithuanian
War 1919-1920


South-eastern Lithuania, Vilnius included, was occupied by Poland
during the interwar period. Picture: Celebration of the incorporation
of Vilnius Region to Poland, 1922.

The Polish–Lithuanian War was an armed conflict between Lithuania and Poland in the aftermath of World War I and Lithuania's declaration of independence 16 February 1918.

VilNews' Associate Editor Vincas Karnila today introduces our readers to a series with a total of four articles about this war and the consequences it had for the relationship between the once good neighbours Poland and Lithuania.

The conflict primarily concerned territorial control of the Vilnius Region, including Vilnius, and the Suwałki Region, including the towns of Suwałki, Augustów, and Sejny. According to Lithuanian historians, the war was part of the Lithuanian Wars of Independence and spanned from spring 1919 to November 1920. According to Poland, the war included only fighting over the Suwałki Region in September–October 1920 and was part of the Polish–Soviet War.

After Vilnius was occupied by the Russian Bolsheviks in 1919, the government of the Republic of Lithuania established its main base in Kaunas. When Vilnius was forcibly annexed by Poland, Kaunas became the temporary capital of Lithuania, a position it held until 28 October 1939, when the Red Army handed Vilnius back to Lithuania. The Constituent Assembly of Lithuania first met in Kaunas on 15 May 1920. There were no diplomatic relations between Poland and Lithuania until 1938.

Introduction
As usually happens, the end of one hostility often results in the beginning of other hostilities. This was the case between Lithuania and Poland after the end of the First World War. With both countries in a state of war with Bolshevik Russia, defending themselves against Russia’s attempt to recapture and occupy the two countries that had just recently regained their independence, this helped to set the stage for armed conflict between the two neighbors. This combined with one country’s plan to control part of Europe, claims to land based on its population and the continued “carving up” of smaller countries by larger countries all helped to create what was known as the Polish – Lithuanian War which resulted in Lithuania losing its capital of Vilnius and other parts of its country to Polish occupation during the interim war period.

Dear readers we would like to invite you review this series which will offer insight as to what led to the conflict, the reasons and justifications, the participants, the areas of action and some of the key events. As always we warmly welcome any additional information and any comments you would like to share.

Su pagarbe Vincas Karnila, Associate editor
vin.karnila@VilNews.com

Read more…

Category : Featured black / Front page



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