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THE VOICE OF INTERNATIONAL LITHUANIA

26 June 2017
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  INTRODUCTION

This article is born of a frustrated and infuriated Lithuanian American who has watched and listened to the trampling of Lithuania’s history by its neighbors, and even by some of Lithuania’s own historians, for decades. By writing this article, I hope to encourage and inspire Lithuanians worldwide to discard old notions of the Grand Duchy and its Grand Dukes that have been filtered into our conscience by Lithuania’s former oppressors, and other foreigners.

I would like to thank Richard Vitkauskas, Boris Bakunas, and Angele Juraviciene, for providing some of the information contained in this article. 

 

The trampling of

Lithuania’s history

Many Lithuanian historians continually choose not to understand,
appreciate, and respect the impact and grandeur of Lithuanian history
 

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/64/Grunwald_bitwa.jpg
Žalgirio Mūšis (Battle of Tannenberg or Grunwald), fought on 15 July 1410, during the Polish–Lithuanian–
Teutonic War, was the most significant, largest, and fiercest battle in medieval European history.
It was Lithuania’s Vytautas the Great, the ultimate warrior king, whose strategic and
tactical genius ensured victory for Lithuania and its allies.
Detail from a painting by Jan Matejko (1878).

By: Jon Platakis

Over 200 years of foreign occupations left our history suppressed, maligned, and if not stolen outright, then at least borrowed by our neighbors. One browses the internet, or leafs through history books and journals about Lithuania, and immediately notices our great Lithuanian names russianized or polonized; Lithuanian historical events are distorted in many versions, such as, Žalgirio Mūšis (Battle of Tannenberg or Grunwald) where descriptions of Vytautas’ participation is minimized or almost non-existent.  It was mostly Lithuanian blood that was shed in this most significant, largest, and fiercest battle in medieval European history. It was Vytautas, the ultimate warrior king, whose strategic and tactical genius ensured victory for Lithuania and its allies (Sven Ekdahl, “The Turning Point in the Battle of Tannenberg-Grunwald/Žalgirio-1410.“  Lithuanian Quarterly Journal of Arts and Sciences, Volume 56, No.2-Summer 2010). This list can go on and on.

Other ethnic groups, Italians, Greeks, etc., have had hundreds of years to rejoice in their history. We Lithuanians are only now beginning to exit our cocoons and to present ourselves to the world. Even though individual Lithuanians, like actress Ruta Lee, or Dr. Birute Mary Galdikas, one the world’s foremost primatologists, have reached the pinnacle of their careers and have garnered fame and fortune, as a group, we live in relative obscurity. The typical man-on-the-street has little or no familiarity of who or what is a Lithuanian.

So, how do we present our nation and its people to the world? Do we continue to allow foreigners to define Lithuanian history, as has been done for over 200 years? Do we persist in calling the largest and mightiest nation in Europe during the medieval period a Grand Duchy? Should we not demolish the myth that Lithuania only had one king?  These are just a few of the questions we must address in order that Lithuania regain its rightful place in world history.

Unfortunately, many of our own Lithuanian historians choose to present our history in a diminished light. In many of our history books Lithuania is referred to as “The Grand Duchy of Lithuania.”  One has to ask why. Rome conquered nations, and was called an empire, Persia conquered nations, and was called an empire. Lithuania conquered nations, was the largest and most powerful in all of Europe (a superpower longer in existence than the United States), stretching from the Baltic to the Black Sea, and was called…a Grand Duchy.  Primary source documents (Livonian Chronicles, 1372; Petras Dunsburgietis, Prussian Chronicles, and many more) emphatically cite Lithuania as, if not an empire, then at least, a kingdom.

It is incomprehensible why many Lithuanian historians continually choose not to understand, appreciate, and respect the impact and grandeur of Lithuanian history. That appreciation and respect of Lithuanian history appears to reside in historians of other nations, as for example, English historian S.C. Rowell, the author of “Lithuania Ascending: A Pagan Empire Within East-Central Europe, 1295-1345, who unequivocally  identifies Lithuania as an empire with Gediminas as its ruler.


Lithuania State Day is a national holiday observed on July 6. On this day, Lithuanians honor the coronation of Mindaugas (above), who became the first king of a unified Lithuania in 1253, bringing the Baltic people together under his leadership. Lithuanians should demolish the myth that Mindaugas was our only king.
Paining by Adomas Varnas, 1952.

Likewise, Lithuanians should demolish the myth that Mindaugas was our only king. Nowhere, will one find a state, with the vastness of Lithuania ruled by no other except a king or emperor. Despite voluminous  documentation, i.e., Livonian Chronicles, Prussian Chronicles, correspondence from Popes and Holy Roman Emperors, and even Lithuania‘s mortal enemy, the Teutonic Knights, that recognized Lithuanian kings, many of our own historians do not. Neither kings and queens of England, nor the pagan kings of Norway and Denmark seek, or need the approval of any outside authority to validate their royalty. Emperor Napolean did not require permission to crown himself emperor. Gediminas, for example, carried the official Latin title of, “Gedeminne Dei gratia Letwinorum et multorum Ruthenorum rex.“  “ ...In contemporary Low German, he is styled simply Koningh van Lettowen, mirroring the Latin Rex Lethowye (both “King of Lithuania“) ( Citing British historian S.C. Rowell, 1994).

For those who insist that some foreign authority give its imprimatur to a title of king, consider Vytautas as an example. In January, 1429, Vytautas had already received the title of King of Lithuania, with the backing of the Pope and Holy Roman Emperor, Sigismund. Are we to deny Vytautas’ title as King, simply because he did not undergo a symbolic “crowning” ceremony? Why then, when historical facts and surrounding nations, recognized Lithuanian Kings, many of our own Lithuanian historians do not.

These are but a few examples how we Lithuanians must change our perspective and the outlook others have of our history. After all, what is history but an interpretation of past events. Whichever interpretation garners the most attention and support…voila! It becomes history. We should all keep in mind that history is not static, but constantly evolving as perspectives and interpretations of past events change. Now, this is our time, our chance to present our history in all its epic might, and prevent it from being flung to a dark, dusty corner.

Recently, I have learned of a few Lithuanian historians who appear to dread presenting our history in this positive light, because it might offend some of Lithuania’s neighbors. To them I say, “Historians must interpret and present history based on fact, and not timidity. If one cannot do this, then one is not a historian.”

Lithuania, its history, its culture, and its people, have withstood tyrants and oppressors throughout its history. In recorded annals, Lithuanian history stands second to none.  It is now time for us to rejoice and be proud of it, as we present it to the world with renewed vigor. 

Comments (10)

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Bernard Terway· 3 days ago

Very good article. I am born of Lithuanian parents and proud to show my Lithuanicity (if there is such a word). I am also a retired teacher. It was always interesting to bring up the subject of Lithuania in my classes. Interesting because a huge percentage of the students, probably 99%, never even heard of Lithuania, unless they were avid basketball fans and knew of the basketball team. I put as much about Lithuania as I could in my classes, so at least the students were made aware of the fact that there actually was a country called Lithuania, there is a distinct Lithuanian language and culture. Living in Texas doesn't make it easy to push the Lithuaian identity - people here don't believe there is anyone or anything other than Texas in the world! 
Thank you Jon for this reminder. To this day, I wear my Lithuanian colors, either on a lapel flag pin, a belt buckle with the Lithuanian flag, a t-shirt with Lithuania on it, or maybe even a coffee mug that says "proud to be Lithuanian". EVERYONE in the neighborhood, and everyone I meet knows I am Lithuanian before I leave them.

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Rimgaudas Vidziunas· 3 days ago

Exceptionally well written! Think we should nominate Jon Platakis, and vote him into the National Lithuanian American Hall of Fame

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Violeta Rutkauskiene· 3 days ago

Super! Congratulations and Thank You John.

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Dr. E. Reilly's avatar

Dr. E. Reilly· 2 days ago

An interesting polemical article. What is needed is a text by an author as authoritative & respected as say, Norman Davies or Robert Conquest, to write a definitive (well researched & documented) text: "The History of the Baltic Nations". 
A title such as this would include the histories of the Old Prussians and other pre-state groups, Lithuanians & Žemaičiai, Latgalians & Latvians (I do make a distinction), Livonians & Estonian groups, as well as the lost peoples: but then, one could not exclude immigrants such as the Scots & Irish (weavers), Germans, Swedes, Old Believers & post-WW2 influx.
 
And then there are the various periods of imperialist aggression from Moskova, Berlin, Karków & even Stockholm to be accounted for.
 
The region's complexity defies simple narratives and assertions.

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Jon Platakis's avatar

Jon Platakis· 3 hours ago

English historian, S.C. Rowell has written extensively about Lithuania and the Baltic states during the medieval period, and it would appear that he far exceeds the respect and authoritativeness in this regard of Norman Davies or Robert Conquest.. Rowell's book, "Lithuania Ascending: A Pagan Empire Within East-Central Europe" provided some of the impetus for writing this article.

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B. Kolubinski's avatar

B. Kolubinski· 2 days ago

I’m Polish. I have a great respect for the Lithuanian people and Lithuanian history. That’s why, I is not easy to read, that you may treat the 400 years our common history as your occupation. It was the most successful period in the history of our two nations (as always, there were also some difficult issues). Please, visit Krakow. Lithuanian-origin kings were living there and created one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. It is mainly, you Lithuanians, who did it. Please, compare amazing Vilnius to Ryga or Thalin, or to the other cities created by Russians, Germans or Scandinavians for whom the Baltic States were only another territories. You should be proud of your history, our common history. Do Vytautas the Great, pictured in the center of the masterpiece of the Polish painter – Jan Matejko - looks as the Grand Duchy (or King, in a fact) of the occupied nation? No, he looks as a real proud hero, hero of Lithuania and hero of Poland.

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Vytautas Sliupas's avatar

Vytautas Sliupas· 1 day ago

To Mr. B. Kolubinski 
I do thank you for your expressed welcome and friendly attitude toward Lithuanians, which is so lacking among my Polish acquaintances. On the question of "occupation" I wish to refer you to two books: First one, the 1911 Polish language "Lenku Apastalai Lietuvoje", by Canon (Kanauninkas) K. Prapuolenis. This issue later in 1913 was translated into Lithuanian and several other languages. The second one, the 2011 entitled "Lenku Skriaudu Lietuviams Istorijos Apzvalga", by Dr. Algimantas Liekis.
 
In 1988 my wife and I visited Warsaw and were so impressed by the magnificent painting of Jan Matejko ,"The Battle of Grunwald", that we commissioned an artist to trace it in outline form on a 2.8x1.3 meter cloth. Subsequently my wife and I spent 15 years embroidering a Gobelin which we donated to the Vytautas Museum in Kaunas on the 600 year anniversary of the battle. It was first exhibited in the Parliament building in Vilnius, then it was moved to Kaunas.
 
In 1998 we visited Krakow, where at the Jagiellonian University, I researched in the archives for information about my father. Cooperation that I received from the archives' staff was outstanding, for which I am very grateful. The historical City of Krakow, although as you say, city that "was created by Lithuanian-origin kings ... and it is you Lithuanians who did it" unfortunately has very little to show about Lithuanians, except for the King Jogaila (Jagiella).
 
Regardless of different opinions held, Lithuania and Poland shared a common history. Current readers should be proud of it, but we still need to retain our individual heritages.

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Vytautas Sliupas's avatar

Vytautas Sliupas· 1 day ago

To Dr. E.Reilly 
I agree with your suggestion on the need of inviting authoritative and respected authors to write a well documented text on the "Baltic Nations". Back in 1988-89 I corresponded with Dr. Norman Davies, author of "Poland: God's Playground", and asked to write a similar book about Lithuanians. In his original book a large portion dealt with Lithuanian history. He was agreeable to that task. However, in spite of him having a thorough research already done, he wanted to be hired at an "astronomical" salary, which was beyond our means.
 
Later I met with Dr. Robert Conquest at the Stanford University, and inquired about a similar possibility. Unfortunately, at that time, he was working on a book about the Soviet secret police, and could not find time for another task.

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Boris Bakunas's avatar

Boris Bakunas· 15 hours ago

To Mr. B. Koblunski: 

First, let me acknowledge your appreciation of Lithuanian-Polish cooperation in establishing the one of the most powerful states in Europe during the 16th and early 17th centuries. Currently, Lithuania and Poland are again partners and allies in the European Union and NATO. I hope that this cooperation between two neighboring countries whose histories were intertwined for several centuries continues in an atmosphere of mutual respect and tolerance.
 

I do want to point out that nowhere in his article does Mr. Platakis "treat the 400 years of our common history" as a period of Polish occupation. If you read the article again, you will note that Mr. Platakis limits the period of foreign occupation to "200 years," and not 400 as you have written.
 

The first partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth occurred in 1772. The most recent occupation of Lithuania by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union began in 1940 and ended in July of 1991. During the inter-war period, the Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, and its surrounding region was occupied by Poland. Taken together, these occupations add up to just over 200 years of foreign occupation. Today the government of Poland recognizes Vilnius as the capital of Lithuania, so there really is no reason for further territorial conflict between our two neighboring countries.
 

However, as Vytautas Sliupas points out, the attitudes of Individual Poles differ in regards to Lithuania. Several of my Polish friends and acquaintances, on learning that I am Lithuanian, immediately remarked that Vilnius was a Polish city. One who grew up and was educated in Poland even said that in the Polish schools he attended during the Soviet occupation of Poland, he was taught that the signers of the Lithuanian Declaration of Independence in 1918 couldn't even speak Lithuanian.
 

Comments like these, as well as expressions of anti-Polish sentiment by Lithuanians, do neither of our countries any good. So I ask you to carefully read Mr. Platakis' article again in a detached way, and you may see that it is directed an audience of Lithuanians, particularly Lithuanian historians who uncritically accepted distortions of Lithuanian history made by several foreign historians.
 

Dr. Boris Vytautas Bakunas, M. A, M. Ed., Ph. D.

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Ruta Lee· 6 hours ago

A beautiful soul, mind, heart and eyeful of information......as are the commentaries! 
Many Thanks for opening the subject of LITHUANIA to the world!
 
With admiration
 
Ruta Lee

 

Rimgaudas Vidziunas Exceptionally well written! Think we should nominate Jon Platakis, and vote him into the National Lithuanian American Hall of Fame

Saturday at 1:06am · Like · 1

Jon Platakis Maybe postumously...LOL

Saturday at 2:54am via mobile · Like · 1

Bartłomiej Kolubiński I’m Polish. I have a great respect for the people and Lithuanian history. That’s why, I is not easy to read, that you may treat the 400 years our common history as your occupation. It was the most successful period in the history of our two nations (as always, there were also some difficult issues). Please, visit Krakow. Lithuania-origin kings were living there and created one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. It is mainly, you Lithuanians, who did it. Please, compare amazing Vilnius to Riga or Thallinn, or to the other cities created by Russians, Germans or Scandinavians for whom the Baltic States were only another territories. You should be proud of your history, our common history. Do Vytautas the Great, in enclosed picture of Polish painter – Jan Matejko - looks as the Grand Duchy (or even King, in a fact) of the occupied nation? No, he looks as a real proud hero, hero of Lithuania and hero of Poland.

Sunday at 10:35am · Like · 2

Jon Platakis And I have great respect for the Poles and their history. One must remember, however, that during a half century of Soviet occupation, Poland was given much more freedom than the Baltic states. It is during this period that Poland was able to disseminate their versions of Lithuanian history while Lithuania was wiped off the map. I certainly do not hold the Polish people of today accountable for what happened 5 or 6 hundred years ago, but in some nationalistic Polish circles the subordination of Lithuanian history to Poland exists. Let's just take a couple of examples, of which their are many. Other nations at the time recognized Jogaila as King of Poland, and King of Lithuania (based on stamps from legal documents and correspondence). However, in Poland he was listed as King of Poland, and Grand Duke of Lithuania. The purpose of this was to not give Lithuania an equal standing with Poland as a kingdom. Another example of how pervasive the idea of Lithuania just being a vassal state of Poland is the fact that Vytautas was given title of King by the Pope and Holy Roman emperor. However, his crown had to be transported through Poland, and never reached Lithuanian borders. Let us also look at the Battle of Grunwald (Zalgiris or Tannenberg). Polish historians, Jan Dlugsz and Zbigniew Olesnicki, revered Polish historians of the time, painted the Lithuanians during the battle as cowards. But, in fact, it was Vytautas who placed his troops at risk, as evidenced by the majority of the casualties that were Lithuanian. There was no accounting that Vytautas' strategy and tactics during this epic battle is what led to Lithuania and its allies to victory over the Teutonic Knights. One also reads history books about Poland, and the fact that Poland's "Golden Age" began with the Jagiellonian dynasty However, nowhere do we see that the progenitor of the Jagiellonian dynasty, was Lithuania's Gediminas. It is interesting that Jogaila, the grandson of Gediminas, took over the Polish throne by marrying Jadvyga, heir to the Polish throne, who was not even Polish. During the Lithuanian/Polish Commonwealth years, these two nations were powerful and accomplished much. But one must remember that Lithuania was always an independent nation, never subordinated to Poland.

Sunday at 7:16pm · Like · 3

Bartłomiej Kolubiński Thank you for your detailed answer. You perfectly sum up this topic, writing that “Lithuania was always an independent nation, never subordinated to Poland”. This has been always the obvious historical fact for me and, believe me, also for the vast majority of Poles. That is why it’s hard and quite painful to understand why many Lithuanians call that historical period as “occupation” and compare the role of Poland in the Lithuanian history to the role of Russia or Germany. If you look at the serious historical books published in Poland after 1989 (not in the XV century, as Jan Dlugosz) you won’t find a single point which may reduce the importance of Lithuania during the Commonwealth years. In our schools, the picture of Vytautas is on nearly every page of history textbook when the Battle of Grunwald is described. Yes, we (most probably Polish aristocrats) stole the Vytautas crown. Yes, we probably did several other unfair things to Lithuania during that years. But, now, when Lithuania and Poland has a unique opportunity, after long years of German and Russian occupation, to communicate to each other in our own words; let’s do not create the “new” history of Commonwelth, and do not let nationalists from both countries to do so. The President of Lithuania Dalia Grybauskaite, standing by Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski on the fields of Grunwald in 2010 correctly declared: “This victory reminds us, how much we are able to achieve when we are together”, and this is the best description of our Commonwealth years and hopefully the direction for the future.

Sunday at 8:29pm · Like · 1

Jon Platakis Bartolomiej, my only point is that the proud history of Poland is much better known than that of Lithuania's, and I, and I hope many other Lithuanians will start to take pride in a history that stands with the great nations and cultures of the past. I agree with you that it is important to live in harmony and mutual respect with all our neighbors.

Yesterday at 1:38am · Like · 2

Boris Bakunas To Mr. B. Koblunski:

First, let me acknowledge your appreciation of Lithuanian-Polish cooperation in establishing one of the most powerful states in Europe during the 16th and early 17th centuries. Currently, Lithuania and Poland are again partners and allies in the European Union and NATO. I hope that this cooperation between two neighboring countries whose histories were intertwined for several centuries continues in an atmosphere of mutual respect and tolerance.

I do want to point out that nowhere in his article does Mr. Platakis "treat the 400 years of our common history" as a period of Polish occupation. If you read the article again, you will note that Mr. Platakis limits the period of foreign occupation to "200 years," and not 400 as you have written. 

The first partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth occurred in 1772. The most recent occupation of Lithuania by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union began in 1940 and ended in July of 1991. During the inter-war period, the Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, and its surrounding region was occupied by Poland. Taken together, these occupations add up to just over 200 years of foreign occupation. Today the government of Poland recognizes Vilnius as the capital of Lithuania, so there really is no reason for further territorial conflict between our two neighboring countries. 

However, as Vytautas Sliupas points out, the attitudes of individual Poles differ in regards to Lithuania. Several of my Polish friends and acquaintances, on learning that I am Lithuanian, immediately remarked that Vilnius was a Polish city. One who grew up and was educated in Poland even said that in the Polish schools he attended during the Soviet occupation of Poland, he was taught that the signers of the Lithuanian Declaration of Independence in 1918 couldn't even speak Lithuanian. 

Comments like these, as well as expressions of anti-Polish sentiment by Lithuanians, do neither of our countries any good. So I ask you to carefully read Mr. Platakis' article again in a detached way, and you may see that it is directed an audience of Lithuanians, particularly Lithuanian historians who uncritically accepted distortions of Lithuanian history made by several foreign historians.

Dr. Boris Vytautas Bakunas, M. A, M. Ed., Ph. D.

15 hours ago · Like · 3

Vijole Arbas Thank you -- I would appreciate a campaign to convince the tour guides at Wawel Castle in Krakow to pronounce and expoud -- King of Poland and Lithuania -- they keep on forgetting our Republic of Two Nations

10 hours ago · Like · 1


Bartłomiej Kolubiński To Mr Boris Bakunas
Let me apologize to Mr Platakis. You are right that nowhere in this article, Mr Platakis is referring to the 400 years of occupation. Writing that, I combined the article and one of the comments published underneath (Dr. E. Reilly wrote: “And then there are the various periods of imperialist aggression from Moskova, Berlin, Krakow & even Stockholm to be accounted for.”). I should have been more precise.
Please, treat the opinions of your Polish friends that “Vilnius was the Polish city” in the positive and tolerant way. We sometimes call Vilnius a Polish city, not to offend you and obviously not to start any territorial conflict, but to stress out that this city has a very special place in our Polish inheritance. We cannot just blank it out. That is why, I’m so happy to see today beautiful Vilnius as a capital of Poland’s best and natural ally – Lithuania.

Prieš 5 val. · 1

Bartłomiej Kolubiński To Ms Vijole Arbas
I fully agree, if any guide at Wawel Caste is saying that, he/she should be more educated. I will pay my attention to that when I am next time in Krakow. Nevertheless, it’s a general question how our two nation should preserve our common history. Visiting both Vilnius and Krakow by the every teenager, as a integral part of the history lessons, should be a good starting point, and good investment for the future.

Prieš 4 val. · Edited · 1

Category : Featured black / Historical Lithuania
  • Alvida Fottrell

    So proud to a Lithuanian by birth in Kaunas during the 2nd world war. Emigrated to Canada and am now a proud American but have never forgotten my Lithuanian roots. Still speak, read the language.

    July 11 2013
    CommentsLike

    • Geat job Jon. Thank You.

      July 11 2013
      CommentsLike

      • […] The trampling of Lithuania’s history Restoring Lithuania's Royal Titles Official site of His Imperial Majesty King Roman King Roman of Lithuania sells titles from his house Category : Front page / Historical Lithuania […]

        May 04 2013
        CommentsLike
        • Vyda Adams

          Great article Jon. As a history major in college I would quickly turn to the back index of all my European history books looking for any mention of Lithuania. Sadly, any such notations were few and far between. and certainly none, that I can remember, that mentioned Lithuania as the largest nation in Europe. It's about time we all stood up for our heritage. Thank you for all your work in this.

          January 25 2013
          CommentsLike
          • Daniel R. Aleliunas

            I think this is an awesome site for people who might be interested in knowing and finding out topics related to Lithuanian culture and history. Puikus!

            November 16 2012
            CommentsLike
            • Richard Vitkauskas

              Norman Davies actually has a new book out now entitled Vanished Kingdoms, which traces Europe’s extinct polities from the Visigoths to the Soviet Union with chapters of course on Lithuania

              September 30 2012
              CommentsLike
              • Inesa Makariene

                Thank you Jon!!!!! A very good article! I am glad it has been read not only by us, Lithuanians, but also by our close neighbors.

                September 24 2012
                CommentsLike
                • Gintas Kamaitis

                  I agree with many of the sentiments of the author. I have read "Lithuania Ascending" and I think that there is an important point that needs to be taken into account. Lithuania was an overwhelmingly a pagan land, and strictly speaking in the Middle Ages kingship was a right conferred upon rulers by the pope and required papal favour. Of what relevance is a papal decree of kingship to a pagan ruler? Particularly they were not willing to convert to Christianity.. Furthermore I think Jon Platakis' is strengthened by the fact that the present day countries of Italy and Germany were in those days composed of a large number fractured kingdoms, most only a small faction of the size of Lithuania. Based on the fact that these minor kingdoms had their own kings, does it not stand to reason that whether you can them Grand Duke of King is only a mater of title, and not indicative of their historical relevance.

                  September 19 2012
                  CommentsLike
                  • Jon Platakis

                    Vytautai, I wonder which foreigner's version of Lithuanian history did that tour guide read.

                    September 23 2012
                    CommentsLike
                    • Vytautas Sliupas

                      To Vijole Arbas
                      Not only tour guides in Krakow's Wavel Castle are disinformed but also are Lithuanian guides in Vilnius. Recently my 5 Rotarian friends returned from Lithuania well impressed and wrote their impressions (see VilNews, SECTION 13 – The World in Lithuania – scroll down to second page to "California Rotarians visiting Lithuania"). Fortunately they asked me to review spellings and facts. I discovered that their Lithuanian tour guide said that Lithuania was first mentioned in 1351 (not in 1009?) and the country had been occupied by foreign powers for 800 years.
                      Vytautas Sliupas, P.E.
                      Burlingame, California.

                      September 19 2012
                      CommentsLike



                      

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