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The USSR and Lithuania in the years of World War II: collection documents / Institute of history of Lithuania, Institute of general history of the Russian Academy of Sciences sost.: A. Kasparavichyus, Ch. Laurinavichyus, N.S. Lebedeva. T. 1: USSR and Republic of Lithuania (March, 1939 August, 1940). Vilnius: Publishing house of Institute of history of Lithuania, 2006. 776 pages.



SSSR and Lithuania in the years of World War II: collection documents / Institute of history of Lithuania, Institute of general history of the Russian Academy of Sciences; sost.: A. Kasparavichyus, Ch. Laurinavichyus, N.S. Lebedeva. T. 1: The USSR and the Republic of Lithuania (March, 1939 — August, 1940). — Vilnius: Publishing house of Institute of history of Lithuania, 2006. — 776 pages

In 2006 the first volume of a two-volume collection of documents devoted to the bilateral relations of the USSR and Lithuania during the period from occupation of the Klaipeda region Germany before annexation of the states of the Baltic by the Soviet Union was published (March, 1939 — August, 1940).

The edition is prepared by joint efforts of staff of Institute of history of Lithuania and Institute of general history of RAS under the leadership of directors of two scientific institutions A. Nikzhentaytis and A.O. of Chubaryana1. Documents from Archive of foreign policy of the Russian Federation, the Russian state archive of socio-political history, the Russian state military archive, the Central state archive of Lithuania, Special archive of Lithuania and also some earlier published materials from the collection of the documents "Occupation and Annexation of Lithuania, 1939 — 1940" are published in the collection [1]. In total in the collection 257 diplomatic documents arranged chronologically are submitted. Documents of the Lithuanian origin are given in two options — in the original and the translation into Russian. Besides, the edition is supplied with detailed comments on documents and the developed index of names. In the application the fragment from memoirs of the people's commissar of finance of LSSR Yu is placed. Vayshnorasa2.

In introduction to the collection prepared by N.S. Lebedeva it is told about the main milestones of the bilateral relations of the USSR and Lithuania during the period from March, 1939 to August, 1940 and reserved and objective estimates are given to the taken place events, including circumstances which led to a failure of the Soviet Anglo-French negotiations and the conclusion of the pact of Molotov — Ribbentropa: "Stalin, without having received from the western powers of consent to strengthening of influence of the USSR in the Baltic region and Eastern Europe in general, preferred to agree with Hitler... England and France the obstinacy pushed the USSR to signing of the contract with Germany in 1939" [2, page 26, 28]. Input of the Soviet troops on the Lithuanian lands which were at that time a part of the Second Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth is considered on September 17 as "act of aggression", and events are defined on June 15 — 16, 1940 as the beginning of process of occupation and the subsequent annexation of Lithuania [In the same place, page 31, 54].

1 In February, 2006 the Joint Russian-Lithuanian commission of historians which first result of activity was a considered collection of documents was created.
2 Authors of the collection considered it expedient to include this document in the edition as it sheds light on negotiations of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Molotov and Krev-Mitskevichyus in Moscow on July 3, 1940

The documents which entered the collection shed light on all peripetias of the bilateral relations of Lithuania and the Soviet Union in 1939 — 1940 and also illustrate all complexity and ambiguity of actions of two states in circumstances of extremely intense international situation in the Baltics. The published sources in detail light a role of the USSR in the course of the solution of the territorial problems of Lithuania connected with the Vilnius (Vilenskaya) and Klaipeda (Memelskaya's) fate of areas. Besides, a number of documents can be useful to researchers of history of East Prussia — they contain information on migrations of the German and Lithuanian population in border areas, about activity in the territory of Lithuania of the German cultural and educational organizations. Some documents contain information on export in the USSR of pieces of the Lithuanian cultural heritage, in particular T. Vrublevsky's library bequeathed to the city of Vilnius about the fate of funds of the Vilnius archive, etc.

The publication of the collection of documents caused ambiguous reaction in the Lithuanian scientific community. The hail of criticism from historians of the Baltic countries fell upon the management of Institute of history of Lithuania. His director A. Nikzhentaytis was accused that he followed the tastes of the Russian colleagues [3]. First of all criticism was sparked by the chronological framework specified in the title of the collection, namely August, 1940 as a boundary of existence of the independent Republic of Lithuania. Here an example of reproaches which opponents brought down on authors of the collection: "If independent Republic of Lithuania... lived till August 3, 1940 who at that time carried out the very first mass arrests in the night of July 12, 1940 during which about 3000 cultural figures, teachers, political figures were taken into custody? Whether mass arrests obvious threat of everything to the inhabitants intending to show resistance to elections "national сейма" were;?". Recognition on August 3, 1940 in the afternoon of the termination of existence of independent Lithuania and in the date of its accession to the USSR with observance of all legal procedures, according to opponents, is a far-reaching concession from the Lithuanian historians [4].

However among them were also such which welcomed the edition of the collection as a positive example of the international scientific cooperation. So, for example, A.E. Zenn approved the publication of documents in Russian as, according to his quite fair remark, it is necessary to submit this page in the history of Lithuania to world scientific community, it is much simpler to them to deal with Russian, than with Lithuanian [5]. And it is valid, the reviewed edition is a fine model of fruitful interaction of the Russian and Lithuanian historians and it will be useful for all who are interested in history of the international relations in the Baltics.

List of references

1. Lietuvos okupacija ir aneksija 1939/1940. Dokument^ rinkinys. Vilnius, 1993.
2. The USSR and the Republic of Lithuania (March, 1939 — August, 1940). Collection of documents. Vilnius, 2006.
3. Baranauskas T. Kur veda A. Nikzentaicio Lietuvos istorijos revizija? URL: http://www. voruta. lt/article. php? article=1325
4. Valiusaitis V. Landsbergio ir Nikzentaicio gincas-vaisingas. URL: http:// www.balsas.lt/naujiena/193964/landsbergio-ir-nikzEntaicio-gincas-vaisingas/rubrika
5. Sennas A. E. fvertinant skaudzi^ praeitj. URL: http://www.bernardinai.lt/ index .php? url=articles/64930

M. Mankiewicz,

asp. departments of foreign history and international relations of RGU of I. Kant

Osborne Robert
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