Women at War: Public Relief for the Lithuanian Army, 1918–1920
Volume 42 (2021): Women and War: Roles and Experiences in Lithuanian History = Moterys ir karas: vaidmenys ir patirtys Lietuvos istorijoje, pp. 149–169
Pub. online: 9 December 2021 Type: Article Open Access
9 December 2021
9 December 2021
As the First World War drew to an end, a number of political actors in the east Baltic Sea region declared the independence of new states. This independence had to be defended by their governments in armed conflicts. The army loyal to the Lithuanian government was engaged in active hostilities until the end of 1920. So far, the historiography on these military actions has concentrated on the tactical-operational actions of the armies, and biographical studies of their military leaders. The participation of women in the Lithuanian war of independence and violence by combatants against civilians, including women, have been studied in a rather fragmentary way. This article fills this research gap, by analysing the collective initiatives of women that emerged in Lithuanian society between 1918 and 1920 to provide public relief to the Lithuanian armed forces that were engaged in military operations. By perceiving these initiatives as a response to a military threat, the article seeks to identify the internal and external factors that underpinned the determination of women to provide material assistance to the Lithuanian army. By taking a sociological theoretical approach of stimulus-induced social interaction, it provides an analysis of the reasons for the formation and the development of 13 women’s associations, and the nature and the extent of their activities.