The article aims to systematize the historiographic knowledge of Klaipeda’s self-government and local administration, to show research problems and to propose potential directions for prospective research. The author distinguishes three stages in the development of local administration, analyses the particularities of these stages, explores the state of local administrative structures, competence, and mechanisms, and discusses the accessibility of sources necessary for research of such topics. Special attention is given to the research results of administration systems from 1945-1990, as well as a review of issues related to the legal status between a sovereign and the citizenry of Klaipėda while it was part of the state of the Teutonic Order.
The article analyzes polysemous phenomenon of the history of European law and historical culture of European cities, the part of which is granting the privileges of the Lübeck and Kulm Law to Klaipėda in the Middle Ages. The development of the Lübeck and Magdeburg Law and the modification of the latter, the Kulm Law, is researched by historians, law and culture history experts of many European countries in various aspects, however, this phenomenon has not been systematically presented in the Lithuanian research literature. Therefore, basing the present investigation on the generalized analyses of the researchers working in Germany and in other countries, the article introduces the features of the historical development of the Lübeck, Magdeburg and Kulm Law. This article accords a particular attention to the analysis of the genesis of the medieval German towns’ laws, as well as the reasons and ways of their dispersion. The article also investigates the historical circumstances and factors which determined the expansion of the Lübeck and Magdeburg Law in the Middle Europe and to the East of Europe during the Middle and the Early New Ages. The ways, chronology, and area of the transfer eastwards of these laws are introduced. The sources and transformations of these laws are also analyzed in the article. The historical context of the emergence of the Kulm Law is discussed. The significance of these laws in the Middle and East Europe is presented in general outline in the article.
The aim of this article is to define the wooden building types, identification issues, problems of dating structures built in the 16th – 18th century, and to determine the beginnings of masonry construction in Klaipėda. The identified development of Klaipėda construction from wooden towards masonry buildings as well as chronological definitions of the building types and construction materials used, enables review of previously conducted archaeological and the dating of findings.
This paper investigates the question – why the Grand Duchy of Lithuania at the peak of its power in the 15th century, failed to acquire Klaipeda, its natural gateway to the sea, whereas the young post World War I state of Lithuania, having lost its historic capital – Vilnius, managed to annex Klaipėda and its region (Memelland). Historic facts and events, as well as evaluations and conclusions presented by Lithuanian and foreign historians, are examined by invoking classic and Lithuanian geopolitical statements and insights. Expansion to the East, which was intrinsic to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania at this time, is analysed as a major cause of its inability to expand to the Baltic shore. Opportunities to capture Klaipėda presented by the Thirteen Year War between Poland and the Teutonic Order in the 1450-60’s are evaluated. The 1923 annexation of Klaipėda and its region by Lithuania is shown as the result of a favourable geopolitical situation.
The article analyses the relation to the past of Lithuanian identity orientation in the interwar Klaipėda with reference to cultural memory theory. It defines the semantics used in Lithuanian identity ideology, highlights the differences in the concepts of “Lithuanianicity” between local (Prussian) Lithuanians and the state of Lithuania, analyses the possibilities of introduction of Lithuanian identity orientation into public communication, as well as plots and motifs of the past, which were used for such introduction. It also researches formation and structure of the Prussian Lithuanian’s self-image of the past, and the methods used in interwar Klaipėda of consolidating this self-image into public culture of commemoration.
The objective of the article is verification of the images related to the pro-Nazi orientation of population of Klaipėda Region in 1930’s which was formed in propaganda discourse and Lithuanian Soviet historiography during the interwar and post-war period. Disassociating the material from the incriminatory attitude, which prevailed in Soviet historiography, the authors analyse the support for National Socialism in Klaipėda Region, define the reasons for this support, characterize the motives for involvement in the local pro-Nazi structures of the local population, and the aims of the NSDAP for maintaining these structures. The article distinguishes three stages of adaptation of National Socialism in Klaipėda Region as well as peculiarities of this adaptation.
The author of the article aims to distinguish and characterize the major stages in the development of the diplomacy centre in Klaipėda in 1920–1939; the author elucidates the circumstances of the pro-German and pro-Lithuanian consul group formation; discusses the cases of the Danish honorary consul Gerhard Schmaeling and the Swedish honorary consul Karl Wiese; the author also discloses the means by which Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Governor endeavored to restore the balance between pro-German and pro-Lithuanian forces in the consulate corps of foreign countries in Klaipėda. To clarify the above-mentioned issues, the author used the following sources: the materials from the Lithuanian Central State Archive, the periodicals of interwar Lithuanian as well as the latest historical researches.
On the basis of historical sources and investigations, the article analyses the German policy towards the Klaipėda region and the role of German general consulate. The consulate and the Lithuanian governor of the Klaipėda region competed for influence over and control of the political and economical life of the region. Three phases of the competition between the consulate and the Lithuanian governor are considered. The author puts special emphasis on the struggle between Consuls M. F. Mudra, O. Toepke, R. von Saucken and governors A. Merkys and J. Navakas in their attempt to defend Lithuania’s sovereignty in the region.
The article analyses available information concerning the Regional Museum Society in Klaipėda (1924-1939). The paper presents the archaeological material that the Society’s members collected, investigated and presented, as well as evaluates the proceedings of the Society. In 1924, the only public organization seeking to establish a museum – Regional Museum – was founded in Klaipėda. German, as well as Lithuanian intellectuals took part in the activities of the Society during the initial stage. In 1931, the Society achieved its main goal – Regional Museum was opened in Klaipėda. The character of the Society’s activities predetermined its adoption of an East Prussian public-scientific organizational structure. Political events of 1933-1934 in Germany (National Socialist Party came to power) and in Klaipėda (pro-Lithuanian government established) changed the character of the Society – it became a regional studies organization with its activities restricted to a local scale.