A fierce national East Prussia-related conflict between Germans and Poles after the First World War basically contrasted with the prewar situation in the province. After the decision taken at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 to hold a plebiscite in two governmental districts of this German province on their inhabitants’ political affiliations, the vast population there had to take a test on the basic choice of their political, and simultaneously cultural, orientation. Today, researchers agree that the plebiscite of 1920 caused irreversible damage to the multiethnic area. There is no doubt that the so-called Ostdeutscher Heimatdienst organisation strongly contributed to this. The article raises questions as to what circumstances promoted the establishment of the organisation, who its principal actors were, and how they affected the East Prussian population.
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.