Journal:Acta Historica Universitatis Klaipedensis
Volume 21 (2010): Klaipėdos krašto aneksija 1939 m.: politiniai, ideologiniai, socialiniai ir kariniai aspektai = The 1939 Annexation of Klaipėda Region: Political, Ideological, Social and Military Issues, pp. 157–174
On the basis of archival documents, the interwar Lithuanian press, and historical literature, the article analyzes the policy of Lithuania’s Government in Klaipėda Region occupied by Nazi Germany in 1939. The author argues that Lithuanian authorities were not merely passive spectators of the events; they actively responded to the Nazi policy in Klaipėda Region, tried to defend the national and private economic interests and the rights of their citizens, made an effort to stop Lithuanians’ deportation from the region, as well as mediated in releasing Lithuanians from the places of imprisonment and recreated the abolished educational and cultural institutions. The efforts of Lithuanian authorities to change the situation in Klaipeda Region to its advantage were thwarted by the Soviet occupation in June, 1940.
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.