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An Examination of Lithuania’s Partisan War Versus the Soviet Union and Attempts to Resist Sovietisation

Conde, Jonathan (2018) An Examination of Lithuania’s Partisan War Versus the Soviet Union and Attempts to Resist Sovietisation. Masters thesis, York St John University.

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Abstract

The modern history of Lithuania can be described as the Lithuanian nation’s struggle for independence from the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union. Lithuania had been a part of the Russian Empire since losing her independence in 1795, when it was divided and occupied by Russian and Prussian armies. Independence was again achieved following the collapse of the Tsarist system after the 1917 Bolshevik revolution. Lithuania remained an independent republic until the commencement of the Second World War. Therefore, the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact defines the commencement of the Soviet occupation for Lithuania.

This project is as an examination of the Soviet occupation, aiming to record the testimonies of people who lived under Soviet conditions. Through the use of oral history, a picture of a national resistance tradition emerged. This resistance took on many forms and surfaced at various times throughout the fifty-year Soviet occupation.

Foreign concern in Lithuanian domestic politics has helped inform Lithuanians of their position in the world. Geographically speaking, being isolated between Germany and Russia was a precarious position to be in in the twentieth century. Foreign entanglement in Lithuania stimulated the Lithuanian resistance tradition and fuelled the nationalists cause in the latter days of the USSR. This study argues that the memory of independence and the evoking of this national tradition of resistance have helped shape the Lithuanian nation’s collective memory and how they view themselves among the nations of the world.

Nationalist writers depicting the struggle for independence have sometimes ignored the negative experiences and hardships felt by ordinary Lithuanians who lived through the independence process. This thesis encompasses their view of how exiting the USSR affected Lithuanians and examines the interaction between Soviet identity and Lithuanian patriotism.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Status: Unpublished
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DK Russia. Soviet Union. Former Soviet Republics
School/Department: School of Humanities, Religion & Philosophy
URI: http://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/3522

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