Lithuania History Timeline

According to computergees, the Republic of Lithuania is a country in northern Europe, the southernmost of the three Baltic countries. The country lies along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea and borders Latvia to the north, Belarus to the east and southeast and Poland and the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad Oblast to the southwest. Across the Baltic Sea are Sweden and Denmark. The country has a population of 2.986 million and its capital and largest city is Vilnius.

TIMELINE:

10,000 BCE – The first people settled in the Lithuanian area after the last ice age.

3-2000 BCE – Indo-European tribes immigrated and mingled for a millennium with the local population, forming various Baltic tribes.

13th century-1795 – The Grand Duchy of Lithuania was founded by Gediminas (1315-40) and expanded the country to the south and east.

14th century – Lithuania was the largest country in Europe at this time. Today’s Belarus, Ukraine, as well as parts of Poland and Russia were subject to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania.

1251-1263 – When Prince Mindaugas (ca. 1200-1263) was baptized in 1251, it became possible for him to make peace with the Lithuanian old enemy, the Livonian Order. On July 6, 1253, he was crowned King of Lithuania by the Archbishop of Riga and ruled over between 300,000 and 400,000 subjects. He broke with the Livonian Order in 1261 and probably renounced Christianity, beat the Knights of the Order at the Battle of Durbė and encouraged the pagan Prussian neighboring tribes to revolt against the German Order. In 1263 he was assassinated by his nephew Treniota, and pagan Lithuania again became a target of the German Order and The Crusades of the Livonian Order.

1867-1968 – A large number of Lithuanians emigrated to the United States after a famine in the country.

1868-1914 – During this period approx. 635,000 Lithuanians, almost 20% of the population.

1918 – February 16. Lithuania became independent.

1926 – September 17. The coup in Lithuania.

1940s – The country was occupied by the Soviet Union in 1940 in accordance with the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. About 35,000–40,000 of Vilnius’ residents were arrested by the NKVD and sent to the Gulag. When Germany attacked the Soviet Union in 1941, Soviet troops withdrew and the country was occupied by the Germans. As World War II drew to a close in 1949, the Germans withdrew and the Soviet Union occupied Lithuania again. During the German and Soviet occupations from 1940 to 1954, Lithuania lost about 780,000 of its residents. Alone below The Holocaust murdered about 200,000 Jews in massacres in Lithuania. It is estimated that 120,000-300,000 moved to other parts of the Soviet Union, were sent into exile in Siberia or were killed, while others chose to move to countries in the West.

1990 – March 11. Lithuania became the first Soviet republic to declare independence.

1991 – September 17. Lithuania became a member of the UN.

2004 – March 29. Lithuania became a member of NATO.

2005 – September. A Russian fighter jet crashed into Lithuanian territory. It carried at least 4 missiles. The incident led to a deterioration of relations between Vilnius and Moscow. Only when investigation made it clear that the cause of the crash was technical and human error did the relationship between the two countries return to normal. The pilot who had meanwhile been arrested in Lithuania was released and was able to return to Russia.

2009 – Vilnius is the European Capital of Culture and the same year Lithuania celebrated the millennium anniversary of its name.

2009 – A Lithuanian who during World War II collaborated with the Nazis on the extermination of Jews was found guilty in a lawsuit, but was not jailed due to his advanced age. About 200,000 Jews were killed in Lithuania during World War II.

2010 – May. Lithuania’s public prosecutor has called on the courts to ban this month’s Baltic Pride parade in the capital, Vilnius. The city court initially banned the parade on the grounds that the authorities could not guarantee the security of abuses from counter-demonstrations, but this ban was subsequently overturned by the Supreme Court after strong protests from international human rights organizations. The Baltic countries are generally characterized by considerable homophobia.

2010 – In the autumn, it was officially confirmed that from 2004-05 Lithuania had participated in the CIA’s “rendition program” – detention, interrogation and torture of terrorist suspects. Lithuania had built a special secret prison in Antaviliai outside Vilnius. (Read more here – pdf ) At least 8 terrorist suspects had been detained and questioned in this prison in 2004-05, flown in by the CIA on unregistered flights and bypassing the emigration authority. Lithuania had secretly participated in the US torture program.

Lithuania History Timeline