Vilnius Lithuania History
Vilna has been part of northeastern Poland since the outbreak of the Second World War, but has had a chequered history since its first settlement in the Stone Age. In its early years, the city was the capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, which extended into what is now Ukraine. Both Poland and Lithuania claim Vilnas and Vilnius, with Polish forces occupying them in 1920 and Lithuanians in 1930.
During the division, Vilnius, Kaunas, Suwauki and Grodno Gubernia were admitted to the ethnographically Lithuanian territory of Russia. On 18 July 1840 they were officially called "Lithuanian Gubernia," but this term included all of Russia and the entire ethnologically Lithuanian territory during the partition. Lithuania's territory included Lithuania and Asia Minor, Vilnius and Kaunaas, SuWauaki, GroDno and Gubernias.
Although diplomatic relations were restored after the ultimatum, Lithuania continued to claim Vilnius until the end of World War II. Lithuania and reduced antagonism between the two states in the region, but also closed the Vilnius Liberation Union. Lithuania was declared the constitutional capital of its state, while Kaunas was to be only a temporary capital of Lithuania.
The situation remained similar after Poland regained independence, but Poles living in Soviet-controlled territory encountered much more serious obstacles, as large parts of the Vilnius region were under the control of the Soviet Union and its armed forces. However, there were Poles and Lithuanians who, despite their polonized culture, felt Lithuanian and supported the idea of a "Lithuanian state" that would include Vilnius as its capital. The elites were much more concerned, because the price Lithuania had to pay the Soviet Union for Vilnius was far too high, and they also knew that Lithuanian rule of the city would meet fierce opposition.
In 1944, during the occupation of Lithuania, Vilnius experienced one of the largest destruction campaigns in its history. Modernists, however, argue that both Vilnius and Lithuania have finally turned the bloody pages of history and enjoyed hard-won freedom. In this context, it is important to remember that during this period in Lithuania there were a lot of conflicts between the Soviet Union and the Lithuanian Communist Party.
Two days late, Polish General Lucjan Zeligowski drove out Lithuanian troops, declared independence for Central Lithuania, established his government in Vilnius and declared independence from it. This latest event is widely perceived as an act of historical justice, and the Council of Lithuania has announced a declaration of independence for Lithuania. The annexation of Vilnius was greeted with jubilation by Lithuanians, but violent clashes soon erupted within the historic city itself, which had long been claimed by both Lithuania and Poland (LithuanianIAN). A whole generation has grown up with the idea that Lithuania cannot really be Lithuania without the city of Lithuania.
The city has flourished since the Union of Lublin in 1569, which established the Polish-Lithuanian community. The national revival took place because Vilnius is a symbol of tolerance, which dates back to the years of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. Indeed, it began to free itself from Soviet ideology in the early 20th century, until Lithuania regained its independence in 1990.
Although various secret societies were quickly established, Vilnius University remained an important intellectual centre with a series of programmes aimed at critical study of history and possibly restoring the Polish-Lithuanian community. Many famous scientists and artists, who were closely connected with the political, cultural and social life of the city and its inhabitants, lived and worked at the university. It should be noted that Lithuanian scientists, architects and restorers, as well as many of their former colleagues from the university, have come back to life.
In the summer of 1920, however, Vilnius was again occupied by the Red Army and again occupied by the Soviet Union. On July 12, Soviet Russia ceded the city to Lithuania and the Union for the Liberation of Lithuania was founded. The process of transition to the capital was completed and many streets and squares in Lithuanian cities were renamed to this city. In the spring of 1921, the Soviet Socialist Republic (without giving any reason) re-established the Union of Liberation of Vilnius and Vilnius became the capital of the Lithuanian SSR. Vilnsius oaks were planted, many of them in the old town centre, but also in other parts of the town and villages, and Vilnsius became the capital of Lithuania.
Vilnius remained the capital of the northwestern region, which roughly comprised present-day Lithuania and Belarus. Lithuanians were forced to settle in a state that concentrated on Kaunas as its capital, and after the annexation of southern Lithuania, when it was temporarily relocated to Kaunais, the Lithuanian SSR merged with Poland. After the Soviet Union invaded Lithuania in the summer of 1917, it remained the capital until the end of the Second World War.
After Poland's return to the European map, the state authorities took a number of political decisions regarding Central Lithuania, which eventually integrated the Vilnius region into their territory. Lithuanian population and decided to try to establish an autonomous ethnic Lithuanian state. This autonomy was demanded by the Great Seimas of Vilnius, as they were called, who met in Vilnius on December 4 and 5, 1905. Vilnsius became the capital of the first Lithuanian state and the first independent state in the world when it held its first legislative session on 1 January 1906.