Autumn 1939 – the Vilnius question and the case of Lithuanian Belarusians

Tomasz Błaszczak

Abstract


This article deals with Lithuanian Belarusians' position in relation to the transfer of Vilnius to Lithuania in Autumn 1939. For Belarusians, unlike other nations in the Vilnius region, the transfer of Vilnius to Lithuania did not mean a liberation from the Soviet occupation, but another division of ethnic Belarusian lands, or rather the separation of the former capital of culture from the reunited Belarusian lands that were separated since Peace Treaty of Riga 1921. The annexation of Vilnius completely changed the situation of the Belarusian minority in Lithuania, whose small community, consisting mainly of emigrants, had become the third largest ethnic minority in Lithuania with a rather serious social and political potential, which could be used by the Lithuanian government in resolving the Polish question in Lithuania.


Keywords


1939; Vilnius question; World War II; Belarusian national minority in Lithuania

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7220/2335-8769.67.8

ISSN 1392-0588 (Print)

ISSN 2335-8769 (Online)