A common hatred : Lithuanian nationalism during the triple occupation, 1939-1953 / presented by George Reklaitis.
This dissertation examines the Lithuanian national experience during the triple occupation 1939–1953. Lithuanian nationalism first developed at the end of the nineteenth century as Lithuanian culture was allowed to flourish for the first time under Russian rule. Lithuania joined a new global national movement as numerous ethnic groups sought to gain national recognition. Lithuania gained its independence from the Russia following World War I. In the following decades the Lithuanian nation was established for the first time. External pressures from Germany, Poland, and the Soviet Union during the interwar period served to reinforce Lithuanian nationalism, and also to redefine it. With the onset of the Second World War and the Soviet occupation of the nation, Lithuanian nationalism focused on repulsing from without rather than unity from within. Much like the other states of Eastern Europe, the onset of World War II in Lithuania saw the development of fierce national resistance to Soviet occupation policies and collaboration with German occupation forces. Lithuanians on their own, and under the auspices of German occupation, participated in the ethnic cleansing of the Lithuanian Jewish population during the war. Following the war, the Soviets again occupied Lithuania and sparked the resumption of Lithuanian armed resistance. For the first few years of post-war occupation, the Lithuanian partisan movement successfully thwarted the Sovietization of their nation. By 1948, however, Soviet secret police forces implemented policies of deception and infiltration to destroy the partisan movement from within. These policies largely worked to incapacitate Lithuanian resistance and the Soviets managed to use the faltering movement to ensnare Western trained agents as well. Lithuania under the triple occupation is a crucible of twentieth century nationalism. The Lithuanian nationalist movement, shaped by occupation, resistance, and collaboration during the war, served as a precursor for the national movements that would follow. The new nationalist movements of the twentieth century would be based on short and intense experiences of national consciousness-building and forged by antagonism to others. Many of these new nationalist movements, from Kenya to Serbia, would be built on resistance to foreign imposition, or the elimination of perceived enemies from within.
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