Diplomatic activities of Kazys Škirpa, the first Lithuanian envoy to Poland, in March–December, 1938

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Collection:
Mokslo publikacijos / Scientific publications
Document Type:
Straipsnis / Article
Language:
Anglų kalba / English
Title:
Diplomatic activities of Kazys Škirpa, the first Lithuanian envoy to Poland, in March–December, 1938
In the Journal:
Europa orientalis. 2015, no. 6, p. 91-117
Notes:
Reikšminiai žodžiai: Diplomatijos istorija; Kazys Škirpa; Lenkijos-Letuvos santykiai; Lietuvių ir lenkų santykiai; Lietuvos užsienio politika tarpukariu; Tarpukario Lietuvos užsienio politika; History of diplomac; History of diplomacy; Kazys Škirpa; Lithuanian foreign policy during the Interwar period; Lithuanian foreign policy in interwar period; Lithuanian-Polish relationship.
Keywords:
LT
20 amžius. 1918-1940; Diplomatija / Diplomacy; Kazys Škirpa; Lenkijos-Letuvos santykiai; Lietuvių ir lenkų santykiai; Lietuvos užsienio politika tarpukariu; Tarpukario Lietuvos užsienio politika.
EN
History of diplomac; History of diplomacy; Lithuanian foreign policy during the Interwar period; Lithuanian foreign policy in interwar period; Lithuanian-Polish relationship.
Summary / Abstract:

ENThe article discusses the activities of the first Lithuanian envoy to Poland, General Staff Colonel Kazys Škirpa in Warsaw, in March–December, 1938. Even though this person participated in many important events of the Lithuanian history in the 20th century, and his diplomatic and political activities were related to other countries of the region as well, he has attracted only fragmentary attention in historiography. Therefore, the aim of the present article is to investigate Škirpa’s diplomatic activities in Warsaw in March–December, 1938. In order to fulfill the aim, the circumstances of appointing Škirpa as an envoy to Poland are discussed; the research also aims to answer the question why the Lithuanian government chose this personality; Škirpa’s contacts with Polish politicians and public actors, the importance of these contacts in the development of bilateral relationship, as well as Škirpa’s relationship with the diplomats of other countries in Warsaw and their influence on Lithuanian – Polish relationship are analysed. It becomes clear that Škirpa was appointed to this position not only because he was famous for his uncompromisable attitude towards Poland and, therefore, could decrease reproaches of Lithuanian society to the government about the ultimatum, but also because of internal political reasons. President Smetona wanted to see this influential politician outside the country as well as to prove to the opposition that the people who openly oppose the regime of the Nationalists are appointed to an important position. In Warsaw, Škirpa maintained relationship with many important Polish officials; first, he was looking for allies among those who were anxious about the threat from Germany. These people were interested in his long lasting experience in a military and diplomatic job, and his vast knowledge in German politics.Meanwhile, Škirpa was developing constant lobbying about the position of Lithuanians in Vilnius region, which seemed unacceptable to a part of Polish officials. This complicated the search for compromises. In Warsaw, Škirpa maintained close contacts with the diplomatic representatives of other countries as well. Traditionally, the relationship was friendly with the colleagues from Latvia and Estonia, however, Škirpa‘s cooperation with the USA ambassador Anthony Drexel Biddle Jr. was especially beneficial in the search for the compromise between Lithuania and Poland, as he was especially respected in the diplomatic circles in Warsaw. Even though Škirpa did not become an enthusiastic supporter of closer contacts with Poland, the job in Warsaw made him rethink some of his views and to choose the direction of a more constructive dialogue with colleagues in Poland at least temporarily, which undoubtedly contributed to decreasing tension between the neighbouring states in 1938. [From the publication]

DOI:
10.12775/EO.2015.005
ISSN:
2081-8742
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https://www.lituanistika.lt/content/59681
Updated:
2021-03-17 17:09:56
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