Neperkirstas Gordijo mazgas: valstybinės prievartos prieš visuomenę Lietuvoje genezė (1918–1921)

Direct Link:
Mokslo publikacijos / Scientific publications
Document Type:
Straipsnis / Article
Lietuvių kalba / Lithuanian
Neperkirstas Gordijo mazgas: valstybinės prievartos prieš visuomenę Lietuvoje genezė (1918–1921)
Alternative Title:
Gordian knot uncut: the genesis of the state-exercised coercion against the Lithuanian society (1918–1921)
In the Journal:
Lietuvos istorijos metraštis [Yearbook of Lithuanian History]. 2016, 2015/1, p. 69-95
Nepriklausomybė; Laisvės kovos; Steigiamasis Seimas; Pokaris.
Postwar period; Lithuanian army; Fight against the violence and terror; Lithuania; Independence.
Summary / Abstract:

ENThe study aims to briefly discuss one of the post-WWI phenomena, namely the state-exercised coercion and terror that was used under the pretext of consolidation, pacification and control of the Lithuanian society. By following similar tendencies in the neighbouring countries, an attempt is made to answer whether the so-called “white terror” took place in Lithuania, to identify its forms, causes and consequences, as well as its beginning and end. The study discusses several sensitive cases that pertained to such high-ranking and prominent military as Povilas Plechavičius, Vincas Grigaliūnas-Glovackis, and Brunonas Štencelis. Through these and other cases the hardships of the post-war life in Lithuania, the pending threats as well as mechanisms of social and political engineering are revealed. The collapse of the German military policing system in late 1918 resulted in the rapid growth of disorder, banditism and overall anarchy in the country. The newly formed Lithuanian army, security and law enforcement structures were inevitably affected by the tendencies. Soon the use of terror and coercion were appropriated by the military and security forces and indiscriminately employed against everyone who disobeyed their orders. Thus, some of the military and militia units while still declaring the power given by the state, became nothing short of bandit and raider groups.The level of the disobedience peaked during 1920. Attempts to suppress the acts of terror and violence perpetrated by the high-ranking officers like Plechavičius, Glovackis, and many other, did not bear any results. It exposed the difficult position that the Lithuanian leadership was in: on the one hand the military and militia were defending the country from the advancing enemy armies, on the other hand some of them were committing crimes and killing innocent civilians. However, starting from 1921, the Cabinet of Ministers took a radically different approach: abandoned the fight against the violence and terror, and started inventing excuses to justify the acts of violence as the necessary part in the defence of the state. Lastly, from early 1919, another indicative phenomenon emerged – namely a division into the right- and left-wing Lithuanian society. This line then became the marker for the identification of “enemies of the state” which in turn led to the forced ideological unification by means of coercion. This is clearly seen in the works and discussions of the Constituent Assembly (1920–1922). In particular, the parliamentary majority – the Lithuanian Christian Democrats and their supporters – demonstrated a clear-cut nationalist and traditionalist perception of the state. Therefore, since early 1919 and especially after winning the parliametary majority in 1920, this political group successfully managed to exploit and even indirectly fuel the ongoing campaign of terror against the political adversaries and their supporters. Finally, the cycle of the state-orchestrated terror and coercion that began in 1919, to greater or smaller extent continued until 1940. [From the publication]

0202-3342; 2538-6549
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2019-01-06 16:57:05
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