The Annexation of Memel by the Third Reich, 20-23 March 1939
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This detailed presentation of the annexation of Memel by the Third Reich (March 1939) underlines the fact that the Nazi campaign constituted an important act of aggression, to be included among a number of similar German ventures, and a noteworthy element in the general preparations for war made by the Third Reich. The author described the various undertakings conceived by German diplomacy, its ruthless and brutal methods, and various endeavours to obliterate the true nature of the Memel policy. Faced with an ultimatum, the Lithuanian side found itself in an extremely difficult situation, with no one offering support or assistance. Unable to tackle the threat of military aggression, Lithuania was compelled to succumb to force. The article describes the seizure of Memel by the Reich and the role played by the local pro-nazi German community. The author also wrote about the echoes of the loss of Memel and its consequences for Lithuania. The article is based on Lithuanian and Polish archival sources and German published documents. The cited literature includes most recent Lithuanian publications.
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