Restoration of Lithuanian Statehood Day

February 16 is an important day for Lithuania. In 1270, the Teutonic Order, a Catholic military order which was trying to convert the indigenous people of present-day Latvia and Estonia, was successfully routed.

The Battle of Karuse was fought entirely on the frozen Baltic Sea and the Lithuanians won their decisive battle by barricading themselves behind their sleighs.

On the same day in 1918 , 648 years later, the Council of Lithuania adopted the Act of Independence, declaring Lithuania independent from the German Empire. Germany stayed in power, however, until the end of World War I.

Lithuania had to fight three Revolutionary Wars from three separate powers, the Bolsheviks, the Bermontians, or the remains of the German forces, and Poland.

Unfortunately during the Second World War Lithuania was occupied by the then Soviet Union. In 1990 Lithuania was the first Soviet republic to declare itself independent, restoring once more the independent State of Lithuania.

Scan of original Act of Independence of Lithuania hand-written in Lithuanian language and with twenty original signatures, which was found on 29 March 2017 by Vytautas Magnus University professor Liudas Mažylis at the Federal Foreign Office Political Archive in Berlin, Germany. It is in the Public Domain.

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