Political

How successfully were the Soviet authorities able to contain Baltic nationalism from 19451991

Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia are the three countries in the Baltic region, called Baltic States. While Lithuania got independence on 11 March 1990. Estonia and Latvia had declaration of Independence on 20th and 21 August 1991. Lithuanian population of almost 3 million people comprises around 8 percent of Russians, 6 percent of Poles and remaining are the native Lithuanians. The country was independent from the year 1918 until the soviet occupation from 1945 to 1991.(Samuolyte, 2011)
After formally incorporating Baltic States into USSR during 1940, Stalin unlashed a wave of terror in these states with systematic destruction of political institutions and prosecution of military as well as cultural persons of importance. In addition, all enterprises and industries were nationalized. While Latvia and Estonia were historically against Germans, their hatred was now directed against Russians, because of above Soviet actions. However, the German occupation of Baltic States also did not meet the aspiration of locals, since Germans treated them as belonging to an inferior race.
While Germans were harsher on Lithuanians, their treatment towards Estonians and Latvians was relatively milder. Hence, partisan movement was more active in Lithuania in comparison to Latvian or Estonian movements. However, Baltic States had to make a choice, during World War, for joining either the Germans or the Soviets. Although Germans organized campaigns for volunteer recruitment in Estonia and Latvia, the Red Army of USSR was able to recapture the two States during 1944, followed by capture of Lithuania in 1945. Participating in the World War, Estonia and Latvia lost almost 20 percent of their population. In addition, the Red terror also continued unabated.
After the recapture of Baltic States by Soviet Union, authorities tried to collectivize the agricultural farms.

Back To Top