Lithuanian-American Congress of November 29-December 1, 1945 in Chicago and Its Significance for Lithuanian-American Political Activities
Keywords:American-Lithuanian Congress, Lithuanian American Council, Potsdam Conference, Chicago of 1945, Baltic States, restoration of the independent state of Lithuania
At the end of 1945, after World War II, the Lithuanian American Council (LAC) organized the first general Lithuanian-American Congress (hereinafter—the Congress) in Chicago. On the basis of its resolutions, Lithuanian-American organizations prepared for further work in the liberation of Lithuania. The historiography does not provide a detailed and in-depth analysis of the preparation and convening of the Congress, nor does it reveal the significance of the resolutions passed by the Congress. The research has revealed that the convening of the Congress was influenced by the resolutions of the Potsdam Conference of 1945, which had a painful impact on the Lithuanian cause, and by the remarks made by US diplomats that the issue of Lithuania and the other Baltic States would be finally decided at the forthcoming Peace Conference. Therefore, at the end of August 1945, the LAC leadership (L. Šimutis, P. Grigaitis and M. Vaidyla) finally decided to convene the Congress at the end of that year in Chicago. The Lithuanian-American nationalist organizations did not attend the Congress; their wish to organize the Congress together with the LAC was not supported by the LAC leadership. The Congress adopted several important resolutions, including an unprecedented demand for the restoration of Lithuania’s independence, the withdrawal of the occupying army, and democratic elections. The Lithuanian-Americans pledged full support and assistance to Lithuania and its people, as well as to Lithuanian refugees and deportees. The documents were made public in the press and presented to the US government representatives to put pressure before the Peace Conference. The resolutions became a kind of program for further Lithuanian-American activities. The Congress (supported by some nationalists) mobilized Lithuanian-Americans for the next stage of the liberation of Lithuania.
How to Cite
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.