The Meeting of the Nationalist American Lithuanian Seimas on 5–6 February 1944 and Its Significance
Keywords:Lithuanians in America, nationalists, American Lithuanian Seimas, 1944, Roman Catholics, Antanas Olis, Leonardas Šimutis, Kazys Karpius, Povilas Žadeikis
Despite the amount of available sources, the activity of Lithuanian nationalists in America during World War II has not been sufficiently explored. This community was particularly active in the USA during the war, especially in the field of propaganda spread by their political organisation “Union for Saving Lithuania”. The idea to organise a meeting of American Lithuanian Seimas was introduced when such signs as inactivity of the American Lithuanian Council and the fast-changing situation on the Eastern Front suggested that Lithuania was under threat of a second occupation by the Soviet Union. Therefore, the goal of the meeting was to get ready to fight for Lithuania’s independence as well as to unify Lithuanian nationalists and improve their image among Lithuanian Americans. The meeting took place on 5–6 February 1944 in New York City and, despite being more of a meeting between American nationalists, was considered a success by Lithuanian diplomats. The decisions made during this event had impact on the destiny of Lithuania and its citizens. The information regarding Lithuania’s situation, which was spread among the American society, contributed to the decision of the American authorities not to acknowledge the occupation of Lithuania. The meeting of the Seimas also consolidated the American Lithuanian nationalists, who started orienting their efforts towards political activities and the issue of Lithuania’s destiny rather than their own issues or disputes with other movements.
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