Lithuanian women giving water to German soldiers, 1941

lithuania ww2

Lithuanian women assisting Wehrmacht soldiers with buckets of water in June 1941, during the early stages of Operation Barbarossa, Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union.

Having been occupied by the Soviets in June 1940 following the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, Lithuania welcomed Germany’s launch of Operation Barbarossa on June 22nd, 1941. The vast majority of Lithuanians viewed German forces as liberators, assisting and helping German soldiers as they were making their advance through the country and towards the East.

During the German occupation of Lithuania between 1941 and 1944 (when the USSR retook control), resistance against the German administration was rather insignificant and passive, and was mostly carried out by Polish partisans, Soviet partisans and Jewish Partisans.

Despite longing for independence (or at least autonomy), Lithuanian society did not employ any notable violent resistance directed against against the Germans. In contrast, the Soviet occupation (both the first and the second) was met with massive resistance efforts, uprisings and guerrilla warfare.

Book suggestions ⤵️

📖 The Making and Breaking of Soviet Lithuania: Memory and Modernity in the Wake of War (Violeta Davoliūtė, 2013)

📖 Between Giants: The Battle for the Baltics in World War II (Prit Buttar, 2013)

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