Memel dispute

Memel dispute
Post-World War I dispute over sovereignty of the former German Prussian territory of Memelland.

Located on the Baltic Sea north of the Memel River, the area was mainly inhabited by Lithuanians. In 1919 at the Paris Peace Conference, the newly formed state of Lithuania requested annexation of the area. A commission recommended formation of a free state, but Lithuanian inhabitants of the region took over the government in 1923. Protests by the Allied Powers resulted in the signing of the Memel Statute to establish Memelland as an autonomous region within Lithuania.

* * *

▪ European history
Memel also called  Klaipėda,  

      post-World War I dispute regarding sovereignty over the former German Prussian territory of Memelland. Its seizure by Lithuania was eventually approved by the great powers.

      Before World War I, Memelland, an area on the Baltic Sea located to the north of the Neman (Memel) River, belonged to Prussia. A large portion of its population, particularly outside the port city of Memel, however, was Lithuanian; and after the war the newly formed state of Lithuania requested that the Allied Powers at the Paris Peace Conference grant it possession of the Memel territory (March 24, 1919). The Allied Powers did detach Memelland from Germany (Versailles Treaty; Article 99); but rather than annex the region to Lithuania, whose political situation was then unstable, they assumed direct control over the area, appointed a French administration to rule it, and only in the fall of 1922 created a special commission to review the status of Memelland. When that commission displayed sympathy for a plan, supported by German and Polish interest groups, to transform Memelland into a free state, Lithuanian inhabitants of the region formed a Committee for the Salvation of Lithuania Minor, gained the support of numerous volunteers from Lithuania proper, and on Jan. 9, 1923, announced at Silutė (Heydekrug) that they were taking over the government of Memelland in order to unite the region, as an autonomous unit, with Lithuania. By January 15 the Lithuanian forces had gained control over the entire district, including the city of Memel. The Allied Powers sent formal notes to Lithuania protesting against this action, but their Ambassadors' Conference decided on February 16 to place Memelland under Lithuanian control. The subsequent negotiations concerning the nature of the union and control of the port continued inconclusively until December; and only after the matter was referred to the League of Nations did Lithuania reach an accord with Great Britain, France, Italy, and Japan (the member states of the Ambassadors' Conference) and sign the Memel Statute, which officially made Memelland an autonomous region within Lithuania, outlined the governmental structure of the territory, and also established an administrative body for the port of Memel, renamed Klaipėda.

      The Memel Statute remained in effect until March 23, 1939, when Lithuania was forced to accept a German ultimatum demanding the return of Memelland. At the close of World War II, it was returned to Lithuania, which by then had become part of the U.S.S.R.

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужен реферат?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • dispute — disputeless, adj. disputer, n. /di spyooht /, v., disputed, disputing, n. v.i. 1. to engage in argument or debate. 2. to argue vehemently; wrangle or quarrel. v.t. 3. to argue or debate about; discuss. 4. to argue against; call in question: to… …   Universalium

  • Germany — /jerr meuh nee/, n. a republic in central Europe: after World War II divided into four zones, British, French, U.S., and Soviet, and in 1949 into East Germany and West Germany; East and West Germany were reunited in 1990. 84,068,216; 137,852 sq.… …   Universalium

  • League of Nations — (English) Société des Nations (French) Sociedad de Naciones (Spanish) International organization …   Wikipedia

  • Directorate of the Klaipėda Region — Simonaitis Directorate, organized to facilitate the Klaipėda Revolt in January 1923 The Directorate of the Klaipėda Region (German: Landesdirektorium; Lithuanian: Klaipėdos krašto direktorija) was the main governing institution (executive branch) …   Wikipedia

  • Former eastern territories of Germany — v · d …   Wikipedia

  • Klaipėda Revolt — Historical map of Klaipėda Region (Memelland) and the northern part of East Prussia Date …   Wikipedia

  • 1939 German ultimatum to Lithuania — East Prussia after the ultimatum took force; the Klaipėda Region/Memelland is depicted in blue and East Prussia in pink. 1939 Germa …   Wikipedia

  • Lithuania Minor — ( lt. Mažoji Lietuva; de. Kleinlitauen; pl. Litwa Mniejsza; ru. Máлая Литвá) or Prussian Lithuania ( lt. Prūsų Lietuva; de. Preußisch Litauen, pl. Litwa Pruska) is a historical ethnographic region of Prussia, later East Prussia in Germany, where… …   Wikipedia

  • List of national border changes since World War I — refers to changes in borders between nations during or since 1914. For information on border changes from the end of the Napoleonic Wars to 1914, see List of national border changes from 1815 to 1914. This is a list of significant boundary… …   Wikipedia

  • Vytautas the Great — Infobox Monarch name =Vytautas the Great title =Grand Duke of Lithuania caption =17th century painting reign =4 August, 1392 – October 27, 1430 othertitles =Duke of Trakai Postulated King of Hussites Protector of Christianity predecessor… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”