Polityka zagraniczna Litwy wobec Polski w latach 1918-1923
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Książka przedstawia dyplomatyczne stosunki polsko-litewskie w okresie powstawania państwowości polskiej i litewskiej, przez pryzmat działalności Ministerstwa Spraw Zagranicznych Litwy. Autor w dużej mierze koncentruje się na procesie podejmowania decyzji i uwarunkowaniach zewnętrznych mających wpływ na politykę władz litewskich w stosunku do Polski. Wspólne dzieje i powiązania państwowe w przeszłości, zamiast służyć pomocą, okazały się przeszkodą nie do przebycia na drodze normalizacji stosunków dwóch niepodległych państw. „Węzłem gordyjskim” okazała się kwestia przynależności miasta Wilna i Wileńszczyzny. Autor również zwraca uwagę na skomplikowaną sytuację geopolityczną w Europie Wschodniej po pierwszej wojnie światowej i jej wpływ na czynniki decyzyjne władz litewskich. Postanowienie Rady Ambasadorów z 15 marca 1923 roku, na mocy którego Wilno zostało w granicach państwa polskiego, nie rozwiązało sporu, a jeszcze bardziej go zaostrzyło. Przedstawione w książce wydarzenia z historii stosunków polsko-litewskich po dziś dzień mają wpływ na relacje polsko-litewskie.
Jarosław Subocz (ur. 1983), studia historyczne ukończył w Katolickim Uniwersytecie Lubelskim Jana Pawła II. Jego zainteresowania badawcze skupiają się wokół historii stosunków dyplomatycznych Polski i Litwy, dziejów pogranicza polsko-litewsko-białoruskiego, historii Litwy w XIX i XX wieku oraz historii stosunków polsko-litewskich. Jest autorem kilku artykułów opublikowanych w pracach zbiorowych i czasopismach naukowych.
LITHUANIA’S FOREIGN POLICY IN THE YEARS 1918-1923
The present study is an attempt to present - on the basis of historical facts - the policy adopted by Lithuania’s authorities towards the Polish state in the years 1918-1923, as well as the processes of making decisions and factors influencing them from the outside. The human factor, the leading Lithuanian politicians’ likings and antipathies, fairly frequently played a decisive role when making decisions concerning the Lithuanian people. It should be noted that the main task the Lithuanian diplomacy had at a given period, despite being recognized de iure, was to counter Polish authorities’ attempts to conclude a Lithuanian- Polish federation, as well as to strive after regaining Lithuania’s historical capital, Vilnius. The issues discussed here are bordered by two dates: that of regaining independence by Lithuania in 1918, and that of the decision of the Conference of Ambassadors of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers of 15 March 1923, recognizing the eastern borders of Poland, with Vilnius remaining within the Second Republic of Poland.
The study attempts to answer the following questions: Was there a uniform policy towards Poland that was adopted by the Lithuanian authorities at the period? What factors influenced consolidation or weakening of Lithuania’s foreign policy towards Poland? In what way was the attitude towards their opponents expressed by the politicians of that time?
The study is divided into five chapters. Chapter One introduces the reader into the issue of Polish-Lithuanian relations, showing the sources of the conflict and its transformation from a dispute of two nations into a conflict of two independent countries.
In Chapter Two the beginnings are presented of the relations of the two independent countries at the international arena, and the struggle of the Lithuanian diplomacy with the Polish authorities at the Paris Peace Conference for the existence of the Lithuanian state. Special attention is paid to the organization of the Lithuanian diplomacy apparatus that was going on exactly in Paris, that is abroad, and not in Lithuania. The Lithuanian delegation was considered by its members to be a sort of the Lithuanian foreign ministry abroad. Headed by the Foreign Minister A. Voldemaras the delegation often made decisions of national importance without the consent or knowledge of the Lithuanian government in Kaunas. The sources of disintegration and weakness of the Lithuanian foreign policy at the beginning of the country’s activity at the international arena should be sought exactly in this situation. The unsuccessful attempts at establishing direct contacts are a clear example of this.
In the next chapter, chronologically comprising the second half of 1920 and the first half of 1921, a significant turnabout in Polish-Lithuanian relations is presented that was a consequence of the Polish-Soviet war, and of an undefined position taken by the Lithuanian authorities towards the conflicting sides. Occupation of the disputable territories by the Lithuanian troops during the Bolshevik army offensive was treated by the Polish side as explicit breaking neutrality stated by Lithuania. Hence taking back the territories occupied by Lithuanian troops and re-incorporating them into Poland was perceived by the Polish authorities as natural. After ending military actions the territorial dispute between Poland and Lithuania was transferred to the League of Nations that suggested solving the issue by a plebiscite. Due to unwillingness of either of the sides to execute the League’s decision an attempt to hold a plebiscite failed. The League Council then suggested direct talks in Brussels that were to be chaired by P. Hymans.
In Chapter Four the course of Polish-Lithuanian talks in Brussels, as well as the two proposals by P. Hymans to solve the territorial dispute, are presented. The first of them, rejected by the Lithuanian authorities, suggested establishing the Lithuanian state according to the Swiss model: it was supposed to consist of two cantons, the Kaunas one and the Vilnius one, with Vilnius as the capital of the federated state. The next meeting took place in autumn 1921. During the meeting another proposals was presented, more favorable for the Lithuanian side. It suggested incorporating the Vilnius region into Lithuania as an autonomous territory. A stormy debate started in Lithuania between supporters and opponents of this proposal. The public opinion, influenced by the anti- Polish propaganda conducted in recent years by the Lithuanian authorities categorically rejected any concessions to Poland. The president of the delegation, E. Galvanauskas, a supporter of the proposal, ultimately fell victim to a failed assassination attempt: he escaped with his life. The proposal was rejected by both the sides of the conflict. The League of Nations withdrew from the role of mediator, which concluded the Polish- Lithuanian struggles at the international forum.
In Chapter Five an attempt is discussed at “resuscitation” of the territorial question at the international forum made by the Lithuanian authorities. Lithuania was recognized by the European states, it established rule over the Memel Territory, but on the strength of the decision made by the Conference of Ambassadors in 1923 it lost its capital, Vilnius, that was incorporated into Poland. The border line between Poland and Lithuania lasted throughout the whole period between the two world wars, but the events that accompanied the drawing of it in the period of 1918-1923 are still perceived as a dark side of Polish-Lithuanians relations by most Lithuanian historians.
UWAGA: Ostatni egzemplarz!