Important documents were returned to Lithuania, among them – the peace treaty between Lithuania and the USSR signed by Lenin
The documents of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the interwar period were returned to the archives of Lithuania on Thursday, including the originals of international treaties important for the country’s history.
These are the peace treaty between Lithuania and Soviet Russia, the treaties between Lithuania and Latvia for the period from 1922 to 1925, the pact of cooperation, accord and mutual assistance signed in Geneva in 1934, concluded between Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia (the treaty establishing the Baltic Entente) and many others.
“The whole Lithuania should be happy – these are important, pivotal foreign policy documents,” Dalius Zizhis, head of the Central State Archives of Lithuania, told reporters during the transfer of documents to the Foreign Ministry.
The director of the archive also said that it is planned to display the documents for the public in the fall.
The documents that Lithuanian diplomat, consul general in Canada Vytautas Jonas Gilis managed to keep since 1939, were handed over to the archive by Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis on Thursday.
According to the head of Lithuanian diplomacy, this is an unprecedented collection of documents.
“This is what we have today best in international treaties. What formed the legal basis of Lithuania’s foreign policy or the highest achievements of foreign policy before our occupation,” said G. Landsbergis.
“One of the documents is the Lithuanian-Latvian agreement on Palanga. We know that Lithuania was deprived of access to the sea. And today we have the signatures of Lithuania and Latvia, (on their basis – ed.) We can go and enjoy the seaside. We have a peace treaty between Lithuania and the Soviet Union, if I am not mistaken, with the original signature of (Vladimir – ed.) Lenin, there is a peace treaty of the Entente of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, there are documents (signed with the USA – ed.) With the original signatures of F. D. Roosevelt, the agreement with Germany with the original signature (Paul von – ed.) Of Hindenburg, the agreement between Lithuania and the Holy See and the original signature (of the Pope – ed.) Pius XI, “the minister said.
He added that the documents were returned to Lithuania thanks to Lithuanian diplomats and Lithuanian Ambassador to Canada Darius Skusavichius.
D. Skusevičius said that documents important for Lithuania in Canada could have been thrown away after the death of V. J. Gilis and his wife, who kept them.
“After the death of the Consul General in Toronto, the documents were kept by his widow, Mrs. Wanda. After her death, due to the absence of relatives, when the house was simply cleaned, the documents were put out on the street for a garbage truck to take them,” the diplomat said.
However, according to D. Skusavichius, the documents were saved by the diplomat’s neighbor, Canadian Charlie Hopkins. Later he himself found the representatives of Lithuania and donated the documents to them.
The transferred documents were taken out of Lithuania in 1939, for a long time nothing was known about them.