Lithuania is a Baltic country, lying between Latvia to the north, Belarus to the east, and Poland to the south. In the 14th century it was one of the largest countries in Europe, a grand duchy stretching from the Baltic to the Black Sea, almost to Moscow in fact. In 1569 Lithuania had merged with Poland, but by 1795 it was itself absorbed into Russia, in the so-called ‘Third Partition’.
After a revolt in 1863 the Lithuanian language was banned, but strong national movements emerged from the 1880s. The country was occupied by German troops between 1915 and 1918. In this last year a German king was ‘elected’ and deposed (in November). (more…)