Klaipeda Revolt
Events
January 10, 1920- Treaty of Versailles affected the land north of the Neman River
1921 Memellanders voted for free state and against unification with Lithuania
1922- 93% declare themselves as ethinc Germans in the city of Memel but 63% of the Memel region considered themselves as Memellanders.
1925- in the census 42% considered themselves German, 27% declared themselves Lithuanian’s, and 24% thought of themselves as Memellanders.
January 2, 1923- meeting to plan revolt
January 9, 1923- revolt began
January 11, 1923- the second-largest city, Heydekrug, was overtaken.
January 15, 1923- Lithuania reaches Memel city and overtake entire region.
January 17-18, 1923- British and French troops arrive with the intention to restore peace, though late.
January 19, 1923- Klaipeda requested their admittance to Lithuania as an autonomous territory.

Conflict & Crisis
The conflict occurred between Lithuania and Poland over the Klaipeda region. They both sought to gain the port of Memel. Lithuania wanted to control their exports and imports via the port, as well as prevent Poland from overtaking it. Germany helped strengthen Lithuania against Poland by way of ammunition. Poland arrived in Klaipeda one day late. The leader of the National Council of Prussian Lithuanians, Erdmonas Simonaitis, and the Lithuanian Consul to Memel, Žilius, met to plan the revolt and decided for the plan to be successful, they would have three groups of volunteers to help carry it out, including volunteers, soldiers, and those who considered themselves Lithuanians in the Klaipeda region. The first, to take over the city and port, the second to guard the central region from enemies, the third was to control the southern region from enemies as well. Many Memellander’s supported the Lithuanian soldiers.

Role of League of Nations
The League of Nation’s assigned the area of East Prussia to France. The prospect of a common French currency issued to the area, spurred the Lithuanians in their preparations towards a revolt. The British & French attempted to restore peace, but they arrived to find that Lithuania had already taken over the region. An agreement was made with Lithuania stating that the Klaipeda Region would be an autonomous territory which included certain conditions such as a separate government and parliament, two official languages, etc..

Primary Source Text

“British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain told the House of Commons that the French and British Embassies in Berlin had been instructed to express the official hope that the German Government ‘will use its influence to insure respect’ for the 1924 Memel Statute finally giving the district to Lithuania.” – Time Magazine

“LITHUANIA: Hell Memel! “

Monday, Dec. 19, 1938




Analysis:
The purpose of this text is to show how Germany wanted to enforce their influence on Lithuania during that era leading up to World War II. The text shows the value of alliances prior to the Second World War. One limitation of the text is the fact that it was written after the incident, not giving us an accurate view of the event in that present period.We can infer that the British government is strongly urging Germany to remember the Memel statute.

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Primary Visual Source Anaylsis:
This map shows the Klaipeda region (formally known as Memelland), East Prussia, and Poland. It shows us the locations of the various events of the revolt. It also puts the value of Memel and its proximity to a port in perspective to Poland and Lithuania and gives us an accurate view of the location of the border disputes during the revolt.


Citation:
"Klaipėda Revolt." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 14 Oct. 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klaipėda_Revolt>.

"LITHUANIA: Hell Memel!" Time Magazine (1938). Web. 14 Oct. 2010. <http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,772108,00.html>.