L.V. Slutskaya. The influence of the Jewish and Belarusian groups on the national policy of Lithuania in the period 1918–1924 // Petersburg historical journal, no. 4, 2022, pp. 102–112
The author of the article examines impact of Jewish and Belarusian communities on Lithuanian national policies after the collapse of the Russian empire and proclamation of the Republic of Lithuania in February 1918. The reliance on ethnic minorities at the initial stage of the formation of the Lithuanian statehood contributed to its strengthening, made it possible to strengthen not only vertical, but also horizontal ties within the country. A tolerant policy towards the Jewish and Belarusian groups, as opposed to the policy of persecution of these groups in Poland, made it possible to unite them against the Soviet regime and Polish expansion, form the image of Lithuania in the international arena as a defender of the interests of national minorities and strengthen regional positions. In turn, ethnic minorities that have long lived on Lithuanian lands needed to protect their interests from state institutions. Ethnic group leaders as part of the Lithuanian delegation participated in the Versailles and Moscow (1920) conferences, supporting the position of Lithuania. The role of Jewish and Belarusian representatives in defending the territorial claims of Lithuania to the Vilna and Grodno regions is revealed. Changes in Lithuanian policy towards ethnic minorities associated with the formation of statehood on the basis of the titular (Lithuanian) nation are shown: from the appointment of ministers for Jewish and Belarusian affairs, the gradual reduction of their presence in the political space to the elimination of these posts in 1923–1924. The author concludes that strengthening the sovereignty and changes in international standing of Lithuania turned ethnic issues into a part of internal policy of the government of the interwar period.
Lithuania, Poland, Wilno, national policy, ethnic minorities, Jews, Belarusians, The League of nations.
Slutskaya, Liudmila Vladimirovna — PhD, Associate Professor, Associate Professor of the Department of Political Science of the Belarusian State University.