Portal:Lithuania

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Lithuania ( /ˌlɪθjuˈniə/ ( About this sound listen) LITH-ew-AY-nee-ə; Lithuanian: Lietuva [lʲɪɛtʊˈvɐ]), officially the Republic of Lithuania (Lithuanian: Lietuvos Respublika), is a country in the Baltic region of Europe. It is one of the Baltic states and lies on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea to the southeast of Sweden and the east of Denmark, with Latvia to the north, Belarus to the east and south, Poland to the south, and Kaliningrad Oblast of Russia to the southwest. Lithuania covers an area of 65,300 km2 (25,200 sq mi), with a population of 2.8 million. Its capital and largest city is Vilnius; other major cities are Kaunas and Klaipėda. Lithuanians belong to the ethno-linguistic group of the Balts and speak Lithuanian, one of only a few living Baltic languages.

For centuries the southeastern shores of the Baltic Sea were inhabited by various Baltic tribes. In the 1230s, Lithuanian lands were united by Mindaugas, founding the Kingdom of Lithuania on 6 July 1253. In the 14th century, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was the largest country in Europe; present-day Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, and parts of Poland and Russia were all lands of the Grand Duchy. With the Union of Lublin of 1569, Lithuania and Poland formed a voluntary two-state personal union, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Commonwealth lasted more than two centuries, until neighbouring countries dismantled it in 1772–1795, with the Russian Empire annexing most of Lithuania's territory. As World War I ended, Lithuania's Act of Independence was signed on 16 February 1918, founding the modern Republic of Lithuania. In World War II, Lithuania was occupied first by the Soviet Union and then by Nazi Germany. Towards the end of the war in 1944, when the Germans were retreating, the Soviet Union reoccupied Lithuania. Lithuanian armed resistance to the Soviet occupation lasted until the early 1950s. On 11 March 1990, a year before the formal dissolution of the Soviet Union, Lithuania passed the Act of the Re-Establishment of the State of Lithuania, becoming the first Soviet republic to proclaim its independence.

Lithuania is a developed country, with a high income advanced economy; ranking very high in the Human Development Index. It ranks favourably in terms of civil liberties, press freedom and internet freedom. However, Lithuania has experienced a gradual population decline since the 1990s, with social issues such as income inequality and high suicide rate remaining a problem. Lithuania is a member of the European Union, the Council of Europe, eurozone, the Nordic Investment Bank, Schengen Agreement, NATO and OECD. It participates in the Nordic-Baltic Eight (NB8) regional co-operation format. ( Full article...)

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Anton Schmid (9 January 1900 – 13 April 1942) was an Austrian recruit in the Wehrmacht who saved Jews during the Holocaust in Lithuania. A devout but apolitical Roman Catholic and an electrician by profession, Schmid was conscripted into the Austro-Hungarian Army during World War I and later into the Wehrmacht during World War II. Put in charge of an office to return stranded German soldiers to their units in late August 1941, he began to help Jews after being approached by two pleading for his intercession. Schmid hid Jews in his apartment, obtained work permits to save Jews from the Ponary massacre, transferred Jews in Wehrmacht trucks to safer locations, and aided the Vilna Ghetto underground. It is estimated that he saved as many as 300 Jews before his arrest in January 1942. He was executed on 13 April.

After the war, Schmid was recognized as Righteous Among the Nations by Yad Vashem for his efforts to help Jews and was seen as a symbol of the few Germans who defied their government's extermination program. His reception was more conflicted in Germany and Austria, where he was still viewed as a traitor. The first official commemoration of him in Germany did not occur until 2000, but he is now hailed as an example of civil courage for Bundeswehr soldiers to follow. ( Full article...)
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Public holidays in Lithuania
Date English name Local name Remarks
January 1 New Year's Day Naujieji metai  
February 16 the Day of Restoration of the State of Lithuania (1918) Lietuvos valstybės atkūrimo diena  
March 11 Day of Restoration of Independence of Lithuania (from the Soviet Union, 1990) Lietuvos nepriklausomybės atkūrimo diena  
The first Sunday after the full moon that occurs on or soonest after 21 March and following Monday Easter Velykos Commemorates resurrection of Jesus
May 1 International Workers' Day Tarptautinė darbo diena  
First Sunday in May Mother's Day Motinos diena  
First Sunday in June Father's Day Tėvo diena  
June 24 St. John's Day [Christian name], Day of Dew [original pagan name] Joninės, Rasos Celebrated according to mostly pagan traditions. (aka: Midsummer Day, Saint Jonas Day)
July 6 Statehood Day Valstybės (Lietuvos karaliaus Mindaugo karūnavimo) diena Commemorates coronation of the first king, Mindaugas
August 15 Assumption Day Žolinė (Švč. Mergelės Marijos ėmimo į dangų diena)  
November 1 All Saints' Day Visų šventųjų diena (Vėlinės)  
December 24 Christmas Eve Šv. Kūčios  
December 25 and 26 Christmas Šv. Kalėdos Commemorates birth of Jesus

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Sources

  1. ^ Albala, K. (2011). Food Cultures of the World Encyclopedia. Food Cultures of the World Encyclopedia. Greenwood. p. 226. ISBN  978-0-313-37626-9. Retrieved August 2, 2019.

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