President Gitanas Nausėda initiates a series of events to tell more about the history of the secret protocols of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact since its signing in 1939 until they were made public and condemned in December 1989 and encourage a debate on the importance of historical memory in strengthening Lithuania’s statehood.
“With attempts to manipulate and falsify history in neighboring countries, it is our duty to remember the events of the past as they were”, the President said.
On 15 December, 3 p.m., the President will attend a conference on The Struggle of Lithuanians’ for the State and Historical Truth: the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact 1939–1989–2020 hosted at the Presidential Palace. The event will focus on the discussion of the historical resolution On the Political and Legal Assessment of the 1939 Non-Aggression Pact between the Soviet Union and Germany passed by the Congress of People’s Deputies of the Soviet Union 31 years ago, on 24 December 1989, acknowledging and condemning the secret agreements which contradicted the sovereignty of the three Baltic States and declaring them as “legally unfounded and invalid from the moment of their signing”.
The debate on this exceptional victory of the three Baltic states in the Kremlin, which has become an important step towards the restoration of independence, will be attended by Members of the then Soviet People’s Congress, signatories of the Act of Independence of the Republic of Lithuania Prof. Vytautas Landsbergis and Zita Šličytė, as well as signatories of the Act of Independence of the Republic of Lithuania Egidijus Bičkauskas and Emanuelis Zingeris. The discussion will be moderated by the historian of the Lithuanian Institute of History Dr. Algimantas Kasparavičius. The conference will be broadcast live on the LRT portal.
On 22 December, at 2 p.m. the Center for Civil Education will host the opening of the virtual exhibition The Victorious Christmas Eve of 1989: Dethroning of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. During the live broadcast, Dr. Kasparavičius, curator of the exhibition, together with historian Dr. Mindaugas Nefas will review the archival material and present the most interesting elements to the general public.
The exhibition to be displayed on the website of the Center for Civil Education will allow the visitors to time-travel starting with the fateful events of the second half of 1939 which determined the fate of Lithuania and the other Baltic States for five decades until 24 December 1989 when the Congress of People’s Deputies of the Soviet Union acknowledged the existence of secret agreements and condemned them.
Visitors of the virtual exhibition will be able to see the facsimiles of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and its secret protocols which German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed to hand over to Lithuania at the request of the President as well as the Resolution of the Congress of People’s Deputies of the Soviet Union of 24 December 1989 condemning the secret agreements between the Soviet Union and Germany. Documentary photos from the Office of the Chief Archivist of Lithuania that tell about protests and rallies held in Lithuania and by the diaspora in 1953-1989 will also be featured in the exhibition.
According to the President, Germany’s assistance and without it would holding such an exhibition would hardly be possible, testifies not only to the warm and friendly relations between the two countries, but also to the common interest of Germans to resist dangerous historical revisionism.