Between Giants

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Between Giants. Battle in the Baltics. Thesis. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Between Giants

Between GiantsBattle in the Baltics

ThesisActing on the secret protocols of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the USSR annexed the Baltic states in early 1940. Following the doctrines of Generalplan Ost, the Nazi reciprocated with an invasion in 1941. This began a series of illegal occupations that lasted until the early 1990s, the results of which decimated the socioeconomics, religion, and culture of the regionsomething it is still recovering fromand led to sense of foreign policy paranoia that is still evident during the Ukraine crisis. Soviet AnnexationStalin covets Baltics (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) as relics of former Russian EmpireActing on secret protocols of Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, USSR demands Baltic states allow Soviet military bases in their territoriesFiguring this demand is ridiculous, it will give USSR causes bellum for an invasionBaltics acquiesce; USSR blockades Estonia (world doesnt noticedone on same day Paris falls)USSR demands Lithuania form a new govt that is communist, and give free access to Red ArmyAnnexation is only a matter of time from thereGeneralplan OstGoing back to the theory of lebensraum, Nazis planned to use the East to spread outconquest and subjugation of Baltics was a necessityGermans had history (Teutonic Knights) ruling Baltics, esp. Lithuania German was language of nobilityAlfred Rosenberg-Estonian racial theorist-put plan into place for what to do with the German East. This is the core of Nazism:Involved division into four districts Elimination of the Jewish question Elimination of Bolshevism & Pan SlavismEstablishment of master race; settlement of farmlandHans Frank began implementation in Poland; next step was USSREthnic groupPercentage subject to eliminationPoles80-85%Russians50-60% to be physically eliminated and another 15% to be sent to Western Siberia.Belarusians75%Ukrainians65%Lithuanians85%Latvians50%Estonians50%Czechs50%Latgalians100%Barbarossa & the Baltic OperationHitler turn back on USSR and invades on June 22, 1941Army Group North sweeps into Baltics Most of Baltics pacified by early JulyFinal USSR forces not expelled until SeptemberMeets very little resistance from local population originally people are happy to be free of USSR; many people, esp. in Lithuania have German rootsOnce fighting begins NKVD & SD wreak havoc on local populationHorrific scenes took place in Russia held areas just before Wehrmachts arrival hundreds of prisoners had been tortured to death the floor was strewn with the tongues, ears and eyes of dead prisoners.Eastern HolocaustEinsatzgruppen comes behind Wehrmacht to deal with undesirablesMassacre of the Jews in the East begins in LithuaniaVilnius, Jerusalem of the North, sees of population of roughly 500,000 taken down to 1,500Lithuania goes from 1.5 million to 4,000Most are simply taken out into the woods and shotWehrmacht actively cooperates with EinsatzgruppenOne commander issues an order celebrating the hard but just punishment for the Jewish sub-humansRundstedt, Manstein write about awareness of massacresLocal population generally complacent, but Latvians actively round up and arrest undesirablesstill reconciling this todayComes to the headway at Babi Yar in Ukraine 33,771 killed in two daysNazis then use East to experiment with mass extermination via gas Baltic Offensive & Illegal OccupationRed army sweeps West and traps Army Group North in Courland Peninsulaends occupation of Autumn of 1944Never leavesUSSR annexes Baltics and incorporates them into Soviet Unionnot free until 1991Sovietization occurssimilar to other USSR states; native language and culture suppressedAnti-Soviet Resistance begins, founding of Forest Brothers Despite being part of NATO, Baltics still very weary of Russian aggression today