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Wilno Voivodship

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This article is about the voivodship of Poland in the interwar period. Information about medieval voivodship of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania is at Vilnius Voivodship

Wilno Voivodship
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Wilno Voivodship

Wilno Voivodship (Polish Województwo wileńskie) was one of the Voivodships in the 1922-1939 period.

History

The Wilno Voivodship was a part of Lithuanian territory called Vilnius region illegaly incorporated to Poland in 1923. On February 16. 1918 in Vilnius The Restoration of Independence of Lithuania was proclaimed. The institutions of the state were established. But very soon, on January 3 1919 the city was taken by Bolshevik forces advancing from the east. On April 19, 1919 the city was seized by the Polish army, advancing from the south. On July, 1920 the capital returned to Lithuania. On October 9, 1920 the "Lithuanian-Belarusian" Division of the Polish army under general Lucjan Żeligowski seized the city after a staged mutiny. The city and its surroundings were proclaimed a separate "state" of Central Lithuania by puppet militaries and were illegaly incorporated to Poland. The city was totaly squalid by Poles and suffered vegetation during all time of occupation from 1920 to 1939.Lithuania never recognized the occupation of capital and Eastern Lithuania. The constitutions of Lithuania mentioned Vilnius as the capital of the state. All diplomatic relations between Lithuania and Poland were broken.

As an effect of World War II Soviets seized the city on September 19, 1939. The city and surrounding areas were returned to Lithuania regarding the Peace Treaty between Lithuania and Soviet Russia of July 12, 1920. The Lithuanian Army and authorities entered Vilnius shortly afterwards and the state institutions started to be gradually transferred from temporary capital Kaunas. However, the process was not yet finished when in June of 1940 Vilnius was again seized by the Soviet Union and became the capital of the Lithuanian SSR. Approximately 35,000 - 40,000 of the city inhabitants were arrested by the NKVD and sent to Gulags.

In June 1941 the city was again seized by Germany. A failed Jewish ghetto uprising on September 1 1943 (the Vilnius uprising) led to the final destruction of the ghetto. About 95% of the local Jewish population was murdered. Many of them were among 100,000 victims of the mass executions in Paneriai.

Vilnius was again seized by the Soviets on July, 1944 and with all country suffered terrible communist occupation for almost 50 years.

See also:

pl:Województwo wileńskie Template:Poland-geo-stub

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