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Genocides in Lithuania Minor | Lithuania Minor |

Historic chronology of Lithuania minor

About 98 A.D., the Roman historian Publius Cornelius Tacitus in his work “Germania mentions THE AISTIANS (Aestorum gentes) living east of the Germanic tribes. In the middle of the 19th century the Aistians were named BALTS.

About 960 the ethnonym of the Prussians Bruzi living at Aest Sea was mentioned in Description of Towns and Regions of the Northern Danube Land prepared by a Bavarian geographer. About 1074, Adamus Bremenensis mentioned Sembi vel Pruzzi (Sembians or Prussians).

1226. Teutonic Order (German Military Order of Knights), which was expelled from Hungary in 1225 for their excessive demands, are invited by a Polish Duke Conrad of Mazowia, with lands on the lower reaches of the Vistula river, to help him fight the pagan Prussians. In order to avoid the bitter experience of Hungary and to secure the Order’s position, its Grand Master Hermann von Salza obtained from the Hohenstaufen Emperor Frederick II the so-called Golden Bull of Rimini as a legal basis for the settlement. By this charter, Frederick confirmed to Hermann and to the Order not only the lands to be granted by Conrad, but also those that the knights were to conquer from the Prussians. Later (1234), Hermann also secured privileges from Pope Gregory IX, which can be regarded as the second foundation charter of the Order’s Prussian State: the papacy was ready to accept the Order’s current and future conquests as the property of the Holy See and to grant them back to the Order in perpetual tenure.

1230. By the act of Kruchwitz of 16 June, Conrad of Mazowia grants to the Order the lands of Kulm, which never belonged to Mazowia. Pope Gregory IX, who in the autumn of the same years calls for a crusade against the Prussians, confirms this illegal grant.

1231. Combined German and Polish forces cross the Vistula River and begin the invasion of Prussian lands. During the next fifty years, having advanced from the lower Vistula River to the lower Nemunas River and having exterminated most of the native Prussian population (especially during the major uprising of 1260 – 1274), the Order firmly established its control over Prussia.

1250. The Order build their first castle in the Kőningsberg region at Balga on the Aistian Lagoon (now, Vistula Lagoon) in place of the Vundenava castle of a Prussian tribe Varmi.

1260-1274. Major Prussian uprising against the yoke of the Order - only seven from over fifty-castles of the Order remain untaken.

1275. Attack of Nadruva and Skalva. 1278-1283, the Order conquers Suduva. The Order fully occupies the territory of Lithuanian Minor up to Nemunas. Their branch Livonian Order subdues the Klaipėda region.

1283. The Order attacks the Lithuanian fortifications on the right side of Nemunas, destroying the castle of Bisena (between Skisnemune and Veliuona).

1351. Grand Duke of Lithuania Algirdas and his brother Duke Kęstutis demand from Pope Innocent VI and, in 1358, from Gregory XI that the Order returns to Lithuania the patronymic Baltic lands of Gediminaičiai from Aistian Lagoon to the Alna river, which were the Kőnigsberg and Klaipėda regions.

1410. United Lithuanian and Polish army crushes the Order in the battle of Grűnwald (Tannenberg).

1413. At negotiations on captives taken during the Grűnwald battle, the Grand Duke of Lithuania Vytautas declares to Marshal of the Order M. Kűchenmeister: Prussia is also the land of my ancestors and I will lay claim to it up to the Osa, because it is a heritage of my ancestors.

1457. After suffering major losses in 1454-66 wars, the Order moves their capital from Marienburg to Kőnigsberg.

1525. Krakow agreement. According to it, the Grand Master of the Order Albrecht becomes a liege of the King of Poland and the Grand Duke of Lithuania Sigismund the Old and establishes a secular Duchy of Prussia.

1544. Foundation of Kőnigsberg University, which prepared hundreds of Lithuanian writers, teachers, major public figures and priests of the Evangelical church.

1545. First Prussian book Catechismus in preűsnischer sprach, a catechism translated from German original to the Semba Prussian dialect published in Kőnigsberg.

1547. First Lithuanian book Catechismus by Evangelical Lutheran priest Martynas Mažvydas published in Kőnigsberg.

1561. Pabetian (Semba) Evangelical Lutheran priest Vilius Abelis translates into Prussian Little Catechismus by Martin Luther – the most significant source of the Prussian language.

1590. Labguva priest Jonas Bretkūnas finishes Lithuanian translation of the Bible.

1653. First grammar of Lithuanian language by a native of Tilsit Daniel Klein published in Kőnigsberg.

1660. Capital of Prussian state moved from Kőnigsberg to Berlin.

1706. First Lithuanian fiction book - Fables by Aesop - translated by the Katniava priest Johann Schulz published in Kőnigsberg.

1709-1711. Great plague ravages Prussian state. In Lithuania Minor alone, about 16,0000 people died (about 53 %) – those of Lithuanian origin comprising the majority of them.

1722-1736. Colonization of Lithuania Minor – some to 20,000 settlers from different German regions come.

1714. Classicist of Lithuanian literature, author of the poem Metai (The Year), Kristijonas Donelaitis born in the village of Lazdynėliai (near Gumbinė). 1723. First faculty of Lithuanian language in the world established in the Kőnigsberg University.

1724. Pioneer of the German classical philosophy of Lithuanian origin Immanuel Kant born in Kőnigsberg.

1818. Professor of Kőnigsberg University, ethnographer Liudvikas Gediminas Rėza, publishes the poem by K. Donelaitis Metai (The Year).

1825. Professor L. Rėza compiles and publishes first collection of Lithuanian and a collection of Lithuania Minor Lietuvininkai songs Dainos (Songs).

1845. Professor of the Kőnigsberg University G.H. Neselmann introduces into international scientific usage a new synonym-ethnonym of Aisciai – Balts.

1849. First Lithuanian weekly Keleivis iš Karaliaučiaus (Passenger from Kőnigsberg) published in Kőnigsberg.

1883. First national magazine for Great Lithuania Aušra (Dawn), a herald of national liberation from the Russian yoke, published in Ragainė.

1885. First national cultural society Birutė established in Tilsit.

1918. On 30th November under the Act of Tilsit the Prussian Lithuanian Council of Lithuania Minor representatives in Tilsit, declares unification of Lithuania Minor with Great Lithuania.

1923. Uprising of the Klaipėda region – the northern part of Lithuania Minor - which under the Treaty of Versailles (1919) was separated from Germany - unites it with the Lithuanian state.

1940. Nazis close the last newspaper Naujasis Tilžės keleivis (New Passenger of Tilsit) published by Minor Lithuanians in Tilsit.

1944. Red Army starts genocide of population of Lithuania Minor.

1947-1949. Natives of Kőnigsberg region, who survived genocide, deported from Lithuania Minor.

1946. Council of Lithuania Minor, re-established in Fulda (West Germany), issues a Declaration on the Future of Lithuania Minor (Kőnigsberg region) within the Lithuanian state (The Act of Fulda). Tuesday, 03 June 2003 tel.: (8~5) 262 4646