Hello to all
; a little complement.........................
Memel until 1923.
The region of the lower Niemen (Germ.: Memel) river - inhabited by Prussian and Lithuanian Baltic communities - was conquered by the German Swordbrothers Order (Schwertbrüderorden) in the course of the 13th century. Its main center was the city of Memel (Lit.: Klaipéda) founded in 1252. In 1328 the territory was ceded to the Teutonic Order and it now followed the general history of Prussia, or more correctly of the province of Ostpreussen of which it later became part. Despite a massive German colonization in the region, an important Lithuanian community always continued to exist and as result the Lithuanian state which emerged at the end of WWI started claiming the territory. The claim was recognized by the Allied Supreme Council and, in 1919, by the Peace Treaty of Versailles, Germany had to renounce in favour of the Allies all rights over the following East Prussian territories :
- District of Gumbinnen :
- the largest part of the Kreis Heydekrug
- parts of the Kreise Niederung, Ragnit, Tilsit-Stadt and Tilsit-Land
- of the District of Königsberg :
- the Kreise Memel-Stadt and Memel-Land
Due to the troubled situation in the Baltic, the territories were however not immediately transferred to Lithuania. Instead, an allied (French) provisional administration took charge of the Memel Territory in 1920.
Memel in 1939.
March 15 as the news of the German occupation of Prague reached Memel the Germans, headed by Ernst Neumann, Leader of the Memeldeutscher Kulturverband started claiming the return of the city and its territory to the German Reich.
March 20 the German government issued an ultimatum stating that unless the territory wasn't immediately returned to the Reich, war would be the consequence.
March 21 as the Lithuanian civilians started leaving Memel, Neumann and his militia assumed power in parts of the city taking control of banks transport facilities , etc.
March 22 the Lithuanian administrators and military left the city. A Convention between Germany and Lithuania was signed : in return for some economic advantages - a free zone in the harbor and some financial compensation for the roads build during the Lithuanian period - Memel had to be returned to the German Empire.
March 23 Memel was united with the German Empire (with retroactive effect on march 22) and German troops entered the territory. It became part of the Regierungsbezirk Gumbinnen in the province Ostpreussen
Sources: http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Ro ... index.html
Das Interessante Blatt. 30 März 1939.
http://www.lexikon-der-wehrmacht.de/Gli ... eiten1.htm
Cheers. Raúl M
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