Autonomous Memel under Lithuanian Rule (1924-1932)
A depiction of a fragment in the history of Memel (Klaipeda) in 1924-1932, i. e. after the signing of the Memel Convention and prior to Hitler's ascension to power in Germany. The article describes the nature of Memel's autonomy as well as the threats and sources of conflicts lurking in the accepted solutions. Prime attention is focused on the mechanisms of political activity - the constant misunderstandings and conflicts between the Lithuanian central authorities, the governor, and the self-government bodies, predominated by Germans. The author indicated the essence of the controversy in which the Lithuanian side strove towards integration with Lithuania, as well as closer political, cultural and economic bonds. The Germans rejected such demands, wishing to preserve their heretofore privileges and to win the greatest possible independence from Kaunas. The most important dispute was caused in 1931 by the activity of Otto Böttcher, the chairman of the Directorate, correctly accused of having violated the statute of Memel. The ensuing conflict was resolved by The Hague Tribunal, which issued a verdict in favour of Lithuania.
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