Vilnius from the beginning of WWI until the end of WWII
Five Frame Exhibit
Description: This exhibit illustrates the history of Vilnius for the period between the beginning of WWI until the first years post WWII. History of Vilnius during that period reflects vital and dramatic years. More than 15 real or formal governments left their own marks in memory through stamps, revenues, envelopes, postcards, eloquent documents – personal identification certificates, various licenses, and permits. For example – the period between December 1918 until October 1920. These were days of formal Lithuanian government, where in fact the city was administrated by Germany, there were also a few days when it was ruled by Polish legionnaires. However, at the same time, Lithuanian post office was active. After that, occupation by Russian Bolsheviks followed, which in a few months was replaced by Polish government. In the Summer of 1920, Vilnius again was taken by Russians, who under the Lithuania-Russia agreement of the 12th July, 1920, returned Vilnius to Lithuania. After that a short period of Lithuanian government followed.
The first exhibit frame includes the material from WWI – the beginning of the war when Russia was in control of the city until it left and administration was taken over by German. In the second frame – turbulent post war period until the beginning of October 1920. The third frame is dedicated to Polish governance years until the beginning of WWII (until Spring 1922 Polish-occupied Vilnius region was formally called Central Lithuania). The fourth frame shows material which illustrates the dramatic period from the beginning of WWII until the beginning of the Continuation War between Germany and Soviet Union. The fifth frame is dedicated to the period of German occupation and the first post WWII years – USSR re-occupation. More than 70% of the exhibit is quite rare or very rare philatelic material, the rest – unique documents and a few exceptional photos.