In 1944–1945, during the Soviet reoccupation of Lithuania, more than 50,000 politically active and literate Lithuanians emigrated from their homeland to Western Europe. Since it was difficult to settle in war-torn Europe and the various secret services of the USSR monitored or persecuted political emigrants, from the late 1940s and especially in the 1950s, the absolute majority of Lithuanian emigrants from Europe moved to the United States or other countries less affected by the World War. Especially attractive to Lithuanians was the economic prosperity of the USA, where Lithuanian communities were strong and rich, and Lithuanian parishes had been established since the end of the 19th century. In addition, the local Lithuanian press, Sunday schools, and the multifaceted cultural and political life of the local Lithuanian communities was being developed there.
It is not surprising, therefore, that in America an entire network of Lithuanian political patriotic organisations formed and here the largest, most extensive, and active Lithuanian political emigration’s resistance against the consequences of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact occurred. It was a fight against the occupation and annexation of Lithuania and the restoration of an independent state. Especially active anti-Soviet political-propagandist and liberation activities were developed by the Supreme Committee for the Liberation of Lithuania, American Lithuanian Council, Lithuanian World Community, National Lithuanian Society of America and a number of others. It was through their initiative, efforts, and funds that the main political work was organised.
Various anti-Soviet political demonstrations, manifestos, pickets, rallies, and campaigns were held in cities across the USA and in Europe. Various memoranda, petitions, letters of protest were sent to international organisations, US and foreign governments. Particular efforts were made to act wherever and whenever the issues of the world’s other enslaved nations were dealt with, where the world’s public attention was concentrated at one point or another, or when representatives of the Soviet Union visited.
Therefore, protests against the consequences of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the annexation of Lithuania, and demands for the freedom of Lithuania were often carried out at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York or even after entering the actual headquarters; in Paris – at the UNESCO Palace; in Madrid and Vienna – during Conferences of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, as well as at embassies of the USSR in various capitals of the world.
The fact that the resistance of the Baltic nations against the Soviet occupation/annexation was the most prominent in North America was determined by the position of the US administration. Since 23 July 1940, when Under Secretary of State, Sumner Welles, made a declaration that the USA does not recognise the legitimacy of the incorporation of the Baltic States into the USSR, Washington consistently maintained this position until the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the final liberation of the Baltic States in 1990–1991. Thanks to this attitude of the United States, the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania remained in Washington throughout the Soviet period while Lithuanian consulates remained active in New York and Chicago.
Work towards the liberation of Lithuania was also carried out in Europe. First, in those countries that did not recognise the legitimacy of the Soviet occupation/annexation of Lithuania (and other Baltic States) and where remnants of the diplomatic service of Lithuania remained: London, Paris, Berne, Rome (Vatican). Here the diplomatic case of Lithuania’s liberation from the Soviet occupation was curated and continued by Lithuania’s diplomatic chief Stasys Lozoraitis Sr. and his sons Stasys Lozoraitis Jr. and Kazys Lozoraitis, Stasys Antanas Bačkis, Ričardas Bačkis, Jurgis Baltrušaitis Jr., Antanas Liutkus, Žiba Klimienė, Bronius Bazvardys Balutis, Vincas Balickas, Dr Jurgis Šaulys, Edvardas Turauskas and many other Lithuanian diplomat patriots. This fight on the part of the Lithuanian political emigration for the liberation of their homeland from foreign oppression remained vitally important until the first public protest rally of the LLL in Vilnius in August 1987, the birth of Sąjūdis in June 1988 and the restoration of Lithuania’s independence on 11 March 1990.