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Michał Römer

Was a member of the Lithuanian Supreme Tribunal (1921–1928) and the State Council of Lithuania (1928–1931).

Michał Römer

Was a member of the Lithuanian Supreme Tribunal (1921–1928) and the State Council of Lithuania (1928–1931).

The dissatisfaction of the Soviets in relation to Estonia is already very dangerous. Estonian independence is hanging on a thread, and only depends on the grace of the Soviets. After Estonia, it could be Latvia's turn, and then, perhaps, Lithuania's.

Warsaw surrendered. Apparently, it was an unconditional surrender. It seems that this decision was made due to total lack of ammunition. Of course, the defense of Warsaw or its capitulation have no influence on the fate of the war - it is already completely clear. The defense of Warsaw was just an outstanding moment - a beautiful and wonderful one, but it was just a brave moral act, not a military one.

The atmosphere created by Polish refugees in their own circles and in the circles of local Poles, especially landowners, is not healthy; it is unpleasant. These people, upset and scared, spread terror around. There are, admittedly, people among them who have preserved a sober judgment and perspective, but most of them are focused on their own worries and misery, and the dominant emotion is fear. This fear is contagious, infecting everyone with whom they interact.

They are defeatists. Of course, they already see the Bolsheviks in Lithuania. This is their never-ending nightmare. The question of whether the Soviets will seize Lithuania is the most vital for them: it would not only make their escape impossible but would also be a threat to their personal safety.

Polish authorities governing in neutral Romania is quite unthinkable. Therefore, all Polish representatives in other countries are at a crossroads, without contact with authorities, whose existence is problematic, and without resources. They are probably trying to communicate with Paris and London, with Polish representatives there, but everything is in a fluid state. For now, Poland is not only militarily disbanded, territorially torn apart, but also disorganized in its government centers and legal activities.

On Monday and Tuesday morning, more and more troops of the Polish army began to flow towards the demarcation line. The scenes were dramatic. Some troops crossed the border and disarmed, individual officers cursed the government and the Polish military command, there were a few who killed themselves, some entire squads turned back, not wanting to lay down their arms, and went to fight, then returned again... Each time the border barrier opened, groups of refugees burst into Lithuania. Finally, the Lithuanians let everyone in. The disarmed troops of the Polish army were directed to Kaunas to suburban resorts.

Vilnius drama accomplished. The Soviet army has already taken Vilnius. Lithuania did not have much time to think. If the wait lasted longer, then perhaps Lithuania would be more tempted to take Vilnius, because the public opinion in Lithuanian intellectual circles was very willing to put pressure on the government to look for a way to take advantage of the opportunity. The government has received backup for the front regardless.

At the beginning of the war, Germans suggested that Lithuanians to take Vilnius, but they refused because they would have to do so against Poland, as German allies and partners. By doing so, they would break neutrality and engage in war.


The Polish forces are supposedly fighting back somewhere, but of course it can be a symbolic resistance, because, first of all, they are caught between two fires – the Soviet army from the east and the German army from the west, and secondly, there are no major Polish forces or defense equipment over there, because Poles were surprised on that side. Germans are finishing cutting off Poles from the Romanian border; the Polish government fled to Bukovina, high-ranking officials are fleeing, and there is also a wave of wealthy refugees.

A tragedy in Poland, days of drama, and the poor Polish radio in Vilnius – the last and probably the only one because even the Polish radio station in Baranowicze was damaged by the Germans and fell silent (Warsaw II is still working sometimes) – it mixes war news and programmes related to the war with mawkish music to put on a brave face and fake composure and calm, despite tears and emotions, and soothe listeners with ordinary fare, as if nothing was happening. Poor Vilnius radio must distract the grim mood of Polish listeners and avoid resembling a funeral home. But it makes an unpleasant and painful impression: as if someone played a cheerful little waltz at a funeral.


It must be assumed that Poland has a wonderful tradition of fighting for independence. The long and dark nineteenth century of uprisings and revolutions has not been in vain. It gave Poland a great sensitivity to slavery and a culture of action for freedom, and Pilsudski made this feeling even more prominent and outstanding. Polish politics and diplomacy in the last few years were disgusting: Hitler's war with Germany, systematic undermining of League of Nations, applauding to the Anschluss of Austria, insulting Lithuania by Beck's ultimatum in 1938, based on the blessing of Hitler and Mussolini and on the psychological effect of the Anschluss of Austria; confrontation to take Zaolzie from German hands in the wake of Czechoslovakian tragedy. And they have recently used the same method of annexation of Vilnius in Lithuania. Today, Poles face the consequences of these policy mistakes: Hitler has now set his sights on Poland. However, Poland is great in defense and love of freedom.

Traditional fair in Vilnius.


The German-Soviet pact of nonaggression causes great surprise and agitation . It was a surprise. The Soviets have been negotiating with France and England for a few months and still they cannot find an agreement, and here the Germans came and signed the pact in a few days. Ribbentrop flew to Moscow himself to sign the pact. Germany's great triumph. Immediately, their arrogance also shot up. In France and England – consternation. In Poland, I suppose, no less dismay, although the Polish press is trying to belittle the importance of the pact. The case of Gdańsk, and by extension the cause for war, now hangs by a thread even more so than before. But in this new landscape, if the Soviets are lost to the anti-German coalition, Poland’s situation, and therefore the opposition potential of Central and Eastern Europe, has lost a lot.

The possibility of war is still pending, still under varying levels of tension. The crisis was announced for August 15; this deadline has passed, and now they are predicting it for the second half of August or September. It is difficult to forecast anything, but it is still possible that a war will start.

In any case, the two sides that constitute the most severe poles of tension in this potential European catastrophe – Germany and Poland – are stalling; neither wants to take responsibility for itself. They are waiting, armed and shouting like medieval knights before a war duel.  See more

When you know that the annexation is only a stage and the basis for further demands, such as "regaining" the polish Pomerania ("corridor"), cutting Poland off from the sea and detaching it from the former Prussian partition territories, then taking the coast of the Baltic up to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, setting up the yoke of the German Empire throughout Middle and Eastern Europe and so forth, today the Polish resistance has become perhaps the only resistance and the most serious factor of opposition to this dangerous German imperialism. This is the great weight of today’s Danzig problem. See more