740.0011 European War 1939/3837: Telegram
The Minister in Lithuania (Norem) to the Secretary of State
[Received 2:05 p.m.]
111. President Smetona together with various officials and civilians fled to Germany last evening.30 This morning the Lithuanian Government [Page 370] officially proclaimed his post vacant and asked Prime Minister Merkys to act ad interim. Mr. Bizauskas, Vice Prime Minister, is carrying on negotiations with the Soviet representatives. They met at midnight and this morning at 10 a.m. The Soviet representatives asked new instructions when told of President’s fleeing. No definite conclusions have been reached since the Russians declare the provisions of the ultimatum are not as yet fulfilled. The two men named by the Soviets, former Minister of Interior Skucas and former Director of State Security, having fled, voluntarily gave themselves up and are now returning to Kaunas. Soviet informant declared that the new government must be completely pro-Russian. All strategic points are occupied by Soviet troops. Demands include free access routes from the Soviet Union to Lithuania and sufficient army reinforcements to be stationed at all important points to insure against incidents directed against the Russian troops.
Repeated to Moscow.
- President Antanas Smetona, together with several members of the Government, crossed the frontier into Germany at Eydtkuhnen (Eydtkau) without German visas and were interned by German authorities at Angerburg in East Prussia.↩