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An Unusual Map of Lithuania from 1943

Depicting a moment in time in Nazi-occupied territories, published in 1943, before Soviet armies pushed back and freed "Smalensk." German names for Lithuanian cities and towns, but labeling Lithuania "Samogitien" instead of "Litauen." "Samogitia" was the Latin name for Žemaitija, the lowlands, called Żmudź in Polish, an area in northwestern Lithuania where a dialect of -- or, as some say, a language separate from -- Lithuanian is still spoken. A detail below:

A map not at sourced from

Reichskommissariat Ostland (RKO), established by Nazi Germany in 1941 during World War II, was the civilian occupation regime in the Baltic states: Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, and in the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. Germany's main goals for the Reichskommissariat: genocide of the Jews (a million were murdered here), the Lebensraum settlement of ethnic Germans, the expulsion of some of the native population, and the Germanization of the rest -- policies that were also applied to other German-occupied Soviet territories. The Soviet Red Army gradually advanced westward and recaptured most of the Ostland territory in 1943-44. As Soviet and Polish forces were capturing Berlin in May, 1945, Nazi soldiers were holding out in Latvia's "Courland Pocket" until after the unconditional surrender of Germany on May 7, 1945. From May 12 - 23, some 135,000 German troops still in the Courland Pocket surrendered.

Battle lines in the Courland Pocket in October 1944 and March 1945. Image:

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