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The Bermontian Confederation and Baltic Workers' Union

The Bermontian Confederation and Baltic Workers' Union

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History In the midst of the German Revolution, in 1919, the West Russian Volunteer Army seizes control of East Prussia, wins the Latvian War of Independence, defeats the Lithuanian revolutionaries and Bolsheviks in the Freedom Struggles, and helps the Baltische Landeswehr win the Estonian War of Independence. In 1920, Bermondt-Avalov declares the formation of the Bermontian Confederation, with the capital in Königsberg. During World War II, they side with the Axis Powers, aiding Germany with its invasion of Poland and the Soviet Union. After the war, the Bermontian Confederation is reorganized into the Baltic Workers’ Union, with the capital moved to Riga. When the Soviet Union collapses, the BWU goes down with it. Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia declare independence and Poland annexes East Prussia, renaming Königsberg Królewca. Culture Trying to group Bermontian culture with that of its neighbors is nigh impossible-if you want to be accurate, that is. Local cultures, combined with that of Russia and Germany all co-exist, with Polish culture also finding its way in via the south. Latvian, Lithuanian, Estonian, German, Russian, and Polish are all common languages and Catholicism, Protestantism, and Orthodoxy, both Eastern and Russian, are all common religions. The Liepens Initiative, introduced by Minister of Culture Klaus-Peter Liepens, attempted to keep Livonian culture relevant in the 30’s by adding it to the Bermontian school curriculum across the Confederation, but to no avail, as only East Prussia adopted it and the Initiative was repealed in 1946, soon after the BWU was founded, though similar efforts are still undertaken today. Geography While the cultures of different peoples and widespread across the country, some are more prevalent in certain areas than others. Generally, Polish culture is centered in southern East Prussia, German is in the north, native cultures are in their homelands, and Russian culture is along its eastern borders with Russia. The Bermontian economy, rather than focusing on one or the other, tried to balance agrarianism and industrialization, an idea that the BWU decided to continue using. As a result, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia are more agrarian than other post-Soviet and former Eastern Bloc countries by comparison. Notable Places and People People: Pavel Bermondt-Avalov: First and only Grand Marshal of the Bermontian Confederation between 1920 and 1945 and Chairman of the Bermontian Government-in-Exile from 1945 to 1973, when he died and it was dissolved. Rudiger von der Goltz: Commander-in-chief of Bermontian forces during World War II. Fled to Germany and died in 1946. Klaus-Peter Liepens: Minister of Culture between 1928 and 1932. Introduced the failed Liepens Initiative, inspiring modern efforts to preserve the Livonian language. Fled to Finland and died in 1956. Renat Stein: Minister of Foreign Affairs between 1935 and 1940. Often cited as the very reason why the Bermontian Confederation fought in World War II. Fled to Sweden and died in 1962. Mantas Pavlovsky: First chairman of the BWU, from 1946 to 1971, when he died. Places: Königsberg: Capital of the Bermontian Confederation. Renamed Królewca after it was annexed by Poland in 1991. Riga: Capital of the BWU and, now, Latvia. Major trade hub throughout the 20’s and 30’s. Tallinn: Site of the Battle of Tallinn, often considered one of the largest battles of the Eastern Front, and now, the capital of Estonia. Heavily used by the Kriegsmarine to launch strikes on Allied shipping in the Baltic Sea. Vilnius: Site of the Battle of Vilnius, one of the first battles of the Baltic Strategic Offensive and one of the largest, and now, the capital of Lithuania. Heavily used by the Luftwaffe and Bermontian Air Force to bomb Moscow. Kaunas: Site of Kaunas Concentration Camp, the only one of its kind in the Bermontian Confederation, completed in 1938 on the behalf of the Germans. Now a major city in Lithuania. Klaipeda: Site of the Battle of Klaipeda, the final battle of World War II for the Bermontians. Now has several museums, primarily history, but also several other kinds, earning it the nickname “the Educational Heart of Lithuania”.