Kazys Pakštas

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Kazys Pakštas in his later years.

Kazys Pakštas (1893 June 29th - 1936 December 12th) was an interwar Lithuanian geographer and politologist, the author of the idea of Lithuanian colonialism.

Kazys Pakštas at first wanted to become a pagan priest, but in 1915 left to the North American League where in 1919 he graduated in the university of New Amsterdam. After this he came back to the already independent Lithuania, which was increasingly coming under Russian, German and Venedic pressure (the Venedic pressure being mostly the pressure from venedised nobility inside Lithuania for the reestablishment of the RTC) at the time. In 1920-1921 he wrote the treatise "Atsarginės Lietuvos poreikis" ("The Need for the Emergency Lithuania"), which became the main guide for his followers later. In the treatise he raised the idea that another Lithuanian country needs to be established far from Europe so that the influence of the Lithuanity could increase (under Pakštas's views, Europe was too cramped for that). That Emergency Lithuania would have also been used as a place of retreat for Lithuanian archives and valuables in case Lithuania would be occupied. It was also expected that the large emmigrant flow from Lithuania could be projected into this single area, which Pakštas frequently called "Emergency Lithuania". Pakštas's ideas met little support in the government of a state that was damaged in the First Great War and had costly projects of higher priority to undertake, such as the construction of the Rūkuvos Uostas port.

However Kazys Pakštas did not abandon his ideas and throughout the 1921 and early 1922 he searched for a possible place for the Emergency Lithuania and for a source of funding of its establishment. He found enough funding, mainly from non-Venedised Lithuanian nobles and as well the businessmen in both Lithuania and in emmigration. However, he was unable to find any land that would not only be cheap to buy sovereignity for but as well would be useful good for farming and other activities - the world was already partitioned by the major colonial powers at the time. But in 1922 he managed to reach an agreement with Tejan king Georg Friedrich for the establishment of Lithuanian autonomous areas along the coastline of Tejas, for which the king would be paid tribute yearly. In order to get money for that yearly fee and to attract new colonists, Kazys Pakštas established a special scheme to raise money for that fee, via the Foundation of Emergency Lithuania which he had established.

In late 1922 the first colonists arrived to Tejas, the first Lithuanian autonomous area at the northern Tejas on the Louisianian border, called Dausuva. The immigration into the areas increased during the 20s. Pakštas himself became a well known and respected person; he as well taught in Vilnius University.

After the 1926 coup in Lithuania in the end of 1926 the new nationalist government was formed and it, seeing the success of Pakštas's ideas in Tejas (but not liking the fact that these areas were autonomous parts of Tejas rather than lands of Lithuania), wanted to aquire an actual colony for itself based on the idea of Emergency Lithuania. K. Pakštas became the minister of colonisation of Lithuania and was charged with finding new lands for Lithuania to rule directly as colonies. Kazys Pakštas turned his eyes to Africa, where, unlike in America, some states were still weakly ruled by natives and unlike Oceania Africa was relatively close. The only difficulty was that many of the coastal regions of the continent had been colonized already. Kazys Pakštas decided upon Maasai as the best prospect, given the local conflicts and other civil unrest. With the help of Aitvaras Geležinkelietis, the area was fully captured by 1934, when it was annexed into Lithuania and became known as Naujojo Vilniaus apskritis.

The alleged discrimination of Slavs in Naujojo Vilniaus apskritis, the famine there in 1936 that left many Slavs dead (but a much larger percentage of Lithuanians were rescued) increased the hatred towards Kazys Pakštas among the Slavs of Lithuania. This led to his assasination in December 12th of 1936. Kazys Pakštas was cremated in Naujasis Vilnius, where he spent the final few years of his life at.

Pakštas's ideas did not die with him and Lithuania continued its imperial expansion with the establishment of the New Lithuania colony in Antarctica and hoping to further increase its colonial holdings.

When Naujojo Vilniaus apskritis became independent in 1940, it was named Pakštuva, after Kazys Pakštas. As well, one airship of the Lithuanian Air Force (built in 1932) was named SPO Kazys Pakštas. After his assasination, many streets all over Lithuania were named after him, a statue for him was erected in Naujasis Vilnius (it was torn down in 1942, after the Maasai state was established).

This page was created by Abdul-aziz.