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On this day February 16, 1918

The Council of Lithuania signed the Act of Independence of Lithuania, proclaiming the restoration of an independent Lithuania governed by democratic principles, despite the presence of German troops in the country during World War I.

nepriklausomybes_aktasThe Act was signed by all twenty representatives, chaired by Jonas Basanavičius. The Act of February 16 was the end result of a series of resolutions on the issue, including one issued by the Vilnius Conference and the Act of January 8.

The path to the Act was long and complex because the German Empire exerted pressure on the Council to form an alliance.

The Council had to carefully maneuver between the Germans, whose troops were present in Lithuania, and the demands of the Lithuanian people. Read More…