Antanas Smetona’s profile picture

Antanas Smetona

Former President of Lithuania
Antanas Smetona’s profile picture
Net worth 2018: Under Review
Industry: Presidents
Residence: Taujėnai
Country: Lithuanian
BirthDay: 10 August 1874
Sigh: Virgo
Died On: January 9, 1944
Education: Jelgava Gymnasium, 1902 - Saint Petersburg State University

Antanas Smetona was bornon 10 August 1874 in Taujėnai, Lithuanian, is Former President of Lithuania. Antanas Smetona was a very significant Lithuanian political leader who represented strong national interests and was at the helm of Lithuania's government between the two world wars. The turbulent times of Lithuania's struggle for independence from the Bolsheviks and Polish invaders were followed by a period of prosperity under his governance. The first president of independent Lithuania and also the last one before Lithuania fell into the hands of the Soviet Union, he had been politically active from a young age, joining organizations with strong ties to nationalist and anti-czarist ideology. He showed himself as a man of convictions and leadership. He stood up to repressive influences of the forces attempting to dominate his country. As a journalist, he wrote powerfully against political oppression during times of conflict and war. Highly motivated, he joined the Lithuanian Democratic Party as a member, rising to the position of representative of the party to the Great Assembly of Vilnius. With his bold but conservative ideas, determination and involvement in various committees, he progressed dynamically towards a nationalistic political career. His pro-German stance and belief that Lithuania's independence would be best achieved through an alliance with Germany was met with strong disapproval by the members of the newly-established Lithuania Council towards the end of the First World War. He became increasingly autocratic during his second presidency, assuming sweeping presidential powers and suppressing opposition; yet his style was centrist and neither radical nor extreme


On January 9, 1944, he was killed in a house fire, a fact which led to speculations of a possible assassination


Making his way to the United States in 1941, after brief stays in Germany and Switzerland, he moved in with his son, Julius in Cleveland, Ohio


Antanas Smetona was re-elected President in 1931 and 1938 and continued to serve in this position until June 15, 1940


After participating in a coup d'etat in 1926, he regained the presidency for the second time


His statesmanship qualities were respected even during times of political differences with the government between 1920 and 1926, and he was appointed to negotiate the border dispute with Latvia


On April 4, 1919, he was elected as the independent Lithuania’s first president


When appointed chairman of the ‘Central Committee of the Lithuanian Relief Society’ in 1916, he took this opportunity to present to the Germans a demand for an independent Lithuania


A leading voice of nationalism in Lithuania, Antanas Smetona advocated his ideas on national unity through several publications, such as ‘Viltis’ (The Hope), a newspaper he created in 1907


As representative of the Lithuanian Democratic Party, he was elected to the presidium of the first national Lithuanian Assembly in 1905, simultaneously writing as a journalist to promote and expound his ideas of national liberalism


Antanas Smetona married Sofija Chodakauskaite in 1904 and the couple had two daughters and one son


After completing his graduation in 1902, Antanas Smetona got his first job at the Agricultural Bank in Vilnius


In 1897, he entered Law School at the University of St


After completing primary schooling from his local district in 1893, he took a step towards becoming a Catholic priest by seeking admission to the Samogitian Diocesen Seminary


Antanas Smetona was born on August 10, 1874, to Jonas Smetona and Julijona Kartanaite, in Užulėnis, Lithuania

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