Mykolas Slezevicius

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Sleževičius, Mykolas

 

Born Feb. 21, 1882, in the village of Drembliai, now in Raseiniai Raion; died Nov. 11, 1939, in Kaunas. Lithuanian bourgeois state figure; lawyer.

Sleževičius graduated from the faculty of law at Novorossiia University in Odessa in 1907. In the same year he joined the Lithuanian democratic party. From 1907 to 1913 he was editor of several bourgeois-liberal periodicals. In 1915, after German troops occupied Lithuania, he was evacuated to Russia. In 1917 he joined the democratic Liaudininkas Party.

After returning to his homeland, Sleževičius served as prime minister of Lithuania from December 1918 through March 1919 and from April through October 1919. He was a leader of the Lithuanian counterrevolutionary struggle against Soviet power, which had been established in much of Lithuania; he helped suppress the revolutionary movement and strengthen the dictatorship of the Lithuanian bourgeoisie. In 1926, Sleževičius was named prime minister for the second time, as well as minister of foreign affairs and justice. He signed a treaty of mutual nonaggression and neutrality between Lithuania and the USSR. From 1922 to 1936, Sleževičius was chairman of the Liaudininkas Party; he pursued a policy of cooperation with the fascist government of A. Smetona. [23–1659–]