Lithuania in the 1920s

A Diplomat’s Diary


Robert W. Heingartner kept this diary during his two year service as American consul in Kaunas, the provisional capital of Lithuania, 1926-1928. First titling the work “Impressions of Kaunas,” he wanted to record all his impressions of this small city about which he actually knew very little. He started with negative impressions, but he soon came to like it. He watched its growth with considerable sympathy.
The diary’s appeal lies in its picture of daily life in Kaunas as the “provisional capital” of a newly independent small state – the conditions of life in the city, the social life of the diplomats, and backstage episodes in the life of the foreign diplomats. The diary records some unusual details about the family of Antanas Smetona, the ruler of Lithuania from 1926 to 1940, and it abounds in interesting commentary on the attitudes of both Lithuanians and foreigners.

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Alfred Erich Senn, the editor of the diary, is emeritus professor of history at the University of Wisconsin – Madison in the USA as well as Visiting Professor at Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, Lithuania. He has written extensively on the history of Lithuania in the twentieth century. His father, Alfred Senn, was professor of Lithuanian language at the University of Lithuania in Kaunas at the time Heingartner was working there.
Volume 1: September 10 to December 31, 1926
Volume 2A: January 1 to June 30, 1927
Volume 2B: July 1 to December 31, 1927
Volume 3A: January 1 to June 30, 1928
Volume 3B: July 1 to July 30, 1928
Addenda: Comments added in Frankfurt
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