Meeting at Martynas Jankus' in Bitėnai

The annual birthday of Martynas Jankus ,,Meeting at Martynas Janku’s in Bitenai”

Martynas Jankus, the “Patriarch of Lithuania Minor,” was born 7 August 1858 in Bitenai. Jankus was a Prussian-Lithuanian printer, social activist and publisher in East Prussia. He was one of the founders and publishers of Aušra, the first Lithuanian-language newspaper, and served as its editor. Jankus was an important figure in the pro-Lithuanian movement at the end of the 19th century. He co-founded several cultural and political organizations. His active correspondence with Lithuanian Americans and Latvian, Polish and Belarusian activists drew the ire of authorities.

From 1889 until 1909, he published about 360 books and 25 periodicals, and supplied books smugglers during the Russianimposed Lithuanian press ban. In 1914, Jankus and his family were exiled to Siberia, where his father and youngest son died. In 1918, Jankus returned, and actively promoted the idea of incorporating Lithuania Minor into Lithuania proper. In November 1918 Jankus signed the Act of Tilsit. He joined the Council of Lithuania and later became chairman of the Supreme Salvation Committee of Lithuania Minor. After Klaipėda was seized by Germany in 1939, Jankus moved to Kaunas, where he was forbidden to deliver public speeches. In 1944 he returned to his home town of Bitėnai but was forced to evacuate by Nazi authorities. On 23 May in 1946 Jankus died in Germany, but his ashes were later moved to the Bitėnai cemetery.

Pagegiai regional Martynas Jnakus Museum administration organizes yearly the annual birthday of Martynas Jankus ,,Meeting at Martynas Janku’s in Bitenai”. During the event are various performents going.

Organizer of the event

Pagegiai regional Martynas Jnakus Museum
M. Jankaus 5 g. Bitėnai LT-99265, Lumpėnų sen., Pagėgių savivaldybė
Tel. +370 441 42 736, mob. +370 656 15 021
El. p.

Šereikos g.5-3,
LT-99254 Vilkyškiai,
tel. +370 656 18 551,

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