• Personal documents of the First Half of 20th Century Lithuania

      Personal documents of the First Half of 20th Century Lithuania

      Personal documents are documents issued by state institutions that contain personal data that helps to identify the owner of the document. The most common and widely used type of personal documents in modern-day Lithuania are personal identity card and a passport. However, such personal documents, to which we are accustomed nowadays, looked completely different 100 years ago.
      The first passports issued to Lithuanian citizens in Lithuanian language appeared in the beginning of the 20th century. During the First world war, when the current territory of the Republic of Lithuania was occupied by the forces of the German empire, the occupant administration began mass registration of the Lithuanian population and issuance of personal passports.
      After the restoration of the Lithuanian independence, in the period of 1919-1922, passports issued by the German administration were changed for passports of the independent Republic of Lithuania. First such passports appeared in 1919, when the Department of civil protection under the ministry of the Interior affairs was established.
      During the interwar period, not only passports, but also many other personal identity documents were introduced to the Lithuanian citizens. Almost all types of these documents, with some changes, are still in use to this day, for example: internal passports, foreign passports, service passports, temporary passports, identity cars, service certificates, border crossing permits, residence permits, military reserve certificates and others. However, the only compulsory documents were the internal passports. Every Lithuanian citizen over the age of 17 was obliged to own an internal passport.
      When the Second world war started, Lithuania lost its independence once again: first to the Soviet Union, then to the Nazi Germany, and then to the Soviet Union again. The administrations of the occupying forces introduced new rules and restrictions, which are very well reflected in the personal documents, issued to the Lithuanian citizens. Thus, with this exhibition, Trakai history museum invites you to get acquainted with the vast variety of personal documents of the first half of 20th century Lithuania.
      Museologist Darius Deinarovičius
      The material was prepared on the basis of the publication „Pasai ir asmens dokumentai Lietuvoje“. Compiled by: V. Narvidienė, V. Narvidas, A. Paulauskas, V. Poviliūnas. Publisher: Trakai History museum, 1997.

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