Grunwald, the Great Belarusian Victory

Poland and the Republic of Lithuania today officially celebrate the 600th anniversary of the battle of Grunwald.

On July 15, 1410, the united army of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania have defeated the Order of the Teutonic Knights in the well-known battle.

From 40 Lithuanian units at the battle 28, the overwhelming majority, were from the lands of modern Belarus and only 4 were from the territory of what is now the Republic of Lithuania.

For obvious reasons, the Belarusian president Aliaksandr Lukashenka has not been invited to the celebration. However, several hundred members of Belarusian history clubs have taken part in reconstruction of the battle.

Belarusian TV is this week broadcasting several historical documentaries about the battle. Belarus has today issued postage stamps commemorating the Battle of Grunwald. Interestingly, it is probably the first time since 1995 that the stamps feature Pahonia, the historical coat of arms of Belarus. Pahonia is a version of the emblem of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania that has been replaced by the quasi-Soviet modern state emblem following a controversial referendum.

Polish and foreign heads of state have arrived at Grunwald, in northern Poland, to mark the 600th anniversary of the Polish-Lithuanian victory over the German order of Teutonic knights on July 15, in 1410.

After hearing an address by Polish President-elect Bronisław Komorowski, participants will lay wreaths at the battlefield and later visit the Teutonic Knight’s castle in Malbork.

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Alexander Čajčyc is a PhD candidate at the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation in Moscow.


in early russian history all

in early russian history all the states were united under the rurik family, the problem was that when the grand prince died(no king) the states were divided among all his sons. this led to constant warfare between the families until one was strong enough to impose his rule over the others, the religion was always eastern orthodoxy from constantinople since the time of vladimir. before the mongols invaded the russian lands they were fighting amongst themselves and the the states were divided. kiev (the former capital) had lost its power and each state ruled itself. pollack was the state now called belarus. after the mongol invasions destroyed all central authority and cities, the inhabitants of the region joined under anyone who could protect them. the duke of vilna became the head of a new confederacy called litva. the first capital was novagraduk ( meaning novgorod-new city in russian). the language spoken at court was belarussian , later the capital was transferred to vilna , the people were separate but were united. when jagiello was offered the crown of poland and marriage to the princess he seized the opportunity. he converted to catholicism and moved to crakow. the belarussian state remained the same and the orthodox were protected for a time. after poland and lithuania united, they forced many orthodox to convert to catholicism. those who refused were persecuted. later a compromise was reached; if the parishes went under the pope they could keep their slavic services, priests could still marry, etc. they were called greek catholics or byzantine. those who refused were persecuted. this is the situation in eastern europe today, one village might be greek catholic another orthodox or another catholic. keep in mind that the majority of lituanians are catholic whereas the belarussians are mainly orthodox. they are two distinct peoples not one.

Statut of laws Grand Litva

Statut of laws Grand Litva was on belarussian.That was first full book of laws in europe. Word Litva was related to Belarus and word Jemaitia was related to modern lithwanians. There is no facts registered that ever been war betwween this nations. It is historical fact that modern lithwanians were hired by cities as protectors. Example: there was one lithwanian leeder who refused take cristianity and peoples of Polotsk wired his legs to tail of horse and kick horse and this way he was out of city. he later accepted Cristianity and was invited agan.

difficult to speak about

difficult to speak about genetics, but many modern Belarusians and Poles are indeed descendants of Baltic tribes. In any case, what is sure is that Belarusians and Poles have a lot of common history and common heritage, which is a good reason for us all to be friends!

i'm not an expert of the

i'm not an expert of the history. I would like to say hello to all Belarusians , Lithuanians and Polish...
The thing i know is that average Belarusan is GENETICALLY nearly identical with the average Polish ....So Poles are Belarusans and vice-versa.
It is very interesting isn't it?

2 Omniprescient: the full

2 Omniprescient:

the full quote was "the 1410 meaning relates to ancestors of modern Belarusians not less than to those of modern Lithuanians". The ancestors of modern Belarusians have also been called "Lithuanians" at that time, it's a fact.

There were people even in the early 20th century who called themselves Lithuanians (or "Old-Lithuanians", Polish "Starolitwini") but refused to join the Lithuanian nationalists which created the modern Republic of Lithuania and the modern Lithuanian nation. First of all I am speaking of the Polish-speaking Krajowcy, the Republic of Central (sic!) Lithuania around Wilno etc.

The modern Lithuanian nation is a product of the 19th-century nationalism, just as the nations of Belarusians and even Poles largely are.

The modern Lithuanian nation does not have the monopoly on the legacy of the old Lithuania and does not even have the monopoly on being Baltic our region. Many Belarusians are descendants of Baltic tribes, and many elements of Belarusian language and culture are Baltic. But to call these elements Lithuanian in the modern sense and thereby derive them from modern Lithuania would not be reasonable.

In early 20th century the Lithuanian ethnic nationalists deliberately refused to include Polish- and Belarusian-speaking inhabitants of the Lithuania Propria (the area of Wilno and northwest Belarus) into what they have been creating under the brend of Lithuania, forcing them to either assimilate or, which indeed happened, to join the Belarusian or Polish nationalistic projects.

czalex "the 1410 meaning

czalex "the 1410 meaning relates to ancestors of modern Belarusians" - the Lithuanian language and thus enthic identity existed well before that, and the area of the Baltic (read: Lithuanian) tribes spanned large swathes of the current Belarus as well. Refer to the works of Vladimir Toporov. 1253 is the year when their first King (Mindaugas) was crowned. A rather popular fiction among the Belarussian historians is that Mindaugas was a Belarussian - that is nonsense, he united his own Lithuanian tribes in or around 1230's and managed to create a Lithuanian state. The Lithuanian knights had been the driving force behind uniting their tribes and then imposing a mild form of occupation of their Southern and Eastern neighbours. In 1410, there had been two commanders - the supreme one Jagiello, the Polish king (in fact, a Lithuanian knight Jogaila) and then his cousin Vytautas who actually executed the tactical battle plan.

Belarus has declared

Belarus has declared independence in 1918 and only then was taken over by Bolsheviks. The Republic of Lithuania also declared independence at that time but managed to survive till 1939.

The word "Lithuanian" had different meanings in 1410 and 2010, and the 1410 meaning relates to ancestors of modern Belarusians (and that is exactly why Brest and Minsk used to be Brest Litouski and Minsk Litouski) not less than to those of modern Lithuanians.

One More Time Grunwald was a

One More Time
Grunwald was a victory Slavic forces + Tatar + Czech + many more under command of Lithuanian-polish KING.
More Lithuanian. And I must write one more time Mink and Brest to 1772 year was more lithuanian even in name.
Unfortunetly, CCCP in year 1919 was create Belarus from the lands which was under Russian OCCUPATION.
Belarus history, this is history of Poland, Lithuania, Kijev Russia, Lingwen Semen from Great Novgorod, Dżalal ad-Din, and many more.
Bob Pole from Arms Pobóg - Gwozdec, Hwizdets - PRESENTLY, Ivanofrankowskaya Oblast, Ukraine.

Sorry to disappoint you but

Sorry to disappoint you but the Republic of Lithuania is an invention of the same age as Belarus, it was only lucky enough in 1918 (not lastly due to geographic position) to survive in the Russian civil war as an independent state and to have additional 20 years of nation-building unhindered by Soviet occupation and Bolshevik terror.

And to identify the modern Republic of Lithuania with ancient Lithuania (is that what you mean by 1253?) is approximately the same as to identify Romania with the Roman Empire or modern Macedonia (FYROM) with the Empire of Alexander the Great (no offense!) :)

Belarus has an older history of statehood than the Republic of Lithuania - it had its first state, the Kingdom of Polatsk, already in the 9th century. And the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was a predecessor of Belarus just as it was an predecessor of the Republic of Lithuania - with Belarusian as official language (and dominating language even in the region of Vilnia/Wilno up until the mid-20th century), Navahrudak as capital at some point etc.

Ok, then... Congratulations

Ok, then...

Congratulations to the peoples of the former Grand Duchy of Lithuania (present-day Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Latvia and parts of Estonia, Moldova, Poland and Russia) on their victory over the Teutonic Knights.

Actually, Belarus is a twentieth-century invention, not even a nineteenth-century one, as opposed to Belarusian people and language, who never had a state, ever.

Actually, Lithuania was a state, and had a king as far back as 1253. No hard feelings, though, you guys have King Lukashenka!

There hasn't been the modern

There hasn't been the modern Republic of Lithuania at that time either. Both the Belarusian nation and the nation of the Republic of Lithuania are products of the 19th century nationalism, nothing more. In 1410 it has been the same country under the same duke Vitaŭt/Witold. So if extrapolating Grünwald/Tannenberg victory to modern days, it is both a Belarusian victory, a Polish victory and a victory of the people of the Republic of Lithuania. Congrats to all of us! :)

So soooorry , but in 1410,

So soooorry , but in 1410, Bela- rus, never herd. Or this is my miss ... No . My family Is much older. Our lands are in Ukraine ( Podole ), Bela-rus ( South Lithuania ) and a little part in Crown. Remember Crown and Lithuania and lands was after 1410 the biggest country in the world - from Baltic to the Black See From Finland to the Bulgaria.
But Wars are destroyer of people, family, land, culture.
And GRUNWALD by anyone is written whit out u:
In german language is written Tannenberg !!!

I'sorry for my english :)
With Best Regards to People in (bela-rus) Czerwienska Land, Podlasie and Eastern Poland , South Lithuania.
Special Regards for citizens of Minsk Litewski and Brzesc Litewski and Luck and Szack.


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