Source: (-0001) Fresno, CA: Center for Peacemaking and Conflict Studies. Fresno Pacific University

On August 23, 1989 Giedre, together with her sister and father, had stood in a “human chain” of more then one million Baltic people that stretched some 476 miles across the three Baltic states of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. The “Baltic Way,” as it was called, happened on the 50th anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop-Pact of 1939, in which Hitler and Stalin had secretly divided Europe between them. The result had been the loss of Baltic independence and occupation by the Soviet Union. Now, fifty years later, the human chain was a most dramatic demonstration of Baltic solidarity in support of their move toward independence from the Soviet Union. In the end, Lithuania became the first Soviet republic to gain its independence, and non-violently. Latvia, Estonia and others followed. (excerpt)

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