Staff at the special archives located the original independence document signed by Lithuanian partisans on February 16, 1949.
On February 16, 1949, the Council of the Movement of the Struggle for Freedom of Lithuania (LLKS), which led the armed resistance to the Soviet occupation, signed the declaration to restore an independent democratic state.
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In late 2019, an undisclosed individual handed over around 4,000 pages of documents from the Lithuanian partisan movement.
The discovered document is the declaration's machine-typed carbon copy and the text is identical to the other original text kept at the Lithuanian Special Archives, with only the arrangement being different.
The declaration was signed by eight partisan commanders, including Jonas Žemaitis-Vytautas, Adolfas Ramanauskas-Vanagas, Petras Bartkus-Žadgaila, Leonardas Vilhelmas Grigonis-Užpalis, Aleksandras Grybinas-Faustas, Vytautas Gužas-Kardas, Bronius Liesis-Naktis, Juozas Šibaila-Merainis.
It was also the last time all commanders were able to gather in one place. The last member of Lithuania's armed anti-Soviet resistance was killed in 1965.
The country's initial Act of Independence was signed on February 16, 1918 that laid the legal foundations of the Lithuanian state.
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