President of the Struggling Lithuania

The last statement by Jonas Žemaitis in Court:

 “I, as well as the followers of mine, think that the Soviet Union with the armed forces invaded our country. I consider this behavior of the Soviet government unauthorized... All underground activities against the Soviet Government a participant of which I was I consider right and not illegal. I just want to stress that as much as I commanded the Lithuanian Movement for Freedom I made every effort to keep to principles of humanism.  I didn‘t allow any brutal activities. I know what the sentence of the court will be. I still believe that the struggle I have led for nine years will bring its results”.

Date and Place of Birth   

March 15, 1909, in a civil servants family in Palanga


Married Elena Valionytė in 1940, son Jonas Laimutis

Professional Qualifications        

Officer, Kaunas Military School, 1926–1929

Advanced training at French Artillery School in Fontainebleau, 1936–1938, the rank of Captain, commissioned upon the completion of courses

Political and Professional Engagement 

Officer of the Lithuanian Army, 1938–1940

From 1944 actively engaged into anti-Nazi resistance movement by joining the local military unit created in a Nazi occupied Lithuania; later, during the second Soviet occupation, got involved into the anti-Soviet resistance movement

Took the oath of partisan and became the commander of “Žebenkštis” unit on April 23, 1945

Became the chief of the Kęstutis district in May 1947, and from 1948 was in command of the whole Western Lithuania partisan district. Actively engaged in combining efforts of all underground resistance movements which in 1949 united into a single organization – the Lithuanian Movement for Freedom

Awarded the rank of the general of partisans on February 16, 1949

In Presidential Office

February 16, 1949 – November 26, 1954

It was stated in the Declaration adopted by the Council of the Movement of the Struggle for Freedom of Lithuania on February 16, 1949 that the supreme authority in Lithuania was the command of the partisans which aimed at the restoration of the independent parliamentarian Republic of Lithuania. Jonas Žemaitis was elected the chairman of the Presidium of the Council of the Movement of the Struggle for Freedom of Lithuania and was handed in the authority of the supreme political and military forces in the country 

Betrayed and arrested on May 30, 1953, later taken to Moscow. During the interrogation abided by the oath given to the Lithuanian state

Executed in Butyrki prison in Moscow on November 26, 1954

On March 12, 2009 the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania recognized Jonas Žemaitis as the head of the state of Lithuania struggling against the Soviet occupation, who de facto functioned as the President of the country.