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German Occupation of Lithuania : Passport (1916) Issued at Vilnius

THE GREAT WAR IN LITHUANIA 1914 - 1918

The Germans established a military government, the Supreme Command of All German Forces in the East (Oberbefehlshaber der gesamten Deutschen Streitkräfte im Osten—Ober Ost for short), to control its occupied territories. These appointed officials ruled Lithuania, Latvia (Courland), and the Bialystok-Grodno military territories with an iron hand during the war. Among its many decrees was the subdivision of the three territories into smaller districts for total control over all social and economic aspects of life. Families and farms were often divided and travel restricted to such an extent that people could not attend nearby schools or churches. The restriction frequently prevented farmers from taking their produce to market, destroying commerce and their source of income.