This is a follow up to this other question Why was Kaliningrad placed under the Russian SFSR rather than the Lithuanian SSR?

Semaphore's answer states:

... a similar offer was made to give Kaliningrad to Lithuania. However, the Lithuanian leader Antanas Sniečkus had the foresight to decline. By then, the German population had been expelled and replaced with Russian colonists. The Lithuanians wisely refused to adopt a large, and potentially problematic, minority.

Semaphore cites Krickus (2001) who claims in passing (no citations found):

And in private, Lithuanian officials assert "what would we do with close to one million Russian speakers?" Recall that during the Soviet Era, Lithuanian Communists loyal to Moscow rejected Khruschev's offer to place Kaliningrad under Lithuanian authority for the same reason.

I was wondering if there is more solid historical evidence to back up the assertions that

  1. Kaliningrad was offered to the Lithuanian SSR; and
  2. This offer was rejected.

Googling, I can't seem to find much. This seems like an apocryphal tale that may very well be true but for which I can't find any actual historical evidence. A Quora answer calls it "the common legend".

A book repeats the above assertions (no citations found):

Lithuania's Communist leader, Antanas Snieckus, had wisely refused an offer made in the 1950s by Soviety party chief Nikita Khruschev that Lithuania take control of the Kaliningrad region. Snieckus feared that his republic would invite the same problems with a large Russian minority that were mounting in Latvia and Estonia.

A forum post claims (no citations):

In 1945 Soviet authorities were deciding which Soviet republic the newly acquired region should join. Both Lithuanian and Belarusian republics were considered. The choice fell on Lithuanian SSR because the republic and the region had a common border. First Secretary of Lithuanian SSR Antanas Sniečkus refused the idea. So Kaliningrad region went RSFSR (Russian Republic)

In 1963 Nikita Khrushev offered the region to Lithuanian SSR again. Once again First Secretary Antanas Sniečkus declined the offer.

The last time Kaliningrad region was offered to Lithuania in 1987. Lithuania missed her chance for the last time.

The last claim below is from World Heritage Encylcopedia, which also adds another possible story (where Stalin didn't want to give Kaliningrad to Lithuania because he wanted to further separate the Baltic states from the West). Here there seems to be a footnote but the webpage doesn't link anywhere and I can't find the original text of this Encyclopedia:

According to some accounts from the 1950s and 1960s, immediately after the Second World War the Soviet government had planned to make the rest of the area a part of the Lithuanian SSR, as a substantial portion of the oblast consists of Lithuania Minor. The area was administered by the planning committee of the LSSR, although it had its own Communist Party committee. However, the leadership of the Lithuanian SSR (especially Antanas Sniečkus) refused to take the territory, mainly because of its devastation during the war. Some modern nationalistic Lithuanian authors say that the reason for the refusal was the Lithuanians' concern that there might be as many Russians as Lithuanians within the Lithuanian SSR. Instead, the region was added as an exclave to the Russian SFSR and since 1946 it has been known as the Kaliningrad Oblast. According to some historians, Stalin created it as an oblast separate from the LSSR because it further separated the Baltic states from the West.

  • 1
    Nice question. But your comment states that (possibly) giving Kaliningrad to Lithuania would separate the Baltics from the West, yet the quoted text says that not giving Kaliningrad to Lithuania and keeping it a separate oblast would separate the Baltics from the West. Are both points supported by what you have found, or is it a mistake?
    – SJuan76
    Commented Feb 6, 2018 at 9:08
  • 4
    I've been researching this since your comments, and it does seem to be rather less substantiated than I thought. Now, I don't want to accuse Professor Krickus of lying, but as far as I could determine it seems this is a amalgamation of inferences from Khrushchev's general reorganisations, his placing Kaliningrad's economy under Lithuanian supervision, and Lithuanian rumours in the 60s and 70s. Perhaps someone who can read Lithuanian sources may be better able to confirm or disprove if there's any truth to the rumours.
    – Semaphore
    Commented Feb 6, 2018 at 10:46
  • 3
    I can buy that they said no to Gorbachev, and even Khrushchev, but Stalin? Surely the only possible answer would be 'yes sir, thank you sir'.
    – Ne Mo
    Commented Apr 17, 2020 at 23:07

3 Answers 3


Richard J. Krickus affirms that Sniečkus rejected the offer of the enclave in his book, The Kaliningrad Question. Sniečkus sought to avoid the "thorny problems" of Latvia and Estonia with Russian speakers. The specific claim that Sniečkus refused Krushchev's offer of Kaliningrad is detailed by footnote 8 in chapter 2 if you mean to find a primary source.

Edit: Per the answer of user @poopsie, the footnote reads: "Interviews in [sic] Lithuanian Foreign Ministry, spring 1998." Hmmm.


I checked Richard Krickus' citation to support the statement that Snieckus rejected the offer of Kaliningrad. It is indeed fn 8 in chapter 2. I quote "Interviews in [sic] Lithuanian Foreign Ministry, spring 1998." That is it. Not even the interviewees are named. I highly suspect they merely repeated the myth. If not a myth, there would have been a source for them to identify. In short, the claim is not substantiated by Krickus' book.

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    To be reexamined when the Ministry's archives become open to the public, I presume? Commented Mar 19, 2018 at 18:27
  • 1
    Nice catch -- it might be a challenge to follow that one up.
    – user18968
    Commented Mar 19, 2018 at 19:26

The answer is quite simple. Because of the resistance of the Forest Brothers until the mid 50s, Stalin respected the Lithuanians. So Sneikus was able to tell Stalin he didn’t want the former East Prussia, Stalin respected his wishes. Obviously different than you can’t say no to Stalin one poster suggested here.

  • 3
    Can you add a source or two for this? Thanks :) Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 6:01
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    Because of the resistance of the Forest Brothers until the mid 50s, Stalin respected the Lithuanians. I'm no expert on that topic, but as an educated guess I would guess the exact oposite, the resistance would make him despise Lithuanians and distruss them. (He trusted/respected nobody by the way.)
    – Bregalad
    Commented Mar 22, 2021 at 12:24
  • @Bregalad inspiringquotes.us/quotes/je7t_4XMP3Ksx
    – Tomas By
    Commented Mar 23, 2021 at 19:52
  • 2
    Is this quote authentic? It is easy to write anything on the internet and add the name "Stalin" behind it.
    – Bregalad
    Commented Mar 24, 2021 at 7:40

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