Scouts and the Smetona Regime: National Ideologies and Cultural Symbolism

Vilius Dundzila (Harry S. Truman College, City Colleges of Chicago)

The Smetona authoritarian government (1926-1940) nationalized and reorganized the various scout movements in Lithuania. His Tautininkai (Nationalist) Party attempted to coopt the scouts to their nationalist ideology. Whereas some scouters accepted their political partisanship, some key scout leaders and the scout press resisted the nationalist ideology in subtle ways. One of the lasting effects of this process remains off and on scout claims that they are an ideological organization, although they disagree as to the content of their ideology.

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