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With the secularization of the local branch of Teutonic Order (1525) Klaipėda (Memel) became part of Prussia's "Lithuanian kreises".

During the Napoleonic wars, it even briefly held the status of Prussia's capital as the royal family retreated here from danger (1807-1808).

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Technologically advanced and more Western in its culture, Klaipėda had a profoundly different feel than other Lithuanian cities in the 1930s as it was the only one not to have suffered Russian Imperial regime.

The history of old Klaipėda/Memel ended in 1945 when the city had been overrun by Soviet armies in late World War 2.

The invading soldiers found only 20 inhabitants left in the city.

Others, both Germans and Lithuanians, swiftly evacuated after hearing of Soviet massacres elsewhere.

This led to acts of terror and subsequent arrests of the local nazi groups.

In fact, this clampdown against national socialist organizations was the first anti-nazi trial to take place anywhere in Europe (later it was nicknamed "Little Nuremberg").Lithuania received a wide international recognition by 1922.The status of Klaipėda region changed in 1923 when a Lithuanian-supported revolt took place and the region was captured by the Supreme Salvation Committee of Lithuania Minor that asked to be accepted into the Republic of Lithuania.Klaipėda was established on an empty shore by the Teutonic Knights in the 1250s.Invited by the duke of Masovia to convert or destroy pagan Baltic tribes the Order chose this place for its castle. Memel is the German name for Nemunas river and the early settlers mistakenly believed that the straits linking Curonian lagoon to Baltic Sea are in fact the mouths of that mighty river.Germany, a former ally of Lithuania, started pressuring Lithuania for a return of the Klaipėda region.

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