Chodakowski sisters

The documentary „Chodakowski Sisters“ tells the story of two bright twentieth century Lithuanian interwar women. Polish countesses sisters Chodakowski – President Antanas Smetona’s wife Sofia and Prime Minister Juozas Tubeli’s wife Jadwiga – in their youth consciously chose Lithuanian identity and devoted their entire lives to the creation of the First Republic of Lithuania.

The influence excerted by Chodakowski sisters on the social and political elite environments as well as on the dealings with the foreign diplomats is indisputable. Even during the period before Smetona’s presidency (June 1920-1926) Sofija Smetonienė had kept active liaisons with foreign diplomats. US Ambassador T. H. Preston made a following note in his correspondence: „The fate of Lithuania is largely in Smetoniene and Tubeliene’s hands.“

Two-educated countesses often took the liberty to repair their husbands’ political errors. Speaking in numerous languages, well-educated sisters Chodakowski maintained basic diplomatic relations. Jadwiga Tubeliene was entrusted with a special state mission. She has played an important role in the declaration of the Lithuanian independence on February 16th, 1918. It is Jadwiga Tubeliene who delivered a copy of the Act of Lithuanian Independence to Germany. In her shoe, undoubtedly risking her own safety, she smuggled back from Germany to Lithuania the document signed by King Ulrich. Jadwiga Tubeliene established a Lithuanian Information Bureau in Switzerland. It was responsible for transferring news by telegraph to news agencies like Reuters, Stefani, and Havas. At the same time, Jadwiga managed to play the role of the deputy of the Lithuanian representative in Switzerland. Thus she became the first and only Lithuanian first lady, who worked in the diplomatic service. Jadwiga worked with A. Voldemaras as a member of the Lithuanian delegation to the Paris Peace Conference in 1919.

Lithuanian filmography is yet to provide a glimpse into Lithuanian interwar women’s contribution to the development of the state. This theme guarantees a novel and original historical reflection.

Directed by: Ramunė Kudzmanaitė
Screenplay: Ramunė Kudzmanaitė
Camera: Rimvydas Leipus
Art director: Ramunas Rastauskas
Producer: Teresa Rožanovska

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