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In a message dated 2/10/2003 10:05:36 AM Eastern Standard time, [log in to unmask] writes:

> Thanks, Steve, for sending me back to the encyclopedia.
>  I had stopped too soon to see that the early
> (13th century) fending off of the Germans
> and later Russian/Poland claims didn't prevent a three-year
> grab by Germany in the WWI years.

To be more precise, I think Germany took control of Lithuania in the spring of 1915. Germany was allied with the Ottoman Empire (Turkey). It was right at this time (April, 1915) that the British decided to launch an attack in eastern Turkey at Gallipoli.

This is why I'm speculating that this quote in intended to evoke the takeover of Lithuania from Russia by Germany, and intended to evoke the image of war in the timeframe of the spring of 1915. This could, threrefore, be seen as "pointing" to Gallipoli where Eliot's friend, Jean Verdenal, was killed.

-- Steve --