Vytautas Landsbergis

Lithuanian politician

Vytautus Landsbergis is a Lithuanian politician and the first head of state of Lithuania after it declared independence from the Soviet Union. He served as a member of the European Parliament from 2004 to 2014. Landsbergis studied music and was a professor of music history at the Lithuanian Academy of Music before joining other artists and intellectuals to form the Sajudis movement for Lithuanian independence. In the first free Lithuanian elections in February 1990, Landsbergis was elected to the legislature and became chairman of the Supreme Council of Lithuania. He led the parliamentary session during which Lithuania declared independence from the Soviet Union. He also served as chairman of the commission that drafted the new Lithuanian constitution. In 1991, Landsbergis received the Award of the Foundation du Future, the International Freedom Foundation’s Freedom Award, and the Norwegian People’s Peace Prize for his role in the restoration of Lithuanian independence. In 1992, he received the Herman Ehlers Prize. He is the founder of the Vytautas Landsbergis Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports the care and education of handicapped children and young performing artists. Landsbergis is a member of the international advisory council of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.

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