Diplomats representing Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania continued to perform their functions even after annexation of their countries by the Soviet Union in 1940 and the subsequent elimination of their respective governments. Throughout the Cold War, certain Western nations, including the United States, continued to grant recognition to these diplomats without countries. These aging diplomats persisted in this anomalous situation until the ultimate restoration of Baltic independence. Their brave and highly imaginative activities offer an insight into the resiliency of the human spirit, especially in support of ideals such as self-determination and human rights.
McHugh and Pacy use this examination to advocate the relevance of political realism within international relations, as well as to challenge the perceived limitations imposed by political superpowers and a rigid international legal system. This book explores these issues in the context of Baltic diplomatic and political history, the letter and spirit of international law, the motivations and strategies of international relations, and the politics of the Cold War. It suggests possible guidelines for applying the lessons of this unique episode to current and future controversies in the areas of self-determination and human rights. Finally, it offers the most extensive array of biographical sketches available on leading Baltic diplomats, including many who sacrificed their lives to continue this struggle.