Closure of ORT in 1940At the beginning of the first Soviet occupation, from 1 July 1940, the Lithuanian Minister of the Interior banned all non-communist organisations (public, cultural, religious) in the country in the “interest of security”. The same day the leadership of ORT sent a request to the Minister asking him to let ORT and its chapters in the provinces continue their activities. They attached a list of the organisation’s board members. Having read the list, the Minister decided to remove the Chairman Abelis Jodidio and other members as unacceptable to the new communist regime. A new board was to be formed over a period of six months. He appointed Benjaminas Soloveičikas to be in charge of current affairs and funds, and allowed the organisation and its chapters to continue their activities.Despite Soloveičikas’ efforts to form a new board, a month later, on 6 August 1940, the Interior Minister issued a resolution to close the Organisation for the Advancement of Skilled Trades and Agricultural Labour among Jews in Lithuania, ORT, and its chapters. He based his decision on the grounds that “under the present circumstances further activities of the organisation were no longer compatible with state security”.