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THE VOICE OF INTERNATIONAL LITHUANIA

18 November 2017
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Archive for February, 2013

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Clara Nathanson

I have a collection of works by Clara Nathanson. I was wondering if you could include them in your web site. Photographed by Brennan O'Brien.

Clara (Nathanson) Sachar was born 1/1/1887 in Lituva, Lithuania, and died 1/23/1968 in St. Louis, MO. She married Charles R. Sachar on 8/18/1914 in St. Louis ...

Patrick Weil Bertrand

See more works…

Category : Front page

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Clara Nathanson

I have a collection of works by Clara Nathanson. I was wondering if you could include them in your web site. Photographed by Brennan O'Brien.

Clara (Nathanson) Sachar was born 1/1/1887 in Lituva, Lithuania, and died 1/23/1968 in St. Louis, MO. She married Charles R. Sachar on 8/18/1914 in St. Louis ...

Patrick Weil Bertrand

Category : Culture & events

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Welcome to
VilNews on
Facebook!

Possibly there are still some of our readers who do not know VilNews also has two active Facebook pages.

Click on the links at the top here on VilNews' frontage to access each of them.

One of these sites, "VilNews Notes & Photos" is for messages, photos and short stories of the more informal kind. Go there and click "like" to be kept up to date ...

The second, "VilNews Forum" is our very active debate forum where different topics are discussed, sometimes with high temperature ... To join the discussion, you must register as a participant (to be done at the very page) ...
Category : Opinions

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Novelist Antanas Sileika on the Traku - Pylimo street corner in Vilnius – with his book Underground.
Photo Aage Myhre


Why this perpetual
return to Lithuania?
Standing on the corner
of Traku and Pylimo


A writer muses about the foreign sources for his work and what it means to be a Canadian

By Antanas Sileika, novelist

For the fourth year in a row I’m standing at the crossroads of Pylimo and Traku Streets in Vilnius, Lithuania, worrying the place, trying to sift the stories that lie like dust between the cobblestones. I’m slightly sick of this baroque, labyrinthine city - the strangulated cries of the swallows at dusk make me think of the dead souls of forgotten citizens.

Read more…

Category : Opinions

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The essay gives an articulate voice to rather similar but jumbled thoughts rattling around and bothering me in my own head


Dear Tony,
Just a note to let you know how much I enjoyed the essay above. I feel bad it's been around since 2011 and I hadn't seen it. (Bankers don't read Queen's Quarterly, I guess. At least not this one!) Thanks to Aage for allowing it to appear here. The essay gives an articulate voice to rather similar but jumbled thoughts rattling around and bothering me in my own head. But that's what fine writers and storytellers are about after all. Thank you.

Rimantas Aukstuolis

Category : Opinions

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IMF urges Lithuania
to boost revenues
after former government’s
austerity cuts

Julie Kozack, head of the IMF
monitoring mission to Vilnius

Lithuania must boost revenue and investment to safeguard its solid recovery after a biting austerity drive which helped it to overcome recession, the International Monetary Fund said Monday.

"Lithuania's revenue-to-GDP ratio is the lowest in the European Union and we think that there is scope to shift the adjustment more to the revenue side," Julie Kozack, head of the IMF monitoring mission to Vilnius, told journalists there Monday. ¨

Read more...

Category : News

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Strategic project with Poland will ensure Lithuania’s energy independence


The Lithuanian and Polish interconnection LitPol Link will interconnect the power systems of Baltic States and West Europe. Moreover, it will contribute to the development of common European electricity market and increase the reliability of energy supply. It is scheduled that 500 MW Poland-Lithuania power interconnection will be launched into operation in 2015.

Read the full energy report from Litgrid HERE
Category : News

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A poem about the
witches among us


Lent is imminent, and writer KR Slade wants to remind us of what it
represented in pagan Lithuania. In his poem "My Dream of When the
Witch is Found ..." he deals with today's witches and devils in Lithuania,
the many who are still engaging in anti-Semitism and racism.

By KR Slade

This year, Lent begins on 13 February (i.e., Ash Wednesday). Therefore, 12 February is ‘Shrove Tuesday’:which in Lithuania is called ‘Užgavėnės’ (i.e., “time before lent”) … that is an ancient pagan-festival -- “to chase away winter” -- and: celebrated by fire, and the wearing of masks -- notably representing witches and devils.

Such ancient witches/devils mask-representations, and their symbolism: are more-recently found in the first-half of the 20th century (i.e., in anti-Semitic Nazi, fascist, Soviet, et als. propaganda). Indeed, some people consider such past and current representation(s) to be anti-Semitic.

Moreover, I have found in Lithuania a degree of anti-Semitism that I did not find in the USA LT community; indeed, I find such anti-Semitism here in LT in my own family (here), and with my LT friends, colleagues and associates . . .  I find the devil/witch concept still with us, in LT . . .

That is why I wrote this poem; “My dream of when the witch is found.”

Click HERE to read the poem…

Category : Front page

- Posted by - (1) Comment

A poem about the witches among us


Lent is imminent, and writer KR Slade wants to remind us of what it
represented in pagan Lithuania. In his poem "My Dream of When the
Witch is Found ..." he deals with today's witches and devils in Lithuania,
the many who are still engaging in anti-Semitism and racism.

By KR Slade

This year, Lent begins on 13 February (i.e., Ash Wednesday). Therefore, 12 February is ‘Shrove Tuesday’:which in Lithuania is called ‘Užgavėnės’ (i.e., “time before lent”) … that is an ancient pagan-festival -- “to chase away winter” -- and: celebrated by fire, and the wearing of masks -- notably representing witches and devils.

Such ancient witches/devils mask-representations, and their symbolism: are more-recently found in the first-half of the 20th century (i.e., in anti-Semitic Nazi, fascist, Soviet, et als. propaganda). Indeed, some people consider such past and current representation(s) to be anti-Semitic.

Moreover, I have found in Lithuania a degree of anti-Semitism that I did not find in the USA LT community; indeed, I find such anti-Semitism here in LT in my own family (here), and with my LT friends, colleagues and associates . . .  I find the devil/witch concept still with us, in LT . . .

That is why I wrote this poem; “My dream of when the witch is found.”

Category : Culture & events

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Author Ellen Cassedy
soon on tour in Lithuania


Ellen Cassedy, author of
We Are Here: Memories of the Lithuanian Holocaust

Dear Friends,

I will be traveling to Lithuania for the launch of the Lithuanian edition of my book, We Are Here: Memories of the Lithuanian Holocaust. 

The Lithuanian edition, Mes esame čia:  Atsiminimai apie holokausta Lietuvoje, will be published by Media Incognito in a beautiful translation by Rasa Krulikauskienė.

For those of you in Lithuania, I’m delighted to invite you to attend these events.  For those not in Lithuania, I would be grateful if you could pass along this information to anyone who would be interested in attending:   

Thursday, February 21, 2013, 5:30 p.m. (17:30)
Tolerance Center, Naugarduko g. 10/2, Vilnius

Saturday, February 23, 2013, 12 noon
Book presentation, Lithuanian edition of We Are Here
Vilnius Book Fair, LITEXPO, Laisves pr. 5, Vilnius

I will also be speaking in

  • Kaunas,
  • Kedainiai,
  • Siauliai,
  • Panevezys,
  • Rokiskis

between February 25 and March 6.

Details HERE…

Category : Front page

- Posted by - (0) Comment

Author Ellen Cassedy
soon on tour in Lithuania


Ellen Cassedy, author of
We Are Here: Memories of the Lithuanian Holocaust

Dear Friends,

I will be traveling to Lithuania for the launch of the Lithuanian edition of my book, We Are Here: Memories of the Lithuanian Holocaust. 

The Lithuanian edition, Mes esame čia:  Atsiminimai apie holokausta Lietuvoje, will be published by Media Incognito in a beautiful translation by Rasa Krulikauskienė.

For those of you in Lithuania, I’m delighted to invite you to attend these events.  For those not in Lithuania, I would be grateful if you could pass along this information to anyone who would be interested in attending:   

Thursday, February 21, 2013, 5:30 p.m. (17:30)
Tolerance Center, Naugarduko g. 10/2, Vilnius

Saturday, February 23, 2013, 12 noon
Book presentation, Lithuanian edition of We Are Here
Vilnius Book Fair, LITEXPO, Laisves pr. 5, Vilnius

I will also be speaking in

  • Kaunas,
  • Kedainiai,
  • Siauliai,
  • Panevezys,
  • Rokiskis

between February 25 and March 6.

For information about those events, please email SidrysI@state.gov  or telephone +370 5 266 5453.

Thank you – aciu!

All the best,
Ellen Cassedy

--
Ellen Cassedy
ellen@ellencassedy.com
www.ellencassedy.com
Author of We Are Here: Memories of the Lithuanian Holocaust
(University of Nebraska Press, March 2012)

For updates about We Are Here, sign up for my mailing list or follow me on Facebook or twitter. See my new YouTube video.

Category : Blog archive

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Europe’s dependence on Russian gas.

Lithuanian heating costs reach astronomical heights:
Russian gas up 450% in just seven years!
Lithuania pays 15% more than Latvia and Estonia, 25% more than Germany for the same Russian gas.


Read more...
__________________________

It is publicised openly in Gazprom's Annual Report that 20 million is paid to the Lithuanian Government as a direct bribe, per annum
Bill Stankunavicius Alas, corruption takes its toll. The facts are that Lithuania has abundant natural gas reserves, off shore. Lithuanian leaders have known this since they were advised by the Danes in the very early nineties. However it is publicised openly in Gazprom's Annual Report that 20 million is paid to the Lithuanian Government as a direct bribe, per annum. Notwithstanding that Lithuanian "Middlemen" get their slice of the financial cake on top. If the Lithuanians use their own gas, then no cash bribe?
Category : Opinions

OPINIONS

Have your say. Send to:
editor@VilNews.com


By Dr. Boris Vytautas Bakunas,
Ph. D., Chicago

A wave of unity sweeps the international Lithuanian community on March 11th every year as Lithuanians celebrated the anniversary of the Lithuanian Parliament's declaration of independence from the Soviet Union in 1990. However, the sense of national unity engendered by the celebration could be short-lived.

Human beings have a strong tendency to overgeneralize and succumb to stereotypical us-them distinctions that can shatter even the strongest bonds. We need only search the internet to find examples of divisive thinking at work:

- "50 years of Soviet rule has ruined an entire generation of Lithuanian.

- "Those who fled Lithuania during World II were cowards -- and now they come back, flaunt their wealth, and tell us 'true Lithuanians' how to live."

- "Lithuanians who work abroad have abandoned their homeland and should be deprived of their Lithuanian citizenship."

Could such stereotypical, emotionally-charged accusations be one of the main reasons why relations between Lithuania's diaspora groups and their countrymen back home have become strained?

Read more...
* * *


Text: Saulene Valskyte

In Lithuania Christmas Eve is a family event and the New Year's Eve a great party with friends!
Lithuanian say "Kaip sutiksi naujus metus, taip juos ir praleisi" (the way you'll meet the new year is the way you will spend it). So everyone is trying to spend New Year's Eve with friend and have as much fun as possible.

Lithuanian New Year's traditions are very similar to those in other countries, and actually were similar since many years ago. Also, the traditional Lithuanian New Years Eve party was very similar to other big celebrations throughout the year.

The New Year's Eve table is quite similar to the Christmas Eve table, but without straws under the tablecloth, and now including meat dishes. A tradition that definitely hasn't changes is that everybody is trying not to fell asleep before midnight. It was said that if you oversleep the midnight point you will be lazy all the upcoming year. People were also trying to get up early on the first day of the new year, because waking up late also meant a very lazy and unfortunate year.

During the New Year celebration people were dancing, singing, playing games and doing magic to guess the future. People didn't drink much of alcohol, especially was that the case for women.

Here are some advices from elders:
- During the New Year, be very nice and listen to relatives - what you are during New Year Eve, you will be throughout the year.

- During to the New Year Eve, try not to fall, because if this happens, next year you will be unhappy.

- If in the start of the New Year, the first news are good - then the year will be successful. If not - the year will be problematic.

New year predictions
* If during New Year eve it's snowing - then it will be bad weather all year round. If the day is fine - one can expect good harvest.
* If New Year's night is cold and starry - look forward to a good summer!
* If the during New Year Eve trees are covered with frost - then it will be a good year. If it is wet weather on New Year's Eve, one can expect a year where many will die and dangerous epidemics occur.
* If the first day of the new year is snowy - the upcoming year will see many young people die. If the night is snowy - mostly old people will die.
* If the New Year time is cold - then Easter will be warm.
* If during New Year there are a lot of birds in your homestead - then all year around there will be many guests and the year will be fun.

Read more...
* * *

* * *
VilNews
Christmas greetings
from Vilnius


* * *
Ukraine won the historic
and epic battle for the
future
By Leonidas Donskis
Kaunas
Philosopher, political theorist, historian of
ideas, social analyst, and political
commentator

Immediately after Russia stepped in Syria, we understood that it is time to sum up the convoluted and long story about Ukraine and the EU - a story of pride and prejudice which has a chance to become a story of a new vision regained after self-inflicted blindness.

Ukraine was and continues to be perceived by the EU political class as a sort of grey zone with its immense potential and possibilities for the future, yet deeply embedded and trapped in No Man's Land with all of its troubled past, post-Soviet traumas, ambiguities, insecurities, corruption, social divisions, and despair. Why worry for what has yet to emerge as a new actor of world history in terms of nation-building, European identity, and deeper commitments to transparency and free market economy?

Right? Wrong. No matter how troubled Ukraine's economic and political reality could be, the country has already passed the point of no return. Even if Vladimir Putin retains his leverage of power to blackmail Ukraine and the West in terms of Ukraine's zero chances to accede to NATO due to the problems of territorial integrity, occupation and annexation of Crimea, and mayhem or a frozen conflict in the Donbas region, Ukraine will never return to Russia's zone of influence. It could be deprived of the chances to join NATO or the EU in the coming years or decades, yet there are no forces on earth to make present Ukraine part of the Eurasia project fostered by Putin.

Read more...
* * *
Watch this video if you
want to learn about the
new, scary propaganda
war between Russia,
The West and the
Baltic States!


* * *
90% of all Lithuanians
believe their government
is corrupt
Lithuania is perceived to be the country with the most widespread government corruption, according to an international survey involving almost 40 countries.

Read more...
* * *
Lithuanian medical
students say no to
bribes for doctors

On International Anticorruption Day, the Special Investigation Service shifted their attention to medical institutions, where citizens encounter bribery most often. Doctors blame citizens for giving bribes while patients complain that, without bribes, they won't receive proper medical attention. Campaigners against corruption say that bribery would disappear if medical institutions themselves were to take resolute actions against corruption and made an effort to take care of their patients.

Read more...
* * *
Doing business in Lithuania

By Grant Arthur Gochin
California - USA

Lithuania emerged from the yoke of the Soviet Union a mere 25 years ago. Since then, Lithuania has attempted to model upon other European nations, joining NATO, Schengen, and the EU. But, has the Soviet Union left Lithuania?

During Soviet times, government was administered for the people in control, not for the local population, court decisions were decreed, they were not the administration of justice, and academia was the domain of ideologues. 25 years of freedom and openness should have put those bad experiences behind Lithuania, but that is not so.

Today, it is a matter of expectation that court pronouncements will be governed by ideological dictates. Few, if any Lithuanians expect real justice to be effected. For foreign companies, doing business in Lithuania is almost impossible in a situation where business people do not expect rule of law, so, surely Government would be a refuge of competence?

Lithuanian Government has not emerged from Soviet styles. In an attempt to devolve power, Lithuania has created a myriad of fiefdoms of power, each speaking in the name of the Government, each its own centralized power base of ideology.

Read more...
* * *
Greetings from Wales!
By Anita Šovaitė-Woronycz
Chepstow, Wales

Think of a nation in northern Europe whose population is around the 3 million mark a land of song, of rivers, lakes, forests, rolling green hills, beautiful coastline a land where mushrooms grow ready for the picking, a land with a passion for preserving its ancient language and culture.

Doesn't that sound suspiciously like Lithuania? Ah, but I didn't mention the mountains of Snowdonia, which would give the game away.

I'm talking about Wales, that part of the UK which Lithuanians used to call "Valija", but later named "Velsas" (why?). Wales, the nation which has welcomed two Lithuanian heads of state to its shores - firstly Professor Vytautas Landsbergis, who has paid several visits and, more recently, President Dalia Grybauskaitė who attended the 2014 NATO summit which was held in Newport, South Wales.
MADE IN WALES -
ENGLISH VERSION OF THE
AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF
VYTAUTAS LANDSBERGIS.

Read more...
* * *
IS IT POSSIBLE TO
COMMENT ON OUR
ARTICLES? :-)
Read Cassandra's article HERE

Read Rugile's article HERE

Did you know there is a comment field right after every article we publish? If you read the two above posts, you will see that they both have received many comments. Also YOU are welcome with your comments. To all our articles!
* * *

Greetings from Toronto
By Antanas Sileika,
Toronto, Canada

Toronto was a major postwar settlement centre for Lithuanian Displaced Persons, and to this day there are two Catholic parishes and one Lutheran one, as well as a Lithuanian House, retirement home, and nursing home. A new wave of immigrants has showed interest in sports.

Although Lithuanian activities have thinned over the decades as that postwar generation died out, the Lithuanian Martyrs' parish hall is crowded with many, many hundreds of visitors who come to the Lithuanian cemetery for All Souls' Day. Similarly, the Franciscan parish has standing room only for Christmas Eve mass.

Although I am firmly embedded in the literary culture of Canada, my themes are usually Lithuanian, and I'll be in Kaunas and Vilnius in mid-November 2015 to give talks about the Lithuanian translations of my novels and short stories, which I write in English.

If you have the Lithuanian language, come by to one of the talks listed in the links below. And if you don't, you can read more about my work at
www.anatanassileika.com

http://www.vdu.lt/lt/rasytojas-antanas-sileika-pristatys-savo-kuryba/
https://leu.lt/lt/lf/lf_naujienos/kvieciame-i-rasytojo-59hc.html
* * *

As long as VilNews exists,
there is hope for the future
Professor Irena Veisaite, Chairwoman of our Honorary Council, asked us to convey her heartfelt greetings to the other Council Members and to all readers of VilNews.

"My love and best wishes to all. As long as VilNews exists, there is hope for the future,"" she writes.

Irena Veisaite means very much for our publication, and we do hereby thank her for the support and wise commitment she always shows.

You can read our interview with her
HERE.
* * *
EU-Russia:
Facing a new reality

By Vygaudas Ušackas
EU Ambassador to the Russian Federation

Dear readers of VilNews,

It's great to see this online resource for people interested in Baltic affairs. I congratulate the editors. From my position as EU Ambassador to Russia, allow me to share some observations.

For a number of years, the EU and Russia had assumed the existence of a strategic partnership, based on the convergence of values, economic integration and increasingly open markets and a modernisation agenda for society.

Our agenda was positive and ambitious. We looked at Russia as a country ready to converge with "European values", a country likely to embrace both the basic principles of democratic government and a liberal concept of the world order. It was believed this would bring our relations to a new level, covering the whole spectrum of the EU's strategic relationship with Russia.

Read more...
* * *

The likelihood of Putin
invading Lithuania
By Mikhail Iossel
Professor of English at Concordia University, Canada
Founding Director at Summer Literary Seminars

The likelihood of Putin's invading Lithuania or fomenting a Donbass-style counterfeit pro-Russian uprising there, at this point, in my strong opinion, is no higher than that of his attacking Portugal, say, or Ecuador. Regardless of whether he might or might not, in principle, be interested in the insane idea of expanding Russia's geographic boundaries to those of the former USSR (and I for one do not believe that has ever been his goal), he knows this would be entirely unfeasible, both in near- and long-term historical perspective, for a variety of reasons. It is not going to happen. There will be no restoration of the Soviet Union as a geopolitical entity.

Read more...
* * *

Are all Lithuanian energy
problems now resolved?
By Dr. Stasys Backaitis,
P.E., CSMP, SAE Fellow Member of Central and Eastern European Coalition, Washington, D.C., USA

Lithuania's Energy Timeline - from total dependence to independence

Lithuania as a country does not have significant energy resources. Energy consuming infrastructure after WWII was small and totally supported by energy imports from Russia.

First nuclear reactor begins power generation at Ignalina in 1983, the second reactor in 1987. Iganlina generates enough electricity to cover Lithuania's needs and about 50%.for export. As, prerequisite for membership in EU, Ignalina ceases all nuclear power generation in 2009

The Klaipėda Sea terminal begins Russia's oil export operations in 1959 and imports in 1994.

Mazeikiu Nafta (current ORLEAN Lietuva) begins operation of oil refinery in 1980.

Read more...
* * *

Have Lithuanian ties across
the Baltic Sea become
stronger in recent years?
By Eitvydas Bajarunas
Ambassador to Sweden

My answer to affirmative "yes". Yes, Lithuanian ties across the Baltic Sea become as never before solid in recent years. For me the biggest achievement of Lithuania in the Baltic Sea region during recent years is boosting Baltic and Nordic ties. And not because of mere accident - Nordic direction was Lithuania's strategic choice.

The two decades that have passed since regaining Lithuania's independence can be described as a "building boom". From the wreckage of a captive Soviet republic, a generation of Lithuanians have built a modern European state, and are now helping construct a Nordic-Baltic community replete with institutions intended to promote political coordination and foster a trans-Baltic regional identity. Indeed, a "Nordic-Baltic community" - I will explain later in my text the meaning of this catch-phrase.

Since the restoration of Lithuania's independence 25 years ago, we have continuously felt a strong support from Nordic countries. Nordics in particular were among the countries supporting Lithuania's and Baltic States' striving towards independence. Take example of Iceland, country which recognized Lithuania in February of 1991, well in advance of other countries. Yet another example - Swedish Ambassador was the first ambassador accredited to Lithuania in 1991. The other countries followed suit. When we restored our statehood, Nordic Countries became champions in promoting Baltic integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions. To large degree thanks Nordic Countries, massive transformations occurred in Lithuania since then, Lithuania became fully-fledged member of the EU and NATO, and we joined the Eurozone on 1 January 2015.

Read more...
* * *

It's the economy, stupid *
By Valdas (Val) Samonis,
PhD, CPC

n his article, Val Samonis takes a comparative policy look at the Lithuanian economy during the period 2000-2015. He argues that the LT policy response (a radical and classical austerity) was wrong and unenlightened because it coincided with strong and continuing deflationary forces in the EU and the global economy which forces were predictable, given the right policy guidance. Also, he makes a point that LT austerity, and the resulting sharp drop in GDP and employment in LT, stimulated emigration of young people (and the related worsening of other demographics) which processes took huge dimensions thereby undercutting even the future enlightened efforts to get out of the middle-income growth trap by LT. Consequently, the country is now on the trajectory (development path) similar to that of a dog that chases its own tail. A strong effort by new generation of policymakers is badly needed to jolt the country out of that wrong trajectory and to offer the chance of escaping the middle-income growth trap via innovations.

Read more...
* * *

Have you heard about the
South African "Pencil Test"?
By Karina Simonson

If you are not South African, then, probably, you haven't. It is a test performed in South Africa during the apartheid regime and was used, together with the other ways, to determine racial identity, distinguishing whites from coloureds and blacks. That repressive test was very close to Nazi implemented ways to separate Jews from Aryans. Could you now imagine a Lithuanian mother, performing it on her own child?

But that is exactly what happened to me when I came back from South Africa. I will tell you how.

Read more...
* * *
Click HERE to read previous opinion letters >



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