13 October 2015
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Sat, 15th December, 2012 - Posted by - (0) Comment

The misfortune of being overrun and dominated by a sick tyrant Josef Stalin

This is one of the many untold stories of cruel and unusual (Sorry, for the communist regime it was usual) treatment of non-communist foreign people who had the misfortune of being overrun and dominated by a sick tyrant Josef Stalin and all the other that followed him until they were forced to leave after the fall of communism. I am proud to say that Lietuva kicked out the occupying troops of the Soviet Union BEFORE East Germany and the other Baltic countries did. TEGYVOUJA LIETUVA LIETUVOS VISADA 
Daniel Raymond Aleliunas  
via LTnews.net

Category : Historical Lithuania sidebar / Opinions

Sat, 15th December, 2012 - Posted by - (0) Comment

There is no grand museum in Washington, D.C., dedicated to those whose lives were destroyed by the communists.

Dalia Kuodyte.

"Virtually no one has been called to account for what was done. The West has chosen to forget these horrors. Nothing of these horrors is taught in their schools. There is no grand museum in Washington, D.C., dedicated to those whose lives were destroyed by the communists."
Dalia Kuodyte.

Category : Historical Lithuania sidebar / Opinions

Sat, 15th December, 2012 - Posted by - (0) Comment

I think no one can imagine the struggles all of the Gulag-prisoners saw in their lives

Lars Persen, Norway
This is such a strong story. I think no one can imagine the struggles all of the Gulag-prisoners saw in their lives. For Lithuanians, other nationalities, dissidents, this was the real life; to survive. Stalin's camps can only be describes as hell. But it is also the story of surviving hell, for some of them...

Category : Historical Lithuania sidebar / Opinions

Sat, 15th December, 2012 - Posted by - (0) Comment

Many thanks for this very painful article.

Ralph, Kfar Ruppin , Israel
Many thanks for this very painful article.

Category : Historical Lithuania sidebar / Opinions

Sat, 15th December, 2012 - Posted by - (0) Comment

Very important for all to remember (or more likely, learn for the first time, this tragic story)

Arthur Hessel  
Very important for all to remember (or more likely, learn for the first time, this tragic story. Also important to realize that the Soviets did not distinguish between Lithuanian Jews and Lithuanian gentiles in making their selection and that the Lithuanian population did not become so religiously divided until the Germans pushed back the Soviets the next year and made the Jews the enemy that had to be exterminated.

Ray Janus  
We need to always remember and keep those who perished and suffered in our prayers.

Virginia Pudinas Schoenfeld  
So very sad. Ray is right--we must never forget.

Ruta Brazis-Velasco  
It hurts my heart to look at the photo, truth hurts.

Bea Rimas  
Thank you for posting this, so our children can see and remember..

Rasa Weber 
Every nation has their darkest years, and this period was one of the darkest for Lithuania. We will never forget.

Jane Kreivenas Hermanas  
My father's oldest brother was taken away from his family. My father, his siblings and parents all fled just a day before occupation. He stayed behind. I thank God that years later he was allowed to visit America and I got to meet my Uncle Bruno.

Ruth Budrys Mandala  
My Dad was jailed for being a dissident when they came and took his parents and brothers and deported them to Siberia. He was 16 years old and never saw them again. They survived the ordeal and lived out their life in Lithuania and he immigrated to America. Every day he appreciates his freedom in this country.

Cheryle Prakop-Good  
I have been reading lots of books of these most wretched times. As we set an extra place setting on Christmas Eve, say a prayer, light a candle, remember, as Lithuanians, we are peace loving people. I am blessed as my grandfather left before WW1. There is only one Prakapas left in the village. Maybe I should try to write to him.?

Ray Chesnick  
My paternal grandfather had a sister who was sent to Siberia from Zagare. I believe it was just after WWII.

Ruta Rusinas  
Both my grandparents, my aunt and my cousin (2 yrs.old) were sent to Siberia. All came back alive, thank God! My grandfather spent 14 yrs there!

Category : Historical Lithuania sidebar / Opinions

Sat, 15th December, 2012 - Posted by - (0) Comment

Banks are not paying enough taxes

According to the Lithuanian Commissioner for Taxation, Customs, Anti-fraud and Audit Algirdas Semeta (picture), banks are not paying enough taxes to the country's budget and financial transactions are exempt from value added tax (VAT). "When you buy water, you pay VAT, whereas [when you purchase] financial services you do not. Thus the tax burden on the financial sector is less than on the others," says the commissioner. The commissioner proposes to introduce at least 0.1 percent tax rate for trade in shares and bonds, informs LETA/ELTA, referring to Lietuvos rytas.

However, President of the Vilnius Stock Exchange Nasdaq OMXArminta Saladziene says that such decision would force Lithuanian business and operations to move to the other markets where such tax is not applicable. Meanwhile, Semeta says that such concerns are exaggerated. Experts at Vilnius Stock Exchange estimate that within a year Lithuania's budget would receive around LTL 4.5 million (EUR 1.3 million) out of this tax. Semeta claims that the revenue could reach tens of billions of litas if transactions outside the stock exchange were also included. How would this charge affect ordinary bank customers? So far the banks are reluctant to comment but they hint that the service may get more expensive.

Read more…

Category : News

Fri, 14th December, 2012 - Posted by - (2) Comment

My great grandfather came home
from Siberia in a suitcase

The farm where my wife’s great-grandfather lived
before the deportation to Siberia.

By Aage Myhre, Editor-in-Chief

Egle, my wife, comes into my study here in Vilnius as I am preparing the articles about the deportations to Siberia. "You should tell the story of my great-grandfather," she says. Because she, like almost all other families in Lithuania had relatives who were sent to Siberia. Many never returned, as was the case with her ​​great-grandfather.

"Before the war, he lived and worked in the U.S.," Egle explains, "there he was exposed to an accident where he lost one leg. He therefore came back to Lithuania during the interwar years. When the war came, he had unfortunately also lost his wife and son, so he lived on the family farm with his daughter in law and his grandchildren."

"Suddenly, one day, men from the NKVD, Stalin’s gruesome special unit, came to the farm. My great-grandfather’s daughter in law managed to escape, hiding in the woods by the house. She thought they would not send an old, one-legged man and small children to Siberia. But she was wrong... The agents threw the youngest daughter to the dog house, leaving her to what could have led to a merciless starvation and certain death, whereas the two other children and my great-grandfather were brought to the waiting truck. When she saw this, she also ran to the truck and thus became one of the many who were deported.

“On the train, already deep into Siberia, my great-grandfather died,” Egle tells with tears in her eyes. "Fortunately, the train made ​​a short stop, long enough for the daughter in law and her two children to bury him there, next to the railroad track. The three were years later all able to return to Lithuania from their Siberia-stay, but could not forget my great-grandfather's sad fate, so some years later they returned to Siberia to try to find his grave. They succeeded, incredible enough, to find the place where they had put him, at the railway track. They dug up the remains, put the bones into plastic bags, then into a large suitcase and flew home to Lithuania - with my great-grandfather in the suitcase. Here in Lithuania his remains were buried in accordance with good Catholic customs.

“My great-grandfather had finally come home."

Category : Historical Lithuania


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    • Vilnius authorities
      ban upcoming
      Baltic Pride march

      Vilnius municipal authorities ban the upcoming Baltic Pride march, even if Lithuania’s Supreme Administrative Court this week confirmed a ruling from the First Instance Court, stating that the Vilnius municipality was in breach of domestic law on peaceful assemblies by denying the possibility for the march to take place in the city centre.

      Last January, Vilnius municipal authorities said the march could not be held along the Gediminas Avenue, in the centre of the city, claiming it would force shops and hotels to shut down due to security concerns, and, instead, proposed a secluded location along the banks of the Neris River.

      Municipal authorities also claim the proposed route is too close to judicial and governmental buildings, raising national security concerns. However, in the past, demonstrations have been allowed on the same avenue.

      “The decision to ban the Baltic Pride march on security grounds is disproportionate, given that the Vilnius authorities refused to engage in constructive discussions with the Lithuania Gay League, despite rulings by domestic Courts’ saying that negotiations had to be re-opened,” said John Dalhuisen, Europe and Central Asia Director at Amnesty International.

      Amnesty International has launched a petition calling on Lithuanian authorities to ensure the event takes place according to the organizers’ plans and that adequate protection is provided.

      The Vilnius municipal authorities sought to block the first Baltic Pride in Vilnius in 2010, but the event ultimately went ahead following a court-ruling.

      “It is frankly amazing that three years after the first Baltic Pride in Vilnius, we are back in exactly the same situation as before, with the City authorities openly refusing to respect the freedom of assembly of Pride participants and seemingly prepared to ignore administrative court rulings.”


      Arunas Teiserskis The problem here is social conservatism, which has nothing to do with nationhood or freedom. Discrimination of gays was just recently widely accepted by lots of societies in the world and even enshrined in many religions (and still is). So changing this attitude won't be easy and will definitely not be done by means of directives "from above". Take note, that Lithuanian people were liberated from Soviet ideology, which they tried to replace either by Western liberalism or the same Western mainly Christian conservatism. And both proponents of those conflicting ideologies are accusing each other of being Soviet-style, what doesn't help to discuss in calm fashion. And by virtue of being anti-Soviet even neo-Nazis are deemed by social conservatives as less appalling than the open gayness. This problem exists in the West as well (especially taking into account recent decision of Supreme Court in the US, because if there were no problems with than, there would have been no need of Supreme Court involvement), so this is just another case of worldwide problem in separate country - which should be confronted, of course. Though one didn't talk about the whole US and its all population acting in backward and primitive fashion, when the DOMA was voted in. So please reserve your criticism for the conservative part of Lithuanian society, not the whole country. Especially when the Lithuanian court already ruled out that Vilnius Municipality's policies towards the parade broke the already existing Lithuanian laws.

      Mary Ann Albee Bigotry in any form is still spelled the same.

      Ricardas Cepas If somebody decided to be Napoleon or Czar they have medical atention. If sobebody decides to be Gay, their rights are protected. Thats not fair towards Napoleons or Czars;)

      Arunas Teiserskis Ricardai, AFAIK, rights of "Napoleons and Czars" in modern society are to be equally protected as well of all other people, no matter what you decide or born to be. You should check your (total lack of) knowledge on legal matters in this field, if you think it is lawful in Lithuania to discriminate against people with mental disorder (not talking about your ethics to mock on this issue in this discussion).

      Mary Ann Albee Being gay is not a mental illness nor does it use brutal and deadly force against those who do not march to their drummer.

      Timotiejus Sevelis AMEN Sista!

      Don't forget, GAYS are environmentally friendly....We don't add new people to the planet!!! LOL

      NOW!! get out of my bedroom and let me have fun with my boyfriend!!!

      Ricardas Cepas Arunas,
      1. My problem is not that you Gay, its your private choice, my problem is, that you promote your private choice to children and people, which did not born Gay and you do it outside of your private life and do that hiding behind core values of human rights. By the way, Nazis use this strategy to come to power back then.

      2. You mentioned "modern societies" it usually comes and goes, in my humble opinion, its more fashion of these years, then shift of core values, for some of us fortunatelly for some unfortunatelly. But I agree fashion always was hot topic. Remember Hipies "free love" movements? Where are they today?
      So choice of promoting Gays by any means in press, demonstrations and etc., looks like natural survival strategy worldwide and has nothing to do with Human rights.

      3. And if you born Gay-be it, dont promote it to children who were not born Gays. Respect their rights similary like I respect your private choice.

      Linas Johansonas Ricardas Cepas Gays are born gay. And every gay was a child. What kind of "promotion" are you afraid of for children? You cannot turn a child or adult gay. Just like you didn't choose to be straight. It happens naturally within us. There is nothing wrong with teaching children that there are gay people in the world. It's a part of life.

      and yes Ricardai, gay rights have to do with human rights.

      Ricardas Cepas Linas Johansonas, Children are addicts to any advertising and they tent to try stuff when its promoted everywhere so hard.

      Arunas Teiserskis Ricardai, I'm not gay, I'm very straight, married and have children. Meanwhile you're obviously dumb. Because you don't realize, that one in no possible means can "advertise" any straight person into being gay. And vice versa. It's not drugs and neither it is fashion. Go and educate yourself a bit, before pretending being smart.

      Linas Johansonas  Ricardas Cepas: no one is promoting gay sex to them. For example, the gay march is about gay rights, not sex. yes, some teenagers do experiment with gay sex just like they experiment with straight sex & you know what, thats how some find out whether they are straight or gay. Teenagers having sex is going to happen without any promotion. It's a fact of life. Thats why you have to have sex education for teens. As for young children, they aren't developed enoiugh to be interested in any sex.

      Wyman Brent I am straight and married and my wife and I will soon have our first child. We do not believe that knowing gay people exists will turn our child gay. He may be born gay but it will have nothing to do with the knowledge that others are gay. That would be like saying all gay people will become straight because they know that most people are straight.

    • How can we make the world aware of Lithuania, its 50 years of nonviolant resistance against the USSR?

      GameChanger: A film about Lithuania's nonviolent resistance

      Ruta Musonis 
      This is great, Aage!!

      David Zincavage 
      My grandfather came to America in 1912 after violently resisting the Russian Occupation.

      Mia Pia 
      My grandparents and parents lost everything, due to the violent wars and occupation by the USSR.

      Ida Hardy 
      We need a feature film like Hunting for Red October - but with more of the details of Lithuania. Or an epic romance featuring the beautiful countryside, following ten generations and what they saw in their lifetime. But whoever writes it please let there be a happy ending?

      Aage Myhre 
      Rima Alessandra, please let Ida Hardy have some idea about your potential 'happy ending'

      Rima Alessandra Gungor,
      GameChanger Director, at the remaining barricade elements that still remain outside the Parliament as visible symbols of Lithuania's nonviolent revolution in 1991.

    • Lithuanian Midsummer

      Midsummer Day is a festival of simple people, connected with the veneration of fire. Young girls adorn their heads with flower wreaths. A tall pole with a wooden wheel soaked in tar or filled with birch bark is hoisted at the top of the highest hill in the vicinity. Men whose names are Jonas (John) set the wheels on fire and make bonfires around it. In some places a second pole is hoisted with flowers and herbs. Young people dance round the fire, sing songs about rye, play games, men try to jump over the fire. The burning wheels on the poles are rolled down the hill into a river or a lake at its foot, men jumping over it all along. On the Midsummer Day people weed the rye and burn all the weeds.

      On Midsummer Day's morning witches acquire special powers, they drag towels over the dewy grass to affect cows' milk. To save their cows from the witches' magic farmers shut them in cowsheds for the Midsummer Night and stick bunches of nettle in the door to scare the witches away. On Midsummer Day cows are driven out to pasture in the early after- noon when there is no more dew on the grass. Horses, however, are left to graze in the open throughout the night, or the witches magic has no effect on them.

      On Midsummer Day dew has special healing powers. Young girls wash their faces in it to make themselves beautiful, older people do the same to make themselves younger. It is good to walk barefoot in dew on Midsummer Day's morning, for it saves the skin from getting chapped.

      Midsummer Day and the time immediately preceding it is believed to have special powers. Medicinal herbs collected from June 1 to the Midsummer Day can cure 12 (some say 99) diseases.

      Read more…

      Ida Hardy
      What are YOU doing for this year's Solstice and Super Moon?

      Boris Bakunas What a wonderful post! Thank you, Ida!

      Sandra Abramovich Love this and am sharing it!

      Ida Hardy Thank Aage Myhre - he's the original! It is a beautiful description isn't it? Are you doing something special?

Click HERE to read previous opinion letters >

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