VilNews

THE VOICE OF INTERNATIONAL LITHUANIA

27 March 2017
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- (1) Comment

Main events in
Lithuania’s history

(based on “The official gateway of Lithuania”, Government of
Lithuania website, adopted and modified by dr. S. Backaitis)

The first settlers arrived at the eastern shore region of the Baltic Sea in approximately 12,000 B. C. In 3,000–500 B. C., the Indo-European Balts came to live here. Between the 5th and 8th centuries tribal groupings in the western territories included: Prussians, Yotvingians, Curronians, Zemgalians, Lithuanians and Latgalians. In the 10th century the pagan Baltic tribes became the target of christianization by Western Europe. In 1009, the name of Lithuania was mentioned for the first time in the written account of the mission of St. Bruno in Quedlinburg Annals.

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Category : Historical Lithuania

- (0) Comment

 Gediminas – King of
 Lithuania & Russians


Gediminas' Tower (Gedimino pilies bokštas) is the only remaining part of the
Upper Castle in Vilnius. The first fortifications were built of wood
by King Gediminas. Later the first brick castle was completed
in 1409 by Vytautas the Great.

Gediminas (1275 - 1341) was the one founding Vilnius as the capital of Lithuania. In works of history Gediminas is referred to as the Grand Duke of Lithuania, but he called himself, and was titled in all official documents, the King of Lithuania, or the King of Lithuania and of Russians. He ruled in the years 1316-1341. Gediminas was lauded as one of the greatest rulers of Lithuania. He established diplomatic and economic links with Europe and invited many artisans and merchants to Lithuania. His reign was marked with tolerance, open-mindedness and fairness.

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Category : Historical Lithuania

- (0) Comment

Timothy Snyder, author of Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin:

Perhaps we can find
ways to talk to each other


A rough definition of Snyder's "Bloodlands" (by Timothy Nunan).

By Ellen Cassedy

“Even if all you want to do is understand your own group, you have no choice but to understand the history of others.”

That’s what Timothy Snyder, a professor at Yale University and the author of Bloodlands: Europe between Hitler and Stalin (Basic Books, 2010), had to say at a recent roundtable at the Tolerance Center in Vilnius. 

I watched a webcast of the session – and welcomed the opportunity to revisit Snyder’s book, which I’d found challenging on two accounts.

First, immersing myself in the atrocities of the mid-20th century was no easy task.  Between 1933 and 1945, in the region Snyder dubs the bloodlands – the Baltics, Belarus, most of Poland, Western Russia, and Ukraine – an unprecedented 16 million people were killed.  

Second, Bloodlands required me to consider, simultaneously, the fate not only of my own group, as Snyder puts it, but also the history of others.  That wasn’t easy either.


Timothy Snyder

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Category : Historical Lithuania

- (0) Comment

Vilnius – the city built
on human bones


Remains of a Grand Armée Soldier buried in Vilnius.
The skull of a Napoleonic soldier, who died during the French army's
1812 retreat from Moscow, discovered on a Vilnius construction site.

Picture: AFP/CNRS/Universite de la Mediterranee/Pascal Adalian

Vilnius, venerable capital of Lithuania, is sometimes called 'the city built on human bones'. It stands in the main Berlin to Moscow corridor, which for over 200 years has been the battlefields of the armies of Napoleon, the Tsars of Russia, Hitler and Stalin, as well as Poles and Prussians - hence its sinister description.

Early in 2002, while bulldozing some ugly Soviet barracks on the outskirts of Vilnius, municipal workers uncovered a mass grave. Thousands of skeletons were discovered there, laid out neatly in layers. Where did these bones come from? Were they those of Jews, massacred by the Nazis? No. For here's a metal button, with '61' stamped on it. Here's another, stamped '29'. And here's a patch of an ancient uniform, once blue. Also to be seen is a gold 20-franc coin from Napoleonic times, and a 'shako' (a French infantryman's helmet), squashed flat.

The drivers of the bulldozers stopped in their work. This was news - archaeological news - and these were the remains of some of the men that Napoleon had led into Russia in his pursuit of world supremacy in 1812.

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Category : Front page / Historical Lithuania

No flowers for Smetona

- (13) Comment

 
Ohio crypt holds remains of first Lithuanian President,
yet he has been forgotten here in a Mausoleum tucked
away in a Catholic Cemetery east of Cleveland, USA.

By Frank Passic

There are no flowers at his crypt, although the Mausoleum is filled with them on the vaults of others nearby. He was the President, yet you would not know that by reading the simple inscription found upon his nameplate. His image was on a coin, a banknote, various stamps and medals. Yet he has been forgotten here in a Mausoleum tucked away in a Catholic Cemetery east of Cleveland, Ohio, USA.

His body has already been moved once since his death. But his remains haven’t been taken back to Lithuania since Lithuanian independence was restored, unlike the remains of his counterpart, President Kazys Grinius’ were. So his remains lay here in Ohio, far away from the country he loved and served.

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Category : Historical Lithuania / Lithuania in the world

- (0) Comment

A brief chronology

2000 B.C. Lithuanian ancestors settle along the Baltic coast.

1009 A.D. Lithuania is first mentioned in chronicles. Lithuanians already have a reputation as fierce warriors.

1200 While much of Europe has already converted to Christianity, Lithuania is still pagan and will remain so for several hundred more years. Lithuanians believed fire embodies the divine. A sacred flameis kept at a Vilnius temple tended to by vestal virgins. If they break their vows of chastity or the flame goes out, the penalty is death.

1236 Lithuania is united by Mindaugas and later crowned king. Unification helps Lithuania fend off German crusaders.

1323 Vilnius founded by Grand Duke Gediminas.

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Category : Historical Lithuania

A world superpower for 300 years

- (7) Comment

Grand Duchy of Lithuania, year 1500

“Lithuania was a superpower much longer than USA has been“. This is how I often tease my American friends arriving in Vilnius. But the teasing is in fact not so far away from reality, as the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (GDL) for 300 years was one of the leading and largest nations of the World – most probably Europe’s by then largest nation – stretching from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea.

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Category : Historical Lithuania

- (1) Comment

The Polish-Lithuanian
War 1919-1920

A series of articles in 4 parts


By Vincas Karnila, Associate editor
vin.karnila@VilNews.com


South-eastern Lithuania, Vilnius included, was occupied by Poland during the interwar period.
Picture: Celebration of the incorporation of Vilnius Region to Poland, 1922.

The Polish–Lithuanian War was an armed conflict between Lithuania and Poland in the aftermath of World War I and Lithuania's declaration of independence 16 February 1918.

The conflict primarily concerned territorial control of the Vilnius Region, including Vilnius, and the Suwałki Region, including the towns of Suwałki, Augustów, and Sejny. According to Lithuanian historians, the war was part of the Lithuanian Wars of Independence and spanned from spring 1919 to November 1920. According to Poland, the war included only fighting over the Suwałki Region in September–October 1920 and was part of the Polish–Soviet War.

After Vilnius was occupied by the Russian Bolsheviks in 1919, the government of the Republic of Lithuania established its main base in Kaunas. When Vilnius was forcibly annexed by Poland, Kaunas became the temporary capital of Lithuania, a position it held until 28 October 1939, when the Red Army handed Vilnius back to Lithuania. The Constituent Assembly of Lithuania first met in Kaunas on 15 May 1920. There were no diplomatic relations between Poland and Lithuania until 1938.

Part 1 – THE BUILD UP
World War I ended on November 11, 1918 when Germany signed the Compiègne Armistice. On November 13, Soviet Russia renounced the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk. Most of today's Poland, Belarus, Ukraine and the Baltic States were passed to the government of Germany, which in turn decided to grant these states limited independence as buffer states) and began the Soviet westward offensive of 1918–1919.

Part 2 – ADVANCES and RETREATS
In April 1920 Poland launched the large-scale Kiev Offensive in hopes to capture Ukraine. Initially successful, the Polish Army started retreating after Russian counterattacks in early June 1920. Soon the Soviet forces began to threaten Poland's independence as they reached and crossed the Polish borders. 

Part 3 – STRUGGLES for the VILNIUS REGION
Polish chief of state Jozef Pilsudski ordered his subordinate, General Lucjan Zeligowski, to stage a mutiny with his 1st Lithuanian–Belarusian Division (16 battalions with 14,000 soldiers) in Lida and capture Vilnius in fait accompli. 

Part 4 – THE AFTERMATH
In March 1921, the plans for a referendum vote were abandoned. Neither Lithuania, which was afraid of a negative result, nor Poland, which saw no reason to change status quo, wanted it. The parties could not agree in which territory to carry out the vote and how Żeligowski's forces should be replaced by the League's forces. The League of Nations then moved on from trying to solve the narrow territorial dispute in the Vilnius Region to shaping the fundamental relationship between Poland and Lithuania.

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Category : Historical Lithuania

The Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic

- (2) Comment


Flag of Lithuanian SSR.

The Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic (Lithuanian: Lietuvos Tarybų Socialistinė Respublika; Russian: Литовская Советская Социалистическая Республика, Litovskaya Sovetskaya Sotsialisticheskaya Respublika), also known as the Lithuanian SSR, was one of the republics that made up the former Soviet Union. Established on 21 July 1940 as a puppet state during World War II in the territory of the previously independent Republic of Lithuania after it had been occupied by the Soviet army on 16 June 1940 in conformity with the terms of 23 August 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, it existed until 1990.

Video: National anthem of Lithuanian SSR

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Category : Historical Lithuania

- (0) Comment

How did communism influence Lithuania’s economic development?

A report by: Valdas Samonis
The Institute for New Economic Thinking, USA


Photo: http://www.landesa.org/where-we-work/more/lithuania/

In 1940, independent Lithuania produced per capita 1.9 times more meat, 2.8 times more milk, had 1.9 times more cattle and 2.7 times more pigs than Soviet Union. After 50 years of allegedly astounding economic progress, Soviet Lithuania had become dependent on subsidies from Moscow. To the extent that this assertion is true, how is this possible if not for the inefficiencies caused by the forcefully imposed system of central planning with its associated distortions?

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Category : Front page / Historical Lithuania


OPINIONS

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



    • 1941 – 1953:
      300 000 Lithuanians deported to Siberia
      The above picture, of innocent children looking out through a cattle car window from a train that would take them to the coldest hell on Earth, has touched many…

      60 - 70 years ago thousands of Lithuanian families 'celebrated' Christmas on the Siberian permafrost... In tents or shelters... 

      Below some of the comments we have received to our articles describing how it was to be deported and trying to survive in the terribly tough and inhuman conditions that Siberia offered for the hundreds of thousands brought there by Josef Stalin’s merciless forces.

      To read the articles, go to our SECTION 10

      Read more...

    • If you like horror stories, read this. You wouldn’t believe it if it wasn’t true

      Matthew Valentinas  
      via LTnews.net
      Read more...

    • 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
      Read more...

    • 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.
      Read more...

    • 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...
      Read more...

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

    • 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!
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    • What a refreshing read!

      What a refreshing read! I understand that it is important to focus on current issues, surrounding socio-economic/political issues, but it is also excellent to satisfy the car enthusiasts amongst us. Being one myself, I really enjoyed this issue and will add it to the rest of my VilNews archives!!!

      Any chance of a future issue, containing all of the movies that have been made in Lithuania recently? Or perhaps a more current list of all the Lithuanians, who are shaking up the international arena?

      Regards,
      Eugene Rangayah
      London

    • Exceptionally well written article

      Exceptionally well written article by Vin Karila.
      How and may I share this article with my friends on The Lithuanian Rat Pack on Facebook and YahooGroups?

      Rimgaudas P. Vidziunas
      Mesa, Arizona

    • My 1978 Lada in New Zealand

      Letter from John Iavas - New Zealand

      Dear Vin Karnila,

      A friend of mine whose brother lives in Lithuania sent me a copy of your article Back to the USSR in Vilnews which I read with interest. Regarding your comments on buying cars during Soviet times reminded me that when my father purchased his car in 1969 (and for many years after), it was not possible to buy a new car in New Zealand unless you had access to overseas funds, which meant that you had to be someone like a dairy farmer who was exporting. At that time, some people would ask their relatives who were farmers to buy cars on their behalf, and then pay them back. In the neighbourhood in which I lived for example, the daughter of only one family had a new car as her husband was a farmer. In fact, they bought a new car (GM Holdens made in Australia) every couple of years. My father ended up buying a 1965 MK III Ford Zodiac imported from the UK by its first owner and I still own it. It is in original condition and has appeared in two UK car magazines. I also have a rare 1972 Volvo 164 (with only 42,000 mls) which I bought several years ago.

      My daily car is a 1978 Lada 21031 (1500cc) which I have had since 1987 and used almost every day until recently…

      Read more...

    • 1939: The Year that Changed Everything in Lithuania's History


      Book author: Sarunas Liekis

      In a commentary to our VilNews article series "Lithuania and the Soviet Union 1939-1940" (Section 10 - HISTORICAL LITHUANIA) Tony Mazeika from Mission Viejo in California writes the following:

      "It is necessary to read the full account of Lithuania's leadership response to Soviet demands and occupation in 1940. The book, "1939, The Year that Changed Everything in Lithuania's History", Arnas Liekis, reveals the unflattering response by the top leadership, their abdication, and flight from the nation, leaving the population defenseless...without any responsible and effective resistance. It's as if independence never happened. Lithuania, together with Latvia & Estonia, make no formal military resistance knowing that Finland fought in 1939-1940 and survived a Soviet onslaught. Much more need to be disclosed about those "patriots" who chose to run rather than fight for their nation."


      Tony Mazeika

    • Our VilNews Associate Editor, Vin Karnila, has edited the four articles we have presented on the topic "Lithuania and the Soviet Union 1939-1940" from the personal memoirs of Juozas Urbšys. Here is his response to Mr. Mazeika's commentary:

      Easy to say that they should have organized formal Military resistance – and get slaughtered


      Vin Karnila

      I would like to thank you Mr. Mazeika for sharing your thoughts with us and making us aware of what I'm sure is a very interesting book written by Arnas Liekis.

      You bring up a topic that has been discussed many times throughout the years following 1940. The members of the Lithuanian delegation that were involved in the negotiations with Russia have always claimed that they knew that Russia at any time they chose could have invaded Lithuania. They also felt that if Russia did in fact invade, whether there was organized military resistance or not, this would result in catastrophic consequences for Lithuania and its people. Throughout the negotiations they said that what they were trying to achieve was the best possible outcome for Lithuania. In the end what they achieved was the best possible outcome that Russia would allow.

      The topic of the courageous people of Finland and their organized military resistance to Russia's invasion of their homeland in relation to the fact that Russia's invasion of Lithuania in 1940 occurred without a shot being fired has also been discussed many times. The question remains how much did Lithuania know or did not know about Finland's armed resistance to Russia in what is known as the "Winter War"?

      3 October 1939 the Lithuanian delegation flew to Moscow to begin the negotiations with Russia. 30 November 1939 Russia attacked Finland to begin the "Winter War". By March of 1940 both sides began to negotiate a peace treaty. Did Lithuania know that in spite of the great courage of the Finns the primary factor in Finland's success was that the Winter War was fought in some of the harshest of winter weather conditions and in equally harsh terrain? This harsh terrain the Finns knew like the back of their hand and the weather conditions to them was normal winter weather? Did Lithuania know that if Russia attacked across the gentle rolling hills and flat farmlands of Lithuania in spring or summer that the advantage of weather and terrain, that so greatly helped the Finns, would only make Russia's evil task easier? An invasion of Lithuania by Russia in the spring or summer of 1940 would have been a military situation completely the opposite of the Finland's and Russia's Winter War. Did Lithuania know that whatever peace agreement Finland and Russia came to that it would end up being short lived? Had Lithuania taken notice of the fact that no Western power had come to Finland's aid with any meaningful support? From all reports, Lithuania realized that their Military, no matter how courageously they fought, was no match against the might of Soviet Russia's army.

      Many comments have been made and questions asked about the large number of government and Military top officials that left after 15 June 1940. Why didn't they stay? Why didn't they stay and resist? How could they leave their homeland? I would say that the real answers to these questions can only be answered by these top officials that left. Some left almost immediately as if they knew what would happen once Russia occupied the country. Others left after they saw what Russia was doing now that they occupied the country. In fact many people that had the means to do so left once they understood what their future would be at the hands of Russia.

      All these questions to all these situations I have asked myself over and over. Again and again I come to the conclusion that more than seventy years after these events occurred, while I'm sitting in the comfort of my home and while I can walk the streets of Vilnius without (for the time being) having to worry about being run over by a Russian tank, shot by a Russian soldier, kidnapped by the NKVD, put in a gulag or executed, I am really not in a position to judge people who were trying to do the best they could for our country and simply trying to survive during very difficult and dangerous times. I guess it could be kind of easy for some to say that they should have organized formal Military resistance – and got slaughtered. It could also be easy for some to say that the top officials and the people of means should have stayed – and got executed, imprisoned, put in gulags or sent to Siberia. Personally I can't judge these people for their actions because I wasn't alive then and I wasn't involved in these dangerous and difficult times. I also refuse to be a "Monday morning quarterback" and go on and on talking about all of the "should haves" for the same reasons I just stated. The opinions of others about these matters though are something I am very interested in.

      Having said all this I must say that the discussion of what happened, what did not happen, why it did happen and why it didn't happen during these times are matters that will continue to occupy my thoughts – I'm still trying to understand and make sense of all of it. Again I would like to thank you Mr. Mazeika for sharing your thoughts with all of us and I would also like to thank you for letting us know about the book by Arnas Liekis - 1939, The Year that Changed Everything in Lithuania's History. I'm sure that I am not the only one out there looking for more information about this period of Lithuania's history and I'm sure that I'm not the only one looking for more information about this so that I can try to make more sense of everything.

      Dear readers, I'm sure that Mr. Mazeika and I are not the only ones out there that are interested in what happened during these times and we are not the only ones with opinions. We would please invite you to share information and your opinions on this topic with all our readers throughout the world. I'm sure this is something we all are trying to understand better.

      Su pagarbe
      Vin Karnila
      Associate editor

    • You reduced me to tears with your addition of one Song of Freedom by Lithuanian fighters

      Wall of former KGB headquarters (now museum) in Vilnius. Each stone is engraved with the name of a Lithuanian partisan who was executed by the Soviets.

      You reduced me to tears with your addition of one Song of Freedom by Lithuanian fighters [Oh little falcon].

      Those songs, sung by my family in secret when I was a kid, still ring in my ears today, e.g. about the Kalniske battle or about the Soviet murdered freedom fighters whose bloodied bodies were put by the NKVD for display and further humiliation in the Lithuanian town squares:

      "Pagulde Tave ant akmeneliu, o aplink Tave kraujo klanai
      Ir neatejo nei Motinele, nei Tavo Broliai narsus kariai".


      Valdas Samonis,
      Canada

    • Aciu Tetei ir Mamytiai!



      Thank you for posting this article which so affected my parents' post-war years in Germany and later in the US. I think they felt guilty for abandoning their homeland and relieved that they had gotten to freedom. What they did not leave behind is their love for Lietuva which they worked hard to pass on to their children. Aciu Tetei ir Mamytiai!
      Jurate Kutkus Burns

    • Very good article. Thank you Aage!

      Very good article. Thank you Aage!
      Lina Petrauskaite Rumskiene

    • "The inconvenient truth is that you in the West preferred not to know"


      One of the many killed Lithuanian partisans, Juozas Luksa – "Skirmantas", "Daumantas", after his death on the 4th of September 1951.

      You in the West preferred not to know, "the inconvenient truth" is.

      I learned that the hard way, from my grandparents & other family who closely worked with Skirmantas and other top Lithuanian freedom war leaders in the Seinai-Punskas (Sejny-Punsk), Poland, during their secret border crossing missions to the West (via Gdansk and Warsaw) and back to Lithuania in 1946-50. My family was put in hard-regime prisons for that, all the hard earned property confiscated, and I was born a communist slave, so to speak. While in high school I rebelled against the Soviet occupation of Lithuania, was arrested and thrown out of school, persecuted for a long time by communist secret services, and finally made my way to the West: Glory Be to God!
      Yours sincerely,
      Valdas Samonis,
      Canada


      P.S. My family was decorated with Lithuania's top freedom medals by President Adamkus. I was officially recognized by free Poland (IPN) as the freedom activist persecuted by the communist regime.

    • BUT THE SPIRIT OF LITHUANIA IS STILL NOT FREE

      Hi Aage,

      I found your article interesting and would like to get more of them. After looking at those young faces, who lost their lives for the freedom of Lithuania, I realize that these days we have freedom, but the spirit of Lithuanian is still not free, rather haunted by the past challenging experiences. I believe that eventually we will become free and will start feeling worthy again.

      Sincerely,
      Aušra, USA

    • IN MY OPINION IT IS A MISTAKE TO CONFUSE RESISTANCE TO OCCUPATION AND THE SECOND WORLD WAR



      Dear Aage

      The Second World War in Europe was a war fought against fascism – in particular the German variant exemplified by Nazism – and including also Italian fascism. The Second World War in Europe ended with the surrender of Germany; a surrender to which Russia was the major contributor because Germany was largely defeated at Stalingrad and Kursk and was always in retreat afterwards.
      The Resistance in Lithuania against Soviet occupation was a heroic effort by some Lithuanians to obtain freedom for their country. In my opinion it is a mistake to confuse resistance to occupation and the Second World War. After the end of the Second World War there have been many occupations of many countries by Capitalist and Communist powers and each side has tried to characterise any resistance to its forces as an act of the 'Other' side.

      Resistance to Occupation has a very long and courageous history in Europe and throughout the world and no 'side' has a right to claim the heroic activities of resistance fighters/activists to support its ideology. Inevitably that requires misrepresentation of the motives and objectives of the resistance; part of the theme of the book "The Ugly American" about the then developing Vietnamese war. It is also the type of misrepresentation that leads to one 'side' claiming "We are all Georgians now".
      This misrepresentation is a major cause of the inability of 'Western' countries to think in any clear way about the activities grouped under the label of 'terrorism' and it is better to avoid such ideologically driven commentary/analysis.

      Kindest Regards
      Robert Jennings, Ireland-Lithuania

    • UNFORTUNATELY YOU ARE GIVING SOME CREDIT TO THE BRITISH INTELLIGENCE



      Dear Aage,
      Thank you for the very moving story about the post WWII partisans. Unfortunately on page 6 you are giving some credit to the British intelligence, even though later on you mention Philby as having been responsible for the vicious death of thousands of the Baltic partisans. In fact the entire top levels of MI5 and MI6 since late 30's through early 70s were thoroughly penetrated by Britishers serving the soviet espionage services. Peter Wright in his book "the Spycatcher" identified Maclean, Burgess, Blake, Sinclair, Roger Hollis and numerous others who participated in setting up contacts with the partisans while assuring that the KGB was in full knowledge and control of their every movement and contact. Unfortunately, the doomed fighters sincerely believed for a long time that the British were on their side while being betrayed and delivered into the hands of the KGB.
      In my view, it is also the British who have much to apologize to the thousands and thousands of victims for the vicious treachery in peace time of their MI5 and MI6 services.

      Stan Backaitis
      Washington, D.C. , USA



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