|1. Baltic Pride, Russian
By Nina Chugunova
During my university years in Moscow it was a treat
to take a trip to our West-the Baltics. They weren't like Russia.
They were clean and green. Their cities were pockets of European
culture, where Soviet film-makers shot their Paris and London scenes.
To Russian students, the Baltics represented Europe and freedom.
We, who had no opportunity to see the world, reveled in the experience
of being foreigners-unwanted foreigners. The natives didn't like
Russians or the Russian language. And they didn't like us in a special
kind of way: they avoided us.
We enjoyed being ignored. We liked being the untouchables. It was
such a relief from the way we were treated at home. There, from the
earliest days of childhood, we were never let alone. There we could
be scolded for our outfits on the street. There people with flashlights
could walk into our dormitories in the middle of the night to conduct
passport checks. It was a relief to escape temporarily to the cold
It was even more remarkable when Balts spoke in anger: "Russians
will never be able to learn our language!" my college roommate
said, even before we had settled in the dormitory. The bitter hatred
in her voice stunned me. An Uzbek would not have spoken that way,
nor a Kirghiz, nor a Ukrainian. No one else would have dared to say
the 1970s- not after the Tashkent Conference had made Russian the
official language throughout the Soviet Union.
Still the Balts spoke their own languages. A Russian felt flattered
if an Estonian or a Lithuanian spoke to him without resorting to
the Russian language. It meant he had been taken for a native, for
a civilized person! In all the other corners of the boundless Soviet
Union, the Russians were the bosses, the smart ones, the civilized
ones. In the Baltics a Russian could never, ever feel that way.
For more than four decades the "Soviet Baltics" separated
Russia from Europe. Europeans paid little attention to political
events in Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia because they were of no
significance to European politics.
When the West did cast its eyes on the Soviet Union, Moscow was the
object of its scrutiny; Moscow, where the action was; Moscow, which
could inspire fear or offer hope. The three little Baltic nations
were merely a spot on the map.
We, the Russian Soviets, had an equally vague but different idea
about Baltic politics. We knew something of the "brothers of
the forest," the Baltic partisans ("bandits" in Soviet
history books). These were the Lithuanian patriots who fled to the
forests in the 1940s, from which they attacked Soviet organizations
and killed Soviet administrators.
We knew it took a long time to get rid of these brothers of the forest-
the unrest continued into the early 1960s. But what did their persistent
resistance mean? Unfortunately, we rarely looked beyond university
textbooks, where, instead of answers, it was dutifully reported that
Lenin's office had been guarded by "faithful Lithuanian riflemen," a
fact repeatedly stressed by Soviet historians.
In 1988, the giant "Baltic Path" demonstration jolted Europe.
Europeans suddenly saw a stream of blue-eyed people illuminated by
candlelight, wearing white garments, crying and holding hands in
a human chain that went unbroken for hundreds of kilometers along
the Baltic Sea. It was an elegant way of signaling to the outside-or
perhaps it was meant only as an internal affirmation of Baltic pride.
A year and a half later, the Baltic republics, one after another,
declared their independence from the Soviet Union. (The other republics'
swift "parade of sovereignties" followed immediately.)
I think it is no coincidence that the disintegration of the Soviet
Union began at its Western borders, and no coincidence that the greatest
armed response to disintegration that the dying giant mustered was
a foray into Lithuania.
The Baltics are a prism through which it is possible to glimpse hidden
knowledge of Russia's past and present, its nightmares and its reality.
Russia and the Baltics have had a peculiar relationship for a long
The Balts were not Slavs, whatever Alexandr Pushkin, the great
Russian poet, may have claimed. Pushkin's mistake is revealing, though:
Russia has long played a political game with the origins of the Balts,
their relations with one another and with the Slavs. In his poem
To Slanderers of Russia, Pushkin-who saw freedom as a necessary condition
of life, not a luxury-dismissed the same striving in the Baltics
with an arrogance born of Russian imperialism.
The Baltic languages are neither Slavic nor Germanic in origin. Estonian
belongs to the Finno-Urgic family of languages. Latvian borrows from
Lithuanian, as French does from Spanish. All three languages use
the Latin script, not the Russian Cyrillic. Russian has more in common
with English than with Estonian.
The Baltics have been the site of conflict since ancient times, and
the Baltic people have rarely been independent since the fifteenth
century. In the eighteenth century the Russian Empire owned the land,
but it put local administration into the hands of German- and Polish-speaking
nobility. The Lithuanian peasants refused to speak Polish just as
they would later refuse to speak Russian.
The Balts may have buried generations of defenders and patriots,
but they did not bury their national identity. The people kept the
sense of nation through every political change. The Balts managed
to keep their own languages and cultures, which inspired a combination
of hatred and admiration, suspicion and curiosity in their Russian
neighbor. Their fierce independence gave Moscow an inferiority
After the Russian revolution, all three Baltic republics fought against
Soviet Russia from 1918 to 1920. They were independent for 20 years,
a successful period in contrast to what preceded it and what followed,
even though the times were marked by the Great Depression, as well
as by the rise of fascism and communism. In 1939, Hitler "ceded" the
Baltics to Stalin as part of the German-Soviet non-aggression pact,
and annexation followed in 1940. With Soviet colonization, the Baltics
soon fell behind neighboring Finland and Sweden in standard of living.
Worse yet, war and the deportation of
the "politically unreliable" reduced the population by
From the moment Soviet Russia was born, it built internal and
external barricades. The barricades inside were the camps for workers
created by the giant Soviet industries; the collective farms were
camps for peasants. The annexed European nations formed a protective
shield against the West.
According to Soviet historians and Soviet propaganda, new Soviet
republics always resulted from age-old friendships and the irresistible
inclination of nations to unite. A nation's entry into "the
family of Soviet peoples" was invariably said to be accompanied
by a flourishing of its economy and culture. But "age-old friendship" covered
a multitude of motivations and means of expansion.
The Baltics were seized openly, in full view of Europe. Still, "age-old
friendship" was trotted out to cover over centuries of animosity.
A 1970s Russian textbook, A Short Course of Soviet History, makes
for ironic reading: "The working class and the working peasantry
of the Baltics remembered that their government was overthrown in
191819 with the military aid of imperialistic countries. Conscientious
and brave representatives of the working class and peasantry, united
into communist parties, led a struggle against the bourgeoisie for
the restoration of Soviet power for over 20 years."
And on the Soviet arrival: "In June of 1940 the streets of large
proletarian centers: Riga, Tallinn, Kaunas, and Vilnius were filled
with thousands of demonstrating workers. They were liberating political
prisoners, creating armed detachments, occupying government buildings.
People were fraternizing passionately with Red Army soldiers who
were here on agreement between the Soviet Union and the governments
of these countries."
It is true that in 1939 communist movements did exist in the Baltic
countries (as they did in much of Europe). But the secret pact with
Hitler that allowed Soviet troops to enter these countries had nothing
to do with this movement. "Fraternization" meant nothing
The hated Soviet takeover remains a painful memory in the Baltics
because it took place without a single shot being fired in defense.
It's no surprise that from the first moment they declared independence
in 1990, each Baltic country began to assemble its own small army.
Lithuania's army was designed "to meet possible occupation by
an act of resistance."
Lithuania was hardly being paranoid. The latest example of the Soviet
Union's "brotherly help" to other nations had occurred
most recently in pure form in Afghanistan in 1979, when Afghan leader
Hafizullah Amin was smothered by his brotherly helpers with his own
silk pillows in his own palace. Meanwhile, a special division of
the Soviet troops Hamin allegedly asked into his country perpetrated
a terrible slaughter outside the palace gates.
The Baltics' socialist life began with a Soviet rewrite of their
history, inserting an ancient Russian claim to the land:
In its struggle against the German knights, the Great Princedom of
Lithuania used people from the Russian lands they had seized. The
Great Princedom of Lithuania was a Lithuanian-Russian state in its
territories, population, and culture."
After annexation, young Russians, builders of communism-people
without sadness or doubt-went to the Lithuanian "frontier." They
built man-made lakes in place of Lithuanian villages. They built
factories and an atomic power station-Ignalina, a sister in design
to Chernobyl. The Soviet Union called this process "the conquest
of virgin soils."
Many Balts, Lithuanians especially, were quickly and pitilessly deported
to Siberia because of their so-called anti-socialist inclinations,
because they thought their land was being violated. (Lithuania, of
course, was not singled out. The Russian nation itself suffered such
deportations during the massive collectivization. In this way the
Soviets made everyone equal: All nations had equal rights to prison
cells and Siberian camps.)
By the 1970s no written work, document, dissertation, or book was
reviewed unless it was written in Russian. When we traveled to the
Baltics to get a break from school, the Balts greeted us in silence.
In the Baltics, dignity was the measure of resistance.
During the Soviet years, the Baltics- the Soviet "West"-worked
hard and put out products that helped Moscow maintain its habits
and its desire to live better then the rest of the Soviet Union.
Petersburg (Leningrad), another city that enjoyed living off the
efforts of others, was also drawn to the Baltics.
In turn, the Baltic republics made themselves indispensable to Moscow
and Petersburg. (It helped that Baltic farmers failed to adopt the
habits of Russian collective farm workers, who stole and drank with
a passion for self-destruction.)
The bureaucrats knew how to take advantage of the situation. During
the Brezhnev years, party bureaucrats from the Baltics carried suitcases
filled with meat and vodka when they traveled to Moscow on business.
As a result, local ministries had more rubles than they knew what
to do with and did practically anything they wanted at home.
In the meantime, the Baltics' natural resources were pushed to their
limits. Lithuanians had always been proud of how well they tended
their land, how much they made it produce. But under Soviet occupation,
Baltic farmers used so much fertilizer that the land started falling
The dissident movement in the Soviet Union began in the 1960s. But
no such movement could be identified in the Baltics.
Why couldn't we see a dissident movement in the Baltics? Because
we couldn't see the forest for the trees. The Balts were already
the Soviet dissidents. Ordinary people, intellectuals-who fed their
spirituality with emigrant literature and Catholic underground chronicles-even
party bureaucrats who collaborated but never believed, were all united
in opposition to the Soviets. No one needed
to be a dissident; the nations were undivided.
The consciousness of being under occupation helped save these nations
from the worst effects of the Soviet life-style and ways of thinking.
The Balts lived under an imposed regime but never accepted it. Their
struggle was never within themselves the way it was for Russians.
They were consistently and solidly opposed to the Soviet regime.
The conscience of the Balts remained clear. We, the Russians, can
only envy them. In Russia, what we did, we did to ourselves.
Did Gorbachev's coming to power change Moscow's attitude toward the
Baltics? Not at all. Gorbachev moved Soviet thinking forward in other
areas, but with regard to the Baltic republics, he shared the limits
of Soviet thought.
In the end, the Baltics were liberated by pure chance-their
independence served a purpose in the power struggle in the Kremlin.
Russia gave them up in order to become the free successor to the
Soviet Union. Russia had to be "the liberator"-or it would
simply have been liberated along with everyone else. Russia needed
to hand out the flowers of liberty to prove it was still an empire.
Boris Yeltsin's chance came during the events of January 13, 1991,
when Russian troops tried to retake control in Vilnius. Yeltsin condemned
Mikhail Gorbachev and the armed attack on the Lithuanian people so
eloquently that even his speech from the top of a tank during the
August coup in Moscow did not overshadow it.
People gathered around the parliament building in Vilnius and
cheered: "Yeltsin! Lithuania! Russia! Landsberghis!" There
was really no need for the August coup; Gorbachev's political career
was finished in January.
I don't believe even Yeltsin would have been able to let the Baltics
go had it not been for this set of political circumstances. He too
would have found it unthinkable.
Moscow's ambivalence about Lithuania goes back to a time long ago
when Lithuania overshadowed Russia. Lithuania's position on the map
is critical-it clings to the Baltic Sea. It is difficult to bypass
it on the way to Europe. "It is like a fish bone in the throat," goes
one Russian saying.
Lithuania was always the irresistible obstacle for Greater Poland
and Imperial Russia. As far as they were concerned, the solution
to "the Lithuanian problem" was annihilation or conquest.
Russia's troubled history with Lithuania reveals the psychology of
nearly every Russian ruler from Ivan the Terrible to Gorbachev. They
saw secret danger, self-interest, and intrigue in their proud and
civilized neighbor. Tsar Alexander, a well-educated and civilized
monarch who conquered Lithuania, felt this way. (When Stalin sent
troops in to "help" this neighbor, he felt the same way.)
The tsar heard falseness in German-sounding Lithuanian speech. His
eyes detected knives concealed in the opulent caftans of Lithuanian
ambassadors. It seems to me that even the Tatars who ruled over Russia
for an entire century were more comprehensible to the Russian princes:
The Russians and the Tatars shared an Asian sensibility;
Lithuania was Western, alien.
To Russia, the dividing line between Asia and Europe runs through
Lithuania-is Lithuania. Russia marched through it on its way toward
European adventures, or fought there to block Europe from Asian conquests.
The Baltics-and Lithuania in particular-have denied Russia a place
in Europe, geopolitically and emotionally. Lithuania is a European
nation-but to Russians it has no right to the label.
The first time I visited the Baltics after my university years was
in 1988. I was surprised by the abundance of national flags, an even
greater coldness toward us Russians, and the nervous expectation
of Soviet tanks. A friendly Lithuanian was one who was willing to
recite the history of Russian aggression, occupation, and their nation's
In the fall of that year, Lithuania was preparing a number of
expeditions to Siberia to bring back the bodies of countrymen who
had been deported in the 1950s. Everyone complained about all the
obstacles Soviet bureaucrats were putting in the way.
Lithuania seemed enlivened and inspired. When I returned to Moscow
I tried to keep up on what was happening, but for almost an entire
year the Central Committee of the Lithuanian Communist Party censored
all publications about Lithuania. When I wrote a biographical article
about Romualdas Ozolos, an independent politician I had interviewed
there, the censor described him as an "undesirable figure."
On March 11, 1990, I was on a train, headed in another direction.
The radio was on. I heard the news that Lithuania had announced its
independence. I changed the destination of my trip to be able to
report Ozolos's understated message to the Lithuanian Parliament: "Everything
is going well."
I remember the rejoicing in the streets. Everyone was saying that
tomorrow they would be happy. "We will live as they do in Finland!" they
But on the train back to Moscow I heard an angry Russian yelling: "I
am the boss in Lithuania! I am the boss!" From the radio came
the words of a Russian commentator, reporting that one of the Soviet
leaders said he could not accept Lithuanian independence. Gorbachev,
on the other hand, was still deliberating. But it didn't take him
long to make a decision. Less than a year later, in January 1991,
Soviet troops spilled Lithuanian blood.
Russia could not accept the loss of Lithuania-but Lithuania was only
the first in line. Careful Estonia was the next to declare independence,
then half-Russian Latvia. Finally, Gorbachev made the choice that
ultimately sealed his political fate. He declared the
Baltic declarations of independence to be illegal, and initiated
an economic blockade of Lithuania. (Russia also set up "defense
committees," tried to provoke violence in Lithuania, and manipulated
Russian public opinion.)
In turn, Lithuanians were torn between their need to remain rational
and a sense of revolutionary zeal. At the end of 1990, Ozolos told
me that bloodshed was inevitable. "It will occur simply," he
said. "Soviet paratroopers will enter the Soviet of Ministers." He
was right. Later I was to see Russian soldiers march through the
streets of Vilnius under a banner that read: "No to extremism."
In the official Russian press, "extremism" means the desire
for national independence. To the newly "independent" press
in Russia, the Baltics were suddenly a very dangerous topic, more
dangerous than Joseph Stalin. Articles about the Baltics "being
even farther away from independence than they were before" appeared
on the pages of these publications with alarming frequency.
On January 12, 1991, photojournalist Yevgeny Stetsko-my husband-and
I heard alarming reports about events in Vilnius. We wanted to cover
the story, but the roads were already closed. Trains were no longer
going to Vilnius. So we went to Belarus, and from there managed to
cross the border into Lithuania to catch a train. At the train station
in Vilnius, Ozolos's aide, a young university student, ran up to
me and exclaimed, "It's possible everything is already finished."
We drove quickly on the empty highway. The radio was broadcasting
an announcement by the just-appointed commander of Vilnius, a Soviet
officer. He said that authority in Lithuania was being transferred
to a special defense committee. We didn't know what this meant to
the independent Lithuanian government, which had been "dismissed" a
days earlier, allegedly because the population was "indignant
at the rise in prices."
The "dismissed" parliament was, of course, still meeting.
concrete blocks had been placed around the parliament building to
protect it from Soviet tanks. Using our press passes, we got in and
made our way to the press box. Parliament was already in session.
I saw the pale face of Ozolos, whose son had been killed on New Year's
two weeks earlier.
As evening turned into night, the names of journalists who remained
in the building were recorded. We were given gas masks. People were
sleeping on the floor or roaming through the corridors. The air was
thick with cigarette smoke.
The members of the parliament seemed cool. Prime Minister Kazimiera
Prunskene wore a dress adorned with a crisp white lace collar. "We
will be able to die with dignity because we've always been ready
for that." I had heard these words before, in 1988 and 1989,
when Lithuanians were waiting for Soviet tanks that we Russians believed
existed only in their imaginations.
Although a handful of demonstrators had been killed in Tbilisi in
Georgia in 1990, we still thought: Not in the Baltics. They wouldn't
In spite of the curfew, during the night people gathered around the
parliament building and encircled it tightly with their bodies. We
didn't bother to wear our gas masks-if the tanks came, a gas mask
would be nothing but a toy defense. I remember my fear. It resembled
a sudden migraine attack against which you can't fight. The only
thing you can do is try to save face.
Today it's commonly believed that it was the presence of more than
200 news correspondents in Lithuania that prevented the Soviets from
storming parliament. The world had already seen enough bloodshed
on New Year's night, when Lithuanians had tried to prevent the Soviet
takeover of the television station.
Every one of us former Soviets said good-bye to the Soviet Union
at our own specific moment. For me, it was during those frozen January
days, when I looked at the tops of the iron spikes of the man-made
barrier around the parliament building. There, a multitude of abandoned
party membership cards had been pinned like dead butterflies.
Back to Table
|2. “THE IMMIGRANT AS DIPLOMAT: Ethnicity, Nationalism, and
the Shaping of Foreign Policy in the Lithuanian-American Community,
By Gary Hartman, Ph.D.
Southwest Texas State University
This 258-page English language scholarly work, with
40 historical photographs, deals with the Lithuanian-American life
from 1870 to 1922. It was recently published by the Lithuanian Research
and Studies Center, Chicago, IL. under a Grant from the Lithuanian
Gary Hartman’s latest book should be of very great interest
to persons of Lithuanian descent and to scholars studying various
ethnic groups in America.
The book is divided into seven chapters:
Chapter 1: The Lithuanian Migration to America,
Chapter 2: The Early Lithuanian-American Nationalist Movement, 1870-1918;
Chapter 3: Image Building: Reconciling Lithuanianism with 100 Percent
Chapter 4: Background to U.S.-Lithuanian Relations
Chapter 5: U.S. Policymakers and the Question of Lithuanian Independence,
Chapter 6: From Factionalism to Unity: The Clerical-Nationalist Alliance,
Chapter 7: Toward Recognition.
The author, Gary Hartman, who is not of Lithuanian descent, earned
his Ph.D. in History in 1996 from the University of Texas at Austin
with a specialization in immigration, ethnic community history, and
diplomatic history. Currently he is an Assistant Professor of History
at Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas, where he
is also director of the Center for Texas Music History.
Gary Hartman’s other Lithuanian-American related publications
-“Dr. Jonas Sliupas and the Lithuanian Nationalist Movement in America”,
in Lietuviu Tauta, Vilnius, Lithuania, Lithuanian Academy of Sciences, 1999.
- “Building the Ideal Immigrant: Reconciling Lithuanianism and 100 Percent
Americanism to Create a Respectable Nationalist Movement, 1870-1922”, in
Journal of American Ethnic History, Volume 18, Number 1, Fall 1998.
- “Dollars, Diplomacy and Dignity: United States Economic Involvement in
Lithuania, 1914-1940”, in Journal of Baltic Studies, Volume XXVIII, Number
2, Summer 1997.
- “The Origins and Growth of Baltic Nationalism as a Force for Independence”,
in Lituanus: The Lithuanian Quarterly, Volume 38, Number 3, Fall 1992.
The Immigrant as Diplomat” book can be purchased, at a price of $39.95,
Lithuanian Research and Studies Center
5600 S. Claremont Ave.
Chicago, IL 60636-1039
Tel. 773/434-4545 Fax. 773/434-9363
For further information, please contact:
Gary Hartman, Ph.D.
Southwest Texas State University
San Marcos, TX 78666
Information submitted by Vytautas J. Sliupas, P.E., Burlingame, CA 12/21/02
Back to Table
|3. Year 2002 Annual Report of the “Auksuciai
- To assist in the development of Lithuanian Agriculture and Forestry
focusing on helping small-scale
farmers, and/or forestland owners to become self-sufficient and competitive
in a free market economy.
- To improve understanding and usage of ecologically sound agricultural
and forestland practices.
- To build understanding and cooperation through education and exchange
- To nurture goodwill between the United States and Lithuania.
The “Auksuciai Farm”, northeast of Kursenai, County of
Siauliai, Lithuania, consists of 158 Hectares (390 acres) of land,
of which 100 Ha (247 ac.) is agricultural with underground drains
and 58 Ha (143 ac.) are forests. All farmable land has been designated
for the Auksuciu Ukio Centras as an agricultural and forest ecological
research-teaching Center. In 1999 a tax-exempt, non-profit, public
benefit corporation was registered in California to promote, support
and supervise this - the first of its type in Lithuania - voluntary
research and teaching Center whose purpose is to provide direct assistance
to small-scale Lithuanian farmers. In 2002 a Not-for-Profit affiliated
organization “Auksuciu Ukio Centras” was registered
The “Auksuciai Foundation” and the “Auksuciu Ukio
Centras” accomplishments in the year 2002:
September 2001 - Miss Lina Kuklieriute, an Auksuciai Foundation Scholar
Intern, came from the Agricultural University of Kaunas to California
for a 9-month hands-on learning farm experiences.
The donation from Mr. & Mrs. G. Dierssen of major farm equipment
was delivered to the Auksuciu Ukio Centras in February 2002.
Over 120,000 lbs of humanitarian aid (children’s items for
Alma Adamkiene Children’s Fund, for an orphanage in Siauliai
and books for the Siauliai City library) were collected. With
tremendous dedication Director Clement and other Board members,
family helpers, packed everything for final shipping before the
end of the year. The materials were to be shipped gratis by the
Force; however, the events of September 11, 2001 forced us to
ship the materials privately. Donations were received from the
US Army surplus pool in Germany: a forklift, four 1-1/2 ton pickups
(and a bulldozer to be delivered
A 60’x90’ steel storage building (donors Mr.& Mrs.
Alexander Wesey-Vasiliauskas) was erected at the Farm and now
provides adequate space for the agricultural machinery and for
Auksuciai Foundation Board Members, President V. Sliupas (3 times),
VP J. Chiles, VP L. Ruth and VP dr. C. Qualset, at own expense,
visited the Auksuciai project. Our VP-Director of Operations,
L. Clement took a Sabbatical leave
from the Univ. of Calif. and spent at the Auksuciai Farm 9 month
working, and intermittently teaching classes at Siauliai University.
Mrs. Clement visited the Auksuciai farm twice during his stay.
Prof. dr. G. Hartman of SW Texas Univ. visited in August.
L. Clement and V. Sliupas discussed the Project at several Rotary
International meetings in USA and Lithuania.
Cooperation continued with The Omaha Sister Cities Assoc.; in
July the president of Omaha-Siauliai Sister Cities Assoc. dr. & Mrs.
Charles J. Marr visited Siauliai where Director Clement gave
a power-point slide presentation about the Farm. Further cooperation
with the Univ. of Siauliai Botany Department.
At the request of local farmer groups, Director Clement spoke in
Skuodas, Kursenai, Siauliai, Plunge, Mazeikiai, Pakruojis, Birzai,
Silale, Raseiniai, Sakiai, Kaunas and Ukmerge on intensive farming
techniques and to a group of bankers in Sventoji about Agro-Tourism.
Board member L. Ruth attended a “Non-profit Foundation Workshop”,
then he registered the Foundation with the Guide Star program and
with the State of Calif. “Registry of Charitable Trusts”.
Farm Manager’s house was completed in December 2001 and
the keys were officially handed in March.
Additional farm equipment was necessary to make the farm operations
profitable and efficient so as to support the research and educational
agenda. Director Clement and V. Sliupas purchased and donated these
With a grant from the Lithuanian Foundation (USA) computer sets were
purchased for educational purposes.
A new deep well was drilled in June; it started supplying better
quality water for the farm use.
The electrical line was completed in April of which The Foundation
provided half the required amount.
The existing fire pond was enlarged to meet the latest Lithuanian
fire protection regulations. The Equipment Storage and the Farm Buildings
needed this additional protection. A burglar alarm system was also
A Farm Field Day was held at the Auksuciai Farm and Center on
August 8. This was done in a Country Fair atmosphere to show
farmers and the public what has been accomplished and what is
for the future. Over 150 people attended, including Lithuanian
and American government officials, TV, radio and newspaper members.
Clement and the Foundation received a “Thank You” letter
from Mrs. Alma Adamkiene, the First Lady of Lithuania, for work
in facilitating the shipment of humanitarian aid. Mr. Jaronimas
the Minister of Agriculture, thanked for helping the small-scale
farmers on this all-volunteer project.
A Research Collaboration Symposium is planned for 2003. This will
be undertaken in cooperation with the Lithuanian University of Agriculture
and the University of California, Davis, International Programs Fund.
During the summer months over 85 people visited the farm. Mostly
they were local growers looking for information and assistance with
their individual farms.
Architectural plans for the next phase of the multi-purpose Auksuciai
Research & Training Center complex have been reviewed and
revised by the Board. Mrs. Grazina Liautaud, the donor of the
was consulted by Dr. C. Qualset. The Center foundations will
be poured in early 2003.
The Board considered a request received from Lithuania to set up
a Health/Screening Clinic in the main Center building but concluded
that additional medical research was needed.
Our previous Internet Website was updated, and now it can be
viewed at www.aukfoundation.org.
Four different types of Promotional Brochures were prepared and printed
in Lithuania at a cost of about 60% saving compared to having them
printed in the USA.
An Agreement of Cooperation was promoted by Director Clement and
Prof. C. Qualset between the University of California, Davis and
the Lithuanian University of Agriculture, Kaunas; it was signed in
Kaunas on August 6, 2002. A similar agreement was negotiated earlier
with the Siauliai University. Comparable agreements are planned with
the Dotnuva Research Facility and the Lithuanian College of Agriculture
in Vilnius. These agreements will help build relationships between
the Auksuciai Foundation, the Auksuciu Ukio Centras and several major
educational institutions in Lithuania.
Director Clement started LTRAS (Long Term Research in Agricultural
Farming Systems) program. These well-established and identified
plots will focus on “ecological agriculture”. Plans
for seed potato and blueberry research and demonstration plantings
conducted in 2003.
V.P. Lawrence Clement was officially designated as the Director of
the Auksuciu Ukio Centras. An accountant Viktoras Rupeikis was hired
to handle books. Raigedas Karosas will shortly become an employee.
A Farm Management team was formed for the year 2003 and beyond. Director
Clement will be the Team manager, Raigedas Karosas the Farm Operations/Production
Manager and Lina Kuklieriute, the Research Assistant. The Strategic
Plan for Operations was developed.
Generous cash donations in the year 2002 were received from The
Church of Jesus Christ Latter-Day Saints, Salt Lake City, UT;
Foundation Inc. (Lietuviu Fondas), Lemont, IL; the Rotary International
Club of Millbrae, CA.; The Lithuanian National Foundation (Tautos
Fondas), Toronto, Canada; Mr.& Mrs. Lawrence Clement, CA; Dr.& Mrs.
Calvin Qualset, CA; Mr.& Mrs. Leland Ruth, CA; Mr.& Mrs.
Edmundas Jasiunas, IL; and Mr.& Mrs. Vytautas Sliupas, CA.
donations were also received from: Mrs. Heather E. White, CA; Dr.
Raymond Mikelionis, CA.; Mr.& Mrs. Eugenijus Vilkas, CA; Ms.
Daina Kojelis, IL; Mr.& Mrs. Romas Kasparas, VA; Mrs. Grazina
Kanter, CT; Mr. Pijus Pazerunas, IL; Mrs. Joan Wright, WI; Gediminas
Murauskas PhD, NE; Mr. Leo Ruth, CA; Mrs. Joana Drukteinis, NE; and
Dr.& Dr. Algis Monstavicius, NV.
Smaller donations, many
of them repeated, came from 7 other individuals.
Recognition is made to numerous individuals who donated clothing
and other items for shipment to Lithuania.
Cooperation in Lithuania continued with the Ministry of Agriculture,
Siauliai County Administration, Mrs. Alma Adamkiene Children’s
Fund, the US Embassy, Siauliai University, Univ. of Agriculture
in Kaunas, Gruzdziai Agro School and the Chamber of Agriculture.
areas of cooperation for the benefit of Lithuanian farmers are
being sought through Dotnuva Institute and the College of Agriculture
Excellent support was received from news media in the USA and Lithuania.
Former VOA commentator Romas Kasparas also wrote articles for the
Lithuanian language papers.
We thank the US newspapers - The Davis Enterprise, The Pottsville
Republican & Herald, The Argonaut, KildareNet News, Labas,
Draugas, Lietuviu Balsas, Dirva, and The St.Anthony Lith. Parish
News in Omaha
and the newspapers in Lithuania - Respublika, Ukininko Patarejas,
Siauliu Krastas, Siauliu Naujienos, Skuodas and others. We also
thank the Lithuanian TV and Radio stations and the Radio Free
countrywide publicity given the Auksuciai Project.
This year marked the initiation of a full-scale research and educational
program at the Auksuciu Ukio Centras for the benefit of Lithuanian
We estimate that additionally, $95,000 will be needed in the next
two years for the construction of several houses and the purchase
of trucks, plows, wagons, tools, seeds, fertilizers, to pay the salaries
of hired workers, etc. Your support is essential to keep this project
on track and to make certain that our vision becomes a reality.
For the “Auksuciai Foundation”, Respectfully, Vytautas
J. Sliupas, PE President
An Appeal to Our Present and Future Supporters
The Foundation has no paid administrative overhead. 100% of the
donations received go to support the programs. The Plan includes
demonstration, and learning Center at the Auksuciai Farm. At
this facility an Honor Roll of our worldwide friends, who had
to make the program possible, will be proudly exhibited. All
the Foundation asks is for the opportunity to do what it can
with donors’ help
to provide a new direction and future for the Lithuanian agriculture.
We need monetary support from all of you.
If you would like to make a difference for the neglected Lithuanian
farmers, please make checks payable to our tax-exempt not-for-profit
THE AUKSUCIAI FOUNDATION, 2907 Frontera Way, Burlingame, CA 94010,
Please designate the family surname you wish to receive recognition.
A 501(c)(3) Tax Deductible Organization ID #91-1944327 E-mail: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Conclusions and Recommendations for the Auksuèiai Project
from two prominent Professors of U.S. Agricultural Universities
Prof. Dr. Calvin Qualset, world renowned Plant Geneticist with
Univ. of California and Prof. Dr. Charles A. Francis, Agricultural
at Univ. of Nebraska recently returned from Lithuania. They traveled
there to observe and make evaluations of progress achieved at
the Auksuèiai Project farm near Kuršënai, Šiauliai
district, Northern Lithuania.
It is best to quote from conclusions drawn by Charles A. Francis
in his 13 page report:
“At the invitation of Dr. Calvin Qualset, a planning trip to Lithuania
was accomplished in May 2003 with a visit to the Auksuèiai Foundation
Farm near Šiauliai, interviews with several key people in university and
ministry of agriculture, and participation in a rural development at Lietuvos emës Ûkio
Universitetas in Kaunas.
“This is an exciting and extremely ambitious project, one that deserves
to move ahead as quickly but as prudently as possible. There is a high level
of enthusiasm on the part of some funders, on the part of the field people
who are involved in implementation, and on the part of people with Lithuanian
now living elsewhere who would like to make a difference in their former
country. The key is to establish clear goals and a vision of how to achieve them...
“ The practical experience of a U.S. advisor and a Lithuanian farm manager
has been supplemented by student expertise and labor in setting up the farm
initial production and demonstration enterprises. What is in the field is
good, and needs to be expanded and adopted to local conditions and market realities...
“ The mission statement to increase production and improve markets for
products from the farm is a commendable goal that can help local farmers improve
incomes and families... There is great potential for this project to make
a difference in the economic lives and the quality of life for small farm families
With hard work and thoughtful planning these goals can be achieved....
“An obvious role is raising money from the Lithuanian-Americans and from
other individuals and groups interested in promoting development of the Lithuanian
small farmer, rural sector....”
More thorough information on the Auksuèiai Project and its goals can
be found in the Internet Website Http://www.aukfoundation.org
Individuals wishing to contribute to the achievements of this non-profit, tax-exempt
undertaking can send their donations to:
THE AUKSUÈIAI FOUNDATION
2907 Frontera Way
Burlingame, CA 94010 USA
Back to Table
|4. The Blooming of the Baltics
As EU members, they'll bring fresh entrepreneurial vigor
By David Fairlamb in Riga
It's just eight o'clock on a sunny spring evening.
But the dance floor is already heaving at the vast Lido Mills, just
two or three kilometers down the Daugava riverfront from central
Riga. Built from wood in a rural Latvian style, the three-floor complex
of self-service restaurants and bars can seat 1,500. And it's usually
packed. Locals and tourists alike find it hard to resist the allure
of low-priced smoked fish, blinis, and beer served in a friendly,
and, to be frank, kitschy atmosphere.
Lido Mills is the biggest of an eight-restaurant chain that local
entrepreneur Gunars Kirsons has built up since Latvia won its independence
from the former Soviet Union in 1991. Kirsons' cheap-and-cheerful
formula -- a beer costs 70 cents -- has earned him millions and turned
him into one of Latvia's most popular businesspeople. Successful
at home, Kirsons is expanding abroad, with a self-service chain in
Moscow. "He's the ultimate success story," says Modris
Leshiskis, who owns a souvenir shop and eats regularly at Lido Mills
with his girlfriend, Irina Sturainis.
Latvia and its Baltic neighbors -- Estonia to the north and Lithuania
to the south -- are full of similar achievers. The three countries'
combined population may be tiny, at just 7.3 million, and much of
their economic growth is driven by investment from Swedish and Finnish
companies attracted by their low wages and taxes. Swedish clothing
manufacturer Snickers and Finnish packaging firm Pakenso are just
two of the many Nordic firms that have bought into Estonia.
(The Finnish and Estonian economies are now so closely intertwined
that Tallinn is effectively an integral part of Greater Helsinki.)
But the Baltic states also have more than their fair share of home-grown
entrepreneurs. Indrek Kask, CEO of Asper Biotech, founded an Estonian
genotyping research and services company that has become a world
leader in its field. Ignas Staskevicius, general director of the
VP Market retail chain in Vilnius, is the brains behind one of the
most successful marketing schemes in the Baltic region: People who
turned out to vote in Lithuania's referendum on European Union membership
the weekend of May 10-11 were rewarded with coupons to buy heavily
discounted snack foods at his stores. The referendum passed, his
shops were filled to bursting, and sales rocketed 35%.
Thanks to such entrepreneurial vigor, the Baltics are already the
fastest-growing and most economically dynamic of the EU's 10 future
members. Together, they clocked an average growth rate of 6.1% in
2002. Growth will dip to 5.4% this year. But compare that with the
euro zone, which will be hard-pressed to expand by 1%. "We're
optimistic for the future," says Estonian Prime Minister Juhan
Parts. When they join the EU next year, the Baltics, which not long
ago were oppressed members of the Soviet Empire, will add a heavy
dose of free-market ideology to the union.
To be sure, growth rates in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania look good
partially because they are starting from a much lower base than Germany,
France, and the other mature economies that make up the existing
EU. They also get a boost from bargain-hunting Scandinavian tourists
and Russian companies that ship their exports via Baltic ports. But
since they threw off the Soviet yoke, the three tiny countries have
embraced change with a relish that puts Old Europe to shame. Almost
all of their industry has been privatized. Most markets have been
deregulated. Capital controls have been abolished. Their economies
have been opened up to foreign competition. Estonia even introduced
a flat income tax and abolished tax on reinvested corporate earnings,
a move that sparked an investment boom. "We moved almost overnight
from the Communist past to the free-market future," says Siim
Raie, director general of the Estonian Chamber of Commerce & Industry. "Maybe
that explains our energy."
It hasn't all been smooth sailing. The Baltic states plunged deep
into recession in 1998 -- after the Russian financial crisis broke
and the purchasing power of their big neighbor to the east evaporated
almost overnight. Poor infrastructure is holding back development,
especially outside the big cities. Some manufacturers, particularly
in the food sector, have been hit hard by foreign competition. Wages
have been creeping up, eroding one of the region's key competitive
advantages. "Imported pork [from the EU] is cheaper than mine," says
Vaidotas Cekuolis, who runs a small meat- processing plant not far
Most companies are responding well to competition from abroad, however.
Rigas Piena Kombinats, Latvia's largest milk processor, has invested
heavily in modern machinery. It has also brought in Finnish milk
company Valio to help it develop new products. Other companies have
cut costs, redesigned their products, and honed their marketing skills.
Labor productivity in the Baltics has risen more than 5% a year over
the past five years. Some have become ace exporters. Latvian lingerie
and textile manufacturer Lauma sells half its $30 million output
to the EU.
If there's one thing that has helped the Baltic states transform
their economies, it is their commitment to sound government finances
and strong currencies. The three countries have their budget deficits
well under control, something that France and Germany seem incapable
of doing. The budget shortfall in each country is no higher than
3% of gross domestic product. Estonia's deficit will be just 0.3%
of GDP this year, and its entire government debt is only 5.1% of
GDP. Germany's deficit is above 3% and its national debt is more
than 50% of GDP. The Lithuanian and Estonian currencies are tied
to the euro, and all three countries will meet the criteria to adopt
the euro by mid-2006 if they keep up their current pace. Most tariffs
between the EU and the Baltic countries have already been swept away,
and more than 70% of their exports already head west. When they become
members, trade is expected to increase further.
EU membership has some drawbacks. Baltic businesspeople fear it could
bring more bureaucracy, slower decision-making, and attempts by the
high-tax countries of core Europe to push through rules requiring
all EU members to synchronize their tax rates. If that happens, the
Baltic states would probably be forced to increase their corporate
taxes. Competition from EU companies, already sharp, would intensify.
That's why Parts says it is vital for Estonians, Latvians, and Lithuanians
to redouble their efforts to add more value to their products and
develop a more advanced, knowledge-based economy by investing heavily
in higher education and improving links between universities and
business. Given the eagerness with which most Baltic citizens adopted
the Internet, that may not prove too difficult. More than 90% of
bank transfers are now made online, three times the portion in France
or Germany. Express trains between Tallinn and Estonia's second city
of Tartu now provide Internet access. Old Europe will certainly learn
a thing or two from its neighbors to the East.
Back to Table
|5. The Lithuanian National Anthem ("Lietuvos Himnas")
By Ceslovas Bauza
|...is usually sung at Lithuanian gatherings throughout
the World. There is no better day than today to perhaps rededicate
ourselves to the ideals set forth in Lithuania's "Lietuvos Himnas".
I know of no other Anthem as beautiful and lyrically ore meaningful
than is ours.
Lithuania, my homeland, land of heroes! Let your sons draw strength
from the past.
Let your children follow only the path of virtue,
working for the good of their native land
and for all mankind.
Let the sun banish all darkness from Lithuania,
with light and truth always guiding our steps.
Let the love of Lithuania burn in our hearts
And for the sake of our country, let unity blossom."
Translated from the original by Vincas Kudirka
Kudirka in his poem depicts Lithuania vividly as "land of heroes." Throughout
time, there have been many "heroes" in Lithuanian history. However,
just twelve years ago, on this day, January 13, 1991, some of Lithuania's greatest "heroes" sacrificed
their lives so that their
country and our homeland could be free.
There were thousands of people at both the TV Tower and also the Parliament.
went and gathered there to protect these buildings from Russian aggression, knowing
that Russian tanks would come. Personally, I know one man who was there with
young son sitting on his shoulders; that young son is now a sophomore at Vilnius
University, studying Applied Physics in a free Lithuania.
One young man, Rimantas Juknevicius, was asked by his Mother, "Why are you
going there?" Rimantas replied without waver, "Kas kitas jei ne as?" (Who
else if not I?)
Fourteen "heroes" died in the siege, many young people
some under the treads of tanks. Rimantas died at 25 years of age.
Today, let's take time to specifically remember and commemorate the ideals of
those who died on today's "Defenders of Freedom Day", only twelve years
ago. And, as you focus upon each name below, quickly mentally calculate the age
+ Loreta Asanaviciute (1967 - 1991)
+Virginijus Druskis (1969 - 1991)
+Darius Gerbutavicius (1973 - 1991)
+Rolandas Jankauskas (1969 - 1991)
+Rimantas Juknevicius (1966 - 1991)
+Alvydas Kanapinskas (1952 - 1991)
+Algimantas Petras Kavoliukas (1939 - 1991)
+Vidas Maciulevicius (1966 - 1991)
+Titas Masiulis (1962 - 1991)
+Alvydas Matulka (1960 - 1991)
+Apolinaras Juozas Povilaitas (1937 - 1991)
+Ignas Simulionis (1973 - 1991)
+Vytautas Vaitkus (1943 - 1991)
+Vytautas Koncevicius (1941 - 1991)
An excellent book recounting this memorable event is simply titled,
- On February 16, 1918 the Lithuanian Council unanimously passed the resolution
for the re-establishment of the Independent State of Lithuania at 12:30 p.m.
in the historical capital of Vilnius at Didzioji st. 30 (currently Pilies st.
26). The ?de jure? sovereignty of the now modern country was legally proclaimed.
The actual re-establishment of independence was confirmed by the resolution passed
at the Constituent Seimas (parliamentary Council of Representatives) on May 15th,
- March 23, 1918 brought recognition of Lithuania by an Act of Emperor Wilhelm
II. Various conventions and subordination contacts were binding with Germany.
This was the first time that international recognition of Lithuanian statehood
July 11, 1918 was the day the Lithuanian Council was officially named the Lithuanian
State Council. This was based on the legal Act, whereby Germany had recognised
the Statehood of Lithuania.
July 13, 1918 was the day of proclamation by the Lithuanian State Council. Lithuania
was declared a constitutional monarchy. Furthermore, Duke William von Urach of
Wittenberg was elected to take the throne as King under the title of Mindaugas
II. These proclamations were the effort of the Council to circumvent any attempt
by Germany to annex the country to Prussia or Saxony.
- November 2, 1918 brought recall of the resolution by the Lithuanian State Council
to elect William von Urach as King. Instead the Council passed the foundations
for a Provisional Constitution of Lithuania, the first Fundamental Law of the
new Lithuanian State.
November 11, 1918 was the confirmation date of the first provisional Government
of Lithuania by the Presidium of the Lithuanian State Council. The institution
was based on the statutes of the Provisional Constitution. Augustinas Voldemaras
was named the Prime Minister of the Government, which contained six Ministries.
November 23, 1918 was the date of the law, issued by Prime Minister A. Voldemaras,
regarding the organisation of the 1st regiment of the Lithuanian Army. At the
time, the German forces were dispersed, and the threat of Soviet Russia increased.
The date marked the beginning of the formation of the Lithuanian Army.
November 30, 1918 was the date, when the Act was passed by the National Council
of Lithuania Minor, regarding the intent of the majority of the residents of
Prussia (Lithuania Minor) to merge with the re-established State of Lithuania.
December 16, 1918 was a day of demonstrations and rallies, organised by the Vilnius
Communists, a Jewish league, and the leftist pro-Russian Social Democrats. These
groups were attempting to support the approaching Red Army and the Communistic
government of V. Kapsukas.
December 20-21, 1918 were the dates of international travel by Prime Minister
A. Voldemaras and State Council Chairman A. Smetona. They visited Germany, France,
and other countries to request financial and material aid, and diplomatic recognition
December 22, 1918 was the date a decree was issued by the Communist Government
of Russia, headed by V. Lenin. The decree recognised the government of V. Kapsukas
as supreme, and Lithuania, as being Soviet and under the jurisdiction of Russia.
December 27, 1918 was the day of confirmation of the newly appointed Government
in Vilnius. Mykolas Slezevicius became the Prime Minister. The Government took
immediate measures to repel the aggression by external forces.
December 31, 1918 was the withdrawal of the occupying German forces from Vilnius.
The Government of M. Slezevicius, which was under the threat of the Polish nationalistic
forces and the approaching Communist Red Army, withdrew to Kaunas.
January 2, 1919 was the day that Polish troops, breaking the resistance of local
Communistic forces, took possession of Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital, for a
January 5, 1919 was the day that the Russian Red Army forced the retreat of the
Polish troops and seized Vilnius. Once the Communist government of V. Kapsukas
gained foothold in the city, the invasion was continued with a purpose occupy
all of Lithuania.
January 16-23, 1919 the 2nd Lithuanian State Conference was held in Kaunas. The
issues deliberated were related to the re-establishment of independence, and
internal, as well as foreign policies. A strategic plan for the Government was
drawn, regarding the struggle against foreign invaders.
February 7-9, 1919 marked the cessation of further penetration by the Red Army
into the depths of Lithuania. The Kedainiai Lithuanian Guard, which was being
supported by the Germans, put up a strong front of resistance. Povilas Luksys,
the first Lithuanian volunteer soldier to die for his country, was killed in
the area, surrounding Tauciunai village.
April 4, 1919 was the date of the passage of the second Provisional State Constitution
by the Lithuanian State Council. It included the institution of the Presidency.
Antanas Smetona was elected the first President of the country.
April 19, 1919 the Polish troops again invaded Vilnius. This was during the period
of the war between Poland and Soviet Russia.
May 21, 1919 was the opening day of the Tautos (National) Theatre in Kaunas.
It was headed by actor and play director, A. Sutkus.
August 25, 1919 was a day of victory for the Lithuanian armed forces. They conclusively
forced the retreat of the Red Army out of Lithuania, and were also able to take
the last foothold of the Communists, Zarasai Town. This time the Lithuanian army
acted without the assistance of the Germans.
November 20-21, 1919 brought another victory for the Lithuanian armed forces,
this time against the Bermondt troops near Radviliskis. The Bermondt troops were
the White Guard of Germans and Russians, who invaded Lithuania from Latvia.
January 27, 1920 was the grand opening day in Kaunas for Courses of Higher Education.
There were 350 students registered for the courses. Five faculties and departments
were scheduling the courses. The date marked the beginning of higher education
in independent Lithuania.
April 14-15, 1920 during the free, democratic elections to the Constituent Seimas,
the Christian Democratic bloc won the absolute majority of votes (59 of 112).
May 15, 1920 in Kaunas, the first meeting of the Constituent Seimas was held
at the State Theatre Palace. There, the sovereignty of the Republic of Lithuania
with the capital city in Vilnius was legally consolidated. The high officials
of the Seimas were elected. The time marked the beginning of an intensive period
in development of governmental institutions and reforms.
July 12, 1920 was the date of the peace treaty, signed in Moscow between Lithuania
and Soviet Russia. The first article stated: ?...without any reservations Russia
recognises Lithuania?s independence and self-government with all its due jurisdictional
rights, and with good will renounces for all times, all rights of Russian sovereignty
which she had had over the Lithuanian nation and its territories.?
August 6, 1920 was the date of the ratification of the peace treaty between Lithuania
and Soviet Russia by the Constituent Seimas.
October 7, 1920 was the date of the signing of the truce between Lithuania and
Poland by empowered delegations at Suwalki. The agreement was to become effective
on October 10th. The truce included specification of a demarcation boundary between
the two countries, whereby Vilnius remained within Lithuania.
October 9, 1920 was the day of the supposed rebellion by Polish soldiers and
residents of the Vilnius area, arranged by General L. Zeligowski with the encouragement
of the Polish Government. With an unexpected attack, the General took possession
of Vilnius. Henceforth, the capital city of Lithuania and the eastern, ethnically
Lithuanian territories remained in the hands of the Polish government until September
October 20, 1920 was the date the 6th (1st long-term) coalition Government with
K. Grinius as Prime Minister was approved by the Constituent Seimas.
December 31, 1920 was the premiere opening of La Traviata, an opera by Giuseppe
Verdi, at the Kaunas State Theatre Palace. The starring role of Alfred was performed
by the highly evaluated tenor K. Petrauskas.
February 16, 1921 was the grand opening of the War Museum exhibition in Kaunas.
The date marked the beginning of a national effort to safeguard the heritage
of the past.
May 14, 1921 was the date of the first official meeting of negotiation delegations
from Lithuania and Poland at a League of Nations session. O. Milasius, the representative
empowered by Lithuania, presented historical, legal, ethnographic, and economic
arguments in support of the jurisdiction of Vilnius by Lithuania.
May 20, 1921 was the submission date of the 15 section project to the Lithuanian
and Polish delegations by P. Hymans, a spokesperson for the League of Nations.
The project regarded resolution of the territorial disputes between both countries.
Later, the project was resolutely rejected by the Lithuanian delegation, which
was headed by E. Galvanauskas.
January 8, 1922 was election day to the so-called Central Lithuania Seimas (Council
of Representatives). The election had been called by resolution of the Sejm (Council
of Representatives) of Poland in occupied Vilnius. The purpose was to annex the
occupied ethnic lands of Lithuanians.
February 15, 1922 was the confirmation date of the Law on Implementation of Land
Reform by the Constituent Seimas. A legal foundation was laid for radical agrarian
reorganisation in Lithuania.
February 16, 1922 was the opening day of Kaunas University. It was established
on the basis of the Courses of Higher Education, which had already been operating.
This was the first institution of higher education in independent Lithuania.
August 1, 1922 was marked by the passage of the first immutable Constitution
of Lithuania by the Constituent Seimas. Therein, the structure of the modern
State, the Republic of Lithuania, along with its democratic community of citizens,
October 1, 1922 was the day of the introduction of the litas, the national currency
for Lithuania. It proved to become one of the most stable currencies in Europe
during the inter-war period.
October 10-11, 1922 was the election day of the 1st Seimas of the Republic of
Lithuania. The Seimas has been established on the basis of the immutable Constitution
January 15, 1923 was the date of the annexation of Klaipeda (then Memel) city
and its ethnic surroundings to Lithuania by the Government of Lithuania. This
followed an instigated rebellion against the administration of Entente. The annexation
act was executed to preclude the international rule, then operating in the area.
February 16, 1923 was the confirmation date by the Ambassadors Conference of
the League of Nations of the sovereignty of the Republic of Lithuania in the
district of Klaipeda (Memel). Lithuania was obligated to implement an extraordinary
regime of autonomy within the area.
May 8, 1924 was the date of signing of the Klaipeda Convention between the signatories
of participating nations and Lithuania in Paris. The same also confirmed the
status of autonomy within the district of Klaipeda (Memel), which was already
June 10, 1924 was the date of the resignation of the 9th Cabinet of Ministers
of the Republic of Lithuania, then headed by Prime Minister E. Galvanauskas.
Single party rule by the Christian Democrats came into force in Lithuania from
August 23-24, 1924 marked the performance of the first National Song Festival
December 13, 1925 was opening day at the M.K. Ciurlionis Picture Gallery in Kaunas.
The display of the works of this famous artist and composer was completed. The
design of V. Dubeneckis was used for the construction and interior of the building.
April 4, 1926 was the date of the establishment of the Lithuanian Church Province.
Neither Vilnius nor its surroundings, then occupied by Poland, were incorporated
into the Province.
May 8-10, 1926 was the time, when the Christian Democratic bloc lost the elections
to the 3rd Seimas. The left and moderate parties, the Social Democrats and Populists,
won the majority of the vote.
June 12, 1926 marked the beginning of radio broadcasts from Kaunas.
June 15, 1926 was the date of the formation of the leftist coalition Government
by the Social Democratic and Populist Parties. This Government, headed by Prime
Minister M. Slezevicius, remained the executive organ of Lithuania for half a
September 28, 1926 was the date of the signing of the non-aggression pact between
Lithuania and the Soviet Union in Moscow. Therein, the latter again recognised
Vilnius as the capital of Lithuania.
December 17, 1926 was the date of the military coup d?etat against the Government,
staged by the National and Christian Democratic Parties. The democratic order
of the country was discontinued. It marked the beginning of the authoritarian
rule by President A. Smetona.
April 12, 1927 was the day of the dissolution of the 3rd Seimas by A. Smetona,
the President of the Republic of Lithuania. This was accomplished by virtue of
a Constitutional Act. The 4th Seimas was not elected again for 9 years.
September 9, 1927 was the day of the attempted putsch (overthrow) by the leftist
Social Democratic and Populist groups. These groups were opposed to the governing
of A. Smetona and A. Voldemaras, members of the Nationalist Union. Although unrest
was generated in Taurage, Alytus, and other locales, the putsch proved unsuccessful.
September 27, 1927 was the date of the signing of the Concord Agreement between
the Holy See and the Government of Lithuania. The agreement called for the respect
of the Catholic Church, and rights and liberties for persons of this religious
May 15, 1928 was the proclamation date of the new Constitution of Lithuania by
A. Smetona, the President of the Republic of Lithuania. The Cabinet of Ministers
had approved the proclamation. It was exchanged in lieu of the Constitution,
which had been passed on August 1st of 1922 by the Constituent Seimas. This Seimas
had been declared null and void during the coup d?etat of the country.
September 23, 1929 was the confirmation date of the 15th Cabinet of Ministers
by President A. Smetona, following the removal of the radical-minded A. Voldemaras
from office. J. Tubelis, a man of moderate views, was appointed the new Prime
October 15, 1931 was the day of the decision by the International Hague Tribunal,
favourable to Lithuania in the dispute with Poland. The issue had involved railroad
transportation, and the transit of Polish goods through Lithuania via the Nemunas
December 11, 1931 was the re-election day of President A. Smetona by special
electors of the nation for a 7-year term, as specified by the Constitution of
May 15th, 1928.
August 11, 1932 was the court date, when the Hague Tribunal rejected the case
brought by Germany. The complaint filed was an accusation against Lithuania for
using an excess of the limits of power in the governing of Klaipeda lands, and
violation of the statutes on autonomy. The Tribunal cleared Lithuania of the
June 1-21, 1933 was the period of the establishment of pro-Nazi German political
parties, headed by Pastor von Sass and veterinarian E. Neumann. The purpose of
these parties was to sever Klaipeda from Lithuania.
July 15-17, 1933 were the historic days of the Transatlantic flight by Lithuanian
pilots, S. Darius and S. Girenas from New York to Kaunas. They successfully crossed
the Atlantic Ocean, however met with a tragic death at Soldin Forest in Poland,
a mere 650 km from Lithuania.
June 7, 1934 was the date of the putsch (overthrow) by the supporters of former
Prime Minister A. Voldemaras, nationalistically inclined military officers. The
officers were led by P. Kubiliunas, the Chief of Armed Forces Staff. Their purpose
was to return A. Voldemaras to the seat of office. The unrest within the military
forces was easily quelled.
December 12 marked the beginning of the trial of 122 German Nazis from the Klaipeda
territory, charged with treason against the Government of Lithuania. Sentence
was passed on 87 persons, and 4 of them received the death penalty. Howe-ver,
a few years later all of them received amnesty by the Presidential Act.
February 6, 1936 was the date of the resolution by the Minister of the Interior,
prohibiting all political parties in Lithuania, except for the ruling party,
the National Union.
June 9-10, 1936 were the election days to the 4th Seimas. Voter turnout was 68.3%.
The ruling National Party won the absolute majority of the vote in these elections.
One reason was that the opposition had not been allowed to raise their candidates.
-May 7, 1937 in Riga, the Lithuanian Men Basketball Team won the European championship.
March 17, 1938 was the day of the ultimatum by Poland, demanding that diplomatic
relations be renewed within 48 hours. The ultimatum came after an incident at
the demarcation boundary at Alytus County. There, a Polish soldier had been killed
for violating this administrative line. The Government of Lithuania satisfied
the demand in light of the realistic comparison of Polish and Lithuanian forces.
May 12, 1938 was the date the final Constitution of Lithuania during the inter-war
period came into effect. It was officially announced in Valstybes zinios (Government
News) bulletin. President A. Smetona and Prime Minister V. Mironas had signed
March 22, 1939 was the surrender day of the Government of Lithuania to the ultimatums,
raised by Hitler?s Germany for the transference of Klaipeda city and its district
to the Nazis. Lithuanian governmental offices were evacuated from Klaipeda, and
the troops were withdrawn.
August 23, 1939 was the date the non-aggression pact was signed between the Soviet
Union and Germany in Moscow. The secret protocol, which specified spheres of
influence of both countries within Eastern Europe, including the Baltic countries,
was also signed the same day. Lithuania happened to have fallen into the German
sphere of influence.
September 17, 1939 was the start of the march of the military forces of the Soviet
Union into Western Ukraine, Western White Russia, and Vilnius and its surrounding
territories. This move was in accordance with the advance agreement with Germany
at the beginning of World War II.
September 28, 1939 was the date, when the Friendship and Border Demarcation Agreement
was signed by the two aggressor nations, the Soviet Union and Germany. The agreement
was drawn after the fall of Poland. This also had a secret addendum, which transferred
Lithuania to the sphere of interest of the Soviet Union.
-October 10, 1939 was the date, when the Mutual Assistance Treaty was signed
between Lithuania and the Soviet Union under the pressure of the Soviet Government
Moscow. The treaty called for the return of the southeastern territories, along
with Vilnius to Lithuania. Concurrently, it demanded the establishment of Soviet
military bases within Lithuania.
October 27, 1939 was the day, when the special forces of the Lithuanian army
marched into Vilnius. A. Merkys, authorised by the Government of Lithuania for
Vilnius city and its district, took control of the area.
November 21, 1939 was the confirmation date of the appointment of A. Merkys by
President A. Smetona. A. Merkys was to head the last independent Government of
Lithuania during the inter-war period. The Government was composed of members
of the National Union, and the Christian Democratic and Populist Parties.
May 30, 1940 was marked by the unfounded accusations of the Soviet Government.
It claimed that the Government of Lithuania was engaged in organising a provocation
against garrisons of dislocated Soviet soldiers. It also accused the Government
of the kidnapping of a soldier, and gathering reconnaissance information.
June 14, 1940 was the date of the ultimatum from the Soviet Union to Lithuania.
It demanded formation of a new government, bringing in an additional Soviet troops,
and trials of high Lithuanian Government officials. The Government of Lithuania
concurred with the ultimatum.
June 15, 1940 witnessed the movements of the Soviet Army into all the most important
centres and strategic locations of the country, and the occupation of all Lithuania.
The President of the Republic A. Smetona withdrew to Germany.
June 16, 1940 marked the beginning of the Sovietization of the country. It followed
the arrival of V. Dekanozov, Assistant to the Commissar for Foreign Affairs of
the Soviet Union.
June 17, 1940 was the date of the formation of a pro-Moscow oriented People?s
Government, headed by J. Paleckis, at the direction of V. Dekanozov.
June 27, 1940 was the day of the dissolution of the 4th Lithuanian Seimas by
the government of J. Paleckis.
July 7, 1940 was the day that A. Snieckus, the Soviet appointed Director of the
State Security Department, approved the plan for the arrest and detention of
the leadership of Lithuanian political parties. The plan was executed during
the night between July 11th and 12th.
July 14-15, 1940 were the days of the fabricated elections to the supposed parliament,
the People?s Seimas. The elections were in accordance to the Soviet model.
July 21, 1940 was the day of the proclamation of Lithuania as a Soviet Republic.
The illegal proclamation was made by the Communist-controlled People?s Seimas
without consideration of the Constitution of the country. Land and the most important
objects to the economy were nationalised.
August 3, 1940 was the day of the annexation of Lithuania to the USSR by the
Supreme Council of the Soviet Union in Moscow. The Soviet annexation replaced
the occupation of the country: Lithuania became a Soviet republic.
August 25, 1940 was the day the Constitution of the Soviet Republic took effect
in Lithuania. Governmental institutions and the organised structure of society
reverted to the jurisdiction of the Communist regime.
November 11, 1940 was the establishment date of the Lithuanian Activist Front
at the initiative of K. Skirpa in Berlin. It had an underground headquarters
and anti-Soviet organisations within occupied Lithuania. The purpose was to seek
Lithuanian independence during the start of the war between Germany and the USSR.
Back to Table
|6. Lithuania Reveals Long-Hidden Treasure
|| A l g i r d a s G u s t a i t i s
A spectacular cache of gold, silver, and precious stones hidden in
the walls of a cathedral in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania,
was unveiled before Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus and other
officials on July 6, 1998, 13 years after the treasure was first
The treasure was found in 1985 when a new air-conditioning system
was installed in the Vilnius Cathedral. After workers uncovered a
portion of the treasure, a team of archaeologists were called in
and located the
remaining valuables in a hidden chamber
Officials at Lithuania's Ministry of Culture were informed of the
discovery, and a decision was made to keep the find a secret, reportedly
out of concern that the treasure could be confiscated by authorities
from the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR).
a former republic of the USSR, declared its independence in 1990.
The treasure included gold goblets, jewelry, and religious artifacts
used in Catholic religious ceremonies throughout the centuries. Experts
believe the items, which have been compared to historic pieces exhibited
in the Vatican, were hidden prior to the USSR's occupation of Lithuania
during World War II (1939-1945). Since the end of the war, bounty
hunters have searched throughout Eastern Europe and Russia for the
Romauldas Budrys, director of the Lithuanian Art Museum in Vilnius
and a member of the archaeological team that made the discovery,
said the treasure would be displayed in Lithuania in late 1998. Some
estimated the value of the treasure at more than $100 million.
about Lithuania, maintained by the Academical and Research Network
in Lithuania (LITNET), provides information about Lithuania's history,
culture, and government.
The Lithuanian Home Page features information about the country's
geography, history, and culture, and links to Lithuanian-related
The Lithuania News Agency
(ELTA), offers daily Lithuanian news updates and a news archive.
For users who are unable to access the World Wide Web by clicking
on underlined words in this article, the Internet addresses for those
sites are listed below.
Information about Lithuania:
Lithuanian Home Page:
Back to Table
|7. Book Review “200.000.000 and Lithuania
|“I enjoyed your booklet “200.000.000 and
J. Kajeckas, Chief of Lithuanian Legation,
Washington, D.C., April 4th, 1972
As a whole, your work is of great value. It shows that Lithuania
is still alive – not dormant. It shows that her sons – as
Mr. Algirdas Gustaitis – are hard working for the proper name
of Lithuania, for its historical and cultural significance as well
as for the brighter future of their beloved Fatherland Lithuania!
Leon Mitkiewicz, first and last Polish military Attache to Lithuania.
Colonel. From his letter dated January 15th, 1971.
First edition published 1971 by Lithuanian American Community, Inc.
of Los Angeles Youth Council.
Second renewed edition published 1976 by Lietuviø dienos,
Los Angeles, California
What do you know about Lithuania?
If you wish to be knowledgeable about Europe of the past or present,
you must learn at least a little about Lithuania, her people,
their ancient religion, culture, language, etc.
The ancient capital of Lithuania, Vilnius, is found near the
geographic center of Europe. From there the distance to Urals,
the Pyrenees, northern Norway and southern Greece are equal.
Many centuries ago the ancestors of today’s Lithuanians
were the people of the lands of Aesti (Aestorium gentes ca A.D.
98 Roman historian Tacitus), Sarmatia, Samogitia, Prussia, Galinda,
Sudowia, Dainava, Yotvingia, Baltia, etc.
In the lands occupied by the ancient Balts the geography was
of many kinds. A long stretch of the Baltic Sea with wind-blown
dunes and white sand beaches, embellished with tiny bits of glittering
amber, lay to the west. Along the sea shore and along the larger
rivers discharging the sea – the Vistula, Nemunas (Niemen,
Memel), Dauguva (Duna, Dvina), and their tributaries – were
lowlands and the most fertile lands covered with alluvial deposits.
Through the ages, the sea coast and these larger rivers were
the means the Balts were able to communicate with central and
western Europe. (2)
Do Lithuanians have their own language?
This is a frequently asked question. There are some who think
that the Lithuanian language is similar to German or to Slavic
languages. Perhaps others think that Lithuanian language is similar
to Russian since it is the Soviet Union that presently occupies
Lithuania. Prof. Dr. Suniti Kumar Chatterji states:
The Baltic languages of the present day are only present two – the
Lithuanian and the Latvian – each with its dialects. They
appear to have been just one language 1.200 to 1,500 years from
now, and they have preserved their old Indo-European character
remarkably well right down to our times. Baltic languages are
very archaic in their character – particularly Lithuanian
which in every way seems to present an earlier stage of linguistic
development than the Latvian. (3)
The Old Prussian language, a dialect of Old Lithuanian, has been
eliminated. The Old Prussians are part of the Baltic-Lithuanian
nation. The former Minister of the United States to Lithuania
the Honorable Owen J. C. Norem stated:
They would point out that the Lithuanian language bears unmistakeable
likeness to the ancient tongues such as to Sanskrit, early Greek,
and Indian Veda literature. Certain similarities of worship and
custom can be faintly traced in the Lithuanian literature and
other early data. (4)
E. J. Harrison, formerly the British Vice-Consul in Kaunas and
Vilnius, commented about the Lithuanian language in the following
Their language differs as widely from their neighboring tongues
as for instance English differs from the Greek. Long before the
Christian era, the Lithuanians already lived on the Baltic shores
and in the dawn of history attained a level of civilization as
high as that of many other European nations of those days. (5)
The Lithuanian language is presently taught in a number of universities
throughout the world, including some in the United States. Being
one of the oldest and purest in form, the Lithuanian language
is necessary in the study of linguistics. It is also important
in studies of Lithuanian literature, scientific works, the arts,
The first less known period of the Lithuanians
Some scientists think that the ancestors of the present Lithuanians
not only had their own religion, but also their own writings,
literature and a complete system for an advanced life as an organized
nation. For example, the world knows very little about the system
of freezing which was used by the Prussian-Lithuanians. They
were able to freeze the bodies of their dead, liquids, foods,
etc. in hot weather. Some records of these scientific advancements
of the old Lithuanians in the V-X centuries are still available.
Pertinent information can be found in the works in the works
of the V century Spanish writer, P. Orosius, Historiae Adversus
Paganos; also, in the writings of the British seaman Wulfstan
dating back to 887-900 A.D.; also Scriptores rerum Prussicarum
I, 1861, pg. 732-733, etc. also make a mention of the scientific
achievements of the Prussian-Lithuanians.
Even though there are differing opinions, the German chronicler
Erasmus Stella (died 1521), XVI century German chronicler Simon
Grunau, the German historian Lucas David (1547-1605) and other
historians agree that already in 521 A.D. the people of western
Lithuania (Prussia) elected Vaidevutis their leader. He ruled
the people and established a defense against invaders.
An account that flavors of the legendary tells of an attempt
to form a Lithuanian Federation in the fifth century. Hertmanawicz
is the authority for the story which relates how Prince Brutenis
and Prince Vaidevutis sought to consolidate the various clans
into a working entity. (6)
It is interesting to note that Apuolë, situated in western
Lithuania, was attacked by the Swedish forces under King Olaf
in 853 A.D.
We now come to the second period of Lithuanian history. This
period can be counted from the X century, when foreign invaders
initiated aggressive actions against Lithuanians and Prussian-Lithuanians
in particular. The Poles began their invasions in 992 A.D., the
Czechs in 996 A.D., the Norwegians in approximately 1020 A.D.
The real destruction of the Prussian-Lithuanians was started
by the Teutonic Knights, German crusaders, (Also known as Teutonic
Knights, Teutonic Order. In Lithuanian language Kryiuoèiø ordinas)
in 1230 A.D. After many years of hard fighting and cruel action
the Germans succeeded in occupying Prussian Lithuania. Only after
World War II were these invaders forced to leave. Then Prussian
Lithuania was occupied by the Poles in the south and the Soviet
Union in the north.
Lithuania – the domineering power in Europe
By authority of Pope Innocent IV, Mindaugas was crowned as king
of Lithuania on July 17th, 1253. (Excellentissimo patri, domino
lohanni, romanae sedis summo pontifici, Gedeminne, letwinorm
et multorum ruthenorum rex… From the letter of Gediminas
to Pope John XXII, dated 1322). He united only a part of Lithuania’s
component provinces. “Had Mindaugas succeded in accomplishing
these plans, Latvia would have probably become a part of Lithuania…” (P.Z.)
Olins “The Teutonic Knights in Latvia”, Riga, 1928).
He (Algirdas, King of Lithuania, son of Gediminas, died 1377
A.D) made this declaration formally to the Christians: “The
King of Lithuania spoke: …Algirdas has spent 25 years of
his life, in youth and later, among Slavs Christians, before
coming to Vilnius; and he had led expeditions into Germany as
far west as Magdeburg and Frankfurt. He had marched against Moscow
three times. (7)
Eventually the Muscovites were forced to seek Lithuanian support
and protection against invaders from the East, the Tatars. As
records testify the Muscovites paid tribute to the Lithuanians
for their protection. (The name of Russia is known in history
only from the XVIII A.D.)
Lithuania held back German expansion
The Teutonic Knights, after being defeated in the Near East and
Africa in the 13th century, returned to Europe. With the blessings
of the Pope, many thousands of adventurers from almost all countries
in Europe, mostly from Germany, began a “Christianizing
War” against the “pagans” of Lithuania.
After continuous wars and hard fought battles throughout the
course of the 13th century, the Teutonic Knights had managed
to occupy the western part of Lithuania, named Prussia (Ostpreussen – in
German). After conquering Prussia, the Germans adopted its name
as their own. (8) Though shortly afterwards, on July 15th, 1410,
the Lithuanians led by Vytautas the Great, with the support of
Polish and mercenary armies, totally crushed the Teutonic forces
on Prussian-Lithuanian soil near algiris (Tannenberg);
(also known as the battle of algiris or Grunwald). In this
great battle practically all of the Teuton leaders were slain,
56 battle flags were captured, many prisoners taken, etc. algiris
was a total disaster for the Germans and it took them many years
to rebuild their military power.
In the 15th century Lithuania was one of the most powerfull states
in all Europe. Its land stretched for nearly 1.000.000 sq. km.
At that time Lithuania was larger than either Poland or Muscovy
(Russia). The field commander of the combined Lithuanian-Polish
army at algiris, one of the most important battles in Europe
during the middle centuries, was the ruler of Lithuania, Vytautas
the Great (1350-1430). Under his leadership Lithuania ruled Europe
from the Baltic to the Black Sea.
Of this great warrior King, the Encyclopedia Britannica says: “Vytautas
was certainly the most impressing personality of his time in
Eastern Europe, and his martial valor was combined with statesmanlike
foresight”. (Vol. 28, p. 762) (9)
A Lithuanian historian, Dr. Z. Ivinskis states:
It was not only the liberty of Lithuania that was at stake in
this life-or-death struggle, characterized by heroic deeds and
dramatic reverses. From European viewpoint the significance of
this struggle consisted in holding back the German expansion
This gigantic struggle has often been misrepresented as Slavs
vs. Germans. Particularly the modern Russian school books indulge
in this misrepresentation of history. As a matter of fact, the
Lithuanians had a leading and a decisive part in this struggle.
They dealt severe blows at the German Order at Saule (1236),
Durbe, (near Liepaja, 1260), Tannenberg (1410) were Lithuanians
aided by the Poles who, at that time, were also worried by the
aggressive German Order. (11)
The Muscovites continued to grow stronger. In 1569 Lithuania
signed articles of union or federation with Poland, the so-called
Act of Lublin. This union favored Poland, the shares of the two
nations were of different proportions and soon both countries
began to weaken.
Lithuania – Europe’s shield against Russia
After the elimination of Order threat, the main task of the Lithuania
State was to fight the growing menace of Moscow. Stepan Batory,
the ruler of the united Lithuania-Poland State, succeeded in
stopping, for two centuries, the Russian expansion toward the
Baltic and frustrated the obstinate undertaking of Czar Ivan
II to subjugate Livonia. This holding back of the budding Russian
imperialism by Lithuania was important from the viewpoint of
Europe’s history as well; because not until Peter the Great
(died 1725) did the Russians manage to “open the window
to Europe”. The struggle thought by Lithuania was cultural
as well as that of arms. The Orthodox penetration was met throughout
two centuries by the Jesuit Academy in Vilnius founded in 1579.
Vilnius in its Western architecture bears evident witness to
fierce struggle in the past between Eastern and Western civilizations.
Thus the Lithuanians fulfilled their mission of stopping the
Eastern aggression as well as the expansion of Eastern civilization
that was foreign to European minds. The performance of this huge
task eventually cost the Lithuanians the loss their national
independence (1795). (12)
It’s probably an unwritten rule from above that nations
grow in strength only to diminish in size and power eventually.
Persia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Spain etc. all has been the leading
world powers at one time or another. Thus in 1772, 1793 and 1795,
the wheel of history partitioned Lithuania and she was wholly occupied
and annexed by her neighbours, Germany and Russia.
In 1812, Napoleon established an independent Lithuanian government
in Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital, but after his defeat by
the Russians, Lithuania was reoccupied by Imperial Russia.
Russians hung Lithuanians
In 1831 the Lithuanian people revolted against Russian rule.
One of the leading Lithuanian partisans in this uprising was
young Countess E. Platerytë. Many other notable Lithuanians
took up arms against the tyranny of Russian rule.
In 1863-1864 once again nation wide revolts against the oppressors
of Lithuania, chiefly against the Russia, were organized. Moscow
sent strong Russian forces into Lithuania to suppress the revolt
but attempted to keep this fact secret from the rest of world.
The commander of the Russia occupation forces in Lithuania was
General M. Muravjov. In 1863, he ordered the hanging of captured
Lithuanian freedom fighters. Many of them were publicly executed
by hanging in the market places of Lithuanian cities and towns.
Many of the dead were left hanging for days. Since then, this
brutal Russian general has been known in Lithuania as “Muravjov
After putting down the Lithuanian revolt the Russians took punitive
measures against the Lithuanians. In 1832 they closed the only
University of Vilnius. Russian colonists were allowed to settle
in Lithuania whereas Lithuanian nationals were being deported
to the depths of Russia and Siberia.
Russians forbade any kind of printing in the Lithuanian language
From 1864 to 1904, the Russian occupiers did not permit Lithuanians
to speak, read, write or do any kind of printing in the Lithuanian
language. Despite these barbaric rules, the Lithuanians managed
to maintain the literacy level in their population at 48%. At
this time only 21% of the Russian people in Russia were literate.
Lithuanians managed to have their books and other publications
printed outside of Lithuania in Prussia (Germany), in the United
States, and sometimes even in Russia.
The Lithuanian efforts put such great pressure on the Russians
that after 40 years of attempted enforcement the Russians were
forced to lift their ban on Lithuanian printing.
Lithuania – an independent nation once again
On February 16, 1918, in her ancient capital city of Vilnius,
Lithuania was once again proclaimed an independent state. (13)
Subsequently the Declaration of independence was unanimously
approved by the freely elected Lithuanian Constituent Assembly
in 1920. From 1919 to 1920 Lithuanians were engaged in fighting
off their aggressive neighbours: Poland, Soviet Russia, and the
remainders of some German Army military groups. There were many
instances where the outnumbered Lithuanian forces had to fight
against ten-fold odds. Yet, after many bloody battles and costly
campaigns the Lithuanians managed to defend and hold quite a
substantial part of this territory.
The rebirth of Lithuanian independence was made possible by the
development of a favourable situation in Europe: (a) a strong
patriotic feeling of most Lithuanians at the time; (b) a favourable
international situation; (c) The fighting spirit of the newly
organized Lithuanian Army; (d) The sincere economic and moral
support by Lithuanians living in other countries, especially
in the United States.
On July 20, 1920, the Republic of Lithuania and Soviet Union
signed a Peace Treaty in Moscow, which stipulated that:
The Soviet Union recognizes the soviegnty and independence of
the Lithuanian State with all the juridical rights associated
with such a declaration, and forever renounces, in good faith,
all Russian sovereign rights, which it previously had in regards
to the Lithuanian nation and its territory.
Germany was first to grant full diplomatic recognition of Lithuania
by the U.S.A. was accorded on July 28th, 1922. Other world powers – Great
Britain, France, Italy, Japan, etc. also recognized the new Lithuania
During the time of its independence, 1918-1940, Lithuania progressed
probably more than any other nation in Europe. For example, in
the exporting of flax Lithuania was second in the world; Lithuanian
farm products such as meats, dairy products, many kinds of grain,
potatoes, etc. were of superior quality in the world market.
Tremendous progress was also made in the fields of education,
aviation, medicine, the arts, sports, etc.
During the course of World War II, the Republic of Lithuania
became a victim of Soviet Russia’s and Nazi Germany’s
conspiracy of aggression through a prior secret agreement signed
on August 23 and September 28, 1939. In that agreement Germany
gave Russia a “free hand” in Lithuania. (The USSR
was represented by Molotov, Nazi Germany by Von Ribbentrop) The
Russians, after presenting an ultimatum to the Republic of Lithuania
occupied the country and used the Red Army to maintain control.
The Lithuanians appealed to the great powers such as the United
States, Great Britain, France and others for help in safeguarding
their independence but help was not given. The free world allowed
Russians to snuff out the lamp of liberty in Lithuania. The West
then was falling prey to the unleashed might of Nazi-Germany
This was a most shameful selling out of innocent people into
communist slavery. It was one of the main mistakes made by United
States and other democratic countries.
Then in 1945 this initial mistake was compounded when during
the Potsdam Conference Europe was divided up into spheres of
influence whereby approximately 200,000,000 Europeans were left
to Soviet Russia exploitation. (x) For these mistakes and the
conditions they brought about the United States and other nations
are paying with the lives of their innocent sons on the battlefields
of Viet Nam, Cambodia, Laos, and not so long ago in Korea. A
disease is much easier cured in the beginning stages, not when
it has spread widely.
If you still believe in liberty and intend to remain free yourself
in the future, help free the people of Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia,
Ukraine, and all other enslaved nations! You can do this publicizing
the matter in any way possible at your disposal.
Organised silence against Lithuania
We have heard a lot about the brick wall, which was erected in
Berlin, about the Hungarian revolution, about the efforts of
the French resistance fighters during the World War II. We even
have tons of information made available about the battles against
the communists in Asia.
What have heard about Lithuania? Do you know that the Lithuanians
had an underground press during World War II while under both
Soviet and German occupation? Proportionally their efforts did
not lag behind the underground presses of other countries, France
X-The European countries occupied by the communists are: Estonia
- approximately 1,000,000 inhabitants; Latvia – 2,000,000;
Lithuania – 4,000,000; White Russia – 8,000,000;
Ukraine – 47,000,000; Poland – 34,000,000; East Germany – 18,000,000;
Czechoslovakia – 16,000,000; Hungary – 12,000,000;
Rumania – 22,000,000; Bulgaria – 10,000,000; Albania – 2,500,000;
Yugoslavia – 22,000,000; Finland (small section) – 500,000.
There are also a number of nations in Asia presently under Soviet
There were 28 underground periodical publications during the
Nazi occupation; this number of officially published periodicals
during that time, which was 18. (14)
The Lithuanians paid a high price for their patriotic efforts.
Thousands were executed in concentration camps by the Nazis.
Do you know that the beautiful city of Vilnius is the only capital
in Europe which was saved by the heroic deeds of it freedom fighters
during the early years of World War II? German armies were preparing
to bombard and destroy Vilnius in their surprise they learned
that the only Russian soldiers in the city were dead; therefore,
there would not be any way. Because of these actions many arrests
were made, men were often shot on sight by Germans, massive transportations
of Lithuanians to Nazi concentration camps were undertaken during
the year of the German Occupation 1941-1944.
Trying to break the Lithuanian people’s resistance the
Nazi held many Lithuanian intellectuals hostage in concentration
camps such as at Stutthof where 47 Lithuanian leaders were held
The Lithuanians Jews suffered the most at the hands of the Nazis.
Other Lithuanians risked their lives to save the Jews from sure
death at the hands of the Nazi German Gestapo. The spirit of
Lithuanian resistance remained unbroken throughout the entire
length of the war.
Do you know that on almost every Soviet Russian sports team there are numbers
of Lithuanians, winning top prizes for their rules and oppressors?
Do you know that during the Soviet Russian occupation of Lithuania immediately
following World War II about 60,000 Lithuanian freedom fighters continued to
resist Russian rule for several years? They died calling for help from the
world. Soviet Russia was forced to bring in many thousands of their soldiers
and thanks to fight against the forces of the freedom fighters.
Do you know that even today Lithuania has a high percentage of students in
her population compared to other nations in Europe?
Do you know that there are about 1,700,000 Lithuanians or people of Lithuania
descent living in many countries throughout the free world? Over one million
of this number are living in the United States. This compares to about 4,000,000
million Lithuanians under Russians rule.
Do you know that in the free world Lithuanians have over 100 various professional,
popular and informational publications, including two world wide dailies?
Do you know that the Lithuanians are the first and only ethnic group in the
United States that has managed to publish a national encyclopedia? The Lietuviø Enciklopedija
(written in Lithuania) consists of 36 volumes, each one containing several
volumes of Encyclopedia Lituanica in English language.
The Russian genocide against Lithuanians
Since 1940, when the Russian communists occupied Lithuania, thousands
of innocent Lithuanian men, women and children were deported
from their land to Siberia or another wasteland in Soviet Russia.
In 1940-1941 alone about 40,000 Lithuanians were packed into
cattle cars and shipped to inner reaches of Siberia. These people
were not given food or water so they quickly became weak. Most
of them died in Soviet concentration camps.
From 1944 to 1958 the Russians continued their persecution of
the Lithuanian people annihilating over 400,000 of them during
those years. Besides that, about 200,000 Lithuanian citizens “immigrated” to
Poland. (15) What would this loss of life amount to proportionally
in another nation, the United States for example?
In order to stop this genocide the Lithuanian people had to fight.
Many interesting facts and episodes of their resistance would
provide excellent material for books, films… for example:
May 15, 1945. Alytus district / Southern Lithuania /. The forest
of Kalniškiai was a scene of battle between 84 Lithuanians
and 2000 Russians. The Russians left 280 dead Lithuanian losses
were 43, among them three women, one of whom, a schoolteacher,
fought until her ammunition ran out even though both of her legs
had been blown off earlier.
May 15, 1945. Marijampolë / Southern Lithuania /, district of Budininkai.
A battle between 116 Lithuanians and about 700 Russians. Russian dead – 94,
Lithuanian losses were 3 dead and 6 wounded.
April, 1946. Këdainiai district / Central Lithuania /. About 3000 Russians
attacked 70 Lithuanian freedom fighters. The Lithuanians lost 12 men while
the Russian dead added up to 108. (16) Etc., etc.
Reports of battles such as these are endless. In some battles the Russians
used artillery, tanks, etc. The Lithuanians could defend themselves only with
light weapons. Most freedom fighters fought to the death; therefore, not many
of them were taken alive. They would often shoot themselves in order to escape
capture. In other times the freedom fighters would blow themselves with grenades
so that their bodies could not be identified, thus their families would be
spared persecution. Bodies of dead partisans that fell into Russian hands were
brought to the nearest market place where they were allowed to rot.
Among the East European countries seized and dominated by the Soviet Union,
Lithuania and other Baltic States – Latvia and Estonia – have not
yet received adequate attention from scholars. (17)
The first Lithuanian book from the second period in Lithuanian history was
published in the Lithuanian city Tvankstë / Königsberg / in 1547.
A Lithuanian, Duleckis, taught the Russians how to write music and therefore,
paved the way for Russian composers. (18)
The famous so called Russian writers like Dostojevski and Tolstoj are of Lithuanian
In 1529 the first Lithuanian Statute was printed. This Code of Laws was the
best judicial work in Europe at that time. A similar code was printed by the
Russians about 200 years later. The Poles never printed such a work. (19)
Lithuanians entertain the world
How many Lithuanians have become movie stars?
The ancestors of the noted British actor Sir John Gielgud were
Lithuanian nobles. Even today there remains a castle in Lithuania
bearing this name.
Have you seen the Paramount production “The Last Safari”,
where the star was the Lithuanian Kaz Garas followed by Stewart
Have you seen Joanna Shimkus, a Lithuanian, in “Les aventuriers” and “The
Marriage Of A Young Stockbroker” or the excellent film
adaptation of D. H. Lawrence’s “The Virgin and the
Gypsy”? A French magazine “Jours de France” in
one of their latest issues covered Miss Shimkus’ career
in 5 full pages. Her other American film performances were with
such great stars as Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Sidney
Do you know that one of the most popular movie stars in the world
is Lithuanian Charles Bronson?
Do you know other movie stars that are Lithuanian descent? Such
are: Ruta Lee, Jack Sernas, Laurence Harvey, George Mikell, Tino
Do you know that in the history of American sports you will find
many Lithuanian personalities: Jack Sharkey, (boxing world champ
in 1932); Frank Lubin, basketball; Johnny Podres, John Unitas,and
Dick Butkus football; Rûta and Vytas Gerulaitis in tennis,
Do you know…
That in about 3000 B.C. amber, known as Lithuanian “gold” /gintaras/
was used in trading? (20)
that in Nesvyius, the ancestral home of the Lithuanian
family of dukes, the Radvilas (Radzwill), were produced a high
quantity of artillery, pistols, rifles from the XV century on.
In this same palace a printing shop was established in 1582,
a college in 1588, an accurate map of the Lithuania was published
in 1613. A resident theater group was formed in the XVII century,
a newspaper was published starting from 1750. XVII-XVIII A.D.
a library collection consisting of about 20.000 rare books and
an art gallery of masterpieces by the great European masters
including Lithuanian artists were established. Those Lithuanian
art treasures were stolen by the Russians and used as the foundation
of establishing the ermitage Museum in Leningrad.
that in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius a paper mill was established
in 1524 and a glass works began operations in 1551.
that one of the first medical doctors and teachers of Latin in
New York was a Lithuanian named Alexander Carolus Curtius. His
letter to the governor of New York (formerly known as New Amsterdam)
is dated April 25, 1559. (21)
that a medical book written in Latin was published in Vilnius
in 1584. The preface to this work titled “Comentoriola
Medica ad aliquod Scripta” was written by the physician
to the Royal House, Simas Simonius.
that K. Semenavièius /1600 – about 1651/ was not
only the best artillery specialist in Europe /see his Artis Magnae
Artilleriae/ but also the first rocket scientist in the world.
(Alg. Gustaitis: Lietuvis pieš tris šimtmeèius
išrado raketas. „Naujoji Viltis“ nr.6, 1973/74.
Colonel K. Semenavichus, a Lithuanian, wrote it more than three
centuries before the first spaceship went aloft. This work on
the use of rocketry in artillery is illustrated with curious
drawings of rockets which bear almost uncanny likeness to present-day
space vehicles.“ (22)
... that a man in Vilnius flew a hot air baloon and raised himself
aloft in 1809. The real founder of aviation in Lithuania was
Alexandras Griškevièius (1809-1863). Between 1843
and 1850 he prepared a series of flying vehicle designs of which
the best were published in book form in 1851. He himself built
flying vehicles and tried to fly them in Kaunas and other Lithuanian
that in 1937 and in 1939 Lithuania won the basketball championship
of Europe. Lithuanians are still leaders in many sports in Europe
and the world.
The roman Catholic Church in Lithuania is one of the strongest
bastions of Lithuanian resistance by peaceful means, and is therefore
ceaselessly exposed to vicious attacks by the Kremlin and Lithuanian
puppets. The rulers of the Kremlin – in the eras of both
Stalin and Khrushchev – have shown as much zeal in their
program to destroy the Lithuanian Roman Catholic Church as in
that designed to annihilate the LFA. (23)
The so-called “elections” in Soviet occupied Lithuania
were completely controlled by the Russians, and the favourable
results were pronounced in advance from Moscow even before the “voting
places” were closed.
1972 in Lithuania four heroic Lithuanians killed themselves by
setting their own bodies on fire to protest the occupation of
Lithuania by Russians: 19 years old Romas Kalanta (May 14th in
Kaunas), 23 years old Stonis, 60 years old Andriuškevièius
and 62 years old Zališauskas. Before their death they shouted:
Laisvës Lietuvai! (Freedom for Lithuania!) “The Astians
lived on a higher civilization and cultural level than the normadic
Slavs, and Aistians weapons were not inferior to those of their
antagonist.” (C. F. Jurgela “History of the Lithuanian
Nation,” New York, 1948, p.46).
Western Russia came under Lithuanian domination, and only Novgorod
in the North remained independent. While Catholic Europe progressed
intellectually, the progress in the Orthodox area was spiritual,
economic, and political rather than intellectual.” (Wm.
L. Winter: The Baltic As A Common Frontiers of Eastern and Western
Europe in the Middle Ages. Lituanus No. 4, 1973, p. 23).
that the present oppressors of Lithuania, the Soviet Russians,
are continuing large scale religious persecutions and closed
down many churches which they have converted into factories,
warehouses, anti-religious museums and the like.
With the development of archeological and linguistic sciences,
especially during the last decades, the problems of the prehistorical
culture, the ethnogenesis, the living space and other problems
of the ancient past of the Lithuanians have received serious
scientific considerations. The origin of the Balts (thus of the
Lithuanians as well) is connected with the migration of the Indo-Europeans
to the Southeastern and Eastern Baltic region (3.000 B. C.).
At the end of the Neolithic and the beginning of the Bronze Age
the Proto-Balts emerged from a branch of the Indo-Europeans who
migrated to this region.” (J. Puzinas: The Origins of the
Lithuanians and Other Living Space According to The Latest Research.
Precedings of the Institue of Lithuanian Studies, 1971. Chicago,
1971, p. 61.).
Please help stop Russification of Lithuania
The daughter of the great classicist F. Dostojevski, in her father’s
biography, published in Spanish in 1942, states about him being
of Lithuanian descent and adds:
No country did so much to civilization of the Slaves, like this
small Lithuania. Other countries work for themselves, for their
own honor; Lithuania spread her culture and let it blossom in
the countries of her neighbors Poland, Ukraine, and Russia. Yet
they do not understand that and are not grateful, but the day
will come when they will clearly see their gigantic debt to this
modest and silent country of Lithuania. (24)
1. A. Bendorius, Lietuviø Enciklopedija, XV, Boston, 1968,
2. M. Gimbutas, The Balts, New York, 1963, p. 13.
3. S. K. Chatterji, Balts and Aryans, Calcutta, 1968, p. 28.
4. O. J. C. Norem, Timeless Lithuania, Chicago, 1943, p. 1.
5. E. J. Harrison, Lithuania’s Fight for Freedom, New York,
1952, p. 5.
6. Norem, Timeless Lithuania, p. 17.
7. S. K. Chatterji, Balts and Aryans, Calcutta, 1968, p. 46,
8. “Nur wenige Dokumente berichten uns von diesem ebenso
unglücklichen wie tapferen Volk, über dessen Grab wir
fahren, wenn uns der Zug von Marienburg über Elbing nach
Königsberg trägt. Aber noch im Tode haben sie sich
an ihren Unterwerfern gerächt, denn durch eine seltsame
Fügung bekam der Mörder den Namen des Ermordeten: die
Ordensritter wurden Preussen / d. i. Pruzzen / genannt, und ihr
Staat, den sie nach dem Zusammenschluss mit Brandenburg gründeten,
erhielt denselben Namen, dergeschichtlich betracht – nicht
anderes als ein Kainsmal ist”. J. Ehret, Baltisches Schicksal,
Basel, 1970, p. 10, 11.
9. Norem, Timeless Lithuania, p. 46.
10. Living in Freedom, Z. Ivinskis, Lithuanian Roll in European
History, Augsburg, W. Germany, 1948, p. 8.
11. Ibidem, p. 10.
12. Ibid., p. 10, 11.
13. “In period of Gediminas, of the earliest references
to Vilnius as Lithuanian’s capital, it lay approximately
in the center of ethnographic Lithuania. However, Lithuania’s
state boundaries by that time did not coincide with her ethnographic
boundaries. The Lithuanian State was steadily expanding to the
east and south during the reign of Mindaugas and thereafter.
At the beginning of the 15th century its frontiers reached the
upper Oka in the east, and the Black Sea in the south”.
A. Šapoka, Vilnius in the Life of Lithuania, Toronto, 1962,
p. 23, 24.
14. S. ymantas, Lituanus, nr. 2, 1960: Twenty Years of
15. J. Audënas, Varpas, nr. 7, 1967: Lietuvos gyventojai.
16. S. ymantas, Lituanus, nr. 2, 1960: Twenty Years of
17. V. S. Vardys, Lithuania under the Soviets, New York-Washington-London,
1965, p. VII.
18. V. Sruogienë, Lietuviø kultûros istorijos
bruoai, Chicago, 1962, p. 53.
19. Ibid., p. 41.
20. J. Puzinas, Lietuviø Enciklopedija, VII, Boston, 1956,
21. Dr. Alexander Carolus Cursius-Curtius. Edit.: S. Budrys,
V.Paprockas. Chicago, 1967.
22. Sputnic magazine. February, 1968, p. 135.
23. K. V. Tauras, Guerilla Warfare on the Amber Coast, New York,
1962, p. 100.
24. Amada Dostojevski, Vida de Dostoievski, por su hija, traducción
de Humberto Pérez de la Ossa, Buenos Aires, p. 22.
Some remarks about the 1st edition
Thank you for the excellent booklet about Lithuania. I wish we
had something like that about Latvia. Nobody reads the thick
volumes. People are too lazy. But the important facts in a nutshell,
presented in graphically well-spaced paragraphs, on 14 pages
only, with big, easy readable letters – that is precisely
the right thing in order to approach even sluggish readers. You
did your country a fine service.
Anšlavs Eglitis, Latvian writer & journalist.
From his letter dated January 4th, 1972.
His review of that booklet was published
In Latvian weekly “Laiks” January 26th, 1972.
This is a very handy booklet consisting of 16 pages by which
the reader is attractively informed about Lithuanians and Lithuania,
beginning with pre-historic time and up to present day reality.
Inside the cover page a general map shows Lithuania and points
to the interesting fact that Lithuania’s capital Vilnius
is the geographic center of Europe.
Lithuanian Daily “Draugas” / Chicago / cultural section
January 15th, 1972
The booklet is well suited to present to honorable foreign guests
during Lithuanian Day celebrations and other outstanding occasions.
Lithuanian Daily “Naujienos” / Chicago / No. 1, January
the booklet is well published in English and recommended for
Bi-weakly “Laisvoji Lietuva” / Chicago / No. 1, January
We may say, that it is a short history of Lithuania with the
most important historical facts which are steadily corroborated
by documents of the most interesting nature.
Lithuanian weekly “Europos Lietuvis” / London, England
/ No. 3,
January 18th, 1972.
A very useful publication to circulate among English speaking
Lithuanian weekly “Tëviškës Aidai” /
Australia / No. 11-12, March 28th, 1972
Back to Table
|8. LITHUANIANS HELPING LITHUANIANS
It is the Christmas season again and here are some places you can
help your fellow Lithuanians who are in need of many things this
I write this on behalf of Sister Helen Ivanauskas of The Sister's
Of Jesus Crucified, Brockton,Mass.. Sister Helen founded this group
to help all the children living in orphanages and those needing medical
attention. Over the years Sister Helen has sent more than 500 containers
to Lietuva with items for the children and the poor. And has raised
$$ to pay for much needed surgeries for "her children".
Now I ask of you to try to help also if possible. Any donation,no
matter how small,will go a long way in Lietuva. A donation can be
sent to : Lithuanian Children's Relief---c/o Sister Helen --Sister's
Of Jesus Crucified Convent ----261 Thatcher Street,Brockton,Ma.--
I'm sure that some of you that use this site may have heard of Sister's
efforts. "Her children" are very fortunate to have such
a "patron" as Sister Helen.
There I've said my piece. Please forgive me if I've over stepped
the line with this plea for "our" children. My many Acius
to all who can help.
SISTER HELEN IVANAUSKAS
C/O SISTER'S OF JESUS CRUCIFIED CONVENT
261 THATCHER STREET
YOUR DONATIONS ARE TAX DEDUCTABLE TOO
A short while ago I received the following message from the Director of
the orphanage in Klaipeda, Vaiku Globos Namai Rhytas. Winter has already
reached Lithuania and now the children at the orphanage really have genuine
Hi Dear Liuda,
How are you? I hope now all is going okay and we enjoy together with you.
Thank you for your message, but I’m sorry. I didn’t answer sooner,
was very busy. The begin of the new school year is very difficult for us
every time. We have now 80 children from 3 to 18 years old and we haven’t
enough school items, hygienic supplies and other things. And all time we have
many problems, many troubles.
Soon will come Mary Christmas. Our children like all children in the world
have their wishes, their dreams. But we can not realize them. Maybe good
people in the world can help us and to do better incoming holiday.
Now I write our needs:
Socks, stockings, slippers, sport shoes, vitamins, body source, gloves,
caps, hair accessories, bath accessories, decorative pillows, irons, various
frames, holiday candles and decorative lighting, holiday accessories, school
Dear Liuda, thank you very much for your attention, for your understanding.
SU MEILE IŠ LIETUVOS
The contact information you will need is:
Regina Milasiene, Director
Klaipedos Vaiku Globos Namai Rytas
Taikos Pr. 68
Friends, remember that when you have your packages sent via U.S. Mail
not to exceed $39 in declared value, but you are more than welcome to send
more than one package. The children can use anything you can send, of
course, but think very cold, not the best of heating, so warmer clothes are
really very much needed. also for those who would prefer to simply send a
personal check, this is also tremendously appreciated and money will be used
for the most urgent needs first. Checks may be made payable to:
Klaipedos Vaiku Globos Namai Rytas
For newcomers to our list, Regina is absolutely honest about everything
that is sent to her and she, herself, works overtime constantly to help in
all ways necessary to help the children. Government funding except for the
barest essentials has been reduced beyond belief, so what we can do to help
the children, please let's do even a little something, each of us, is
appreciated far more than words can express.
In advance, my sincerest appreciation in behalf of the children and
staff at Globos Namai Rytas!
There are some changes now in effect when mailing gifts and parcels to
If the parcel value, stated by the sender, is higher than 40 USD,
the recipient needs to pay 18% VAT and 10% income tax. Last year, this
minimum value was 100 USD.. For some people this additional cost might be
too high, and then they choose to return the parcel to the sender. The only
way to escape
this situation is to state lower value - not higher than 39 USD or to split
all parcels into smaller packages, each value lower than 40 USD..
Thanksgiving and Christmas season is almost here, and with it comes the
desire of human kindness to give to those less fortunate. Most of us give
generously to large charitable non-profit organizations, directly or
through work place, hoping that our money will be distributed fairly to
those in need. But very few realize that large Non-Profits use 30% to 40%
(and sometimes more) of our donations to pay for their own salaries and
We - The Auksuciai Foundation - are a small not-for-profit organization
with no salaries (all volunteers) and very, very low overhead expenses
(only postage, printings, etc.). We do not get reimbursed even for travel
expenses, thus almost 100% of your donations go directly to helping the
needy, neglected, small-scale Lithuanian farmers, who we hope, with your
help, will better their living standards by learning new farming methods
and becoming more competitive in the free-market economies.
We urgently need your help and grassroots support. That is why I am
contacting Lithuanian-Americans and other friends so we can provide the
resources to our brothers in Lithuania. Your personal involvement in this
effort, and in urging others to participate with you, is vital. We hope
you will join our group of supporters with a contribution that you can
afford today, of $50, $100, $500 or more. By your generous giving you will
fulfill your desire of being helpful to others. Please visit our Website
at www.aukfoundation.org to learn more about our accomplishments and
Please send your tax deductible contribution to
The Auksuciai Foundation
2907 Frontera Way
Burlingame, CA 94010 USA
Thank you for reading and responding to my letter,
Vytautas J. Sliupas, P.E.
President, The Auksuciai Foundation (USA)
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