Vol. 6, No. 1 - November 2003 (Editor Bernard Tirva)
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. Baltic Pride, Russian Tears Read 5. The Lithuanian National Anthem and more Read
2. The Immigrant as Diplomat - Book Review Read 6. Lithuania Reveals Long-Hidden Treasures Read
3. 2002 Annual Report Auksuciai Foundation Read 7. Book Review - 200.000.000 and Lithuanians Read
4. The Blooming Baltics Read 8. Lithuanians Helping Lithuanians Read

Labas E-zine Volunteer Staff:
Diane Rooney is the great-granddaughter of Lithuanian immigrants who settled in Gilberton, PA in 1901 to work in the region's coal mines. Her grandfather was a mule driver before leaving mining in 1926 for the more lucrative endeavor of tending bar in his uncle's Frackville hotel.

Born and raised in New Jersey, Diane received her B.A., M.A., and M.B.A. degrees from New York University. She recently completed her third trip to Lithuania for research on her family and their origins, and serves as Membership Director of the Lithuanian Global Genealogical Society. Diane is also a coal region writer and historian. Her first article was recently published in The Anthracite History Journal. She is an active member and media advisor of the COALition for a Coal Miners Commemorative Stamp, and can frequently be found collecting signatures at various Pennsylvania events during the summer.

Find out more about this effort to honor America's coal miners at www.coalminerstamp.com.
 
Jennifer is a 31 year old college student that recently returned FT to Stockton in NJ to complete her degrees. She is a double major in Literature and Political Science with a minor in Writing and Women's Studies. Jennifer became interested in gengealogy about 5 years ago. Her mother's side of the family is Lithuanian and Polish and she said that "I have always connected to that part of the family because they kept more of their "ethnic heritage" than my father's side". She has a great love for animals (3 dogs, 2 cats, and 1 very annoying bird) and some of her favorite pastimes include reading, writing, and going to the movies. Jennifer is also an alumnae sister of "Delta Phi Epsilon" sorority (from her years at Rutgers), and was just accepted into "Mensa" this past summer.
 
Laurel Schunk was born in Illinois in the forties and moved to Wichita in 1976. She began writing, secretly, at her grandmother's antique secretary desk at the age of seven. A lover of books, she never expected to become a writer; a private person, she felt too reserved to let her thoughts become public, but she overcame that fear in order to tell stories about child abuse, racism, and other social justice issues. She has a bachelor's degree in French from the University of Illinois as well as a second major, in psychology, from WichitaStateUniversity.

Her books in print include Black and Secret Midnight, The Voice He Loved, The Snow Lion, Rocks in My Socks, the Regency mystery, Death in Exile, as well as the first book in the Callie Bagley Gardening Mystery series, Under the Wolf’s Head.

She visited Lithuania in 1996 and fell in love with the country and the people. Her latest book, a mystery about a man striving to live a normal life under Nazi and then Soviet oppression in Lithuania, is entitled A Clear North Light . She is presently working on a second Lithuanian story, The East Wind Scatters.

Schunk started the publishing company St Kitts Press in 1998 in order to tell these stories and to publish the kinds of books she values, good stories about real people. St Kitts has published seven books so far and has three more planned for the year 2001.

She lives in Wichita, Kansas, with her husband John and their youngest child. She has four children, three in-law children, four grandchildren, and assorted pets.
   















1. Baltic Pride, Russian Tears
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 sea.

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 that in
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 time.

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
complex.

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 a third.

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 but occupation.

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 apart.

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 suffering.

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 shouted.

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 few
days earlier, allegedly because the population was "indignant at the rise in prices."

The "dismissed" parliament was, of course, still meeting. Huge
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 dare.

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.

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2. “THE IMMIGRANT AS DIPLOMAT: Ethnicity, Nationalism, and the Shaping of Foreign Policy in the Lithuanian-American Community, 1870-1922”
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 Foundation, Inc.

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 Americanism,
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 include:

-“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, from the

Lithuanian Research and Studies Center
5600 S. Claremont Ave.
Chicago, IL 60636-1039
Tel. 773/434-4545 Fax. 773/434-9363
E-mail: lithuanianresearch@ameritech.net
For further information, please contact:
Gary Hartman, Ph.D.
History Department
Southwest Texas State University
San Marcos, TX 78666
Tel. 512/245-3749
E-mail: gh08@swt.edu

Information submitted by Vytautas J. Sliupas, P.E., Burlingame, CA 12/21/02

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3. Year 2002 Annual Report of the “Auksuciai Foundation”
For background details,
please see our Internet Website
http://www.aukfoundation.org


Vision Statement:

- 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 programs.
- 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 in Lithuania.

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, with several family helpers, packed everything for final shipping before the end of the year. The materials were to be shipped gratis by the US Air 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 later).

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 other farm items.

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 was expanded 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 items.

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 installed.

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 the local farmers and the public what has been accomplished and what is being planned for the future. Over 150 people attended, including Lithuanian and American government officials, TV, radio and newspaper members. Director 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 Kraujelis, 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 Main Building, 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 will be 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; The Lithuanian 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.

Substantial 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. Additional areas of cooperation for the benefit of Lithuanian farmers are being sought through Dotnuva Institute and the College of Agriculture in Vilnius.

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 Europe for 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 Farmers.

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
November 2002

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 a research, demonstration, and learning Center at the Auksuciai Farm. At this facility an Honor Roll of our worldwide friends, who had the vision 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 organization:
THE AUKSUCIAI FOUNDATION, 2907 Frontera Way, Burlingame, CA 94010, USA
Please designate the family surname you wish to receive recognition. Thank you.
A 501(c)(3) Tax Deductible Organization ID #91-1944327 E-mail: <sliupasvyt@earthlink.net>

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 Consultant 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 Žemës 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 ancestry 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 and its 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 their 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 in Lithuania. 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


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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 from Vilnius.

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.

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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. They 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 his 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 and 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 of each.

+ 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,
LIETUVA 1991-01-13.

- 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, 1920.

- 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 was declared.

- 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 of Lithuania.

- 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 brief time.

- 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 of 1939.

- 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, was established.

- 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 of Lithuania.

- 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 effective.

- 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 this day.

- August 23-24, 1924 marked the performance of the first National Song Festival in Kaunas.

- 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 year.

- 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 faith.

- 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 Minister.

- 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 River.

- 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 charges.

- 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 it.

- 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 in 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.

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6. Lithuania Reveals Long-Hidden Treasure A l g i r d a s G u s t a i t i s
July 98

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 discovered.

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).

Lithuania, 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 celebrated treasure.

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 experts have
estimated the value of the treasure at more than $100 million.

Information 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 resources.

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:
http://www.litnet.lt/litinfo/litinfo.html
Lithuanian Home Page:
http://neris.mii.lt/
ELTA:
http://www.elta.lt/

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7. Book Review “200.000.000 and Lithuania
 
“I enjoyed your booklet “200.000.000 and Lithuania”
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. (1)
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 words:

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, etc.

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 Kryžiuoèiø 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 Žalgiris (Tannenberg); (also known as the battle of Žalgiris or Grunwald). In this great battle practically all of the Teuton leaders were slain, 56 battle flags were captured, many prisoners taken, etc. Žalgiris 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 Žalgiris, 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 eastward. (10)

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 the Hanger”.

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 State.

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 (1939-1940).

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 for example.

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 Russia occupation.

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 captive.

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 descent.

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 Granger?

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 Poitier, etc.

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 Grossi, etc.

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, etc., etc.

Do you know…

… That in about 3000 B.C. amber, known as Lithuanian “gold” /gintaras/ was used in trading? (20)

… that in Nesvyžius, 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. Cleveland).
„ 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 districts.

… 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)

Notes:

1. A. Bendorius, Lietuviø Enciklopedija, XV, Boston, 1968, p. 11.
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, 47.
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. Žymantas, Lituanus, nr. 2, 1960: Twenty Years of Resistance.
15. J. Audënas, Varpas, nr. 7, 1967: Lietuvos gyventojai.
16. S. Žymantas, Lituanus, nr. 2, 1960: Twenty Years of Resistance.
17. V. S. Vardys, Lithuania under the Soviets, New York-Washington-London, 1965, p. VII.
18. V. Sruogienë, Lietuviø kultûros istorijos bruožai, Chicago, 1962, p. 53.
19. Ibid., p. 41.
20. J. Puzinas, Lietuviø Enciklopedija, VII, Boston, 1956, p. 262.
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 11th, 1972.

… the booklet is well published in English and recommended for English speaking.
Bi-weakly “Laisvoji Lietuva” / Chicago / No. 1, January 6th, 1972.

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 readers.
Lithuanian weekly “Tëviškës Aidai” / Australia / No. 11-12, March 28th, 1972

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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 Christmas season.

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.-- 02302-3949.
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
BROCKTON,MA. 02302-3949

YOUR DONATIONS ARE TAX DEDUCTABLE TOO

Linkejemai!
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
needs.

" 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, because I
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 so
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 items,
hygienic supplies.

Dear Liuda, thank you very much for your attention, for your understanding.
God Bless

SU MEILE IŠ LIETUVOS
Regina"

The contact information you will need is:

Regina Milasiene, Director
Klaipedos Vaiku Globos Namai Rytas
Taikos Pr. 68
LT-5804 Klaipeda
Lithuania

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!

Geros dienos!
Liuda.

*NOTE*
There are some changes now in effect when mailing gifts and parcels to
Lithuania:

*taxation.
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
overhead expenses..

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
goals.

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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