www.lituanus.org
Copyright 1958 Lithuanian Students Association, Inc.
September, 1958  Vol. 4, No. 3
Managing Editor P. V. Vygantas

Editorial

The Barbarian is at the Gate

New Yorkers driving away for the weekend are passing by a group of 18 Hungarians who are picketing the offices cf the Soviet U. N. delegation. The two groups of people, although only an arm's length away from each other, are worlds apart. The minds of those on the picket line are a searing wound, an outcry against the genocide in their native land. The thoughts of these inside the cars revolve around swimming and fishing, baseball and barbecues. Don't they live in a society in which political terror is unknown, where opposition leaders retire in this world but not into the other one? True, the people in the cars are vaguely aware that dark deeds are being perpetrated. But that is happening "somewhere in Hungary" or "somewhere in Lithuania" on different planets. So the cars speed on, the passers-by rush along, and the handful cf Hungarians go home with broken spirits.

MEANWHILE, THE BARBARIAN IS STANDING RIGHT AT THE GATE

The possibility arises that Khrushchev would visit New York. A local newspaper canvasses a cross-section of New Yorkers on their opinions about such a visit. Some say it would do him good to see hew nice we've got it here; others express concern that "minority" groups might try to harm him. None voice indignation or mention being repelled by the idea cf the greatest living mass-murderer setting foot on this land.

THE BARBARIAN, MEANWHILE, SMILES DERISIVELY AND KNOCKS AT THE GATE

A group of Soviet Communist Party informers and supervisors, who are working their way through college, sit at a table in Columbia University and answer questions put forth by a group of American students. Their answers, carefully memorized at home, have nothing personal about them; the men and women transmitting their official monotony perform a function of sound machines only. Yet wide-eyed American newspapermen call these sound machines "representatives of Soviet youth." And the American students are questioning them as such, politely and curiously. Yet indignation does not ring in their questions; indignation about a system which had exhibited bodies of slain Lithuanian student-guerillas on market places, and the tanks of which were mowing down Hungarian students on the streets of Budapest. Can one be polite to a philosophy which has but two models in mind while developing their young ones: parrots and automatons? Respecting one's guest is, of course, obligatory, but respecting a tyranny which they represent and advertise is nothing but a sad lack of self-respect.

THE BARBARIAN, MEANWHILE, ARROGANTLY CHARGES THAT HE IS BEING MALIGNED AND MISUNDERSTOOD. HE WAVES ENDLESS LETTERS, BRANDISHES MISSILES AND KICKS AT THE GATE IMPATIENTLY

Thornton Wilder had said once something to the effect that America would have to suffer deeply as a nation before it could really reach maturity. It is a phrase fertile with discussion material. Suffice to say that, even if suffering is spared to them, America and Americans can prove their maturity by their awareness of the great issues of to-day and a passionate involvement in them.

In the global struggle of our time, the United States of America, is leader of the so-called free world which professes to uphold and defend the principles of Western civilization. One of the main tenets of that civilization is the inherent worthiness and dignity of the individual. This is where our world differs basically from the ant society of Khrushchev and Mao. If the people of this great and affluent country wculd ever forget how to be indignant and how to feel pain when pain and death is inflicted to their brothers in Lithuania, Hungary, Poland or somewhere else; if Americans would cease being militant in matters of justice and liberty then the decay would have set in. Once one starts being a vague pacifist with regard to one's innermost soul and life-blood, one ends by obtaining the peace of the graveyard.

THE BARBARIAN KNOWS IT. AND HE IS ALREADY FORCING THE GATE