LITHUANIAN QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF ARTS AND SCIENCES
Volume 15, No.1 - Spring 1969
Editors of this issue: Antanas Klimas, Kestutis Skrupskelis
Copyright © 1969 LITUANUS Foundation, Inc.
THE PARTISAN MOVEMENT IN POSTWAR LITHUANIA*
V. STANLEY VARDYS
Organized partisan resistance in Lithuania lasted for eight years (1944-52),1 conveniently divisible into two periods: four years of strength (1944-48) and four of gradual decline (1949-52). During the first period, the partisans reached proportions of an underground army and fought open battles. Rising spontaneously in the summer of 1944, the movement spread very quickly, and by the spring of 1945, its ranks included an estimated 30,000 active fighters with other thousands ready to join in case of need.2 Partisan groups were especially strong during 1945-47, when they dominated the countryside, withstanding the squeeze by combined Soviet security and regular army forces. The main formations of the movement, according to Soviet sources, could not be broken till the end of 1948.3 During this period (1944-48), the movement underwent many organizational and tactical changes, necessitated by the losses suffered at the hands of the Soviet pursuer and the strategies he adopted against the partisans. At this time, too, main movement were decided and attempts were made to question concerning the leadership and tactics of the movement were decided and attempts were made to unite all partisan groups on a national basis. However, success at unification eluded the partisans till the end of 1946. The achieved unity, furthermore, was more formal than actual, because intensified Soviet countermeasures prevented consolidation of organizational gains. Early in 1949, partisan groups reorganized into Lietuvos Laisvės Kovų Sąjūdis (LLKS), or Movement of Lithuania's Struggle for Freedom, 4 adopted tactics more suitable to small conspiratorial groups and continued resistance until destroyed sometime around 1952. The last leader of the movement, A. Ramanaukas-Vanagas, an American-born former teacher, however, seems to have escaped capture till 1956, when he was arrested and executed.5
The scope of the hostilities can be judged from estimates of losses suffered in life and property. The director of the Lithuanian Communist Party's history institute at Vilnius told an American journalist in 1961 that during the partisan war "about 20,000 bandits [partisans] were killed and about an equal number of our own people."6 Lithuanian national sources put the figure at 30,000 for the partisans alone.7 Neither of these figures includes liquidated or deported partisan families and supporters, which ran into tens of thousands. Property losses also were quite extensive. They included destroyed bridges, telephone lines, houses, livestock, crops. As a result of partisan activities in 1944-47, acreage of cultivated land was sharply reduced.8 It has been claimed also that owing to conditions created by the guerrilla-style war newly established kolkhozes in Lithuania started in greater poverty than those in the other Baltic states.9
Causes of Armed Resistance to the Soviets
Armed resistance to the Soviets began during the summer and late autumn of 1944, immediately after the armies of the Third Byelorussian Front, led by General Ivan Cherniakhovsky, reconquered Lithuania from the Germans. Partisan groups emerged spontaneously, Without a preconceived central plan, though in the northwestern part of the country they organized shortly before Cherniakhovsky's armies overran the area.
The explanation of such an immediate and violent response to the renewed Soviet occupation is to be found in the peculiarly Lithuanian experiences and attitudes, shaped by the turbulent events of World War II. These experiences and attitudes may be summed up under five headings: (1) Lithuanian acquaintance with Soviet rule in 1940-41 and its overthrow in mid-1941 ;10 (2) analysis and appraisal of the war and the international situation; (3) persistence of nationalist idealism and pro-Western orientation among the leaders of the intelligentsia, including former army officers; (4) experience, tradition, and momentum developed by previous organized nationalist undergrounds, first against the Communists in 1940-41, and then against the Nazis from the summer of 1941 to the end of the German occupation; (5) the Kremlin's quick pace of sovietization, purges, and reprisals suffered by large segments of the population under the renewed Soviet rule.
Since 1940-41, Lithuanian relations with the Soviets had been poisoned by Soviet designs on Lithuania, and experiences with the Soviet regime had created an abyss between an overwhelming majority of the population and the Communists. In 1940, the Kremlin had forcibly incorporated the small country into the Soviet Union, communized much of the nation's life, and introduced a regime of terror that on June 13-14, 1941, culminated in the deportation of some 35,000 people to remote labor camps in Soviet Russia. Such measures had shocked the people, and in 1944, memories of these events were still very fresh. The returning Red Army was therefore greeted not with joy but with considerable apprehension and fear. Reconciliation with the victorious Soviets in 1944 did not seem possible or even feasible particularly because all ties with the Bolsheviks had been visibly cut by an armed insurrection against the regime on June 23, 1941.11 During their first occupation, the Bolsheviks had so alienated diverse strata of the population that a broadly based anti-Soviet underground sprang up and finally rose in an armed revolt. A force estimated at 100,000 men rebelled against the Soviets on the evening of the day Germany attacked the Soviet Union, and the arriving German armies found most localities, including the central cities, under Lithuanian insurrectional control. The objectives of this rebellion were strictly nationalistic. Fearful that Germany would not recognize Lithuania's new independence, the rebels attempted to force the Germans to accept a fait accompli. Thus two days before the German columns reached the administrative capital, Kaunas, the rebels, using the seized broadcasting system, announced the restoration of the Lithuanian state and establishment of a provisional government. But for the Germans this was a nuisance. Extremely confident of their own power, the Nazis denied all nationalist claims, disarmed the rebels, and dispersed their government, substituting for It a Zivilverwaltung under a Nazi commissar. Thus, although the insurrection had considerably quickened the pace of their blitz in the Baltic area, the Germans completely frustrated the political aims of the rebellion and by so doing forfeited Lithuanian cooperation.
The anti-Soviet rebellion nevertheless exerted a lasting and intoxicating effect on the Lithuanians. On the one hand, it demonstrated the existence of virulent nationalism and showed that nationalist convictions could be translated into a reasonable powerful force. On the other, it proved to the satisfaction of the masses that the Red regime was not invincible. If it cracked in 1941 under the whip of an invading European power, supported by the native population, it could lose again under similar circumstances. Thus, though by January 28, 1945 Soviet armies had completely overrun the Lithuanian territory, large segments of the country, especially the intelligentsia and the farmers still clung to a conviction that the new Soviet occupation was only temporary.12
In 1944, a majority of Lithuanians believed that the Soviets would be thrown back by a coalition of Western Allies and Germany; the Germans were expected to overthrow Hitler and make a separate peace treaty with the United States and Great Britain.13 When this hope vanished with Germany's capitulation, invasions sponsored by the United States, alone or with England, were expected.14 This widely held Lithuanian view that the Soviet regime was of a transient nature was enhanced by a fatally unrealistic appraisal of the emerging international situation.
The leaders of anti-Soviet resistance inherited the political interpretation of World War II from the former anti-Nazi underground. According to this view, the war was not fought by two, but by three parties: Germany, the United States with Great Britain, and the Soviet Union. The Atlantic powers and the Soviets were not really allies, it was maintained, but merely cobelligerents, accidentally thrown together in an incompatible coalition which would soon break up in disagreement over the postwar organization of the world. The emerging conflict between the wartime partners was expected to explode into a new world war which the Soviets would lose, thus leaving Lithuania independent.15 This analysis, generally speaking, influenced the choice of action suggested for the intelligentsia during the fateful summer of 1944, when a decision had to be made by many whether to stay under the returning Soviets. Important national leaders advised that the intelligentsia, as the group that could provide future leadership but was likely to suffer most under the Soviets, should temporary withdraw to the West.16 Those who could not leave were to seek safety with the partisans at home in order to survive until the beginning of an armed conflict between the victorious wartime allies. This day was believed to be near.
The explanation of this insightful but greatly over simplified interpretation of war and international settlement is found partly in a psychological hope of deliverance that only captives can have and partly in the misunderstanding of the West and Lithuania's relation to it. The generation of Lithuanian intelligentsia that directed both the anti-German and later anti-Soviet underground had been educated in West European and Lithuanian universities during the year's of Lithuania's independence (1918-40), when the nation's economic, political, and cultural life was directed toward Western Europe.17 This intelligentsia regarded Lithuania as an integral part of the "Western" world. With small exceptions, this social group was anti-Soviet and disdainful of all things Russian.18 Although during the twilight of Lithuania's independence (1938-40), representatives of this generation were emerging as intellectual and political leaders, they were denied leadership by the occupants, and thus assumed the direction of the nation from the underground. To these leaders it seemed preposterous to suggest that the Western powers, which meant the United States and Britain, would abandon Eastern Europe to the masters of the Kremlin. During the German occupation such views were denounced as German propaganda. Later they were dismissed as Soviet lies. Desperate and idealistic, this intelligentsia placed its trust in the Atlantic Charter19 and in the United States and Britain, whose pressure was expected to force the restoration of Lithuanian independence in the San Francisco conference that founded the United Nations.20 Dates marking the liquidation of Soviet rule were predicted.
This erroneous confidence in the West also underlay later misinterpretations of the policies of the Western powers. Generally, the policy of containment that the United States initiated was confused with the policy of liberation for which the captive Lithuanians hoped. Winston Churchill's speech at Fulton, for example, was regarded as a call "to the entire world to begin the struggle against the Communist beast" and as a signal to start concrete preparation for war.21 President Truman's speech on aid to Greece and Turkey was found to "give hope of liberation."22 To the Lithuanians, then for the third year under Soviet oppression, such anti-Soviet declarations provided a tonic that was taken for a cure-all. It gave new encouragement to the partisans, inspired hope of help from abroad, and induced them fatally to exaggerate their long-term ability to resist the Soviets openly.
Another factor that encouraged the rise of anti-Soviet resistance was the momentum created by the anti-German underground, whose organizations now provided the initiative and nucleus for anti-Soviet resistance.23
This anti-Nazi underground, brought to life largely by the leaders of the politically fruitless insurrection against the Soviets, was led by the Supreme Committee for Lithuania's Liberation (Vyriausias Lietuvos Išlaisvinimo Komitetas) and supported by a widespread and influential clandestine press. It maintained military formations but functioned differently from anti-German resistance groups in Western Europe.
The Lithuanians were caught between the Soviets and the Germans. Neither was their ally and both claimed Lithuanian land. Therefore the anti-German underground helped neither, but pursued its own policy of preserving the nation's manpower and resources, ready for the day they might be used to support purely nationalist objectives. Moreover, since there was no desire for the return of the Red Army, the underground did not sabotage the regular German military activity directed against the Soviets or Soviet partisans, but emphasized passive resistance, fought German propaganda, and sabotaged German plans for economic and military mobilization. Later this accumulated experience was used in an attempt to frustrate the re-establishment of Soviet rule and institutions. The tactics, significantly, this time were were different. Now the underground resorted to open violence.
To the list of reasons that explain the rise of armed resistance, it is important to add the Kremlin's relentless pace of sovietization, purges of unreliable elements, and the highhanded behavior of the regime's administrative authorities.24 After Stalin's death, Lithuanian Communists themselves acknowledged the provocative nature of their conduct. One of the most resented Soviet policies was the forceful sovietization of agriculture, hastily decreed in August, 1944. This measure ordered a new land distribution that fragmented land-holdings and inflicted economic punishment on "kulaks" and farmers singled out as German "collaborators."25 A score of other harassing decrees, designed to tire the farmer into accepting collectivization, were passed during 1944-47. The measures invited Violation, and prisons soon became overcrowded with ordinary villagers. Many of those still free rallied around the partisans, convinced that only the overthrow of the regime promised hope of salvation.
The vengeful purge of suspect and politically unacceptable inhabitants also incited people to take up arms against the regime. The purge, begun immediately after the return of Soviet security organs, was conducted very systematically and, though at first based only on individual arrests, actually continued the series of deportations that were started but not completed before the outbreak of the German-Soviet hostilities. The resumed screening was directed, as previously, against, the potentially "counterrevolutionary" segments of population. As captured NKVD-NKGB documents revealed,26 in 1941 these segments included members of all non-Communist political parties; leaders of patriotic, religious, and youth organizations; former military officers; former law-enforcement officers; priests and ministers; and active workers of many specified organizations. The Soviets served themselves well by aiming to liquidate these people. The marked categories were citadels of militant Lithuanian nationalists who had led two successive nationalist movements against the Communist and Nazi occupations and in 1944 organized the first partisan groups.
The regime used two formal charges for arrests— "enemy of the people" and "war criminal."27 Both charges were employed also against people considered socially alien to the regime (e. g., merchants, kulaks) and against former German "collaborators" (e.g., voluntary or involuntary soldiers in German uniform; local government officials during the German occupation). The arrests did not reach prewar proportions until February, 1946, when, because of intensified efforts to destroy armed resistance, the Soviets resumed the deportations of thousands of families and instituted mass reprisals against entire villages.
In addition to the feared collectivization and the purge, several other Soviet policies produced recruits for the partisans. One of these was mobilization for military service. To escape Soviet service, people resorted to draft dodging and desertion—tactics successfully employed against similar mobilization by the Germans. These unwilling soldiers usually found refuge with the partisans. Similarly, violators of postwar labor regulations, such as the requirement of permission to change jobs, frequently sought refuge in the forests. Also, political prisoners freed by the NKVD on condition of serving as sotrudniki (informers), frequently chose to join the partisans. Finally a general breakdown of postwar law enforcement encouraged partisan activity for protection in vigilante style. This usually happened in locations where authorities were either helpless or, as was mostly the case, unwilling to restrain civilian gangs or Soviet soldiers from looting farmsteads and attacking their inhabitants.
Although this Communist behavior was sufficiently oppressive to provoke violent native reaction, the Soviets never recognized the partisan movement as an indigenous force of opposition. At first, armed resistance was claimed to be German-inspired, and the guerrillas were denounced as "remnants of Lithuanian-German nationalists."28 A decade later, this charge was refined to accuse "Hitlerite helpers," who were identified as "policemen, officers of the bourgeois army, active members of the bourgeois parties, priests."29 At present, not only the Germans and their alleged collaborators are blamed for sponsoring the partisans, but the Western democracies as well. In a speech to the Twenty-second Party Congress, the first Secretary of the Lithuanian Communist Party, Antanas Sniečkus repeated the now standard charge that the partisan movement was "established by the Hitlerite occupant and supported by American and English intelligence."30 However, data produced by the Soviets offer no convincing evidence to substantiate such broad contentions. These charges, in fact, are without foundation, initiated purely for propaganda purpose.**
In retrospect, the Lithuanian Communists nevertheless conceded another point, namely, that the stern policies of the postwar period were at least partially responsible for the difficulties experienced 'in restoring Soviet rule. "Mistakes" were acknowledged but blamed on the Stalinist regime: the "cult of personality" and its disregard for "socialist legality,"31 the "lack of attention for specific conditions."32 Antanas Sniečkus in the quoted speech to the Twenty-second Party Congress, admitted that "breaches of socialist legality" had made it quite difficult for the Communists to win popular support.33
"Illegally treating innocent people," the first secretary of the Lithuanian party said, "adventurers of Beria's type (Possibly a reference to General Kruglov, former deputy of Beria, who conducted the suppression of the partisan movement) compromised the policies of the government, rendered more difficult the struggle against traitors, and on occasion made it possible for the real enemies of the people and socialism to escape unscathed." These anti-Stalinist phrases by a Communist with a Stalinist record dating back to 1936 may represent nothing else but Sniečkus' own effort to dissociate himself from the unpopular policies of the late 1940's. Yet voices heard in Soviet Lithuania of the 1960's suggest that, at least among the Lithuanian Communist leaders, there existed differences on the Party's agricultural policy and methods of collectivization.34 These questions, of course, directly concerned the anti-Soviet resistance. The partisan movement, however, has not been recognized as a justifiable albeit improper reaction to the Stalinist regime. The chief of the KGB in Lithuania, A. Randakevičius, explained in a newspaper article that persons convicted for activities in the "bourgeois nationalist underground" did not fall into the category of victims of the "cult of personality. 35
Nature of the Partisan Movement
Organized primarily on the assumption that the peaceful coexistence with the Communists was impossible and their rule only temporary, the Lithuanian partisans coalesced as a movement under religious and nationalist symbols, and concentrated, by the use of violence, on resisting political and social changes that the Soviets, also by force of arms, were imposing. What sort of people combined under these universal symbols for such a seemingly hopeless resistance? What made them stand together? What were their concrete objectives ? How did they pursue them and why by force ? Several important characteristics of the partisan movement emerge from a discussion of these questions.
The membership of Lithuanian partisan groups reflected the national character of the anti-Soviet resistance.36 It encompassed people from all walks of life and from diverse social and political backgrounds. High-school and college students rubbed shoulders with their teachers; farmhands and city workers fought together with the farmers; noncommissioned officers of the Lithuanian army were found side by side with their former superiors. Clergymen also participated. Usually they served as chaplains, though frequently they, too, carried guns. Women acted as nurses, fighters, and liaison agents. Sometimes entire families, including teen-age children, were found among the ranks. Most partisans were young; the dominant social background was that of the worker and farmer with medium-sized holdings. As was the case in other countries, in Lithuania the poorer population strata were better represented among the partisans than the rich. At least one partisan paper, Už Tėvų žemę, complained, furthermore, of relative shortage of intellectuals, scholars, and artists.37 Similarly, the same paper pointed out that independent Lithuania had educated a larger number of army officers than the proportion of those participating in the partisan movement.
Shades of political opinion and, at first, ethnic background were not important so long as a member's loyalty belonged exclusively to the partisan organization. A good number of freedom fighters and most of their chief leaders had borne arms against the Soviets in the insurrection of 1941 and later had worked against the Germans in the nationalist anti-German underground. A handful of them were persons originally parachuted as German intelligence agents; their joining the ranks had given partisan groups access to valuable German stores of munitions, weapons, and other needed materials.38 Moreover, escaped German POW's and and Russian Red Army deserters also were found among the ranks. These instances, needless to say, were seized upon by the Soviets as lending credence to the allegation that the armed resistance was of German origin. The partisans however, from the beginning had disqualified those parachuted German agents who refused to subordinate themselves completely to partisan command and discipline. Furthermore, beginning in early 1945, membership was confined exclusively to ethnic Lithuanians with an occasional exception made only for persons of Latvian origin.
The leadership was in the hands of the intelligentsia, educated and matured during the two decades of Lithuanian independence. However, contrary to the practice of the anti-German underground, commanding positions generally were entrusted to former officers of the Lithuanian army. Usually, these were of lower ranks (below full colonel); many of them were reserve rather than regular army officers. In many cases, partisan groups were organized by these officers.
The motives of these people were mixed. As suggested in the discussion of the causes of armed resistance, some sought personal safety (e. g., deserters from the Red Army or persons seeking protection against charges of "enemies of the people" or "war criminals"); others were dedicated to loftier nationalist ideals; some joined only when "legal" life became too uncomfortable, dangerous, and insecure; others chose partisan existence in preference to a life of accommodation to Communists; still others were simply adventurers. Generally, however, under conditions of totalitarian rule, the instinct of self-preservation and some higher purpose overlap so much as motivational factors that classifications of motives into "selfish" and "idealistic" seems to become somewhat unreal. Both result in dissent which, though of different origin is likely to result in some form of resistance that under totalitarianism, offers the protection (or its illusion) of both personal safety and group ideals. This at any rate seems to have been the case with the Lithuanian partisans.
Organizationally, partisan membership was structured like most underground groups; it resembled a floating iceberg. There were three layers to this iceberg.39 Its visible part constituted the real underground of "active" fighters, armed with light weapons of German and Russian make and sometimes with light artillery.40 These were "front-line" soldiers and lived in forests or farm shelters. Their ranks were continually changing, because the average life span of an active fighter was only two years.41 This visible part of the iceberg also varied in size, especially during 1945-47. It expanded immediately after some repressive Soviet action and shrank when dangers in "legal" life tapered off. To the partisans this circumstance was very dangerous, as it permitted as easy infiltration of the groups by Soviet agents. The two other layers of the organizational iceberg were composed of "passive" fighters and "supporters." Members of the first group were armed but stayed at home on their jobs or at schools. They were called upon only occasionally •for a variety of tasks. The supporters also lived legally. Although they did not bear arms, their contribution to the cause was no less important. They provided supplies and shelter, and they gathered intelligence.
The actual organizational structure of partisan groups varied from region to region, but everywhere individual organizations were built around two principles, conspiratorial secrecy and military discipline.42 The groups were united into conspiratorial military formations under religious and nationalist symbols, which were helpful in maintaining both secretly and disciplined standards of behavior. Partisan groups usually held prayer meetings and frequented sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church, to which the majority of the partisans belonged. The oath to new members was administered in a semi-religious ceremony.43 Whenever available, a priest, usually the group's chaplain, administered the oath, and the new partisans kissed a crucifix or the Bible, and often a gun as well. The leaders usually were required to sign this oath. Each partisan then chose a code name. Furthermore, fearing the NKVD methods of interrogation, the partisans agreed not to be taken alive. If no escape was possible, they usually committed suicide.44 From about 1946 on, it seems, the partisans blew themselves up with grenades held close to the face, so that they could not be recognized. Such methods were used to protect their families and friends.
To identify themselves outwardly with Lithuanian nationalism and its military tradition, the partisans, though conspiratorial activists, wore uniforms of the old Lithuanian army with all the insignia of rank and merit.45 This and decorations for courage, valor, or service that were occasionally conferred on individual fighters or supporters also emphasized the military nature of the organization and helped to maintain discipline. The primary partisan groups were small units composed of seven to ten men sharing two or three shelters. These groups were combined into companies, which in turn constituted regional organizations. Unity under a national command was achieved at the end of 1946, but only for a very brief period- National command, however, did not seem to be vital to the movement. Maintenance of discipline was more important. Where it was lacking, unnecessary losses resulted and behavior of individual partisans became needlessly brutal. Discipline faltered when there was a shortage of proper leadership Yet in most cases commanding officers were elected. Leaders of primary groups were elected by the ranks; other commanders were elected by officers of subordinate groups. Only staff officers were appointed. Thus there was a close relationship between the leaders and the ranks; the quality of the ranks and the quality of the leadership tended to correspond, and the degree of discipline maintained varied accordingly. All of these factors varied somehow from group to group, region to region.
Organized as conspiratorial military groups, the partisans were dedicated to the restoration of Lithuanian independence.46 True to the tradition of previous underground nationalist movements,47 the partisans maintained that according to international law, their country's independence had not been lost; the occupying power merely prevented the exercise of the nation's sovereignty. Consequently, the partisans not only refused to recognize the legality of Soviet actions but also maintained their own courts, issued credit papers, passed decrees, and enforced their regulations on that part of the population they could reach, and until 1951 or possibly 1952, maintained an underground government with a president and Council of the Republic.48
The blueprint of this new Republic is not available, though at least one was prepared and published in the papers of south Lithuanian partisans. 49 As a rule, partisans have no time for programs; they are people of action, not theory. Lithuanians were no exception. However, a glimpse into their political ideology can he had from declaration of the founding conference that, 'in 1946, attempted to reorganize the partisan movement into the United Movement for Democratic Resistance.50 In this very brief statement, a number of leading partisan groups proposed the creation of an international, democratic welfare state. They subscribed to the principles of Christian ethics and Western democracy; to charity, humanism, justice, tolerance, and freedom of conscience, speech, and thought. Law based on the principles of Christian morality was declared to be the only norm of personal and group behavior, and the use of force was held as a necessary evil. The declaration further rejected narrow-minded nationalism and envisioned a world government and world economic community as the only guarantors of peace. It also spoke of the need for far-reaching social and economic reforms.
What were the partisans' concrete objectives? Dedicated to the restoration of a democratic Lithuanian state, they concentrated on obstructing the totalitarian Soviet regime. Though the methods of obstruction varied and different tactics were used in different regions, emphasis was laid on preventing the re-establishment of local soviets and on impeding the work of other Soviet institutions, especially the NKVD. Thus during the immediate postwar years (1944-47), the partisans made it impossible for the regime to recruit local government officials and very difficult to enforce the government's policies-Officials who endeavored seriously to cooperate with higher Soviet authorities were usually liquidated as punishment and as a warning to others. As a result, many districts and villages for months did not have responsible administrators.*** The partisans also obstructed the implementation of the Bolshevik land reform and later impeded the collectivization of farms.51 Peasants eligible for land were stopped from taking any that was confiscated from a farmer whose original holding did not exceed 40 hectares (99 acres). Organizational meeting for collective farms were dispersed; organizers and occasionally some farmers who joined were liquidated.52 The partisans held up deliveries of agricultural products that the government requisitioned from many penalized farmers and punished the sellers of government credit bonds that the people were forced to buy.53 On several occasions the partisans obstructed Soviet elections.54 They disorganized local government in still other ways, frequently destroying smaller NKVD groups, cutting lines of communications, seizing government offices, and stealing documents, sometimes even attacking NKVD prisons in larger towns such as Kaunas.
Other partisan activities that served the same purpose of obstructing the re-establishment of Soviet rule may be divided into four categories: punishment of suspect collaborators with the Communists; dissemination of information; documentation of Soviet crimes and practices ; protection of the lives and property of the civilian population.
In the view of the partisans only native Lithuanians qualified as possible collaborators.55 It was held that only Lithuanian citizens owed allegiance to the partisans Russian and other non-Lithuanian civilians were generally safe, and the regular Soviet military (as distinguished from the secret police) was not hampered, except in cases where partisans acted in self-defense. Lithuanians suspected of assisting the regime were punished by death, though occasionally the partisans employed less extreme measures and resorted to liquidation only after the demand to comply with partisan orders was disregarded. Sentences were passed and publicly announced by partisan courts, with the accused usually absent from the proceedings. A popular partisan leader, žaliasis Velnias ("Green Devil", a code name for a former noncommissioned officer of the Lithuanian army), showed his responsibility for the sentence by attaching a calling card to the body of the executed person.56 The list of liquidated persons was very long and included Party and Komsomol organizers, deputies of the Lithuanian Supreme Soviet and lowly administrators of collective farms or dairies, informers of state security agencies as well as teachers, and many others.57 Such a policy of punishment struck terror among Communists and their sympathizers in the provinces unprotected by the shield of the Soviet military. Yet at the same time, the partisans' anger occasionally fell on persons who themselves were victims of circumstances or who lacked the power to change either the repressive Soviet policies or their administration.
Although partisan information services were not so well developed as the underground press during the German occupation, periodicals of every kind and quality appeared more or less regularly till the end of 1951, and their impact on the population greatly disturbed the Communist regime. The Soviets held these publications to be as destructive as the use of violence, because they sustained the hope of freedom and thus reduced the degree of cooperation the regime needed to restore local government and to fulfill economic plans. Juozas Žiugžda, the dean of Soviet Lithuanian historians, has eloquently acknowledged and aptly described the deep influence of the partisan press by writing that "while engaged in their homicidal activities, the enemies of the people (the partisans) in a variety of ways attempted to poison the consciousness of the working class as well-They disseminated lies' and falsehoods about the Soviet state and spread rumors originated by the imperialist camp with the purpose of undermining the Soviet people's confidence in their state. Also, they supported bourgeois nationalist ideology and religious superstitions.58
Besides disseminating information, the partisans collected data pertaining to Soviet policies and their administration. Of these, the most important was the documentation of election held in 1946.
Another important task of the freedom fighters was the protection of the civilian population.59 This was necessary for the morale of their civilian supporters and and for self-preservation. The partisans frequently assumed police functions and tracked down thieves and robbers, very numerous in the immediate postwar period. They restrained Soviet military and civilian officials from "confiscating" food and valuables. Furthermore, they punished those who looted the unoccupied homes of persons deported to Siberia. Partisan welfare officers and chaplains organized provision for the needy supporters and relatives of the deported. Finally, on at least one occasion, the partisans in South Lithuania attempted to control mass behavior by issuing orders against drinking.60 Since drinking unloosened tongues and made it easy for informers to learn too much, the partisans issued drinking regulations and enforced them for some time.
Why did the Lithuanian partisans choose the strategy of such frontal, offensive action that led to outright competition with the Soviet regime? Five reasons may be offered in explanation. First, the Soviet rule was assumed to be temporary, and the partisans therefore did not fear an open challenge to the regime. Second, in the partisan view, they, not the Soviets, exercised Lithuania's sovereignty, and thus it was their duty to restrain the Soviet rule wherever possible. Third, such tactics were chosen by leaders of military background who regarded any other method of resistance as impossible. Fourth, it was difficult to disregard Soviet provocations. And lastly, the key factor in the choice of tactics was the partisans' isolation from the West, which forced them to rely completely on local leadership and support.
Unlike the European anti-Nazi movements in World War II, the Lithuanian partisans sustained themselves without support and supplies from abroad, that is, from the Western powers. (The Soviets, however, have claimed differently; they contend that the partisans had contacts with Swedish, British, and American intelligence.)61 It is true that liaison men sent from Western Europe penetrated the Lithuanian Iron Curtain in 1945 and 1946 and established contact with partisan leadership. The communication, however, was infrequent and did not produce material help. Early in 1948, representatives of the partisans themselves reached the West, but succeeded only in broadening partisan contacts. The Soviets reported that one of these representative groups returned in 1949, on a mission of gathering intelligence.62 The other, the Soviets said, was parachuted by Americans in 1950, to be followed by reinforcements in 1951.63 The leader of these groups, Juozas Lukša, the author of Partizanai už geležines uždangos (Partisans Behind the Iron Curtain), was a prominent partisan leader sent to the West for help in early 1948. Justas Paleckis, Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Lithuanian Republic, claimed that this "degenerate, this 'beastly bandit Juozas Lukša" had graduated from an American intelligence school and then with the "consent and blessing" of Lithuanian nationalist leaders in exile had been "sent to Lithuania by American intelligence."64 In Lithuania, according to another Soviet source, Lukša was appointed by the commander of the partisan Movement of Lithuania's Struggle for Freedom to the position of intelligence chief and liaison officer with the West.65 All of these parachuted or landed groups perished within a year, their leader Lukša committing suicide under especially dramatic circumstances.66 These contacts with the West did not represent help of any substance. They came too late and brought virtually no aid to partisan operations.
The isolation from the West during the crucial years of resistance (1944-48) clearly was the decisive factor in influencing the strategy of the partisan movement-Separated from the current of events in 1944 and 1945, the partisans were unfamiliar with the international situation, which was unfavorable to the use of aggressive tactics. Lacking a proper perspective, they overestimated the nationalist capacity to resist. Sometime in 1947, it is true, the partisans discovered that their appraisal of the international situation, particularly of the intentions of the Western powers, was wrong, but after several years of open warfare it was not only difficult but also quite impossible to change. Furthermore, without reliable and influential links with the West, they lacked experienced political leadership, and the military commanders acted as political leaders as well. A division between the military and political spheres did not really exist. The partisan movement was not a "home army" functioning merely as a military arm of government abroad. Lithuanian émigrés did not have a government in exile. It must be said also that attempts to reorganize the anti-Soviet resistance on a home-army - - government-in-exile pattern failed. The attempt was made in June, 1946, when a number of partisan groups, on the initiative of some émigrés, combined into the United Movement for Democratic Resistance, which sought to induce the partisans to abandon violent tactics in order to achieve "more adequate and effective results in the struggle for the restoration of Lithuania's independence and for the realization of the great ideal of democracy."67 A group of refugee political personalities in the West was invited to serve as a committee representing the partisan movement abroad. But the liaison established between the freedom fighters and the émigrés did not continue satisfactorily; attempts to organize the intended committee caused dissension among the émigrés, and ultimately the project was dropped.
In Lithuania itself, differences of opinion about organization and tactics continued, and on January 12, 1947, the national conference of partisan leaders rejected the organizational pattern and strategy that was proposed by the United Movement for Democratic Resistance. The differences seemed to center on the question of the "division of labor" and the Use of force.
The partisans refused to assume the role of a mere home army "without a direct influence on the future self-government of the country" and rejected a proposal to reorganize into a movement of nonviolent, "passive" resistance."68
Soviet Strategy against the Partisans
There is little doubt that the Kremlin, familiar with Lithuania's defection during the war, anticipated difficulties in reestablishing Soviet rule in the disloyal republic. To direct the restoration, Stalin chose a young but efficient man, Mikhail A. Suslov, then a rising star in the Party's Central Committee. Suslov's experience as wartime leader of Soviet partisans in the North Caucasus and as a supervisor of the deportation of disloyal Chechen-Ingush and other North Caucasian nationalities eminently qualified him for the tasks in Lithuania. Suslov was named by the Central Committee to head the Organizational Bureau for the Lithuanian S.S.R. and given the formal task of rebuilding the Party and administrative apparatus and directing economic re-construction.'69 Achievement of these goals, however, was successfully obstructed by the anti-Soviet partisans, then in the prime of their strength.
To combat the partisans, the Communists under Suslov's direction assumed a suitable ideological position and expertly employed tested Soviet tactics of force combined with persuasion. While concurrently blaming armed resistance on foreign sponsorship, Party ideologists explained it as a "kulak-nationalist underground"70 supported by "reactionary priests."71 This underground, the Communists said, sought to prevent collectivization by resisting measures designed to prepare the villages for it.
Kulak reaction to these preparatory "softening up" measures, Party ideologists continued, created conditions of class struggle, which found violent expression in armed conflict. Soviet suppression of the partisan movement, therefore was justified not as a use of force to put down a nationally based rebellion (which would admit that the populace opposed the Communists) but as the proletariat's struggle against the exploiting class on the inevitable road to "socialism." In terms of this synthetic model, which the Party assiduously fostered and kept in popular focus, the partisan movement had to be destroyed before collectivization could be started. But like many ideological models of the Soviets, this one also did not correspond to social reality, and collectivization itself was speeded up for purpose of undermining and destroying the partisans.72
During the summer of 1944, the Kremlin employed several divisions of border guards experienced in dealing with disloyal ethnic groups against the partisans. Thus, in June and July, troops that had just completed mass deportations of Kalmucks, Chechen-Ingush, and the Crimean Tatars, were thrown against the underground in Lithuania.73 They, however, achieved no immediate results. Then, the Kremlin dispatched General Sergei N. Kruglov, Beria's deputy in the Commissariat of Internal Affairs, to Lithuania; he usually directed mopping up operations in areas recaptured by the Red Army. Kruglov was employed for this task because, as a deputy director of SMERSH, the Soviet counter-intelligence agency, he proved himself "one of the most cruel and merciless" executioners in territories that had opposed the Soviets during the war.74 Upon his arrival in September, 1944, Kruglov held a meeting of operational commanders of the NKVD, in which he demanded sterner measures against the partisans. Stalin and Beria, Kruglov said, entrusted the destruction of the partisans to the NKVD, and the security troops would brook no interference from any quarter in the performance of this task. Actions against the Lithuanian partisans should no longer be confined to military operations by Soviet troops, but should involve the local population and rely more on work and tactics of intelligence services combined with periodic combing of the forests (gosudarstvennaia proverka). The future successor of Beria decreed that in operations against the partisans regular procedures of arrest and investigation were to be suspended and any means employed that were considered efficient in extracting information or uncovering partisan hide-outs. "Enough of this (purely military) sentimental approach," is reported to have said. In other words, Kruglov declared unrestricted war against partisans.
Following Kruglov's orders, a special NKVD department for "bandit" affairs (OBO—Osobi Banditskii Otdel) was established to handle intelligence work, and units of local militia (istrebiteli) were authorized.75 The OBO trained infiltrators into partisan ranks, printed nationalist newspapers to compete with the partisan press and to sow discord, and, for purposes of provocation, formed bands of agents posing as partisans or as foreign paratroopers- In 1945, these provocateurs masqueraded as Germans, later as Englishmen or Americans.76 The units of native istrebiteli (in Lithuanian they were called "people's defenders") were formed in rural districts for local action against the partisans. Originally, the purpose of this militia was not clearly revealed, and it attracted many men of military age, because the "people's defenders" were absolved from military service during time of war. The partisans felt that this native force was an attempt by the Soviets to embroil Lithuanians in a civil war, and to prevent this, used pressure and force against individual "defenders" and their families to destroy this potentially dangerous formation. By the summer of 1945, this goal was largely achieved. Consequently, main operations against the partisans were conducted by the security troops (first the NKVD', later the MVD and MGB) and the regular Red Army divisions, sometimes with the help of the Air Force. On Kruglov's orders, these troops sought out the partisans for open battles and periodically combed villages and forests.
Furthermore, while with one hand wielding a club with a ruthlessness the Gestapo could envy, the Soviets extended the other hand in a gesture of peace. Ever since the summer of 1945, periodic declarations of amnesty had been made to persuade the partisans to come out of hiding and lay down their arms. To strengthen the appeal of these promises, the government in 1945 and 1946 sought to enlist the help of the Roman Catholic clergy. Priests were requested to ask the partisans to lay down arms. This procedure, however, failed. The Soviets then employed blackmail and intimidation. At the end of February, 1946, they suggested that a conference of the Roman Catholic episcopate be held to consider the question of banditism,77but to assure themselves of positive results, they arrested one of the bishops, Vincentas Borisevičius of Telšiai, on charges of aiding the partisans. The conference, however, refused to be intimidated, and no appeal of surrender was issued. Then the Soviets fabricated such appeals, and the Archbishop of Vilnius, Mečislovas Reinys, lost his life for daring to announce publicly in his cathedral that his signature had been faked.78
These amnesties nevertheless offered many young partisans a seemingly acceptable alternative to a cruel fate in the ranks of the "forest brothers," as the partisans became popularly known, and many active members surrendered to the authorities. Partisan leaders generally did not oppose this choice, especially since many partisan groups had grown too large for guerrilla-style warfare.79
The total-war tactics of General Kruglov began to yield fruit in a year's time. By the end of 1945 the regional organizations of the partisans were severely crippled by arrests of leaders, and the ranks thinned as a result of the ruthlessness of Soviet proverki and amnesty.80 However, though critically disorganized, the underground was not broken, and the Soviets initiated a new concentrated campaign that continued without letup through 1949.
This new offensive, prepared by Suslov, was started in February, 1946, a month before the Kremlin's proconsul was reassigned to the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party. This was a year of great importance to Communist leaders. The Fourth Five-Year Plan was announced, and Lithuania's economy was to be integrated into this All-Union program.81 Though collectivization of farms was not publicized as one of the goals of this plan, it was obvious that to participate in it effectively, the republic would need domestic tranquility and a measure of farm collectivization or socialization to provide the necessary funds for the scheduled industrial investment. Partisan resistance denied both of these conditions and thus had to be eliminated.
Suslov's attack on the partisans was therefore a furious frontal assault, combining the peace offensive with military action of increased cruelty and thoroughness. It was directed not only against active partisans, but especially against suspected supporters. The attack began on February 15 with an offer of amnesty, coupled with the threat of deportation. At about the same time, the Catholic hierarchy was called upon to help pacify the country according to Bolshevik dictates. Three days later, on February 18, the first postwar mass reprisals against the civilian population began. This date marked the beginning of the deportations of civilians, primarily those suspected of supporting the partisans. The February wave, ruthlessly carried out,82 was followed by others and continued through 1949. Concurrently, the Soviet pacifiers increased the number of military proverki and intensified the infliction of cruelty, designed to provoke the partisans and their supporters. For example, they began to dump the bodies of murdered partisans in market places to be exhibited for weeks as a warning to all and as a possible bait for a relative or another patriot to come forward.83
However, they did not achieve the goal of eradicating organized resistance. The new Soviet measures of repression produced, at least temporarily, an effect contrary to the one expected. Civilian supporters and sympathizers, now fearing for their lives, became active partisans, and the numerical strength of the movement did not wane, as it had in 1945, when amnesty was not accompanied by mass deportations and by intensified cruelty. Furthermore, individual partisan groups now concentrated on reorganization, and by the end of 1946 united under a single national command. This ascendancy of the partisan movement, however, did not long continue. This Soviet squeeze at home, and especially the pessimistic news from abroad which the couriers of South Lithuanian partisans brought in the summer of 1947, were responsible for the thinning of the ranks and a never-before-experienced attitude of despair.84 The international situation was not changing as expected; help from the West was not in sight.
The .gradual decline of the strength of the resistance may be graphically illustrated by the increase in the number of kolkhozes,85 whose establishment the partisans unalterably opposed By the end of 1947, there were only 20 kolkhozes, but in March, 1948, the Soviets, feeling that the village was now sufficiently softened, ordered mass collectivization, and by December the number of collective farms rose to 500. This pace was speeded up even more in preparation for the Sixth Conference of the Lithuanian Communist Party, which met in February, 1949; and during the coming two months December and January), the number of kolkhozes was doubled. By the end of the next year, already 65 per cent of all private farms had become kolkhozes. This percentage rose to 90 in 1951, and by September, 1952, collectivization was virtually complete; 96 per cent of all individual farms were collectivized.
The success of Soviet efforts at mass collectivization indicated that the military strength of the organized movement had became impaired. After the end of 1948, the partisans could no longer effectively paralyze the functioning of local Soviets or prevent the establishment of new kolkhozes. Open warfare could not be continued. Consequently, in February, 1949, the partisans reorganized into a new national formation, the Movement of Lithuania's Struggle for Freedom.86 Tactics were changed from open resistance to sabotage. The Soviets reported that the partisans changed the "form of struggle" from open opposition to resistance by infiltration, so that they could obstruct the kolkhozes from within, frequently from the very offices of the farm chairman.87
The use of violence, however, had not yet been abandoned Partisan groups continued to restrain and liquidate local government officials and kolkhoz organizers.88
Their punishing hand even reached the deputies of the Supreme Soviet of the Lithuanian S.S.R.89 During the 1950 - 51 period the Soviets still maintained two divisions of security police to check on partisan activities, and in 1951 General Kruglov returned to take charge of the liquidation of partisan resistance that now was rekindled by groups parachuted from the West with promises of some tangible help.90 Later, "mopping up" operations followed, and in 1952 organized resistance was completely destroyed.****
Conclusion: Why the Partisans Failed
The reason for the defeat of the Lithuanian partisan movement is implicit in the story told in the previous pages. Two factors seem to have been crucial in determining the fate of the partisans. First, their leaders miscalculated partisan resources and the chances of political victory. They misinterpreted international developments and the intentions of the Western powers and thus wrongly counted on support from the United States and Great Britain. Second, without support from abroad, a long guerrilla war against the total-war strategy of the Soviets became militarily impossible, especially under conditions of complete sovietization. Strong will, dedication, and support from the population in the long run were insufficient to prevent the destruction of organized partisan resistance. It is therefore not surprising that the partisans lost, after eight years of war. It is rather extraordinary that they were able to fight for such a long time.
It should be added that although the partisans failed to achieve their primary political purpose—restoring Lithuania's independence—their resistance nevertheless was an event of deep significance in modern Lithuanian life. Partisan dedication to nationalist ideals and objectives seemed to have strengthened nationalist loyalties in Soviet Lithuania. Judging from propaganda initiated after the extraordinary conference of the Lithuanian Communist Party in 1958, the Lithuanian population holds an affectionately patriotic image of the movement, and the regime regards the destruction of this image a necessary prerequisite for successfully shaping the present generation of Lithuanians into Soviet patriots.
* Reprinted, with permission of the Editor, from V. Stanley
Vardys (ed.) Lithuania Under the Soviets. Portrait of a Nation,
(New York, F. A. Praeger, 1966)
** The extent of the alleged American and British involvement is discussed in the author's book Lithuania Under the Soviets, op. cit. on pp. 100-101. The charge of German sponsorship and partisan collaboration must be taken up now, though available space does not allow a longer discussion. The Soviets have never produced evidence to show that armed resistance in Lithuania was German-inspired, because such a link never existed. The Soviet Union has fabricated the charge for political purposes, as a part of an extremely intensive Communist propaganda campaign in Lithuania, designed to create a pro-Nazi image of the partisans and to destroy extremely nationalistic influences by indiscriminately identifying all nationalists with the German occupation regime. Cf. B. Baranauskas, "Buržuaziniai Nacionalistai — Hitlerininkų Talkininkai," Tarybinis Mokytojas (Vilnius) December 21, 24, and 28, 1961. The few cases of collaboration" among the partisans produced by the Soviets usually involve Lithuanian insurrectionists against the Soviet regime in 1941 and former soldiers in German uniform. For the latest case, tried in open court, see Sovetskaja Litva, June 17' 1962, p. 4. Interestingly enough, the Soviets have not produced specific collaborationist or war crime charges against any of the better known partisan leaders. It would be unrealistic to assume, of course, that among more than 30,000 active partisans there were none of compromised personal or political integrity. However, such cases were not numerous, even on the basis of Soviet data, and hardly provide grounds for generalizations that impugn the nationalist character of partisan resistance.
It must be added that the Lithuanians did not consider all cooperation with the enemies of the Soviets, including the Germans, as infamous or treasonable. Ironically, although the German occupation was opposed by a strong nationalist underground, a minimum of cooperation with the Germans was regarded as useful for the purpose of keeping German armies fighting on the Soviet front. Thus, with the inevitable exceptions, neither the insurrectionists of 1941, the local administration officials during the occupation, nor soldiers in German uniform were regarded as collaborators. The exceptions, were persons who worked for the Germans against the nationalist Lithuanian interests. Such cases were usually publicized by the anti-Nazi underground. See "Five Years of Lithuanian Underground Resistance. An Account of Activities of the Supreme Lithuanian Committee of Liberation." Lithuanian Bulletin, III, No 3 (May-June, 1945), 5; Daumantas Partizanai už Geležines Uždangos, p. 80.
*** The shortage of local officials was so great that teen-agers were frequently recruited to serve as chairmen of local region soviets; e.g., see Tiesa, February 22, 1962, p. 2.
****: See Burlitski's testimony in the Fourth Interim Report of the Select Committee on Communist Aggression, pp. 1373-74. Amnesty was again declared on October 17, 1955, and March 22, 1959, and yielded some results. Arrests also continued. On March 11, 1961, for example, Tiesa reported the arrest of a former partisan posing as a specialist in a shop that repaired medical instruments; on June 17, 1962, several Soviet Lithuanian newspapers published reports of a public trial of three partisans held on June 12-15 in Rokiškis. The date of their capture, however was not revealed.
1. There seems to be general agreement on these
dates. Colonel Burlitski, a former NKVD officer who participated in
action against Lithuanian partisans, testified that the partisan
movement existed "up to 1953." See U.S. House of Representatives, 83
Congr., 2d sess., Fourth Interim Report of the Select Committee on
Communist Aggression (Washington, D.C., 1954), p. 1372 (hereinafter
cited as Fouth Interim Report). Similarly, Romas Šarmaitis,
director of the Lithuanian Communist Party's history institute at
Vilnius related in an interview to George Weller, an American
correspondent, that the partisan war lasted eight years, which must
mean the period 1944 - 52, since the Soviet re-occupation did not begin
until 1944. See Chicago Daily News;
August 17, 1961. See also emigre sources: Professor J. Brazaitis'
article, "Partizanai," in Lietuvių Enciklopedija, XXII, 44 - 52; V. K.
Tauras, Guerrilla Welfare on the Amber Coast (New York, 1962), p. 96;
and Professor Stasys Žymantas, "Twenty Years Resistance," Lituanus, VI,
No. 2 (September, 1960), 44. G. Zimanas, editor of Tiesa (the Pravda of
the Lithuanian Communist Party), writing in
Pergalė (Vilnius), No. 9 (September, 1960), p. 103, held a slightly
different opinion: "It is possible to affirm that banditism was
essentially liquidated by 1950."
2. J. Daumantas (pseudonym of Juozas Lukša), Partizanai Už Geležines Uždangos (Chicago, 1950), p. 81. This book is a firsthand account of partisan activities in 1944 - written by a prominent partisan leader during his sojourn in the West. The author's identity was revealed by the Communists in a series of articles in Tiesa in the summer of 1959. In 1960, these were published in book form. See M. Chienas, K. Šmigelskis, and E. Uldukis, Vanagai iš Anapus. (Hereinafter cited as Vanagai.) Specific Communist references to Daumantas" book are found on p. 121. New Soviet sources, not available at the time this essay as originally written, point to the need for a closer study of Lietuvos Laisves Armija (Lithuania's Freedom Army) and its influence on the organization of the partisan movement and the conduct of guerrilla war.
3. K. Volčkovaj "Komunistų partijos kova už Lietuvos liaudies ūkio atstatymą iš išvystymą pokario laikotarpiu (1945 -1953)," Komunistas (Vilnius), No. 5 M(ay, 1960), p. 37.
4. A. Vabalas (ed.), Kraują Sugėrė Dzūkijos Smėlis (Vilnius, 1960), p. 67. The author discusses a meeting of the leaders of the movement in February of 1959.
6. Quoted by George Weller, Chicago Daily News, August 17, 1961.
7. S. Žymantas, "Aktyviosios Rezistencijos Tragedija," Santarvė (London), No. 4 (1953), p. 16.
8. Daumantas, op. cit., p. 106.
9. S. Žymantas, "Laisvės rytojus jau švinta," Santarvė, No. 4-5 (1955), p. 177.
10. K. Pakštas, Lithuania and World War II, pp. 31 - 32; K. Pelekis, Genocide (Germany, 1949), pp. 68 - 84; T. J. Harrison, former British Vice-Consul in Lithuania, Lithuania's Fight for Freedom (New York, 1952), pp. 30-31; Albert Kalme, Total Terror (New York, 1948), pp. 40-47. On the introduction of Soviet rule in 1941, see Albert N. Tarulis, Soviet Policy Toward the Baltic States. See also Third Interim Report of the Select Committee on Communist Agression; this study of the Baltic states between 1918 and 1940 was prepared by the Library of Congress.
11. For the story of the revolt see The New York Times, June, 24, 25, 29, and July 2, 1941; also Pakštas, op. cit., pp. 93-99; Harrison, op. cit., p. 31; Professor Z. Ivinskis, "Kaip laikinoji vyriausybe išsilaikė šešias savaites," J Laisvę (New York), No. 6 (June, 1955), pp. 31-40; the article by the Prime Minister-designate of the provisional government, K. Škirpa, "Gairės į tautos sukilimą," Į Laisvę (Chicago), No. 27 (December, 1961), pp. 1 - 13; S. Raštikis, Kovose Dėl Laisvės, II, 293-317; a series of articles by S. Žymantas in Nepriklausoma Lietuva (Montreal), May 17, 24, 31, June 7, 14, 21, 28, and July 12, 1961.
12. E. g. P. Rimkus, Tai buvo Leipalingyje (Vilnius, 1961), p. 44. The wide acceptance of this view deeply disturbed the Communists. See, for example, J. Žiugžda (ed.), Lietuvos TSR Istorija, p. 491.
13. Daumantas, op. cit., p. 81; B. Baranauskas and G. Erslavaite (eds.), Žudikai Bažnyčios Prieglobsty (Vilnius, 1960), pp. 50 ff. (hereinafter cited as Žudikai).
14. J. Ragauskas, Ite Missa Est (Vilnius, 1960), p. 448; Lietuvos Pionierius, January 31, 1962, p. 2.
15. Žudikai, pp. 28, 33, 85, 119-20.
16. A statement by Bishop P. Ramanauskas to his Communist interrogators. See ibd., p. 122.
17. Soviet writers claim that this Western orientation turned Lithuania into a "backwater of Europe." See G. Metelsky, Lithuania: Land of the Niemen (Moscow, 1959), p. 150.
18. Cf. Zimanas, Pergalė, No. 9 (1960), pp. 104 - 5; V. Radaitis, Pergalė, No. 2 (February, 1961), p. 122.
19. Pelekis, op. cit., p. 179; Į Laisvę, December 8, 1943; Laisves Kovotojas, February 16, 1944.
20. Views attributed by the Soviets to Bishop V. Borisevičius. Žudikai, pp. 33, 49.
21. Editorial in Laisves Šauklys, a partisan paper, on March 20, 1947) quoted in S. Žymantas' article on the partisan press, Santarvė. No. 4-5 (June-July, 1955), p. 173.
22. Editorial in Aukštaičių Kova, another partisan paper, dated April 16, 1947, quoted by Žymantas, op. cit., p. 175.
23. Daumantas, op. cit., pp. 238 -41; for a brief account of anti-Nazi resistance, see Pelekis, op. cit., pp. 103 - 74.
24. For documentation, see Daumantas, op. cit., pp. 30 - 37, 47 -48, 75, 79, 81, 84, 103.
25. R. Žiugžda, A. Smirnov, Litovskaia SSSR (Moscow, 1957), pp. 105 ff.; "Litovskaia SSR," in Bolshaia Sovetskaia Entsiklopediia, (2d ed.), XXV (54), 260. The Soviets found many such farmer "collaborators," because a full delivery of the quota of agricultural products as requisitioned by the Germans was regarded to be an act of collaboration. To make matters worse, special Soviet commissions decided whether this delivery was "full" or only "partial." The status of the "kulak" also was defined very arbitrarily and did not depend on the amount of land owned. See Daumantas, op. cit., pp. 105 - 6; also "Memorandum to the United Nations and the Four Power Foreign Ministers Council by the United Democratic Resistance Movement (B.D.P.S.) of Lithuania," Lithuanian Bulletin (New York), VI, Nos. 11-12 (November-December, 1948), (hereinafter cited as "Memorandum").
26. See "Order of the People's Commissar for the Interior of Lithuanian SSR of Year 1940," reprinted in translation in the Third Interim Report, p. 471; also "Instructions Regarding the Manner of Conducting the Deportation of the Anti-Soviet elements from Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia," signed by Ivan Serov, Deputy People's Commissar for State Security of the USSR, ibid., pp. 464 -68. Other translated documents, ibid., pp, 464-529; reprints of photostatic copies of originals in Russian and Lithuanian are found in the Lithuanian Bulletin, III - IX (1945 - 51). The Soviets apparently realized that these deportations were at least partly responsible for the violently anti-Soviet attitude of the Baltic peoples during and after the war. Some twenty years later these deportations were regretted as "exceedingly strong measures" and blamed on Stalin and his collaborators. See a public letter by Vilhelms Munters, the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of independent Latvia, in Izvestiia, April 8, 1962, p. 5.
27. "Memorandum," p. 11.
28. See "Order of the People's Commissar for Internal Affairs of the Lithuanian SSR.' issued by the Commissar, Major General Bartašiūnas. This order, dated February 15, 1946, promised amnesty to surrendering "bandits"; 150,000 copies of the proclamation were distributed throughout the country. Photostatic copy in Lithuanian Bulletin, IV No. 4 (November, 1946), 14; also in Pelekis, op cit., p. 222.
29. Žudikai, p. 10.
30. Pravda, October 24, 1961, p. 4.
32. Tiesa, February 8, 1962, p. 3.
33. Pravda, October 24, 1961, p. 4.
34. For criticisms of collectivization procedure see M. Gregorauskas, Tarybų Lietuvos Žemes Ūkis (Vilnius, 1961); also Tiesa, February 8, 1962, p. 3.
35.iesa, December 20, 1961, p. 2.
36. Discussion of partisan membership is based primarily on Daumantas' work, on Žudikai, and on other items from the Soviet Lithuanian press.
37. See Už Tėvų Žemę, April 4, 1946. Quoted at length in. Lithuanian Bulletin, IV, No. 4 (November, 1946), 8-9; also cf. Daumantas, op. cit., p. 236.
38. Daumantas, op. cit, pp. 79 - 82.
39. Žudikai, p. 67; Daumantas, op. cit., pp. 258, 271.
40. See Colonel Burlitski's testimony in Fourth Interim Report, p. 1369.
41. Brazaitis, op. cit., p. 44.
42. See Daumantas, op. cit., p. 238; Žudikai, p. 64; Vabalas, op. cit, p. 66.
43. See Žudikai, pp. 47, 53,, 55; Vabalas, op. cit., p. 60.
44. See Vanagai, pp. 206, 241; Žudikai, p. 63; Daumantas,, op. cit., pp. 85, 224, 278
45. Daumantas, op. cit., p. 391; Žudikai, p.. 111.
47. See the 1953 declaration of the Supreme Committee for the Liberation of Lithuania, photostatic copy in Pelekis, op cit., p. 179.
48. Vabalas, op. cit., pp. 64 - 68.
49. Daumantas, op. cit., p. 194.
50. Private document.
51. :See, for example, Žiugžda, Smirnov, .op. cit, pp. 107 ff., Tiesa, January 31, 1962, p. 3; Daumantas, op. cit., pp. 105 - 6.
52. See, for example, Daumantas, op. cit, p. 363; Tiesa, December 27, 1961; Tiesa, December 11, 1960, p. 2, Sovietskaia Litva, December 22, 1960, p. 2.
53. Švyturys (Vilnius), August, 1961, pp. 6 -7.
54. Tiesa, February 22, 1962, p. 2; Vabalas, op. cit, pp. 58 -59.
55. Testimony of Colonel Burlitski, in Fourth Interim Report, p. 1369.
56. Žudikai, pp. 23, 80.
57. See, for example, Komunistas, No. 12 (1960), pp. 51 -54; a partial list of liquidated officials in Žudikai, pp. 131-43; Tiesa, June 1, I960,, p. 3, and October 7, 1960, p. 2; biographies of liquidated teachers in A Bieliauskas and G. Iešmantas, Kad Žemėje Žydėtų Gėlės (Vilnius) ,1960).
58. Lietuvos TSR Istorija, p. 491.
59. Daumantas, op. cit., pp. 93, 195, 242.
60. Ibid., pp. 187 - 89.
61. A Communist version of aspects of partisan relations with the West is available in the May and June, 1962, issues of Švyturys (Vilnius), No. 9, pp.10-11; No. 10, pp. 10 -12; No. 11, pp. 16-17; No. 12, pp. 10-11. The series, entitled "Iliuzijų Sudužimas," was published under the name of Jonas Deksnys, a liaison man between the Lithuanian emigres in the West and groups in Lithuania, who was captured by the Soviets sometime in the 1950's.
62. Vabalas, op. cit., p. 67.
63. Vanagai, pp. 107 ff.
64. Speech to the Supreme Soviet of the Lithuanian SSR, Tiesa, June 8, 1960, p. 2. See also P. Rimkus, op. cit., p. 51. The fact; of Lukša and his group's return to Lithuania in 1950 - 51 is confirmed by Lithuanian nationalists sources. See Į Laisvę (Chicago), No. 19 (December, 1959), p. 11.
65. Vabalas, op. cit., p. 70.
66. See Burliiski's testimony in Fourth Interim Report, pp. 1373 -74; also Vanagai, esp. pp. 149 -241.
67. Private document.
68. Daumantas, op. cit. p. 239.
69. Bolshaia Sovietskaia Entsiklopedija, XLI (956), 320
70. Volčkova, Komunistas, No. 5 (1960), p. 37.
71. J. Bulota, Pergalė, No. 3 (March, 1961), p. 175.
72. See A. Grabauskas A. Deriūnas, in Tiesa, February 8. 1962, p. 3.
73. Burlitski's testimony in Fourth Interim Report, pp. 1368 -69.
74. Biografical Dictionary of the USSR (New York, 1958, pp. 319 - 20. For a description of Kruglov's activities, see Burlitski's testimony in Fourth Interim Report, pp. 137 ff
75. Daumantas, op. cit., pp. 103, 108.
76. Information from the partisan paper, Laisvės Varpas, No. 122 (October 1, 1947). See Žymantas, Santarvė, No. 10 (1954), p.
77. Žudikai, pp. 6 ff., 125 ff.
78. See Brazaitis, op. cit., p. 47.
79. Daumantas, op. cit., p. 117; also Burlitski in Fourth Interim Report, p. 1372.
80. Daumantas, op. cit., pp. 117-20.
81. Žiugžda, Smirnov, op. cit., p. 106.
82. See B. Armonas and A. Nasvytis, Leave Your Tears in Moscow (New York, 1961) esp. pp. 37 - 49.
83. Daumantas, op. cit, pp. 189 -90.
84. Iibid., pp. 305 - 6
85. Žiugžda, Smirnov, op. cit., pp. 106 - 10.
86. Vabalas, op. cit, pp. 64 - 66. 368.
87. Žiugžda, Smirnov, op. cit, p. 109.
88 E. G. see Tiesa, May 27, 1960, p. 2; October 30, 1960, p. 2; December 11, 1960, p. 2; Lietuvos Pionierius, January 27, 1962, p. 3; Vanagai, pp. 48 - 49.
89. See Komunistas, No. 3 1961), pp. 45 -46.
90. Account in Vanagai.