LITHUANIAN QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF ARTS AND SCIENCES
Volume 18, No.4 - Winter 1972
Editors of this issue: Thomas Remeikis
Copyright © 1972 LITUANUS Foundation, Inc.
SELF-IMMOLATIONS AND NATIONAL PROTEST IN LITHUANIA
The reported cry of "Freedom! Freedom for Lithuania!" by thousand of demonstrators in Kaunas following the burial of Romas Kalanta, a youth who on May 14, 1972, committed suicide by fire in a political protest, has underscored tragically that in Lithuania more than a quarter of a century of Soviet political socialization has failed to eradicate the yearnings for independence, and, paradoxically, may in fact have stimulated national consciousness and sensitivity. The process of modernization has heightened and sharpened the sense of national identity among the larger nationalities in the Soviet Union, even among those nations that had not enjoyed national independence like the Baltic States. The unrest among the Soviet nationalities suggests that the multinational Soviet state still faces a crucial challenge: the resolution of the national question remains one of the most urgent political tasks of the Kremlin, notwithstanding the frequent Soviet contentions to the contrary.
Part of a Pattern of Protests
The self-immolations and riots, as well as the other recent manifestations of political and religious protest in Lithuania and the other Baltic States, are, of course, part of a larger pattern of protests throughout the Soviet Union. The rise of the civil rights movement and the Jewish struggle for their rights have no doubt encouraged protest activities in the Baltic countries as well. What is unique is their relative intensity in Lithuania.
Prior to the recent self-immolations in Lithuania protest activity centered on religious freedom. Since about 1969, the Lithuanian Catholics and clergy began to assert courageously their religious rights guaranteed by the Soviet Constitution and drew world attention to the deliberate attempts by the regime to destroy religion. The latest act is a petition with 17,000 signatures, addressed to Brezhnev, the General Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party, and transmitted to him through the Secretary General of the United Nations, denouncing the antireligious measures of the authorities. Other recent manifestations of protest include the attempted defection to the United States of the Lithuanian seaman Simas Kudirka and his speech demanding independence for Lithuania during his trial in Vilnius in May 1971, the attempted highjacking of a plane for freedom by V. Simokaitis and his wife in November 1970, a letter by "Lithuanian intellectuals" against placing of dissidents in mental hospitals (November 1971); and anti-Russian demonstrations by students during an international handball match in Vilnius in June of 1972.
The three reported self-immolations and one unsuccessful attempt, and the two-day riots that followed the first one by Kalanta in Kaunas on May 18 and 19 of this year definitely display political-national motivations. It is impossible to ascertain the motives of Kalanta's fiery suicide and, perhaps, this is not important, for the riots that followed took on a political character. The riots were triggered after Kalanta's friends, who came to the funeral, found out that the police already had buried the victim secretly. Such an action by the authorities attests by itself that Kalanta's suicide was not merely an act of a mentally deranged and drug-addicted youth, as the official explanation of the suicide goes. Furthermore, the fact that a simple miscalculation by the authorities could set off widespread disorders, involving several thousand participants, extensive property damage, at least one dead policeman, the arrests of reportedly 200 to 500 persons, and the intervention of internal security troops to quell the demonstrations, indicates the fragility of loyalty to the Soviet regime. What must be especially disturbing to the Soviet authorities is that most of the participants were youths who have grown up after Stalin's terror was long past, and Kalanta himself came from a family of Communists. Whatever the real motives of Kalanta's suicide may have been, in Lithuania it is almost universally assumed that they were politically oriented. The place of the suicidein front of the theater where a Communist manipulated "People's Diet" declared the death of independence in 1940 is symbolic of Kalanta's motives.
Roots' and Conditions of Nationalism
Such intense feelings and reactions are understandable in view of the fact that the Baltic nations had enjoyed two decades of national independence, that they still are essentially Western-oriented, and that the Russians refer to them as "our foreign countries." Lithuanian nationalism has been nourished by a long tradition of resistance to sovietization, first by the uprising against the Soviets in June 1941 and then by the long guerrilla war between 1944 and about 1953. Also contributory is the religious factor, for the Catholic religion in many respects is associated with the Lithuanian nation, and an attack on religion is an attack on national existence.
In the more immediate view, the persistence of a strong identity is due in part to the leading strata of Lithuania, which are largely indigenous and with roots in the national tradition. After the tragic losses in the protracted anti-Soviet partisan warfare in 1945-1953 pointed out the futility of active resistance to sovietization, it was realized that national interests could be advanced only through nonviolent political action, within the Soviet political framework. The results of such an approach to national survival are quite evident: Lithuania remains one of the most homogenous and national of the republics. Among the indices of this is the fact that the percentage of Lithuanians in the population of the republic increased slightly between 1959 and 1971, that the vast majority of the students are Lithuanians and instruction in the universities is almost exclusively in the Lithuanian language, and that the percentage of Lithuanians in the ruling party organs and the state apparatus exceeds the percentage of Lithuanians in the population. While the local elite cannot be accused of deliberately provoking violent reaction, which in fact is contrary to their tactics, they did help create the conditions within which national consciousness and identity could be asserted.
Ironically, the currently somewhat ambiguous Soviet nationality policy may also be stimulating national unrest. The ambiguity stems from the 1961 Party Program statement which calls for the development of the various nationalities and at the same time foresees their eventual growing together and fusion into a new national community the Soviet people. Which is to enjoy prioritythe development of nationalities or their fusionis a still an officially unresolved controversy among Soviet ideologues. Meanwhile, the national elite in various republics seize the "developmental" priority, paying only lip-service to the growing together and eventual fusion of nationalities. In consequence, the Soviet nationalities have never enjoyed as much latitude in cultivating their national traditions as they do now.
Among the conditions for national struggle is the Union-wide character of the dissidence. There is a degree of security in numbers. A stalinist-type repression would be costly for the party and the socioeconomic life of the Soviet state. The realization of such conditions stimulates bolder challenges to the regime.
Finally, it must be pointed out that the Lithuanian nation, as all the nations of the world, desires to live in freedom. The principle of national self-determination was implemented widely after World War II and about one hundred nations attained statehood at that time. The Soviet Union formally accepts the principle of national self-determination and overtly and covertly supports national liberation movements elsewhere. At the same time it refuses to apply these policies to its own state. The dual standard of the Soviet rulers with respect to self-determination is quite evident to the nations in the Soviet Union. It is also obvious to them that they have been bypassed by the world-wide decolonization and national emancipation movement. Yet the perception of this world trend can't help but rouse the national feelings of the nations subjected to Kremlin rule.
A Subdued Response
The response of the Soviet authorities to self-immolations and religious protests has been rather subdued. There are reports that the Kremlin ordered to treat the riots so as not to add to their significance. It is believed that only a few participants still remain in jail. Evidence of the riots was immediately eliminated and the city of Kaunas reopened for tourists. In view of the long list of anti-Soviet manifestations, a reshuffling in the top command of the republic could have been expected. So far, no changes in personnel have been announced, and it appears that the First Secretary of the Lithuanian Communist Party, Antanas Sniečkus, and his "machine" have weathered the storm and continue to enjoy the confidence of the Kremlin. So far, the main reaction has been a rather sharp public denunciation of nationalism and a demand for an improved indoctrination of the younger generation with ideals of "proletarian internationalism" and characteristics of a "Soviet man."
Several possibilities for such a low-key response must be considered. There is no doubt that the Kremlin is sensitive to the international status of the Baltic States, whose incorporation into the Soviet Union in 1940 is still not recognized by the United States and a number of other Western states. A ruthless Kremlin intervention would not have been useful to a regime that proclaims adherence to the principle of national self-determination and national liberation. As long as resistance does not really threaten the survival of the regime or the state, the Kremlin can afford to be magnanimous and escape the odium of drastic repressions.
There may be some indecisiveness among the top Kremlin leaders as to how to treat the Union-wide protest activity. Despite Brezhnev's preeminence, the Kremlin leadership still closely resembles a collective body, and drastic policy decisions may not be easy to reach. A reintroduction of Stalinist controls involves an internal power struggle for which the various factions of the Kremlin may not be ready. A policy of improvisation and drift is in evidence.
The confidence in the Lithuanian party chief A. Sniečkus to handle the unrest may be due to his unique political career. Sniečkus has been First Secretary of the Lithuanian Communist Party for more than three decades, longer than any other republic chief, and has powerful protectors in the Kremlin. It is not exactly clear who his supporters in the Kremlin are, but it may be safely assumed that without such protection it is unlikely that he would have survived all the political changes in the Kremlin since 1940. Equally important is the fact that Sniečkus and his cadres have performed quite impressively in the economic field. He headed the most troublesome republic and despite the intense resistance to sovietization he has put together a team, that has placed Lithuania at the top of the Soviet republics economically.
A Revolution of Rising Expectations?
Several aspects of the Kaunas events suggest that unrest in Lithuania (and probably elsewhere) may be stimulated in part by the spreading dissatisfaction with the economic performance of the regime. The riots in Kaunas involved a large number of workers (in addition to the youths, who are always more willing to take a chance). It is noteworthy that First Secretary Sniečkus rushed to the Kaunas factories, rather than to the Komsomol or other youth-related organizations, to explain the economic achievements during the Soviet period as compared to the pre-Soviet or independence period. In the report of his speeches to the workers, references to "proletarian internationalism" or "international education of workers" played a relatively minor role. Sniečkus seems to have been saying, "Forget about independence, for economically you never had it so good as under the Soviets!"
Coincidentally, the Western press has reported the first serious attack on the regime's economic policies by Moscow dissidents. Available economic data indicate a sluggish economic growth, and there is a strong demand for consumer items. Emphasis on labor discipline rather than material incentives can hardly enamor the average Soviet wage-earner. In addition, the continued rise in prices, especially for food, has been ahead of wage increases.
The Kaunas events and the attack on economic policy indicate that perhaps we are witnessing what has been called "a revolution of rising expectations" among the Soviet citizenry. The attitude of forces appear to be far more complex than those in developing countries, for at least in the case of Lithuania, national and religious demands are reenforced by a rising frustation with the economic system. The ability of the Soviet citizen to compare Soviet economic performance with that of other industrialized countries, brought about by a notable opening up of the Soviet society to world communications, is of recent vintage and is producing increasingly intense economic pressures on the regime.
The Beginning of an Organized Opposition?
There is no direct evidence that the self-immolations in Lithuania were coordinated, but the possibility must be seriously considered. For one, the first suicide strangely coincided with President Nixon's trip to Moscow and was a timely reminder to the President and the Soviet leaders of the unsettled status of the Baltic States. Tourists have reported a circulating belief in Lithuania of an existence of a resistance center, which allegedly even cooperates with similar groups in Estonia, Latvia, and the Ukraine. Such an underground organization in Estonia the "Estonian National Front"is actually reported in the latest issue of Khronika (No. 25, 1972). The Front allegedly demands self-determination for Estonia and publishes an underground journal Eesti Demokraat. Although no such organization has been reported in Lithuania, the intensity of protest activities implies at least a strong potential for such an organization. It is also significant that lately the events in Lithuania have been reported systematically through the dissident circles in Moscow.
Whatever the case may be now, the conditions for some kind of organized opposition in the Soviet Union have appeared. Soviet society has become so complex and differentiated that totalitarian controls are becoming more and more anachronistic and even impossible. The survival of the Khronika despite a thorough effort by the secret police illustrates the existing limitations on control. If the grievances of various dissident groups are not reduced significantly, we should not be surprised to see the emergence of several territorial, national, religious, and functional opposition groups, cooperating with each other in their efforts to correct injustices and effect reforms.
A Dilemma for the Kremlin
In attempting to resolve the vexing policy complex regarding nationalities, the Soviet regime has several options: a course for forceful assimilation, gradual conglomeration, increasing autonomy, or some combination of the three. So far, the current regime has pursued a mix of assimilative and conglomerative policies that in practice have not excluded strong autonomist tendencies among the nationalities. This may due to the fact that the Soviet regime really faces a dilemma in attempting to deal with rising nationalism. A marked reintroduction of Stalinist assimilative policies involves serious political costs and risks for the current ruling clique. A regime of terror would not be consistent with an extremely complex and interdependent society and economy, in the long run it would be counterproductive, and would involve a degree of re-stalinazation that is not palatable to the party itself. On the other hand, a further liberalization would involve a radical transformation of the Soviet state into a kind of a federal commonwealth of nations, with all the uncertainties to the survival of party hegemony and the integrity of the Soviet state that such a decentralization implies.
What all this boils down to is the unpleasant prospect for the Soviet rulers that the question of nationality along with the other problems of the Soviet system, is pushing toward a deliberate major readjustment in the political and economic systems or to an involuntary resolution of the problems though a major upheaval. The Polish riots certainly were a lesson to the Kremlin and, one suspects, to the Soviet people as well. The Lithuanian riots may be auguring some of the same.
EYEWITNESS REPORT OF DEMONSTRATIONS IN KAUNAS, LITHUANIA,
FOLLOWING THE SELF-IMMOLATION OF ROMAS KALANTA, MAY 18-19, 1972*
The funeral of Romas Kalanta was supposed to take place on Thursday (May 18) at 4:00 p.m. Already on Monday the atmosphere in the city seemed to be charged with electricity. People were filling the city park, clustering at the site of the hero's death, some were tossing flowers surreptitiously, while the bolder ones went right to the spot to place them. The latter were immediately photographed by officials in civilian clothes. A sizeable pile of flowers had accumulated by evening, but next morning they had disappeared.
Kalanta's body was laid out in a house on Paneriai street, in the suburb of Vilijampole. It was very difficult to get a glimpse of his body. The line to his door stretched around the entire block. It was not allowed to place flowers at the casket, axcept for the relatives. There were rumors that a youth demonstration would take place during the funeral.
On Thursday, at 2:00 p.m., I went to the city park, placed my flowers next to the others, and suddenly heard the people in the park loud indignation. They were saying that they would not be able to participate in Kalanta's funeral, because militiamen had loaded the casket with his remains onto their car and had taken it away to an un specified cemetery. Around 2:30 p.m. a great commotion arose among the people in the city park someone announced that a protest demonstration by young people was approaching from Vilijampole. And so it was, close ranks of young people appeared soon, their arms closely linked. There were several thousand of them. They were chanting as they marched "Freedom for Lithuania", "Freedom for Roma's father", "Liars". The office of the Communist Party's Executive Committee is situated across the street from the city park. The crowd veered towards it. Chanting, "Freedom for Roma's father", they raised their fists.
A man came out of the Executive Committee building and urged the crowd to disperse. His speech was interrupted by the screams of a woman, who was pulled by the militiamen into a car as they twisted her arms behind her back. Someone threw a stone at the government official. Then the militiamen charged the crowd, swinging their whips. The crowd turned to the city park. There, at the site of Kalanta's death, a tall youth climbed on a bench and began delivering a speech. He said that Lithuania was enslaved, that young people must fight their oppressors, etc. His eyes were burning, his words were fiery, his voice strong and inspiring. I, a man of quite a few years, began to tremble from excitement as I listened to him, my eyes flooded with tears. I realized that Lithuania has not perished yet. Our children, strong and bold, loved their fatherland and were ready to sacrifice themselves for it. The first youth was followed by a second young speaker, then a third. They were being constantly photographed from the sides.
Suddenly, there was a stir in the crowd. Militiamen appeared and started beating the demonstrators with truncheons. The youths did not flee but turned around and started chasing the militiamen. On the Freedom Boulevard (the main street in Kaunas. Ed.) they grouped themselves in orderly ranks and, chanting the same slogans, marched toward the militia headquarters. At the Garrison Church they were blocked by a large detachment of militia. Then they stopped. One of the youths deftly clambered upon a church column and hoisted the Lithuanian tricolor, our dear flag of independence. "Lithuania, our fatherland, land of heroes", echoed in the air. But the crowd could not complete the Lithuanian anthem. The militiamen suddenly surrounded the youths, started hunting the demonstration leaders, and apprehended most of them right then and there. The crowd, accompanied by truncheon-swinging militiamen, returned to the city park, but was chased away from there by truncheons again.
On Friday (May 19) the park was jammed with people since the early morning. The militia refrained from beating them, but insisted on keeping them moving. The crowd kept moving in a dense circle. At 4:00 p.m. militiamen began to move the people away from the park. When people gathered in the street, the militia put the truncheon to work again. They were swinging at everybody, including those who did not participate in the demonstration but were merely sitting on the benches in the center strip of the Freedom Boulevard. They were well equipped for that beating, since, as it turned out later, they had accumulated truncheons from all of Lithuania, while the factory of "Inkaras" bad received a sudden order to manufacture 1000 truncheons. The Freedom Boulevard then became filed with trucks carrying soldiers. They were armed with automatic weapons and tear-gas grenades. They also wore gas-masks which turned out to be very useful since the youths were already armed with stones and did not spare them for their enemies. The wailing of ambulance sirens was then heard. Hundreds of people were injured that day by the militiamen, who had driven themselves to a bestial frenzy, and by the security soldiers. The dead body of a youth lay on Mickevičius Street until midnight. At the end of the Freedom Blvd. a 12-year old was lying on the ground, blood trickling from his mouth. An elderly woman, hit on the head by a militiaman, was carried into a store and lost consciousness. Some people asked the militiamen to allow them to call an ambulance. The answer was: "Let her croak!"
The militiamen were especially irked by the long-haired youths. I saw them grab a young woman by her long hair and pull her to the ground. They kicked the young men as they jammed them into the vans and kept carting them away. Finally, the Freedom Blvd. was completely cleared of people, and not even the residents were allowed to go back home. People started massing in the side streets. They were hunted down there and jammed into the vans parked on Freedom Blvd. The militiamen kicked them and then beat the arrested people in the vans behind closed doors. The air was filled with terrible screaming.
A few fires flared up in the evening. The court building, the bank, the Philharmonic Hall and several other buildings were set on fire. A militia motorcycle burned in Daukantas Street, shop windows were shattered by stones. A dead militiaman, a knife in his chest, lay on Mayakovski's Street. A large number of injured militiamen were in hospitals. But even more wounded people hid in their homes, afraid to admit that they were injured.
On Saturday and Sunday people were still grouping themselves in the streets, but militiamen would promptly arrive and herd them into the vans. There were mass arrests. After a brief interrogation the arrestees would be taken to the Vilnius prison. Those who seemed to be less culpable would b herded into the yard of the militia headquarters, roughed up with truncheons, and then allowed to go home. Youths would be shaven bald. Even some girls were shorn.
The grave of Romas Kalanta is in the cemetery of Romainiai, at the most remote spot, next to shrubbery and a ravine. There is talk that militiamen had held a long watch in that shrubbery.
MEMORANDUM AND PETITION OF THE LITHUANIAN CATHOLICS TO THE SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY OF THE SOVIET UNION AND TO THE SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS**
To: Mr. Kurt Waldheim
Secretary General of the United Nations
APPEAL OF THE LITHUANIAN CATHOLICS
Taking into consideration that Lithuania is not represented in the United Nations Organization, we, Catholics of Lithuania, must address ourselves to you, Mr. Secretary General, through appropriate channels.
Our appeal was caused by the fact that religious believers in our republic cannot enjoy the rights set out in Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. On these grounds our clergy, groups of believers and individual Catholics have repeatedly addressed themselves to the highest state organs of the Soviet Union, demanding that the violations of the rights of the believers be stopped. Several petitions of believers were transmitted to the Soviet government, including:
a statment of the Catholics of Prienai, signed by 2000 persons, sent in September of 1971;
a statement of the believers of the Parish of Santaika, rayon of Alytus, bearing 1190 sinatures, sent in October of 1971;
a statement of 1344 parishioners of the Parish of Girkalnis, rayon of Raseiniai, sent in December of 1971.
All these statements were transmitted to various highest offices of the U.S.S.R., but not a single one of them has sent an official reply, although state agencies are obliged to respond to citizens' statements in the course of a month. The unofficial reply (to those statements) manifested itself by increased repressions towards the believers.
The Catholics of entire Lithuania, in addressing a memorandum to the Secretary General of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Mr. Brezhnev, were determined to remind the Soviet leadership of their rightless condition, but the organs of Soviet militia and KGB have suppressed the mass collection of signatures by means of threats, arrests and iron handcuffs.
Such action by the authorities have prompted the conviction that the present memorandum, signed by 17,000 believers, will not attain its aim if it is sent by the same means as previous collective declarations. Therefore we, Catholics of Lithuania, are addressing ourselves to you, Honorable Secretary General, and are asking that you relay said memorandum, signatures included, to the Secretary General of the Communist Party, Mr. Brezhnev.
Representatives of Lithuania's Catholics
To: Secretary General of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Moscow-Kremlin.
MEMORANDUM OF THE ROMAN CATHOLICS OF LITHUANIA
After World War II nations have risen from the ruins and desire a permanent peace. A genuine peace is grounded on justice and respect for human rights. We, Catholics of Lithuania, painfully deplore the violations of the believers' freedom of conscience and the persecution of the Church that persist in our nation to this very day.
It is now more than ten years that Bishops J. Steponavičius and Sladkevičius have been subjected to the hardships of exile, without proper court verdict and without a set term, although they have not committed any crimes.
In November of this year two priests, J. Zdebskis and P. Bubnys, were sentenced to one year of prison for having instructed youngsters in the foundations of Catholic faith, at the request of their parents in fulfillment of their own priestly duties. These priests helped the youngsters to prepare themselves for the First Communion not in school but in the church and used no compulsion only those received the instruction who wanted it.
Meanwhile the believing children of believing parents are compelled to study atheism in schools. They are even forced to speak, write, and act against their consciences, yet those who coerce them are neither reprimanded nor tried.
The priests are no more capable to provide proper service to us, believers, because they are too few. There are many cases where one priest serves two and sometimes even three parishes. Even aged and invalid priests are compelled to work. This is so because the Seminary of Priests is administered no as much by the Bishop as by a state representative. The state authorities have limited the enrollment in the Seminary to merely ten theological students annually.
The appointment of priests to specific parishes is also directed by a state official.
Although the penal code of the Lithuanian S.S.R. provides for punishment of those who persecute believers, in practice such penalties are never enforced. In 1970 the Board of Education of Vilkaviškis dismissed the teacher, Mrs. O. Brilienė, from her job because she is a believer. Meanwhile the authorities in Vilkaviškis refuse to employ her even as a street sweeper. Nobody punishes such officials, although because of their arbitrariness the members of the intelligentsia are afraid to practice their faith publicly.
State authorities do not allow the believers to restore churches that have burned down, as for example in Sangrada, Batakiai, Gaurė. It is only with the greatest difficulty, that the permission is given to furnish a little chapel in a residential building, but one is never allowed to transfer it to a churchyard.
We could point out many more cases of discrimination which have embittered our life and have sown disillusionment with the Soviet Constitution and laws. We therefore ask the Soviet Government to grant us the freedom of conscience, which has been guaranteed by the Constitution of the U.S.S.R. but which has not been put into practice heretofore. What we want is not pretty words in the press and on the radio but serious governmental efforts that would help us, Catholics, to feel as citizens of the Soviet Union with equal rights.
Addition to the Memorandum
Seventeen thousand and fifty-four signatures are enclosed with the memorandum. It must be noted that the memorandum was signed by only an insignificant portion of religious believers in Lithuania, since the organs of the militia and of the KGB used all kinds of means to interrupt the collection of signatures. Several persons active in the collection of signatures were arrested in Kapsukas, Šakiai, Išlaužas, Kapčiamiestis.
If the state organs will continue giving the same kind of treatment to the complaints of the believers, we will feel compelled to turn to international institutions: to the Pope in Rome, the Head of our Church, or to the United Nations Organization, an authoritative institution that protects human rights.
In addition, we should like to inform you that this memorandum is the result of a national calamity: social ills, such as crimes committed by minors, alcoholism and suicides, have increased tenfold during the period of Soviet power in Lithuania. Divorces and destruction of unborn babies have also reached a dangerous level. The farther we move away from the Christian past, the more the terrible consequences of compulsory atheistic education come to light, the wider the spread of the inhuman way of life, deprived of God and religion.
We are addressing ourselves to you as the highest authority of the Party with a request for the most serious and responsible consideration of the facts presented by us and for the adoption of an appropriate decision.
Representatives of Lithuanian Catholics
* This account of the demonstrations in Kaunas was communicated through private channels.
* * The texts of these documents were made available in the West through various underground sources. The details about the collection of signatures are given in the latest underground publication from Lithuania Lietuvos Katalikų Bažnyčios Kronika (Chronicle of the Lithuanian Catholic Church), 1972, No. 2. The petitions of Catholics from Prienai, Santaika, and Girkalnis parishes, cited in the documents, refer to the trials of Rev. J. Zdebskis, Rev. P. Bubnys, and others for teaching religion to children, as well as to the general suppression of religious freedom in Lithuania. Texts of these petitions are printed in Lietuvos Katalikų Bažnyčios Kronika, Nos, 1 and 2, 1972, which also include the details of the trials. The trials of Rev. Zdebskis and Rev. Bubnys are also reported in the Soviet underground journal A Chronicle of Current Events, Nos. 22, 23, 24- For a detailed examination of the suppression of religious and national rights in Lithuania, see The Violation of Human Rights in Soviet Occupied Lithuania: A Report for 1971 (available free from the Lithuanian American Community, Inc. 405 Leon Avenue, Delran, New Jersey 08075, U.S.A.; a report for 1972 will also be available from the same source).