LITHUANIAN QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF ARTS AND SCIENCES
Volume 36, No.1 - Spring 1990
Editor of this issue: Antanas V. Dundzila
Copyright © 1990 LITUANUS Foundation, Inc.
* Forbidden to convene in Minsk, the Byelorussian Popular Front held its founding congress on June 24-25 in Vilnius. The Lithuanian Sąjūdis provided a trade union hall for the congress.
* Sąjūdis has obtained permission to publish a daily newspaper, to be called Respublika (Republic).
* On July 27, 1989, the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R. voted to grant the Baltic republics a large degree of economic autonomy. Tass states that the resolution specifically cancels all provisions of present law which clash with self-financing for the Baltic republics.
* The Lithuanian Sąjūdis has started operating its own information agency (SIA) last March. This is the first independent news agency in the entire Soviet Union.
* The Lithuanian P.E.N. Center has asked the governments of the U.S.S.R., the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic to condemn the Hitler-Stalin pact and to take steps to annul its consequences by demilitarizing Lithuania and fully restoring its statehood.
* The Soviet government admitted that the Hitler-Stalin pact was an illegal "collusion" between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, but insisted that it was far fetched to seek some kind of interconnection between the present status of the three Baltic republics and the non-aggression treaty.
* The first joint assembly of the Baltic patriotic mass movements was held in Tallinn, on May 13-14,1989. Almost 500 leaders and activists of the Lithuanian Sąjūdis and of the Latvian and Estonian Popular Fronts took part in a united campaign to attain political, cultural and economic autonomy. They resolved to hold such assemblies at least once a year.
The first issue of the newspaper Respublika "Republic" published 'in Vilnius since the 16th of September, 1989.
* Lithuania's population on January 12, 1989, was 3,690,000, according to the preliminary results of a recent census. This represents an increase of 292,000, or 8.6 percent, since the last census in 1979.
* The Lithuanian Communist Youth League decided to divorce itself from Moscow, in a stormy session on June 2-3, 1989.
* The Lithuanian Writers' Association declared its "independence" at a plenary meeting on June 7, 1989.
* Material from ELTA used in this issue of "Data Bank" is gratefully acknowledged.
REBIRTH OF A UNIVERSITY
Founded in 1922 in Kaunas as the University of Lithuania, renamed Vytautas the Great University in 1930, and liquidated in 1950 by the Russian occupying government, this center for higher learning, which had played an important part in the post-World War l academic life of Lithuania, has once again been re-established. The reinstitution of Vytautas the Great University came about following a conference held this spring in Kaunas in which 600 Lithuanian academicians and educators, including a number from the United States, Canada, Europe as well as representatives from Estonia, Latvia, and several Soviet republics, discussed the concept of a national institution of higher learning and the future development of education in Lithuania.
The reincorporating act of the University, dated April 28, 1989, promulgates an "independent institution of higher education" with freedom of conscience and expression guaranteed its professors and students. The act further provides for the establishment of a World Lithuanian Cultural, Scientific, and Educational Center as a step toward bridging the gap between Lithuanians in exile and those in the homeland.
Set to reopen on September 1, 1989, Vytautas the Great University will offer two years of general courses and majors in the Humanities, Business, Science, Biology, and Ecology.
TIME FOR THE TRUTH*
Dear Meeting Participants!
The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact sounded the death knell for independence won with much difficulty by the Baltic States in 1918-1920. The fact seems all the more poignant when we recall that all the other states created after World War I Finland, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and others continue to exist. Only Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia have disappeared from the political map of Europe.
We were taught that the Lithuanian nation gave up its sovereignty on its own accord and asked Stalin and Molotov for protection. This is not true. Freedom is a supreme value and the 5,000-year history of humanity has not known a single case of a nation voluntarily giving up its freedom.
Stalin simply sought to regain lands which had belonged to the tsarist empire before World War I. It was this fact that determined the fate of Lithuania in 1940. What took place was merely a staged performance with the chief stage manager Dekanozov, Beria's devoted comrade-in-arms, who came to Kaunas on 15 June 1940 and stayed there for a month. (Dekanozov was executed along with Beria in 1953.)
Did Lithuania have any alternative in 1940? Yes, it did! Professor V. Krėvė-Mickevičius, chairman of the Council of Ministers of the People's Government and minister of Foreign Affairs, supported by Minister of Finance E., Galvanauskas and Minister of Defense V. Vitkauskas, and, in part, by Minister of Agriculture M. Mickis, proposed to Molotov that Lithuania be allowed to remain a separate state, like Mongolia.
From an objective point of view, such a solution would have been of interest to both Lithuania and the Soviet Union. The Red Army would have remained in Lithuania and the economy of the Soviet Union would have profited far more from a separate Lithuanian state than from a ruined economy of a union republic. Nonetheless, Stalin and Molotov were unwilling to concede even limited independence to Lithuanians.
Molotov told Krėvė-Mickevičius, during Krėvė-Mickevičius' visit to Moscow in the summer of 1940, that the Russian tsars, from the days of Ivan the Terrible, had sought to reach the Baltic coast and that it would be, therefore, impardonable to miss this unique opportunity now. Molotov continued: "Small states will have to disappear in the future. This is why Lithuania must join the Union of Soviet Republics."
Isn't Stalinist policy toward small nations reminiscent of fascist policies? The only difference was that the Hitlerites sought to physically annihilate the small nations, while Stalin and Molotov sought to do so by absorbing them into the Soviet Union.
The 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and its direct result, the liquidation of the Lithuanian state, brought countless misfortunes upon the Lithuanian nation. It brought violence, mass deportations, massacres, destruction of the economy, humiliation of the people, and the decay of national culture. We must recognize that all the inhabitants of Lithuania who were deported, tortured to death in prisons, or killed in the postwar strugglewhether Lithuanians, Jews, Poles, or Russianswere all victims of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.
The time for repentance has come, a repentance to purify individuals, our society, our nation. Historians, more than anyone else, must repent. As a historian, l am ashamed for having failed for so long to tell the people the whole truth, even half the truth, or less than that. The society must bring pressure upon historians to demand that they write the truth and nothing but the truth on all topics, always.
SĄJŪDIS ON INDEPENDENCE
On August 23,1989, the Sąjūdis parliament held a solemn session in Vilnius. In a statement adopted on this occasion, Sąjūdis said that the U.S.S.R. ultimatum to the government of Lithuania on June 14, 1940, and the introduction of Soviet troops was an "act of aggression against a sovereign state." It created the conditions for a transformation of the Lithuanian government and for the elections to the so-called Lithuanian People's Diet, which was subjected to "political dictate and terror." The 1940 elections to that People's Diet were "illegal" and the "resolutions adopted by the Diet on the introduction of the Stalinist Soviet power in Lithuania as well as the request for incorporation into the U.S.S.R. never had and do not have any juridical power."
The sąjūdis statement also said that both the U.S.S.R. and the German governments have so far failed to condemn the Hitler-Stalin plot and have taken no concrete steps to annul the results of that plot and of the ensuing aggression. The Lithuanian nation is resolved to proceed with a "peaceful restoration of an independent democratic Lithuanian republic, not subordinate to the U.S.S.R. administrative system and jurisdiction."
MONUMENT TO ANTI-SOVIET GUERRILLAS UNVEILED IN LITHUANIA
On Sunday, May 7,1989, the Lithuanian Freedom League unveiled in Varniai the first monument honoring Lithuanian guerrillas who fell in the struggle against the Soviet occupation forces. The monument was erected next to the former NKVD building, where it is rumored that 200 guerrillas are buried. The marble monument is adorned by the Lithuanian state emblems and carries this inscription:
"For those who fell for Lithuania's freedom and independence in the years 1944-1954." And underneath: "The freedom-seeking nation."
Some 3,000 people attended the unveiling ceremony. The local communist authorities tried to intimidate the local population and issued warnings to the organizers, the architect, and the priest who consecrated the monument. The communist officials tried to organize a "counter-meeting", but it attracted only a few rowdies.
PUBLIC COMMEMORATIONS OF MASS DEPORTATIONS
The 48th anniversary of mass-deportations from Lithuania was commemorated publicly for the first time under Soviet occupation. June 14,1989, "The Day of Mourning and Hope," was a culmination of many nationwide events spanning the first half of the month. Mourning for the victims was combined with condemnation of Soviet terror;
the object of Hope was defined as Freedom and Independence. Leaders of the Lithuanian Communist Party took part in some of the events and joined in the condemnation of the genocidal actions.
LITHUANIAN WALKOUT AT MOSCOW CONGRESS BRINGS RESULTS
Formation of Controversial Committee Postponed Until Next Fall
The Lithuanian delegation of the Moscow Congress of the U.S.S.R. People's Deputies scored an important victory on June 9,1989, thwarting at least temporarily an attempt by the majority to impose a Committee for Constitutional Compliance. The Committee is conceived as a brake for the Baltic republics' efforts to expand their autonomy.
On June 8, most of the Lithuanian deputies walked out during a vote on the composition of the committee. They objected to the committee's powers to infringe on the sovereignty of the republics. Some Estonians and Latvians also joined the walkout, which was preceded by sharp exchanges between Baltic delegates and the Russian minority members of the Baltic delegation.
DECLARATION ON SOVEREIGNTY
On May 18, 1989, the Lithuanian Supreme Soviet issued a declaration on "Lithuanian State sovereignty," asserting that Lithuania was incorporated into the Soviet Union illegally and by force. Self-determination and restoration of the state sovereignty was the only solution for Lithuania in its present situation, the declaration said. The declaration was approved by a vote of 291 to eight.
The Lithuanian Supreme Soviet also enacted several amendments to the LSSR Constitution, establishing separate Lithuanian citizenship; asserting that all of Lithuania's natural resources, all of its territory, transportation, energy and communications enterprises were the republic's property, and assuming the right to veto legislation and legal acts by the U.S.S.R. state government.
SOVIETS THREATEN AGAIN
On August 26, 1989, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union shed all pretense of "glasnost," "democratization," and civilized international behavior. In its statement on the situation in the Baltic states, it returned to the "Big Lie" language of 1968, 1956, and 1940, not only vilifying the Baltic national democratic movements, but even threatening the very existence of the Baltic nations.
The statement appears to be a desperate measure, which was prompted by several recent developments:
* The display of Baltic unity and determination during the mass manifestations marking the 50th anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, on August 23.
* The publication on August 22 of a report by a commission of the Lithuanian Supreme Soviet "Investigating the 1939 Germany-U.S.S.R. Treaties and Their Results," which called the incorporation of Lithuania into the U.S.S.R. "illegal."
* A petition signed by 1,400,000 Lithuanian citizens in July and August, calling for Lithuanian independence and the withdrawal of the Soviet army.
* The collapse of the Soviet pseudo-legal justification of Moscow's control of the Baltic states, following (a) the Kremlin's admission of the existence of the secret protocols of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, and (b) the rejection by all political strata in the Baltic countries (including most communists) of the traditional Soviet contention that in July 1940 the Lithuanian, Latvian and Estonian people had requested through their "elected representatives for the incorporation of their nations in the U.S.S.R."
Leaders of the patriotic movements in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia reacted calmly to the threats of the Soviet Communist Party's Central Committee and pledged to continue their peaceful struggle for the restoration of independence.
MILLIONS OF BALTS REJECT SOVIET-NAZI DEAL, DEMAND INDEPENDENCE
50th Anniversary of Hitler-Stalin Pact Marked
Anywhere from one to three million Balts linked hands on August 23, 1989, forming a 370-mile human chain across Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. The chain climaxed a series of protests marking the 50th anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact and symbolized Baltic unity in their striving for independence. It also was a resounding "No!" to the recent claims of the Moscow government that the Pact and its secret protocols had no bearing on the present political status of the Baltic states.
THE BALTIC WAY
On the 50th anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the Latvian and Estonian Popular Front movements and the Lithuanian Sąjūdis have issued a joint statement. It was drafted by the Estonian movement and then ratified by the Latvians and Lithuanians. Key points:
The Baltic Way is a parliamentary way for the
peaceful restoration of our statehood.
The Baltic Way does not represent a threat to anyone.
The Baltic Way will guarantee social security, civil rights and economic progress to all the people in the Baltic republics regardless of their nationality.
The Baltic Way is a way to democracy.
The Baltic Way is the only road to freedom brother-hood and equality on the shores of our common Baltic Sea.
BALTIC STATES APPEAL TO EUROPE, U.N. AND U.S.S.R.
Appeal of the representatives of the popular fronts of Estonia, Latvia and the Lithuanian Reform Movement Sajūdis to the heads of states, members of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, and the Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R.
Having gathered at the Baltic Assembly on May 13-14, 1989, in Tallinn, plenipotentiary representatives of the Popular Fronts of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania,
BEING WELL AWARE OF the unconditional freedom of all nations to choose their road of political, economic and cultural development, the peoples' and nations' right to equality of rights and self-determination,
TAKING INTO ACCOUNT the dearly expressed aspiration of the three Baltic nations of the present-day process of restructuring, to achieve real economic independence and state sovereignty,
STRESSING the peculiarity of the historical development of the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian nations, their political independence in the years 1918 to 1940 as well as the fact that the Baltic states alone lost their independence as a result of World War II,
REGARDING the events of 1939-40 in the Baltic states which deprived Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania of independence as a direct consequence of the realization of the criminal collusion between Stalin and Hitler in the division of Eastern Europe, as a gross violation of the rules of international law and obligations of the U.S.S.R., and as forcible seizure, i.e. annexation of the Baltic states by the Soviet Union,
IN FULL CONFIDENCE that the government of the U.S.S.R. will, during this current year, renounce and declare null and void from the very moment of signing (ex tunic) the Agreements of August 23 and September 28, 1939, together with the secret protocols, concluded between the Stalinist regime of the U.S.S.R. and the German Reich, concerning political transformations in Eastern Europe, and will not prevent the restoration of the state sovereignty of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania by means of negotiations and with the participation of plenipotentiary representatives of their peoples,
APPEAL to the heads of states, members of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the U.S.S.R. to heed the aspiration of our nations to self-determination and independence in a neutral and demilitarized zone of Europe, as well as the need to solve this problem on the international level, with the participation of plenipotentiary representatives of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
The free, democratically expressed will of the Baltic nations must be decisive in the determination of their fates.
Tallinn, May 14, 1989
(Baltic Bulletin, September 1989)
THE LITHUANIAN REFORM MOVEMENT SĄJŪDIS THE HOPE OF LITHUANIA
Today all the people of Lithuania know that there is a word in the Lithuanian language which is pronounced with hope. The word is Sąjūdis (movement).
For the first time, the word attained new meaning in the Great Hall of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences in the late evening of June 3, 1989. Later the word became known to everybody and it came to mean what we call "The Lithuanian Reform Movement".
In order to understand the essence of the reform, we must recall all stages of its prehistory and history.
It began in 1940. The events that took place then in Lithuania can be called different names: occupation, coup, revolution. Whatever name destruction of the sovereignty of the Lithuanian Republic is given, the years that followed showed that the status of Lithuania in the Soviet Union meant nothing by an unbelievably hard life for the Lithuanian nation and for all the ethnic minorities residing in it. The smooth-running system of the national economy was destroyed. Hundreds of thousands of residents were deported to remote areas of Russia. Immigrants of alien culture flooded the country. The continuity of the national culture was disrupted.
Despite these destructive social and political changes and great human losses, the spirit of the Lithuanian people, the only real master of its land, was not broken.
Despite severe reprisals, the nation did not lose its morals and the people maintained their creative faculties.
In the middle of the sixties, after the coercion of government had weakened, the people enjoyed more freedom.
In the stagnation years, when Brezhnev was in office, nationality gradually lost its basis of spiritual resistance to the irrational administration of social life and national economy. The birth rate decreased more than by half;
ethnic indifference became obvious. The nation gradually lost its faith in the intellectuals. The technical intelligentsia could not resist the domineering dictatorship of Moscow ministries and departments in all spheres of life. Finally, the government and administration bodies of the Lithuanian SSR lost all power.
A short history
In the spring of 1985, several changes took place in the highest echelons of political power and gradually spread throughout the Soviet Union in concentric circles. But they did not reach Lithuania until some years later.
The first sign of the policy of openness and democratization in public life was on August 23, 1987, the day of commemoration of the 48th anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. In sodalist Lithuania, it was the first demonstration that was not suppressed, though not sanctioned, by the governmental bodies. In Vilnius about 500 people gathered around the monument to A. Mickevičius. They were the most fearless men and women demanding radical changes. Later some of them were condemned, maltreated and faced administrative sanctions.
Then came February 16,1988. On that day, 70 years ago, the independence of Lithuania was declared. In attempting to prevent other rallies and demonstrations not sanctioned by the government, the authorities of the Lithuanian SSR made a fatal political mistake. A broad ideological campaign against the very existence of Lithuanian Republic A (the so-called bourgeois state) was launched. Stalinist and old methods of the stagnation period were used. On the eve of February 16, paramilitary "surveillance of openness" was imposed in all Lithuanian towns. People were forced to attend meetings. Petitions were signed to denounce greetings from the President of the United States, Mr. Reagan to the Lithuanian people on the anniversary of independence. The mass media launched a wide campaign against the so-called extremists who encouraged people to observe the national holiday.
These outrageous ideological actions hurt the people and sharpened the self-consciousness of the nation. The people had always taken the view that during the period of 1918-1940, the sovereignty of the Lithuanian Republic had given them protection against Stalin's terror and peoples' genocide, and had saved the national economy. No blackening of the bourgeois state could make people change their opinions. Thus the resistance of the public was aroused. Determination to demand radical changes in the policy of the authorities ripened.
At this point, the intellectuals took the matter into their own hands. For more than a period of six months, numerous unofficial clubs were set up and forums were held in Vilnius, but the official press kept silent. The opposition of the intellectuals gradually grew. The mass media could pass over it in silence no longer.
The Writers' Union of the Lithuanian SSR played a particularly important role in bringing the catastrophic ecological situation and Lithuanian language issue to the surface.
It happened in April 1988, when the Komjaunimo tiesa (a newspaper for the young people with a circulation of half a million) carried S. Pečiulis's article that treated the postwar political and social situation in Lithuania in a different light.
Naturally it aroused the opposition of the die-hard politicians. They accused S. Pečiulis of revisionism and anti-Marxism.
The overwhelming majority of the intelligentsia took his side. So did the local communities. Finally, the public became determined to resist the stagnation policies carried out by the authorities and ideologists.
The news from Estonia, where the Popular Front had already come into being, encouraged the people to take immediate action.
The Congress Bulletin
No. 1, October 21, 1988
LITHUANIA: CHRONOLOGY OF SĄJŪDIS
June 3, 1988 about 500 enthusiastic intellectuals, representing technical and humanitarian sciences, gathered in the Big Hall of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences and elected a group of 36 commissioners, who were morally pledged to launch organizational measures in order to speed up reform in Lithuania. (Later on one of the commissioners renounced his commission).
This is how the Initiative Group of Lithuanian Reform Movement "Sąjūdis" came into being, declaring the following motto of its activity: "Openness, democracy and sovereignty". June 7the first meeting of the action Initiative Group took place, during which the general principles of action were formulated and commissions were set up to deal with separate fields of activity (socio-political, economic, cultural, ethic, legal, ecological and organizational).
June 10a center of Sąjūdis was established in Kaunas.
June 13the Sąjūdis Initiative Group held a mass meeting in Vilnius (about 1,000 people participated), during which the general goals of Sąjūdis were outlined.
The first issue of the unofficial press bulletin of Sąjūdis "Sąjūdžio žinios" (The Sąjūdis News) appeared.
June 14the Sąjūdis Initiative Group held a memorial meeting indoors, apart from the unauthorized rally in Gediminas Square in Vilnius, to commemorate the victims of the first deportations in 1941 (about 200 people participated).
June 17members of the Sąjūdis Initiative Group met with Secretary of the Lithuanian Communist Party Central Committee, L. Šepetys, and several department heads. The first dialogue with Lithuania's leadership was begun.
June 21the Sąjūdis Initiative Group staged the first demonstration outside the building of the Supreme Soviet of the Lithuanian SSR. The demonstration was unsanctioned by the authorities, but drew approximately 500 people. They protested against the barrier to information about Sąjūdis in the mass media, the non-democratic elections of delegates to the 19th AII-Union Conference of the CPSU, and destruction of historical monuments in the town of Trakai.
June 23the Sąjūdis Initiative Group was received at LCP Central Committee Bureau.
June 24Sąjūdis held a rally in Gediminas Square before the delegates left for the 19th All-Union Party Conference. The rally was attended by over 20,000 people.
June 29Sąjūdis staged a protest meeting outside the building of the Lithuanian news agency ELTA. The meeting was unsanctioned by the authorities, although taking part in it were about 2,000 people. They protested against the biased information, concerning the rally of June 24, printed by the ELTA news agency.
July 15Sąjūdis organized a meeting in front of the building of the Supreme Soviet of the Lithuanian SSR to protest against the construction of the third power block at the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant. The government was urged to resist the dictate of Moscow ministries. The meeting was unauthorized, with about 2,000 people participating.
July 9Sąjūdis organized a rally in Vingis Park to greet the delegates who attended the 19th All-Union Party Conference upon their return from Moscow. The limitations on openness were slackened. The LCP Central Committee Secretary A. Brazauskas announced that the Republic's leadership was inclined to recognize the national flag and the national emblems officially. Attending the rally were about 100,000 people.
July 26Sąjūdis staged a meeting in front of the building of the Supreme Soviet of the Lithuanian SSR to protest against a decree to be adopted by the Supreme Soviet Presidium of the Lithuanian SSR, restricting the freedom of gatherings, rallies, demonstrations and processions. The meeting was unsanctioned by the authorities, and taking part in it were around 5,000 people. For the first time, a military force stood by, ready to be used against the demonstrators.
July 20-August 2Sąjūdis organized a cycling tour across Lithuania.
July 28-August 7 Sąjūdis launched a Rock Music March and propaganda tour to eight Lithuanian cities.
August 1the first issue of the unofficial bulletin of the Kaunas Zone Sąjūdis "Kauno aidas" (The Echo of Kaunas) was published.
August 5for the first time in Lithuania the "Sąjūdžio žinios" published the secret protocols of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.
August 23Sąjūdis organized a mourning rally in Vingis Park to mark the 49th anniversary of the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. The rally was attended by nearly 250,000 people. Among the speakers at the rally was L. Šepetys, Secretary of the LCP Central Committee. A new leaf was turned over in the interpretation of Lithuanian history.
August 30the Sąjūdis Iniative Group and its permanent commissions met with Chairman of the Security Committee of the Lithuanian SSR General E. Eismuntas. They shared their views on Soviet power and touched upon mutual tolerance limits.
September 3Sąjūdis and the "green" clubs of Latvia and Lithuania organized a "hands around the Baltic" act to protest against the disastrous ecological situation in the Baltic republics. Participating in the action were about 100,000 Lithuanians.
September 16the first issue of the official Sąjūdis periodical "Atgimimas" (Rebirth) came off the press.
September 16-17Sąjūdis staged a "live ring" action around the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant, demanding a halt to the construction of the third nuclear power block and the reconstruction of the first and the second blocks. Taking part in the action were about 200,000 people. The action was followed up by pickets, still to be seen in the streets of Lithuanian cities today, demanding an international commission to investigate the functioning of the Ignalina Nuclear Power Plant.
September 19the first appearance of the Sąjūdis Initiative Group on Lithuanian TV.
October 4Sąjūdis picketed the office building of the LCP Central Committee, where an LCP Session was being held. The picket demanded punishment of those who were actually responsible for the clashes between the citizens and the military forces of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Gediminas Square on September 28. Non-confidence as First Secretary of the LCP Central Committee was expressed to R. Songaila.
October 7the government of the Lithuanian SSR, satisfying the request of Sąjūdis, raised the national flag of Lithuania on the tower of Gediminas Castle.
October 8the editorial committee of the Sąjūdis program concluded its work on the draft, which was published in the Republic's press on October 12.
The Congress Bulletin
No. 1, October 21, 1988
A STATEMENT OF GOOD WILL
A political situation is either favorable or unfavorable to moral and good will. The present situation created by the political regulations adopted at the Twenty-Seventh Congress of the CPSU and the Nineteenth AII-Union Party Conference is evaluated as being favorable to good will. The Sąjūdis Congress, therefore, adopts the following statement and suggests that each support group discuss and approve it.
We, members of Sąjūdis, conscious of the responsibility imposed by the current socio-political renovation of the society, national and moral rebirth, pledge:
for unity, against division,
for trust, against suspicion,
for construction against destruction,
for revival, against suppression in al spheres of public life.
We are resolved to seek:
peace, where we find discord,
truth, where we find deception,
harmony, where we find disorder,
and light, where we find darkness.
We approve of the policy of reform, which gives hope for the attainment of these goals. In the future, any concrete step which implements declared policy, will always be answered in the spirit of good.
The Congress Bulletin
No. 2, October 22, 1988
SĄJŪDIS IN LITHUANIA
We discussed the question of nationality in Lithuania at the press conference on October 22, 1988.
Algimantas Čekuolis, a writer and head of the Press Center, announced the second press conference to be open. It was announced that some 400 correspondents have accredited in the Congress.
Polish "Culture": The Poles of Lithuania are worried about the growing ethnic enthusiasm among Lithuanians. What is the opinion of Sąjūdis concerning this?
Z. Zinkevičius: It is an odd question. There is no nationalism of a negative kind here. Poles living in Lithuania are most likely poorly informed. The distortions and one-sidedness expressed by "Červony Sztyandar" also added to this. l am sure that the situation will be brought to a normal condition when the newspapers begin writing the truth concerning these matters.
A. Čekuolis: "Gimtasis kraštas" published an article by J. Cechanovich, a Pole, in which, among other things, he said that there is no other country except Poland where Poles are treated in a more humane manner than Lithuania.
"Literaturnaya gazeta": 1. What legal guarantees will be given to non-Lithuanians living in the territory of Lithuania? 2. What language will the Baltic nations speak?
A. Žebriūnas: The rights of various nations are guaranteed by the Constitution. The question is how these rights are executed by national communities and in what way are these rights violated?
In 1940, we were deprived these rights. Most probably the rights of not all communities were subjected to restrictions. But Jewish schools conducted in the Hebrew and the Ivrit languages were closed. The program of Sąjūdis clearly shows that we want to restore these rights.
V. Landsbergis: It is necessary to speak not only about the program of Sąjūdis, but also about the project of a new constitution as well as a constitution which unfortunately, has been published only in the Sąjūdis press. One may become acquainted with the draft that is found in the second issue of "Atgimimas". You will be convinced that the draft of the Constitution deals with the civic rights rather than with the national rights of Lithuanians. It demands respect for the dignity of each citizen. The newly-included article on the Lithuanian language as the state language guarantees both the use of Lithuanian and conditions for the development of other languages. The Baltic republics will use Russian for interethnic communication.
Tass: Have you read the editorials in yesterday's "Pravda"? Your comment on it?
A. Čekuolis: We beg the pardon of "TASS"we had a busy day yesterday. But in general, we attentively read "Pravda" every day.
V. Landsbergis: Yesterday we read the editorial in "Tiesa". It is the first time in the paper's history that such a progressive editorial has been published.
Voice of America: Where can we receive information on the ethnic composition of the participants of the Sąjūdis Congress? How do you plan on restricting migration to Lithuania?
A. Čekuolis: The Credentials Committee has not yet completed its calculations, and we have no data so far.
V. Landsbergis: No migration control regulations have been worked out as yet. It is evident, however, that the economic sovereignty of the Republic and the law on Lithuanian citizenship should be a guarantee of limiting migration to Lithuania.
Lithuanian TV: My question is both Lithuanian and global. Today's papers publish draft amendments to the Constitution of the USSR. We also studied the draft of the Constitution of Lithuania carried in "Atgimimas". There are major differences in those two draft Constitutions with respect to sovereignty. How do you explain this? And will the Congress pass a special resolution on the Constitution of Lithuania?
V. Landsbergis: If there is such a contradiction it doesn't surprise me. The new version of the USSR Constitution was prepared at the country's center. And it is completely natural that centralized tendencies prevail. I had the honour to work with the Constitution Draft Committee even though I' m not a lawyer. This committee doesn't only draft and organize the new Lithuanian Constitution project, but it also formulates propositions to improve the USSR Constitution. Soon suggestions on how to improve the USSR Constitution will be sent to the Constitutions Draft Center. Other republics will do the same if they have not already done so.
In the end, the USSR Constitution will not be like the published draft because it must be coordinated with all the republics' constitutions.
Without a doubt, such a resolution of the Congress, supporting the Constitutional draft of our Republic, will appear.
"Izvestiya": Whether we want to or not, people of Russian descent in Lithuania are now worrying. Therefore the question: what guarantees do these people have?
V. Čepaitis: We do not want to divide the Lithuanian population according to nationality. We want Sąjūdis to exist in factories and organizations. There are forces instigating discord between nations. They would like to instigate a new Karabakh. But the best example is how people of other nationalities have joined Sąjūdis, specifically, in NPP third unit construction. Many Russians live in Sniečkus. They have founded their own Sąjūdis Support Group. Many such groups exist. If the entire population of the Republic joins together in the war against the mafia and corruption, and works for a clean environment, all ethnic problems will be forgotten.
"Izvestija": Do you support the suggestion of the Estonian National Front not to render mandatory manual aid to clean up the consequences of the Chernobyl catastrophe?
V. Landsbergis: The words "aid" and "mandatory" are incompatible but they do exist together in reality. We want these words to regain their genuine meaning.
"Ekspress wieczorny": What are the criteria of national sovereignty? What anti-Russian and anti-Polish slogans were put up in the University and Gediminas Square? Some Lithuanian historians claim that Poles in Lithuania are merely polonized Lithuanians.
A. Čekuolis: Every nation has its louse of poor upbringing. The bigger the nation the more louses. By the way, those slogans were taken down by Lithuanians them-selves.
As for the Poles, many Lithuanians can speak Polish. The Poles who have last names like Gaidelis, Petrulis, etc. are probably of Lithuanian origin.
Finish Radio: I don't quite understand the matter of the Constitution. Do you have the right to create your own Constitution in general?
V. Landsbergis: This very existence of the nation allows it to create its own constitution. Constitutions of sovereign republics should be taken into account in order to make the Soviet Union a federal state
"Chicago Tribune": We heard that provocative leaflets were being circulated among the people and that there was unrest. Who is responsible for that?
K. Motieka: They are anonymous. We are trying to discover the identities of the publishers and distributors of the leaflets.
A. Čekuolis: Sąjūdis doesn't yet have a KGB of its own and it probably never will.
The Congress Bulletin
No. 2, October 22, 1988
LITHUANIA: LOVE AND JUSTICE
member of the Sąjūdis Initiative group
We look at Lithuania and we cannot help being conscious of our love for it as our only place in the world.
We think about Lithuania's history and even without knowing it, as it has been so persistently concealed from us, we feel it oozing in our blood.
This is the voice of our homeland. We heard it and made up our minds to make our great breakthrough. This summer has changed Lithuania.
At long last we understood that Lithuania and Liberty are two unseparable words, words spelled with the same initial.
Nevertheless, we want to see Lithuania not only free, but also sensible. We need a vision of sensible future.
What kind of vision might it be?
We associate our sensible future with a state governed by laws. Today it does not exist in our country as yet. For half a year at least there won't even be prerequesite conditions for its emergence. We'll have to do much incredibly hard and thoughtful work changing the political calendar of our socialist reality. We all understand the meaning of the political calendar in this country. Approaching are the 16th of December, Christmas, the 16th of February, Easter. Sąjūdis has already made a number of changes in the political calendar. It is necessary to move on. Lithuania requires that these dates attain the significance they have deserved in the real history of our nation. We don't want holidays invented in the rooms of politicians, but holidays that are recognized and celebrated by the country. And we also want that these dates be protected by law.
But a state governed by law is something more.
It is necessary for us to become citizens of Lithuania. It would be our common joy, we would have common duties and common concerns.
Taking more pride in our nation and its past, we must be conscious that a present-day European state is based on the law of citizenship. Every step being made and to be made in Lithuania should acquire a form of civic concord. At the same time, civic concord needs guarantees. Lithuanians and non-Lithuanians shall be equal by law. Only by this road we can rally for Lithuanian's sake all its inhabitants and all ethnic minorities, and then we can proudly sing "Lithuania, Our Homeland" together.
Only a citizen of Lithuania can tell all sorts of vagabonds that in this country there is no place for people who roam where the wind blows, and that we don't want occupants shod with bast-shoes or iron-dad. Enacting the law of Lithuanian citizenship, we'll pave the way into the world and we'll invite to our holy land our fellow-countrymen scattered all over the world and exhausted by nostalgia for their homeland.
Less than 50 years have passed since the time when our country was flooded by a wave of vandalism. We still live under conditions when our memories are alive, when it seems that even the air and the trees still remember our sacred places being spoiled and destroyed, our people killed, our culture ruined, our language restricted.
Moreover, our statehood was reduced. We lost what is indispensible in the reasonable and free lives of human beings.
Thus we discovered the truth: the greatest monument to the victims of vandalism is to keep them in our memory and to renew their lives. If we do not do this, we'll remain slaves. A slave minister and a slave black-marketeer are very similar to each other in worshipping their idols. This kind of society has no chance to survive.
Let us not be this kind of society.
Let us revive the state that was not created by vandals.
Let us save our souls and our children's future.
Let us turn our glances to the tower of Gediminas Castle and make a vow of loyalty to Lithuania. The flag of our hope is flying there. Our future is freedom and justice. Do you hear, Lithuania, our love?!
And may all the celestial and earthly powers help us!
The Congress Bulletin
No. 2 October 22, 1988
* Speech delivered by Liūdas Truška on 23 August 1988 at Vingis Park in Vilnius, on the 49th anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, translated from Lithuanian and edited for Lituanus.