LITHUANIAN QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF ARTS AND SCIENCES  
ISSN 0024-5089
Copyright © 2006 LITUANUS Foundation, Inc.


Volume 52, No 3 - Fall 2006
Editor of this issue: Mykolas Drunga

Between Organization and Informality:
A Few Pages from the History of Santara-Šviesa

DAIVA DAPKUT

Daiva Dapkut is a historian lecturing at Vytautas Magnus University and doing research at the Lthuanian Emigration Institute in Kaunas on the ideological and political development of the emigre Lithuanian community, the history of Lithuanian liberal thought and the diaspora's relations with the homeland. She has written a number of essays on these topics, including a book (published in 2002) on the genesis of the Lithuanian liberal movement in exile.

World War II and the onset of the second Soviet occupation caused the departure from Lithuania of a large group of political refugees who reached adulthood and old age in a Western world cut off from Lithuania. This period was vital for the modernization and liberalization of Lithuanian society.

Western democratic and liberal ideas had a greater impact on young people who had participated in anti-Soviet and anti-Nazi resistance movements, lived in the DP camps that the Allies had established on West German territory, and completed their higher education in German and U.S. universities. Whereas the older generation of refugees, habituated to forms and patterns of social and organizational life established in prewar Lithuania, often sought to reimplant these same patterns in the West, thereby creating structures amounting to voluntary Lithuanian ghettoes, many in the younger generation, championing principles of national nonpartisan liberalism, sought to fashion entirely new organizations.

In the postwar emigre Lithuanian community the liberal wing constituted a relatively small though influential segment. While the Catholics by and large carried over their traditional strict organizational forms to community life in the West, the liberals remained splintered, as they had been before the war.1

One of the most interesting phenomena in the development of Lithuanian liberal organizations was the emergence, in the U.S. during the 1950s, of Santara-Šviesa. This movement became influential and left an indelible mark in both the soul-searching community and in Lithuania itself; it significantly influenced Lithuania's recent cultural, and to a lesser extent, political history. After the restoration of the country's independence, Santara-Šviesa found a place in Lithuanian society, and nowadays its activities are carried out in both the United States and in Lithuania. It is impossible to quantify its size and influence by the number of its members or their financial capabilities, for the simple reason that Santara-Šviesa never adopted any strict membership criteria nor kept any membership lists. It counts as a member anyone who participates in its activities; it welcomes the participation of anyone subscribing to broadly liberal principles of tolerance; and it does not discriminate against anyone's participation on grounds of age, political or social interests, or participation in other organizations. As it managed to harmonize the individualism peculiar to liberals with a commitment to community norms, Santara-Šviesa became a society of socially aware intellectuals, a sort of "organization without organization."

In this paper, the early history of Santara-Šviesa - up to the late 1950s - will be reviewed. As its name indicates, Santara-Šviesa is a fusion of two elements: Šviesa (Light), an academic youth society formed in 1946 in Germany, and Santara (Concord), a student society formed in 1954 in the United States. Both originated separately as societies joining together current or former students. New in their ideological orientation, they embraced a large segment of academic youth belonging to various student organizations and at the same time managed to remain independent of any political group or party. Eventually both Šviesa and Santara came to prefer cultural activities to political ones, and recognizing common interests they formed a federation in 1957.

The Šviesa Academic Youth Movement

The college-age people who found themselves in Western Europe after World War II faced the task of ascertaining and defining their basic values in light both of the experiences they had just gone through and the challenges ahead of them. Cut off from the freedom struggles raging in the homeland they had just been forced to leave, they felt the need to engage in meaningful activities to justify their existence abroad. Finding themselves in foreign universities surrounded by strangers, Lithuanian students gravitated towards two havens of kinship and comfort they had themselves established in the DP camps as early as 1945. At that time, they were already clearly split into two groups: the ateitininkai and the non-ateitininkai.2 The first to coalesce were the Catholic ateitininkai (members of the Ateitis Federation): they constituted a majority and had inherited a tight structure from the prewar years. The non-ateitininkai were not as tightly knit: while some of them wanted to reconstitute the old organizations of the independence period, in particular the student organizations active at Vytautas Magnus University, others thought it preferable to create something entirely new.3 The latter took the initiative by founding the Šviesa Academic Youth Movement in Tubingen on March 13, 1946. This organization set itself the following goals:

1. To raise the cultural level among the academic youth by orienting it towards the West while simultaneously deepening its Lithuanian national component;
2. To broaden and deepen young people's acquaintance with the social, political, economic, and cultural arrangements, systems, and ways of life prevailing in various countries;
3. To foster among the Lithuanian youth norms of civilized interaction, tolerance toward differing viewpoints, and respect for persons and their beliefs;
4. To foster among the Lithuanian youth a love of freedom and a deep, humane patriotism conjoined with the idea of international solidarity.4

The most important tasks Šviesa set for itself in this period was to fight for the liberation of Lithuania and to safeguard the Lithuanian consciousness in exile. All of its activities had to be oriented toward Lithuania in preparation for the restoration of independence. Since Šviesa members (called sviesieciai) could not directly take part in the resistance then gripping Lithuania, they saw their contribution in readying themselves for participating in the country's economic, social, and technological life once it was liberated.5 Basic to Šviesa's ideology was the idea of liberty, understood in a fourfold sense: individual, social, political, and ethnic. Besides the principal aims that guided its activities in exile, Šviesa championed other desirable goals whose achievement would positively affect young people in exile as well as people in a reconstituted, independent Lithuania of the future. These desiderata included a free human being who had voluntarily chosen his or her own set of values; a humanistic, patriotic outlook consistent with demanding better conditions for all of humanity; tolerance towards different viewpoints; human solidarity; and international cultural cooperation.6

A year after its founding, during its first plenary convention (May 12-13, 1947 in Tubingen), Šviesa already boasted twelve chapters (seven in German universities, five elsewhere), a number that grew by two new chapters in Germany before the second convention (February 28-29, 1948 in Stuttgart), when membership had reached 329. By the time of its third convention (April 2-3, 1949 in Tubingen) it had 365 members, 150 of whom had emigrated to other countries.7

All of the Šviesa chapters were actively involved in organizing conventions, conferences, meetings, excursions, intellectual events, literary and artistic evenings, and other activities that engaged its own members, attracted newcomers, and impacted on the community-at-large. The student camps organized by Šviesa effectively combined entertainment and relaxation with an academic program of lectures and discussion. Other organizations adopted this pattern of summer camps, making it a distinctive feature of emigre youth life.

Šviesa's presence was enhanced by its press, which helped popularize its ideas, first among the students and then in the wider community. In July-August 1946 there appeared in Stockholm a publication called Šviesa; and from September onwards a journal with the same name was published in Germany. It survived until 1949 and became a leading cultural forum for young intellectuals including Jonas Aistis, Marija Alseikaite-Gimbutiene, Algirdas Julius Greimas, Julius Kaupas, Vincas Trumpa, Alfonsas Nyka-Niliunas, Antanas Rkas, and Henrikas Nagys.

Other non-Catholic youth organizations that were subsequently (re)established in Germany did not manage to attract quite so wide nor active a membership as did Šviesa, which, despite many predictions of a quick demise, continued to stay ahead. Its popularity among young Lithuanians in Europe can be explained by several factors.

First of all, Šviesa was in all respects a new organization, with no ties to any political parties or student organizations that had existed during the independence period. It appealed to those Lithuanian students who felt no attachment to any of them, precisely because the ideas of those old organizations seemed largely irrelevant to resolving the new issues that claimed the attention of young, intellectually inclined postwar refugees.

Secondly, the fact that Šviesa started functioning before the older non-Catholic student organizations had been revived in Germany also helped it prosper. Even though the latter eventually reclaimed some Šviesa members for themselves, this did not weaken Šviesa's position in the student community: in 1948 a meeting of chapter representatives decided to allow Šviesa members to retain or seek membership in other ideological or political organizations as well.8

Finally, even though it was a non-Catholic and nominally even an 'anticlericalist' organization, Šviesa did not accentuate anticlericalism and did not regard itself as diametrically and categorically opposed to the ideology of the Catholic Atei-tis movement. On questions of Weltanschauung and religious faith or non-faith, its members maintained a liberal attitude throughout.

This liberalism simply was the organization's essential attribute, which in practice allowed it to avoid or eliminate the points that could split Lithuanian youth into separate organizations. By leaving questions of faith and conscience to personal choice, it fashioned an ideology sufficiently broad to permit young people of various persuasions to feel comfortable with it. Šviesa's predilection for cultural activities also helped it to resist attempts by various political parties to claim its members.

It was only the mass emigration of Lithuanian refugees from Europe to countries across the oceans that eventually brought a radical change in the organization's fortunes. In 1948-1949, Šviesa chapters began to be established in Canada and the United States, while those remaining in Europe gradually withered away due to a steadily declining membership. In the U. S., the most active chapters were those established in New York and Chicago, where their members were determined to continue the cultural and social activities they had carried out in Germany. However, in North America, Šviesa gradually began to lose contact with an even younger group of liberal-minded students just entering college. Most of these new stuudents remained more or less aloof from Šviesa and formed a separate organization, the Independent Students' Movement, which shortly gave rise to Santara. Although there were no diffferences in principle between Šviesa and Santara, they were separated by the fact that, on the whole, the Šviesa-generation had been educated in European universities, whereas the Sanntara-generation was educated in American and Canadian collleges.

Independent Students become Santarieiai

The beginnings of Santara are closely connected with the early history of the Lithuanian Student Society, founded in 1951 in the United States. Like the Lithuanian communitylarge, the Lithuanian Student Society quickly divided into two groups: ateitininkai and others. It was from the "others" that Santara was eventually formed. But this didn't happen immeediately.

Initially, several dozen energetic students, keen on new ideas, the individual search for truth, and freedom of creative expression, found no better way of designating themselves than as "independents." In 1951-1952 the first elections of the Lithuanian Student Society leadership took place; they were won by the ateitininkai. These elections not only proved what a well-organized collective could accomplish, but also showed the non-ateitininkai that they could assert their interests only by consolidating. Thus an Independent Students' Group within the Lithuanian Students' Society was born. It had no formal organization, by-laws or written ideological dogmas; it just innfluenced other students through its activities at student gathherings and articles in the periodical press; and it became suffficiently popular to win the next two elections (1952-1953 and 1953-1954) before unexpectedly losing the third (1954-1955).9

During these years the non-ateitininkai came to realize that it wasn't enough just to unite before the elections, and more significantly, that electing the Lithuanian Student Society leaddership was not the main goal of the student association then gradually coming into existence, that it was far more important to think ahead about common projects in the future and about what Lithuanian emigre society in general might need from an independent student movement.

On December 31, 1953, the members of this group held a public meeting in which they adopted the name of the Independent Students' Movement. At first they elected only a secretariat (Vytautas Kavolis, Jonas Bilenas, Dalia Devenyt, Algimantas Gureckas) without establishing a formal organization, so as not to prevent other students already belonging to one or another student society from joining this movement.10 Gradually nuclei of the movement coalesced in nearly a dozen North American locations; the elected secretariat had the function of coordinating their activities. During these months there were four competing conceptions about what an independent student movement should emphasize first and foremost. They might be termed (1) the liberal, according to which it was supremely important to promote, within Lithuanian society, a respect for human rights, the virtue of tolerance, and equal rights for all ideologies; (2) the nationalist, which sought to reactivate student participation in activities aimed at restoring Lithuanian independence; (3) the humanist, which emphasized personality development and the solution of moral problems; and (4) the pragmatic, which in its activities aimed to embrace everything that the Lithuanian emigre community needed the most.11

The last step toward consolidation was taken on September 8-10, 1954 at the Independent Students' Movement conference at Joe Bachunas's Tabor Farm Resort in Sodus, Michigan. There the attendees decided to establish the organization officially, agreed on its by-laws, elected a new central board (Vyytautas Kavolis, Julius Šmulkštys, Leonas Sabaliunas, Zenonas Rekašius, Saulius Šimolinas), and changed its name to the Lithuanian Student Concord, or Lietuvi student Santara in Lithuanian (Santara for short). Its common ideological denominator was an Anglo-Saxon type of liberalism, although the use of the word itself was largely avoided. Having spoken up on behalf of tolerance, self-determination, conscience and individualism, some of these independent students held to the opinion that liberalism not be mentioned at all because it "im­plied to the Lithuanian mentality a lot of things we don't want or don't intend to be."12

The next step was to form local chapters and to introduce the newly-established organization to the wider community. Each participant at the founding conference felt obliged to help organize a chapter in his local community. This task was undertaken with enthusiasm and its implementation went successfully.13 So did that of the second task. Because Santara sought to maintain cordial relations with all the Lithuanian po­litical groups in exile, it had a kind of broad-based backing not accorded to any other student organization. In the beginning, its members had access to almost every periodicat and their literary and editorial contributions were widely sought. The santarieiai, as Santara members were called, contributed articles, poems, and fiction pieces to a variety of newspapers and magazines, including Vienyb, Varpas, Naujienos, Dirva, Darbas, and Santarv. They found permanent space in the nationalist Dirva as well as in the social democratic Naujienos. The community-at-Iarge took notice of them immediately: many welcomed Santara's appearance, wished it welt and pledged their sup­port; but others accused Santara of godlessness (because of its liberalism) and of fostering a new generation of members for the non-Catholic political parties.

Santara differed from other student organizations in that it had no political or religious ideology or Weltanschaung that was common to all of its members and which they were obliged to accept; Santara acknowledged everyone's right to believe whatever their minds and consciences dictated. One of its concrete aims was to foster "socially strong and humanly capable" personalities through free cultural activities, development of personal interests, and ideological discussions. It was proclaimed that Santara, being a nonideological organization, does not offer its members any particular system of ideas, but can help them to become familiar with various different ideas and then choose for themselves, as well as provide them with an environment in which there would be a real interest in, and a hearty debate about, world outlook of issues. "Thus Santara does not recommend accepting any ideology in particular, it just makes available the conditions for a free and intelligent ideological choice."14

At its founding conference, Santara talked about "the free man or woman's path to Lithuanian identity" and enunciated the concept of a "vital Lithuanianism." By this it sought to express the relationship of "the thoughtful younger generation" to Lithuanian identity and to urge them to advance those things that seemed new and important to them now, even though they were unpopular in the community-at-Iarge.

Looking for Uniqueness

In seeking both to "find themselves" and to create a suitable organization for themselves, "independent" Lithuanian students in America tried to convince the emigre society that they were totally different, coming from a new world of ideas, having a different sense of life, and taking an entirely different view of the social, political, and cultural phenomena of Lithuanian life. But to what extent was this just a tendency, peculiar to each younger generation, of rejecting everything created and recommended by an earlier generation? Did the independents really hit upon something new and special?

A look at the Santara by-laws reveals many similarities with those of other diaspora organizations. Preservation or strengthening of one's national (ethnic) sense; commitment to society; independence of spirit - these ideas were not peculiar only to Santara but shared with many of the student organiza­tions of the independence period: the peasant populist varpininkai, the social democratic youth organizations, and the organizations of the tautininkai (nationalists), for example. Except  for the more strongly delineated and emphasized ideas of liberrty and liberalism, the other aims (a fighting spirit, the struggle against communism for the restoration of Lithuanian indepenndence, the struggle to preserve one's national consciousness, the aim to unite the members of a "national democratic bloc" into one organization, personal freedom and freedom of connscience, the principles of humanist morality) were very similar to those espoused at one time or another by various liberall-leaning older organizations. From the very beginning, Santara, sought the backing of people from the older generation and tried to tell them how to live - without accepting any suggestions from them on how it itself should act.

In the early years there was a vigorous campaign within Santara to fuse, or at least to bring closer together, the liaudininkai (populists) and the tautininkai for the purpose of creating a broad, internally cohesive, moderately liberal centrist bloc of Lithuanian political forces in the diaspora community. These efforts of the santarieiai very much resembled earlier attempts by an older generation of liberals to fashion a united center. The main difference lay in the fact that the earlier attempts were often motivated by an anticlericalist impulse, whereas the santarieiai were looking to revive the liberal impulse dormant in these traditional groups. These efforts were unsuccessful - the nationalists and the populists did not accept Santara's offers of trilateral cooperation. Eventually, the desire of the santarieiai to bring together the nationalists and the populists cooled and petered out entirely.

The social and cultural activities of Santara (concerts, art exhibits, Lithuanian seminars, camps, dances, annual conferrences, parties, and so on) helped to solidify feelings of fellowwship, but did not essentially differentiate it from other student and nonstudent organizations. Social activities were necessary to attract new members, but something distinctive had to be offered to hold on to them.

Santara had already rejected the usual organizational exclusivity that believed in drawing strict boundaries around one's members. Thus it welcomed the active participation of people belonging to other groups (Šviesa, the Academic Scouts, the populist varpininkai, the nationalist Neo-Lithuanians). Still, Santara, like other liberal groups, could not eschew conflict alltogether. In 1955, a controversy regarding liberalism began in emigre circles. This, and a dispute between Jonas Grinius and the santarieCiai regarding the literary output of Antanas Skema,15 deepened the division between Santara and the Catholic wing of the Lithuanian community. There were also disputes that Santara had, not only with the Catholic ateitininkai, but with the Neo-Lithuanians and the Academic Scouts as well.

The latter had been markedly active in the events leading up to Santara's founding. In seeking to bind them and memmbers of other organizations more closely to Santara, the latter emphasized its intention of being a "nonideological organiization." However, days after Santara was founded, the board of the Vytis corporation (Academic Scouts) on September 17, 1954, forbade its members from joining Santara. Being forced to choose between Santara and the Academic Scouts, a majority of the latter chose to remain Scouts, though a sizeable minorrity transferred to Santara. For the santarieiai this was a major blow that, to a large extent, caused San tara increasingly to lose contact with an emerging new generation of students in the future.16

Though the similarities between Santara and other Lithuanian organizations, as indicated above, were many, it was clearly distinct from them as well-mainly in its youthful, restless spirit, and its ceaseless quest for individuality. As it evolved, Santara invited the young people of the worldwide Lithuanian diaspora to ponder such questions as: Who are we? What do we seek? What road should we take? The younger generation, living through the conflict of two cultures, experienced the consequences of this conflict. To describe the identity of this generation, the following images were used: in the land of strangers (Tomas Remeikis); the confused generation, the rebel generation (Adomas Mickevišius, Litas Mocknas); the generation shorn of illusions, the ungrounded generation (Algimanntas Mackus); the earth-deprived generation (Vytautas Kavolis). Behind many of these concepts that derived from that generations's existential experiences (especially rebel generation, moral sensitivity, living Lithuanianness) there lay a common experience that was variously denominated as dissatisfaction, rebellion, or disquietude. Even though Kavolis (under the influence of Paul Tillich and Viktor Frankl) enunciated what he dubbed "the dissquietude principle" only at the 1961 Santara convention, the idea had already been "in the air," so to speak, arising as it did from the shared attitudes of an entire generation in search of its identity.17

Santara was different from other emigre organizations in its liberal orientation as well. It conceived liberalism not ideoologically, as the main objective in life, but practically, as a way of how human beings relate to each other. In the words of Vyytautas Kavolis,

liberalism makes sense only as a political concept, it regulates people's interpersonal relations, forbidding them to trespass upon one another's souls. As an ideological concept liberalism has no ... content.l8

Contrary to the qualms of Father Stasys Yla, one of the critics of liberalism, the santarieiai apparently successfully reesolved the tension between liberal individualism and the need for organization.19 Kavolis saw the basis of a liberal organization as lying in a member's freely given commitment: rejecting duties imposed on him from the outside, the liberal can and sometimes should commit himself - on his own - to collective endeavors and organized activities.20 Toward this end, Santaraviesa achieved and came to exemplify a new form of collectivity, an "organization without organization." Cultural liberalism, toward which Santara-Šviesa aimed, did not really need a rigid institutional expression. Of course, this self-conscious "disorganization" came into full flower only later, after Santara-Šviesa's inability to develop a strong organizational structure became perfectly obvious. "We're different only because we haven't succeeded in being like everyone else"21; this is how Zenonas Rekašius put it when talking about this special feature of Santara-Šviesa.

At the beginning, Santara did try to fashion a structure similar to that of other organizations. It established local chapters and periodically elected a central board; the local chapters elected theirs, it published newsletters, and so forth. Looking at the correspondence of Santara members; the extant minutes of the early meetings, the annual Santara convention books containing information about goals and by-laws, and graphic depictions of structure, one can discern the emerging features of a traditional organization. The founders of the organization had agreed not only upon its name but, during the first few conventions, envisaged the outlines of a program and a set of by-laws. Eventually, however, individual initiative came to supplant formal niceties. Keeping the minutes; drafting proposals for resolutions to be adopted; electing boards and voting in new board members: these and other practices typical of standard organizations were gradually dispensed with. It began to be thought that a formally elected organizational structure was unnecessary and that it was enough to have (1) independent groups undertaking tasks on their own initiative and (2) a network of dependable people on whom one might call to discuss and/or execute anything that (urgently) comes up. This method was indeed more suited to the groups of cultural workers - writers, artists, actors, academics, media people - that Santara-Šviesa attracted.

In fact, the creation of the Santara-Šviesa Federation was one of the main organizational achievements. After protracted discussions took place in both organizations, it was decided in 1957 to form a federation to join together "those student and non-university youth forces that strove for human liberty, individual integrity, and creative nation-mindedness in emigre society."22 Initially, making the federation coalesce was not easy, mainly because of the different attitudes that the šviesieiai and the santarieiai had towards organizational formalities. Later the federation naturally turned into a real union as the latter's predilection for informality in both structure and activity gained the upper hand and decisively pushed out the forms of organiizational life that the šviesieiai had brought from Europe.

At the beginning of its existence, Santara saw itself as a cultural and sociopolitical organization. But even as the cultural side became ever more pronounced, political activities were not renounced. However, santarieiai and šviesieiai could not agree on the way that these activities should be carried out. There was always some friction between those who wanted to be politically active as individuals (or in concert with some organization they individually found most congenial), and those who thought that Santara-Šviesa should become an independent political force on its own.23 At the same time, many santarieiai were politically very much involved: they collected 40,000 signatures on a Lithuanian youth petition and presented it to President Dwight D. Eisenhower. With others, they engaged in various political actions of the day, including demonstrating against Nikita Khrushchev, and they were active in the Lithuanian Youth Anticolonial League.

However, by 1959, a majority of the santarieiai felt that culture was the only real and meaningful sphere of activity for them.24 They defined Santara's conception of culture as fosterring activities that were unprofitable and unappealing to the masses:

Our attention should be directed especially to the things that a civilized person needs but that do not find sufficient support in the crowd ... We must become the agency for the unpopular, because only we have a sufficient number of individualists to appreciate things that leave the crowd cold and to understand things that are off the beaten track.25

Thus, Santara-Šviesa came to engage in unpopular, oppositional, avant-garde activities; made it possible for a number of emigre writers and artists to have their work published or exhibited; and often gave them the moral support without which they would have felt utterly alone in the Lithuanian emigre community. In carrying out these tasks, Santara-Šviesa was aided by the Algimantas Mackus Publishing Foundation (established in 1958) and by the Metmenys cultural journal, launched in 1959 as an outlet for liberal-minded writers.

At the 1959 Santara-Šviesa convention, Zenonas Rekašius observed that the organization was different from what it was five years before: a political organization seeking liberal unification had turned into an association of cultural workers and intellectuals.26 Nevertheless, Santara-Šviesa's identity quest and soul-searching continued: even though it had agreed on a basic orientation, it was always looking - still looking - for something new in terms of ideas and activities. Changes in Lithuania itself - the emerging possibility in the 1970s of emigre cultural relations with the occupied homeland - opened up a new sphere of activities. The rigidification of the East-West situation in the Cold War and the events of 1956 in Poland and Hungary caused many to believe that bringing about essential political change in Eastern Europe could and (possibly) would be accomplished only on the basis of processes taking place within the Soviet system. Therefore, in order to help along the hoped-for internal disintegration of the Soviet system, it was necessary - so the santarieCiai believed - to open up Soviet Lithuania's window to the West so as to be able to display to the former what the latter had to offer in the way of cultural, political, and social alternatives. Santara-Šviesa thus became one of the first organizations in exile to come out in faavor of the idea of establishing educational contacts with people in occupied Lithuania. To this end, it adopted the motto of To Lithuania: Face Forward. As a result, the 1970s marked the beginning of a new period in the life of Santara-Šviesa, during which its activities were increasingly directed towards, and concentrated on, Lithuania.

In Lieu of Conclusions

There were several reasons for Santara-Šviesa's relative success. The liberal emphasis on individual freedom in thought and action; keeping the door open for new approaches, evaluations, and conclusions; and the ability to readjust to the demands of a changing situation - all this helped the organization to stay alive and kicking. Younger-generation liberals joining together under the Santara-Šviesa aegis successfully balanced between liberal individualism and liberal collectivity, and between individual and community norms. Having started out on the way of other similar organizations, Santara-Šviesa eventually dropped the trappings of traditional organizations and became an "organization without organization," a forum for intellectual and creative interaction. The santarieiai succeeded in combining their openness to ideas and intellectual criticism (even of their own ideas) with an ability to do work, to undertake concrete actions and tasks. In emigre society Santara-Šviesa promoted unpopular, antimainstream, avant-garde culture and art, and gave exposure and moral support to intellectual and artistic outsiders. When, not hiding its own preference for liberal democracy, it began encouraging cultural exchanges with the homeland premised on the notion that culturally Lithuania is one entity, Santara-Šviesa reminded Lithuanians on both sides of the Iron Curtain of a necessary function that few on either side would or could undertake.

 


 1. The terms 'Catholic' and 'liberal' are here used in a political rather than religious sense. 'Catholics' are those who tended to associate with the Christian Democratic party or its offshoot, the Lithuanian Front. 'Liberals' include most of the others.
 2.  Grinius, 1955, 74.
 3.  Vincas Trumpa interviewed by Linas Saldukas in September, 1999.
 4. "Akademins jaunuomens sambris 'Šviesa'. Tikslai," Lithuanian Emigration Institute Archive, H. emelis Collection.
 5. "Akademine lietuvi jaunuomne. Šviesos atsišaukimas, 1946 m. kovas," Lithuanian Emigration Institute Archive, H. emelis Collection.
 6. "Sambris Šviesa," 1957,104.
 7. Gureckas, 1963.
 8. Kedys, 1948,10.
 9. Mieelis, 1957, 53-68
10. Kavolis, 1979, 10.
11. Ibid.
12. Ibid.
13. "Santarietiškos veiklos apvalga/' 1956.
14. Kavolis, 1954.
15. Kulbokas, 1969,492-495.
16. Dapkut, 244.
17. Dapkute, 2002, 244.
18. Kavolis, 1979, 13.
19. Stasys Yla questioned the very possibility of a liberal organization. He thought that liberals were individualists who could not submit to organizational discipline - so how could they act in a unified way within the framework of an organization? See the memoirs of A. Gureckas in Vytautas Kava/is: asmuo ir idjos. Vilnius: Baltos lankos, 2000, 264.
20. Ibid.
21. Comment during a discussion of Santara-Šviesa's history on 17th of June, 2000, at Anykšiai: audio-tape, Lithuanian Emigration Institute Archive.
22. J. T., Darbas, 1957,40.
23. Letter from Leonas Sabaliunas to Daiva Dapkute (March 22, 2001), D. Dapkute's personal archive.
24. Metmenys, 1960, 181.
25. Kavolis, 22.
26. Ibid.

 

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___ . Vytautas Kavolis: asmuo ir idjos. Vilnius: Baltos lankos, 2000.

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___ . "Sistem grivsiai, gyvenimo impresijos," Santara-Šviesa: 25 met sukaktuvinis leidinys. Chicago: AM&M Publications, 1979.

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