LITHUANIAN QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF ARTS AND SCIENCES
Volume 31, No.3 - Fall 1985
Editor of this issue: Antanas Dundzila
Copyright © 1985 LITUANUS Foundation, Inc.
LITUANUS DATA BANK
A. V. DUNDZILA
According to the February 11, 1985 edition of the Washington Post, a play titled Yalta is featured in the Warsaw's National Theater.
The play's dialogue is authentic, drawn from detailed Soviet, British, and U.S. accounts of the week-long Crimean summit held 40 years ago. Against the backdrop of conference photos flashed on the stage, the reenacted conversations provide poignant images of the Big Three deliberating over the fate of Europe. Naturally, the most important issue for the audience is the scenario that determined the fate of Poland.
Tautos Kelias (The Road of the Nation, an underground publication in the Soviet-occupied Lithuania, No. 3, 1981) very pointedly argues the case of the Lithuanian National Uprising against the Soviets in June, 1941. The article denies allegations published in the Soviet Švyturys (The Lighthouse, No. 16, 1981) in which the success and the significance of the uprising was negated as is typical of the Soviets. Among other things Švyturys was suggesting that the operation was not motivated by the Lithuanian quest for independence but was simply German-inspired.
Interestingly, the Soviets have now "censored out" Molotov's statement broadcasted over Radio Moscow during the initial days of the war in which he acknowledged the uprising. Regrettably, echoes of statements a la Soviet Švyturys are being repeated by OSI, the Office of Special Investigation of the U.S. Department of Justice.
REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS, 1939-1941
From Three Secret Protocols, The Lithuanian Strip in Soviet-German Secret Diplomacy, 1939-41, by Bronis J. Kaslas, Wilkes College, Euramerica Press. The government of the USSR pledged to compensate the government of the German Reich for the occupied Lithuanian strip by paying 7,500,000 gold dollars or 31,500,000 reichsmarks. This amount was paid by the USSR in two installments, on 11 February and 11 April 1941.
As it is well known, the three Baltic States fell into the Soviet sphere of influence as a result of the Secret Nazi-Soviet non-aggression pact signed late in August, 1939. The Soviets compensated the German Reich by paying in gold dollars for a portion of the Lithuanian territory (see map).
The first Lithuanian Library in the United States, established in 1908, commemorated its 75th anniversary in ceremonies held on April 21, 1985, in Baltimore, Maryland. Its early bookstamp is shown below.
OSI AND THE BALTIC COMMUNITY
by VICTOR A. NAKAS
Special to the LITUANUS Data Bank
If one were to ask an American of Lithuanian, Latvian or Estonian descent to name the "hottest" political issue in his community today, the answer almost certainly would be OSI. OSI is the Justice Department's Office of Special Investigations, established in 1979 at the behest of Congress. It is charged with finding people who lied about their Nazi pasts to gain entry to the United States following World War II. When OSI uncovers such a person, it institutes deportation hearings against him. If the accused is found guilty of concealing Nazi activities, OSI attempts to find a country that will accept him. The Soviet Union is the only country that has demonstrated a willingness to accept (and subject to criminal prosecution) such individuals.
OSI's activities have caused a firestorm of controversy in America's East European ethnic communities. One source of controversy is the criterion being used to determine targets for OSI prosecution. OSI maintains that it is going after only those individuals who had a direct hand in the murder of innocent people. Emigre leaders contend that OSI has targeted everyone who, willingly or unwillingly, collaborated in any way with German authorities. OSI's definition of culpability is so broad, some charge, that virtually every official in the French Vichy government could be considered a war criminal.
Another, more explosive, source of contention is OSI's use of Soviet evidence in prosecuting alleged war criminals. East European emigre leaders charge that OSI actively solicit Soviet evidence and does not even bother to ascertain its veracity prior to submitting it as fact to U.S. judicial proceedings. OSI argues that the Soviets have much valuable evidence to offer on Nazi war criminals, and that all Soviet documents undergo strict screening before OSI prosecutors decide to use them.
Emigre leaders and attorneys for the accused express dismay over OSI's willingness to abide by Kremlin-dictated rules for gathering evidence in Soviet territory. Under these rules, no Soviet witnesses are allowed to leave their country to testify before deportation hearings held in the United States. Videotaped depositions must be taken in the presence of Soviet officials who control both the list of witnesses and the questions that are put to witnesses. Defense attorneys are not given the opportunity to seek out evidence on their own in the Soviet Union. All documents and all witnesses must pass through the Soviet filter and then through the OSI filter before defense attorneys gain access to them. OSI officials defend these ground rules as necessary for obtaining Soviet cooperation and maintain that a U.S. judge is the one who ultimately should decide on the admissibility of evidence gathered under these circumstances.
Thus far OSI has had a mixed record. It has won more cases than it has lost. Defeat for it usually has come at the hands of U.S. judges who decided that the Soviet evidence was not credible and the procedures for gathering information on Soviet soil hopelessly slanted against the accused.
Baltic Americans would find OSI's activities more palatable if the main source of its evidence was any regime other than the Soviet Union's. But to have members of their community prosecuted for genocidal crimes on the strength of testimony provided by a regime that itself followed a policy of genocide against the Baltic peoples during the greater part of the 1940s is an offense too grievous for the Baits to bear in silence. Their anger has been mixed with fear that the Soviets, who have a justly deserved reputation for being masters of forgery and disinformation, may be able to "discover" evidence to incriminate any Baltic American born before 1930 of their choosing. Worst of all, that individual might end up being deported to the Soviet Union to relive the hell that he once escaped.
The perception within the Baltic community that OSI poses a threat to Baits was not formed overnight. It gained strength gradually and appears to have become the preeminent concern among Baltic Americans. They have lashed out bitterly against OSI and the Jewish-American community, a large part of which seems to be backing OSI's efforts. While Baltic Americans can understand the Jews' desire to pursue Nazi war criminals until they are brought to justice, they find it difficult to comprehend how Jewish Americans can applaud use of Soviet evidence when it is used against Lithuanians, Latvians, and Estonians but denounce evidence from that same source when it is marshaled against Jewish refuseniks in the Soviet Union.
The anger of Baltic Americans toward OSI has spilled onto the pages of the major American press. The March 23 issue of the Washington Post carried an article focusing on complaints by Baltic and other East European emigre groups against OSI. Shortly thereafter, on April 2, the World Jewish Congress (WJC) made public a year-long investigation of the "intensive and shocking campaign" by East European emigre groups to undermine OSI. An April 6 Washington Post article detailed the WJC's charges, especially its assertion that openly anti-Semitic remarks by emigres were fueling the effort against OSI.
Since there is much to criticize in OSI's activities, public scrutiny of that agency is not only useful it is absolutely essential. OSI and its backers, however, have won the first round in the battle for public opinion by tying legitimate criticism of OSI's operations to anti-Semitic utterances of East European emigres. The April 6 Washington Post article cited a letter to Attorney General Meese signed by the Council of Latvian Officers Association of Australia and New Zealand calling for abolishment of OSI and asserting that there had been no mass gassing of Jews at Buchenwald and Dachau concentration camps. The letter added that "[i]t is well known that Jews are the most privileged ethnic group in the Soviet Union." Can members of the Jewish community, and the American public at large, be blamed for suspecting that the authors of such hateful thoughts may also have been the authors of equally hateful actions?
People who write such nonsense are worse than fools; they are betrayers of their own community, for by their reckless words they bring shame upon their ethnic group and make it possible for OSI to avoid responding to serious questions raised by OSI's cooperation with the Soviets. While it's true that an anti-Semite does not necessarily a war criminal make, this is a distinction the Jewish community doubtless would not care to hear nor is it one the American public would be likely to appreciate.
In the public debate over OSI's tactics, the Baltic community must control its rhetoric and stick to the facts. The facts are that OSI has never explained in detail the criteria it uses to determine the veracity of documents provided by the Soviets and that it has never been made to account for allowing the Soviets to establish rules which prevent defendants from having a fair chance to gather evidence in their own defense. Public airing of this situation may eventually force OSI to end its relationship with the Soviet government, but it will not happen unless Baltic Americans and other East European emigres stop providing OSI with ammunition in the form of vile anti-Semitic statements.
SOVIETS BLOCK MAIL TO SOVIET-OCCUPIED LITHUANIA, SIBERIA, ETC.
The Lithuanian Information Center in New York reports that Soviet authorities have escalated the blockage of mail to prisoners of conscience in the Soviet Union. Based on documentation provided by the latest issue of the underground publication The Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania, it found that 90% of the Christmas greetings to Lithuanian prisoners of conscience in the USSR from the greater New York area were not delivered and were returned stamped "retour inconnu" (addressee unknown).
A letter of a 26 year-old Julius Sasnauskas has reached the West and is reprinted below. It is the first, and the only, of the four letters by Sasnauskas received here by his pen pal Alius. Sasnauskas' "crime and punishment" is typical of the conditions behind the Iron Curtain:
Expelled from school because of his undesirable influence on his friends and his church attendance... Beaten, because he took flowers to the graves of the fallen Lithuanian soldiers... Arrested, after KGB searched his belongings and discovered typewriters and underground publications... Sentenced to a hard labor camp... According to the "Chicago Tribune", he was assigned to work on the Soviet gas pipeline construction project. He is also in poor health.
A general attitude prevails that it is helpful to attempt to correspond with prisoners of conscience. Such an attention from abroad may influence the Soviet authorities to treat the prisoners less harshly.
Sasnauskas' address as well as the address of his sister are:
USSR, 636600 Tomskaya oblast, p. Parabel'
ul. Sovietskaya 147a
USSR, Lithuania, Vilnius
Paberžės g. 16-8,
Julius Sasnauskas. Born March 18, 1959. Arrested on Dec. 11, 1979. Sentenced on September 21, 1980 to 1 1/2 yrs strict regime camp and 5 yrs exile.
Letter No. 4
Dear Alius, Jan. 3, 1985
I sincerely thank you for your Christmas greetings which I received yesterday, for such beautiful and good wishes, and for such a funny card. It is very uplifting that you remember me during the holiday season. Every time I read your letters, I cannot describe how overjoyed I am with your youthful enthusiasm, wide perspective, and particularly that beautiful, living (pulsating) Lithuanian spirit. Your example motivates me to try harder. The loss of the ethnic heritage is a threat even in Lithuania and even more so in a foreign country.
Earlier, I have written you three letters, but I gather that not one of them has reached you. Maybe this one will be successful in being "pushed through". In three years, only one of my letters has reached the United States, and the rest (approximately ten) died in the Atlantic's waves. That is to say, it is a sad picture With the postal system, though, for example, to Brazil and to Canada I have successfully sent several letters. I would very much like it, if it would be possible for us regularly, without any obstacles to have a correspondence, and to that extent it would not be only pleasant, but also bilaterally beneficial. Unfortunately, that kind of opportunity does not exist.
December was my fifth-year anniversary since I began my journey, that is, a lot of water has flowed since that day, when I was escorted from my home. In a year and a half I hope to be walking in the streets of Vilnius, but now I am happy with the fact, that letters reach me and that from time to time my family and friends visit me.
This winter is the coldest of those that I have been through here in Siberia. At one time the thermometer read -50OC. You cannot be outside in such cold for a long time; therefore, I sit between four walls and daydream about places warmer than Siberia. What is it like at your place? It probably gets cold in the United States also?
My sister mentioned that she has seen your picture. Maybe you could send me one too? You mentioned, that you like to wear a shirt that says "Greenhorn", but I wear a shirt with the background of the globe and a foreground with a stylized Knight (Lithuania's coat of arms, editor) with the lettering: ll-nd World Lithuanian Days Festival. I have written you about my daily routine in my previous letters. Next time I will again briefly write you about my routine. I will wait for news from your skies. May these new years be for you, Alius, wonderful and worthwhile. Farewell to you, I wish you good luck and especially that you may never tire in volunteering your young heart and young hands for the good of our country.
ELOGE: ALEXIS RANNIT, 1914-1985
Alexis Rannit, an Estonian poet, art critic and art historian was born in Kallaste on Oct. 14, 1914. He studied Russian literature, classical archeology and art history at the University of Tartu, graduating in 1939. Subsequently he studied in Tallinn, Helsinki and Berlin to be trained in decorative applied arts; and finally attended Columbia University at New York (1954-56), which awarded him a master's degree in art history. His poems, published in seven collections during the period from 1935-64, are noted for their strong musical rhythm and clarity of idea. In addition, their themes and moods often reflect a direct influence of the plastic arts. Much of his poetry has been translated into Russian, German, Hungarian, English and Lithuanian.
Rannit became associated with Lithuanian affairs after making the acquaintance of several Lithuanian writers. In 1935 he organized an Estonian-Lithuanian literary evening at Tallinn, and in the next year took part in organizing a survey exhibit of Lithuanian artists in the same city. In 1940 he moved to Kaunas where he worked for the Central State Library (1941-44) and as translator for the State Drama Theater. Throughout this time he contributed over 200 articles on Lithuanian culture, as well as at least 100 translations of Lithuanian poems, to Estonian periodicals, in addition to translating and helping produce a number of Lithuanian plays, including Binkis' Atžalynas (The Young Generation), Santvaras' Žvejai (The Fishermen), and Vaičiūnas' Prisikėlimas (Resurrection), on the Estonian stage.
Shortly before the second Soviet invasion (1944) he withdrew to the West, where he taught at the Institute of Applied Art in Freiburg (1946-50) and served as academic secretary of fine arts with the French High Commission. Emigrating to the United States in 1953 he found a position at the New York Public Library (1954-60) before being appointed senior research associate and curator of the Eastern European art collection at Yale University (since 1961). He has written numerous essays on Estonian, Lithuanian and Russian writers and artists for a variety of local and international publications. His published works of Lithuanian artists include Vytautas K, Jonynas, un xylographe lituanien (1947); Vytautas Kasiulis, un peintre lituanien (1948); Mikalojus K. Čiurlionis pionnier de l'art abstrait (1949); and Lithographien von Vaičaitis (1950). He has delivered a series of lectures on the classical poet Kristijonas Donelaitis at American and European universities. He was a member of and has served on the executive committee of the international, London-based P.E.N. Club.
In 1984, Rannit's last major publication appeared. It was a richly illustrated book, Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis Lithuanian Visionary Painter.
He died on January 5, 1985 in New Haven, Connecticut.
Material from the "Encyclopedia Lithuanica"
HUMAN RIGHTS CONFERENCE IN LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA
On March 23, 1985, the Fourth Annual Human Rights Conference, sponsored by the Baltic American Freedom League, took place in Los Angeles at the Ambassador Hotel. The aim of the sponsors was to continue exposing rights' violations taking place in the states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, now under Soviet occupation. The conference delved into various aspects of violation. Presentations were made by a number of panels composed of persons cognizant in each area of interest. About three hundred people attended the proceedings.
The first panel opened the conference with a general view of "Human Rights in Baltic Nations." Mr. Mykolas Drunga, Vice-president, Lithuanian World Community, and Dr. O. Pavlovskis, President, World Federation of Free Latvians, were the panelists. The need for initiative was stressed. For instance, Baits should get themselves appointed to various U.S., Helsinki process delegations, such as those to the coming Ottawa and Budapest preparatory sessions.
Next, Jerry Gideon, from Congressman Dornan's staff, and Paul D. Kamenar of the Washington Legal Foundation, discussed "The 1930 Trade Act and the Importation of Soviet Goods Produced by Slave Labor." Mr. Kamenar noted that a 1982 Senate request for information from the State Department brought a response that some four million prisoners, including 10,000 political ones, were being used as slave labor. The goods so produced included wood products, glassware, auto parts, etc. The U.S. Director of Customs also noted the same facts, and it was stated that the law should prevent the importation of such goods. However, a request by 45 senators to enforce the law has brought no action. As Mr. Gideon noted, Congress talks a lot and takes no action. The Washington Legal Foundation has filed a complaint with the U.S. Customs Court in New York concerning enforcement of the law. There has been no response to date.
The next panel reported on "Soviet Disinformation Activities". The speakers were Imants Lesinskis and Sergei Zamascikov, both former KGB journalists in Latvia and Lithuania. Specifically, Mr. Lesinskis described that disinformation involves the presentation of the beautiful world of socialism as contrasted with the imperialist West. He was an editor of the Latvian KGB journal for emigres Dzimtenese Balss. Articles were censored by him using a secret two-volume manual on party line and prohibited subjects.
For some ten years the KGB even published a Latvian journal in West Germany, Musu Laikmets, masquerading as a Western paper. Its purpose was to sow dissension in emigre circles. The KGB also uses its Novosti agency to prepare slanted material for use by Western media wishing to present balanced reports. The mendacity of such material would make such reports even less balanced! Mr. Lesinskis stressed the need to raise the awareness of Western media and the fact that it is used to spread misinformation.
"American News Media Coverage of Soviet Human Rights Violations" was covered by Alan Bock, an opinion page editor of The Register, and William Pearl, attorney and commentator. Mr. Bock dwelled on the tendency in the media not to believe bad news from abroad. The attitude being "we already know that repression is occurring in the U.S.S.R." Also, reader interest in the matter may, in fact, be rather low.
There is also an attitude of discrimination between, say, North and South Korea. South Korean violations of rights would be "excesses," whereas those in the North would be ignored. Such tendencies are fostered by Soviet misinformation. Mr. Bock insisted that counter-efforts should be of utmost objectivity.
Mr. Pearl advised his listeners to support freedom everywhere and to disassociate themselves from Nazi collaborators, be they Politbureau members of the days of the Molotov-Ribbentropp Pact, or persons in Nazi-occupied lands. Media personnel could best help human rights by simply holding the Soviets to the letter of their agreements. They should be put on the defensive drawing parallels between the Third Reich concentration camps and the Gulag.
Turning to the 1983 Madrid conference, Mr. Pearl reminded his listeners that the U.S.S.R. refused any accountability called for by the Helsinki Act. Lack of response from the U.S.A. unfortunately legitimizes the Soviet position.
"The role of Human Rights in the Helsinki Process" was the topic of U.S. Ambassador-designate to Poland, John D. Scanlan, currently chairman of the U.S. delegation to the Budapest Cultural Forum Preparatory Conference. The Ambassador stressed the U.S. non-recognition of the Soviet annexation of the three Baltic States. He reported that President Reagan has communicated this position to the United Nations. However, realistically, all that can be done is to keep emphasizing our commitment to human rights. We have had enough words from the U.S.S.R. "It is time to say show me," said the Ambassador.
Mr. Scanlan pointed out that the U.S.A. is the only country to have a Bureau of Human Rights at the State Department. This shows the high U.S. priority for these rights. The government has been able to get some people out of the U.S.S.R. by "applying peaceful, reasonable pressures short of war. The incentive of the U.S.S.R. to respond to some extent is their desire to avoid embarrassment in their external policies," said the Ambassador in response to a question.
Another question noted that the U.S.S.R. insists that the U.S.A. also has political prisoners, such as the Williamsburg Ten. Thus, why not arrange a prisoner swap for Shcharanski, Petkus, and others? The response was that the government has indeed negotioated some swaps in the past for seriously persecuted dissidents. Efforts are still underway to help Shcharanski. Furthermore, "...most East Europeans do not believe Soviet propaganda on the Williamsburg Ten, so why should we?"
"American Courts the Untapped Resource in the Struggle for Human Rights in the Soviet Union and the Occupied Baltic Nations" was addressed by Paul. D. Kamenar of the Washington Legal Foundation, and Jaak Treiman, a local attorney. It was pointed out, mainly by Mr. Kamenar, that U.S. courts do have jurisdiction on crimes abroad, based on a 1789 law dealing with infractions of international law. Thus, recently a suit was brought against Paraguyan police for alleged torture.
"OSI: Mandate for Justice or Game Plan for Disaster" included the panel of: Georgia Gabor, Jewish Rights National Board; Garry Fleishman, attorney; Imants Lesinskis, formerly of the KGB; and Daiva Kezys of the Lithuanian-American Community of the U.S.A., sitting in for Mr. Paul Žumbakis, a Chicago attorney.
This panel looked into apparent deviations from correct legal process in the case of people accused of war crimes. These deviations impinge seriously on the human rights of the accused, as pointed out by the panel. For instance, Mr. Fleishman, counsel to Mr. A. Artukovic, a war-time Croatian official, pointed out that cross-examination of witnesses was not allowed by the OSI. Instead, papers were filed by the communist governments. Also, a piece of paper cannot be cross-examined which is contrary to the needs of justice.
Ms. Kezys, reading from a speech prepared by Paul Žumbakis, pointed out that the system of checks and balances does not seem to work. Links with the KGB were documented, and both Congress and the Washington media were notified. But, they did not seem to have the time to check out this situation.
Mr. Lesinskis described how the KGB prosecuted those accused of war crimes in the U.S.S.R. Right after the war, from approximately 1945 to 1946, no real investigations were conducted. Accused German officers were frequently sentenced according to rank. Sentences included death or 25 years for colonels, less for lesser ranks. In about 1960, a new wave of prosecutions was started by the KGB against local people, generally involving those who had been active in anti-Soviet movements. Some of these persons, just back from Siberia, were being "tried" for a second time.
Banquet Speech. A banquet closed the day's proceedings. Mr. Eugene Pell, director of the Voice of America (VOA), addressed the audience. To start, he read a letter of greetings from President Reagan, who expressed his "solidarity with the brave peoples of the Baltic states." Then Mr. Pell went on to talk about "The Role of Voice of America in Public Policy." "The well-known Russian dissident Andrei Sakharov did follow Voice of America broadcasts closely," said Mr. Pell. Sakharov understood the link between human rights and public policy. He understood that the authorities feared these broadcasts.
Mr. Pell said that the President has directed him to continue the VOA on a course of objective accounts of U.S. life and the world, communicating directly with people, whether or not governments approve of it.
Extensive jamming of VOA programs is practiced in the U.S.S.R. The VOA signal is fairly weak in many parts of the world. However, it is being strengthened after years of neglect. In particular, the VOA will improve its signal to the Baltic states. The service to these states is now transferred to the European division from the U.S.S.R. division as a part of the U.S. policy not to recognize the Baltic states' annexation by the Soviets. Human rights are being covered. Mr. Pell cited examples of interviews with Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian dissidents. Sharper commentaries will be broadcast, while editorials will be clearly attributed to the government. The policy is to support aspirations for freedom without raising false hopes.
Mr. Pell also related how difficult it is to contact any Russian within the U.S.S.R. Only the dissidents seek out the Western correspondents. Ordinary people fear no small risk in talking to Westerners. "The fear of the KGB almost reaches paranoia in Russia," said Mr. Pell who spent a number of years as a correspondent for an American network.
LITHUANIAN ENCYCLOPEDIA UPDATED
BY DR. JURGIS GIMBUTAS
The 36 volumes of Lietuvių Enciklopedija (Lithuanian Encyclopedia) were published in Boston from 1953 to 1969; the six volumes of the English language Encyclopedia Lituanica were published from 1970 to 1978. Since the publication of the last volume in the Lithuanian language, the American-Lithuanian community has changed and much has been achieved in the international fields of culture, economy, and technology.
Consequently, the publisher Juozas Kapočius decided to update the encyclopedia. The editorial work was begun in 1982 under the supervision of editor-in-chief Simas Sužiedėlis, editor Jurgis Gimbutas, and technology section editor Stasys Bačkaitis. The work included planning the content of the volume, compiling a detailed card file of the entries, and engaging contributors; in 1984 Antanas Mažiulis was invited as editorial assistant. From the card file of 7,000 items, about 5,000 have been selected for inclusion in the update. Articles by 120 contributors have been submitted, and as of the end of February 1985, 95% of the text was ready for typesetting.
The greater part of the supplementary volume will consist of new biographies or addenda to those already published. The new generation of American-Lithuanians that has emerged during the fifteen-year period will be represented in the encyclopedia by about 600 biographies of persons who have made a contribution in civic activities, in the arts, or in other professions.
In Lithuania, new persons have also achieved success in their respective fields of endeavor, but a different standard was taken in choosing whom to include in the supplementary volume. Since their biographies have appeared in the 12-volume Soviet Lithuanian encyclopedia published from 1976 to 1984, it is not necessary to repeat them. Only those persons were chosen who have made contributions to Lithuanian culture and especially those who were excluded from the Soviet Lithuanian encyclopedia. Information about the latter was received from different sources, the most important of which was the underground press, such as the Chronicle of the Lithuanian Catholic Church, Aušra, Perspektyvos, Pastogė, and others. These publications write about persons who because of their national civic or religious activities have been persecuted by the Soviet authorities, arrested, or deported from Lithuania to prisons or to slave labor camps. Biographies of 300 such individuals will appear in the volume, as well as information about the underground press itself, as much as is known in the West.
The progress made in the sciences will be reported by professionals working in American scientific institutions or universities with articles on chemistry, biology, medicine, astronomy, mathematics, aviation, space exploration, energy, communication, automation, industry, ecology, etc. Their articles written in Lithuanian will not only acquaint the reader with the latest facts, but also with the Lithuanian terminology in use today.
The supplementary volume will contain between 600 and 700 illustrated pages, about 150 pages more than the previous volumes. The publication will be financed by its subscribers and partly by the Lithuanian Foundation.
PORTRAITS OF PRISONERS OF CONSCIENCE
Writing your own autobiography is now a criminal offence in Russian-occupied Baltic States. On October 3, Lithuanian chemical scientist Liudas Dambrauskas (63) was sentenced to 3 1/2 years' imprisonment in a strict regime camp, to be followed by two years' exile.
Dambrauskas was arrested on March 20, 1984 after KGB officials had searched his home in Vilnius and confiscated his memoirs of a ten-year term of imprisonment which he had served during the Stalin era. This time, he was charged with "anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda" (Article 68). According to Amnesty International, no one is known to have been acquitted of this charge yet.
Liudas Dambrauskas's health is frail. In April, 1984, during the investigation of his case, Dambrauskas was admitted to hospital after suffering an infarct. While in hospital, doctors are reported to have diagnosed that he has also contracted tuberculosis.
Liudas is the nephew of the late celebrated Lithuanian national poet, A. Jakštas-Dambrauskas. Before his arrest, he was the head of a laboratory at the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences Institute of Thermo-insulation. Liudas Dambrauskas was one of many thousands of Lithuanians arrested by the Soviets in 1945, on suspicion of opposing Lithuania's incorporation into the USSR. Lithuania passed into the Soviet sphere of influence under the terms of a secret German-Soviet friendship and non-aggression pact in 1939.
Amnesty International (Lithuanian Information Center)
Woman architect Lagle Parek had one wish: she wanted to keep her native Estonia free of nuclear contamination. But she made a crucial mistake: she recorded her wish on paper. For this, Lagle has been deprived of the best nine years of her life. Lagle's case is a typical example of what it is like to grow up and live in a Soviet-controlled non-Russian country.
Lagle Parek was born April 17, 1941. Her father Karl Parek, a captain in the Estonian army, was murdered by the Soviet invasion forces when Lagle was a few months old. Her mother, art historian Elsbet Marek (b 1902), her grandmother actress Anna Markus (b. 1878), sister Eva Parek (b 1931) and Lagle herself were deported to a forced labor camp in the Novosibirski region of Siberia, in March 1949.
Soon after the deportation, some books banned by the Soviets were found hidden in the Pärnu museum where Lagle's mother Elsbet had worked. A fellow worker testified that she had helped Elsbet Parek hide the books. Elsbet was brought back from Siberia and goaled for having concealed the books. In the general amnesty granted to female prisoners in 1953, Elsbet was released from the central prison in Tallinn. However, it was not until two years later (1955) that Anna Markus and her grandchildren Lagle and Eva were allowed to return to their native Estonia.
Lagle graduated from the Tallinn Technical College and prior to her arrest worked as an architect for a government agency.
As a national and human rights activist, Lagle Parek did not escape the notice of the KGB.
On October 10,1981, Lagle Parek and 37 other Baits signed an open letter to the leaders of the Governments of the USSR, Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Sweden. The letter called on these nations to establish a nuclear-free zone which would include the Baltic Sea and the three Baltic countries. The Soviet Union responded by arresting five of the 38 signatories, and interrogating several others.
Throughout 1981 and 1982, KGB agents continued their investigation of Lagle, collecting "incriminating" material and interviewing Lagle's fellow workers.
No Evidence Found
Early in March 1983, when KGB forces carried out a nationwide series of searches and interrogations against suspected national and human rights activists in Estonia, Lagle's workplace and home were searched.
Lagle Parek was formally arrested March 5,1983 at 9:30 am in a street in Tartu and was taken to Tallinn central prison. 'Preliminary' investigation was carried out by Major Kruusmaa. Lagle, along with Heiki Ahonen and Arvo Pesti, was charged under article 68-1 of the Estonian SSR criminal code with 'anti-Soviet agitation and propaganda'. She was sentenced on December 16, 1983, to six years ordinary regime labour camp and three years internal exile.