In September of 1976, (Mrs.) Pluirienė visited her husband, Peter Plumpa-Pluira, at the hard labor camp in Permė. Serving their sentences together with Pluira are Sergei Kovalev and Šarūnas Žukauskas. Because (Mrs.) Pluirienė was accompanied on her long journey by the Rev. J. Zdebskis, the camp administrator showed great displeasure and allowed the wife to see her husband for less than 24 hours. Before being able to see her husband, (Mrs.) Pluirienė had to submit to a thorough search, during which she was completely stripped. One is not allowed to bring either paper or pen into the visiting room. There is also no paper in the toilet.
It is the belief of the prisoners at the Perm camp, that the government of the Soviet Union will grant them amnesty and that they will not have to complete their sentence, because throughout the whole world, political prisoners are being granted amnesty.
For making statements of various kinds Kovalev is often being sent to solitary confinement.
On the occasion of the Easter holiday (Mrs.) Pluirien6 sent her husband a greeting on a religious card, but the administration of the camp refused to give it to the prisoner. When Plumpa-Pluira demanded that the religious picture be given to him, he was placed by the administration in solitary confinement In the regulations of the camp, dealing with articles mailed to the inmates, nowhere is there mentioned that the mailing of religious pictures is forbidden.
Excerpt from a letter of Peter Plumpa-Pluira
Praised be Jesus Christ!
. . . No matter where one lives, the same anxieties and worries arise—the salvation of humanity. It is not always easy to find out the area in which we can do the most good. Only the King of Souls knows this and it is left for us to bloom wherever we are planted. If He sowed us in the field of sorrow—let us blossom in sorrow, if in solitude ... so too in solitude. And it is because our Creator sows the most beautiful flowers in the most unreachable crevices of the mountains' byways and even though they are unseen by the eye of man, they have their worth. It is impossible for us today to live in an-nonimity. Only the sorrows of a soul are unseen, and like blossoms they can be constantly plucked and offered to the Redeemer. This is the most beautiful adornment of the altar of Jesus. Without this kind of decorations the most beautiful of shrines are dismal and without such sacrifices the greatest of nations exist in misery.
It appears that our nation was successful, because not everywhere have the flowers of sorrow wilted and so the fountain of living water is still available to us.
My wish for you is that you keep watch by this fountain always.
August 23, 1976 One from the Urals
The Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania urges all the Catholics of the world, especially the Lithuanians abroad, constantly to remind the government of the Soviet Union about the prisoners of conscience and of faith: Petras Plumpa, Juozas Gražys, Povilas Petronis, Nijolė Sadūnaitė, Vladas Lapienis, Jonas Matulionis and others.
On September 2, 1976, the Prosecutor of the Lithuanian SSR send Virgilijus Jaugelis a copy of the following document:
We are mailing the statement of June 26, 1976, by the citizen V. Jaugelis, in referrence to an investigation concerning the return of a book taken from him.
Please notify the Prosecutor of the Republic of the verdict.
Chief Assistant to the Prosecutor of the LSSR J. Bakučionis
It was not only about the confiscation of a book that Virgilijus Jaugelis was complaining, but also about the criminal behavior of the Raseiniai militia and the employees of the Security (see the Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania No. 23).
The Office of the Prosecutor instructed the defendants in this case to investigate the appeal of the citizen. Can it be possible to ridicule an individual more than this?
After the death of J. Maironis, his sister Marcelė, in about the year 1934, erected a large statue of Christ near the Maironis' Museum (presently the Museum of Literature). On October 21, 1976, by order of the Directress of the Museum, this statue was removed on the pretext that it would be erected in the vicinity of the Museum of Art. The marble memorial plaque, with the date and Marcelė's dedication to her brother, was ripped off. Of what possible use can this scrap of a statue be to the Museum of Art?
Almost all of the employees at the Museum of Literature were against the removal of the statue and asked the directress to let the statue remain, but the directress, (Mrs.) Macijauskienė explained that she was unable to do anything about it Apparendy, orders had come from the KGB.
On October 21, 1976, the assistant procurator of the Rayon of Kėdainiai, A. Januškevičius, arrived at the Šventybrastis grammar school wishing to meet the student (Miss) Kačinskaitė. The Assistant procurrator questioned the girl who prepared her for her First Communion, how often she visited the pastor, and what the names were of the other children who had also made their first confession this year.
That same day, Associate Procurator Januškevičius also visited the Middle School of Surviliškis and questioned another five children who made their first confession and receive Holy Communion in the church at Šventybraščiai.
On October 25, 1976, the parents of the children were summoned to the office of the Prosecutor of the Rayon of Kėdainiai. Here, they had to write statements about the preparation of their children for their first Holy Communion. The parents stated that they themselves had prepared the children and the pastor only examined them.
On the following day, the pastor of the parish of Šventybraščiai, the Rev. Leonardas Jagminas, was summoned to appear at the prosecutor's office. He too had to write out a statement dealing with the preparation of the children for First Communion.
Even though on September 9, 1976, the pastor of Šventybrastis was warned by the Administrative Commission of the Rayon of Kėdainiai, a month later the case was reopened.
N.B. On July 16, 1976 the Rev. Jagminas was summoned to appear before the Chairman of the County of Tiškūnai, Šmigelska, who wrote out a report that the Rev. L. Jagminas had examined children from July 15, 1976 to August 7 of the same year. After writing the report, he had to hurry to make a bus, since his working day was over and he had to get home in Kėdainiai. The chairman said he needed two more copies of the document and asked Father Jagminas to sign two blank pieces of paper. The priest signed. The chairman promised that these reports were to be copied exactly as written without any changes. But on September 9, Father Jagminas was summoned by Associate Chairman of the Rayon of Kėdainiai Juškevičius and heard a protocol read to him which was completely changed in its text. For example in the new version it was stated that Father Jagminas did not examine the children but taught them in his apartment. Besides this, the names of the five children appeared, which were not even mentioned in the original text.
At present, the Chairman of the District of Tiškūnai is P. Jasiulevičius.
In the month of November, 1975, a petition went around to gather signatures in order to place in nomination for bishop the name of the Administrator of the Diocese of Telšiai, Vaičius. This petition is to be send to the Curia in Rome. The KGB is not interfering in this gathering of signatures. The above-mentioned work evokes nothing but sadness for many of the priests and believers.
At the end of August, 1976, the critically ill patient Kazimieras Jablonskis was admitted to the Skuodas hospital.
Before his death, the patient asked for a priest. His sister (Mrs.) Paulauskienė asked the Chief of Staff, Dr. Mažrimą, to permit a priest to visit the hospital. The patient himself, in a trembling hand, wrote the doctor: "Please allow them to bring me a pries?1'. But the physician Mažrimarefused. The next day, a cousin of the patient (Mrs.) E. Malukienė appealed to the physician on duty (Mrs.) Baltuonienė, who refused, even though the patient was getting weaker. Some kind of blind fanaticism masked the tears of the lonely old man from their eyes. Finally the old man requested that he be taken out of the hospital in order to make last confession before death and to receive Holy Communion. Since the old man was paralyzed, he was left in the hospital to spend the last minutes of his life with heartless physicians.
The author of this news item writes: "This is the behavior of individuals who have taken the Hippocratic Oath, people who according to the atheistic propaganda represent the "most humane profession". How long will Doctor Mažrimas and the likes of him trample the laws and human feelings? Whatever happened to the promises of Deputy K. Tumėnas? Whatever happened to conscience, to truth?
Salos(R a y o n of Rokiškiai)
In the churchyard of the Church of Salos, a member of the parish (Mrs.) Ona Kisielienė, erected a statue of Mary. Immediately local officials reacted and decided to get rid of the statue, no matter what.
On November 23, the President of the Salos Church Council and Ona Kisielienė wrote to Bishop R. Krikščiūnas and to the Deputy for Religious Affairs asking their help in saving Mary's statue. The one who erected the statue explained that she had put up the statue in the memory of her son who had been a prisoner of the Nazis and who had given his life for his country.
On November 24, the Assistant to the Deputy for Religious Affairs, the architect of theRayon and the Chairman of the District arrived. During the interrogation, Mrs. Kiselienė was asked who made the statue, who erected it and who made the plaque on which was written: "Those who have heroically died on their native soil and far away from it are awaiting one Hail Mary from you".
The Deputy threatened the Chairman of the Church Committee and Mrs. Kisielienė that if she herself did not remove the statue by December 29, it would be torn down. A government official demanded that the statue should be taken to the cemetery. He also accused the pastor of the parish, the Rev. Petras Nykštas, of contributing also toward the erection of the statue.
The people gathered in the churchyard loudly protesting the events, when the atheists destroyed crosses, and broke the gate into the churchyard. "If there is no God," the believers were remarking, then why are the atheists of Salos afraid of Mary? They are not afraid of the devil, of which the stores are full."
Mrs. Kisielienė resolved that she would not allow the destruction of the statue for any reason. She remarked: "The Germans took my only son away and now they want to take away my most precious possession — my faith!"
Medical Nurse (Miss) Aldona Šukytė, on her first day of work in 1976, had to report to Chief of Staff Dr. Antanas Dauguvietis, who instead of wishing her a happy new year, started by scolding her,"So, did you bring a priest?" Miss Šukytė explained that she had not. Then Dr. Dauguvietis started to scold her: that in the hospital there were many as dumb as she, but she was the only one who was dangerous.
"You take children to church, you pray, sing and teach the children." the Chief of Staff berrated the medical nurse.
"I don't sing at work, but only in church. Nor do I pray while on duty."
Then the Chief of Staff shoved a piece of paper towards her and told her to write out a statement that she was leaving her job. He did not forget to warn her that if she did not quit by February 1, he would make sure that the same thing would happen to her as in the Biržai Rayon. She would be unable to get a job even as a cleaning woman.
Šukytė refused to quit her job. She had worked here for 21 years and here she had lost her good health.
The Chief of Staff, Dauguvietis, aware that the nursery would soon be in the control of the Department of Education, transferred Miss Šukytė to the nursery. The other nurses asked Šukytė: "What did you do? Why did you agree to work here? From February 1st on, the nursery will be under the control of the Board of Education and on September 1st the staff will be reduced."
Therefore, Physician Dauguvietis was correct when he stated that: "We are able to deal with all kinds, therefore we will be also able to deal with this girlie. We will fix it so that no procurator will be able to help."
Long before this, the Chief of Staff had harassed Šukytė. On June 12, 1973 when she appeared before the Chief of Staff, Dr. Dauguvietis, he assailed her for attending church, singing there and most important, driving the 16-year old invalid (Miss) Liudvika Mulevičiūtė, residing in Biržai, to church. The girl is unable to walk, to stand or to make any kind of movement. Aware of her great desire to attend Church, (Miss) Šukytė used to take her to church every day.
Dr. Dauguvietis demanded that if (Miss) Šukytė continued taking the girl to church, she would be discharged. With an aching heart, the nurse told the weeping girl that she could no longer take her to church.
In 1974, there was an opportunity for (Miss) Šukytė to get a part time position at Likėnai. She had to get permission from the Chief of Staff. Party Secretary Miško replied that Šukytė should ask the priests for work. Dr. Dauguvietis stated:
"Stop going to church and singing there, and I will get you a part-time position.
(Miss) Šukytė remarked that the physician wanted to pay very cheaply for her conscience.
After this, (Miss) Šukytė was scolded many times for her beliefs. On September 1, 1976 due to a reduction of staff, Aldona Šukytė
was discharged from her job. Presendy she is employed on collective farms. Even though the work is hard and her health is bad, at least she is no longer being harassed.
Before the Utena Deanery retreat, which was held September 25-30, the Dean, the Rev. Niurką, approached the Deputy Chairman of the Rayon of Utena, Labanauskas, and informed him of the retreat and the visit by the Bishop of Panevėžys. Deputy Labanauskas hastened to inform the Deputy for Religious Affairs K. Tumėnas. On September 27, Tumėnas came to see the Rev. Niurką and had a long talk with him. That same day, Tumėnas also visited the pastors of the Tauragiai and Salų parishes in the Rayon of Rokiškis. The night from the 27 to 28, Tumėnas spent at Fr. Niurka's.
Visits by the Deputy of Religious Affairs do not aid the suffering church in Lithuania, nor the priests or the faithful who are being discriminated against.
After K. Tumėnas' visit and night respite at the apartment of the Dean, Father Niurką, the latter's health worsened considerably. On the last day of the retreat, he suffered a heart attack and died immediately.
The deceased was an exemplary priest. He had never complained about his health and he died in the full bloom of health at age 63.
Previously, priests were summoned to the War Commissioner where for long hours they were interrogated and attempts were made to break them physically and mentally. Now it seems that the Security tactics have eased: The priests do not always have to report to Security headquarters, because the Security or one of their authorized individuals comes to see the priests.
Among the priests of Lithuania there is a notion, that K. Tumėnas is no friend of the Church, but an enemy, and such conditions must prevail that his desire to visit ordinations and funerals would disappear.
On October 12, 40 Hour' devotions in honor of the Name of Mary, were held at Sasnava. In Lazdijai, Security agent Gylys boarded the Druskininkai-Kaunas bus, whose route was by way of Kapsukas. Showing his credentials, he proceeded to inspect the route of the bus, and asked how many tickets were sold from Veisėjai to Sasnava and Kapsukas. In reality, there were a few pupils aboard the bus who wanted to visit their former pastor.
Recently the church at Veisėjai procured a new banner: on one side of it was depicted St. Sebastian with the motto: "St. Sebastian, protect our youth", and on the other a girl embracing a cross, with the words: The cross is the strength of martyrs, the hope of a drowning nation. The banner was red, the ribbons red and yellow and the dress of the girl, red and green. Toward the end of September, Deputy K. Tumėnas arrived from Vilnius together with the Assistant Chairman of the Lazdijai Rayon Vanagas and the Dean, the Rev. Strimaitis. At Veisėjai they inspected the banner. After this they demanded that the pastor should change the ribbons and the motto. Instead of yellow ribbons, white would be permissible, and instead of the word "drowning" the word "believing" would be allowed. The pastor agreed, but the parishioners wondered if in reality the nation is not drowning in a sea of alcohol and the blood of the unborn infants and that the colors of free Lithuania can be seen in every traffic signal. Must they be erased?
On October 6, 1976, the pastor of the parish at Kybartai, the Rev. S. Tamkevičius, not far from Virbalis, passed a truck, which accidentally swerving to the left struck the priest's automobile. In the accident only the priest's car incurred any damage. Because there were no witnesses, the autoinspector upon arrival stated that he would fix it so that documentation of the accident showed no one at fault.
A week later, the KGB Lieutenant Colonel Kolgov told the pastor of Viduklė, the Rev. A. Svarinskas, that the pastor of Kybartai, the Rev. Tamkevičius, by attempting a double passing was the cause of the accident.
On October 11, the Assistant Chairman of the Executive Committee in the Rayon of Vilkaviškis, J. Urbonas, told Father Tamkevičius that he would be questioned by the autoinspection, how they should deal with the accident of the pastor of Kybartai parish.
On October 28, Father Tamkevičius, was summoned to the Department of Interior in Vilkaviškis where the assistant chairman of the militia, Paltanavičius, stated that it was decided to revoke
Father Tamkevičius' drivers license for three months. . . Why this sanction? This riddle was solved by an official of the militia who let it slip that the Chairman of Security at Vilkaviškis, Chairman Vaišvila, demanded that the license be revoked from Rev. S. Tamkevičius for a period of 3 months.
There are those who believe that not only the license was revoked by the Security but that the accident was also caused by them.
The newspaper of the Rayon of Prienai published the article, "When a Pastor is Angry". The editor of the paper, Vytautas Masikonis, accused the pastor of Skriaudžiai, the Rev. Vincas Česna, of abusing the former sacristan, Petras Kuliečius, of demolishing, without permission a small storage shacknear the fence of the church and of not allowing the Chairwoman of the Rayon (Mrs.) Janina Ališauskienė to enter the church.
On June, 1975, the Executive Committee, on the advice of Bishop Krikščiūnas, decided to move the potato storage space of the hospital to a farm building and to demolish the remaining buildings which were crumbling and interfering with cleanliness. The architect of Prienai, (Miss) Bečėsaitė gave a verbal agreement to the demolition. The Chairman of the District of Skriaudžiai (Mrs.) Ališauskienė and the Co-Chairman of the collective farm Viktoras Rinkauskas, illegally wrote out an injunction forbidding the demolition of the shack. The Interrogator of Prienai, Dobilas, terrorized the Chairman of the Parish Council, Vitas Orintas, Albinas Serbenta and others, who had participated in the demolition of the shack. The principal of the Eight Year School (Mrs.) Rinkauskienė, the wife of the Chairman of the collective farm, made fun during class of the daughter of one of the demolitioners, Kostas Lapinskas, referring to the father as the worst of all individuals.
In reality, the Chairwoman (Mrs.) Ališauskienė was not permitted by the pastor to enter the church because during the filming of the movie Velnio Nuotaka (Bride of the Devil) she had defiled the church. The Church Committee discharged from her job as cleaning lady the wife of Kieliešius on grounds that she was not conscientious in the performance of her duties and not on the whim of the pastor, as V. Masilkonis wants everyone to believe.
The author of the article "When the Pastor is Angry" acted very dishonorably in distorting the facts. Up to now the Soviet press has been allowed to pour slop on the heads of the "ignorant".
On September 7, 1976, the Assistant to the Chairman of the Varena, Rayon Jakavonis, ordered the pastor of Varėna, the Rev. Bronius Jaura as follows:
He is not allowed to participate in a funeral procession accompanying the body of the deceased from the Church to the cemetery. This disrupts the traffic. "You are allowed to remain in your car."
It is difficult for the people of Varena to understand why the pastor would hamper traffic by going on foot more than a crownd of people who are accompanying the deceased.