Top, Rev. Virgilijus Jaugelis saying his first mass;
bottom, Justas Gimbutas, a Gulag prisoner for over 30 years.
IN THIS ISSUE:
To the Catholic Committee for the Defense of Believers' Rights (Statement from A. Gofman)
Searches and Interrogations
Justas Gimbutas . . . again in the Gulag Archipelago
News from the Dioceses
In the Soviet School
New Underground Publications
OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
No. 43 June 13, 1980
Read and pass on!
Published since 1972
"To: The Catholic Committee For The Defense Of
"Copy to: The Rector of the Kaunas Theological
"A Statment from Gofman, Aleksandras, Residing
in Vilnius at 37-2 Pranskus St.
"On December 5 and 13, 1973, the newspaper of the Committee for Cultural Contacts with Lithuanians Abroad, Gimtasis kraštas (Native Land), printed an article by J. Aničas entitled 'In the Struggle against Misleading Lies.' In it the author attempted to prove on the basis of statements made by certain clergymen that there is full freedom of conscience and religion in Lithuania. After reading Aničas's article, as well as many other essays published in Lithuanian on the subject of the freedom of religion and conscience, I am convinced that all literature dealing with this subject consists of lies, deception, and slander. The clergy of Lithuania could not and cannot say that the faithful have freedom of conscience and religion. It would be an obvious lie! If they did make such statements, they were probably forced to do so, or perhaps someone attributed these statements to them falsely, for truth and integrity do not exist for the authors of atheistic articles to whom the Communist party has granted complete freedom regarding these questions.
"For example, how could the Rev. Dr. V. Butkus, rector of the Kaunas Theological Seminary, state that when new candidates are admitted to the seminary it is the seminary administration which decides whether or not a candidate is suitable for admission? It is a lie that the suitability of the candidates is decided by the seminary administration and not by state security agents. I have personally experienced this.
On April 17, 1980, at 10 a.m., twelve security agents under the direction of KGB Lt. Col. Urbonas began a search of the Viduklė rectory quarters of Father Alfonsas Svarinskas. The search warrant was signed by Lithuanian SSR Prosecutor Kairelis and KGB Chairman General Petkevičius. The witnesses — Jonas Ivaškevičius and Laima Rudžionytė — were brought from Raseiniai by the security police. The purpose of the search: to confiscate so-called anti-Soviet literature. The search was ended at 4 p.m.
The following items were confiscated:
— a typewriter
— Tiesos kelias (The path of truth), nos. 1, 9, 11
— 14 cassette tapes
— photocopies of Kontinent (Continent)
— certain documents of the Catholic Committee for the Defense of Believers' Rights.
* * *
That same day security agents directed by KGB Lt. Col. Urbonas searched without a prosecutor's warrant the apartment of [Miss] Monika Gavenaite, located in the Viduklė rectory. Confiscated during the search were:
— a typewriter
— Ateitis (Future), no. 1
— Tiesos kelias (The path of truth), nos. 9, 12.
Petras Plumpa has been kept in virtual isolation tor over a year. No letters are being received from him, no parcels may be sent him; he is forbidden visits.
His friends at the labor camp have reported that because of poor health he cannot perform the heavy work quotas and is, therefore, continually subjected to starvation and cold in a punishment cell.
On February 28, 1980, the Klaipėda "People's" Court once again sentenced Justas Gimbutas; this time to a year's imprisonment for "violating passport regulations." This present sentence of one year amounts to a total of thirty-three and one-half years, half a man's life, which Gimbutas will have served under the harshest inhuman prison conditions. It was a journey travelled through dozens of prisons and labor camps, full of torment and mockery endured in the blackest labyrinth, of longing for the homeland. Not everyone would have had the spiritual or physical strength to travel this road. Justas, a hardy Samogitian from the Skuodas area, persevered, did not break, and remained strong.
On April 4, 1979, after thirty-two and one-half years of imprisonment, emerging from the Vilnius KGB subterranean prison to which he was brought from a labor camp for "brain washing" at the end of his sentence, he refused to accept Soviet documents and demanded the right to leave the Red Empire. The government answered with repres-sion. When he temporarily took up residence in Klaipėda at 84-17 Debreceno St., at his handicapped sister's apartment, he was placed under administrative surveillance.
On March 9 and 19, 1980, the Vilnius television broadcast of the atheistic program "Argumentai" (Arguments) among other things strongly attacked the assistant pastor of the Telšiai cathedral, Father Jonas Kauneckas. He is charged with inciting believers through his sermons to violate Soviet laws by turning them against the Soviet government and by being an "apostle of hatred" in Telšiai. The producers of the program failed to present a single fact, however; they even failed to specify against which laws the people were being incited. Although the program's organizer, Stuina, a journalist, asserted that the editorial staff had received many complaints from believers, it failed to find a single believer who would speak otrtDii television and did not mention a single complainant's name.
Communist Youth League member [Miss] Nijolė Gedvilaitė, who appeared on the program, was filmed at the Saulutė Nursery School. She had been prepared in advance as to what to say. She had to be filmed several times because she failed to say things according to the producers' tastes. Such are the "fair" methods by which these programs are produced. In addition her statements were about religious services which had been held three years previously. The producers hoped that after all this time the faithful would have forgotten everything and would be unable to protest.
Finance Inspector Vendzinskas, who constantly angrily attacks believers (vendors of religious articles and salaried church employees), stated on the program that Father Kauneckas slandered Soviet officials, but he did not name a single victim. The program is always made up of such unsubstantiated fantasized facts although it calls itself "scholarly."
In March 1980 Raseiniai secondary schools no. 1 and 2 were ordered to draw up lists of children who serve at mass and present them to the party committee.
Šaukotas (Radviliškis Rayon)
In a statement addressed to the Soviet government on March 12, 1980, Father Bronius Gimzauskas wrote:
"On March 11,1980, fifth-grader Ričardas Kriaučiūnas returned home from school in tears. When his parents asked him why he was crying, Ričardas complained that the school principal, [Miss] Filomena Taujenskaitė, had summoned him to her office and called him a religious fanatic and retarded, and said he was shaming the school by serving at mass. The principal ordered him to write an explanation of why he attends church.
"Because Principal Taujenskaitė reproached him for attending church while being a member of the Pioneers and claimed it is forbidden to attend church before the age of eighteen, his parents, Aldona ana Petras, took his Pioneer neck scarf and the USSR Constitution to the principal. They asked her to read Paragraph 52, which states that every USSR citizen can profess any religion whatsoever and that citizens are guaranteed the freedom of conscience.
"This is the second time that Principal F. Taujenskaitė of the Šaukotas school has brutally violated the Constitution and persecuted believing children.
"On October 2, 1979, a teacher's relative, [Mrs.] A. Kapitanskienė, was buried in Šaukotas with church rites. After the schoolchildren had brought wreaths into the church and placed them by the casket, the principal immediately ordered them to leave the church so they could not stay for the services."
1. In April 1980 the first issue of Tautos kelias (The Nation's way) consisting of thirty-seven pages made its appearance. The issue examines national questions. In the introduction the editors stated: "The ranks of those who fight and sacrifice to keep alive the nation's determination to regain its freedom are continually growing. This movement provided the incentive for Tautos kelias to appear .... Its goal is to support our fellow countrymen who are waging an unequal battle and to replace those who have been forced to withdraw from the field .... The occupational government will not last forever; the hour of liberation will come, and Lithuania will be free and independent. Encouraged by this conviction, we are taking the first step."
2. Aušra (Dawn), no. 21. The issue appeared in March.
Fellow Lithuanian, Do Not Forget!
Petras Plumpa (Perm), Petras Paulaitis (Mordoviya), [Miss] Nijolė Sadūnaitė (exiled to Boguchany), Sergei Kovalev (Mordoviya), Viktoras Petkus (Chistopol Prison), Balys Gajauskas (Mordoviya), Vladas Lapienis (exiled to Teya), Julius Sasnauskas (awaiting trial in a KGB prison), Antanas Terleckas (awaiting trial in a KGB prison), Povilas Pečeliūnas (awaiting trial in a KGB prison), Vytautas Skuodis (awaiting trial in a KGB prison), Algirdas Statkevičius (awaiting trial in a KGB prison), Anastazas Janulis (awaiting trial in a KGB prison), Povilas Buzas (awaiting trial in a KGB prison), [Miss] Ona Vitkauskaitė (awaiting trial in a KGB prison), [Miss] Genovaite Navickaitė (awaiting trial in a KGB prison), and others are enduring the yoke of bondage in order that you may live and believe in freedom.