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.
They attempted to isolate Justas within certain city blocks, outside of which he was forbidden to wander without a separate permit. He was often summoned for interrogation by the KGB, severely threatened and blackmailed, subjected to specially created rumors and slander. But the former prisoner did not give in. He countered Soviet government attacks with statements in which he openly stated his motives. He wrote to the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR: "I have devoted my entire life to the fight against the occupiers. They were unable to reeducate me during the thirty-two and one-half years. I made a vow and signed it with my blood: as long as my heart beat in my breast, I would not change my beliefs. I have never been nor ever will be a citizen of the USSR. I will never be a proponent of Marxist-Leninist ideology. I do not recognize Soviet Lithuania. Get out of Lithuania, occupiers! I demand that I be issued documents without citizenship and be permitted to go abroad."
On June 29, 1979, he wrote the U.S. Ambassador in Moscow: "I, Justas Gimbutas, son of Juozas, born in 1925,a son of independent Lithuania, having spent thirty-two and one-half years in Soviet labor camps, turn to you with this request: allow me to come to your honorable country, where my sister, B. Vaicmlis, 82-20 88th St., Woodhaven, N.Y. 11421 USA, lives. Please understand my tortured soul and allow me to breathe freely, for Soviet'freedom' makes me feel as if in prison. They haven't 're-educated' me and have not recruited me. I have remained faithful to God and to my homeland, Lithuania, which was occupied by the Bolsheviks, who call me a bandit."
Justas Gimbutas is presently imprisoned in the Kapsukas labor camp.
It is the duty of all freedom-loving people of good will in Lithuania and abroad to help in every way possible this strong man of Samogitia, this fighter for the Truth.
Freedom for Justas Gimbutas!