On May 29, 1980, Father Albinas Deltuva, pastor of Sasnava. was summoned for interrogation by the Vilnius KGB. The Chekist Rainys questioned him about [Miss] Ona Vitkauskaitė. Did she really work for the Sasnava church? Did she, on occasion, give him the Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania to read? The interrogator asked whether Father Deltuva had actually signed certain documents addressed to the Soviet government. The priest refused to sign the minutes of the interrogation on the basis that he was not certain whether the interrogators were investigating a crime. In his opinion, it was possible that several decades into the future monuments would be erected to those who are now considered criminals. Interrogator Rainys assured him that neither of them would see that day. Dismissing Father Deltuva, Interrogator Rainys stated that the efforts of Fathers Svarinskas, Tamkevičius, and Zdebskis are in vain, for they will change nothing.
* * *
On June 2, 1980, [Miss] Bernadeta Mališkaitė was summoned to the Kaunas State Security Committee Department. Her "education" was conducted by a security agent who did not dare to identify himself. For two and one-half hours he explained how a believer should behave. The interrogator was beside himself, trying to convince her that the Church in Lithuania has full freedom of belief. He claimed that the government is very humane and does not force anyone from the Church. Throughout the talk the Chekist continually slandered priests, calling them"hawks" and "blood-sucking parasites." Intermittently there were questions: Did she know the arrested [Miss] Navickaitė and Janulis? Did she ever see them visit [Miss] Ona Vitkauskaitė's apartment?
Security Chief Bagdonas talked with Mališkaitė in the afternoon. He explained to her that she did not know life, that many dangers surrounded her, and that she had fallen under the influence of evil persons. He suggested that she review her life and make the necessary conclusions.
* * *
On June 13,1980, Father Sigitas Tamkevičius, pastor of Kybartai, received a summons to report to Moscow for interrogation (Malaya Lubyanka 12a) on June 17. He did not go.
On June 23 Vilkavilkis Rayon KGB Chief Vaišvila personally presented a summons to Father Tamkevičius to present himself to Moscow KGB Interrogator Kopayev on the following day. Father Tamkevičius stated he would not appear for interrogation because he had no knowledge of any crimes committed in Moscow and, therefore, had no testimony to give. And if the security police needed him, they could take him there themselves.
* * *
On June 23,1980, [Miss] Gene Paliaukaitė, a resident of Kapuskas, was summoned by the Vilnius KGB for interrogation. Interrogator Rainys asked her whether she knew the following arrested individuals: Buzas, Janulis, [Miss] Navickaitė, and [Miss] Vitkauskaitė. Had she read the Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania? Did she know Father Tamkevičius? Had she been to Kybartai? Did she know [Miss] Birutė Briliūtė, etc.? When she said that she did not know the individuals mentioned, Interrogator Rainys lamented the fact that she abandoned her friends in their time of need when she could probably help them by telling everything she knew. Interrogator Rainys charged Paliaukaitė with creating a dormitory in her home.
After a lunch break Interrogator Rainys returned intoxicated. He advised Paliaukaitė to get married because then she would become a normal person. Rainys became very angry when she refused to sign the minutes of the interrogation. "We know your little song, 'I don't know, I don't know them, I won't sign!' Who instructs you? You have all been trained!" railed the interrogator.
* * . *
On June 23, 1980, [Miss] Birutė Briliūtė, a teacher, was summoned to Vilnius for interrogation. The Chekist Gavėnas interrogated her for an entire day. He charged that Briliūtė had worked with the arrested individuals Buzas, Janulis, [Miss] Navickaitė, and [Miss] Vitkauskaitė. He questioned her about the pastor of Kybartai, Father Sigitas Tamkevicms, and the Kybartai church organist, [Miss] Genovaite Macenskaitė. When Briliūtė replied 'I don't know hi m,' 'I don't remember,' or' I don't know' to the interrogator's questions, Gavėnas threatened to record in the minutes that she refused to testify ( witness can be prosecuted for refusing to give evidence). The interrogator insulted Briliūtė, calling her impudent, etc. The Chekist even dared to state that Briliūtė was Father Tamkevičius's girl friend. The interrogator was not afraid to resort to slander, saying that Father Tamkevicms himself had stated during the interrogation, that while she was still young he would use Briliūtė and later discard her in the street like garbage.
Interrogator Gavėnas boasted of interrogating Navickaitė. With irony he called himself a beast and suggested that Briliūtė tell everyone. In truth, his words, tone, and behavior contained a great deal of coarseness, cruelty, and cynicism.
At the conclusion of the questioning, Gavėnas offered to pay Briliūtė's travel expenses, but she refused, stating that she needed no assistance from a government that imprisons innocent people.
* * *
On June 26,1980, [Miss] Ona Kavaliauskaitė, a resident of Kybartai, was summoned to the Vilnius Security Police headquarters to see Interrogator Gavėnas. The Interrogator offered to pay her travel expenses, but Kavaliauskaitė declined. Interrogation and court costs are later collected from those convicted. Then the interrogator and the secretary began to shout, "We won't offer these hypocrites any more money!" When Kavaliauskaitė asked why they were shouting, the interrogator threatened to jail her.
Kavaliauskaitė was reminded that she had been summoned as a witness in the case of the arrested Buzas, Janulis, [Miss] Navickaitė, and [Miss] Vitkauskaitė. When she refused to sign that she had been informed of her rights as a witness, the interrogator again threatened to prosecute her. The Chekist maintained that, following the search, it was not Kavaliauskaitė herself who had written the letter of protest to the Republican Prosecutor but Father Tamkevičius. It was the interrogator's opinion that the items taken from Kavaliauskaitė during the search were not hers but Father Tamkevičius's. There was no need for her to claim the items belonged to her. Kavaliauskaitė insisted that all the items mentioned in the letter of protest were her property:
Lietuvių archyvas (Lithuanian archives)
a typewriter, etc.
The interrogator was especially interested in where she had obtained the typewriter and what she planned to use it for.
The Chekist Daugalas came in during the interrogation and showed Kavaliauskaitė some photographs, supposedly obtained from the Kybartai organist [Miss] Macenskaitė. He asked how Kavaliauskaitė happened to be at [Miss] Ramanauskaitė's trial in Astravas? Did she know Buzas, Janulis, Navickaitė, and Vitkauskaitė?
During the interrogation Kavaliauskaitė was insulted often. The security agent urged her to marry as soon as possible, for, according to him, God created people to multiply and not to duplicate the Chronicle.
The interrogation took seven hours. Following the interrogation, Kavaliauskaitė did not sign the minutes.
* * *
On April 15, 1980, Petras Lukoševičius was arrested and, at the order of the KGB, confined in the Naujoji Vilnia Psychiatric Hospital.
Petras Lukoševičius was born in the district of Marijampolė in 1915 and raised in a deeply religious family of seven children. In 1944 he was convicted under Paragraph IB of Article 58 to a twenty-five-year term. He went through the entire Gulag: Minsk, Gorky, Tayshet, Omsk, and other camps. He was released after eleven years under the 1956 amnesty. When he returned, he wrote his memoirs of the Gulag, but they were confiscated by the security police in 1973. In 1977 the security police conducted a search of his apartment (Tulpes St., Pa-nevezys) and confiscated many issues of:
- Aušra (Dawn)
- Dievas ir Tevyn4 (God and Country)
- the Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania.
Lieutenant Colonel Urbonas directed the search and stated, "If you don't stop, you'll be placed in a psychiatric hospital!"
* * *
In February 1980 Voldemaras Karaliūnas was transferred from the Chernyakhovsk Special Psychiatric Hospital-Prison to the Kaunas Psychiatric Hospital. Dr. Belkopytov is "treating" him for his national and religious beliefs with aminazine. The victim's current condition is very serious; he is sleepy, moves with great difficulty, speaks slowly, but he can still think and speak logically.
He was tried twice for crossing the Polish border. In 1977 he was placed in the Chernyakhovsk Special Psychiatric Hospital-Prison. His "symptoms": he organized a strike in a Kaunas factory for better working conditions, he refused Soviet citizenship, he appealed to the United Nations, asking that it solve the question of the enslavement of the Baltic States.
* * *
On June 23, 1980, [Miss] Danut4 Keršiūtė, (1-100 F. Žemaitis St., Vilnius), was interrogated by the Vilnius Security Police. KGB Lt. Col. Marcinkevičius wanted to learn how information of the arrest of Danutė's fiance, Povilas Pečeliūnas, had reached the West. The interrogator wanted to fingerprint her, but she refused, demanding that either her status be changed from that of a witness to an accused or the idea dropped. Two female security agents were summoned and twisted Danutė's hands but were unable to obtain her fingerprints. The police were then summoned, and a charge of "hooliganism" was fabricated. Battered by a policeman, she was placed in a lice-infested cell and was forced to clean toilets and sweep streets in the company of tramps. The KGB office continues to terrorize Danutė Keršiūtė.
N.B. Let us recall the Soviet "tears" regarding the behavoir of the Nazi SS who beat prisoners in labor camps. In what way do the Red "SS" differ?
* * *
On June 30,1980, Police Major V. S. Leshchenko and an unknown civilian broke into [Mrs.] Genovaite Šakalienė's apartment (19-33 Užupis St., Vilnius). The uninvited guests, who lacked a warrant, looked under beds and in closets. They even examined a neighbor's apartment. Leshchenko stated that the purpose of the search was to locate Danute's husband, the missing "political recidivist" Vladas Šakalys. When she protested the illegal actions, the Major replied, "We will continue to act this way, for it is our duty!"
Vladas Šakalys has not been arrested but is in hiding.
* * *
On May 23, 1980, V. Abrutis (Tallat-Kelpša St., Vilnius) was arrested in Moscow. During the April 9,1980, search of Abrutis's apartment, a great deal of underground literature and a typewriter were confiscated. Abrutis is presently jailed at the Lukiškes prison. His wife, Edita, has been informed that he is being prosecuted under Article 199, Paragraph 1 of the Lithuanian SSR Criminal Code. The Abrutises have filed a request to emigrate.
* * *
On March 4, 1980. the Lithuanian-studies scholar Gintautas Iešmantas (36-8 Svyturys St., Vilnius) was arrested. He was born in 1930 in Kudirkos Naumiestis and is a graduate of the Vilnius Pedagogical Institute. For some time he worked on the editorial staff of Komjaunimo tiesa (Truth of the Communist Youth). In 1970 he left the ranks of the Communist party. lešmantas was arrested for working for the underground press.
* * *
In July 1980 the security police informed the relatives of Antanas Terleckas and Julius Sasnauskas that their case was being closed. Terleckas has already been permitted to examine the case material.
The security police have returned all religious literature and letters from friends that have little bearing on national issues to Sasnauskas's family.
* * *
"To: The Prosecutor General of the USSR
"From: Jurevičius, Mečislovas, son of Jurgis, Member
of the Lithuanian Helsinki Watch Group, residing
in Lithuania at 6-10 Spindulys St., city of Šiauliai
"On February 6, 1980,1 was attacked and arrested by a group of security agents at the Šiauliai bus station. They took me to their headquarters, searched me, and then took me to my apartment, where they also conducted a thorough search. They confiscated various publications and religious literature. The following day I was summoned to the City Prosecutor's Office. Interrogator A. Jucys from Vilnius read the charge: 'organizing' religious processions-marches in the summer of 1979 at Šiauliai and Šiluva. Several days later I was again summoned to his office. Prepared 'witnesses' 'recognized' me in the lineup as the 'organizer' of the processions. It was in this fashion that I came to be charged under Article 199, Paragraph 3, of the Criminal Code. Furthermore, witnesses were also summoned for the purpose of obtaining testimony of 'parasitical' behavior. In January 1975 I was dismissed from work because of my religious convictions (I demanded the right not to work on religious holidays). Since August 1977 I have worked as sacristan at the church in 2arenai-Latveliai. Interrogator Jucys confiscated my work contract.
"With regard to the above, I wish to state the following:
"This KGB-orchestrated action aimed at giving me the role of 'organizer' of religious processions in violation of the public order' is nothing less than a brutal provocation directed not only against me.
"Atheist propaganda has not achieved its basic goals in Lithuania. At least two-thirds of Lithuanians are still believing Catholics. Despite atheist attacks from all sides over a period of several decades, the majority of Lithuanians have remained faithful to the traditions of their ancestors and to their faith. This can only provoke the fury of government atheists. Perhaps that is why they have decided that repression is a more reliable tool in the dishonorable battle against religion. But that is the wrong way, as the pages of our nation's history indicate.
"Like many other believers I participated in these religious processions at the Hill of Crosses and in Šiluva. I participated because I am a Catholic. I was not the organizer. Nor were there any 'violations of the public order.' According to ancient traditions and customs, Lithuanian Catholics traditionally assemble for pilgrimages and no organizers are required. These are not May 1 or October marches. Pilgrimages of prayer are an inseparable part of our religious life. Our religious traditions originated hundreds of years ago. They are an expression of the Lithuanian Catholic's religious spirit. They have never caused anyone harm. That is well known to anyone who is even remotely familiar with the reality of Lithuanian life.
"Pravda (December 18, 1975, no. 352) published an article entitled 'An attack against the Mother of God.' It reported how Chile's junta of executioners led by Pinochet, who believes in neither God nor Satan, dealt with a peaceful religious pilgrimage which they considered alarming. The article concluded with the words 'General Pinochet, with inexhaustible ingenuity, is seeking to gag the mouths of both believers and nonbelievers."
"There arises the question: Why do Soviet atheists also use the methods of the junta which they supposedly despise? Perhaps their goals are the same?
"I appeal to you to help block the arbitrariness and violence of the atheists being carried out under cover of Soviet laws.
"After all, we are living in the twentieth century and, as propagandists explain, 'in the most democratic country,' a state which has committed itself in an entire series of humane international agreements to respect fundamental human rights.
February 23, 1980
* * *
On March 24, 1980, Father Petras Našlėnas-Kerbelis was summoned to the Vilnius KGB headquarters for interrogation. The reason for the summons was that he had signed several petitions regarding the innocence of the prisoners Petkus, Terleckas, and Sasnauskas demanding their release. The interrogator ordered him to reveal who had written the petition, who had given it to him to sign, and where all this had occurred. The interrogator was angered that freedom was being requested for such "criminals who raise the question of Lithuania's withdrawal from the Soviet Union."
During the course of the interrogation, Father Našlėnas was cunningly questioned about whether he knew who edits the Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania and how he receives the underground press, etc.
Failing in his purpose, Major Pilelis released the priest.
N.B. Father Našlėnas-Kerbelis completed the Kaunas Theological Seminary, but the KGB did not allow him to be officially consecrated. He received Holy Orders without the government's consent.
* * *
On June 3,1980, [Mrs.] Janina Bagdonienė, a member of the Vilnius Radio and Television Choir, was summoned by the KGB for interrogation. Interrogator Pilelis charged Bagdonienė with signing a petition requesting the release of Terleckas. The interrogator spoke contemptuously of those who had signed the document, calling them mentally unbalanced and the priests, enemies of the government. He said Terleckas is a nationalist who has edited various publications, and this is not the first time he was being prosecuted for disruptive activities against the Soviet order. The Chekist vainly attempted to convince Bagdonienė to withdraw her signature. Pilelis asserted that nuns who draw children into religious activities are also guilty.
After several hours of interrogation, a second security agent entered but did not identify himself. The Chekist said there is only one party and if certain undesirable elements disturb the peace, they must be isolated.
The interrogation was continued by Česnavičius. Bagdoniene was again questioned about her "suspect" acquaintance with labor camp inmates and priests. Česnavičius also asserted that persons who sign various petitions are psychologically unsound and that their struggle is meaningless because they will all be arrested. Bagdonienė mentioned several criminal offenses committed against her and people close to her, and how astonished she was when government agencies barely reacted to them. When she signed a petition demanding a person's freedom, however, she had immediately found herself at KGB headquarters.
The interrogation lasted five hours.
* * *
On June 3, 1980, Juozas Šileikis, a resident of Šiauliai was summoned for interrogation by the Šiauliai KGB. The interrogator did not give his name. He read an item from the Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania (no. 42) stating that Šileikis did not vote in the February 24 elections for the Supreme Soviet and the local soviet. Šileikis confirmed the fact, stating he cannot participate in elections because no candidates are presented from the believing community, and the atheists will not defend believers' interests.
The security agent educated Šileikis for four hours, explaining that there are certain restless individuals who create a great deal of difficult work for the security police. In his opinion, the Chronicle is nothing but lies.
* * *
On June 5, 1980, Security agent Grigaliūnas (Vilnius KGB) visited Father Alfonsas Lukoševičius, pastor of Žemaičių Kalvarija, and questioned him about the upcoming July devotions to the Blessed Virgin Mary. The agent was most interested in whether members of the Catholic Committee for the Defense of Believers' Rights would attend as they did the previous year. In the Chekist's opinion, it was very bad last year because the committee said so many bad things.
Father Lukoševičius explained that every priest who comes has the right to say mass and the homily is an integral part of the service.
* * *
On May 14,1980, [Miss] Nijolė Galminaitė, a resident of Tauragė, was summoned by the security police. Security agent Antanas Laurinavičius accused her of collecting signatures to a statement addressed to the producers of the television program "Argumentai" (Arguments). The interrogator ordered her to reveal who collected signatures, who organized the campaign, etc. Furthermore, he proposed that she work as a security agent and enroll in the Medical Institute. Security Chief Vitkevičius came into the room and threatened, "If we cannot reach an agreement, the next talk will be a sadder one for you."
* * *
On June 17, 1980. Security agent Malinauskas came to the apartment of [Miss] Aldona Kezytė (20-130 Suderve St., Vilnius) and took her for a"short talk" to security police headquarters. This "short talk" lasted three mornings, June 17-20.
Aldona Kezytė had given her sister, who was visiting from the United States, several letters addressed to her brother, Father Algimantas Kezys. Moscow custom agents confiscated the letters and passed them to the Lithuanian Security Police. The letters contained Kezyte's impressions of the summer of 1979, which she spent in the Georgian SSR.
The security agent-interrogator, who would not identify himself, threatened that she could receive up to seven years in a labor camp for sending slanderous literature abroad. Kezytė stated that she had not slandered anyone but had merely recorded her experiences when she was interrogated by the Georgian Security Police. It is every person's right to share one's thoughts with those close to them.
Kezytė was very severely reprimanded for doing missionary work in Georgia and was warned that the next meeting would be more severe. To prevent Kezytė from having the opportunity to"impose her ideas on others/' the security agent suggested that she return to work. (Kezytė, a teacher, was forced to resign in 1975 from the B. Dvarionas Children's Music School in Vilnius at the initiative of the security police and with the help of Principal Vytautas Kabelis and Party Secretary Jonas Urba). In the interrogator's opinion, Kezytė had conflicts with the teaching staff and, therefore, had to leave. Actually, she made no enemies at work during her twenty-five years of teaching and had been given numerous and varied awards for her exemplary work and not a single reprimand. The interrogator actually stated, "Every teacher has the right to publicly profess his faith, and if he is discriminated against because of this, let him complain to the security police." No one should take his statements too seriously, for this is probably precisely the reason the agent did not give his name. The interrogator was very interested as to which religious order Kezytė belonged. He also asked which members of the Catholic Committee for the Defense of Believers' Rights she knew.