Petras Paulaitis Writes
"About the middle of July I was ordered to sign a statement regarding a confiscated letter from Norway. They did not tell me who had written it and did not show me the letter. They simply ordered me to sign on the other side of the page. They supposedly confiscated the letter because it contained information inconsistent with the truth. The information supposedly was incorrect. What insolent, cynical, hypocrisy! After all, Moscow's censorship scrutinized every word of the letter and considered the information accurate, for they allowed the letter to pass. Now, a distance from Moscow, the censorship of the remote Yavas-Barashevo considers the information inconsistent with the truth — incorrect. Therefore, the letter had to be confiscated without my even seeing it. What can you do if the Russians, especially the Reds, do not want to live without lies, deceit, fraud, and cruelty. In thirty-three years (exactly so on October 30) I have painfully and personally experienced all of this while being confined in their prison-labor camps. Because I fulfilled my obligations to a free and independent homeland and because of my personal sacred beliefs, totally foreign Russian Communists have deprived me of the best and most important part of my life. During those thirty-three years in Russia's Communist 'paradise,' I had to work long and hard, suffer hunger and inhumane misery. Even now 1 can see no end to the monstrous lies and deceit, the cruelty and cynicism against innocent people. But, in any event, nothing here on earth is eternal. I pray for those of my brothers and sisters who have already fallen in the holy battle defending Truth and Justice, and ask God to enlighten me, so that I would be just with everyone and that I would love my homeland Lithuania and its children — the entire younger generation — even more."
On October 15,1980, [Mrs.] Aldona Plumpienė received the following communication from the Chistopol prison: "You are hereby informed that your husband, Petras Plumpa, son of Vladas, arrived on October 5,1980, to carry out his sentence at the UE-148/st.-4 (Tatar ASSR, Chistopol, ind. 422950). He has the right to write one letter per month, to receive two parcels during a year, and two short visits."
It must be pointed out that since March of this year P. Plumpa has not been permitted to see his wife nor even write a single letter. Conditions at the Chistopol prison are considerably harsher than at the Perm labor camp, where Plumpa was held previously.
At the Colony . . . Prison-like Conditions
On August 21, 1980, Viktoras Petkus, one of Lithuania's most active defenders of human rights, was taken to a colony from the Chistopol prison, having served a three-year strict-regime sentence.
The trip from the prison to the labor camp took one week. Although the address of the new place of detention was known at the Chistopol prison, the new location was not "found" initially. Though no additional charges had been made, the first night of the journey was spent in the punishment cell of the Kazan prison. The guards apologized that they "did not have" any other free space. A plate of salty sprats was brought to the thirsty and hungry prisoner for his dinner. Even though Viktoras had never before complained about his health, he spent the next few days in the hospital. Finally, he was taken to some labor camp, but it turned out that the local prisoners wore black clothing while Petkus's was striped. Again, an exhausting trip on rutted Russian backroads to the Perm Region, Chusovskij Rayon.
Viktoras Petkus's new address:
618263 Permskaya obi. Chusovskij Rayon
poc. Kuchino ucr. VS-389/36
Life in this labor camp differs very little from that in the former prison. The food, as in all Russian penal institutions, is very poor. The barracks are cell-like. The prisoners are kept four to a cell (Petkus shares his with Ukrainians). Access to fresh air is permitted for only one hour per day, as in prison. To go to work one only crosses a corridor into a work cell. The work deals with electricity, mostly stamping and connecting electrical parts.
During his three years of strict-regime prison, Viktoras not only did not break but matured even more and steeled himself into a determined fighter, a courageous human rights defender, a noble Lithuanian.
His letters from prison are not a collection of haphazard thoughts but entire lectures and essays. For example, in June he sent to Vilnius a seventy-page letter on "Christianity"; in July a sixty-page essay on "Judaism"; and in August, sixty-eight pages on "Islam." The Soviet mail does not guarantee the delivery of even a registered letter with a return receipt. Both the June and July letters"disappeared" in this manner. When a search was begun, the reply was, "Do not try to trace them; you will not find them."
Below is some biographical data on prisoners who are presently awaiting trial:
Anastazas Janulis was born in 1917 into a farming family in the township of Šiauliai, the village of Žemiai. At the age of fourteen, he entered a Jesuit monastery and there learned to play the organ. He worked as an organist in Pagryžuvis, Šiauliai, Tytuvėnai, and elsewhere. In 1949 he was given a ten-year sentence. He was granted amnesty when Stalin died (he had already served six years in prison).
On his return from the labor camp, he lived in Dūkštas. He later travelled to Kirghiz with Father Šeškevičius to work among the German Catholics. Most recently he lived and worked as an organist in Kaišiadorys.
[Miss] Gemma-Jadvyga Stanelytė was born on October 29, 1931, in Šiauliai Rayon, the village of Pašvenčiai (the parish of Kurtuvėnai). She attended the Šiauliai High School and later attempted to enroll in the faculty of History — Philosophy at Vilnius State University to major in Lithuanian language and literature, but she was denied admission because she was not a member of the Communist Youth League. She was offered a major in Russian language and literature because of a student shortage in that department. With no other alternative, she began to study Russian. During her final year, the faculty administration learned that Gemma was a religious believer, and her life took a different turn. She was not allowed to remain at the university and continue her studies although she was an excellent student and had won first prizes at the Students Scholarly Society for her scholastic work.
Upon leaving the university, Stanelytė worked at the Kaunas Medical Institute as a scientific secretary for over ten years, but because she did not conceal her religious convictions, she was forced to leave. At that time Stanelytė devoted all of her energies to the Church.