At 2:30 p.m. on August 19,1981, Zenonas Mištautas, an engineer who works at Kaunas Construction Board no. 1, was summoned to the Kaunas KGB headquarters.
The Chekists were interested in the following questions:
"When you lived on Linkuva Street (three years ago), who else lived there? Did a Ukrainian live there? Do you know that he completed secret seminary studies and is now a priest?"
"I know that a Ukrainian lived there but know nothing more about him," he replied.
"On New Year's Eve 1979 you made a political speech. There were twenty-four people there. You said that one must fight, must courageously express one's opinion and fear nothing, that many things should be changed in the system, and you urged people to participate in the procession to Šiluva."
"I did not make a political speech!"
They then asked about [Miss]Zita Veizbergaitė, how she was doing, what her mood was like, and what his ties with her were. (The KGB prevented Veizbergaitė from getting a medical degree — Ed.).
"I don't discuss other people and will not answer questions which deal with others," Zenonas protested firmly.
"Did you spend your vacation with your wife, and what are her views?"
"I said I would not answer questions dealing with others," he refused to yield.
"You wrote a statement saying that you wanted to go to the Eucharistic Congress?"
"I did not."
"Who put you on the list?"
"I very much wanted to go, and if someone, knowing my desire, put me on the list, I am very grateful to him."
"What is your opinion regarding the procession to Šiluva? What is its intention? Couldn't your religion manage without a procession? Wouldn't it be possible to go around the church twenty times for the same intention?" the Chekist asked.
Finally, losing his composure, the Chekist shouted,"So, well confront one another with raised fists on Sunday in Tytuvėnai!"
After calming down, he dared to suggest, "Could you help disorganize the march?"
The Chekist said that the main organizers of the procession were priests: Alfonsas Svarinskas, Juozas Zdebskis, and S. Dobrovolskis.
After a brief pause, he continued: "Is Ričardas Repšys secretly studying for the priesthood?"
Mištautas did not answer.
After several more digressions, the Chekist again returned to the Šiluva procession. As they parted, he blurted out, "You probably understand what is desired of you?"
On August 20,1981, [Mrs.] Irena Česnauskienė, [Miss] Tekle Steponavičiūtė, and Ignas Petrauskas were summoned to the Klaipėda City Prosecutor's Office to see Interrogator Baracevičius. A security agent was also present in the interrogator's office.
"Why are you organizing a procession from Tytuvėnai to Šiluva?" the interrogator asked Česnauskienė.
The security agent began to shout, "We have plenty of room in the labor camps for such as you, so sit at home and don't go to any marches! Sign this warning about not participating in the march."
"I must first consult with my husband, for we are planning to participate together," the woman replied.
"And maybe you'll be taking your children?" the Chekist asked angrily.
"I don't leave my children by themselves. I'll go everywhere with them," stated Čekanauskienė.
The interrogator showed Steponavičiūtė two photographs from last year's procession.
"Look at what you're doing!"
"What am I doing that's wrong? I'm saying the rosary. Is it not allowed?" asked the woman.
"Say your rosary at home," the interrogator raged.
"Communal prayer is very pleasing to God, didn't you know?" replied Steponavičiūtė.
"If you participate in such a march again this year, we'll remove you from the procession, take you to the prosecutor's office, and put you on trial. Have you forgotten that last year you paid a 50-ruble fine for teaching children the truths of the faith? We felt sorry for you then; we should have prosecuted you. I'll take you to the prosecutor right now. You'll have to sign a warning about not participating in the march," said the interrogator.
"You can take me anywhere you want, but 1 won't sign the warning," Steponavičiūtė replied firmly.
Petrauskas explained to the interrogator that he had not participated in the march last year and therefore there was no need for him to sign.
Interrogator Baracevičius took all three "criminals' to see Prosecutor Musteika and explained that these citizens were disobeying the laws and participating in forbidden processions. Several traffic accidents occurred because of the march last year, and besides that, several persons suffered from sunstroke.
The three replied that there had been no accidents and that no one could have suffered a sunstroke because the day had been overcast.
The prosecutor asked whether they had read an article in Tiesa (Truth) about the organizers who had been convicted.
Steponavičienė replied that she had, but that Tiesa had printed lies. The convicted Vytautas Vaičiūnas did not make any anti-Soviet speeches. He simply remined the participants that for a long time our great-grandparents, grandparents, and parents have been going to Šiluva and that we therefore have the right to visit this shrine to the Mother of God. A large group heard Vaičiūnas's speech, and they could all testify to this.
"Sign, here's a warning for each of you stating that you won't participate in the procession because a permit has not been obtained," urged Prosecutor Musteika.
None of them signed although they were urged to do so repeatedly.
On August 26, 1980, [Miss] Aldona Raižytė, a teacher employed at Kindergarten-Nursery School no. 80 in Kaunas, was summoned to see Executive Committee Vice Chairman Petrauskas. The meeting did not occur because of a secretary's error. The next day Vice Chairman Petrauskas came to Kindergarten-Nursery School no. 80 himself. During the meeting Petrauskas accused the teacher of actively participating in the August 24, 1980, pilgrimage from Tytuvėnai to Šiluva, of working with young people, and of catechizing children.
Petrauskas attempted to explain that Raižytė was "overstepping her bounds." He avoided stating more concretely what bounds she was overstepping, promising that other official organs would indicate this.
As he was leaving, Petrauskas threatened that Raižytė was only being warned at present but would later be punished.
At work Director [Mrs.] I. Ustinienė often stated, "You're a good worker — if only they were all so good; but I've been ordered to get rid of you."
Attempts were made to force Raižytė to resign from her teaching position by means of unfounded reprimands and complaints which appeared in the record book and by constant inspections.
Finally Ustinienė could not stand it any longer: "Aldutė. I'm getting tired, I can't sleep at night. Second Secretary Butilkinas of the Party Committee has been after me a long time. He tells me to either dismiss you or, if I'm unable to do so, to resign myself. I explained that he should at least wait until vacation time. It doesn't work ... he doesn't agree."
Unable to stand the director's tears, Raižytė wrote the following statement: "Please fire me because the Party Committee demands it."
The Education Department rejected this statement, and Director Ustinienė was scolded for having spoken out.
On April 30, 1981, Aldona Raižytė was forced to leave her job.
In August 1981 [Miss] Janina Siminskaitė was visited at work (the Trade Ministry Computation Center) by Security Police First Lieutenant Antanas Bimbyris, who interrogated her.
"What do you think, will Andrius Tučkus, Vytautas Bogušis, and Algirdas Masiulionis follow in Julius Sasnauskas's footsteps? What are the views of the Sasnauskas family? Where does the family get money?
What are [Miss] Eleonora Sasnauskaitė's views? Do you keep company with her? Do you visit her? What do you talk about? Are you thinking of changing jobs?"
After a great number of questions, the Chekist Bimbyris warned Siminskaitė not to fall into that "quagmire." "Didn't you see what was confiscated from Julius Sasnauskas during the search?"
Siminskaitė had come in while Sasnauskas's home was being searched and had been detained. She and Eleonora Sasnauskaitė graduated from secondary school together and were in the same class.
The Chekist ended by saying that the talk had not been sincere and suggested they meet and have some coffee at the Neringa or Dainava. Janina refused to come. She was forced by the Chekist to sign a statement that she would tell no one about this conversation with him.
Before this talk (several weeks earlier) Siminskaitė was summoned to police headquarters, where she was severely berated for not having a job. The young woman explained that upon graduating from the A. Vienuolis Secondary School in 1977 she had found a job immediately and had been working at the Trade Ministry Computation Center for the past four years.
On June 30, 1981, Natalija Bucevičiūtė, the prisoner Viktoras Petkus's wife, was taken to the Vilnius Security Committee offices by two Chekists who did not identify themselves. One of them showed her some type of document but did not let her read his name. When asked to identify himself, he simply mumbled something unintelligible.
Under interrogation the woman was charged with slandering security police employees when she stated that she was dismissed from work by their order. (Natalija Bucevičiūtė worked for twenty years at the University of Vilnius Cardiac and Vascular Surgery Laboratory. During that time she had not been issued any reprimands but had been accorded appreciations and had been granted monetary awards. On March 20, 1981, the university administration discharged her at the order of the security police.
The interrogator attempted to explain that she was not doing socially useful work and, while working at the hospital, had cared for ailing priests.
During the interrogation the Chekist accused her of being a nun and of imposing her beliefs on others. Actually Bucevičiūtė herself has been persecuted for her religious beliefs for a number of years. In 1961 she was the Principal of the Lazdijai Secondary School. She was discussed at meetings and at the party bureau, criticized in the press, and finally dismissed from her position as principal because of her views. While working at the Vilnius University Cardiac and Vascular Surgery Laboratory she was not left alone either. She had to defend herself at the party bureau, and Secretary Jonaitis of the party organization firmly demanded that she disclose whether she really was a believer.
The interrogation took about two hours. Bucevičiūtė's documents were confiscated and were returned only two weeks later. When the papers were returned, she was again ordered to sign an explanation, which she refused to do.
On February 5, 1981, security agents summoned the architect V. Jasiukevičius, employed at the All-Union Planning Institute, to the Neringa Hotel for a talk. The Chekists were interested in foreigners who come to Vilnius and their views. They suggested that Jasiukevičius collaborate with them by providing them with the information they need and by spying on his colleagues and friends.