Criminal Case Number 15678
Initiated February 21,1949, in the Lithuanian S.S.R. State Ministry of Security, Division A.
Decision to arrest
Benediktas Andriuška, son of Jonas. Born 1884, in a peasant-bourgeoise family in the Village of Vilkaičiai,
County of Alsėdžiai, District of Telšiai (sometimes noted as
Bernatavas, Lieplaukė). The family had 40 hectares of land. Advanced education, theological. No permanent address or occupation. The father died in 1907, the mother, Eleanora, in 1917. Also deceased are eleven brothers and sisters.
I found that he has been working against the Soviet government for a long time. He finished the School of Theology at the Papal University in England, 1917-1919-1923, he received information and conveyed it to English and Polish intelligence. With the assistance of the German Provincial, Bley, and the German espionage resident, Kipp, he organized the Jesuit order in Lithuania in 1923, and headed it until 1945. He edited 77ie Star, worked on the magazine Cathlicism and Life, and published articles against the Soviet government. He was the author of many of anti-Soviet books and founder of organizations.
During a raid July 16, 1948, anti-Soviet literature, manuscripts and a diary of an anti-Soviet nature were found. In 1947, he regularly gave sermons of an anti-Soviet nature. Living illegally. District of Telšiai. Searches to be made and he is to be arrested.
Operative Agent, Subsection 1, Section O,
of the State Security Ministry. Chief Chechurov,
Section O, Subsection 1
The decision to arrest is confirmed February 16, 1949 by: Section O Chief, Lieut. Col. Shliapnikov; chief of the Investigation Section, Col. Soloid; Vice Minister Martevičius, sanctioned by Procurator Bacharov.
The search was made February 21,1949, from 5:00 to 9:00 P.M., in the parish of Varlaukis, County of Skaisgiris, District of Tauragė. Found was an autobiographical book, How I Became a Jesuit.
He was arrested and a lien placed on his property: an iron bedstead, an old wooden basin, a new overcoat and mattress, an old mottled three years old cow, a six-year-old goat and six pairs of old underwear.
In charge of the case is Captain Golitsyn.
From the record of the interrogation (1949):
1. The questioning began February 24 at 11:00 A.M. and ended at 5:00
Attended Russian elementary school of Lieplaukė. 1901, finished the progymnasium in Palanga, entered the seminary in Kaunas, discontinued studies after 1.5 years and left for Austria, 1903. March 3, 1903, entered the Jesuit Order. At the expense of the Polish Province, finished high school and, in 1909, the Papal School of Philosphy in Cracow.
Until 1913, he taught Russian language and liturgical singing at the senior Jesuit High school of Chirov, in Austria. In 1913, he left for England and enrolled in the School of Philosophy at the Papal University in Hastings. Ordained to the priesthood in 1915, in 1917 he finished theological studies. Until the summer of 1918, he studied ascetics and completed his tertiary in Canterbury. In the summer of 1918, he came to London and again studied privately, specializing in philosophy.
In 1919, he left England for Lithuania and taught philosophy, physics and liturgical music at the seminary in Kaunas. In 1920, he went to Cracow where he worked in the Jesuit Fathers' publishing house until 1921, publishing Catholic books and magazines in Polish.
In 1921, he went to Belgium where he worked as a prefect and taught Russian at the commercial institute in Antwerp until he returned to Lithuania, May 23,1923.
Until 1930, he was a professor at the Kaunas Theological Seminary, teaching Latin, world history and other subjects. From 1930 until 1936, he lived at Vilniaus 245 in Šiauliai, as Rector of St. Ignatius Church. From April 21,1936, until 1941, he was Provincial of the Jesuits in Lithuania, residing in Kaunas at the Jesuit church of St. Francis Xavier.
From the winter of 1942 until August, 1944, he lived in Pagryžuvis, teaching Philosophy. From 1944 until August 20,1948, he was Rector of St. Ignatius Church in Šiauliai. Later, at his request, Administrator Juodaitis of the Diocese of Telšiai assigned him to work in Ukrėnai, in the District of Mažeikiai, County of Žydikai, and after that, in Varlaukis.
2. March 7. Interrogation began 8:00 P.M., ended 11:00 P.M.
Q - "You admit that up till 1940, in articles and books, and after 1944, educating youth in a spirit of religion and nationalism, you resisted the Soviet government?"
A - "I admit that I struggled against atheistic Bolshevism in the press, meetings, personal conversations with the faithful and lessons. I did so because I am a priest, because I do not recognize Bolshevism - in essence atheism -- because I do not agree with the destruction of the Catholic religion by the Bolsheviks.
"I look negatively on the introduction of the Soviet government in my native land because I know that it will destroy the Catholic Church in Lithuania. My whole struggle against Bolshevism, all my statements against Bolshevism, specifically its leaders, had as its purpose the defense of the Catholic religion -- to save it from destruction.
"To this end, I invited others to join the struggle with Bolshevism. I admit that I also educated children in the spirit of nationalism because love of nation helps to educate them more effectively in the spirit of religion. It is for this purpose that the monthly youth conferences were organized in Šiauliai. To all political questions put by the youth, I would answer, 'Now the most important thing is to be a good Catholic'."
3. March 10. Interrogation began 1:00 P.M. and ended 5:00 P.M.
Q - "You established the Jesuit Order in Lithuania. How?"
A - "I only revived it. The idea of reviving it originated in 1902 at the Kaunas Seminary. From 1903 to 1923, living abroad, I sought this goal, prepared the ground for it and wrote to the Father General in Rome. Ledochowski sent two Jesuit priests to Lithuania: the Frenchman Bubė and the Italian Zechini to find out what nationalities of Jesuits could do religious work in Lithuania. Zechini remained in Lithuania as papal representative and Bubė reported to the Father General that same year, 1922, that the Lithuanians were equally hostile to the Poles and to the French.
"For the same purpose, in 1922, two German Jesuits came to Lithuania, the Provincial Bley and his assistant, Drueding. He announced that although Germans were not particularly liked in Lithuania, it would be possible to work carefully if there were no German propaganda.
"In 1923, the Father General, Ledochowski, issued an official decision that Lithuania was to be controlled by the German Jesuits as a mission country. In the same decision, it was written that the Father General was transferring me from the Belgian Province of the Jesuits to the German Province. The German
Provincial, Bley, sent the German Jesuit Father Kipp to Lithuania at the end of July that year to restore the Jesuit Order.
"Thus, Father Kipp and I restored the Jesuit Order in 1923 in Lithuania, with its headquarters in Kaunas. At the beginning, the center was classified as a mission, in 1924, as a residence, and since the establishment of the Jesuit gymnasium in Kaunas — a college — up till 1929, there was but one Jesuit church in Lithuania, in Kaunas.
"I was the only one stationed there. Father Kipp was the Rector of the the high school, and till 1936, the Provincial. In 1936, by decision of the Father General, Ledochowski, the Jesuits of Lithuania were separated from the German Province, a separate Province was set up, and I was appointed provincial, assuming my duties April 21.
"In 1940, the Lithuanian Province had eighteen priests, Lithuanian and
"Several score Lithuanian Jesuits were also studying abroad. Three churches were functioning, in Kaunas, Šiauliai and Pagryžuvis.
"I asked Father General Ledochowski many times to relieve me of duties as provincial. In August, 1941,1 handed over the duties to the newly appointed provincial, Father Gruodis, whom I had recommended."
Q - "Did Father General Ledochowski have your consent to transfer you from the Belgian to the German Province?"
A - "He didn't need any consent, since I offered my services in the restoration of the Jesuit Order in Lithuania."
Q - "When and how did you request to be relieved of duties as Provincial?"
A - "In 1939,1 sent the Father General a petition in which I requested that he relieve me on account of poor health. I suggested Father Gruodis, a professor at the Kaunas Theological Seminary, but there was no response."
Q - "When and in what way were you informed about your release?" A - "Father Gruodis said that before the war, the document had been forwarded through the American Ambassador in Moscow, but he had probably not received it since he never informed me. Only in 1941, when I was in the Province of Kaišiadorys, Parish of Žaižmariai, visiting Msgr. Sužiedėlis, did I receive an announcement from Father Gruodis that I had been relieved and he had been appointed. Father Gruodis had learned about it from a letter of Father Karl Fulst."
Q - "Why did you send Jesuits abroad illegally in 1940?"
A - "More than once in 1940-41, the Soviet government was requested to allow young Jesuits to study abroad, but we did not receive permission. I concurred with the suggestion Father Ritmeister to organize the education of Jesuits by crossing the border illegally. Who helped and who fled, I don't remember."
Q - "At the end of 1940, with the help of the German, Begner, four Jesuits fled to Germany. The four were: Venckus, Mikalauskas, Slabšys, who was the fourth?"
A - "I don't remember!"
4. March 16. Questioning began 8:00 P.M., ended 1:00 A.M. the 17th.
Q - "What organizations did you establish and which did you lead?"
A - "In 1925, together with Professor Venckus, we established the
Apostolic Union for priests (Unio Apostolica), whose purpose was to improve the clergy's spiritual life. Permission to establish the union was given by Archbishop Juozapas Skvireckas. I headed it until 1936. Later, it was headed by Bishop BuČys. Between twenty and forty priests belonged to the union. I was concerned with each one's spiritual life and religious education, conducting retreats for them in Pagryžuvis.
"In 1923,1 conducted several conferences in Kaunas for members of the Third Order in an effort to renew and enliven their religious life.
"In 1919, together with Msgr. Januševičius, I revived an organization which had died in Lithuania, the Saint Vincent de Paul Society. Its purpose was to provide material and moral assistance to the sick and poor. From 1923 on, many priests joined this organization, it grew greatly, and was active throughout Lithuania, but I did not work with it.
"In 1923,1 revived the Apostleship of Prayer, and directed it until 1930. In the apostolate were about 100,000 members. Its purpose was to pray for intentions specified by the Pope. One of these intentions was the that Russia would enter on the path of religious rebirth. From 1930 on, this organizations was directed by Father Paukštys.
"From 1919-1923,1 conducted several conferences for the Ateitininkai at their request, and participated in their Congress. During 1926-27, I edited the magazine Žvaigždė (The Star), which the Lithuanian Jesuit Province published until 1940. Its circulation grew from 5,000 to 50,000. After me, it was edited by Father Paukštys and Father Bružikas.
"I wrote articles for the magazines Tiesos Kelias (Tite Way of Truth) and Draugija (The Society). The Christian Democratic organ Rytas (Morning), published several of my articles."
Q - "Where were your anti-Soviet articles published?"
A - "I remember two anti-Soviet articles in the magazine Draugija."
Q - "How many of your books were published?"
A - "From 1923 till 1940 more than 20 books religious in content were published."
"I translated about the same number into Lithuanian from English, German and French."
5. March 18. Interrogation began 11:00 P.M. Ended March 19, 2:00
Q - "Why did you issue Petras Venckus a forged document? He used it to obtain a passport."
A - "I gave him a certification that he is a priest. I know that personally and will always testify. The rest of the information I wrote on this word. I must admit I did not know the photograph was falsified."
6. March 21. Interrogation began 8:00 P.M. Ended March 22, 2:00
Q - "What was your relationship with Dr. Rutkauskas?" A - "He borrowed 3,000 rubles. This was known to Delininkaitienė and Kuzmickas."
Q - "What are their beliefs?"
A - "They are people loyal to the Soviet government."
Q - "You used to give medical supplies to members of the underground and helped them?"
A - "They did not come to me. Besides, the Jesuits used to say among themselves that we shouldn't place ourselves or religion at risk - we shouldn't interfere."
Q - "Do you remember to whom you gave bandages?"
A - "To no one. It is true that in 1946 or 1947, some girl asked for bandages because there are none at the hospital. Who she is I do not know. Anyone who came to me asking for material or spiritual assistance I did not refuse. I gave them what I had. Who they were, what their views were, or whether they belonged to the underground, I did not ask and I don't know."
7. April 4. Interrogation began 8:00 P.M. Ended April 5, 2:00 A.M.
Q - "On July 16,1948, during a search of the church loft, they found
anti-Soviet literature, a diary, and a list of residents of Šiauliai deported in 1940-1941. Is that your literature?"
A - "Only the diary is mine. I don't know to whom everything else belongs. I only remember that Maskvitis the book dealer asked permission to put prayer books up there. I gave permission, but I don't know what he put up there."
Q - "Why were you hiding the diary? "
A - "I wished to preserve it and give it to some historian to write a book about the history of the Jesuits in Lithuania. After all the entire diary speaks only about the restoration of the Jesuit order."
Q - "In the diary are there anti-Bolshevik notes? "
A - "Yes since I am anti-Bolshevik."
Q - "Where is the continuation of the diary?"
A - "I lost it traveling from Pagryžuvis to Šiauliai in August of 1944."
O - "On J uly 19,1948, the Vytis symbol was found hanging on the church wall together with an anti-Soviet motto and an announcement that there would be a youth conference. Who hung that up?"
A - "It was hung up at my direction. I believe Father Šeškevičius hung it up. True, I did think at first the Vytis might annoy the Bolsheviks but they convinced me and I agreed."
Q - "Who convinced you?" A - "I don't remember."
Q - "How do you understand the slogan, 'For Country and Church'?" A - "To pray for country and Church." Q - "For what country?" A - "For such as it is." Q - "For a Soviet one?"
A - "No, to pray for our homeland Lithuania, rejecting the present
Q - "Who conducted the youth conferences and whose idea were they?"
A - "Under my direction, Fathers Šeškevičius, Masilionis and I used to conduct them."
Q - "On May 26, 1947, you said in the sermon, 'The Bolsheviks are trying to draw the people away from religion. They won't be able to do anything if we believe deeply and strongly. We must never turn away from God. Faith is the basis of our life.' Did you say that?" A - "I probably said it, since those are my thoughts."
Q - "In 1942, in the church of Pagryžuvis, in a sermon against drunkenness, you said that liquor diminishes human worth, brings disbelief nearer, and can call down on one a punishment from God, 'The Bolsheviks will return and take you away.' Did you say that?"
A - "I said it."
Q - "On December 21,1943, in Kelmė, did you deliver an anti-Soviet
A - "I did. I won't conceal the fact that I'm a priest, so I have been, I am, and I will be the enemy of the atheistic Bolsheviks."
8. April 6. Interrogation began 9:00 P.M. Ended April 7,2:00 A.M.
We talked about his acquaintance with the diocesan administrator
Juodaitis, about assignments and about the fact that after Father Juodaitis' departure in 1948, Administrator Stankevičius assigned as pastor of the Jesuit church in Šiauliai, Father Šovis, the pastor of the church in Radviliškis; why the appointment in Kaunas was made in consultation with Father Gruodis, is he a Jesuit, etc.
9. April 11. Interrogation began 11:00 A.M. Ended 3:00 P.M.
The question was raised why Father Šeškevičius left in July, 1948, for the Diocese of Kaišaidorys; in August 1948, Father Masilionis to Raseiniai and why Father Šovis was appointed. Father Andriuška said that Administrator Stankevičius made the appointments and that Father Šovis had probably been without an assignment.
10. April 11. Interrogation began 8:00 P.M. Ended April 12,3:00 A.M.
Q - "Why did you wish to go to Soviet Russia in 1918-1919?"
A - "In 1917, in Canterbury, England, I received a letter from Father General Ledochowski. He suggested I go to Petersburg and with the Polish Jesuits, carry out Catholic work.
"From the Procurator of the Jesuits, I received 100 Pounds, Sterling. In London, I applied to the Swedish and Norwegian Consuls. They promised me a transit visa if I presented my visa to Petersburg. At the end of 1917,1 looked for the Soviet Russian representative in London. He had been arrested, and I spoke only with his wife, Litvinova, who did not advise me to go to Petersburg. I asked the British police chief for a visa, but he did not give me any.
"Wrangel came. I asked him by letter for his assistance. In a letter written in his own hand, he informed me that when it was possible, he would help me. In his opinion, there would be no religious oppression in Russia. Everyone would enjoy complete religious freedom."
Q - "Why did you apply to the defeated White Guard, Wrangel?"
A - "I was interested in the anti-Bolshevik general's opinion of the situation in Russia, so I went to him. He did not expect a defeat of the counterrevolution and he had no strong opinion about the proletarian revolution which had occurred."
Q - "In your diary, there is a plan for an apostolate in Russia. It was discussed at the Vatican and given approval. What is the purpose of this plan? Why did you write it?"
A - "In 1921, in the City of Engen, Belgium, I discussed that question with the Professor of Theology, Dr. D'Herbigny. He was also interested in the Russian apostolate, and was preparing to go to Rome, so I presented him with my plan. Later, I found that the plan had been considered by Father General Ledochowski. The purpose of the project was to strengthen the Catholic religion in those countries bordering on Russia, within the depths of Russia, and to seek a union of the Orthodox and Catholic Churches."
Q - "Were there no anti-Soviet purposes?"
A - "My purpose-plan was to struggle against atheistic Bolshevism. It was not concerned with the political or economic system of Russia."
Q - "Is it possible to separate or distinguish a struggle against atheistic Bolshevism from a struggle against the Soviet government?"
A - "Since the Bolsheviks, in their war against religion, use physical and other government force — administrative measures — it is difficult to separate the Communist system of government from atheism. Hence the conclusion: the struggle against atheistic Bolshevism is a struggle against the atheist government, but I consider Communism the aggressor in this struggle."
11. April 12. Questioning began 1:00 P.M.
Q - "When did you become acquainted with Aleksandras Markevičius?"
A - "In 1937, in Kaunas. He was ill and I helped him materially. Josef Ritmeister, Rector of the Jesuit Order, looked out for him. Later, Markevičius studied in Holland."
Q - "Why did he wish to cross the border in 1941?"
A - "He was not yet a priest and he wanted to complete theological studies. I know that he did not succeed in crossing the border and went to prison."
Q - "Who ordained him, and when?"
A - "Archbishop Skvireckas, in 1943."
Q - "Why did he deliver anti-Soviet sermons?"
A - "There was no anti-Soviet meaning to his sermons. I had forbidden him, and he obeyed. Under my direction, he taught religion to youngsters and high school students in Šiauliai."
12. April 13. Questioning began 1:00 P.M. Ended 5:00 P.M.
Q - "Why did you write the anti-Soviet article entitled 'Some Traits of the Pope'?"
A - "Rector Petrauskas of the Kaunas Theological Seminary suggested I read the lecture to the seminarians February 13,1938, on the occasion of the Pope's coronation. The lecture was published in the magazine Draugija, in the 'Catholicism and Life' section."
Q - "You vilified and insulted one of the most honorable of Soviet leaders, the leader of the Communist Party."
A - "I did not mean to vilify or insult. I spoke the truth. After all, Lenin was widely written up in the foreign press. Of course, my personal opinion coincided with the ideas of the press."
13. April 14. Questioning began 1:00 P.M. Ended April 15 at 1:00 A.M.
Q - "What did you do in England from 1913 to 1919?"
A - "In Hastings, Canterbury and London, I studied Theology, financed by the Polish Jesuit Province."
Q - "When and how did you work with English espionage?"
A - "Never in any way did I work with any intelligence agency. I was known only to Lithuanian representatives Chainskas and Bizauskas. In June of 1919,1 left for Lithuania."
Q - "In your diary, there's a point at which on the train en route to Lithuania, you met Lithuanian volunteers going to fight the Bolsheviks, and you blessed them?"
A - "Yes, I said, 'May God help defend our homeland from Bolshevism.'"
14. April 15. Questioning began 9:00 P.M. Ended April 16,2:00 A.M.
Q - "Are you acquainted with a Grazhinov, living in the City of Radviliškis
A - "In letters, he asked to be accepted into the Jesuit Order. In March, 1940, he participated in a retreat for high schoolers. In 1945 or 1946, he went to see Father Danyla in Pagryžuvis. However, in our opinion, he did not have a healthy outlook and we refused to accept him."
Q - "How did you organize religious instruction for children in
A - "We met at the home of Dean Telksnys. Father Šeškevičius separated the children into groups, assigned to Fathers Lileika, Marcinkus and Kuzmickus. Elementary school children were taught by Sister Valentina Kėzytė. In February 1948, the Šiauliai City Executive Committee banned the teaching of religion in church. Hence, we used to conduct only monthly conferences. We had no permission for them. We said, 'Be good Catholics!'
"The Kaunas GPU tried to recruit Dean Telksnys. He refused to cooperate. After that, he received a suspicious letter from the chancery: The signature of Chancellor Mileškas was not authentic. He sent his own man to verify. It appears that the chancery staff did not write it. He decided that they were getting ready to arrest him, so he hid, that is, he left Šiauliai. Where he did not say."
Q - "Why did you leave Šiauliai?"
A - "They blamed me for the monthly conferences, even though the curia allowed them to be continued, so I left."
15. April 16. Questioning began 12:00 noon and ended 5:00 P.M. Q - "What sort of memoirs did you write for 1942-1943? Where are
A - "I wrote about events in Lithuania in 1940-1943.1 wrote about the coming of the Red Army and our fear lest they slaughter or arrest us. I wrote about the illegal establishment of the government, the suppression of the high school and the magazines Žvaigždė and Misija, and the nationalization of the residence, the repatriation of the Germans, the beginning of the war with the Germans and the cruelty of the Bolsheviks."
Q - "Were they anti-Soviet?"
A - "Yes, since I wrote negatively."
Q-"Why did you write?"
A - "My purpose was to give my impressions of historical events as they were reflected in the life of the Jesuits. I filled about eight or ten notebook pages. I had three copies, one of which I sent out through a religious whose name I do not remember, to Kaunas, and two of them I destroyed in 1944 or the beginning of 1945."
Q - "What else did you publish during the German occupation?" A - "In April, 1944,1 finished publishing my diary up till 1930."
Q - "Who read it?"
A - "In 1943, in Pagryžuvis, it was read by Markevičius. It appears that the rector, Father Danyla, read the first part.
16. April 18. Questioning began 9:00 P.M. and ended at midnight.
Q - "During the search, eight anti-Soviet books were found:
1.Valuckas' Collective Tyranny
2.Koma's Tlie Jews Behind One of the Leaders of the Soviet State
3.Zhigoriech's Tlie Red Terror of the GPU
4.Vaičiūnas' In the Grasp of the Chekists,
5.- 8. Tlie Archives of Lithuania During the Bolshevik Era " A - "The books are not mine, I don't know whose they are. Perhaps Maskvitis left them. I didn't give them to anyone."
17. April 19. Questioning began 12 noon and ended 3:00 P.M.
Q - "Tell us about your piece, 'The New Order'?"
A - "I wrote it in 1916, in England. It is directed against Lithuanian Socialists living in Scotland. Its purpose was to stop anti-religious propaganda conducted by the socialists and to weaken their influence on the masses. The contents were more or less as follows: the Socialists wanted to create their own state, but were unsuccessful. The economy collapsed entirely, the Socialist forms of government are bad, the leaders of the Socialist state are unconscientious, of low morality, because they have rejected religion. The new order did not suit the people, and they fled. The story takes place in the Lithuanian communities of the Town of Belshire. Everywhere I tried to show the ill effects of anti-religious propaganda on the life of the Socialists; everywhere I tried to strengthen the faith of the Lithuanians living in England."
Q - "In your diary is an incident in which you told an English soldier 'I am not a Bolshevik, I am their enemy, just as you are'. Is that how it was?"
A - "That was at the beginning of 1919. To this day, I am an enemy of atheistic Bolshevism."
Q - "Why did you go to Rome in 1938 - March, I think it was?"
A - "I attended a meeting of the Jesuit Provincials."
Q - "Do the Jesuits now have ties with the Vatican?"
A - "They do not."
The investigation ended April 19,1949. The indictment was drawn up April 20,1949, in Vilnius:
Andriuška, Benediktas, Son of Jonas, is accused of being one of the most important figures in the Catholic clergy; of establishing the reactionary Jesuit Order in Lithuania; of heading it; authoring many anti-Soviet books; of carrying on for many years active and deliberate agitation against the Communist Party and the Soviet government. He did a lot of work zealously creating various Catholic membership organizations. In so doing, he drew the Lithuanian people away from the revolutionary struggle.
He wrote and published a 577-page diary of the years 1903-1930. He wrote anti-Soviet and libellous memoirs about the activities of Soviet organs, 1940-1941, reproduced them and disseminated them among priests and Jesuits. In 1925, he wrote a pamphlet entitled, "The Jesuits, Who Are They and What Do They Want?," in which Lithuanian and Russian officials struggling against the reactionary policy of the Jesuits were slandered.
In 1938, the magazine Catholicism and Life published a talk he gave to seminarians in Kaunas on the anniversary of the Pope's coronation, in which he slandered the Communist Party leader.
From 1944 till July 1948, he educated youth in church in a religious and nationalistic spirit; regularly preached anti-Soviet sermons in church; gave religion lessons and monthly religious conferences which used to draw youth away from Communist education and he kept anti-Soviet literature.
The Lithuanian S.S.R. Ministry of State Security recommends for Andruška, Benediktas, Son of Jonas, ten years in prison and has decided to send the case for special discussion by the U.S.S.R. Ministry of Internal Security.
He is accused under Par. 58, Art. 2d of the Criminal Code of the Russian Soviet Federated Socialist Republic.
On May 25,1949, a special consultation of the U.S.S.R. Ministry of Internal Security decided that for anti-Soviet agitation and the dissemination of anti-Soviet leaflets, Benediktas Andriuška is to be confined to prison for ten years, beginning February 21,1949 (Dossier number 72693).
In the dossier are more decisions of various kinds which were made in Vilnius. Among the more interesting are:
1.Andriuška is suffering from cataracts, hence, unsuitable for physical labor.
2.The dossier is being sent for special discussion, hence, its entire contents is a secret.
3.Andriugka is an important figure in the Catholic clergy, the creator of the Jesuit Order in Lithuania, and its leader; from 1916 to his arrest, he conducted active agitation against the Communist Party and Soviet government, wrote Catholic books, established organizations, disseminated anti-Soviet documents and trained youth in a religious-nationalisti spirit; hence, he is especially dangerous and must be confined in a special prison.
Criminal Case No. 15678 Material Evidence Captain Golitsyn, Sub-section Chief of Division 1 of the Special Section of the L.S.S.R. Internal Security Ministry, has decided, and Lieutenant Colonol Chelnokov, Chief of Division 1 of the Special Section, has confirmed this decision:
1.The chief operatives in the search of July 16, 1948: Major Kulichevskiy, Lieutenant Balashov, Lieutenant Petrakin, Lieutenant Suvorova, with Assistant Pastor P. Masilionis and Sacristan J. Minalga as official witnesses, found a Royal typewriter, 3 kg. of coins, some white metal, one Russian bullet shell, a list of families removed from Šiauliai, three copies of nationalist pamphlets (nine pages), eight books, a diary (seven fascicles, 1903-1930, 577 pages, published 1941-1944) in which there are anti-Soviet notes, and which was to be used for writing a history of the Jesuits in Lithuania - "this material evidence is to be destroyed except for excerpts from the diary.
2.To Dossier 15678, add the excerpts from the 1938 magazine, Catholicism and Life, and excerpts from the pamphlet, "The Jesuits, Who They Are and What They Want". The anti-Soviet brochure and a stenographic record of the talk given in 1938 to the seminarians is in Dossier No. 6421. (Whose dossier this is, and why it contains Father Andriuška's booklet and a stenographic copy of his talk, no information is contained in Criminal Case No. 15678.)
Excerpts were translated into Russian by Translator Junior Lieutenant Linova, of the Special Section.
For three hundred years in Lithuania, and especially in the Lowlands, the reputation of the miracle-worker, Barbora Umestauskaitė, has been growing. She lived in the 17th Century, in the modest town of Žagarė. The believing public speaks widely about miracles performed through the intercession of Bar-bora Umestauskaitė. More than four hundred of them have been recorded.
These are not judicial documents with medical signatures, but simply sincere narratives brimming with the gratitude of those who have experienced supernatural assistance, attested to by their signatures. (The record book of the church of Old Žagarė with many reports of miracles disappeared during the Second World War. Miraculous cures acknowledged by the people are being passed on by word of mouth.)
Two kilometers away from Old Žagarė stood the strong castle of Rak-tuvė. Margis, the military leader of Kęstutis, Grand Duke of Lithuania, defending the northern borders of Lithuania from the Livonian Order, commissioned one of his soldiers, Kasčiuška, to erect a defensive stronghold. Margis himself took up residence at Pilėnai. The Castle of Raktuvė was more than once the witness of bloody wars between the Lithuanians and the Livonians.
The King of Poland and of Lithuania, Jogaila, gave the Castle of Raktuvė to its builder, and later it was inherited by the boyar, Umestauskas. Upon becoming owner of the castle, Boyar Umestauskas began building the Town of Žagarė on the left bank of the Svetė Stream, not far from the castle. The Umestauskas Clan was, from of old, a renowned family of nobles whose members carried out various duties of state until the end of the 16th Century.
In 1628, Barbora was born into the Umestauskas family, its only child. Nothing is known about her mother, who died early, leaving her daughter to a stepmother. We can only believe that she was a Lithuanian woman descendent of local boyars, because according to tradition, Barbora is considered to have descended from local people.
Umestauskas' second wife was very cruel. We can imagine how much little Barbora suffered at the hands of her tyrannical mother. It appears that Barbora's real mother was very religious, and in her daughter's early childhood, she managed to graft onto her daughter's soul a shoot of her own devoutness.
According to the oral tradition of the old residents of Žagarė, which were handed on to them by their parents and grandparents, Barbora went frequently to church, not infrequently covering up to half a kilometer going there on her knees. Once there, she used to pray before the tabernacle, in total ab-sorbtion, losing all track of time.
Without a doubt, such a life-style on the part of her step-daughter annoyed the pride of the boyar's wife. She hated Barbora and in various ways, made life difficult for the patient, silent girl.
Being sensitive of heart, Barbora loved the poor and the sick, and often interceded for the exploited serfs and came to their help. It is thought that at the Umestauskas estate, there was no attention given to charity and Barbora had to hide her good-heartedness from the eyes of her father and especially from her step-mother.
Having barely reached maturity, young Barbora tried to escape the bustle of the loose-living estate, seeking peace and the nearness of God. She entered the Benedictine Convent in Riga. This move on her part caused a great furor on the Umestauskas estate. Barbora was a sole heiress and the father would more easily have agreed to let her wed, even some moderately powerful boyar, rather than see his daughter religious garb.
The fact that Barbora was in a convent in Riga is attested to by a certification found in the convent archives. However, this attempt to escape the restrictions of the world was not successful for Barbora. The boyar's young daughter was forced with aching heart to return to her family. It is surmised that there could have been two reasons for this: her weak health and the constant opposition of her parents to her chosen state in life.
The Umestauskas Family was not noted for its spirit of Christian virtue. It is not clear even to which group of nobility they belonr- d, the Catholic or the Protestant.
We will never know what plans or goals young Barbora had upon her return to the world. There is no doubt that being wealthy and, as tradition has it, very beautiful, she had many opportunities to achieve much in the world. She undoubtedly had secret and known admirers who dreamt of establishing ties to the well-known family. How many trials and difficulties she had to bear remains a mystery.
The life of Umestauskaitė was not a long one. A bright, pure flash, and all was extinguished. In 1648, at the age of twenty, Umestauskaitė defending her honor against the predations of an immoral father, leaped from the second story and died. In the eyes of the world, an unexpected tragedy; in the eyes of faith, a heroism crowned with the glory of martyrdom.
In the old documents, we find evidence that Barbora's remains were interred in the crypt of the Butleras estate, in the Village of Žvaigaič a kilometer and a half from the Town of Žagare. People from of old have called one cellar in the ruins of the palace "Barbora's Cellar". Later, she was interred in the public cemetery and for about one hundred years, rested in the earth.
With the reputation of her virtues and miracles spreading, the people began demanding greater honor for Barbora's remains. In the 18th Century, the faithful went to the Church leadership with the request to transfer the casket of Barbora Umestauskaitė (popularly known as Žagarietė) to the church. Solemnly, her casket was transferred to the crypt of the Old Church of Žagarė.
The cult and the lines of devotees at Barbora's tomb grew even more when news spread that Barbora's body, after having lain one hundred years in the earth, remained uncorrupted.
When did devotion to Barbora begin among the people? Her devout life and her martyr's death were held in high esteem immediately after her death. Otherwise, she would have been quickly forgotten as the victim of a tragic event and among the people, the legend of Barbora's cellar would never have survived. So the people honored Barbora Umestauskaitė from of old, without even inquiring whether the Church had recognized her as a saint.
In the Old Church of Žagarė, the people venerated a picture of "Saint Barbora, the Martyr" as "their Barbora's" picture. People were especially surprised by the fact that Barbora's remains did not decay. Local devout women would, from time to time, change her whits dress when it lost its freshness. Such was the condition of Barbora Umestauskaitė's body until the incursion of the Swedes into Lithuania.
During the war with the Swedes, the church of Žagarė burned down. The caskets in the crypt were extracted, piled in the churchyard and burned. Among them was Barbora's casket. After the fire, when the army had withdrawn, local inhabitants, setting the site of the pyre and the ruins in order, found Barbora's body in the ashes. It was only slightly blackened from the flames, but not consumed.
With great veneration, the remains of Barbora Umestauskaitė-Žagariet were suitabley adorned and placed in the restored crypt of the church. The remains of Barbora Umestauskaitė were not only a relic, but an archeological and historical rarity, so they were honored by the spiritual leadership and tolerated by the government of the times.
From 1876 on, Czarist Russia began suppressing veneration of Bar-bora. Vice Governor Rishkov of Kaunas sent a special letter to the Bishop-Ad-ministrato of the Diocese of Samogitia, Aleksandras Beresnevičius, asking him to forbid the faithful from visiting the grave of Barbora Umestauskaitė, or to leave votive offerings which were later handed over to the pastor.
The Vice Governor stated that the disinterment of the dead and the spreading of information about their failure to corrupt could be considered as banned by law.
In 1889, orders were given to inter Barbora's remains. Pressured by the government, the bishop sent the Dean of Šiauliai, Father Tomkevičius, to Žagarė. The doors from the church to the crypt were walled up and the window was barred. But Barauskis still would not calm down.
Once more, he wrote complaints to his government to the effect that the crypt remained not completely walled up and that people were still praying before the window. The government then ordered Father Tomkevičius to seal the crypt. Thus, the crypt was left completely dark, and without ventilation. Barbora's remains were sealed in the crypt for five years.
A dampness appeared in the church itself. There was a danger that the main altar might collapse. Finally, the window of the crypt fell out, possibly in answer to the prayers of the parish and the pastor.
The people, accustomed to seeing "their Barbora", and praying at her tomb, could not rest. In 1897, it was noticed that in the church floor, under the high altar and around it, cracks were appearing and the bricks of the crypt vault, without air protecting them from dampness, became saturated and began scaling.
Since the high altar stood on the vaults, a new danger arose of the vaults and the church floor collapsing. To avoid the calamity, the pastor appealed in writing to the bishop requesting him to obtain permission from the government to install a ventilator in the crypt wall and to reinforce the vaults of the crypt.
Permission for the repairs was obtained in this way. The crypt was opened on that occasion and accessible to people. Barbora's casket was visited without interruption by devotees and steadily grew in reputation for miraculous events.
In 1937, a chilling event in Žagarė shocked the Lithuanian public. On the night of February 20, unkown culprits who crawled through a window into the crypt of the Old Church of Žagarė, desecrated Barbora's remains. Taking them from the casket, they tore them to pieces and scattered them about the town.
The next morning, when the deed was discovered, Barbora Umestauskaitė's remains were gathered up and replaced in a casket. The people's anger and pain was great...
In 1963, the Old Church of Žagarė was closed and turned into a warehouse. The government also tried to abolish veneration of Barbora. One night, a woman who happened to be going by the church noticed some men walking around the church. Before the basement window burned a light. Gathering up her courage, the woman approached one of the men keeping watch and began asking that if the law forbade venerating her in this crypt, Barbora's remains be interred in the cemetery.
The guard replied, "It's too late."
The next morning, Barbora Umestauskaitė's casket was not in the crypt. Thus, Samogitia lost Barbora Umestauskaitė's remains. For some time, various rumors about their fate proliferated. It was said that Barbora's body had been turned over for experiments, etc.
It was the people's conviction that Barbora Umestauskaitė, by her life and death - defending her chasity - merited veneration accorded to the saints, even though she was never registered in the Roman Martyrology. On account of Czarist oppression and the spread of Protestantism, the veneration of saints in Lithuania experienced many obstacles. Barbora Umestauskaitė was accorded the honors of sainthood by the faithful of Lithuania. Her devout life and heroic death were reasons enough to venerate her as a saint. This was never forbidden by the bishops of Lithuania. On the contrary, they agreed with the people's opinion and defended Barbora's remains from the arbitrariness of Czarist governors when the latter, out of nationalist sectarian motives, tried with brutal force to root from the people's consciousness her memory. With good grounds, it is thought that in those days, veneration of Barbora helped to preserve Lithuanian language and culture among the people, and prevented Protestantism from spreading.
The time has come to remind people of this historic personality whom our disturbed and materialistic era is attempting to root completely from people's memory. Even in Žagarė, the younger generation often calls her Bar-bora Radvilaitė, confusing her name with another historic personage, the wife of King Žygimantas Augustas.
Documents are disappearing, memories are fading, the guardians of old legends are dying...
We do not have the remains of Barbora Umestauskaitė-Žagarietė. The nation did not preserve her casket. May her memory be saved from oblivion.