In this issue: IN THE SOVIET SCHOOL (1940-1970)
PERSECUTION OF ETHNOGRAPHERS PETITIONS
"WE WILL NOT"
CHRONICLE OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN LITHUANIA No. 11
Translation of Authentic First-Hand Reports from Soviet-Occupied Lithuania
IN THE SOVIET SCHOOL (1940-1970)
When Lithuania was occupied in 1940, the Soviet government's first priority was given to the schools, in an effort to make them atheistic.
Immediately, prayers before and after lessons were banned, and crucifixes were removed from the rooms. In one intermediate school of Panevėžys, the principal gave orders that without letting the pupils know, crucifixes should be collected from classrooms and destroyed. The pupils, however, blocked the custodian's path.
"We will not allow the crucifix to be profaned!" the pupils shouted.
"I'm only carrying out the principal's orders," the custodian explained. The pupils seized the basket in which he was collecting the crucifixes and divided them up to take home.
At the vocational school in Panevėžys the teacher ordered the girls to take down the crucifixes, but not one pupil obeyed.
"Well, you certainly are cowards!" fumed the teacher. "Suvei-zyte, you're a member of the Communist Youth League. Show everyone a good example. Take down the crucifixes in all rooms."
CASE NO. 345
The morning of July 4, 1974, security forces searched the apartment of J. Gražis, of Kaunas, who had been arrested. After lunch, the search was repeated. The following day, the search was carried out for the third time.
Even though nine months have passed since the wholesale searches and mass arrests, nevertheless, the State Security Committee, it seems, is not ready to complete its investigation, since the Chronicle continues to be published.
Various individuals whose places have been searched are being called in for interrogation. Those being interrogated are presented face-to-face wtih those arrested.
Conditions of those under arrest are unknown.
The Catholics of Lithuania regret that the free world is reacting so little to the arbitrariness of the security police—innocent people are suffering in prison!
ARCHDIOCESE OF KAUNAS
After the trial of Šarūnas Žukauskas and his companions, Security decided to take care of the remaining active ethnographers and other individuals.
Aspirant Jucevičius, who had worked on the chemistry faculty, was expelled from the Polytechnic Institute, Student Albinas Jonkus was expelled from the school of constructional technology, Albinas Jonkus, from the Institute of Medicine, Fifth-Class student Levi j a Mozerytė, and Assistant Remigijus Morkūnas, from the Dept. of Surgical Stomotology.
Sixth-class student Nijolė Muraškaitė of the Medical Institute was given a demerit for "conduct" incompatible with the ethics of a Soviet physician.
During the proceedings in the rector's office, she was accused of being a believer and going to church. Similar demerits were meted out to Sixth-Class students Virginijus Skabuiskas and Kazimieras Preikšą.
Brought to trial at their places of employment were: (Miss) Jūratė Eitniravičiūtė, of the Pramprojektas, Eligijus Morkūnas (Museum of Folk Life), (Mrs.) Margarita Sakalauskienė (Executive Secretary of the Kaunas Society of Ethnography), (Miss) Audronė Peseckaitė (Čiurlionis Museum of Art), Vilius Semaška (radio factory), Lukas Mackevičius (Endocrine Preparations Production), Regimantas Kurklietis (Same).
March 15, 1974, workers at the Šiauliai Workshop for the Blind were herded to an atheistic lecture given by Prof. I. Zaksas, of the Kaunas Institute of Medicine.
The speaker said that false information is being disseminated abroad about alleged suppression of the religious press in Lithuania, about the punishment of innocent priests, etc. The professor mentioned that there are no candidates for the seminary at Kaunas, and that there are no restrictions on the part of the Soviet government. If it happens that one priest serves several parishes, this is simply because, due to the small number of believers, several priests are unnecessary.
After the lecture, the listeners posed a number of questions.
"I heard from the speaker today, that the atheists are the friends of the believers. I am a believer and I have taught my children to believe. The atheists of Šiauliai have guaranteed several times during their meetings, that my children shall not have accsess to higher education. Where is the friendship in that?," asked the laborer Šileikis.
The lecturer guaranteed that if Šileikis' children came through the examinations no worse than the others, they would surely be admitted. He knew nothing of the actions of the atheists in Šiauliai.