On May 8, 1973, K. Tumėnas, the new commissioner of the Council for Religious Affairs, summoned the acting bishops and ecclesiastical administrators to a introductory meeting. He was very courteous, promising his aid in all matters, promising to grant permission for the publication of a catechism and the manufacture of devotional goods.

    Afterward, showing those present a copy of the Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania, no. 5, he expressed his sorrow that this publication "slandering" Soviet reality was aimed for overseas consumption, that some priests have been involved in this, and that someone would have to suffer for it. Another great "evil" found in the Lithuanian Catholic Church, according to him, was the solicitation of signatures for various petitions.

    Commissioner Tumėnas expressed similar thoughts to the priests of the Šiauliai and Joniškis deaneries who had gathered for their first postwar conference.


    A group of students from the V. Kapsukas University in Vilnius who had organized a tour through Dzūkija decided to visit the monument to Vytautas, Grand Duke of Lithuania, in Perloja (Varėna Rayon). After purchasing some flowers, nine of them went there on May 13.

    Arriving in Perloja, they placed the flowers at the monument to Vytautas but did not sing any songs or make any speeches. They had been followed there by a security agent, who telephoned for more security agents and the police. As the students were going home, they were detained and returned to Perloja, where interrogations were begun. The net result: the three most-active students— Eugenijus Banys, Remigijus Rajeckas, and Pranas Grigas— who had already been under suspicion, were expelled from the University.

    First of all they were ousted from the Young Communist League for disobedience, and Kajeckas, additionally, for his fickle opinions (a prayer book was found when he was searched).

    All three students were expelled from the university for "gross disobedience." Sudavičius, the rector's assistant for educational affairs, and the administrators censured the students for having placed flowers at the monument to Vytautas, without there being any special occasion or reason. According to the university administration, this had constituted a covert commemoration of the anniversary of Romas Kalanta's self-immolation.

    Seeking justice and support, the disciplined students even turned to the Central Committee of the Lithuanian Communist party. This was the committee's retort:

    "It was sufficient that you placed flowers at the monument to Vytautas—a feudal lord and usurper! This is not compatible with the principles and patriotism of either a League member or of a Soviet man."

    This is how the past of our nation is valued by the Soviets!