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Baltic States investigation. [First interim report] (Volume pt. 1) online

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BALTIC STATES INVESTIGATION



HEARINGS

BBFOKB THS

SELECT COMMITTEE TO INVESTIGATE THE

INCOBPOKATION OF THE BALTIC STATES

INTO THE U.S.S.E.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

EIGHTY-THIKD CONGRESS

FIRST SESSION

UNDBR AUTHOBITT OF

H. Res. 346



PART 1



NOVEMBER 30, DEC5EMBEB 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, AND 11. 1968



Printed for the use of the Select Committee To Investigate the
Incorporation of the Baltic States Into the U. S. S. R.




BALTIC STATES INVESTIGATION



HEARINGS

BEFORE THE

SELECT COMMITTEE TO INVESTIGATE THE

INCOEPOEATION OF THE BALTIC STATES

INTO THE U.S.S.R.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

EIGHTY-THIRD CONGRESS

FIRST SESSION
UNDER AUTHORITY OF

H. Res. 346



PART 1



NOVEMBER 30, DECEMBER 1, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, AND 11, 1953



Printed for the use of the Select Committee To Investigate the
Incorporation of the Baltic States Into the U. S. S. R.




UNITED STATES
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
52975 WASHINGTON : 1954



C-<0^„.,;2-<x£^ yiA-L^*^ cfi 'J-^JttL



f






SELECT COMMITTEE TO INVESTIGATE THE INCORPORATION OP THE

BALTIC STATES INTO THE U. S. S. R.

CHARLES J. KERSTEN, Wisconsin, Chairman

FRED B. BUSBBY, Illinois RAY J. MADDEN, Indiana

ALVIN M. BENTLEY, Michigan THADDEUS M. MACHROWICZ, Michigan

EDWARD J. BONIN, Pennsylvania THOMAS J. DODD, Connecticut

James J. McTigue, Committee Counsel



CONTENTS



Page

House Resolution 231 473

House Resolution 346 4

Testimony of —

Alexandra, Sister Maria, from teaf-lier of kindergarten in Lithuania- 45 1

Anonymous Estonian witness, through interpreter, Malle Nortman 296

Anonymous Latvian witness 300

Anonymous priest, formerly a Catholic priest in Lithuania 243

Anonymous witness 317

Anonymous witness 448

Armalis, Adolfas. of Detroit, Mich 30r>

Banionis, Antanas, of Detroit, Mich 257

Beck, Perry A., admiralty lawyer, New York City 207

Berzins, Alfreds, Latvian Minister of Public Affairs, 1934-40 57,68

Berzins, Peteris, director of Institute for Rendering Scholarly Expert

Opinions to Courts- 112

Bildusas, Jonas, employee of Lithuanian agricultural cooperatives in

Taurage 437

Brazaitis, Juozas, former Minister of Education and Acting Foreign

Minister of Lithuania 403

Brazeika, Jonas, of Detroit, Mich., through interpreter, Constantine

II. JurgeJa 327

Brizgys, Bishop Vincentas, former bishop of Roman Catholic Church,

Kaunas, born in Lithuania 230

Cernius, Gen. Jonas, former Prime Minister of Lithuania 279

Cleopha, Sister Maria 458

Daukantas, Bladas, former teacher who served on election board in

Lithuania 461

Devenis, Dr. Mykolas, native of Lithuania, now an American citizen,

was imprisoned for 2 years in Russia 149

Dicmanas, Antanas, born in Lithiumia, formerly a Lithuania business-
man 210

Dinbergs. Dr. Anatol. char.t;e d'affaires, Latvian Legation 13

Dulles, Hon. John Foster, Secretary of State 2

Galiuska, Mrs. Hedwig C. M., secretary, Polish-American Congress 89

(iraut.skalns, Atis. 1935-40, judge in Latvian court of .iustice 100

Hoover, Hon. Herbert, former President of the United States, 1929-33- 215

Jekste, Alberts, former head of Riga Films 65

Kaiv, Hon. Johannes, acting consul general in charge of Legation

of Estonia 24

Kajeckas, Hun. Juozas, counselor of the Lithuanian Legation 6

Kiviranna, Rev. Rudolf, former pastor of St. John's Evangelical Lu-
theran Church. Tallin, horn in Estonia 222

Klesment, Johannes, member. Committee for Estonia 47

Kullitis. Dean Jekobs, former pastor of St. Ann's Lutheran Church.

in Jelgava, born in Latvia 246

Kutt, Aleksander, member, Committee for a Free Estonia 171

Leetaru, Dr. Edmund, native of Estonia, now a physician in New York 146

Lielnors, Harry W., staff. Voice of America 53

Ludig, Voldemar G., United States member of the Board of the Es-
tonian National Committee, New York 122

Merkelis, Alexandras, former director. Museum of Red Terror 407

Miliauskas, Juozas, of Windsor. Ontario. Canada 369

Morar, M. Sgt. George, United States Air Force 122

Musteikis, Brig. Gen. Kazys, Defense Minister in Merkys Cabinet,

through Constantine R. Jurgela, interpreter 37

III



IV CONTENTS

Testimony of — Continued l*»se

Nenorta, Pranas, former police official in village of Kaunas 464

Padalis, Pranas, of Detroit, Mich 332

Petraitis, Canon Antanas, one of small handful who survived the Cer-
vene Forest massacre 409

Rastikis, Gen. Stasys, former commander in chief, Lithuanian Army_ 374

Snieckus, Juozas, brother of Antanas Snieckus, secretary, Commu-
nist Party of Lithuania 431

Stukelis, Msgr. Edward, former counselor of Roman Catholic arch-
diocese at Riga, Latvia 251

Tarvainiene, Mrs. Kazimiera, of Detroit, Mich., through interpreter,

Constantine R. Jurgela 364

Trimakas, Dr. Antanas, chairman, department of economics, Seton
Hall University 185

Tumas, Col. Juozas, of Lithuanian Army, also survivor of Cervene For-
est massacre 428

Vitins, Verners, of Grand Rapids, Mich 353

Vizbulis, Mrs. Zenta, native of Latvia 82

Watson, Thomas J., chairman of the board, International Business Ma-
chines Corp 165

Zadeikis, Hon. Povilas, Envoy Extraordinary and Ministry Plenipoten-
tiary of Lithuania 5

Zakarauskas, Father Vaclovas, assistant at cathedral at Kaunas when

Soviets occupied Lithuania 466

Zalcmanis, Janis, former shipowner and business man, born in Latvia- 203
Further material furnished for the record :

Brizgys, Bishop Vincentas :

Baranauskas, B., Deputy Commissar of the Interior of the L. S.

S. R., re All Saints Day 236

Bills, chairman of executive committee, L. S. S. R., re priests, min-
isters, rabbis, etc., April 25, 1941 234

Guzevicius, L. S. S. R., Peoples Commissar of the Interior, re

Catholics' December 25 and 26 Christmas holidays 235

Guzevicius, L. S. S. R., Peoples Commissar of the Interior, re

Catholic celebration of Birth of Christ 286

Eisenhower, Hon. Dwight D., President of the United States, letter.

May 27, 1953, to Hon Charles J. Kersten, re H. R. 231 5

Kersten, Hon. Charles J., letter, December 2, 1953, to Andrei Vishinsky,

re attending hearings 99

Last will and testament, written on an aluminum plate, June 23, 1941,

by 13 political prisoners in cell No. 10 368

Lithuanian Bulletin, extracts, vol. VII, July-December 1949, Nos. 7-12,

submitted by Pranas Padalis 341

Manner of separating deportee from his family, page 5, read by James

J. McTigue 408

Moscow weekly article, "Wasted IMoney," August 12, 1953, published in
Russian, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish, Czech, and
Swedish, submitted by James J. McTigue 37

Rastikis, Gen. Stasys, former commander in chief of Lithuanian Army,

letter, March 27, 1948, from 15-year-old daughter 391

Varen, Job., Prime Minister, in capacity of the President of the Re-
public, law restricting the exploitation of ships, July 27, 1940 182

Vishinsky, Andrei, portion of his translated speech given in United

Nations, December 4, 1952 55

EXHIBITS
1. House Resolution 231 473

By Witness Povilas Zadeikis:

2 A. Peace treaty, Lithuania-U. S. S. R., July 20, 1920 473

2B. Treaty of nonaggression, Lithuania-U. S. S. R., September 28,

1926 481

2C. Protocol renewing treaty of nonaggression, May 6, 1931 485

2D. Convention for definition of aggression and annexation, Julv 5,

1933 1 - - 486

2E. Treatv on transfer of city of Vilno and Vilno Province, October 10,

1939 488



CONTENTS V

By Witness Anatol Dinbergs: Paee

3A. Treaty of peace, Latvia-XJ. S. S. R., August 11, 1920 490

3B. Treaty of nonaggression, Latvia-U. S. S. R., February 5, 1932-.. 499
3C. Protocol modifying the economic agreement, with final protocol,
concluded on December 4, 1933, between Latvia and the

U. S. S. R. Signed at Moscow, June 21, 1937 501

3D. Economic agreement, Latvia-U. S. S. R., December 4, 1933 505

3E. Mutual assistance pact, Latvia-U. S. S. R., October 5, 1939 506

3F. Convention for definition of aggression, Latvia-U. S. S. R.,

July 3, 1933. 508

By Witness Johannes Kaiv:

4 A. Treatv of peace, Fstonia-U. S. S. R., Februarv 2, 1920 510

4B. Treaty of commerce, Estonia-U. S. S. R., May 17, 1929 519

[email protected] Treaty of nonaggression, Estonia-U. S. S. R., May 4, 1932 528

4D. Conciliation convention, June 16, 1932 530

4E. Protocol renewing treaty of nonaggression, April 4, 1934 531

4F. Mutual assistance pact, September 28, 1939 532

4G. Molotov speeches on October 31, 1939, and March 29, 1940 534

4H. Reply of Estonian Foreign Minister to Kaiv denying annexation

of Estonia by Soviet Union 535

4L Information regarding occupation of Estonian Islands 536

By Witness Brig. Ger. Kazys Musteikis:

5A. Lithuanian daily newspaper (will be found in files of committee)
5B. Translation of ultimatum news item as published by Government

of Lithuania 537

5C. Translation of ultimatum news item as published by Moscow

news agency Tass_ 538

5D. Telegram from Minister for Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, Urbsys

from Moscow 540

By Witness Alberts Jekste:

6A-6Z, 6AA-6CC, and 6ZZ — Photographs from movies taken in Riga,

Latvia 541-558

By Witness Atis Grantskalns:

7A. Photograph taken in Riga Central Prison yard 558

7B. Photograph of former director of Latvian schools 559

7C. Photostat of list of people executed, Latvia 560

7D. Photograph of one of victims at Baltezers 565

7E. Photograph of murdered schoolboy, Latvia 566, 567

7F. Photograph taken at Baltezers, showing body of former Latvian

policeman 568

7G. Photograph of bodies exhumed from pit at Dreilini. Here body
of General Coppers, president of Latvian Boy Scout organiza-
tion was found 568

7H. Two photographs, one taken at Riga, the other at Baltezers. _ 569, 570

71. Photographs of Ozolins 571

7J. Photographs of torture instrument and execution chamber 572, 573

By Witness Perry A Beck:

8. Deposition of Owen J. C. Norem, formerly United States Minister

to Lithuania 574

By Witness Hon. Herbert Hoover:

9. Article on the Baltic States 577

By Witness Bishop Vincentas Brizgys:

IDA. The situation of the church and religious practices in occupied

Lithuania 583

lOB. Four martj-red bishops 618

IOC. Fifteen "liquidated" priests in Lithuania 634

By Witness Edward Stiikelis:

11 A and IIB. Photographs and descriptive material concerning mar-
tyred priests in Latvia 650-653

By Witness Jonas Cernius:

12. Map showing locations of Soviet military garrisons in Lithuania

and Latvia Facing p. 654

By Witness Verners Vitins:

13. Photostat of card showing name of person scheduled for arrest by

NKVD 654

By Witness Kazimiera Tarvainiene:

14A through 14L. Photos of scenes in Rainiai Forest, Lithuania 655-666



VI CONTENTS

By Witness Stasys Rastikis: Page

15A. Photostat of a map Facing p. 666

15B. A Russian written document containing original NKVD arrest

warrant 667

16. A Russian-written document received from former NKVD

office in Lithuania 672

By Witness Juozas Snieckus:

17A. (Original language may be found in committee files.)

17B. Plan for liquidation of leading personnel of various political

parties in Lithuania, in Lithuanian and English 676

By Witness Jonas Bildusas:

18A. A translation of document in prison file (committee file)

18B. Witness' prison file in Russian and Lithuanian (committee file)

18C. Photograph of former high school used as prison by Communists, 677

18D. List of property owned by witness (committee file)

18E. List of criminal evidence (committee file)

18F. A prison picture of witness 678



PREFACE

This first interim report consists of all the testimony given in public
hearings at Washington, New York, Detroit, and Chicago before the
House Baltic Committee. The witnesses provide a graphic picture
of Communist methods before and after the forced incorporation of
the Baltic States into the Soviet Union. From the outset it becomes
clear tliat the Soviet Union is a cunning aggressor unscrupulous in
its methods. The final report of the committee will endeavor to
analyze those methods and trace their pattern not only in the incor-
poration of the Baltic States but in other Communist-controlled ter-
ritories as well.

The witnesses presented in this volume illustrate many of the
various phases of the Soviet incorporation in its historical, legal, and
purely human aspects.

First, the Honorable John Foster Dulles, the Secretary of State,
stressed once more the unswerving opposition of the United States
Government to the "incorporation." On that occasion he enunciated
an important principle of American foreign policy, which is not to
be based on practical, pragmatic considerations, but must rest on
recognition of moral values. He said :

Some may say that it is oinrealistic and impractical not to recognize tlie en-
forced "incorporation" of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania into the Soviet Union.
We believe, however, that a despotism of the Soviet type cannot indefinitely
peri^etrate its rule over hundreds of million of people who love God, who love
country, and who have a sense of personal dignity.

He added :

Let me also assure of this : We do not look upon the conference table as a
place whei'e we surrender our principles, but rather, as a place for making our
principles prevail.

The significance of this was to achieve full flower only a few months
later, at the meeting between the Secretary of State and Soviet
Foreign Minister Molotov at Berlin.

Now, after the Berlin Conference is over, w^e know that the moral
position which Mr. Dulles enunciated at the first public hearing of
this comm'ittee, and as the first witness, was fully maintained without
compromise at Berlin. And we have seen how, at Berlin, the Secre-
tary of State was able to use the example of Communist "elections"
in the Baltic States, the fraudulent manipulations of which were so
convincingly exposed by the Baltic Committee, as an efficient argu-
ment against Molotov's proposal of free "elections" in "united"
Germany.

He was followed on the witness stand by the diplomatic representa-
tives of these three countries (Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia), still
fully accredited to the United States Government, and other former
government officials gave an exhaustive resume of the events which
led to tlie incorporation, beginning with the negotiations of the so-

VII



VIII PREFACE

called Mutual Assistance Pacts, signed under duress by the Baltic
governments, and ending with the fraudulent Communist "elections"
in the Baltic States and the request by the "puppet Parliaments" for
their incorporation into the U. S. S. R.

Another distinguished witness testifying about the conditions in the
Baltic States prior to their forced incorporation was the former
President of the United States, Herbert Hoover. His testimony, con-
trasted with the picture given by witnesses who lived in the Baltic
States after the "incorporation," conveyed vividly the immense dif-
ference between their previous existence as independent sovereign
states and their present unnatural existence as Soviet Republics.
Similar testimony as to the high standard of living and general
prosperity of those countries prior to their incorporation was ottered
by Mr. Thomas J. Watson, chairman of the board, International
Business Machines, who visited the Baltic States in 1938 in his
capacity as president of the International Chamber of Commerce.

The committee then proceeded to gather evidence from Baltic
nationals who testified as to the effect of the Communist control on
political and social institutions and life in general in that area.

Witnesses who came to the committee offering their testimony were
of every walk of life. Alfred Berzins, only living member of the last
free Latvian Government, denied that his county had ever voluntarily
sought admission to the Soviet Union. He described Andrei Y.
Vishinsky, chief of the U. S. S. R. delegation to the United Nations,
who, the evidence clearly shows, had presided over the liquidation of
Latvia, as a "liar" and the "gi'eatest murderer of the Latvian nation."
The committee's invitation to Mr. Vishinsky to appear before it and
reply to these charges went unanswered. Other witnesses were
ordinary people, farmers, priests, workers, schoolboys, teachers, house-
wives, some of whom testified in masks and from behind screens, lest
their stories of brutal beatings, torture, mass killings, and inhuman
mass deportations in which families were torn asunder and sent their
separate ways into the vast reaches of Siberia, bring severe reprisals
against relatives still behind the Iron Curtain.

Pictures which were smuggled out of Latvia by Alberts Jekste,
who once headed Riga Film Corp., were introduced into the evidence
of the hearings and graphically tell the story of how these gallant little
Republics were strangled and forcibly incorporated into the U. S. S. R.

It becomes clear from the testimony that one of the first aims of the
Communist-controlled regime was to undermine and gradually de-
stroy religion. Clergymen of various faiths corroborated each other
in describing before the committee the methods employed against their
faiths, ranging from the use of open terror to the systematic and de-
termined efforts to turn the younger generations in an antireligious
direction.

It is very instructive to read the order issued secretly by the Com-
munist government in Lithuania prohibiting the teaching of religion
in schools, and requiring all clergymen to sign an individual pledge
to refrain from such teaching. Tlie Catholic bishop of Lithuania,
Bishop Brizgys, submitted the original as well as an English trans-
lation of that order to the committee. He also submitted documents
revealing the Communist Party attempts to prevent celebration of
religious holidays, especially Christmas. A Latvian Protestant



PREFACE DC

clergyman, the Dean Kullitis, corroborated fully Bishop Brizgys'
story and added some very significant observations of his own. He
pointed out how the Communists are interpreting the doctrine of
separation of church and state, which system was from the very
beginning part of Latvian constitutional structure. He said:

Uuder tbe Communists this separation was applied in a different way. In a
Soviet-controlled country the state fights the church and aims at the destroying
of the latter.

He gave several examples of the detail with which the plan of
church destruction was prepared and executed. In all printed matters
the word "God" had to be spelled with small letters. Teaching on
scripture and Christian ethics were replaced by antireligious propa-
ganda. Sunday, the Sabbath, was replaced with "nonworking"' day,
and all Christian holidays were abolished. "Voluntary" work and
Communist meetings on Sundays in factories and schools, combined
with endless lectures on Marxist ideology, were of course designed to
make participation in religious services impossible. The Christmas
story was explained as superstition in the Commnnist-controlled
newspapers, which at that time carried an increased number of anti-
religious articles. The Lutheran pastor, Rev, Kiviranna, from pre-
dominantly Protestant Estonia, told an identical story about the
Communist attitude toward religion in his homeland.

The schools were also high on the list of institutions to be re-
modeled after the typical Communist pattern. The youth of a nation
is obviously the most pliable and in that sense "hopeful" material,
which can be remolded according to the Communist blueprints.

In addition to the testimony from all the clergymen as to the ex-
clusion of teaching of religion from schools, the testimony of teachers
and students showed exhaustive evidence as to the efforts of the Com-
munist regime to influence pupils in a direct way through changes in
curriculum, replaciiig of patriotic teachers, etc. Extensive courses on
Marxism-Leninism-Stalinism were introduced, pictures of Lenin and
Stalin were ordered hung up in classrooms, crucifixes and other re-
ligious objects were removed. Mr. Banionis, who was an 18-year-old
student in 1939, described the elaborate system of spying and thought
control the Communists introduced into schools in Lithuania. In
each school they set up a network of informers recruited mostly
through duress from among the students, who were required to report
on anti-Communist attitudes of their fellow students and teachers,
and also on relatives and friends. This technique w^as used on chil-
dren as young as 12 and 14 years of age.

Throughout the Communist Empire itself, every schoolchild knows
the story of Pavlik Morosov, a member of the Pioneers, a Communist
youth organization. He became a Communist hero by denouncing
his father before a Soviet court. He testified that his father hid
grain contrary to the rules established by the Communist Party and
the Government. This denunciation for a "crime" of "hiding" grain,
which in reality was the father's property, was glorified throughout
the Soviet Union, and a statue was erected in the boy's honor in Mos-
cow. Similar methods of corrupting youth are being employed in an
area inhabited by 800 million people under Communist control.

Adults can be strongly influenced through the media of communi-
cation (press, radio, theater, etc.). The committee heard witnesses



X PREFACE

describing the first 10 steps the Communists took after tlie seizure
of power in the Baltic States. Amontr these were the immediate
occupation of radio stations in all three Baltic nations, which
from that very moment began to broadcast Communist propaganda
under the direct supervision of trained officials. All newspapers were
also taken over and used from that time on exclusively for Communist
propaganda. The fields of entertainment and culture were also fully
utilized and programs in theaters and movie houses were selected by
Communists for that purpose.

All these methods, of course, are applied i]i combination with the
scientific use of terror, as it is obvious from all testimony and also
from exhibits of captured NKVD documents (political police orders,
warrants, etc.) submitted by witnesses.

An interesting comparative perspective on Conununist methods was
obtained by the committee when it called as a witness a sergeant of the
United States Air Force who had been subjected to "brain washing"
as a prisoner of war in North Korea. He was accompanied on the
stand by a witness, formerly a resident of Estonia, who gave testimony
of Conununist "brain washing'- methods in 1940. The parallel thus
afforded provided a significant identity between Conununist tech-
niques a decade, in time, and half a world, in distance, apart.

The economic aspect of the Communist doctrine caused tremendous
repercussions in all three Baltic nations. Gradual socialization of
industry and business through "nationalization" decrees, reaching
down to small enterprises with hired manpower, lead to complete
impoverishment. The farmers, after a short period of relative calm,
soon experienced the growing pressure of the Communist state au-
thorities in the form of heavy taxation and a steady campaign of
intimidation and "persuasion" aimed to "induce" them to join the
"cooperatives." The significant of these economic changes was
Advidly demonstrated in testimony before the committee.

An observer is struck by the uniformity of the measures which the
puppet governments took to implement their plans for socialization.
These plans were obviously prepared by the authorities of the U. S.
S. R. and enforced in all three Baltic nations, with the help of local
Communists and fellow travelers, who were put in control of the
puppet governments.

Two main trends can be distinguished in this process : the national-
ization of all life and the consequent lowering of living standards. A
businessman from Estonia, Mr. Kutt, described the impact of national-
ization measures on the population. He first lost his job as executive
vice chairman of a large agricultural association after a slander
campaign against him in the Communist-controlled newspapers.
Other businesses in which he had an intei'est were nationalized. So
was his home. He then found it necessary to sell his personal belong-
ings in order to live. He was fortunate finall}^ to get out of Estonia



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