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

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via the underground.

The lowering of living standards was achieved, according to his
testimony, by manipulating the ]-)reviously stable Estonian currency,
the crown, and by raising the price level of industrial goods as much
as 10 to 15 times. Prices of foodstuffs went up 3 to 4 times. At the
same time wages were increased only 21/0 to 3 times. As a consequence
the wages of the workinginan lost about 3;") 2")ercent of their purchas-



PREFACE XI

mg power. All bank savings were frozen and savings account owners
wei-e allowed to draw a maximum of $30 a month. This measure had
the additional effect of forcing elderly retired people to seek employ-
ment, since they could not exist on their pensions or savings. The
results of this artificially created "inflation" was the lowering of the
living standard by about tw^o-thirds. This same method was used in
Latvia and Lithuania with similar consequences.

The nationalization (i. e., confiscation of property without reim-
bursement of any kind) began with the banks, mines, transport enter-
prises and large-scale industry. In the end even tools in small shops
(cobblers' tools, sewing machines, barbers' instruments) were nation-
alized and assigned to a collective group. The former owner was re-
quired to become a member of this group in order to exist.

Dr. Trimakas of Lithuania fully corroborated Mr. Kutt's testimony
about the impact of nationalization on the economic life of the coun-
try, including the collectivization of agriculture. He estimated that at
the present time 97 percent of all farmsteads in Lithuania have been
collectivised. This, according to Dr. Trimakas, has resulted in a
drastic decline of agricultural production and in food shortages
throughout the country.

Dr. Trimakas also pointed out how the Communist regime was
changing the social and economic structure of the controlled territories.
The building of heavy industry, he said, which is taking place through-
out the areas of the Baltic nations serve the armament purposes of the
U. S. S. R, at the expense of agriculture and the consumer-goods
industry.

This is being done with complete disregard for the needs and well-
being of the population. The working class, theoretically the ruling
group in a country under a "dictatorship of the proletariat", is strictly
regimented and any breach of the discipline imposed by the Communist
Party is severely punished.

It is obvious from all the testimony before the committee that the
Baltic nations underwent drastic and tragic changes as a consequence
of their forced incorporation into the U. S. S. R. Witnesses, without
exception, described one element of life under Communist rule as
being ever present. This element is the Red terror, the unlimited use
of violence by the Communist regimes everywhere. The real purpose
behind this Red terror is illustrated in the following excerpt from the
testimony :

Mr. Keesten (Wisconsin). In order to create tliis new Soviet man that yoii
spoke about, they have got to get all of these older elements out of the way ; is
that it?

Dr. Trimakas. Yes ; to destroy the old generation.

Mr. Kersten. That is what was done in Lithuania and you have a conviction
that that is being done for the United States (i. e., preparation of list of people
slated for liquidation).

Dr. Trimakas. There is no doulit about it. They have to destroy, according
to Marx, the whole element that is against their conception, their ideology, and
to educate a new one along their own lines.

This quote is, in a condensed form, a description of what is going on
in nations under Communist rule. Behind it is the stark reality of the
horrible sufferings by untold millions of victims of the Communist
experiment.



Xn PREFACE

The pattern of Communist aggression in the Baltic States, so well
demonstrated in testimony before the committee, has been extended
to other once free and sovereign nations of the world. The value of
expanding the committee's investigation to include these areas is best
cited in the following memorandum from the Department of State to
Chairman Charles J. Kersten :

Febkuaby 8, 1954.
Memorandum for Hon. Charles J. Kersten, House of Representatives

The following are the Department's vie%A's regarding the work of the House
Baltic Committee and your proposal to broaden the scope of the committee's in-
quiry, as set forth in the draft resolution enclosed with your letter of January
17, 1954, to Secretary Dulles :

1. The Department considers, that the work of the House committee has been
wisely planned and effectively conducted. It is apparent that the hearings held
to date have made a valuable contribution to United States objectives in dissem-
inating impressive evidence of Soviet disrespect for the rights and sovereignty
of small nations.

2. The Department believes that it will be beneficial to broaden the scope of
the committee's work to provide for inquiry into similar cases where communism
has extended its domination over free peoples. Careful, well-documented inves-
tigation of such cases would be valuable ( a ) to assure the captive peoples behind
the Iron Curtain that they are not forgotten and that the United States does
not endorse their captivity; and (6) to educate public opinion in the free world
regarding Communist techniques in seizing power and the terrible realities of
life under Communist rule.

/s/ Walter B. Smith.



BALTIC STATES INVESTIGIATION



MONDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 1953

House of Representatives,

Baltic Committee,

Washington^ D, C.

The committee met, pursuant to call, at 10 : 30 a. m., in room 346,
House Office Building, Hon. Charles J. Kersten (chairman of the
committee) presiding.

Present : Messrs. Kersten, Busbey, Bentley, Bonin, Madden, Macli-
rowicz, and Dodd.

Also present : James J. McTigue, committee counsel.

Mr. Kersten. The hearing will come to order.

The purpose of this hearing is to conduct a full and complete investi-
gation and study of seizure and forceful "incorporation" of Lithuania,
Latvia, and Estonia by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and
the treatment of the said Baltic peoples during and following said
seizure and incorporation. These small and defenseless nations were
among the first to have imposed upon them the same system and way of
life as those experienced in Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and
Rumania, and in certain other vast areas.

What happened in the Baltics is a kind of a blueprint or pattern
as to what happened elsewhere.

The facts concerning the almost forgotten tragedy of how the 6
million Baltic peoples lost their freedom has a very current signifi-
cance, because the same forces that overcame their freedom have
engulfed the freedom of additional millions and presently threaten
the freedom of many more.

We Americans are concerned with the freedom of individuals and
with the basic freedom of nations because slavery anywhere under
modern conditions affects the freedom of all.

This committee is fortunate in having among its members Congress-
men Fred E. Busbey, Alvin M. Bentley, Edward J. Bonin, Ray J.
Madden, Thaddeus M. Machrowicz, and Thomas J. Dodd, all of whom
have had experience in dealing with communism and Soviet tactics
before.

I believe that this committee, united as it is, is truly bipartisan in
its motives.

I wish to make mention of the method by which the committee will
operate. We have divided our work into two phases: On the one
hand, a careful and thorough and exhaustive study is now being
made by a competent staff to document the evidence, agreements, pacts,
and history of the Baltic nations since they proclaimed their inde-
pendence from Russia in 1918. This study is going forward and will
constitute a major part of the record. We hope that it will be suffi-



2 BALTIC STATES INVESTIGATION

ciently detailed to be used, if the Congress decides, to present the
cause of the Baltic nations before the United Nations or elsewhere.

These hearings which we are now opening constitute the second
phase of our investigation — a phase in which eye witnesses will attest
to the authenticity of the documents, pacts, and agreements and the
grave events affecting these enslaved peoples.

I might add that the committee is not concerned with any of the
territorial questions which may exist among the Baltic nations and
other captive nations, nor will the inquiry in any way seek to alfect
the territorial status quo in eastern Europe as recognized by the United
States prior to the outbreak of World War II on September 1, 1030.

We are very fortunate to have with us this morning the Honorable
Secretary of State, Mr. John Foster Dulles.

We realize, Mr. Dulles, the grave events with which you are con-
cerned, and we are very happy to have you with us this morning. We
will not detain you with any questions, because of the urgency of your
schedule. We shall ask j^ou, however, for such statement as you wish
to make concerning this inquiry.

STATEMENT OE HON. JOHN FOSTEE DULLES. SECRETAEY OF STATE

Mr. Dulles. Thank you, Chairman Kersten.

I am very happy to have this opportunity to talk to you and the
members of your committee about the Baltic Republics of Estonia,
Latvia, and Lithuania.

If I mav, I will divide my talk into three parts, one dealing with the
past, another dealing with the present, and a third dealing with the
future. Each of these three phases is full of meaning for us all.

First is the past. The Baltic peoples proclaimed their independ-
ence of Russia in 1018, and in 1020 Soviet Russia made peace treaties
with them. By these treaties Soviet Russia recognized, without reser-
vation, the independence and sovereignty of the three Baltic States.
It declared in these treaties that it voluntarily and forever renounced
all sovereign rights over the Baltic peoples and the territories of the
Baltic States. United States recognition was extended on July 28,
1922. We extended that recognition in accordance with our tradi-
tional concepts in these matters. Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania had
shown by 4 years of existence as independent states that their inde-
pendence actually had a solid reality. The three states had success-
fully maintained internal stability, both political and economic. They
had conducted themselves internationally in accordance with good
practice. Therefore, they became entitled to our recognition. In-
deed, their independence fulfilled the kind of hope for all peoples
which our Nation has entertained since its own beginning.

For two decades these Baltic Republics showed the good fruits of
freedom. Their creative accomplishments were impressive. Although
their natural resources were meager, the peoples were skilled in agri-
culture and by their hard work they achieved n good measure of eco-
nomic well-being. National arts and crafts flourished. They estab-
lished a liigli standard of social justice and won woi'ldwide respect
as exemplary members of the familv of nations. Their spiritual and
their moral strength, their love of liberty, their energy and their self-
discipline showed that they ])ossessod those (jualitios wliich, more tlnm
nuM'e nunibei-s, ai'ea, or wealtli, make for national woi-th.



BALTIC STATES INVESTIGATION 3

The Baltic Republics diirinc; this period gave the whole world an
ever-needed demonstration of the creative power of self-disciplined
freedom.

I turn now to the present.

The present dark period began in 1939. It AA-as begun by the osten-
sibly friendly embrace of the Soviet Union, which pressed so-called
pacts of mutual a.ssistance upon these three Baltic countries.

The Soviet Minister of Foreign Affairs carefully explained to the
world the innocent and protective nature of these pacts. In a major
address which he made on October 31, 1939, 1 quote his words as being
of interest:

The Soviet Union has concluded pacts of mutual assistance with Estonia,
Latvia, and Lithuania which are of major political importance. * * * The spe-
cial character of these mutual-assistance pacts in no way implies any interference
on the part of the Soviet Union in the affairs of Estonia, Latvia, or Lithuania,
as some foreign newspapers are trying to make out. On the contrary, all these
pacts of mutual assistance strictly stipulate the inviolability of the sovereignty
cf the signatory states and the principle of noninterference in each other's
affairs.* * * We declare that all the nonsensical talk about the Sovietization of
the Baltic countries is only to the interest of our common enemies and of all anti-
Soviet provocateurs.

So spoke the Soviet Foreign jMinister ou October 31, 1939. Scarcely
had these passionate and authoritative words been uttered when the
"Sovietization-' which he explained got underway. The concluding
acts occurred about 8 months later when the Soviet Union marched its
Red armies into the Baltic territory, set up puppet governments, and
caused them to apply for admission into the Soviet Union, an admis-
sion that was graciously granted. Thus, the "nonsensical talk" of the
''foreign newspapers" became a bleak reality.

The free nations of the world were shocked by this aggression. The
United States promptly made its position known. On .Tuly 23, 1940,
our Government described and denounced the "devious processes
whereunder the political independence and territorial integrity of the
tliree small Baltic republics — Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania — were
to be deliberatelj'' annihilated by one of their more powerful
neiglibors."

Unhappily, the devious processes which were exhibited in this case,
have been going on until today more than 15 once-independent nations^
]-epresenting much of the human race, have been "Sovietized."

Today, the Soviet leaders still ask the free peoples to accept and
to rely upon Soviet nmtual-security pacts. We should know by now
tliat when the Soviet rulers use the word "security," what they mean
is an opportunity for the Soviet Union to secure new victims.

What of the future ? First of all, let us never lose hope that there
is a future.

I recall — I was looking in my Bible yesterday — some of the earliest
history recorded in the books of the Old Testament. The nations there
mentioned are such as Israel, Arabia, Egypt, and Lebanon. How-
many times have these nations of many thousands of years ago been
submerged, to rise again ?

The Baltic peoples, in the face of every imposition, retain their
will to be free and maintain their steadfast opposition to Soviet
despotism. Terrorism has been prolonged, now, for 13 years. Many
of their courageous and noble representatives have been executed,
deported, or driven into exile. But their martyrdom keeps patriotism
alive.



4 BALTIC STATES INVESTIGATION

The United States, for its part, maintains the diplomatic recognition
which it extended in 1922 to the three Baltic nations. We continue to
deal with their diplomatic and consular representatives ayIio served
the last independent governments of these states.

Some may say that it is unrealistic and impractical not to recognize
the enforced incorporation of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania into the
Soviet Union. We believe, however, that a despotism of the Soviet
type cannot indefinitely perpetuate its rule over hundreds of millions
of people who love God, who love country, and who have a sense of
personal dignity.

The Soviet system which seeks to expunge the distinctive character-
istics of nation, creed, and individuality must itself change or be
doomed ultimately to collapse. The time of collapse depends largely
on whether the peoples who remain free produce spiritual, intellectual,
and material richness, and whether we have a faith which can pene-
trate any Iron Curtain ; and we must be sure that the captive peoples
know that they are not forgotten, that we are not reconciled to their
fate, and, above all, that we are not prepared to seek illusory safety
for ourselves by a bargain with their masters which would confirm
their captivity.

These, jSIr. Chairman, I can say to you, are our purposes. We have
not forgotten the Atlantic Charter and its proclamation of "the right
of all peoples to choose the form of government under which they will
live." We still share the wish expressed in that charter, "to see
sovereign rights and self-government restored to those who have for-
cibly been deprived of them."

This is an hour when it is particularly important that our Nation's
dedication to these principles should be made manifest. We approach
a possible meeting with the representatives of the Soviet Union. I
can assure you that we welcome opportunities to settle specific disputes
between us to end, if possible, the race in armament, particularly
atomic armament, and to reduce the risks of war.

Let me also assure this : We do not look upon the conference table
as a place where we surrender our principles, but rather as a place
for making our principles prevail. That is our resolve — a resolve
which I am confident is backed by the Congress and by the people of
the United States.

I thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Kersten. Mr. Secretary, on behalf of the members of the com-
mittee, we are grateful to you for your appearance here this morning.
We are thankful to you for this statement of a manifesto of faith in
human freedom — in these peoples and all peoples.

Secretary Dulles. Thank you very much, sir.

May I be excused?

Mr. Kersten. Yes; you may be excused, Mr. Secretary.

At tliis point we would like to introduce into the record a copy of
the text of House Resolution 346.

(The resolution referred to is as follows:)

[H. Res. 346, 83d Cong., 1st sess., Rcpt. No. 003]
RESOLUTION

Whereas the Government of the United States of American maintains diplo-
matic relations with the Governments of the Baltic nations of Lithuania, Latvia,,
and Estonia and consistently has refused to recognize their seizure and forced



BALTIC STATES INVESTIGATION 5

"incorporation" into the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics : Now, therefore,
be it

Resolved, That there is hereby created a select committee to be composed of
seven Members of the House of Representatives to be appointed by the Speaker,
one of whom he shall designate as chairman. Any vacancy occurring in the
membership of the committee shall be tilled in the same manner in which the
original appointment was made.

The committee is authorized and directed to conduct a full and complee in-
vestigation and study of said seizure and forced "incorporation" of Lithuania,
Latvia, and Estonia by the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the treat-
ment of the said Baltic peoples during and following said seizure and "incor-
poration".

The committee shall report to the House (or to the Clerk of the House if the
House is not in session) as soon as practicable during the present Congress the
results of its investigation and study, together with such recommendations as it
deems advisable.

For the purpose of carrying out this resolution the committee, or any sub-
committee thereof authorized by the committee to hold hearings, is authorized
to sit and act during the present Congress at such times and places within the
United States, whether the House is in session, has recessed, or has adjourned,
to hold such hearings, and to require, by subpena or otherwise, the attendance
and testimony of such witnesses and the production of such books, records, cor-
respondence, memoranda, papers, and documents, as it deems necessary. Sub-
penas may be issued under the signature of the chairman of the committee or
any member of the committee designated by him, and may be served by any
person designated by such chairman or member.

Mr. Keksten. I would like also at this point to read into the record
a letter dated May 27, 1953, the Wliite House, Washington, addressed
as follows: "Dear Congressman." It is addressed to me.

Thank you for your kindness in making available to me the copies of House
Resolution 231 enclosed with your letter of May 15.

I recall the March 26 visit of the Lithuanian American Council and our dis-
cussion of a possible congressional investigation along the lines envisaged in
your resolution. I believe that a useful purpose might be served by bringing
before the American people a factual record of what actually took place in the
"incorporation" of the Baltic States, which has never been recognized by this
Government. Should the House estalDlish a select committee to inquire into the
matter, I will follow the work of that committee with close interest.

With kind regard.
Sincerely,

DWIGHT D. ElSENHOWEB.

House Eesolution 231 was amended and is presently in the form of
that which has been introduced into the record.

(The document referred to was marked as "Exhibit No. 1." See
p. 473.)

Mr. Kersten. Is Mr. Zadeikis, the Lithuanian Minister, here?

STATEMENT OF HON. POVILAS ZADEIKIS, ENVOY EXTEAORDINARY
AND MINISTER PLENIPOTENTIARY OF LITHUANIA

Mr. Kersten. Mr. Zadeikis, will you identify yourself by giving
us your full name and your position ?

Mr. Zadeikis. I am Povilas Zadeikis, Minister of Lithuania to the
United States.

Mr. Kersten. Do you have a prepared statement, Mr. Zadeikis ?

Mr. Zadeikis. Yes, I have a statement, and I would like to read it.

Mr. Kersten. Would you read it for us ?

Mr. Zadeikis. Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, I am
deeply grateful for the opportunity accorded me to present my views
concerning the occupation and enslavement of my comitry to this dis-

52075—54— pt. 1 2



6 BALTIC STATES INVESTIGATION

tinguislied committee. In the name of tlie Lithuanian people, I thank
the President of the United States, His Excellency Dwight D. Eisen-
hower, for his benevolent attitude toward Lithuania, and the Secre-
tary of State, the Honorable John Foster Dulles, for his moral sup-
port. I wish to express heartfelt gratitude to the United States
Congress for the unanimous vote which brought this committee into
being, and to the chairman of this committee, the Honorable Charles J.
Kersten.

May I substitute someone else to read my statement, Mr. Chairman?

Mr. Kersten. Yes; I think that would be perfectly satisfactory,
Mr, Zadeikis. Before you turn the balance of your statement over to
the gentleman on your right, will you state for us how long you have
been the Lithuanian Minister here in Washington?

Mr. Zadeikis. I have been here since 1935.

Mr. Kersten. How long have you been in the diplomatic service of
Lithuania ?

Mr. Zadeikis. In the consular service since 1923, and in the diplo-
matic service since 1935.

Mr. I^rsten. Will you tell us your age, Mr. Zadeikis?

Mr. Zadeikis. I am 66.

STATEMENT OF HON. JUOZAS KAJECKAS, COUNSELOR OE THE
LITHUANIAN LEGATION

Mr. Kersten. Now, will you kindly identify yourself?

Mr. Kajeckas. Juozas Kajeckas, counselor of the Lithuanian
Legation.

Mr. Kersten. You are currently at the Lithuanian Legation, of
which Mr. Zadeikis is the Minister?

Mr. Kajeckas. That is right, Mr. Chairman.

]\Ir. Iversten. How long have you been attached to that Legation?

Mr. Kajeckas. I have been attached to the Lithuanian Legation in
Washington since the autumn of 1940.

Mr. Kersten. Where is the location of j'our Legation here in
Washington ?

Mr. Kajeckas. 2622 16th Street NW.

Mr. Kersten. It has been continuously there for the past several
years ?

Mr. Kajeckas. That is right.

Mr. Kersten. For how many years?

Mr. Kajeckas. Since my arrival, at least.

Mr. Kersten. And prior to that?

Mr. Kajeckas. Yes; actually since 1923.

Mr. Kersten. And up to the present time?

Mr. Kajeckas. That is right.

Mr. Kersten. The flag of the once independent country of Lithu-
ania still flies over that Legation?

Mr. Kajeckas. Yes; and it has been flying since the United States
recognition of Lithuania in 1922.

Mr. Kersten. Will you continue with the statement of Mr. Zadeikis?

Mr, Kajeckas (reading) :

Lithuania became a unified state 700 years ago, when Mindausas, one of Lithu-
ania's medieval princes, embraced Christianity and was crowned as the first
King. Two hundred years later the pealv of Lithuania's power was reached when



BALTIC STATES INVESTIGATION 7

her borders extended from the Baltic to the Blatk Sea. The westward advance
of the Tartars was checked by the Lithuanians in the region of the Black Sea.
The Teutonic Knights were defeated at Tannenherg in 1410 by the united Lithu-
anian-Polish forces led by tlie Lithuanian Grand Duke, Vytautas the Great, thus
stemming for about 500 years the "Drang nach Osten."

In 1569, at Lublin, as a means of self-protection against the pressure and grow-
ing might of the Russians and the Teutons, Lithuania entered into a union with



Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. House. Select committee oBaltic States investigation. [First interim report] (Volume pt. 1) → online text (page 2 of 75)