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

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Poland. In this commomvealth both states retained their separate Governments^
arms, treasury, and law courts. At the end of the ISth century the commonwealth
was divided, and the greater part of Lithuania fell into Russian liands. Lith-
uania's subjection to Russia lasted from 1795 until her occupation by the Germans
in 1915. Never during that period did she reconcile herself to the loss of her
independence.

There were 5 uprisings against Czarist Russia : In 1794, 1812, 1S31, 1863-1864.
and in 1904-liX)5. Tlie first revolt was led by a valiant tighter for freedom, well
known to Americans, General Kosciusko, who claimed to be of Lithuanian origin.
For the revolt of 1868-64, in particular, the Russian Czars punished the Lith-
uanians more severely than they did any other Russian-subjugated people. Rus-
siflcation was intensified, and Catholicism was persecuted. A striking example
is tlie massacre of Ki-aziai. Lithuanian schools were closed, and the press banned
for a period of 40 years. The possession of even a prayer book in the Lithuanian
language was punishable by lifelong exile to Siberia.

Despite this oppression, at the first opportunity Lithuania proclaimed her inde-
pendence in lier historic capital, A^ilnius, on February 16, 1918, during the German
occupation. One of the factors which led to tliis step was the encouragement
offered by President Wilson's principle of self-determination. Nevertheless, she
had to defend her independence against overwhelming odds on three battlefronts.
Lithuania is proud of her people's achievements. In independent Lithiiania
primary education was compulsory and illiteracy was practically eliminated.
Outstanding progress was made in culture, in the press, and in social welfare.
The budget was balanced, the currency was stabilized; communications were
extended and improved : foreign trade was expanded. An agrarian reform, based
on remuneration to the former owners, was inaugurated. In this way more tlian
45,000 new farms were created. The number of agricultural cooperative societies
and dairies increased and the number of livestock rose enormously. Indebtedness
was comparatively insignificant ; unemployment was pi'actically nonexistent. The
standard of living was appreciably raised and the nation was well on the way to
prcsperity.

The Honorable Sumner Welles, Acting Secretary of State, noted in his famous
statement of July 23, 1940 : "* * * the people of the United States have watched
their (the Baltic States) admirable progress in self-government with deep and
sympathetic interest." And the last British Minister to Lithuania, tlie Hfmorable
'Thomas Preston, writes : "During my long years of residence at Kaunas I was
to witness an extraordinary transformation in the economic and cultural develop-
ment of the country."

Lithuania took an active part in international relations. She was a loyal
member of the League of Nations. She made various and numerous agreements
with foreign countries, including Russia. No country was better protected against
aggression l)y solemn international pledges of the Soviet Union than was Lithu-
ania. Let us look briefly at that record.

By the peace treaty of July 12, 1920, Soviet Russia recognized Lithuania as
a sovereign and independent state.

"* * * Russia recognizes without any reserve the sovereignty and independ-
ence of the State of Lithuania with all juridical consequences resulting from
such recouiiition. and voluntarily and forever renounces all sovereign right
possessed by Russia over the Lithuanian people and territory" (article 1).

By the nonaggression pact of September 28, 1926, once again Soviet Russia
reaffirmed the validity of the pface treaty and pledged "to respect in all cir-
cumstances each other's sovereignty and territorial integrity and inviolability." '

By the Convention for the Definition of Aggression of July 5. 1933, which
strengthened the nonaggression pact, the signatories, including Lithuania and
the Soviet Union, agreed to recognize as aggressor in a conflict that state which
is the first to commit one of the following acts : declaration of war : invasion by its
aiTued forces. "No consideration of political, military, economic or any otlier
nature may serve as an excuse or justification for aggression."

The Soviet Union and Lithuania, as signatories of the Kellogg-Briand Pact —
Pact of Paris — had repudiated war as their national jwlic.v.



8 BALTIC STATES INVESTIGATION

Lithuania strove to maintain good relations with all states, especially with
neighboring states, including the Soviet Union. Nevertheless, in 1939 when the
Soviet Union began a reorientation of its policy, relations between Lithuania and
the Soviet Union became strained. In a speech delivered at the 18th Congress of
the Communist Party, Stalin stated that under the existing political circum-
stances the time was ripe "for reappraisal of existing international pledges and
agreements." (Sovietskoie Gosudarstov 1 Pravo, No. 2, 1939, p. 6.) That same
year a map appeared, published by the Russian general staff, showing Lithuanian
territory as a component part of the territory of the Soviet Union. In addition
to its military siiJiiiticance, this map shows that the attack on Lithuania by the
Soviet Union was premediated.

Mr. Kersten. Would you pardon an interruption. To get the
dates straight, as I understand it the map of Soviet Lithuania was
prepared before the actual incorporation.

Mr. Kajeckas. Yes, even before the actual occupation of Lithuania.
[Continuing.]

In view of the developing international conflict, Moscow anticipated the idea
of eventual victory of the Communist revolution by means of a Second World
War. Naturally with such prospects in mind, the Soviet Union was not interested
in maintaining the status quo in the Baltic ; quite to the contrary, it was interested
in conducting matters so that such a conflict should take place in order that it
would be possible to carry out Stalin's oath given at the grave of Lenin : "We
swear to you. Comrade Lenin, that we will not spare our lives in the strengthen-
ing and the extension of the union of the toilers of the earth, the Communist
International." (History of the Communist Party in the U. S. S. R., 1928.)

To further these ends, Moscow opened the gates for aggression in Europe
by the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, signed on August 23, 1939. According ta
Molotov, the actual initiator of the pact "had been Stalin who — through his
speech of March of this year (1939) which had been well understood in
Germany- — had brought about the reversal in political relations." (Nazi-Soviet
Relations, 1939-41, p. 76.) By this pact the Soviet Union received eastern
Poland, Latvia, and Estonia, while Lithuania was assigned to Germany, and
only later, on September 28, 1949, through an additional protocol, did Lithuania
fall to the Soviet Union.

At this point it is necessary to note that neither in its negotiations with
England and France on the forming of a mutual-assistance agreement nor in
its parallel negotiations with Germany did the Soviet Union consider Lithuanian
territory in its sphere of vital interests.

With the outbreak of World War II, Lithuania proclaimed her neutrality-
She did not succumb to any of the German proposals to enter the war against
Poland. Quite to the contrary, Lithuania gave protection and every assistance
to Polish refugees. The enticing Soviet offer to return to Lithuania her historic
capital, Vilnius, did not deceive the President of the Republic. Lithuania
made every effort to avoid the signing of a mutual-assistance pact, the terma
of which included the garrisoning of Soviet troops on Lithuanian soil. How-
ever, on October 10, 1939, she was forced to sign this pact. With the establish-
ment of military bases, Lithuania was impressed into the political orbit of
the Soviet Union and we deprived of her neutrality and independent policy-
Yet, even this did not satisfy the Soviet Union, inbued with the idea of self-
aggrandizement and communistic imperialism.

Lithuania was stunned when at midnight of June 14-15, 1940, an ultimatum
was delivered to Kaunas demanding the access of an unlimited number of
Soviet troops into Lithuanian territory and the formation of a government
subservient to JMoscow. Well aware that Soviet bases were already established!
at strategic points in Lithuania and that before June 15 many divisions of
the Red army were massed along the frontiers, the majority of the Cabinet
members favored accepting the ultimatum and at the same time expressing a
protest to the Ivremlin. President Smetona refused to consider this brutal
Moscow demand and decided to go abroad.

All political power was openly taken over by the representatives of the
Soviet Union. The composition of the new cabinet was dictated by Dekanozov,.
the Soviet emissary. The terms of her constitution having been violated,,
liithuania became a passive pawn in the hands of the Soviet tyrant. Moreover,
it was important to the Soviet Union that the annexation of Lithuania should
not proceed through its own specittc acts but through the so-called liberation



BALTIC STATES INVESTIGATION 9

acts of Lithuania herself, inspired and dictated by the Soviet Union. Impor-
tant, too, wag the deceitful presentation of this process, at which the Soviets
are experienced masters ; Communist propaganda always transforms acts of
violence and aggi-ession into impressive acts of liberation. For this reason
<;ame the announcement of elections to the People's Diet with a single list of
•candidates, containing the exact number of candidates to be elected. The Com-
munist Party having been declared the only legal party in Lithuania, the list
of candidates was made up from its I'anks and confirmed by the emissaries
of the Soviet Union. The Diet thus elected had to eradicate permanently the
last shreds of Lithuania national power, to introduce the Soviet order, and
petition for admission into the Soviet Union.

On August 3, 1940, Litliuania was declared to be a part of the Soviet Union.
The Soviets attempted to justify the annexation by attributing it to the free
will of the Lithuanian Nation. That the Lithuanian people had nothing to dp
with it, is shown in the following passages of a resolution passed by that same
People's Diet :

"Now the people helped by the mighty Red Army * * * established in their
own country the Soviet Government * * *. If the people have been able to
establish in their own country the only just order — the Soviet order — it is all
due to the Soviet Union."

And with that the curta:n fell on this Soviet-presented farce.

As soon as Lithuania was occupied, the destruction of her cultural and economic
life began. Since that time, the Soviet Union is unceasingly carrying on the
inhuman crime of genocide by the arrest, murder, and deportation of the Lith-
uanian people to Siberia and to the Arctic. The present position of the Soviet
Union represents not only the annihilation of Lithuania, but also the flagrant
violation of the Atlantic and United Nations Charters. The desperate struggle
of the resistance, the thousands of slain and the hundreds of thousands of
deported, bear witness to this appalling process which violates international law,
world peace, and human decency.

The Soviet Union, by entering into agreements with Germany on the division of
zones of influence, and by occupying and incorporating Lithuania, became an
aggressor and accomplice of aggression. So it was not sovereign rights but the
vision of Communist victory that dictated these Soviet steps. It should be
noted here that the annexation of Austria by Germany was termed by the
Nurnberg tribunal as an act of aggression.

When the true nature of the Soviet fraud becomes evident. Lithuania's diplo-
matic representatives, the only remaining spokesmen for the Lithuanian people,
immediately protested against the violation of treaties and the falsification of the
will of the nation. I am happy to be able to state that the United States were
the first to denounce openly and emphatically this violence and injustice, and
that they still hold to this position.

Mr. Zadkikis. The Congress of the United States, having decided
to conduct a full and complete investigation of the seizure, forced
incorporation, and treatment of the Baltic peoples during and follow-
ing said seizure and incorporation, I urge all my fellow Lithuanians
living in the free world, especially those in America, to testify before
the Baltic Committee, House of Representatives, concerning all you
have seen and experienced. I feel certain that the truth, to which you
are living witnesses, will contribute to the unmasking of the deceit and
violence used by the Soviet Union in Lithuania.

The uprising in 1941 and the tireless efforts of the resistance move-
ment in Lithuania, as well as those of numerous patriotic organizations
in the free world, attest to the unshakeable will of the Lithuanian
people to be free and independent. Firmly convinced that liberty
is indivisible, we believe that the efforts of the free world will result
in the triumph of freedom which must lead to the restoration of
Lithuania's sovereignty.

Mr. Kersten. Thank you, Mr. Zadeikis.

Will the counselor please come forward again ?

Are there any questions of members of the committee ? Mr. Busbey ?

Mr. BusBEY. I have no questions, Mr. Chairman.



10 BALTIC STATES INVESTIGATION

Mr. Kersten. Mr. Madden ?

Mr. Madden. Mr. Counselor, do you of your own knowledge have
any information that you could present to the committee regarding
the extent of mass transportation of Litlmanian people to prison
camps, or work-labor camps, into either Russia or Siberia?

Mr. Kajeckas. I think there exists considerable information on that
point, and I am sure the committee will be having that information,
or maybe even has it.

Mr. Madden. Have you personally witnessed any of this?

Mr. Kajeckas. No; I did not. I was abroad at that time.

Mr. Madden. You did not witness any of this mass transportation to
prison camps ?

Mr. Kajeckas. No. I was stationed abroad at the time that was
taking place.

Mr. Madden. You were in the United States ?

Mr. Kajeckas. I was abroad. I was not in Lithuania at that time.

Mr. IVIadden. And the only knowledge you would have of that would
be reports which you had received ?

Mr. Kajeckas. That is right.

jNIr. McTigue. Mr. Madden, we have evidence we shall introduce
along those lines as the hearings proceed.

Mr. Kersten. Mr. Bentley ?

Mr. Bentley. You have been here since 1940 ?

Mr. I^jeckas. Since the end of September of 1940.

Mr. Bentley. Where were vou stationed then ; at the Legation in
Berlin?

Mr. Kajeckas. That is where I was when the actual occupation took
place.

Mr. Bentley. Would you tell the committee what other countries or
governments, if any, still extend Lithuania diplomatic recognition,
besides the United States ?

Mr. Kajeckas. To my knowledge Brazil, Uruguay, the Holy See,
Great Britain, France, Canada, and Colombia.

Mr. Bentley. You still have representation in those countries?

Mr. Kajeckas. That is right, sir; representation exists in various
degrees.

Mr. Bentley. When did the official connections between the Lega-
tion here in Washington and the Government of Lithuania — when
M'ere they severed ?

Mr. Kajeckas. I am sorry, sir, I didn't hear that question.

INIr. Bentley. 1^'lien were the official connections between the Lega-
tion in Washington and the Government in Lithuania severed ? When
did they cease? When did you cease to have any relations with the
Government in Kaunas ?

Mr. Kajeckas. I wasn't here when that actually happened. I was
in Berlin.

Mr. Bentley. From June 15, 1940?

Mr. Zadeikis. Yes; from that day of occupation this Legation re-
fused to carry out orders from the puppet government in Lithuania.

Mr. Bentley. Could you tell what the status of Lithuania is today,
briefly, within the Soviet Union?

Mr. Kajeckas. Well, I think that the situation and the conditions
of the people over there must be terrible.

Mr. Bentley. No; I mean officially.



BALTIC STATES rNTV'ESTlGATlON 11

Mr. Kajeckas. Officially, as you know, it is considered, according
to the act of that puppet Diet, as incorporated into the Soviet Union.
And those so-called elections took place against the will of the people.
Since that time, of course, there has been some i-esistance still going
on, or did go on.

Mr. Bentley. I understand that, but officially it is regarded by the
Soviets as another Soviet Socialist Republic. That is what I wanted
to bring out.

Mr. ILvjECKxVS. That is correct.

]\Ir. Bextt.kt. Could you also tell us, liistoricall}'', during what parts
of history, what parts of the past, that Russia occupied Lithuanian
teriitory ?

Mr. Kajeckas. Russia annexed Lithuanian territory at the time
of the 3 divisions of the Lithuanian-Polish Commonwealth, the last of
which was in 1795. That was Czarist Russia. There was also an in-
vasion of part of the territory of Lithuania by the Soviet Union after
World War I, prior to the Lithuanian-Soviet Peace Treaty of 1920,

Mr. Bentley. Now, during the time that the Germans were in con-
trol of Lithuania, what w^as the status of Lithuania then?

Mr. Ka.teckas. Do you mean during the First World War?

Mr. Bextley. No, during the Second World War.

Mr. Kajeckas. Well, during the Second World War — at the very
beginning, at the first or second day of the German-Soviet War, there
was an insurrection that arose in Lithuania and the Provisional Lithu-
anian Govermiient was established. That was later swept away by the
Nazi Government.

Mr. Bektley. During the Second World War, your Legation here
had no official contact with any authority in Lithuania?

Mr. Kajeckas. No, it did not.

Mr. Bextley. I have one more question : Can you tell the committee
if at any time since the Soviets occupied Lithuania, w^as there any
Soviet pressure to take over any property or assets belonging to the
Government of Lithuania in this country?

Mr. Kajeckas. They tried, with regard to the Lithuanian funds.
That was before m}^ ari'ival here.

Mr. Bex^tley. Was there an attempt to take over j^our Legation?

Mr. KajeckxVS. No, there was no attempt made.

Mr. Kersten. Mr. Machrowicz.

Mr. Machrowicz. You alluded to the incorporation of Austria by
Germany, in your statement. Is that correct ?

Mr. Zadeikis. That is right.

Mr. Machrowicz. It was also intimated that the tribunal at Nurem-
berg had officially proclaimed that incorporation of Austria by Ger-
many as an actual act of aggression ; is that right ?

Mr. Kajeckas. That is right.

Mr. Machrowicz. And the facts and circumstances concerning the
enforced incorporation of Austria by Germany were identical to those
of the incorporation of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia by Soviet
Russia ? Am I right ?

Mr. Zadeikis. More or less.

Mr. Machrowicz. And in the determination of that act of aggres-
sion by Germany, Soviet Russia participated, did it not, at the Nurem-
berg tribunal ?

Mr. Kajeckas. Yes, sir; that is right.



12 BALTIC STATES INVESTIGATION

Mr. Machrowicz. So, in one instance, the German act, very similar
to the one it committed itself, was considered an act of aggression?

Mr. Kajeckas. That is right.

Mr. BoNiN. Who was the Soviet Foreign Minister on October 31,
1939?

Mr. Kajeckas. It was Molotov.

Mr. BoNiN. On that date he proclaimed, "The Soviet Union has
concluded pacts of mutual assistance with Estonia, Latvia, and Lithu-
ania, which are of major political importance," would you say that the
complete subjugation of those nations was a mutual pact of assistance?

Mr. Kajeckas. I didn't quite get that question.

Mr. BoxiN. Would you say that mutual pact of assistance entered
into on October 10, 1939, actually subjugating those nations, helped
those countries in any way, actually ?

Mr. Kajeckas, No, it did not, I think that to the contrary, the
October 10, 1939, pact was just a means of furthering their political
occupation of foreign countries. I mean, that pact didn't actually
protect Lithuania because they took it over.

Mr. BoNiN. Actually, there was no assistance; it was a subterfuge
to take over those three nations.

Mr. Kajeckas. That is right.

Mr. DoDD. Do I understand correctly that the decision to destroy
the sovereignty of Lithuania was made at the time of the nonaggres-
sion pact between the Soviet and Germany in August 1939 ?

Mr. Ivajeckas. That is right. Especially, the Kibbentrop-Molotov
secret protocol of September 1939.

Mr. Kersten. That pact involved the loss of independence and
sovereignty of other nations also ; did it not ?

Mr. Kajeckas. That is right.

Mr. Madden. Of your own knowledge, could you state whether, at
the present time, and during the last few years, there has been and
is an organized resistance within Lithuania against the present Com-
munist government.

Mr. Kajeckas. There was quite some information about that re-
sistance going on. We don't hear much about it, now. However,
that doesn't necessarily mean that it doesn't exist. Passive resistance
is actually in existence.

Mr. Madden. You would say that the vast majority of the Lithuan-
ian population maintains a passive resistance to the present Soviet
Government ?

Mr. I^JECKAS. That is right.

Mr. Kersten. From your experience and information as to the con-
ditions in Lithuania, if the people of Lithuania could exert their will
as to whether or not the present Government would stay in power,
what would that will be ?

Mr. Kajeckas. If tlie present Government would continue staying
in power, that would mean a liquidation of the whole nation. If that
lasts for too long.

Mr. Kersten. The liquidation of the Lithuanian people.

And if the people still remain and have their own way, their own
will, what would their will be?

Mr. Kajeckas. At the first opportunity, they would shake off the
chains of slavery. They would proclaim their independence.

Mr. ICersten. Thank you.



BALTIC STATES IISTVESTIGATION 13

Mr. Madden. Has the Lithuanian population diminished to any
extent since the Russian occupation of Lithuania ?

Mr. Kajeckas. Yes, it did diminish to a certain extent because
there were several waves of deportations, but there is no definite in-
formation on how many people were deported. The statistics in this
regard vary. It could have been approximately 300,000.

Mr. ]VL\DDEN. Has there been much infiltration into Lithuania by
Russia?
Mr. Kajeckas. That is right; especially into the cities.
Mr. Madden. And that is going on at the present time?
Mr. Zadeikis. Yes.

Mr. Kajeckas. It is still going on at the present time.
I have here the following photostatic copies of the Lithuanian-
Soviet treaties : Peace treaty between Lithuania and the U. S. S. R.,
July 12, 1920.

Mr. McTiGUE. That document will be marked "Exhibit 2-A."
( The document referred to was marked "Exhibit 2-A." See p. 473. )
Mr. Kajeckas. Second, I have the treaty of nonaggression between
Lithuania and the U. S. S. R., of September 28, 1926.
Mr. McTiGUE. That will be marked "Exhibit 2-B."
(The document referred to was marked "Exhibit 2-B." See p. 481.)
Mr. Kajeckas. Third, protocol renewing the treaty of nonaggres-
sion of May 6, 1931.

Mr. McTiGUE. That agreement will be marked "Exhibit 2-C."
(The document referred to was marked "Exhibit 2-C." See p. 485.)
Mr. Kajeckas. Fourth, convention for the definition of aggression
and annexation of July 5, 1933.

Mr. McTiGUE. That will be marked "Exhibit 2-D."
(The document referred to was marked "Exhibit 2-D." See p. 486.)
Mr. Kajckas. And finally, the treaty on the transfer of the city of
Vilno and Vilno Province to the Lithuanian Republic, and on mutual
assistance between the Soviet Union and Lithuania on October 10,
1939.
Mr. McTiGUE. That will be marked "Exhibit 2-E."
(The document referred to was marked "Exhibit 2-E." See p. 488.)
Mr. McTiGUE. "Will you identify the source where you obtained
the photostatic copies ?

Mr. Kajeckas. The source of those was the League of Nations
Treaties S?ries, with the exception of the last one, the treaty of the
transfer of the city of Vilno and the Mutual Assistance Pact, which
is from the State Department Bulletin of December 16, 1939.
Mr. Kersten. Are there any further questions ?
Thank you very much, Mr. Counselor, and Mr. Zadeikis.
Dr. Dinbergs, in charge of the Latvian Legation.

STATEMENT OF DE. ANATOL DINBERGS, CHARGE D'AFFAIRES,

LATVIAN LEGATION

Mr. Kersten. Will you state your full name, please?
Mr. Dinbergs. My name is Anatele Dinbergs.
Mr. Kersten, What is your official title?



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