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

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the cars ?

The Witness. Out of the yard.

Mr. Kersten. This information that you got from someone there
who said that he saw a car with some dead small children in it, this
was in Latvia?

The Witness. This was in Latvia.

Mr. Kersten. I might state for the record, for whatever it is
worth, we shall try to produce a witness to whom I talked and spoke
with who said that a similar thing occurred in Lithuania, a car full of
dead children.

The Witness. But I didn't see it. I heard it from people whom I
believe.

Mr. Kersten. That is all the questions ?

I will make a similar statement, here, that anybody who violates the
anonymity of this witness deliberately, I will, myself, recommend
that they be prosecuted for contempt of Congress.

Mr. McTiGTJE. We had, Mr. Chairman, two more witnesses today.
One of the witnesses was coming from Windsor, Canada, but there
has been a slight delay in connection with his permit and as a con-
sequence, we won't be able to hear him until tomorrow.



BALTIC STATES INVESTIGATION 305

Is Mr. Armalis in the room ?

Mr. Kersten. Do you solemnly swear you will tell the truth, the
whole truth and nothing but the truth ?

TESTIMONY OP ADOLFAS ARMALIS, GRADUATE STUDENT,
UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

Mr. Armalis. I do, sir.

Mr. Kersten. As far as the two previous witnesses are concerned,
you have interviewed them and you know something about their back-
ground. You also know their identity, do you ?

Mr. McTiGUE. I do, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Kersten. From your investigation, can you state whether or
nni- <->ipre is every appearance of credibility from your examination
and interrogation of these witnesses prior to their coming to this
courtroom ?

Mr. McTiGUE. There is not the slightest doubt in my mind, Mr.
Chairman.

I want to reiterate again that every effort was made in their cases
to persuade them to testify in open session. Every effort was made
to persuade them to testify with a mask on, or some other form of
concealment, but they insisted on testifying behind screens. It was
their idea, and not ours.

Mr. Kersten. In other words, they want no portion of their iden-
tity known, insofar as it was capable of being kept anonymous; is
that right?

Mr. McTigue. That is exactly right, Mr. Chairman.

What is your full name, please?

Mr. Armalis. My name is Adolfas Armalis. I live in Detroit.

Mr. McTiGUE. What is your occupation ?

Mr. Armalis. Graduate student. University of Detroit.

Mr. McTigue. Where were you born ?

Mr. Armalis. Berlin, Germany.

Mr. McTiGUE. Did you live in Lithuania at any time?

Mr. Armalis. That is right. I lived about 2 years in Germany.

Mr. McTiGTiR. How many years did you live in Lithuania?

Mr. Armalis. In total, about 19 years, 18 years.

Mr. McTiGUE. Were you living in Lithuania when the Soviets
seized the country?

Mr. Armalis. That is right. I lived there.

Mr. McTiGUE. What village or city in Lithuania?

Mr. Armalis, When the Russians moved into Lithuania, I was a
last-course student at teacher's lyceum in Siaulaii.

Mr. McTiCxUE. How old were you when the Soviets invaded Lithu-
ania ?

Mr. Armalis. Sixteen years of age.

Mr. McTiGUE. In what month and what year was the invasion or
the seizure?

Mr. Armalis. They invaded in June 1940.

Mr. McTiGUE. Were you attending school at that time ?

Mr. Armalis. That is right.

Mr. McTiGUE. Did you belong to any organization at that time?

Mr. Armalis. I belonged to the Boy Scout organization and just
associations of students, young students of high school.



306 BALTIC STATES INVESTIGATION

Mr. McTiGtTE. After the Soviets seized Lithuania, did you continue
to go to school ?
Mr. Armalis. That is right.

Mr. McTiGUE. What happened at the school after the Soviet
occupation ?

Mr. Armaijs. Well, they let us continue our studies, but they
changed the courses. They put in new courses. For instance, Soviet
Constitution, Soviet history, Soviet geography, and they dispelled
religious classes.

Mr. McTiGUE. We had testimony here this morning, Mr. Armalis,
concerning the fact that certain school students were required to spy
on their fellow classmen and their relatives and friends bv the
NKVD.

Were you ever in that position ?

Mr. Armalis. No; I was not.

Mr. McTiGUE. Do you know that that happened ?

Mr. Armalis. Well, I heard of one case, the Communist Youth.
One student. He was forced to spy. At the same time, he was a
friend of ours.

I think he was a very good boy of ours. I don't know what he did
for the Communists and for NKVD.

Mr. JSIcTiGUE. Were an}' of your relatives deported from Lithuania
or were they arrested?

Mr. Armalis. They were assigned to be deported during the first
deportation, but they got notice. I tliink, throi^gh tlie L'thuanian
underground, and they escaped that night. They weren't present,
ikit they were deported for a second time during the second Russian
occupation in 1948. My father, my mother, and my grandmother.
She was about 7i2 years of age. Only a sister remained in Lithuania.
She was not deported because she was studying to be a nurse and she
was left.

Mr. Kersten. The other relatives you mentioned were deported ?

Mr. Armalis. Yes.

Mr. Kersten. Your father and your mother ?

Mr. Armalis. And my grandmother.

Mr. Kersten. And your grandmother?

Mr. Armalis. Yes.

Mr. Kersten. Have you heard from your father or your mother?

Mr. Armalis. Well, I got a few letters while I was in Italy. I got
the location. I checked on the map. I found they were located at
Irkutsk.

Mr. Kersten. Did you get this from them or from others who had
information ?

Mr. Armalis. I got it from them. Directly from my mother. She
lived together with my grandmother, and my father was separated. I
know my mother's and my grandmother's. My grandmother died, I
think, just the same year. When I got the second letter she was already
dead.

Mr. Kersten. Is that the last you have heard from your folks?

Mr. Armalis. Then I got a letter in the United States. When I got
the address, when I came to this country, I wrote directly to my mother
and I think I got only one letter from her. Slie was still there. I
think she was almost blind, and since then I didn't get anything.

Ml'. Kersten. This is Sibei'ia that you refer to, is it not ?



BALTIC STATES INVESTIGATION 307

Mr. Armalis. Yes.

Mr. McTiGUE. Was your uncle urrested at one time in Lithuania?

Mr. Armalis. He was arrested during the first occupation.

Mr. McTiGUE. Why ?

Mr. Armalis. He was a principal of a grammar school in a little
village. He was a reserve lieutenant in the Lithuanian Army. Just
before election, he and others, former employees and ollicials of Lithu-
ania — not in the Lithuanian Government, but in the city council, they
w^ere arrested all together. That night when I heard that somebody —

I think after that tliere was some explanation that Communists — they
didn't want to arrest people in the presence of other people. Just
publicly. They put the Lithuanian flag in the cemetery one night
and after that all that group, with my uncle, they were arrested and
since then we haven't heard anything about them. That was provoca-
tion. The Communists did that so that they can get some kind of
accusations. That hap]:)ened just before elections.

Mr. McTiGUE. Do you mean the Communists I'aised the Lithuanian
flag in the local cemetery and then charged jonv uncle and other
persons with having done it and arrested them ?

Mr. Armalis. That is right.

Mr. McTiGUE. And the}' were deported?

Mr. Armalis. They were imprisoned.

Mr. IMcTiGUE. Have you heard anything?

Mr. Armalis. We haven't heard anything about that.

Mr. McTiGUE. Do you recall the night of June 13, 1941 ?

Mr. Armalis. Yes. I M-as, myself , arrested that night. It was about

II o'clock at night. I was visting my girl friend. That was about 11
o'clock. Where I lived, that house was in close location with Russian
stores.

Mr. Kersten. Was this in Kaunas?

Mr. Armalis. No; that was in Siauliai.

They took me and made some shots in the air — a lieutenant with
four guardsmen — they were regular army — regular Soviet Army.
And then they called — they called that militia. One militiaman, lie
took me just by foot to the central headquarters of NKVD in Siauliai.
I entered that room where the chief of NKVD was. The director.
When I approached him lie said, "Just three steps back from this
table.''

I made this three steps. He said, "Three more." I was close to the
wall. He asked me questions. He asked for my student booklet.
I showed him that. He asked where was I and "what was I doing
at that time. I said, "Well, I was visiting my girl friend."

I was asked her address. I gave him an address. Then he asked
me, "Who are your parents," and I gave the names. "What is their
location? Are they farmers?'' I said, "Yes." "How much land do
they own?"

I said, "Thirty-four hectares," but four hectares were taken off.
That was about 10 acres, according to the new nationalization — how
would I explain it — nobody can have more than 30 hectares. Around
75 acres. They have 10 too many and the 10 were cut, taken off, and
given to some other workers. I don't remember who had that.

Then he told me, "All right, that means your parents are Kulaks."

Mr. Machrowicz. A Kulak is a rich landowner?



308 BALTIC STATES INVESTIGATION

Mr. Armalis. That is riglit. I think I said something that he
wasn't rich, or something. I don't remember.

He called another guard and said, "Don't release him until you
have my permission."

I was put in a room where there were a couple other officers and
there was a special separated place. There was a bench. I sat on
the bench. Then after about 3 o'clock, I laid down. But I didn't
sleep. I just noticed that before entering that headquarters, there
were very many NKVD's and I noticed that really they are not from
Siauliai,'but from other cities, from other locations.

At that time, when I was laying on that bench, I just noticed that
they were doing something in a hurry. They were using telephones,
many of those officers were working inside, outside, talking, all dressed
up, having guns on their sides, and about 8 o'clock in the morning
I had my final examination to get my degree to be a teacher.

I noticed through the window — that headquarters and my teachers'
building was in front. I knew that my friends were going to take
that last examination. I asked that officer who was on guard, I said,
"How about me? When can I get out?"

They said, "You can't get out because you are here accordins; to
special information by the chief, by the director of that NKVD."
Nobody can release me.

About 15 minutes afterward, they came and entered. One NKVD
captain. I don't know him. I never see him in that headquarters —
not in headquarters, but around that place. I asked him in Russian,
because I spoke Russian — I asked him, "Well, Tovarisch, how about
me? Why am I here?"

He said, "Why are you here?" I said, "I am a student. Right
across the street is mv school and I am coming to be a teacher. I would
like to pass my final examination."

He said, "Where is your booklet? Do you have any documents
taken by anvbody?"

I said, "Yes ; that man has my documents."

He approaches him, asks for the booklet, brought my booklet and
said, "Okay, young boy. Just get out of here as soon as you can."

And I left "that building, running out.

I went to my school, and I found that three of my instructors were
taken out from home. And then I took my final examinations, I got
my degree, and about 2 o'clock we got notice that there is a train full
of people in the central railroad station, but not on that spot where
usually trains are supposed to be, but about four or five hundred yards
on the left side.

All the students went to visit — we are trying to find out — even to see
our teachers, and see what is the situation.

About 20 of us went there and found the train. That train con-
sisted of many boxcars — freight cars, I would say.

Mr. Kersten. How many would you estimate?

Mr. Armalis. There were at least 20, 20 boxcars, but I can't say
exactly. Maybe a little more.

Then there were people appraoching. There was a fence. Those
boxcars had little windows. Only 1 window, or 2 windows. I don't
remember exactly. They had special bars of wood and some of iron.
There were people screaming, shouting, crying, nuiking all kinds of



BALTIC STATES INVESTIGATION 309

sounds. Women especially. Children, And on each boxcar — by each
boxcar, at least one NKVD. He had his rifle, his pistol, and his map
and compass.

Mr. Kersten. What date was this, do you remember ?

Mr. Armalis. That was the 15th of June 1941.

Well, passing a few steps along that fence, I noticed two NKVD's
whom we as students knew before. They used to come to our court
and play volleyball with us. Their headquarters, as I mentioned, were
not too far from our school. Even now I remember their names.
There was Karpenko and Barabanov.

I just shouted to them. They approached me — one of them ap-
proached me. He said, "Hello, Adolf." He said, "Is there anybody
of your family in those cars?"

I said, "No; but there are my teachers," and I knew that a very
good friend, a rich businessman, with all his family, was there.

I said, "Listen. May I go in through that fence and find them?"

He said O. K. ; go fast. He said, "Da ; go fast."

Mr. Kersten. "Da," meaning Russian for "Yes" ?

Mr. Armalis. Yes. He said, "You may go." And I tried to find
those teachers and that family.

Finally I found that family, but I didn't find the teachers. I haven't
found any teachers of my school. I think they told me something to
give notice to their daughter — the father said that his daughter is still
in town. She wasn't caught that night. I think he said to tell her to
watch. Then he asked to try to find anybody from their house, any-
body who would have any kind of food, or just to contact anyone of
their relatives or any neighbors, to bring them anything to eat.

Well, I didn't find anybody, but one woman from a fence asked me,
she said, "O. K., young boy, bring that sugar." There was a teapot
full of sugar. "Bring that to my boxcar. There is some of my family
in there."

I took the pot and ran it over to the boxcar.

They gave me a string. I put it on the pot, and they tried to get it
in the boxcar. As I mentioned before, there were bars across the win-
dows, and that pot can't get through. I brought the pot back.

In one boxcar I think a woman asked me to bring water. I ran back
to the fence and asked if anybody had anything where I could get some
water, and somebody — I don't know where he got it from — got a spe-
cial military canteen. I poured water and brought that. By the same
system, they took that water inside.

I spent about 20 or 15 minutes along those 4 or 5 boxcars. Not fur-
ther, because there was another guard and I don't think they would
permit me.

Then, suddenly came one lieutenant or an officer, and he talked to
one of the guards and looked over at me. I just saw that they were
approaching me, and I knew that it was time for me to get out from
this place and run away.

People were coming in groups, and that mass of people every time
gets larger and larger, and they began to shout and shout in such
harsh words at the guards.

Mr. Kersten. You are now talking about the people who were left
behind?

Mr. Armalis. That is right.

5207") — 54 — pt. 1 21



310 BALTIC STATES INVESTIGATION

Mr. Kersten. Is it true that there were guards stationed around this
area so the people couldn't come up to the cars ?

Mr. Amalis. There was a fence before the tracks. On the tracks
there were boxcars. The fence was about 20 yards from that train.
People were leaning on that — about 3 or 4 or 5 lines of people were
leaning toward that fence.

Mr. Kersten. Were there guards preventing the people from going
right up to the cars ?

Mr. Armalis. That is right. The guards were coming up closer to
the fence when those people began to shout against them.

Mr. Kersten. In other words, these were apparently the relatives ?

Mr. Armalis. Kelatives and neighbors ; that is right.

Mr. Kersten. From whom these people in the boxcars had been
torn ; is that right ?

Mr. Armalis. Yes, sir.

In a short time I heard a whistle and the train moved away from
this location.

When the train moved out from Siauliai, I remember, I think it
remained for another day, but they changed the location every 6 hours.
In every location people approached, and it happened the same.

Then I and other friends, as I was in good contact — we have the same
idea, the same understanding, that here is something happening where
we have to be organized and, "Well, let's have a meeting."

I went with other fellows to a friend who was very active and we
had a conference. We said, "Let's wait," because we felt there would
be a war and had to be ready. We decided to be organized, have assem-
bly, and to find as much as we can of guns and rifles, mostly rifles, any
kind.

Before, there was a store of guns and there was some connection
where some of the fellows got guns,

I wondered what happens to my parents, that if here people are de-
ported, I said that I just knew my parents must expect the same fate.

Then, in a couple days I left that city and with other guys by truck
I got to where my parents lived, on that farm.

I then joined another group of my former friends, where I used to
spend my summer vacations, and they had some ammunition and some
guns, and we were ready. We had just decided we don't have to attack
the Red army when they are in groups but only small groups, fleeing
Russians, and to collect guns, because we didn't know how long it would
last. In about 1 week the Germans were moving into Lithuania. T
think that was June 22, 1941. We then heard on the radio that guer-
rillas had taken our ex-capital, Kaunas, and our new government was
formed.

At the same time, Germans were already in Siauliai, when last-
minute torture occurred in my village, just before the Communists fled
that village. There were five persons jailed. One was a police officer, a
former police officer, one an agronomist, and a former mayor of that
little town.

Mr. Kersten. Wliat town was that?

Mr. Armails. Papile.

Next morning I heard that fleeing Communists — they were jailed
in just a little cell, and they didn't even have time to open the door
and shut those people inside. They shot all those people through a
window. Only one was left alive.



BALTIC STATES INVESTIGATION 311

This man still lives in Canada, that is, the former mayor. He was
shot through his face. I think he had 3 or 4 shots, but his teeth were
shot, and right through the chin that bullet went.

Mr. Kersten. He survived?

Mr. Armalis. He was the only one.

Mr. Kerstex. Were these five people in custody, at the time?

Mr. Armalis. They were in custody, in jail.

Mr. Kersten. Of the NKVD ?

Mr. Armalis. XKVD and Communists. There were NKVD and
Communist members there.

That was last-minute killing. We had a funeral. I participated
with other guerrillas. I was an honor guard.

Then we collected guns, mostly guns from dead Russians, and we
hid those. We had special wide bands which we wore so that the
Germans would understand that those people w^ere not against them.
They gave us special bands, and we got from our police, too, certificates
that we were Lithuanian guerrillas, partisans, as we were called at
that time, Lithuanian patriots.

The heaviest guns we returned to the Germans because there was
such martial law, but rifles, grenades, pistols, we hid ourselves because
we didn't know what tlie future would be later, what was coming later.

Then came Germans, fleeing Russians and Communists, who were
taken in custody, and they were sent to central recruiting stations and
they were prosecuted and there were trials. I didn't participate.

I would like to mention one point : During the period when I was at
school — in 1941, February 10, our independence day — we went to
church and after holy mass we sang our national anthem.

After we left church a quarter of our students were taken. Three
students from high school, where I was a former student

Mr. Kersten. This was in February 1941, under Communist occu-
pation ?

Mr. Armalis. Under the Communist occupation.

They were arrested by militia outside of the church. Only one of
them came back. I don't know anything about three others, about
their fate. And also, once during the constitution lesson — I think it
was the first week — it was in September 1940 wdien we had our con-
stitution lecture. I, and three other guys, being in the bathroom —
that was the last hour, because we had 6 days and six 1-hour classes
every day. We decided not to go to class and we told the other guys,
and everybody agreed, except only one guy. He went to that class.

And after that, the next day, I and another guy, but not the third,
were called by Komsorg, and the director of our school. They told
us, "This last time.'' We didn't say we skipped it. We just tried to
fool them, and said we didn't know it was scheduled.

They said this was the last time, and if anything happens like that,
"You will be expelled from the course," and they would lower our
conduct grades to C minus and put us on probation.

I think that Komsorg helped me, because in 1938 I was with him
in high school. We were buddies in the same high school, and he
knew me. But he was expelled from that scoool. I don't remember
the reason, but I knew him in 1940 when he appeared in our school
as a Komsorg. You know what his duties were.

Mr. McTiGUE. I think we have had testimony on that.



312 BALTIC STATES INVESTIGATION

After the German occupation of Lithuania, Mr. Armalis, what
did you do?

Mr. Armalis. During or after?

Mr. McTiGUE. After the Soviets had retreated and evacuated Lithu-
ania and the Germany Army had occupied Lithuania, what did
you do?

Mr. Armalis. During summer vacations I spent time on my father's
farm. Then I enrolled as a student, and after the Germans tried
to get us into the army, I left my university and went back to my
father's farm. I was there until the Russians, for the second time,
invaded Lithuania.

Mr. McTiGUE. Where did you then go ?

Mr. Armalis. I joined a well-established guerrilla band. It was
a full regiment of guerrillas. We had good communications, well-
trained officers. I then participated in, I would say, actual combat
against the Russians and Communists, against Soviets.

Mr. McTiGUE. With the guerrillas?

Mr. Armalis. With the Lithuanian guerrillas.

Mr. Kersten. When was this ?

Mr. Armalis. That was since 1944 — June until October 1944.

Mr. Kersten. This was after the Germans were driven out again;
is that right ?

Mr. Armalis. That is right. During the time they were being
driven out. They were still in Lithuania.

Mr. McTiGUE. Thereafter, did you leave Lithuania?

Mr. Armalis. I and 3 other guerrillas were trapped in 1 house.
The front was about 4 miles away. There was a river, and on
one side there were Russians, and on that side was no-man's land,
and behind it about 5 miles there were Germans. We were just
exactly on the other side of that river, where we had our mortars,
our artillery, and just in foxholes. I was there in foxholes for about
3 weeks.

Then we got notice, through communications of our headquarters,
that the Russians were ready for a move. We retreated. That was
about 10 o'clock on the 4th. We went to one farmer and we asked
to stay all night, and he said all right. They brought a door from
a barn and put it in a room, put straw on it, and the four men fell
asleep.

We were about 40 yards from, not a highway, but just a road.
About 12 o'clock midnight, I would say after a couple hours of sleep,
we heard somebody knocking on the door, and silhouettes and shadows
walking around that house. Then we heard the Russian language.
They said in Russian, "Landlord, open the door."

When we Avent to that room that night, around us were Germans
and Ukrainians in the German Army. They were around that loca-
tion. We thought that this really was white Russians or Ukrainians
in German uniform, asking to have the door opened, and we didn't
worry very much.

After the second time, they knocked on the window and knocked
on the door. Then somebody said, "Listen, you are tlie youngest.
Go and look. It might be that they are Russians." I was just in
sliort pants. My submachinegun was hanging on the wall; my
hand grenades were in a bag under the bed. In our outfit, one has a



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