United States. Congress. House. Select committee o.

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

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They pulled my hair, like this [indicating]. I have no peace with

Mr. Kersten. Congressman Madden ?

Mr. Madden. What was your occupation in Lithuania?

Mr. Brazeika, I used to be a farmer. I received land, and I w^orked
my own land. I received the land as a former volunteer.

Mr. Madden, When these Russians would come in to take the pris-
oners out to be shot each night, or the nights they would come in to
take 10 or 20, or whatever it was, would they tell the prisoners what
they were going to do with them ?

Mr. Brazeika. No. They didn't say anything. They just took
them out.

Mr. Madden. That is all.

Mr. Bonin. The NKVD headquarters were in Kaunas ; is that cor-

Mr. Brazeika. Do you mean the prison ?

Mr. Bonin. You were taken from the city of Kaunas out to the
prison camp, 28 miles away from Kaunas ?

Mr. Brazeika. Yes. I was taken to Pravieniskis, later from Kaunas.

Mr. Bonin. Then the bodies you removed were actually removed in
this prison camp 28 miles away ?

Mr. Brazeika. In the prison of Kaunas,

Mr, McTiGUE, Let's get the record clear here, if I may. I think I
can probably clarify it, Congressman. The tortures and the bodies,
concerning which the witness has testified, occurred in the prison in

Mr. Brazeika. In the prison at Kaunas.

Mr. McTiGUE. Where did the tortures that you have testified about
occur, and where were the corpses you referred to removed from ?

Mr. Brazeika. They used to bring many corpses from Kestutis
Street and some were tortured in the prison.


Mr. Kersten. Just a minute. Now, I'll ask this question: You
testified a little while ago that you worked in prison, and in this work
you delivered some bodies, some corpses, out of the prison where you

State whether or not this was in Kaunas.

Mr. Brazeika. In Kaunas, in Mickvicius Street.

Mr. Kersten. How long were you in that prison in Kaunas, as
near as you can tell us?

Mr. Brazeika. I could not .say for sure. About 6 months.

Mr. Iversten. Where was it you received these bayonet wounds in
the elbow and the shoulder?

Mr. Brazeika. In Pravieniskis.

Mr. Bonin. Where is that, now?

Mr. Brazeika. Beyond Kaunas. There is a railroad station. I
worked in a peat field, there.

Mr. Kerstex. How far from Kaunas was that ?

Mr. Br-Azeika. How far, I couldn't say exactly. That I wouldn't
know. How many kilometers, I wouldn't know.

Mr. Iversten. It was outside of the city of Kaunas, is that right?

Mr. Brazeika. Beyond Kaunas, in the forest.

Mr. Kersten. Thank you, Mr. Witness.

That is all.

Mr. Kersteist. Professor Padalis, do you solemnly swear you will
tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you


Dr. Padalis. I do.

Mr. Kersten. Will you state your full name, please?

Dr. Padalis. Pranas Padalis.

Mr. Kersten. You are a resident of Detroit, are you ?

Dr. Padalis. That is right.

Mr. Kersten. What is your occupation?

Dr. Padalis. I am professor of economics. University of Detroit.

Mr. Kersten. Do you hold degrees?

Dr. Padalis. I am a doctor of economics.

Mr. Kersten. You are a Ph. D. ?

Dr. Padalis. A Ph. D.

Mr. Kersten. And the University of Detroit is a Jesuit university
in the city of Detroit?

Dr. Padalis. Yes; it is.

Mr. Kersten". How long have you been there ?

Dr. Padalis. Since 1948. The fall of 1948 ; I have been teaching.

Mr. Iversten. Where did you receive your doctorate ?

Dr. Padalis. In Kaunas. At the university in Kaunas, Lithuania.
Vyautas the Great. It was the University of Vitautas the Great.

Mr. Keksten. When did you come to the United States ?

Mr. Padalis. The 2d of November 1948.

Mr. Iversten. Are you presently a citizen. Doctor?

Dr. Padalis. Yes ; since last February.

Mr. Kersten. When did you leave Lithuania the last time?

Dr. Padalis. The last time I left Lithuania on the 8th of October


Mr. Kersten. And from that time in 1944, until 1946, where were


Dr. Padalis. I w'as in Germany — in Austria, first, then in Germany,
then in June 1945, I left for Paris and then I stayed there in Paris
until I came here to this country.

Mr. Kersten. You were boru in Lithuania, were you ?

Dr. Padalis. Yes.

Mr. Kersten. Where?

Dr. Padalis. Raseiniai.

Mr. Kersten. Were you in Lithuania when the Communists came
in in June 1940 ?

Dr. Padalis. 1940, the 15th of June.

Mr. Kersten. Were you there continuously until 1944 ?

Dr. Padalis. That is correct. I didn't leave the country.

Mr. McTiGUE. Professor, let me ask you this : Were you one of the
leaders in the Lithuanian anti-Soviet underground system?

Dr. Padalis. Yes. I was one of the organizers, and later on, one of
the leaders. I was a member of the Committee for Lithuanian Libera-
tion, all the time.

Mr. McTiGUE. Were you in the room this morning when the two
w^itnesses testified as to the massacre at the Pravieniskis prison camp ?

Dr. Padalis. Yes.

Mr. McTiGUE. Do you happen, of your own personal knowledge,
to know anything of that ?

Dr. Padalis. Yes. When we started our revolt in the morning, on
the 23d of June, w^e received information

Mr. Kersten. That is the year 1941, is it?

Dr. Padalis. 1941. We had information from headquarters of our
military command, whil I was there, too — I think it was Friday after-

Mr, McTiGUE. When you say "military command," you are talking
about the guerrilla command ?

Dr. Padalis. The guerrillas. We had a political committee and the
military committee, too.

It was led by the military committee, but I was there, too, present
at the headquarters during the revolt wdiich we started in Kaunas.

We learned that at the camp of Pravieniskis people were killed by
the Soviet armed units, or NKVD. That, we couldn't get straight,
but anyway, people w^ere killed en masse. Then we sent several
trucks and cars and I went myself, to check what happened, there, or
what was happening there, because we don't know whether it was over
or not, because the Red Army troops were still around Kaunas.

Then, on the way to Pravieniskis, we met two cars bringing
wounded prisoners from Pravieniskis. One of them, I remember very
well, was an American citizen Dosdautas, whom I knew personally,
and whose son was at the headquarters with me, too. He was a young
boy fighting with us.

Mr. McTiGUE. Was that the same one that our anonymous witness
testified to ?

Dr. Padalis. Exactly the same. His son is living in Chicago, now.

Then I came back and thought the shooting was over. There may
have been some left alive, but I did not see them. Then I came back.
The rest went to check the other camp and they made pictures and
we took wounded people to the hospitals, and they almost all died


there, because they lost so much blood during the night that they
couldn't be saved.

Mr. McTiGUE. Now, let me go back a moment, Professor. How
did you happen to be one of the leaders in the underground in Lith-
uania? How did it start? How did you get into it?

Dr. Padalis. I won't be specific, of course. I won't give the names.
I won't involve the fifth amendment, but I do realize

Mr. Kersten. As I understand it. Dr. Padalis, it is possible some of
those people might still be there and you want to protect them ?

Dr. Padalis. That is right.

Mr. Kersten". I want to assure you that it is not necessary for
you to name anybody whom you think should be so protected. We
would like to have you give as much of the facts as you think will
be safe to give.

Dr. Padalis. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

I was teaching at the University of Vilnius. I was an instructor
in economics. I was a young man, yet, 27 years old, at the time. One
Sunday after the Mass, one Lithuanian officer approached me.

Mr. Kersten. When was this, Doctor, can you tell us that?

Dr. Padalis. It was in the second half of October 1940.

Mr. Kersten. It was a few months after the Communists took over ?

Dr. Padalis. About 3 months after they invaded.

He said, "You know, Doctor, you don't know me, but do you know
such-and-such a person?"

I said, "Yes; I do know him." He was a very good friend of mine.

"He didn't want to contact you because the police may know that
you know him personally. Therefore, please trust me. I was at the
Mass, now, with you, and I saw you receiving, publicly, communion."
That is what I did.

Mr. Kersten. In other words, you went to communion.

Dr. Padalis. He said that he trusted me and they were going to
start a resistance movement and he wanted to know if I would see
that person whom I knew. Of course, I talked for a while and I
asked him to let me wait 1 day and then I agreed the next day and I
Avent to see that man in a little forest near Vilnius. I became a mem-
ber of the organizational committee of the resistance movement.

We planned to keep alive the hope of the Lithuanian people that
they would be liberated. Secondly, we wanted to give them as much
information as possible about the events in Lithuania, because the
press, there, was only the Soviet press, the Communist press. They
didn't get true or reliable information about what was happening to
Lithuania, and what was happening abroad, especially.

Then we decided to have an underground press informing our
people how they should behave and what was happening, especially

Third, we decided to warn those who were ruthless servants of the
Cojinnunist Government — being Lithuanians themselves — that they
would be executed if they didn't stop exterminating and persecuting
their own people, their fellow Lithuanians.

There were three objectives at that time. Later on we added the
fourth one, and the main one, to organize an uprising or revolt. That
was our theory, listening to the foreign radio, especially the BBC
from London, that there was something happening and that some-


thing was in the air, and we began organizing small military forma-
tions throughout the country.

Should I elaborate on some facts, about how the Soviet Government
took our movement extremely seriously?

Mr. McTiGUE. Before you get into that. Professor, could 3'ou give
us the organizational structure of the underground system, without
revealing anything that you don't want to reveal?

Dr. Padalis. Yes. It may be paradoxical, but we copied the organ-
izational structure of the Communist Party.

Mr. Kersten. You had to cope AYith that, so you had to meet it.

Dr. Padalis. We just followed the organizational setup because the
Communist Party in many countries was an illegal party and or-
ganized in small cells comprising from 3 to 5 members.

So we did the same thing. We organized small units comprising not
more than three. Not five. Not more than three. Then in large
cities — first in small villages, there the resistance organization started.
Then in Kaunas and then in other parts of the country.

We established the contacts that I think I shouldn't talk about,
because still there is an underground movement on a much larger
scale still going on and underground activities are an event, todav, in
Lithuania, and I think maybe the organizational structure is still the
same. However, there are more in the forest today than at that time.
We were more in the cities, especially in large cities.

We didn't start military activities of any kind, as we wanted to wait
until the moment opportune to start our revolt. We did liquidate
some traitors. There were some traitors, but very few.

We did not touch the Soviet Red Army at all, but only Lithuanian

Mr. McTiGUE. What was your procedure for liquidation, briefly.

Dr. Padalis. We established a secret military court made up of three
members. It was not known to anybody except the commander of
the military staff. I didn't Icnow myself who served on that military
secret court. Then the court chose the military staff, got information
on each traitor, one who was a Lithuanian who persecuted his fellow
Lithuanians, especially.

Then the court collected all the evidence proving that because of
his activities, Lithuanians were killed or were arrested or were de-
ported; that he was denouncing them; that he was acting as a traitor.

Then he would be sentenced to be punished or to be killed.

Mr. McTiGTJE. In accordance with the findings of the court ?

Dr. Padalis. I would say some were executed by our special group.
One group was a very small group organized to execute the orders
or the sentence of the court.

Mr. McTiGUE. To carry out the sentence of the court.

Now, that sentence might be carried out in any fashion, or any-
where, I presume ?

Dr. Padalis. Yes. That is what I meant. As silently and as
quietly as possible. I would say in the American Indian style.
Quietly. They would disappear. Nobady was caught. Some in the
provincial part of Lithuania were executed and the secret police did
not learn who did the job. I never did myself, and I had nothing to
do with it. I was political adviser to the military staff. That was
my function. I collected political information on the basis of radio


broadcasts from BBC, mainly, or Germany, too. Then I contacted
some of our former statesmen who were not arrested, yet. I asked
for their opinions, and then 1 presented my estimation of the situa-
tion to the military staff. That was my task.

Mr. McTiGui']. Do you know if this underground is functioning at
the present moment in Lithuania in much the same fashion ?

Dr. Padalis. Oh, yes. In the same fashion on a much larger scale,
and it is today more of a military movement than in 1940-41. They
have regular military formations. They have training schools in the
forests. They have their commanders and they act throughout the
country. They have formations throughout the country, but mainly
in the forests. Now, their centers of action are in forests, and we have
quite a few in the large forests of Lithuania. Their hiding places
are in the forests, at this time.

Mr. McTiGUE. Is there some sort of liaison setup between the various
courts ?

Dr. Padalis. The NKVD knows more than I am telling. The fact
is that the Soviet NKVD's 3 divisions fought in 1946 and 1947 in
several places against the underground formations. Three divisions
were assigned to liquidate the garrisons.

Since the beginning of the second occupation, according to their
estimation — because we had some contacts — over 30,000 men were
killed fighting as guerrillas. During the second one.

We lost during our revolt in 1941, from June 23 to June 26, in 3
days, over 5,000 killed and 7,000 wounded. About 12,000 casualties
were estimated throughout the country.

Mr. McTiGUE. When you were one of the top leaders in the under-
ground in Lithuania, did you continue your teaching duties at the
university ?

Dr. Padalis. Yes, I did.

Mr. McTiGiTE. Tell us something about how you functioned as a
teacher under the Soviet organization, and under the surveillance of
the NKVD agents and yet managed to administer the underground ?

Dr. Padalis. Everyone who was a member of the Committee for
the Lithuanian Liberation tried to remain in a legal situation. That
means employed by the Soviet Government. There was only one pos-
sibility, then, to contact people and to organize our movement.

When the Soviet Government was established after the so-called
elections, they began sovietizing our universities. Many professors
were dismissed from the university. I remained on the faculty be-
cause I was young and I didn't take any active part in politics before
they came. I was just a bookworm, maybe.

There were some objections against me, but since my father was a
poor peasant — that means my background was also acceptable to
them — they thought they could reeducate me, and among many who
did stay on the faculty, I was one, too.

They appointed the prorector, what we call the vice ])resident — a
director of the party, Bolovas, and then they appointed an agent of
the Communist Party by the name of Kopylov. He was an official
agent of the NKVD at the university. Especially the prorector made
the ultimate decisions with regard to the curriculum, as to the teachers,
and the organization of the university. The rector of the university
was a tituhir head in the beginning, but later on there Avas quite a


strong, stubborn patriot, and he regained some of his power later on,
and he did protect the faculty and the students.

Mr. Kersten. Did you say there was an NKVD man appointed as
the effective head of the university ?

Dr. Padalis, Not effective head.

Mr, Kersten. He was in an important position?

Dr. Padalis. A very important official position.

Mr. Kersten. Sathe NKVD moved right in on education, too.

Dr. Padalis. On education and he was an official agent of the
NKVD. ^ ^

Mr. McTiGUE. Were you present at the committee session yesterday ?

Dr. Padalis. Yes.

Mr. McTiGUE. Did you hear our witnesses testify — I think it was
Mr. Banionis — to the fact that he was required by the NKVD to spy
on his professors ?

Dr. Padalis. Yes.

Mr. McTigtje. Were you present then ?

Dr. Padalis. I was.

Mr. McTigtje. You were a professor at Vilnius University. Did
any students spy on you ?

Dr. Padalis. Yes, they did. The NKVD assigned two spies to every
class — secret ones, from the students. I think the methods are known
already. It was testified how they engaged those spies. I knew that
there were spies. All professors did know, because that is the system
of the Soviet Secret Police, to have spies, at least two in every office,
in every hosiptal, everywhere, where people are in groups.

Now, once I was told by this student whose name I won't give, after
one class when I was leaving the university — it was at night— he
waited for me and he said, "Doctor, I am a spy. Please don't criticize,
don't ridicule the Soviet regime, and the Soviet economy."

I was teaching the planned economy and I did criticize in the be-
ginning. Then he warned me. He said, "There is another one and
I have to give the information because the other one whom I don't
know will give the information to the police about your lectures."

Then once I quoted — w^e had to use the textbook sent from Moscow.
Only those textbooks. The books published in Lithuania during in-
dependence or in other western countries, they were dismissed from
our seminar libraries, and they were not available to the students in the
library of the university. We got the texts and we had to follow
them and just interpret everything favorably to the Soviet economy.

Once I quoted Stalin's statement which he made to the Congress of
the Soviet Communist Party in 1939. That was before the last one
last year.

He stated that during the last decade, which means from 1929 to
1939 — because in 1929 was initiated the Soviet planned economy — the
first 5-year plan — during the period of two 5-year plans, the Soviet
economy, in manufacturing industry, made progress of 800 percent,
while at the same time the United States manufacturing industry
made progress of only 30 percent.

I commented. I quoted him and I commented. "You know, if
you have a dog house and you build a small family house, you make a
progress of 1,000 percent. If you have a living house and you in-
crease its value, you have an improvement of only 50 percent. That is


the difference between the Soviet manufacturing industry and the
United States manufacturing industry."

After my lecture, I was called by the rector of the university and
he got the statement in his hand quoting what I said. He only
warned me. "You know, you are a young one." He studied at the
university before the Communists came. He just graduated the year
before they came. And he knew me. He said, "You know, I should
inform you to the secret police, but because the spy was so good that
he informed me. However, if you continue criticizing, you will be
the professor, but you will disappear."

I realized myself that there were two spies in my classroom, and in
all of them. The professors were controlled very closely by the
NKVD. We were instructed by the Commissariat of Education in
Moscow, which controlled all the univeristies in the Soviet Union that
we should criticize the capitalist economy, that we should predict the
collapse of it, because of crisis and frictions, those business waves, and
we should foresee and try to convince people that the planned economy
is the perfect system of economic organization. So we had to do it,
of course, and later on, we were more careful.

But one thing maybe I could bring out, that the basic force during
the occupation was not economic, engineering or medicine, but
Marxism and Leninism.

Every student had to take 6 hours every week for 2 semesters, the
course in Marxism and Leninism. From Moscow were sent two
professors — I am afraid to give their names, now. I will have to spell
them — Kusnecov and Bulin. They were professors in Marxism and
Leninism, and to them were assigned eight instructors and they
taught all students, but in Russian. The students understand, and
they did sabotage their lectures. They even ridiculed Marx, Lenin^
and even Stalin. There were many brave students. All the youth
hated the Communists.

T remember that one morning Kusnecov came to the class. He saw
a crucifix between the portraits of Stalin and Lenin with an inscription
"Oh, Lord, do once more hang between two evildoers." That is the
translation and maybe not a very correct one.

Then quite a few students were arrested from that class, but it wa^
in June already.

Mr. Kersten. June of 1941 ?

Dr. Padalis. June of 1941, when we expected something to happen,
because even the Communist leaders began telling in closed meetings
of the Communist Party, and some high functionaries, that the war
with Germany was imminent. Tliey did admit it.

Mr. McTiGUE. Did your underground system have some advance
information on that?

Dr. Padalis. We didn't have very reliable advance information,
but we did get some information through our channels in foreign
countries. We got some, but nobody knew exactly. We expected it.
We knew that a war was planned to be called in the middle of May.
It didn't start. We got confused, but we continued our preparations
for revolt.

Now, may I come back to our activities? One, I tliink, is of some

Mr. Kersten. As I understand it, Doctor, your statements here
will not be useful to the Soviets in any way and will not endanger


anj^body. We want to luive it very clear that we don't want you to do
either of those things.

Dr. Padalis. I do understand that, Mr. Chairman, and I don't want
to endanger anybody in Lithuania, but these facts that 1 am revealing
are very well known to the Soviet secret police as well as to the Soviet

AVlien we decided to prepare the revolution, reprisals against the
Soviet Government, we began collecting arms, or f>etting arms of
various kinds. We did have them in the very beginning — people did
hide arms and weapons from the secret police after the country was
occupied by the Soviet Union. However, we were all ordered to turn
in all guns to the Soviet police. However, many did not. We were
short of guns. In the beginning of 1941 — I won't give the date, the
exact date, there was organized a theft of 500 hancl grenades in one
police post in a village. I didn't j^articipate in the action, itself, of
getting those hand grenades, but I was asked to take care of them.
I did keep those 500 hand grenades and capsules in the room which
was at my disposal — 1 won't be specific on it — that was at my disposal
for more than 2 months.

The Soviet police found out about this theft only later and I have
an order, which I did see after our revolt, because the NKVD fled in
a hurry and left almost all documents, which we got.

I remember seeing this particular document, because we were in-
terested in how much they knew about our activity and organization,
because many they did arrest. Many did disappear. But yet, they
suspected, they were not sure who were the leaders of the underground

Now, this order, which is translated into English, the copy of which
1 think is available — I saw it in Kaunas after our revolt. This order
was issued on April 7, 19-41, by the Commissar of State Security in
Lithuania, by the name of Gladkov, and this order states the best
recognition of our underground movement and how it was taken very

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