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

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Mr. Bentlet. Did they try to infiltrate other professions?

Mr. ViTiNS. Yes, sir. I told you one example from the Palace of
Justice. That was a man who was a stoker and he appeared to be
a Communist. I didn't care about his education, but he was skilled
as a Communist.

]\Ir. Bentlet. Did they ever have enough strength to threaten the
Government ?

Mr. ViTiNS. No. They tried to do it once in Estonia in the year

Mr. Bentlet. We have had testimony about that.

However, the numerical strength of the Communist Party in Lat-
via was very small, wasn't it?

Mr. Vitins. We had, all together, I would say, around 1,000 Com-
munist Party members.

Mr. Bentlet. Out of a population of how many ?

Mr. Vitins. Two million.

Mr. Bentlet. Then, 3^011 might be willing to say that except for
the fact that the Russians came in, the Communists in Latvia would
never have been in a position to take over the country ?

Mr. Vitins. No.

Mr. Bentlet. There was no danger?

Mr. Vitins. No, never.

Mr. Bentlet. They infiltrated the trade unions, but that is about
as far as they ever got?

Mr. Vitins. Yes.

When the Communists came in and, at first, tanks appeared on
the streets of Riga, just the people from the mobs came out.

Mr. Bentijst. Now, I want to ask you one more question : All
the time that you were investigating Communist activities in Latvia^
what evidence did you discover, if any, of Soviet support for these

Mr. Vitins. They had some money support. They tried to do
that through the international banks. That is the banks who have
international banking operations, and international trade.

There was one bank which had trade with the Soviet Union and
they did it through this bank. Or, even through the Soviet Em-
bassy. We had evidence that from the Soviet Embassy, in many
cases, the people got some support.

Mr. Bentlet. You found direct proof that the Soviet Embassy in
Riga was financing and supporting the underground Commiuiist
movement in that country?

Mr. Vitins. Yes, we did, in some cases.


Mr. Bentley. And that, of course, I am sure you would say, would
be common practice of Soviet Embassies and diplomats wherever
they may be located ?

Mr. ViTiNS. As far as I know^, from the communistic tactics, they
are exactly the same, whether in Latvia or in the United States of

Mr. Bentley, On the part of Soviet support and financing for
Communist movements, wdiether they are legal or illegal?

Mr. ViTiNs. The financing belongs to the communistic tactics, and
it depends just on the circumstances which are important for them

Mr. Bentley. Did you find any direct evidence of Soviet diplo-
mats in Latvia, who had been actually engaged in espionage?

Mr. ViTiNS. Yes. We asked those people to leave, and that is all.

Mr. Bentley. You did find such evidence, that Soviet diplomats
had been carrying on such activities?

Mr. ViTiNS. Yes.

Mr. Bentley. The same thing would be true, undoubtedly, of not
only Soviet but also any diplomats or consular personnel fi'om occu-
pied Communist countries, today ? Do you see what I mean ?

Mr. ViTiNS. I understand. I would saj^ yes.

Mr. Bentley". You would say the presumption would be yes?

Mr. Vitins. Yes.

Mr. Bentley. Thank you.

Mr. BoNiN. The NKVD card that you had here for the arrest of
that anonymous person, we can assume, then, that they also have lists
of other people throughout the world that would be arrested in the
event that the Soviet was successful in taking over the country?

Mr. Vitins. That is right, sir. But the NKVD never has had a
court, as we understand it.

Mr. BoNiN. But lists are prepared of people who shall be arrested,
deported, or murdered ?

Mr. Vitins. Or murdered, that is right.

Mr. BoNiN. And these lists are prepared in Moscow ?

Mr. Vitins. That is one evidence. I don't know where the others
are prepared, but that card was prepared in Moscow. I don't have
more of them. That is all I have.

Mr. BoNiN. Well, we had some other testimony to that effect, too.

Mr. Vitins. I only wanted to point out that the whole annexation
and the whole thing was prepared, before. Therefore, Vyshinsky got
angry when someone gave the slogan ahead of time, and that is a
second evidence.

Mr. Keesten. Would you mark this as exhibit 13, Mr. Reporter.

However, I direct, Mr. Reporter, that when you have the oppor-
tunity, that the pen- written name after the numeral "1" and some
Russian language, be covered over so far as the record is concerned,
and that the name be not in the record but that the balance of the card
may be. Would you mark it ?

Mr. Vitins. I would like to have it back.

Mr. Kersten. We would like to make a photostat of it and return
it to you.

(A photostatic copy of the card will be marked "Exhibit 13," De-
troit, see p. 654.)


Mr. ViTiNS. There is one other thing I would like to show you, in
the book, to indicate how horrible the deportations have been. That
is the picture of the supreme court.

Now, I shall show you who has been deported from those people.

This man. This man. This, this, this and that. This man. That
man. This man. Here, this, this and this.

Mr. Kersten. So out of a total of 19, 10 out of 19 were deported, of
your Supreme Court of Free Latvia ?

Mr. ViTiNS. Yes, sir.

Mr. Kersten. You have also stated that you had some kindergarten
instructions at home?

Mr. ViTiNS. Each kindergarten everywhere got the same instruction.

Mr. Kersten. You have them here?

Mr. ViTiNS. I have them in Grand Rapids. They are printed in one
booklet, and I don't have the booklet, here. What I told you, that is
the contents of that.

Mr. Kersten. This Avitness, Congressman Bentley, I want to say,
has provided some very helpful information to the committtee, ex-
traordinarily helpful, and I think you are to be congratulated for
producing him, here, as well as other witnesses here that Mr. Mach-
rowicz has also produced.

You have made a fine contribution to our hearings, here.

Mr. INIcTiGUE. Mrs. Tarvainiene, will you come forward, please?

Mr. Kersten. Will you raise your right hand ?

Mr. JuRGELA. I have been sworn before.

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


Mrs. Tarvainiene (through interpreter). I do.

Mr. McTiGtrE. Will you please state your name and address?

Mrs. Tarvainiene. Kazimiera Tarvainiene.

Mr. McTiGUE. What is the address, please ?

Mrs. Tarvainiene. 4208 McKinley Street, Detroit, Mich.

Mr. McTiGUE. Where were you born ?

Mrs. Tarvainiene. In Siauliai.

Mr. McTiGUE. In which country ?

Mrs. Tarvainiene. In Lithuania.

Mr. McTiGUE. Were you in Lithuania when the Soviet occupied the
country ?

Mrs. Tarvainiene. Yes, I lived in Telsiai.

Mr. McTiGUE. Were your sons arrested ?

Mrs. Tarvainiene. Yes. He was arrested. He spent 7 months in

Mr. McTiGUE. How many children did you have?

Mrs. Tarvainiene. I had three. I had five children. Two had died
prior. Two were sons and one daughter.

Mr. MoTiGUE. Were your sons arrested by the Soviets?

Mrs. Tarvainiene. The Soviets.

Mr. McTiGUE. Were both of them arrested ?

Mrs. Tarvainiene. Both were detained. One was tortured to death
a7id one died here last year.

Mr. McTigue. Where did you live in Telsiai ?


Mrs. Tarvainiene. Republic Street.

Mr. McTiGUE. Was that right across the street from NKVD head-
quarters ?

Mrs. Tarvainiene. Yes. Across the street.

Mr. McTigue. Could you see NKVD headquarters from your home?

Mrs. Tarvainiene. Yes. Clearly.

Mr. McTiGUE. Could you see your sons being led in and out of the
NKVD headquarters ?

Mrs. Tarvainiene. At night. I have seen him being led at night.
I could not sleep. I watched, and I have seen him.

Mr. McTiGUE. What was your son's name and why was he arrested ?

Mrs. Tarvainiene. His name is Zenonas.

Mr. McTiGUE. How old was your son ?

Mrs. Tarvainiene. He was 20. By the time he was tortured to
death he was 21.

Mr. McTiGUE. Why was he arrested ?

Mrs. Tarvainiene. For failing to heed the orders to join them, the

Mr. McTiGUE. Was your son a Boy Scout or a member of any
Lithuanian youth organization?

Mrs. Tarvainiene. He was a Boy Scout. He did not belong to any

Mr. McTiGUE. He was a Boy Scout ?

Mrs. Tarvainiene. Yes, a scout.

Mr. McTiGUE. Were other boys arrested with your son ?

Mrs. Tarvainiene. Yes, there were.

Mr. McTiGUE. Do you recall what happened the day before the
Germans came to Telsiai ?

Mr. Kersten. Is the witness volunteering something?

Mr. JtJRGELA. The witness is showing a publication in the Lithua-
nian language which is entitled, "Zemaiciu Kankiniai," meaning
"Samagit martyrs."

The tragedy of the Rainiai Forest, June 24-25, 1941, published in
Telsiai in 1942 by Zemaiciu 2eme, meaning the Samagite Land, or

[She points to a list on page 3 which contains a number of names
and bearing crossed marks in front of some of the names, and those
are the Boy Scouts.]

Mr. McTiGUE. Is her son's name on that list ?

Mrs. Tarvainiene. Yes, it is sixth from the bottom of column 12.
It says, "Tarvainis, Zenonas."

Mr. McTiGTjE. Do you recall what happened on June 24, 1941, which
was the day before the Germans came to Telsiai ?

Mrs. Tarvainiene. Before the German entry, all the inhabitants
of Telsiai were ordered to leave the town. We were told to move about
3 kilometers away from the city.

Mr. McTiGUE. Do you recall seeing your son being led out of NKVD
headquarters by NKVD agents and Russian soldiers, on that day?

Mr. Tarvainiene. The last day, no ; I had seen him about 1 week
prior to that date.

Mr. McTiGUE. Did you see your son on or about that day, the day
before the Germans came in; did you see your son being led out of
NKVD headquarters, with other Boy Scouts and with other prisoners,
taken in the direction of Rainiai Forest?


Mrs. Takvainiene. No, I have not seen that. IVlien they were
taken to the forest, I was not present there.

Mr. ]\IcTiGUE. Did somebody tell you that your son was taken to
the Rainiai Forest?

Mrs. Tarvainiene. On Monday, my daughter had seen him still
being present in the prison there, and, of course, when the prisoners
were led out of the jail, he was taken with the other prisoners. This
was on Monday, and he was tortured to death on Wednesday.

Mr. McTiGUE. Did you later on go out to the Rainiai Forest to
identify the body of your son ?

Mr. Tarvainiene. Yes.

Mr. McTiGUE. Were there other bodies there ?

Mrs. Tarvainiene. Seventy-three corpses.

Mr. McTiGUE. Were they young men, youths, Boy Scouts ?

Mrs. Tarvainiene. Yes. Eighteen to twenty years old, and there
was a teaclier among them. He was an older man, but otherwise, they
were all young men ; Scouts.

Mr. McTiGUE. Was your son tortured ?

Mrs. Tarvainiene. Yes.

Mr. MgTigue. Wliat did they do to him ?

Mrs. Tarvainiene. His mouth was reined.

Mr. McTiGUE. Wliat do you mean by that?

Mrs. Tarvainiene. Like they bridle a horse ; reined.

His hands were tied in the back.

Mr. JuRGELA. This picture is not of her son, but her son was bound
like in this body. All bodies carried this taped mouth. And hands
were tied in the back, all of them.

Mrs. Tarvainiene. AVlien I found my boy, his mouth was still taped
and his hands were tied.

Mr. McTiGTJE. Have you a picture of your son ?

Mrs. Tarvainiene. Yes.

Mr. MgTigue. Have you a picture of your son at the time of his

Mrs. Tarvainiene. In this picture of the scene of Rainiai Forest,
my son's body is the third one from that tree, and the two bodies
lying on the side of the picture are the bodies of the Russian soldiers.
Their own soldiers.

Mr. Kersten. Would you mark this?

( The photograph was marked "Exhibit 14-A" Detroit. See p. 655. )

Mr. Kersten. Is this picture which the reporter has marked "No.
14. of Rainiai Forest," showing the body of your son as you saw it
on that occasion?

Mrs. Tarvainiene. Yes, that was taken there.

Mr. Kersten. Can you point to the body of your son ?

Mrs. Tarvainiene. [Witness indicates.]

Mr. Kersten. Is that a true picture of the scene that you saw on
this day?

Mrs. Tarvainiene. That is the picture. That is the way they were

Mr. Jurgela. The witness wishes to say that she has two pictures of
the boy before he was in prison. This picture was taken in the prison,
and there is also tlie photogra])h of the other boy who died last year,
who was also imprisoned by the Soviets.


Mr. Kersten. Does the witness have other pictures before her there,
of the forest and the massacre?

Mrs. Tarvainiene. That is right.

Mr. Kersten. I notice a number of pictures lying before the witness
there, pliotographs whicli appear to be simihir to exhibit 14-A, bodies
lying in tlie forest. Can you tell me whether there are other pictures
of the Rainiai Forest massacre there?

Mrs. Tarvainiene. Yes.

Mr. Kersten. Pick them out.

Would you hand them to me, please? Do you know who took these
pictures that you have handed to me?

Mrs. Tarvainiene. The man's name is Budginas.

Mr. Kersten. Did you see all the scenes that are identified on these

Mrs. Tarvainiene. Oh, my (xod. I found my son there.

Mr. Kersten. As I understand it, you did see the scenes that are
represented on these photographs ; is that correct ?

Mrs. Tarvainiene. Yes, Jesus, Maria, I have seen all of those scenes.

Mr. Kersten. Do these photographs truly picture the scenes that
you saw ?

Mrs. Tarvainiene. Yes, truly, truly. These were brought by me
from Lithuania.

Mr. Kersten. I will ask the reporter to mark all of these.

(The pictures were marked Exhibits 14-B — 14-K, Detroit, see
pp. 656-665.)

Mr. Jurgela. She also has a picture of the funeral, showing her
alongside the coiRn. Where my finger points, that is her walking
beside the cofiin.

Mr. Kersten. Will you mark the last one, please?

(The photograph was marked Exhibit 14-L, Detroit, see p. 666.)

Mr. Kersten. Mrs. Tarvainiene, we should like to put those photo-
graphs into the record and when they have been photographed for
the purposes of the record, the originals will be returned to you.

Mrs. Tarvainiene. Yes, sir, as long as you will return them to me.
Before I die, I would like to have those pictures.

Mr. Kersten. They will be returned to you within a few days.

Mr. Jurgela. The witness explains that she has other pictures, in-
cluding her own boy and the other Boy Scouts in that prison who were

Mr. Kersten. Did you, Mrs. Tarvainiene, notice wounds on your
boy's body ?

Mrs. Tarvainiene. I, myself, washed off the blood and all.

Mr. Kersten. Were there bullet wounds on his body?

Mrs. Tarvainiene. There was a bayonet wound from the point on
the forehead and it came out in the rear and there were also two
wounds on the left side of the head and there were two bayonet wounds
on the chest, just above the stomach, one on the left hip — two wounds
on the stomach, two wounds on the left hip. Of course, the body
was badly beaten, including some bumps on the left of the head and his
hands were scalded with hot cabbage soup. There were heaps of
cabbage there, because all of those bodies had been scalded by boiling
cabbage soup.

Mr. Bentley. Mr. Chairman, I have just one question. I would
like to ask the witness if she knows why we have asked her to recall


SO many terrible things, if she knows what our purpose is in asking
her to recall these tragic events of her own life, what the purpose
of this committee is in asking her to tell us these things ?

Mrs. Tarvainiene. What can I know ?

Mr. Bentlet. I wish you would tell her, Mr. Interpreter, that it is
only by bringing these tragic things out that we can know from her
testimony and the testimony of the other witnesses who have been
here, expose the true nature of what the Communists really do, that
v/e feel we are serving a purpose by telling the people of the free world
the truth behind these bestial actions and that is why we have asked
her to go through this painful ordeal, that we know it will be of value
to other people in the still remaining free countries of the world.

Mr. Kersten. Congressman Machrowicz.

Mr. Machrowicz. No further questions.

Mr. Kersten. Congressman Bonin?

Mr. BoNiN. No further questions,

Mr. JuRGELA. The witness says that these martyrs of Telsiai prison
had written on an aluminum plate their last will and testament. In
Lithuanian it consist of two and a half pages.

Mr. Kersten. May we have that again? We didn't hear that.

Mr. Jurgela. The witness states the martyrs of Telsiai prison wrote
their last will and testament on an aluminum plate in the prison and
they said they on June 23, 1941 ; it was in cell No. 10.

Mr. Kersten. Did you see that ?

Mrs. Tarvainiene. Yes, I did ; yes, I did,

Mr, Kersten, Is the writing that is in the book before you the same
as what you saw in this prison?

Mrs, Tarvainiene. Yes. everything the way it has been written
there. Everything.

Mr. KJERSTEN. Mr. Interpreter, is that a lengthy thing?

Mr. Jurgela. To interpret now?

Mv. Machrowicz. That last will.

Mr. Kersten. How many pages is it?

Mr. Jurgela. It is roughly two such pages, because here is an in-

Mr, Kersten. Are you familiar with that?

Mr. Jurgela. I have never read it.

Mr, Kjersten. Would you look it over and give us the sense of it ?

Mr. Jurgela. It is veiy ]3oetic.

Mr. Machrowicz. Put the whole will and testament in the record,
as well as you can. The translation,

Mr. Jurgela. They had seen that the war had started; they had
heard bombs exploding and they considered these the long-expected
swallows of hope.

We 13 political prisoners, victims of bolshevism sitting here in Telsiai prison,
cell No. 10, hopelessly are awaiting, hopefully expecting freedom like reindeers
thirsting for the waters of spring. Our land is being abused by Asiatics. They
are torturing the true patriots of Lithuania. They have placed them into dank
dungeons of prisons in association with the traitors. Today, on the 23rd day of
June 1041, in the morning, our faces were gladdened, our hearts are buring with
new fire, when we have seen the bomb bursts destroying the military objectives
of the Bolsheviks in Telsiai.

The sadistic superintendent, Kabaila, who had persecuted us for a long time
and punished us by not allowing us to leave the cell for natural needs and
who 3 days ago had beaten us in the lavatory, on the face, now his ears are


down. The chief politruk of the prison, behind Vaitkus, who had intended to
<!arry article 58 — that is tlie Soviet penal code — to Berlin, now is running around
like a madman and with a black bacon face. Now he is silent.

The political prisoner Tarvaini, from the prison of the former church, and
our Elta — that is Lithuanian Telegraph Agency — is announcing through the
thick walls the glad tidings. The cuckoo bird — meaning tlie Russians, here — has
his wings clipped, the traitors are running East en masse. Kaunas is free —
apparently they heard that through some radio or something — already decorated
with national flags. We are congratulating each other with a free Lithuania.
Today, June 24, 1941, a beautiful sunlit morning, through steel gates of the
window, we see the blue lake of Mastis. In excellent spirits, we are awaiting
the end of Bolsheviks, having learned from our best guard, Visagorskis, about
our new government — and 13 signatures follow.

So apparently this prison guard was the one wlio notified them that
there was a war on.

Mr. KERsn:N. Is the name of the one referred to as the one tapping
on the cell, her son '^

Mr. JuRGELA. I don't see his name here. The names all carry

Mr. Kersten. It Avould appear from the content, he was not among
the 13, but he was in an adjoining cell.

Mrs. Takvainiene. My son was in cell No. 5.

Mr. Kersten. Is Tarvainis referred to in the body of the article,
her son ?

You read a name off and you said that was her son. You said some-
thing about somebody tapping.

Mr. JuRGELA. His name does not appear here.

Mr. Kersten. In the yellow-covered book, you read, as you trans-
lated, the name of somebody who was tapping on the cell.

Mr. Jurgela. Oh, yes. It mentions her son. Yes.

Mr. Kersten. Now, I am asking the wdtness, does that refer to her

Mrs. Tarvainiene. Yes, that is my son.

Mr. Kersten. Are there any further questions ?

I want to say at this point that it certainly appears from this evi-
dence here quite conclusively that these 73 victims who include this
young man, and her son, when in the grasp of freedom w^ere appar-
ently taken in the forest and most brutally and sadistically murdered.

I have had a considerable amount of evidence — that is, statements
made to me by other witnesses, over in Europe, testifying to this most
heinous, official Communist act, that has ever come to my ears, the mur-
der of these boys, high school students among them.

Thank you for coming here and thank you for your courage in telling
this story. We hope that your son did not die in vain.

Now, sir, do you speak English ?


Mr. MiLiAUSKAS. I speak, but not very well.

Mr. Kersten. Do you understand English ?

Mr. MiLiAusKAS. I understand, but I am not strong.

Mr. Kersten. Raise your right hand, please. Do you solemnly
swear that you wall tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but
the truth, so help you God ?

Mr. MiLiAusKAs. So help me God.

Mr. McTigue. What is your full name, please ?


Mr. MiLiAUSKAS. Jiiozas Miliauskas.

Mr. McTiGUE. Where do you live ?

Mr. Miliauskas. In Windsor.

Mr. McTiGUE. Windsor, Ontario ?

Mr. Miliauskas. Yes, sir.

Mr. McTiGUE. What is your address ?

Mr. Miliauskas. 242 Cadillac Street.

Mr. McTiGUE. Where are you employed; by whom?

Mr. Miliauskas. By Dominion Forge & Stamping Co.

Mr. McTiGUE. Where were you born ?

Mr. Miliauskas. In Lithuania.

Mr. McTigue. In what year ?

Mr. Miliauskas. 1916. The 20th of June.

Mr. McTiGUE. In what town or village ?

Mr. Miliauskas. Geisteriskiai.

Mr. McTiGUE. What was your occupation while you were a youth
in this village you have just mentioned?

Mr, Miliauskas. I was a cabinetmaker.

Mr. McTigue. Were you in this village in Lithuania, or in the
Soviet-occupied Lithuania ?

Mr. Miliauskas. Yes, sir.

INIr. McTigue. Do you recall a day on or about June 22, 1941, while
you were at work in your shop ?

Mr. Miliauskas. Yes, sir. That was on Sunday.

Mr. McTigue. That was a Sunday ?

Mr. Miliauskas. Yes, sir.

Mr. McTigue. Wliat do you remember about it?

Mr. Miliauskas. I remember when the Eussian aniiy went away
and then came the German Army. Between that time, I did see an
army truck, a Russian army truck. In the army truck was about 6
or 7 NKVD soldiers and about 3 civilians.

Mr. McTigue. An army truck was passing through this village and
passed by your shop?

Mr. Mn.iAUSKAs. Not by my shop. By the village.

Mr. McTigue. But you were in the village and saw the truck ?

Mr. Miliauskas. Yes.

Mr. McTigue. And the truck had on it 3 NKVD men and 3 ci vilians ?

Mr. Miliauskas. It was about 7 NKBD soldiers and 3 civilians.
The civilians were priests.

Mr. IMcTiGUE. Then tell us what happened, please.

Mr. Miliauskas. They bring them to the Budavone Forest.

Mr. McTigue. Hoav did you know that?

Mr. Miliauskas. I saw.

Mr. McTigue. You saw them take them into the foi-est ?

Mr. Miliauskas. Yes, because it is not too far from my home.

Mr. McTigue. What happened, then?

Mr. Miliauskas. It was about a half mile.

Mr. McTigue. What happened, then?

Mr. Miliauskas. Then we heard shooting. After about 2 hours I
go to visit my neighbor and I see about 10 or 15 fanners standing by
the forest and talking and they see me and call, "Come in and see
what happened." When I come in, I see those three priests were


Mr. McTiGUE. Did you know the three priests '?

Mr. MiLiAUSKAS. Yes.

Mr. McTiGUE. Who were they ?

Mr. MiLiAUSKAs. It was Priest Balsis, Priest Dabrila, and Priest
Petri ka.

Mr. McTiGUE. How were they killed? AVere they shot?

Mr. MiiJAUSKAs. They were shot and killed with bayonets.

Mr. McTiGUE. And bayoneted?

^Ir. MiLiAUSKAS. Yes. Through the chest.

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