United States. Congress. House. Select committee o.

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

. (page 54 of 75)
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a man into nothing, to push him into the dark but we also know how
to wash dirt from a man. If you admit your guilt we will call off the
interrogation. Then there will be a light sentence and you will again
return to public life."

I refused to admit any guilt and to sign the proposed confession.
So Sokolov then said : "We have other means to make you confess."


On December 10, 1940, 1 was returned to prison, locked in a solitary
confinement cell and told that I would be kept there until I would
agree to admit to the charges made against me.

The solitary confinement cell was cold, 22° below zero, and the cold
came through the barred window high in the wall.

I had to stand up every few minutes and stamp my feet to keep from
freezing. As ordered by the NKVD, the food brought to me was first
chilled in the snow and I got half of the food that the other prisoners

Mr. McTiGTjE. You got half rations, is that what you are saying?

Mr. BiLDUSAs. Yes.

Mr, McTiGUE. You got only half the food they gave to the other
prisoners ?

Mr. BiLDusAS, Yes ; that is right. I was still sufi^ering from the lice
given to me by the NKVD. I even thought then to commit suicide.
When I was in the NKVD basement I found there a piece of wire. I
sharpened the end of the wire and I thought to pierce my heart.
Later the NKVD were searching in the cell; I had to take off my
clothes, and they looked around on my body and in this section they
found this piece of wire, and they took it away. All of the time then
I was placed in solitary confinement in NKVD quarters.

Mr. McTiGUE. Then, if the NKVD hadn't found this wire you prob-
ably would have committed suicide ; is that correct ?

Mr. BiLDUSAS. Maybe, yes, and the

Mr. McTiGUE. That was your intention, anyway?

Mr. BiLDUSAS. I have had the intention to commit suicide because
I didn't know how long I would be questioned, how long I would be
held in solitary confinement.

I have had an aluminum spoon. And I sharpened one edge as a
knife and I thought to cut my arm [indicating motion of right hand
across left upper arm]. But once I was decided to commit suicide;
but before my eyes appeared my family and the spoon dropped on the
floor. On December

Mr. McTiGUE. You mean you thought about your family and then
you decided not to commit suicide?

Mr. BiLDUSAS. Yes. A NKVD man came to the cell and asked me
whether I wanted to confess now. When they would get my negative
answer they would make fun of me and go away.

On December 24, 1940, I was taken from the solitary confinement
cell with a swollen face, and swollen hands and feet, and placed in the
large common cell in the prison.

Mr. McTiGUE. Was your face swollen from the beatings you had en-
dured ?

Mr. BiLDUSAS. Yes.

Mr. McTiGUE. Were you beaten every night or at regular intervals
in the last period you are talking about ?

Mr. BiLDUSAS. No. When I was questioned and during the interro-

Mr. McTiGUE. Then what happened, Mr. Bildusas ?

Mr. BiLDUSAS. The cell was crowded with prisoners. The cell win-
dows were boarded from the outside. The air was foul because at
times we had to take care of our physical needs right in the cell for


The food was so poor that all of the prisoners looked like living
corpses. The young prisoners were crying because of their great

Antanas Mozuraitis, he tried to chew and eat a leather lace taken
from liis shoe. We had no books to read, and were not even allowed
the Communist paper. Our families were not allowed to visit us, and
we were not allowed to receive any mail from them. We didn't even
knovv' where they were, while our families did not know what hap-
pened to us.

The prison guards terrorized the prisoners even here.

Here I have one document about this, an original document. Here
is the original document, that says in translation it is so. January
10, this year, at 18 o'clock, the guard, Vaclovas Dzirkus, was on duty.

I ordered the prisoners of the cell No. 3 not to sit on the bench and not to
slumber, but they didn't obey. Bildusas said to me, where did I, such a charla-
tan come from. He said this is good for the others, but not for us. He said I
broke his health at secret police headquarters, and I am troubling him again.
Please set this in order. Dzirkus.

]Mr. Kf.rstex. I show you, Mr. Bildusas, what appears to be a

Will vou mark these documents, please ?

(The* documents were marked "Exhibits 18-A and 18-B." Will
be found in committee files.)

Mr. Kersten. I show you, Mr. Bildusas, what appears to be a dos-
sier or a sheaf of papers, and ask you what that is. That is exhibit
18-B. What is that?

Mr. Bildusas. That is the files about me, which were in the prison
when I was there.

]\Ir. Kersten. This was your prison file ; is that right ?

JNIr. Bildusas. This is my prison file.

Mr. Kerstex. How did you get hold of these ?

Mr. l^iLDUSAS. At the beginning of the war.

Mr. Kersten. What time was it ?

]Mr. Bildusas. June 22, 1941, when the Germans attacked.

Mr. Kersten. I understand. Where were you at the time ?

Mr. Bildusas. In prison.

Mr. Kersten. Where in prison ; what town ?

Mr. Bildusas. Taurage.

Mr. Kersten. And when did you first come into possesssion of Ex-
hibit 18-B ? Wlien did you first get it ?

Mr. Bildusas. After I left prison, after the Germans occupied

Mr. Kersten. Did this come from the office of the prison where you
were imprisoned ?

Mr. Bildusas. That is right.

Mr. Kersten. How long after you got out of prison did you get
hold of it?

INIr. Bildusas. June 22, my son was in prison to look for me, but I
fled to the village from the prison, and my son found this file on that
same day, the 22d of June.

Mr. Kersten. Did he tell you where he found it?

Mr. Bildusas. Yes.

Mr. Kersten. Where?

Mr. Bildusas. In the office of the prison.


Mr. Kersten. So he went right to the prison file and picked out your
prison file ?

Mr. BiLDUSAS. That is right.

Mr. Kersten. And then gave it to you ?

Mr. BiLDUSAS. Yes, after that date, as many others did.

Mr. Kersten. After many others did from the NKVD files ?

Mr, BiLDUSAS. That is right.

Mr. Kersten. And what you have read is exhibit 18-A, and is a
translation of one of the documents in your file?

Mr. BiLDUSAS. Yes.

Mr. Kersten. And I note that exhibit 18-B, the original file, is writ-
ten in Kussian and Lithuanian?

Mr. BiLDUSAS. Yes.

Mr. Kersten. And, it appears to be the same as the other prison
files that have come to our attention that the Soviets left behind when
they fled from Lithuania ?

Mr. BiLDUSAS. Yes.

Mr. Kersten. And the other Baltic nations?

Mr. BiLDUSAS. Yes.

Mr. Kersten. I think that should be made a part of the record.

Mr. McTigue. Yes.

Mr. Kersten. Mr. Bildusas, is it satisfactory with you if we keep
this Soviet NKVD document ? We will have it photostated and will
return the original to you, in a matter of a week or so,

Mr. BiLDUSAS. Yes, Mr. Congressman. Here are two more original
documents ; one of them is a list of the things they took from me as
incriminating evidence against me. xVmong these things, there are
magazines from foreign countries. He is considered guilty v7ho is
reading magazines from foreign countries. He has to be a spy for
foreign countries, too. And when they searched my house they made
a list of my belongings, like my clothes, shoes, linen, et cetera, were
considered property of the government. Those are the original docu-
ments signed by two NKVJD agents.

Mr, McTigue. When were you released from jDrison finally?

Mr. BiLDUSAS. At 4 o'clock in the morning on June 22, 1941, the
NKVA Agent Parfionov was leading student Tallat-Kelpsa from the
NKVD dungeon to the prison, and the prison-guard gates had barely
opened wdien the sound of artillery was heard, and the Germans began
war against the Soviets.

Agent Parfionov shot student Tallat-Kelpsa on the spot, and he
ordered the NKVD prison guards to open the cell doors and to shoot
all of the political prisoners.

Mr. Kersten. To shoot them ?

Mr. BiLDUSAS. Yes.

Mr. McTigue. He ordered them to do what ?

Mr. BiLDUSAS. To shoot all political prisoners.

Mr. McTigue. And you were among the political prisoners ; is that

Mr. BiLDUSAS. Yes. At that moment an artillery shell fell in the
prison and killed two NKVD men. Four shells struck the prison
building and killed 16 men. The NKVD men all fled.

The prisoners then broke open their cell doors and fled from the
prison. I was one of those who escaped.


Mr. McTiGUE. And only for those last-minute artillery shells you
would have been shot right there and then ?

Mr. BiLDusAs. That is right.

Mr. Kersten. Will you mark these documents as "Exhibits 18-C,
18-D, 18-E, and IS-F," please.

(Exhibits 18-D and 18-E will be found in committee files.)

( Tlie items were marked "Exhibits Nos. 18-C and 18-F." See pp.
677 and 678.)

Mr. Kj:rsten. Now I will show you exhibit 18-C and ask you what
that is?

Mr. BiLDUSAS. That is the building of the high school ; once it was a
psychiatric hospital. There were small cells there for violent patients.
When the Communists occupied Lithuania, they made a prison out of
these cells in this building in the basement, and closed up the prisoners
who were caught fleeing to Germany,

Mr. Kersten. Were you in this prison?

Mr. BiLDUSAs. No.

^Ir. Kersten. But it was used as a prison ?

Mr. BiLDUSAS. That was used as a prison, and when the Germans
occupied Taurage we went there and we found puddles of dried blood
on the floor, on the walls, and the spots of the bullets in the walls.
The men were shot down.

Later we found the graves in bushes in the forest, and people with
their hands tied behind them and with bullets in their heads.

Mr. Kersten. Were those graves apparently of prisoners who had
been taken from this prison pictured on exhibit 18-C?

Mr. BiLnusAS. Yes. That was a high school, my two sons went to
this school.

Mr. Kersten. Was this high school used as a prison ?

Mr. BiLDUSAS. As a prison.

Mr. Kersten. And apparently, from all appearances, these were
prisoners who were executed in this prison ?

Mr. BiLDUSAS. That is right.

Mr. Kersten. Were the bodies of these prisoners founds

Mr. BiLDUSAS. Yes.

Mr. Kersten. Where?

Mr. BiLDUSAS. In the bushes.

Mr. Kj:rsten. How many ?

Mr. BiLDUSAS. Maybe about 25.

Mr. Kersten. All right. And 18-F, that is a prison picture of you ;
is it not?

Mr. BiLDUSAS. That is my prison picture of me.

Mr. Kersten. And 18-D and 18-E are lists of property that

Mr. BiLDUSAS. This is the list of my property.

Mr. Kersten. By property you mean things on your person ?

Mr. BiLDUSAS. Yes, on my person, because I didn't have a house —
my clothing, my shoes.

Mr. Kersten. What is 18-E ?

Mr. BiLDUSAS. Those are the things which were taken as incrimi-
nating evidence from me.

Mr. Kersten. Wliat would be an example of some of the incrimi-
nating evidence.


Mr. BiLDusAS. Various personal correspondence. And tliere are
mentioned foreign maoazines, 25 coj^ies that they found in my house.
This list of incriminating evidence is written in Russian.

Mr. Ejersten. Thank you. Proceed, Mr, Counsel.

Mr. McTiGUE. When did you leave Lithuania, Mr. Bildusas ?

Mr. Bildusas. In 1944, in October.

Mr. ]\[cTiGUE. Did you go to Germany?

Mr. Bildusas. Yes, I went to West Germany and was waiting for
the Allied forces.

Mr. McTiGUE. When did you emigrate to the United States?

Mr. Bildusas. June 7, 1947.

Mr. McTiGUE. And where are you employed now ?

Mr. Bildusas. I am working as a laborer in the United States Steel

Mr. McTiGUE. Those are all the questions I have, thank you.

Mr. Kersten. I just want to say this: At first, you thought you
could cooperate with the Communists ; didn't you, Mr. Bildusas ?

Mr. Bildusas. Yes ; I thought it would be possible.

Mr. Kersten. And you found out, to your great sorrow, that you
could not cooperate with the Communists ?

Mr. Bildusas. No. I could not go along with the Communists
because of these atrocities, because they considered the Lithuanian
people as an enemy of communism ; every Lithuanian was striving to
have his own house, his own farm, or his own business, and in the
communistic system every property and business belongs to the state
and is run by the governmental agents.

Mr. Kersten. And you went through this torture and questioning
and imprisonment that you have described, and that gave you a real
knowledge of what the Communists are ; did it not ?

Mr. Bildusas. That is right.

Mr. Kersten. After having gone through that experience, would
you trust a Communist ?

Mr. Bildusas. No; never.

Mr. Kersten. Would you enter into any agreements with the
Communists ?

Mr. Bildusas. No ; that is not possible.

Mr. Kersten. Would you place any reliance upon the word of a
Communist ?

Mr. Bildusas. No ; never.

Mr. Kersten. So when the Communists come with nice words, and
talks of peace, what would that mean to you ?

Mr. Bildusas. That would mean there would be war, because they
are preparing all the time for war. The communistic dogma, the
communistic gospel is all for war.

Mr. Kersten". You have learned that through bitter experience,
have you not?

Mr. Bildusas. Sure, I learned that. They are crazy mentally, and
there never could be normal negotiations.

Mr. Kersten. Congressman Machrowicz?

Mr. Machrowicz. I have no questions, except to make a comment
that the experience of this witness in trying to collaborate or work
with the Conununists is identical with that of every other person in


Lithuania and in Poland, and in every other country behind the Iron

Mr. BiLDusAS. That is right.

Mr. Machrowicz. Who try to colhiborate with the Communists

Mr. BiLDusAS. Yes, like Mikolajczyk.

Mr. Machrowicz. Yes, you were going to mention Mikolajczyk.

Mr. BiLDUSAS. That is right.

Mr. Machrowicz. He was in exactly the same position as you, he
tried to work with the Communists in Poland, and thought he could
work something out with them, and he ended up by being forced to
leave the country, and many of his colleagues were either killed or
sent to Siberia.

Mr. BiLDUSAS. That is right.

Mr. Machrowicz. Which to me proves conclusively that you just
cannot do business with Communists.


Mr. Kersten. Congressman Dodd?

Mr. DoDD. I would just like to add to what Congressman Machro-
wicz has just said : I think it is well to point out that these tactics and
methods, that we have heard about before this committee, that are
being employed in Korea against American prisoners of war, and
civilians, proves that the pattern continues without change.

Mr. BiLDUSAS. That is right.

Mr. Kjersten. Thank you, Mr. Dodd. I certainly agree with you.

We will at this time adjourn until 2 o'clock in this room.

(Whereupon, an adjournment was taken at 11: 55 a. m., to 2 p. m.
of the same day.)


(The committee reconvened at 2 : 40 p. m.)

Mr. Kersten. The hearing will come to order, please. Will Mrs.
Welch please bring the next witness in?

I will state for the record at this time that the next witness, a lady,
has relatives presently in Lithuanian and she believes that her ap-
pearance here today, if she were to be identified, would endanger these
relatives, and we believe there is a real basis for this fear on her
part. We have experienced the same thing in Detroit where witnesses
would not testify unless their identity remained unknown. So, comply-
ing with this request, we have agreed not to bring out this fact con-
cerning the identity of this witness. I have personally talked to this
witness and know her identity, as others of our investigators do, and
we know something of her background, and we are satisfied that her
story is an important contribution to these hearings, and, we, there-
fore, acceded to her request to keep her identity unknown.

Will you stand up, lady, please, and be sworn? Will you raise your
right hand, please ?

You do solemnly swear that you will tell the truth, the whole truth,
and nothing but the truth, so help you God?

The Witness. I do.

Mr. Kersten. Have a chair, please.



Mr. Kersten. Madam Witness, you live in the Chicago area ; is that
correct ?

The Witness. Yes.

Mr. Kersten. Wliat is your occupation or profession ?

The Witness. I am a nurse.

Mr. Kersten. And you work in a Chicago hospital ; is that right ?

The Witness. Yes.

Mr. Kersten. You were born in Lithuania ?

The Witness. Yes.

Mr. Kersten. Were you in Lithuania during the year from June
of 1940, to June of 1941, when the Communists occupied Lithuania?

The Witness. Yes.

Mr. Kersten. You lived in Kaunas ; did you ?

The Witness. Yes.

Mr. Kersten. Kaunas was the capital?

The Witness. Yes.

Mr. Kersten. Did you live in the home of a family, the head of
which the man was a member, an important official of the Lithuanian
Government before the Communists took over ?

The Witness. Yes.

Mr. Kersten. And that man and his family lived in a regular res-
idence in the city of Kaunas ; did they ?

The Witness. Yes.

Mr. Kersten. Directing your attention to the month of January,
I believe, 1941, were you in that home, and was this man there and his
family ?

The Witness. Yes.

Mr. Kersten. Will you state whether something happened to that
man on that occasion ?

The Witness. Yes.

Mr. Kersten. Tell us in your own way, without giving us the name,
what happened on this occasion ?

The Witness. He was arrested and taken from the house on Jan-
uary 2, and in the evening at 10 o'clock, come two Russian officers, in
Russian uniforms, and ask for this man. This madi is at the home and
was upstairs.

Mr. Kersten. Lean forward a little bit so that you can talk right
into the microphone.

Will you repeat that last part, Mr. Reporter?

(The last part of the answer was repeated as follows :

"Answer by the witness : He was arrested and taken from the house
on January 2d and in the evening at 10 o'clock come two Russian offi-
cers, in Russian uniforms, and asked for this man ; this man is at the
home and was upstairs.")

Mr. Kersten. Now, did these officers question the man, the head
of the house?

The Witness. The first question was that the officer wanted a room
for rent and he was very friendly the first time. After that a couple
of seconds he asked about guns.

Mr. Kersten. You mean the Russian officers asked the man if he
had a gun?


The Witness. Yes, a gun, after a while; that means they know.

Mr. Kersten. Now, just one moment. Would it be easier for you
to talk in Lithuanian and to have Mr. Jurgela translate it?

The Witness. O. K. ; I will do that.

Mr. Kersten. Will you just tell us now in your own way what took
place that night ?

And, Mr. Jurgela, break in every so often so that it won't be too

The Witness. That was January 2 at 10 p. m. in the evening, two
Russian officers arrived.

Mr. KERs^rEN. Tliis was the year 1941 ?

The U'lTNESs. 1941, yes.

Mr. Kersten. All right.

The Witness. And they asked if the landlord, the proprietor of
this house was home. I said ; "Yes."

I led them upstairs and showed them; they seemed to be very
friendly and they wanted to rent a room.

A few seconds later the Russians inquired of the landlord whether
he owned a pistol. Then they said, "Sit down, you are arrested.
And they started to search all over the house."

They looked mostly for the books on chemical and physical sub-
jects and containing some formulas or plans of some factories. They
packed all those books into two suitcases and they took those suitcases

All this lasted until January 3, 6 a. m., rather, 6 : 15 a. m.

Mr. Kersten. How many hours would that have been, about?

Tlie WrrNESs. 6 or 8 hours.

Mr. Kj:rsten. What were you doing during this time?

The Witness. I was sitting and looking.

Mr. Kersten. Did the Russian officers give directions to you?

The Witness. Not then ; they just asked me who I was.

Mr. Kersten. After this lengthy questioning, what did they do
with the man ?

The Witness. They told him to dress up and they took him away
with them when they went away.

Mr. I^rsten. What about the wife and the children?

The Witness. The wife and the child remained at home at that
time. Uniformed Russian soldiers were stationed all around the
house, and one of them stood in the doorway.

Mr. I^jntSTEN. Did anything happen to the wife and the children
later ?

The Witness. At the end of May, or early in June, they arrived
to take them away.

Mr. Kersten. You mean the wife and children?

The Witness. The wife and one child.

Mr. Kersten. What did they do?

The Witness. I told them that they had been removed about a half
hour earlier.

Mr. Kersten. You told whom?

The Witness. I told that to the Russians. . "'

Mr. Kersten. What did the wife and child do?

The Witness. They immediately left the house and went into lird-
ing. and they stayed in hiding until the German Army arrived.


Mr. Kersten. In other words, until the Communists had left Lithu-
ania, is that right?

The Witness. Yes.

Mr. Kersten. Now, will you tell us. Madam Witness, if you saw in
your immediate neighborhood other families being arrested, or mem-
bers of families?

The Witness. Yes, I did.

Mr. Kersten. Tell us what you saw about that.

The Witness. I saw the families being loaded up and they were
delivered to the railroad station.

Mr. Kersten. Were some of the families living right around your
neighborhood ?

The Witness. Yes, one family. I know one family which resided
not far from my home.

The Interpreter. The witness inquired whether she should name
the family's name?

The Witness. Yes.

Mr. Kersten. Perhaps she had better not, I don't think it would
add anything to the record, other than the fact that she saw this par-
ticular family being deported.

Did you go down to the railway station sometime in the month of
June ?

The Witness. Yes, I was' working in a certain office.

Mr. Kersten. How close was that office to the railway yard or
station ?

The Witness. Two or three hunderd meters.

Mr. Kersten. Did you get a pretty good look at the railway yards
from that office window?

The Witness. Yes, a very good look.

Mr. Kersten. Now, I want you to tell us. Madam Witness, in your
own way, just what you saw" when you were looking toward the rail-
way yards.

The Witness. Through the office window I have seen a great many
families being brought up to the railway station and loaded on trains.

Mr. Kersten. What kind of trains?

The Witness. The trains were cattle trains', or freight cat's. They
Avere encircled by barbed wire, especially those small windows, slit

Mr. Kersten. You mean the windows of the cars ?

The Witness. Yes.

Mr. Kersten. And these were, you say, cattle cars ?

The Witness. Yes.

Mr. Kersten. Now, how many cars on these trains, as near as
you can remember, was' it — just 2 or 3 — or were there more?

The Witness. Oh, no. I saw more or less 40 to 50 cars in this

Mr. Kersten. By that do you mean 40 to 50 cattle cars ?

The Witness. Yes.

Mr. Kersten. And by the time these trains were ready to pull out
about how many people were in each of these cattle cars?

The Witness. I couldn't say, but there were a great many.

Mr. Kersti':n. Did they appear to be full?

The AVitness. Yes ; they were very full.


jNIr. Kersten. Now, did you recognize any of your friends being
thrust into these cattle cars or after they were in these cars?

Tlie Witness. I have seen a great many friends from schooldays
and from my work, from my place of employment.

Mr. Kersten. How were they being put into these cattle cars?

The AVitness. Like cattle.

Mr. Kersten. Well, who was assisting them into the cattle cars?

The Witness. No one.

Mr. Kersten. Well, were there Russian soldiers there ?

The Witness. The Russian soldiers were stationed in lines about
10 to 15 paces away from the train.

Mr. K-Ersten. Did you notice anything about the men and the rest
of the families ?

The Witness. Yes ; I did.

Mr. Kersten. Tell us what you saw about that?

The Witness. When the truck arrived at the station, so the men
walked to the one side and the women walked to the other side, and

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