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

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General Musteikis (through interpreter). Yes; I can.

Mr. McTiGUE. Will you proceed, please, in your own way to describe
the events?

General JNIusteikis (through interpreter). I received the first inti-
mation of the ultimatum by Prime Minister Merkys on June 14 at
11 : 30 p. m. He told me that very bad news had been received from
Moscow and that a session of the Council of Ministers is being con-
voked at the President's office. I came there at 1 o'clock at night on
June 15. The session was opened at 1 : 30 at night on June 15.

The President of the Republic, Mr. Smetona, had presided over the
session of the Cabinet. All of the members of the Cabinet had taken
part in the session, with the exception of the Minister of Foreign
Affairs, who was in Moscow, and with the exception of Finance Min-
ister Galvanauskas, who was at that time on official duty at Klaipeda.

The session was also attended by Commander in Chief of the Arm}^
Genera] Vitkaukas, and Chief of Staff General Pundzevicius, and Sec-
retary General of the Council of Ministers Masalaitis.

This session may be divided into two parts. I will relate now the
first part, the President's thesis, what the President had said : The
President said that he is agreeable to consider only the second point
of the ultimatum.

Mr. McTigue. May I interrupt for a moment, please? Whnt 3
or 4 — whatever the case is — points were contained in the ultimatum
which the Cabinet now has under discussion.

General Musteikis (througli an interpreter). Initially, the Coun-
cil was aware of only two points of the ultimatum. That was decoded
and while the session was taking place, the final third point of the



BALTIC STATES INVESTIGATION 39

ultimatum had been deciphered or decoded, so that the ultimatum
had three points.

Mr. McTiGUE. Will you now name the three points before proceed-
ing anv further?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). The first point of the
ultimatum was tliat the Minister of Interior Skucas and Security De-
partment Chief Povilaitis must be prosecuted.

Mr. McTiGDE. What was point No. 2 ^

General Musteikis (through interpreter). The second point of the
ultimatum was that a new government should be formed which would
be acceptable to Moscow.

The third point of the ultimatum was that unlimited numbers of
Soviet troops should be admitted to all of the localities in Lithuania.

The time for the acceptance of the ultimatum was fixed at 10 a. m.
that day.

Mr. McTiGUE. How much time did that give the Cabinet for dis-
cussion and decision, from the time the ultimatum was received?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). The session since the
reception — 10 hours.

Mr. McTiGUE. Going back to point No. 1 for a moment, which i
understand was the arrest and trial of the Ministers of the Interior
and Security Police, why did they want the Minister of the Interior
and Security Police Chief tried? What was their crime?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). The Russians had
accused us that our security organs had kidnaped Soviet soldiers for
the purpose of inducing them to spy for Lithuania. The security
organs of the government were under charge of the Minister of the
Interior.

Mr. jMcTigue. AVas there any effort by the Lithuanian Government
to investigate these incidents with a view to disproving or further
investigating incidents?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). Yes; some steps were
undertaken.

Mr. McTiGUE. Briefly, what were those steps ? Was an effort made
to contact the Soviet representative with a view to determining
whether the charges had any validity?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). The Lithuanian Gov-
ernment had been aware that there had been no such kidnapings in
fact, and specifically that no such kidnapings have been executed by
security organs.

Mr. "McTtgue. Did the Lithuanian Government communicate that
fact to the Soviets?

General Mitsteikis (through interpreter). May I continue, first?

Mr. McTigue. Yes.

General Musteikis (through interpreter). The Lithuanian Gov-
ernment had admitted a possibility that some incidents of some type
of violence might have happened where there had been uncertain ele-
ments during the period of the war. Or probably that Red army men
had deserted from the Russian Army, were in hiding among the ci-
vilians, nnd not finding any support for themselves, they would return
back to their units and in self-justification they might have concocted
such stories.



40 BALTIC STATES INVESTIGATION

Mr. McTiGUE. Did the Soviets agree to sit down with any officials
or representatives of the Lithuanian Government, with a view ta
determining the truth or falsity of the charges?

General MusTEiKis (through interpreter). No. We had appointed
for that purpose a special commission, under the chairmanship of
the Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeals, Brazinskas, and mem-
bers were the legal adviser of the Ministry of Interior, Jakobas, and
military court member. Lieutenant Colonel Korla. Our minister in
Moscow, Dr. Natkevicius, had notified Molotov and requested him
to enable this committee to interrogate the soldiers involved. There
was no reply to that request. Nevertheless this committee formed by
us requested through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Russian
representative in Kaunas, Pozdniakov, that he should create conditions
enabling our commission to interrogate those soldiers. And the com-
manding officer of the garrison in Vilnius, Cernius, approached the
staff of the Russian garrison, also requesting a permission for members
of the commission to interrogate the soldiers involved.

The Russians told General Cernius that the soldiers are in such
state after the ordeal that they are in a hospital and are in no shape
to give testimony.

Then we requested that they themselves should interrogate, but they
have never done that, and regardless of our repeated requests, they
gave no reply.

Mr. McTiGUE. That is as much satisfaction as you could get as far
as point No. 1 of the ultimatum was concerned ?

General MusTEiKis (through interpreter). Yes.

Mr. McTiGUE. Before we go to point No. 2, what action did the
Lithuanian Cabinet take on point 1 ? Point No. 1 was the arrest and
trial of the Minister of Interior and the Security Police Chief, which
we have just developed. What was the action that the Lithuanian
Cabinet took with reference to point 1 ?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). While our Prime Min-
ister was in Moscow, Molotov repeatedly complained to him why
Skucas and Povilaitis are not detained for such a long time, and Prime
Minister Merkys promised Molotov to have that done after he should
return to Kaunas, that he would replace Minister of the Interior
Skucas. Merkys had returned June 12 at 1 : 30 p. m., from the air-
field, and he proceeded directly to the President, and the Minister
of the Interior had been summoned there, and he was dismissed from
office, right there. Duties of the Minister of the Interior had been as-
sumed by Prime Minister Merkys himself, and the President told
Skucas and Povilaitis that they should leave Kaunas for some safer
place.

Mr. McTiGUE. The fact is that the Minister and the Security Police-
Chief were removed from office but not arrested and tried, as the ulti-
matum requested that they be tried?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). They were not.

Mr. McTiGUE. Moving on to point 2, which Avas the formation of a
new Cabinet agreeable to the Soviet Union.

General Musteikis (through interpreter). Of the three points con-
tained in the ultimatum the President has agreed to consider only
point 2 of tlie ultimatum. He said that there are occasions when a
great state pressures a small state to change a government. He agreed
to form a new government, but not a government which would be ac-



BALTIC STATES INVESTIGATION 41

ceptable to :Moscow but rather a government which would be ac-
ceptable to Lithuania, herself.

Mr. McTiGUE. Did he designate a new Prime Minister and a new
Cabinet, and send the names on to Moscow ?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). I said earlier that the
session of the Cabinet could be divided into two parts. So that when
the President agreed only to form a new government — at 4 a. m. a
recess was taken, in order to summon the new candidate for the Prime
Minister's office, General Rastikis.

Mr. McTiGUE. Was General Rastikis approved then as the new
Prime Minister?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). General Rastikis ar-
rived around 4 a. m,, and when he was asked by the President whether
he would agree to form a new govermnent, General Rastikis said yes,
he would.

Mr. McTiGUE. Did he form a new government ?

General Musteikis (through interpreter) . He approved the forma-
tion but could not do so.

Mr. McTiGUE. Why?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). When the session ended
at 6 : 30 a. m., Moscow was informed that the new government was in
the process of formation and that the new Prime Minister would be
General Rastikis. Rastikis was still contacting and speaking to dif-
ferent people and then shortly after 10 a. m., on June 15, reply had
been received from Moscow that the candidacy of General Rastikis
was not acceptable to Moscow.

Mr. McTiGUE. Did Moscow submit any candidate who was ac-
ceptable ?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). They did not suggest
any. Then, around 11 or 12 o'clock that clay, information was re-
ceived from Moscow that Deputy People's Commissar for Foreign Af-
fairs Dekanozov was proceeding to Kaunas.

Mr. McTiGUE. Before you go on from there, Dekanozov played the
same role in Lithuania that Vishinsky did in Latvia ?

General Musteikis (through interpreter) . Yes, it was the same role
played by Visliinsky in Latvia.

Mr. McTigue. Then what happened, so far as the formation of a
new Cabinet was concerned?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). A new government had
not been formed, and consequently the former government continued
in office.

Mr. McTigue. Moving to point 3, now, the entry of the Soviet
Army.

General Musteikis (through interpreter). As I said before, the
President refused, in principle, to consider items 1 and 3 of the ulti-
matum.

Mr. McTigue. Was the Cabinet divided on this issue or were they
unanimous in supporting it ?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). Two members of the
Cabinet supported the President's opinion, and the others were in
favor of acceding to the ultimatum, except Prime Minister ISIerkys,
who said that this point 1 and 2 should be accepted, and that the new
Prime Minister should proceed to Moscow to negotiate regarding
item 3.



42 BALTIC STATES INVESTIGATION

Mr. McTiGUE. What happened thereafter to the President when
it was agreed that the new Prime Minister would go to Moscow?
What happened to the then President of Lithuania?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). Moscow notified us that
this new Prime Minister was not acceptable to Moscow, The Presi-
dent said as long as he was powerless to form even a new government,
that he should retire from Lithuania.

Mr. McTiGUE. Did he retire ?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). He did, but only for a
vacation. He did not resign from office, but he went abroad for a
rest.

Mr. ]McTiGUE. What happened to you. General ?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). I had to return to Lith-
uania in 1942, on May 31.

Mr. McTiGUE. When the Cabinet was discussing the ultimatum
were the Soviet troops on the march across the border?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). They had not crossed
the border yet. The session was over by 6 : 30 o'clock in the morning,
and the Russian Armies from the bases and from abroad, from Russia,
began to march after 10 o'clock or around 11.

Mr. McTiGUE. The Cabinet meeting was over at 6 : 30 and the Soviet
was on the march at 10 ?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). Yes.

Mr. BusBEY. General, why did you return to Lithuania in May
1942?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). I was a Lithuanian.
Lithuania had already been purged of the Russians, and I thought
that after a period of very hard conditions of life in Germany I
would be more useful among Lithuanians in my own country.

Mr. BusBEY. How long did you stay in Lithuania, and what was
the reason for your departure?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). I stayed in Lithuania
until August 1, 1944, and as a great many people were escaping, so
did I.

Mr. BusBEY. How long have you been in the United States, Gen-
eral?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). I arrived in the United
States on May 14, 1949.

Mr. BusBEY". That is all.

Mr. Madden. When you were called to the meeting, who was pres-
ent there representing the Soviets?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). Absolutely no one. That
was the Govermnent of Independent Lithuania in session.

Mr. Madden. Who prompted or urged that meeting at 1 a. m. ?
What w^as the purpose of calling it at 1 a. m. ?

General Musteikis (through interpreter) . The ultimatum had been
received in Moscow. Molotov handed it to Mr. Urbsys on June 14
at 11 : 30 at night, Moscow time. Urbsys immediately telephoned to
the Prime Minister in Kaunas. There is 1 hour difference between
Moscow time and Lithuanian time.

Mr. Madden. In other words, no responsible official connected with
the free Litliuania was responsible for calling that meeting that night
at 1 o'clock?

Mr. JuRGELA. He said the President had called the meeting.



BALTIC STATES INVESTIGATION 43

Mr. Madden. But he was urged to call it by Moscow?

General Musteikis (through interpreter) , The Minister of Foreign
Affairs had telephoned the Prime Minister to the effect that an ulti-
matum had been received.

Mr. Madden. I want to get that in the record, that it was an ulti-
matum from Moscow thai was responsible for that meeting at 1
o'clock in the morning.

General Musteikis (through interpreter). Yes.

Mr, Madden. So there was no justification, judging from the reason
why this meeting was called at 1 a. m., for the Kremlin to come out
and state that Lithuania, free Lithuania, wanted to join with the
Soviet Union ?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). Absolutely no.

Mr. Bentley. General, while you were in the cabinet, did your de-
fense plans contain ariything with regard to offense or defense against
the Soviet Union — militnry plans?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). After the Soviet garri-
sons had entered Lithuania, we had made plans that in the event of
any further Russian encroachment we should defend ourselves, so we
did have such a plan, internally.

Mr. Bentley. I meant before the mutual assistance pact, prior to
October 1939 ?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). No.

Mr. Bentley. Now, during the period of Soviet occupation — that
is the period of time the Soviets had military bases, there, between
October 1939 and June 1940 — were there any incidents or clashes be-
tween Lithuanian troops which the Soviets might have termed as
provocation ?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). No.

Mr. Bentley. None at all ?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). None at all.

Mr. Bentley. Tlie Soviet bases which they occupied, were they
turned over by the Lithuanian Army, or were they new bases that the
Soviets built ?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). Some bases were old.
Wliile at Gaiziunai it was only wooden barracks — proving grounds.

Mr. Bentley. Now, this ultimatum which we have been discussing,
was this ultimatum written, and, if so, did you see it, or was it read
to you and other members of the cabinet ?

General Musteikis (through interpreter) . It was being transmitted
by phone from Moscow in cipher.

Mr. Bentley. By telephone, in cipher ?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). Yes. It was then de-
coded in Kaunas and then submitted to the cabinet.

Mr. Bentley. Was it read to you, or did you see it? Was it read
to the members of the cabinet, or was it passed around for them to see ?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). It was read.

Mr. Bentley. This second reply from Moscow, dated June 15,
which claimed that the new Prime Minister, General Rastikis, would
not be acceptable to the Government, how was that communicated?
Was that in writing ? Was that read, or how ?

General JVIusteikis (through interpreter). By phone.

Mr. Bentley. That was not in writing, at all ?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). No.



44 BALTIC STATES INVESTIGATION

Mr. Bentley. At any time in this period, was there any sugges-
tion which came from Moscow as to who should be in the new gov-
ernment ?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). No. Only the notifica-
tion after 10 a. m. that Bekanozov was proceeding to Kaunas to assist
in forming a new government.

Mr. Benti.ey. Before this midnight meeting that we have been dis-
cussing, what other evidence, if any, of direct Soviet interference in
Lithuanian internal affairs w^ould you be in a position to testify on?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). Bolshevik propaganda
was being pushed at all times, especially since the arrival of the gar-
risons.

Mr. Bentley. "N-VHiat form did this propaganda take?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). For instance, their army
would need food. We offered the suggestion that they get food from
the warehouses of our army. They I'efused and they said that they
themselves ^Aould purchase the food from tlie civilians, and when
the new barracks were being under construction at Gaiziunai Proving
Ground — so we suggested to them that they submit the plans to the
superintendent of construction, but they should do the construction
themselves. However, they refused and said it was a military secret
and that they would do the construction. Under guise of construc-
tion, they employed among the natives local Bolshevik agents and
through them they sent out propaganda. These workers engaged in
strikes and, of course, charged that we were guilty of it.

Mr. Bentley. This is personally known to you ?

General Musteikis (through interpreter) . Yes.

Mr. Mackkowicz. Do you have a copy of that ultimatum that was
handed to the Lithuanian Government at that time ?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). I only have it in a
booklet, which is printed. It is not the original.

Mr. Machrowicz. Can you identify it as being a true co-pj of the
original ?

General MusiTsiKis (through interpreter). I could.

Mr, Machrowicz. I ask then, Mr. Chairman, that that copy be
placed in the record at this point in the evidence.

Mr. McTigue. May I request that the general forward to the com-
mittee any photostatic copies of Lithuanian newspapers which printed
the ultimatum, including translations thereof. When received, this
material will be marked as exhibits,

(The documents referred to, when received, were marked "Exhibits
5-B, 5-C, and 5-D." See pp, 537-540,)

(Exhibit 5-A, Lithuanian newspaper, found in file of committee.)

Mr, BoNiN, You stated that you returned to Lithuania in 1942?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). May 31; yes.

Mr, BoNiN, After your return to Lithuania, did you observe any
indication of atrocities, mass murders, deportation, slavery, and con-
centration camps as a result of the Russian occupation?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). Yes, I have seen very
much,

Mr, BoNiN, Could you give us some of the instances that you ob-
served a mass movement of Lithuanian people out of Lithuania ?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). I personally have not
seen those deportations because they have proceeded in my absence,
in 1941. Wlien I returned to Lithuania in 1942, I could not find a



BALTIC STATES INVESTIGATION 45

great many acquaintances of myself, a great many relatives, both in
the cities and villages.

Mr. BoNiN. Were yon able to speak to anybody who knew that people
had been killed by the Russians?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). Yes.
Mr. BoNiN. Were you able to speak to people who knew that families
had been separated and taken to Siberia?

General Musteikis (through interpreter) . When I returned myself,
I could not find a great many relatives who had been moved to Siberia.
Mr. BoNiN. As one of the principal Government officials of Lith-
uania, and from past experience, do you believe the free nations can
rely on any of the agreements that are entered into by Communist
Russia ?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). Absolutely none. We
have had a number of treaties with the Soviet Union. However, they
signed with one hand, and they would send subversive agents to engage
in activities against us to destroy our independence.

Mr. BoNiN. General, do you know whether or nT)t at the present
time in Lithuania, there are Lithuanian citizens who are running your
Government, or whether or not they are Russians in disguise as
Lithuanians, conducting the affairs of the Lithuanian Nation?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). Only the Russians rule.
Only for deception purposes, some Lithuanians are placed in office.
Mr. DoDD. When you left Lithuania the first time, where did you go ?
General Musteikis (through interpreter). There was only one way
westward. That means to Germany.

Mr. DoDD, And you stayed in Germany until 1942?
General Musteikis (through interpreter). May 31, 1942.
Mr. DoDD. Were you a prisoner ?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). I had been interned until

' the end of October 1940. When I ran out of money to pay for food and

quarters, then I was allowed to proceed to Berlin. I had to report

to the police. I had to register there during a period of 2 months, and

then I was free.

Mr. DoDD. When you returned to Lithuania, did you return with
the permission of the Germans?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). With the consent of
Germans, but this consent had taken me almost a year to procure.

Mr. DoDD. I will tell you why I am asking this : I think there are a
lot of people who are aware that the Nazis carried on about the same
kind of activities that you have told us about the Russians. Is that
not so ?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). Similarly. They are
two evils, except the color is different.

However, the Bolsheviks have been considerably more cruel. For
instance, when Smetona, the president, was flieeing to Germany, he
was interned for some time and at last he was allowed to proceed
abroad, even to America. Had he stayed in Lithuania, then it is quite
clear what his fate would have been.

Mr. DoDD. It is important to get on the record the fact that there
is really no distinction between these two types of tyranny.

General Musteikis (through interpreter). One is a little more
humane.

Mr. DoDD. Is that your opinion ?



46 BALTIC STATES INVESTIGATION

General Musteikis (through interpreter). It is my opinion. He
who has been bolshevism and the effects of bolshevism, would agree
that bolshevism is considerably more, more cruel.

Mr. DoDD. That is your personal experience ?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). Yes.

Mr. DoDD. My point is that the difference which you speak of is
only a difference in degree, and not in kind ? You are aware, are you
not, of mass deportations of Lithuanians by the Nazis on a very large
scale ?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). Yes; I know very well.

Mr. DoDD. And massacres and murders ?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). There was at one place.
I know there was a massacre.

Mr. DoDD. That is all

Mr. Kersten. The fact is that they were tyrannies, both the Com-
munists and the Nazis.

General Musteikis (through interpreter) . Two tyrannies, very evil.

Mr. Kersten. i ou mentioned, General, that upon your return to
Lithuania in 1942, 1 believe, you Avent back to your hometown, is that
right?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). Yes.

Mr. Kersten. What town was that ?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). Utena County, in the
eastern part of Lithuania.

]\Ir. Kersten. Without going into great detail , can you very briefly
give us something specific with regard to acquaintances or friends or
people whom you notice were missing when you w^ent back ?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). In my hometown there
were only farmei's, and tliere were a great many of these farmers who
had been deported.

Mr. Kersten. Were there other farmers who had replaced them on
the land, or w^ere the farms just lying idle, or what?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). No; not at that time.
The homesteads were left vacant.

Mr. Kersten. Were some of your relatives deported ?

General Musteikis (through interpreter). Yes.



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