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ally or in groups, in the churches, in the vestries and as-
sembly halls.

c. By circulating anti-revolutionary literature — religious
as well as other.

d. Attempts to lead the believers out in the street to
demonstrate or to provoke excesses, etc.

In order to prevent such happenings in advance you must :

1. Study again the directives of order No. 1919 of NoveAi-
ber 27, 1940; adhere to them most carefully.

2. Instruct the whole network of agents and informers
to bring the preparations of the anti-Soviet clergy and the
sects closely connected with it (Ateitininkai and others) be-
for the public; summon the agents from December 20th to
29th according to the enlarged plan of operations.

3. Together with the police organizations guarantee the
maintenance of public order during festival days, but avoid
police concentration "in front of the churches.

4. Take measures to guarantee normal work in enter-
prises and teaching in the schools.

5. Arrange for controls and patrols in the towns during
the nights of December 23rd, 24th and 25th. Summon the
party members and the Communist Youth for active service
for this purpose in consultation with the Secretary of the
Executive Committee.

6. Write down and report to me immediately all facts
concerning an ti- Soviet outrages.

(Signed) Guzevich

People's Cormnissar for the Interior of the

Soviet Socialist Republic of Lithuania."

December 12, 1940.

Nor was this letter the last one which the NKVD
wrote to its divisions dealing with Christian holidays.
On the occasion of other Church holidays the GPU each
time was mobilized in full strength to follow the course
of the holidays and to watch the attitude of the in-


The less the Russians could stand the religious hol-
idays, the more they ballyhooed their own Soviet ''non-
working" days. The following Soviet holidays were
stipulated by law: the anniversary of the death of
Lenin, January 21st and 22nd ; the day of international
Communist solidarity, May ist; the day of incorpora-
tion of Lithuania into the Soviet Union, July 21st; the
festival of the October Revolution, October 7th to 8th
and Constitution Day, December 5th. A whole series of
bolshevik events were furtheiTnore celebrated.

Since these holidays had been introduced by law,
they must of course also be observed. However, these
were not holidays to the average Lithuanian. No one
thought of recreation on these days. They were in-
tended for bolshevik meetings, for processions and
demonstrations in which all workers were compelled to
participate. These ''holidays'' began early in the morn-
ing and lasted far into the night, while the participants
stood in rows or took part in haphazard processions.
Not only did all this tire the participants but the work-
ers had to "make up" for lost time not by prolonging
the following work days by a few hours but by declar-
ing the following Sunday to be a working day.

When the Russians finally saw that all their meth-
ods to make people refrain from observing Christian
holidays did not yield any actual results, they started
personal reprisals. The communist- managers and chiefs
of offices resorted to summoning workers and em-
ployees and threatened them by stating that the ob-
servance of religious holidays did not bring any profit
and that it were better to refrain from the observance
especially if they did not want any undesired conse-


Attitude Toward the Clergy

The invaders regarded the clergyman of all denom-
inations to be useless consumers of food, slave drivers
of the population and enemies of the Soviet system.
They voiced their opinions on the clergy in public at


every opportunity. The entire official press was full of
invectives against the clergy. The clergy was also very
sharply harangued at meetings and other pubhc gather-
ings. By attacking the clergy the Russians hoped to
undermine its authority among the population and to
take an important step forward in the fight against

From the very first days of the Russian invasion
all payment of allowances and pensions to invalid and
retired clergyman was stopped. Simultaneously, all re-
lief funds of the clergy were expropriated. The clergy-
men were in many cases turned out of their apart-
ments, in which Russian functionaries and Red Army
officers immediately established themselves with their

The monastic orders particularly suffered from the
policy of dispossessing the clergy. The Marian, Jesuit
and Franciscan friars had founded and maintained
large educational institutions. The invaders threw
them out in the street just as they stood. They were
not even allowed to take cooking and eating utensils
with them. They had to starve or go begging.

Later the officials of the Catholic bishopric were
thrown out of their premises. For greater mockery the
Communists housed the office of the bishopric of Vilka-
viskis and a lunatic asylum in the same building. The
Bishop of Panevezys was alloted one room and the
whole house was occupied by soldiers of the Red Ai*my
and their wives. The Archbishop of Kaunas was turned
out into the street. According to Soviet Russian laws,
dispossessed persons and institutions should be as-
signed new quarters. Yet the Russians did not give the
office of the Archbishop any new quarters but accused
him of having removed some of his furniture. Red
Army soldiers who had moved into his apartment
stated that the furniture was missing.

As imported Soviet officials considered the clergy to
constitute the most unreliable element, they were sur-
rounded by agents from the beginning. They expected
the clergy to start a serious campaign against them.
Every step of the clergy was, therefore, carefully


The GPU authorities were steadily urged to expand
the network of agent-informers and to enlist agents
even from the ranks of the clergymen. The activity ol
the agents was always intensified on the eve of Chris-
tian holidays (see foregoing documents). The NKVD
believed that the clergy would increase its anti-bol-
shevik activity, especially during the holidays.

The decree of Gladkov, a Russian from Moscow, in-
stalled as the People's Commissar for the Interior of
the Soviet Socialist Republic of Lithuania, which was
sent to all commanders of the county branches of the
GPU on October 2, 1940 shows the ramifications and
the system of the activities directed against the Chris-
tian clergy.

The instruction was worded as follows :
"Strictly Confidential
To all Chairmen of the County Branches of the GPU

From material gathered by the GPU it is evident that the
Lithuanian priests and the leaders of the former Catholic
parties and organizations and their active members initiated
their hostile activities by proceeding along three principle
lines :

1. By propagating national-chauvinistic "ideas" in a
camouflaged way and often also openly during the services
for the faithful in the churches and by endeavoring to influ-
ence the faithful against the Soviet Government.

2. In their relations with pupils of the schools (students,
scholars and pupils of preparatory schools). According to
information at hand, special pastors were, upon the instruc-
tion of Bishop Brizgys, appointed in almost every parish to
engage in illegal activity among the youth, by educating
them in a national-chauvinistic spirit and by provoking in
them a hatred against the bolshevik order. The clergy ex-
tended this campaign all over Lithuania, especially on Sun-
days in the churches, during special services arranged for
the youth, as well as in their apartments where the youths
gather in groups of 10 and 12. They also influenced parents
so that the latter would implant Catholic ideas in their

3. They carry on anti-Communist work among the popu-
lation through the illegal Catholic Communities and clerical
groups (Apostolic Community of Men, Apostolship of Prayer
Society, Association of the Third Order of St. Francis, etc.)
which are political instruments in the hands of the clergy.

In order to organize the fight against the hostile activities
of the clergy I hereby order you:

1. To place all clergymen within your district under for-
mal control.


2. To find out about all the leading personalities of the
Catholic organizations and communities and to place them
under formal control.

3. To obtain information immediately through agents
concerning all the members of the Deanery and the church
offices of your county.

4. To enlist as soon as possible the services of clergymen
and employees in the churches (organists, sacristans) who
have close connections with the leading personalities of the
Catholic parties, groups and communities as a means for
obtaining information concerning the activity of above-men-
tioned parties. To enlist simultaneously persons as agents
and informers among the same people and to order them to
split up the Catholic organizations from the inside.

5. To find out which clergymen as well as which leaders
of communities within your county are in close touch with
the inhabitants, ascertain the character of these relations
and submit this information.

6. To place all monks under control in counties where
there are cloisters. To put the abbots of the monasteries un-
der formal control. To recruit a network of agents and in-
formers among the monks.

7. You shall ascertain where the pastors meet the pupils
for carrying out their hostile activities. Students of the up-
per classes must be recruited for preparing and executing
the inside work of splitting up.

8. Referring to the fact that priests and active members
of the communities are now collecting signatures among the
inhabitants for the submission of an appeal to the govern-
ment to obtain permission for religious instruction in schools,
find out who the organizers of this work are, and place them
under control.

9. Avoid mistakes in recruiting agents. The candidates
must therefore be carefully prepared and information about
them should be obtained by agents. Remember that some
pastors are not materially provided for and therefore waver
in their "idealistic opinion."

10. All cases of anti-Soviet, anti-revolutionary tendencies
among the clergy which you have discovered must be duly
documented and the material must be forwarded to the GPU
of Lithuania.

11. By October 10, 1940, you must submit a detailed re-
port concerning the hostile activities of the clergy within
your county.

12. By October 15, 1940, you must deliver a memorandum
to the second department of the State Guard of the GPU
concerning the actions taken against the clergy, at the same
time indicating the material obtained, how it was obtained
and the steps you intend to take in the futui^e.
(Signed) Gladkov

Major of the State Guard

Artivg People's Commisaar of the Interior of
October 2, 1940." the Soviet Soeiallst Republic of Lithuania.


The order to place all priests "under formal controF'
(paragraph 1) is especially worthy of observation. It
means that all clergymen, without exception, should be
spied upon and that a file should be kept for each one
of them. These files should contain all material gathered
by all conceivable means, not only information concern-
ing the statements and deeds directed against the alien
oppressors by the clergymen in question, but also in-
formation concerning the character of the clergyman,
his private life, his parents, brothers and sisters and
relatives. Each one of these files should be an exhaus-
tive source of information concerning the clergymen
in question, and is to be used at any time for indict-
ments and trials.


As the anti-religious propaganda did not achieve
the desired results, the Russians started blackmailing
the faithful. Employees, workers, pupils and conscripts
were reproached for their Christian convictions and
practices. The soldiers were strictly forbidden to visit
any churches. Civil servants and workers were perioai-
cally warned by the alien supervisors that they should
cease attending Christian services. In the warning it
was usually pointed out that Christian practices and
the duties of a Soviet citizen are two incompatible

In order to render visits to churches and attendance
at services more difficult for the faithful, the invaders
arranged various lectures, lessons on the history of the
party, comments upon the constitution and similar
things on Sundays just at the time when services were
held. Employees and workers were compelled to attend
these courses. Those who did not attend once were
warned, those not appearing a second time were warned
that they would be dismissed from their work or ser-
vice — and that meant starvation: "no work — no food."

This step did not prevent the believers from visiting
the churches; they went to church after the compul-


sory meetings. However, the invader's officials left
them no peace in this respect either. On Sundays the
GPU officials were in the vicinity of the churches, star-
ing at the church-goers and scrutinizing them from
head to foot. Other agents of the GPU had cameras
and pretended to photograph the church-goers. In this
way the invaders hoped to provoke anxiety and fear
among the believers and to prevent them from going
to church.

Upon the failure of the anti-religious campaign
nothing remained but to close the churches. They did
not dare to touch the Catholic churches yet. But a great
number of Evangelical churches were converted into
dance halls and storage rooms. Wayside crosses and
other religious symbols were ruthlessly destroyed.

It is difficult to state what further steps the Soviet
officials would have taken against religion and the be-
lievers. The steps already taken impeded religious ac-
tivity and caused much harm.

The Communist propagandists stressed the oppor-
tunities of free actions in the Soviet Union and that all
convictions would be respected there. The stipulations
of the constitution guaranteeing the freedom of re-
ligious cults with great pride were cited on all occa-

It is a well-known fact that the Soviet propagan-
dists universally boasted that religious convictions
were a personal matter and that they recognized com-
plete freedom of all religions. Many fair-minded people
still believe it. That is part of the Soviet propaganda
line. However, facts speak for themselves. It has al-
ready been pointed out that the tactics chosen by the
Soviets during one year's occupation of Lithuafila in
dealing with the Church were not to harm the priests
as individuals (except 28 arrested) but rather to dis-
credit them in the eyes of the masses.

Conditions became appalling with the outbreak of
the German-Soviet war.

Nothing hindered the Russians from carrying on a
wholesale extermination of the "enemies of the peo-


Beginning with June 22nd and continuing until the
last Red Army unit left Lithuania, 15 priests were mur-
dered. Most of them perished in small provincial towns
and villages. Some of them perished from the murder-
ous hand of the fanaticized local communists, some
have been executed by the regular uniformed detach-
ments of NKVD (Troops of the Commissariat of the
Interior of U.S.S.R.) or were put to death by the re-
treating Red Army formations. The first murder of
three priests occurred on June 22nd in the vicinity of
the village of Lankeliskiai, not far from the Lithu-
anian-German border.

They were tortured in a bestial manner, disfigured
with crosses branded on their foreheads and chests
while still alive, bayoneted, disemboweled and cruci-

Four other priests were murdered two days later in
the region of Kaisiadorys-Jonava on the main route of
the Red retreat to the East.

At that time the popular uprising in Lithuania was
already in full swing, especially in Kaunas, Marijam-
pole, Vilnius, Panevezys and Siauliai, as a protest
against the inhuman and stupid conduct of the Red
Administration during the one year of Soviet rule in
Lithuania. This partly explains why the clergy has been
left untouched in more populated towns. Taking advan-
tage of the uprising, 16 priests managed to escape from
jails and thus saved their lives.

About the same time, three other priests have been
put to death in northern Lithuania, on the route of the
Red retreat to Latvia. Here perished Rev. Canon V.
Dambrauskas, who was murdered in a horrible manner
at Kursenai.

Finally, on June 26-27, as the Red rear guards were
on the point of leaving the Lithuanian border, four
more priests were murdered in the northeastern part
of Lithuania.

Meantime, 12 Roman Catholic priests have been de-
ported into Soviet Russia, some of them before June
22nd. Only two of them came back after a dramatic es-
cape from a marching death column.

5Z975 O - 54 - 40



A. Murdered Roman Catholic Priests

1. Rev. V. BALCIUS, 36 years old, murdered on June 27, 1941,
while on duty in PUSNE parish (Diocese of Kaisiadorys).

2. Rev. V. BALSYS, 36 years old, Rector of LANKELISKIAI
(Diocese of VILKAVISKIS) murdered on June 22, 1941.

3. Rev. J. DAUGELA, 32 years old. Rector of STIRNIAI
(Diocese of KAISIADORYS) taken from the Rectory and
murdered by the retreating Red Army in June, 1941.

4. Rev. Dr. J. DABRILA, 36 years old, well known educator
and publicist, spiritual director of VILKAVISKIS Sem-
inary, murdered on June 22, 1941 in the woods of Budavone
(Diocese of VILKAVISKIS).

5. Rev. Canon V. DAMBRAUSKAS, 62 years old, Rector of
KURSENAI (Diocese of TELSIAI) murdered by the flee-
ing communists in June, 1941.

6. Very Rev. Dean A. JUKNEVICIUS, 59 years old. Rector
of MERKINE, murdered by the Red Army soldiers in the
vicinity of KAISIADORYS on June 24, 1941, while on a
service trip. Five days later his body was found in the
woods, face disfigured with burning gasoline.

7. Very Rev. Prof. M. LAJAUSKAS, 70 years old, Rector of
MALETAI, murdered on June 27, 1941.

8. Rev. Canon J. NAVICKIS, 77 years old, Rector of VIEK-
SNIAI (Diocese of TELSIAI), murdered by the retreating
Red Army in June 1941.

9. Rev. J. PETRIKA, 56 years old, vicar in the Parish of
LANKELISKIAI, murdered on June 22, 1941 in the woods
of Budavone together with Rev. V. Balsys and Dr. J.

10. Rev. P. RACEVICIUS, 33 years old, vicar in the Parish of
Joniskis (Northern Lithuania) murdered by the retreating
Red Army in June 1941.

11. Rev. STANKEVICIUS, a young priest, murdered by the
fleeing cojnmunists on June 24, 1941 in SKARULIAI (Dis-
trict of Jonava).

12. Rev. B. SVEIKAUSKAS, 57 years old, a pensioned priest,
murdered by the Soviet Police (NKVD) on June 26, 1941
in ROKISKIS (Northern Lithuania).

13. Rev. J. TUTINAS, 44 years old. Rector of a small parish
in the Diocese of KAISIADORIAI, murdered by the fleeing
communists in June, 1941, (details are lacking).

14. Rev. B. VEGELE, 60 years old, Rector of VEPRIAI (Dis-
trict of Jonava), murdered by the fleeing communists in the
nearby village of SKARULIAI in June 1941.

15. Rev. P. VITKEVICIUS, 64 years old, murdered by the
retreating Red Arrny on June 24, 1941 in SKARULIAI.

The names arc taken from a booklet: "Fifteen Liquidated Priests in
Lithuania" by J. Prunskis, Chicago, 1943.


B. Roman Catholic Priests Arrested and Deported
Into U.S.S.R.

1. Rev. S. BALTRIMAS, 52 years old, Rector of ZARASAI
(Northeastern Lithuania) arrested and deported by the
retreating communists in Jure, 1941.

2. Rev. V. DIDZIOKAS, 29 years old, assistant at PANE-
VEZYS, arrested on June 23, 1941 and taken from the jail
on the road to deportation.

3. Father A. DIRVELE, O.S.F., 40 years old, a well known
Franciscan missionary and educator, arrested while trying
to evade the Red terror in July, 1940. Taken from the jail
in June 1941 and deported by the retreating NKVD.

4. Rev. J. KOSTRICKAS, 32 years old, Vicar of KELME
(Diocese of TELSIAI) arrested in 1940 and deported a
year later.

5. Father L. MARTUSIS, O.S.F., 26 years old, already affected
by tuberculosis, arrested by NKVD in 1940, and disregard-
ing his ill health, deported to U.S.S.R. some months before
the outbreak of the German-Soviet war.

6. Father V. MAZONAS, M.I.C., 60 years old, a well known
publicist, leader of boy-scouts and missionary, arrested and
deported on June 14, 1941.

7. Rev. A. MILEIKA, 60 years old. Rector of VYZUONOS
(Northeastern Lithuania), arrested and deported on the
outbreak of German-Russian War in 1941.

8. Late Rev. P. PRUNSKIS, 70 years old, a devoted priest
and a well known Lithuanian patriot, especially in Vilnius,
last Rector of PALUSE (previously Polish occupied Lithu-
ania), arrested and deported in June 1940, died in Siberia.

9. Rev. S. RIMKUS, 29 years old, vicar in the Parish of
KRAZIAI, arrested and deDorted.

10. Rev. Dr. J. VAILOKAITIS, 61 years old, a nationally
known Lithuanian patriot, statesman and writer, arrested
and deported by the Reds in the first World War, and sec-
ond time abducted by NKVD on June 14, 1941.

The names are taken from a booklet: "Sibiro istremime ir bolseviku
kalejime," by J. Prunskis, Chicagfo, 111., 1944.

C. Roman Catholic Priests Arrested who managed to escape

from the Red jail during the first ten days of chaos in

the wake of German attack on June 22, 1941

1. Rev. S. BARCAITIS, 46 years old, Rector of SUDARGAS,
County of Sakiai.

2. Rev. P. BIKINAS, 43 years old. Rector of RAUDON-
DVARIS, County of Kaunas.

3. Father J. BRUZIKAS, S.J., 44 years old. Editor of a Cath-
olic Magazine.

4. Rev. S. BUTEIKIS, 30 years old, vicar in the Parish of
ERZVILKAS, County of Taurage.


5. Rev. J. CEKAVICIUS, 32 years old, vicar in the Parish of
VYSAKIO RUDA, County of Marijampole.

6. Rev. Dr. J. CEPENAS, 61 years old, Rector of ANYK-
SCIAI, County of Utena.

7. Rev. A. JANCIAUSKAS, 31 years old, vicar in the Parish
of KALVARIJA, County of Marijampole.

8. Rev. L. KLIMAS, 34 years old, Rector of KAMPISKIAI,
County of Kaunas.

9. Rev. J. MARCIULIONIS, 32 years old, vicar in the Parish
of RUMBONYS, County of Alytus.

10. Rev. K. MIKELINSKAS, 52 years old, Rector of DEBEI-
KIAI, County of Utena.

11. Rev. K. MILIAUSKAS, 28 years old, vicar of A. PANE-
MUNE, County of Kaunas.

12. Rev. V. MIRONAS, 61 years old, former Prime Minister.

13. Rev. J. PETRENAS, 30 years old. Chaplain of Linkuva
College, County of Siauliai.

14. Rev. P. RAGAZINSKAS, 29 years old, vicar of the Parish
DEBEIKIAI, County of Utena.

15. Rev. A. SUSINSKAS, Official of the Panevezys Diocesan

16. Rev. Dr. A. SIMKUS, 54 years old, for many years a priest
in Canada.

17. Rev. A. PETRAITIS, 45 years old, Rector of ERZVILKAS,
County of Taurage.

18. Rev. Dr. P. PETRAITIS, Rector of the Holy Trinity Church
in Kaunas.

Note: The latter two managed to escape on June 25, 1941,
while a column of Lithuanian deportees marching East
of Minsk, had been machine-gunned in a bestial manner
by NKVD guards. This episode is known in Lithuania as
the massacre of Cherven.

The names are taken from a booklet "Sibiro istreminie ir b<ilst.'viku
kalejime" by J. Prunskis, Chicag^o, III., 1944.



Page 6: Footnote should read

* Archdioceses of Vilnius (Vilna) and Kaunas, dioceses of Vilkaviskis,
Teisiai, Kaisiadorys and Panevezys and Prelacy of Kla ipeda-Memel.

Page 22 : Last line, 4th paragraph should read

list of proscribed books sent to them.

Page 24 : Third line, 5th paragraph should read

Saints' and All Souls' Day shows the o ccupants' fears

Page 26 : Fourth line, 8th paragraph should read

fore the public; summon the agents from December 20th to

Page 27 : First line, last paragraph should read

The invaders regarded the clergymen of all denom-

Page 28: Third line, 2nd paragraph should read

retired clergymen was stopped. Simultaneously, all re-
Page 29 : Fourth line, 3rd paragraph should read

their hostile activities by proceeding along three principal


Exhibit 1()-B




This booklet should hv in thr hands of cvcrv^body. I
recommend it to everyone. It consists of interesting and
impressive facts taken from the lives of the martyred
Lithuanian bishops. I was personally acquainted with

Online LibraryUnited States. Congress. House. Select committee oBaltic States investigation. [First interim report] (Volume pt. 1) → online text (page 72 of 75)