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

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assistance? Did he come to your home? Did you or anybody in
your family talk with him about it ?

Mr. Snieckus. Yes, we asked my sister who lived at Mariampole
and I also went to Kaunas and conferred in what way we could in-
fluence Antanas to help our relatives.

Mr. McTiGUE. What did Antanas do ?

Mr. Snieckus. He came to my brother's house and we had a talk
with him. Y^es, we spoke to him about the deportations and we asked
him why these people were being deported. They were innocent
people and he had talked to us about it previously and mentioned
again: "Well, take, for example, the people we are shipping out of
Kaunas, they are only the hangers on, the low lives, the prostitutes
and others, but your brother, he is a rich man, a farmer and these
others, so we have to ship them out."

Mr. McTiGUE. So your brother never helped you or your sister or
your mother ?

Mr. Snieckus. We never asked him directly but went about things
in a roundabout way. We pointed out that uncle did not live on the
farm but lived in Kaunas and that the farm was in his son's control
and why should he be deported ?

Mr. McTiGUE. Did you and your family stay on during the first
Soviet occupation of Lithuania ?

Mr. Snieckus. Yes; we remained in Lithuania. There was no
alternative since the borders were very strongly guarded and we lived
in a desperation like all the other Lithuanians.

_ Mr. McTiGUE. Wlien the Soviets invaded Lithuania for the second
time, and drove the Germans out, where did you go ?

Mr. Snieckus. We moved westward at every opportunity because
we had placed all our hopes in the democracies and although the Ger-
mans were not very friendly to us, we thought in the West we would
find the means of life and freedom.

Mr. McTiGUE. Were you afraid that when Antanas, your own
brother, returned to Lithuania again, he might wreak vengeance on
your family ?


Mr. Snieckus. Yes; we had this in mind, just like all the other
Lithuanians. From our brother we expected nothing. We had no-
hopes in him.

Mr. McTiGUE. Did your mother and the rest of your family, the
part of it which was left, go into Germany ?

Mr. Snieckus. Yes; we all went to Germany and lived in the DP
camps aided by American help.

Mr. McTiGUE. Is it true that your mother passed away at a DP camp
in Hanau, Germany, in January 1948 ?

Mr. Snieckus. Yes ; she lived with my family in Hanau. I had her
buried at Hanau.

Mr. McTigue. Is it true when your mother asked about Antanas said,
"I curse the day when I gave birth to a traitor who is torturing his own
country" ?

Mr. Snieckus. Yes. At that time visitors were at our house, and
they said, "Well, Mother, your son is king of Lithuania now," and she

Mr. Madden. Just a moment. We did not get that.

Mr. Snieckus. They said, "Your son is king in Lithuania now," and
she replied, "Didn't the thunder strike him yet," or I guess, "Didn't
the lightning strike him yet ?"

Mr. McTiGUE. Would you recognize your brother's signature, if I
asked you to identify it?

Mr. Snieckus. Yes. I can identify it, his writing remains before
my eyes to this day.

Mr. McTiGUE. Is this your brother Antanas' signature that I show

Mr. Snieckus. Oh, yes ; this is written by his hand.

Mr. McTigue. I would like to introduce this into the record, Mr.
Chairman, and have it marked for identification.

Mr. Kersten. It may be marked.

Mr. McTiGUE. Is this the Lithuanian document ?

Mr. Snieckus. Yes.

Mr. McTiGUE. Then I will have to ask you, Mr. Jurgela, to identify
the translation of the Lithuanian document which is just being entered
and which I hold in my hand. Come around here, please.

Will you mark the document in Lithuanian as 17-A and the English
translation as 17-B, please?

(Exhibit 17-A, original language will be found in committee files.)

(The documents were marked "Exhibits 17-A and 17-B." See p.

Mr, McTiGUE. Can you identify this, Mr. Jurgela, as the English
translation of the original Lithuanian document which has been
entered into the record as exhibit No. 17-A ?

Mr. Jurgela. Yes; this is the translation.

Mr. Kersten. Just 1 minute. I want to get them straight for the
record. The Lithuanian document is 17-A; is that correct, Mr.

Mr. McTiGUE. That is right.

Mr. Kersten. And the transhition is what?

Mr. McTiGUE. 17-B.

Mr. Kerspen. Thank you ; we want to be sure that appears in the


Mr. Jtjrgela. This is the En^^lish translation which I have made
personally from this exhibit 17-A, which is the plan for the first
mass arrests of 1940, approved by Snieckus.

Mr. McTiGUE, This, in other words, was aproved by Antanas
Snieckus, this man's brother, and it is a plan for the liquidation
of the leading personnel of the various political parties in Lithuania?

Mr. JuRGELA. Yes ; it was done by the head of the Security Depart-

Mr. McTiGUE. Those are all the questions I have.

Mr. Kersten. Congressman Machrowicz?

Mr. MACHR0\^^cz. Mr. Snieckus, I am rather interested in knowing
what causes a person to become a Communist, and I would like to
ask you this question. You never were a Communist, were you?

IVIr. Snieckus. No.

]Mr. Machrowicz. "Was any other member of your family, other
than your brother, Antanas, a Communist ?

Mr. Snieckus. No one in our immediate family or any of our other
relations that I know of has ever been a Communist.
Mr. Machrowicz. What was your parents' occupation ?

Mr. Snieckus. My father was a farmer.

Mr. Machrowicz. A middle-class farmer?

Mr. Snieckus. According to Lithuanian standards, he had a good-
sized farm. He had about 80 hectares of land, or about 200 acres.

Mr. Machrowicz. How old was your brother when he joined the
Communist Party ?

Mr. Snieckus. He was 17 years old at the time. He was working
in a postal telegraph agency at Alytus, and there, under the influ-
ence of a strong Communist cell, working secretly, he joined the
party, and he was later arrested, and his name was found in the
party's files at that time.

Mr. Machrowicz. Later, he was arrested ?

Mr. Snieckus. Yes.

Mr, Machrowicz. Was there anything in his private life that you
can think of that caused him to accept the Communist philosophy?

Mr. Snieckus. There couldn't have been anything, since he had a
good job, and he could have all the rights of a Lithuanian citizen
and could have lived there as such.

Mr. Machrowicz. You feel the only reason he joined the party was
because of the influence of the men with whom he worked and with
whom he associated ?

Mr. Snieckus. That, and also it seems that there was another influ-
ence. During the time of the First World War he studied at a
gymnasium, which is a secondary school.

Mr. Machrowicz. It is not a gymnasium as we here consider it.
It is a school ?

Mr. Snieckus. Yes. There was a Communist movement there,
which evidently affected him.

Mr. Machrowicz. Do you think also that it was under the influ-
ence of promise of power in case the Communists took over Lithuania ?

Mr. Snieckus. That is not known to me, but we have to feel that he
had the feeling or the yearning for power.

Also, he could have been influenced by another thing. WHien he was
first arrested, he was not yet 18 years old, and he was released, he was


not kept in custody by the prison authorities, and he was released, and
at that time he fled to Russia.

Mr. Machrowicz. What was he arrested for the first time when
he was 18 ?

Mr. Snieckus. They found his name in the secret list of the Com-
munist Party.

Mr. Machrowicz. That is all.

Mr. Kersten. Congressman Madden, of Indiana.

Mr. Madden. Mr. Chairman, I have no questions, but I do wish to
make this observation : Since the Baltic Committee opened hearings
in Washington, and held hearings in New York, Detroit, and here, we
have heard numerous examples of what communism can do to the
minds of people, and, as a member of the Katyn Committee, we took
an avalanche of testimony regarding Communist horrors, and Com-
munist tortures, and the methods usecl by communism in order to gain
power and control nations, but in all of the testimoy that I have heard,
this is the first time where we have had direct testimony concerning
a No. 1 Communist inflicting vengeance on his own family. He sen-
tenced his relatives to torture and slave labor camps. I don't know
how to explain what is behind the mental processes of an ideology
that will bring a human to do what your brother has done. Possibly
that is one of the basic reasons why communism is the scourge that
it is today, and, as I stated, your testimony has placed in factual re-
cording what communism will do to a fellow human being in order
to install fear in men's minds so they can control nations.

And you can tell the witness this committee is indeed grateful for
this testimony as it is something completely unusual from the ava-
lanche of testimony that the Baltic Committee and the Katyn Com-
mittee have recorded regarding the barbarism that is the fundamental
foundation underlying communism.

Mr. Kersten. Congressman Dodd, any questions ?

Mr. DoDD. No questions.

Mr. Kersten. I will just say this, too; I won't ask any questions.
I think the story is eloquent just as it is in the record and it certainly
seems to be the practice of the type of teaching such as we have here
in this Soviet textbook for children for use in the non-Russian schools
of the Soviet Union including the Baltic States, and all of the enslaved
nations. The story in this textbook glorifies a boy, a young heroic
Communist pioneer, and there is a picture of him turning his father
over to the executioner, as the boy testifies heroically in court against
the father, because the father gave grain against the state authorities'

There is a statue raised to this boy in Moscow according to the
Soviet Communist who wrote the book. This is the type of thing
being taught children. We will have this afternoon, I believe, some
testimony from nuns who sought to teach the children and kinder-
garten about the existence of God and were driven out of the schools
because they did. This type of story fits right into the picture and
I agree with you, Mr. Madden, that this is important to bring out to
the people in this country. I hope the people back in Lithuania get
the story, too.

Mr. Kersten. Next we will have the testimony of Jonas Bildusas.
Do you solmenly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing
but the truth?

Mr. Bildusas. I do.



Mr. McTiGUE. State your name.

Mr. BiLDusAS. Jonas Bildiisas.

Mr. Kersten. Does he speak English ?

The Interpreter, Fairly well. He gets stuck sometimes.

Mr. McTiGUE. Why don't you sit there, in case he needs you.

Mr. Bildusas, what is your address?

Mr. Bildusas. 6836 South Maplewood Avenue, Chicago, 111,

Mr. McTiGUE. Are you a citizen ?

Mr. Bildusas. Yes, I am now a citizen.

Mr. McTiGUE. Where were you born ?

Mr. Bildusas. Lithuania.

Mr. McTiGUE. How long did you live in Lithuania ?

Mr. Bildusas. All my life, until 1944.

Mr. McTiGUE. Were you there at the time the Soviets occupied
Lithuania ?

Mr. Bildusas. I was employed in Lithuania Agricultural Coopera-
tive in Taurage.

Mr. McTiGUE. Did there come a time when you were appointed chief
executive officer of the county of Taurage ?

Mr. Bildusas. Yes, I was, about June 25 ; exactly the date I don't
remember; about June 25, 1940.

Mr. McTiGUE. Who appointed you to this post ?

Mr. Bildusas. I was appointed by the Minister of the Interior,
Communist, Gedvilas.

Mr. McTiGUE. You were appointed by the Communists?

Mr. Bildusas. Yes.

Mr. McTiGUE. Why did you take that job under Communist ap-
pointment ?

Mr. Bildusas. Wlien the Communists occupied Lithuania, leaders
of Lithuanian political parties, regarding the Communist domina-
tion as a temporary wartime situation and striving to save that which
could be saved for the Lithuanian nation, advised governmental em-
ployees to stay on the job and to accept new governmental jobs if

Mr. McTiGUE. Let me ask you this, and I am sure that the testi-
mony will develop the fact that you are violently anti -Communist,
but when you took that job at that time did you think there was
a chance that you could get along with the Communists, that maybe
3^ou could work with them, that maybe they weren't so bad after all,
that there was a possibility of doing business with tliem ?

Mr. Bildusas. Yes. In the very beginning I though so, and the
Lithuanian political leaders thought so. We knew very much about
the Communists since 1917, from the Lithuanian refugees and soldiers
who were in Russia during World W^ar I.

We know very much about these atrocities. We read some books and
we read the papers, but w^e did not think that after all those years that
the Communists would be worse than Attilla's Huns, and that they
would be so mentally abnormal that these atrocities could only be ex-
plained by psychiatry.

Mr. McTiGUE. I wanted to make that point, Mr. Chairman, because
there are a great many people in this country, of course, who think

62075—54 — pt. 1 29


they can do business with the Communists, and I think that Mr. Bil-
dusas' experiences will prove a real lesson, an object lesson, for those
who think we can get along with and do business with the Communists.

Mr. Kersten. Well, the fact that they are still perpetrating atroci-
ties in Korea within the last year or two indicates that that is their
general plan of action, that that is their ordinary activity ; isn't that

Mr. Bn.DUSAs. That is right. And there are many people in the
free world who do not believe — there are many Americans who do
not believe — and I would like to tell to all the men who still do not
comprehend the evil of the Communists, "As we once were, so you
are now ; as we are now, you may be."

Mr. Kersten. Do you mean by that, as Lithuanians once were, do
you mean ignorant about the true nature of communism ?

Mr. BiLDUSAS. Pardon me.

Mr. Kersten. Do you mean they were ignorant about the Commu-
nists ?

Mr. BiLDUSAS. No. We Lithuanians were treated in Lithuania, it
could be the same with the Americans.

Mr. Kersten. Oh, I see.

Mr. McTiGUE. You testified, Mr. Bildusas, that you were appointed
by the Communists to do this job in June of 1940?

Mr. BiLDUSAS. Pardon me. Yes.

Mr. McTiGUE. Go ahead. What happened 2 or 3 months later ?

Mr. BiLDUSAS. On September 10 I was arrested because I could not
go along with communism.

Mr. McTiGUE. You decided, then, in the short period of 3 months,
that you had seen enough of communism ?

Mr. BiLDUSAS. I saw pretty soon it was not possible to go along
with them because every direction of the activities in the interior
affairs led to communism.

Mr. McTiGUE. What particular matters did you object to during
the brief period you held this office ?

Mr. BiLDUSAS. Please allow me, first of all, to state that the Com-
munist Party in Lithuania was very weak and had no right to repre-
sent the Lithuanian people.

For instance, in the town of Taurage, a town of about 14,000 in-
habitants, there were only around 20 Communists.

Mr. Madden. Underground?

Mr, Bildusas. Underground. And when the Russian Army occu-
pied Lithuania, the Communists felt that they were the lords. They
wanted to increase the number of Communists. They invited the
laborers to join the Communist Party. Many of them did not, but
the hoodlums joined.

When the hoodlums got their membership cards of the party they
attacked people who were quietly going about their business on the

Once two brothers who were teachers were attacked by these hood-
lums with knives, and I ordered the police to arrest the hoodlums.
Then they come running to me, the Russian chief of secret police,
Sokolov, and two representatives from tlie Communist Party.

Mr. Kersten. How do you spell Sokolov?

Mr. Biij)usAS. S-o-k-o-l-o-v.

Mr. McTiGUE. Go ahead.


Mr. BiLDUSAS. Aiid they asked me to free tliem. I did not. Then,
they threatened me and went away.

Later when I had conversations with Sokolov, Sokolov told me "It is
not the big tiling that the bourgeois have their bellies cut," because'
noAv the laborer has to feel the lord, and it will come pretty soon that
all government will be by labor people for the Communists.

Mr. McTiGUE. Let me go back for a moment, Mr. Bildusas.

You testified that you were chief executive officer of county of
Taurage ?

Mr. Bildusas. That is right.

Mr. jNIcTigue. Would that be something like our county commis-
sioners here in the United States, or county managers?

Mr. Bildusas. It would be in miniature like the governor of a State.

Mr. McTiGUE. When were you arrested by the NKVD ?

Mr. Bildusas. I was arrested September iO, 1940.

Mr. McTiGUE. What were you charged with ?

Mr. Bildusas. Oh, they charged me with spying for Germany, that
I was a saboteur, that I had organized the people to exterminate the
Communists, and so on, and so on.

Mr. McTiGUE. Wliere did they get the evidence to support the
charge that you were a saboteur?

What kind of evidence was it?

Mr. Bildusas. When they arrested me they knew I had an external
pass (passport), and I had gone to Paris for the International Indus-
trial Exposition in 1937, and to International Cooperative lectures
M'hich were held in Nancy in France, in that year.

Mr. McTiGUE. So the fact that you had gone out of the country from
time to time was the basis of the charge for your being a saboteur?

Mr. Bildusas. Yes, that was the basis, because people from Russia
can't get out of Russia, and they think in the free world it is the same.

Mr. McTiGUE. They thought there must be something wrong with
anybody who does that?

Mr. Bildusas. It must be something like that.

Mr. McTiGUE. After you were arrested by the NKVD, what hap-
pened ?

Mr. Bildusas. I was brought to the prison and held about 2 months
by myself.

Mr. ]\IcTiGUE. You were placed in solitary confinement, is that
what you are testifying to ?

Mr. Bildusas. That would be a solitary cell, I would be in solitary

Mr. Bildusas. On November 5, I was thrown in solitary confine-
ment for 5 days. I didn't get any food or any water. On November
10, 1940, I was taken from the jail, from the solitary confinement to
the quarters of the NKVD in the town.

Mr. JNIcTiGUE. Were you questioned then?

Mr. Bildusas. Yes. They closed me in a cell in the basement. The
cell was so overheated I actually had a headache.

Mr. McTiGUE. The cell was so hot ?

Mr. Bildusas. Yes. That same day a policeman, Radionov

]SIr. Kerstex. Just a minute, spell that.

]Mr. Bildusas. R-a-d-i-o-n-o-v.

Mr. Kersten. I am not sure that we have the correct spelling of
the witness' name. Spell it for us.


Mr. BiLDusAS. J-0-n-a-s B-i-1-d-ii-s-a-s.

Mr. Kersten. Pardon the interruption.

Mr. BiLDUSAS. Radionov gave me a cigarette and a sheet of blank
paper and told me to write, I asked what I have to write. "You
have to write everything of your youth ; what you have committed."
I told him I didn't commit anything, and then he asked me why are
you here ? Imiocent people don't come here.

Mr. Madden. What is that?

Mr. BiLDUSAS. "Innocent people do not come here," i. e., "innocent
people will not be arrested." I refused to write. Then he began to
cause me to use bad language and to ask me to confess. I was inter-
rogated for exactly 1 month, from November 10 to December 10, 1940.

Mr. McTiGUE. When did this questioning take place? In the

Mr. BiLDUSAS. Almost all in the night, but I have been questioned
without pause for 36 hours twice, once for GO hours and onc« for 84

Mr. McTiGUE. At one time, during the period of your confinement,
you were questioned steadily for 36 hours ?

Mr. BiLDUSAS. Yes; I was questioned steadily for 36 hours twice.

Mr. McTiGUE. And once for 60 hours?

Mr. BiLDUSAS. Yes.

Mr. McTiGUE. And one time for 84 hours steadily?

Mr. BiLDUSAS. Yes. During the interrogation

Mr. McTiGUE. Were you ever permitted to sleep or were you given
anything to eat, for example, during those 84-straight hours while you
were being questioned?

Mr. BiLDUSAS. No, no sleep, no food, no water. I was so tired, I no
longer knew what was going around me. When I would faint from
exhaustion, and fall on the floor, the agents would pour water on me,
revive me, and again seat me on the stool, striking me in the face, and
banging my head against the wall. They said I must admit that I
was guilty of all the charges. The agents, when they would become
tired, their places would be taken by other agents. When they would
all become tired, they would take me down to the cellar cell or to the
guard to keep me awake. The stool was placed some distance from
the wall so I could not lean back to rest, and I was ordered to sit without
moving. Wlien I would faint and fall to the floor, the guard would
kick me, and again force me onto the stool. The corridor doors were
open. The outside temperature was about 10° below zero.

Mr. McTiGUE. You were taken back to the cellar cell when you were
not wanted?

Mr. BiLDUSAS. Yes. When I was taken from the jail by the NKVD,
Emilis Cancingeris was brought into my cell ; once I was brought back
exhausted to my cell and further guards were ordered to watch me
through the cell door and prevent my falling asleep.

I wanted to sleep so much that I would have gladly given half of
my life for a half hour of sleep.

Mr. McTiGUE. How long had you been awake at that time, IVIr.
Bildusas ?

Mr. BiLDUSAS. That was 36 hours.

Mr. McTiGUE. You were continually questioned?

Mr. BiLDUSAS. Yes.

Mr. McTiGUE. And not permitted to sleep ?


Mr. BiLDusAS. Yes. I couldn't stand it and crowded under the bunk
to get at least a little sleep. Cancingeris gave me a felt boot as a pillow.
I gi-atef ully placed it under my head but in a few minutes felt myself
being eaten by insects.

I looked at myself and saw that I Avas crawling with lice where the
felt boot was alive with lice.

Mr. McTiGUE. Was this done deliberately ; were the lice put in the
boot deliberately?

Mr. BiLDUSAS. Yes; I realized the NKVD had even used this des-
picable means to force me to confess.

Mr. IvERSTEN. Did I understand you correctly to say that this felt
boot was filled with lice ?

Mr. BiLDUSAS. Yes ; it was a felt boot usually used in Russia, and it
was filled with lice.

Mr. McTiGUE. Are you still talking about the 36 hours that you were
questioned now ? Are you talking about that ?

Mr. BiLDUSAS. I was questioned 36 hours. After 36 hours I was
brought back to my cell and at night I couldn't sleep and in the day-
time I wasn't permitted to sleep because in the daytime it was not
permitted for one to sleep.

Mr. McTiGUE. How did you manage to stay awake during the many
hours you were questioned?

Mr. BiLDUSAS. I didn't know what was going on around me. I fell
from the chair and lay there.

Mr. McTiGUE. Did you have anything to eat or drink during the
84-hour questioning ?

Mr. BiLDUSAS. No : during the questioning I got no food or water.

Mr. McTiGUE. Did you ever sign any confession or piece of paper
during this questioning, or did you at any time you were in the prison ?

Mr. BiLDUSAS. No. On another occasion the NKVD agent, Radio-
nov brought four street hoodlums to visit me. Radionov questioned
them and all four men answered the questions the way Radionov
wanted them to answer: "I have been guilty of everything I have
been accused of by the NKVD."

On December 7 or 8, 1940, Radionov handed to me a paper which
he demanded that I sign without reading. I insisteed that I be
allowed to read the paper which stated that I confessed my guilt to
all the NKVD charges against me.

I have refused to sign. At that moment a group of NKVD came
running in. The raised a row and began threatening to beat me to
death, to shoot me, and to arrest and slay my family.

Mr. McTiGUE. And still you didn't confess; is that right? You
never confessed at any time ?

Mr. BiLDUSAS. No ; I told them that I would not sign the paper even
though I had to die right then and there.

NKVD Official Sokolov then again begain talking to me in a calm
voice, saying, as best I can remember : "You see what we have made
of you. Even you can't recognize yourself. We laiow how to turn

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