Copyright © 1956 Lithuanian Students Association, Inc.
December, 1956  No.4(9) 


Recent events in Hungary, Poland and other Soviet-enslaved countries have exposed as fraudulent the Soviet pretense of genuine change for the better, the Captive European Nations found at their recent third plenary session in New York.

The new developments also proved wrong the contention of some columnists and commentators that the pre-revolt conditions in the enslaved countries were to be accepted as final and permanent. The session deplored the unwillingness of the free world to give effective assistance to the rebellious peoples of Eastern Europe in their attempt to shake off Soviet tyranny.

At least 1,300 young men and women "volunteers" have been deported to hard labor in the Donbas mining region alone, according to an internal broadcast of Red Radio Vilnius on Sept. 21, 1956. It added: "Thousands of representatives of Lithuanian youth have also settled in Kazachstan. Many of them are now building one of the greatest industrial plants of Siberia — the giant aluminum plant of Pavlodar. Others are building a railroad."

To secure permission to return to Lithuania from Siberia exile, a deportee, among other things, must be in a state of complete invalidism (Class III). Invalids in Classes I and II are not even considered. The maimed political exiles who are allowed to return face an official "freeze-out" and are not able to secure shelter, employment or support.

Less than 1 pound of grain — on the average — is all a Lithuanian serf ("collective farmer") is now receiving from his Russian masters for a long day of back-breaking work. This measly wage, now at its lowest ebb, must feed and cloth him and his family.

Flour and sugar are the scarcest goods in Kaunas, second largest city, and all Lithuania. Long queues mark the few stores where these commodities appear. Groceries display make-believe sausages, cheese and even loaves of bread carved of wood — but the shelves are mostly bare.

"Drugs, medicines, drugs" is the most common plea made by Lithuanians writing to friends and relatives in the free world — a plea that is alarming in its implication of a nation ill and run down due to prolonged malnutrition and lack of warm clothing.

A casual remark in a letter penetrates the Curtain, casts a revealing sidelight on conditions in the Soviet Armed Forces: two Lithuanian youths, inducted into the Soviet Army, during the years of their service did not have enough money for postage, paper and writing implements, could not write a single letter to their deportee mother in Siberia.

A Lithuanian woman who was on guided tour in Western Europe on the Soviet vessel Pobe-da, escaped recently under dramatic circumstances in the Stockholm harbor and asked for asylum.

The escapee, Miss Birute Bile-viciute, 35, was a lecturer in economic geography at the Pedagogical Institute, in Vilnius. The first person since 1951 who succeeded in reaching the shore of freedom in Sweden, she said she fled because there was no such thing as personal or academic freedom in the Communist world.

Courses in the Lithuanian language and literature are currently being offered at the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia and Fordham Universities in New York, De Paul University in Chicago and the University of Munich, Germany.

The annual convention of the American Lithuanian Council, Inc., voice of about one million Americans of Lithuanian descent or birth, was held recently in New York. The Council expressed the sympathy the Lithuanian Americans feel for the Hungarian people.

Lithuanians in the United States participated actively in public expressions of protest against Soviet terrorism in Hungary. Pickets, parades, and mass meetings were held in many cities.

The Lithuanian American Engineers and Architects Assn. held its fourth convention in Philadelphia, Sept. 1 to 3, 1956.

"Treaties with the Soviet Union are not worth the paper they are written on," U.S. Senator William F. Knowland told a Lithuanian American political meeting in Los Angeles recently. The treaties of "friendship and non-aggression" between Lithuania and the USSR, flagrantly broken by the latter, are perfect examples of Soviet duplicity, other speakers pointed out.


"Twentieth Century Madonna," a painting by Povilas Pu-zinas, leading Lithuanian painter, has won its author the American Artists Professional League's 1956 Grand Prize for oils. This was Mr. Puzinas' seventh American award and the second for this painting: in 1951 it had won the first prize at the International Madonna Festival in Los Angeles. The 1956 presentation was made in New York at ceremonies climaxing Art Week. Works of two ohter Lithuanian artists, W. J. Witkus and C. Janusas, were also shown at the League's exhibition.

Wood-carvings by two Lithuanian sculptors, J. Dagys and J. Varnauskas, shown at the recent Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto, won acclaim in the metropolitan press of Canada.

"Day After Day," a lithograph in colors by Romas Viesulas, has been acquired by the Cincinnati Art Museum for its permanent collection. Other works by Mr. Viesulas were shown at the International Exhibition of Lithographs, recently held at the Cincinnati institution, at a recent ail-American exhibit in Los Angeles and at the traveling exhibition of the Society of American Graphic Arts.

More than 100 works by 19 Lithuanian refugee artists from five continents were exhibited at the Lithuanian Art Show held this fall in Windsor, Ont., in conjunction with the Fourth Canadian Lithuanian Day. Sponsored by the Lithuanian Fine Arts Institute, the exhibit opened Sept. 1 at the Willistead Art Galeries.

The first Exhibition of Lithuanian Architecture in Sao Paulo, featuring 800 entries, was scheduled to open in the Brasilian metropolis in December 1956. The exhibition, presented by Lithuanian refugee architects, shows the development of Lithuanian architecture from the relics of antiquity to the modern edifices of Independent Lithuania.

Paintings by J. Pautienius, Cicero, Ill., recently went on exhibit in Los Angeles under the auspices of the Fine Arts Club... From California to Chicago came the works of A. Rūkštelė, recent arrival from Australia, " for a special show sponsored by the Chicago region of the Lithuanian Artists Assn... H. Šalkauskas exhibited three works at a recent modern art show in Australia.

Composer Vytautas Bacevicius has finished his Fifth Symphony in three movements. This summer Bacevicius composed several new works for the piano and is now working on his Fourth String Quartet.

Fourteen-year-old Kazys Leknius of Detroit has joined the Pontiac Symphony Orchestra. He is the youngest member of the corps.

Vytautas O. Virkau, a young Lithuanian artist, exhibited his works at the annual Fine Arts Festival of the Deer Art League.


Dr. Alvina O. Šabanienė, first woman physician to serve on the staff of the orthopedic surgery department of the famed Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., is now an Associate in Orthopedic Surgery at Northwestern University in Chicago. At the Mayo institution she earned a Master of Science degree in Orthopedic Surgery. Reports on her original research projects have appeared in the learned journals of her specialty, including The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, American Journal of Surgery, Cancer, and the journals of the Mayo Clinic.

Dr. A. Darnusis, Dr. A. Vaitiekūnas, and Dr. J. Vėbra attended the recent annual meeting of the American Chemical Society, in Atlantic City, N. J. All three are former members of the faculty of the University of Vytautas the Great, in Kaunas. Dr. Vebra, employed by the Olin-Mathieson Chemical Corporation, has developed a new method in the production of lubricants. Several years ago Dr. Vaitiekūnas, then on the faculty of Fordham University in New York, presented two papers before the society. Dr. Darnusis presented a paper, "Amine Curing Agents for Epoxy Resins," at a meeting of the paint, plastics and printing ink division. This research report will appear in Industrial and Engineering Chemistry. He is one of a group of Cleveland chemists who presented a paper on the search for an incompatibility test at the recent meeting of the Federation of Paint, Varnish, and Lacquer Production Clubs in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Professor Dr. Vytautas Pavilanis, University of Montreal, is in charge of the production of polio vaccine at the Institute of Micrcbiology and Hygiene in Laval des Rapides, Montreal.

Sister M. Gabriella Maze (Mazeliauskaitė) of the Sisters of St. Francis has received a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Pittsburgh. Her dissertation, "An Histological Study of the Origin and the Development of Induced Galls of the Goldenrod Blossom," deals with cancerous growths on plants. Sister M. Gabriella is a member of the editorial staff of the American Biology Teacher and contributes articles to scientific journals.

Dr. J. Senikas received his doctoral degree in medicine from the Munich University in Germany. His dissertation on the action of MDH ferments in leukemic children earned him a magna cum laude. Confuting a previous theory, his work attracted wide-spread attention.

Among Lithuanian refugees who have received advanced degrees from universities in Montreal is Miss Jurate Ciplijauskaitė, Ph.D. in bacteriology.