Volume 43, No. 1 - Spring 1997
Editor of this issue: Violeta Kelertas
ISSN 0024-5089
Copyright © 1997 LITUANUS Foundation, Inc.


State University of New York,
College at Buffalo;
Canisius College


The modern Lithuanian Republic which proclaimed its independence in 1918 and re-established it after the fall of the Soviet Union was overwhelmingly Roman Catholic in its religious orientation. At the beginning of Lithuanian independence in 1918, the Protestant minority had dwindled to no more than 5% of the population, but this number grew, especially after the inclusion of the Lutherans in the Klaipėda-Memel territory, to about 10%. In 1941, after Lithuania had fallen under the occupation of the Soviet Union, the Protestant contingent was again sharply reduced due to a massive exodus of Protestants to Germany under Germany's repatriation provisions, which embraced virtually all Protestants with or without clear German extraction and made it possible for a sizable number of Lithuanian Protestants of purely Lithuanian extraction to leave for Germany, at that time the only legal way to escape from the Soviet regime. Another percentage was deported to Siberian labor camps and exile. This resulted in a virtual depopulation of the entire Klaipėda-Memel territory and large areas around Biržai. Protestant Lithuanians, however, did not disappear altogether. They survived the fifty years of Soviet rule and continue to represent a small but tenacious minority which is actively reasserting its presence in Post-Communist Lithuania. The two major denominations, both of which trace their roots and origins to the 16th century Reformation, are the Evangelical Reformed (or Calvinist) Church, following the Helvetian tradition of John Calvin, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church, following the Augsburg Confession based on the teachings of Martin Luther. There are also scatterings of Baptists, Methodists, Adventists and lately Pentacostals.

Pre-war Lithuanian scholarship, interpreting the Reformation in Lithuania from a largely pro-Catholic point of view, demonstrated a tendency to brush it off as a transient, short-lived and relatively unimportant phenomenon without significant long-term impact or consequences.1 More recent research, spearheaded in Soviet Lithuania in the seventies by the Reformation scholars Juozas Jurginis and Ingė Lukšaitė, sheds a new light on the Reformation and the Protestant presence.2 Ingė Lukšaitė is continuing her research, and the impact of the Reformation is presently receiving renewed attention by scholars gathering around the recently created Reformation Studies Society (Lietuvos Reformacijos Kultūros ir Istorijos Draugija). We can expect more publications on this subject this year, which marks the 450th anniversary of the Lutheran Catechism in the Lithuanian language, prepared by Martynas Mažvydas, the first printed book in the Lithuanian language. For better or worse the Protestant minority adds a dimension to Lithuania's tortured history which cannot be ignored, if not for its vitality then for its contribution to Lithuanian written culture.

The Evangelical Reformed Church, at the time of Lithuanian independence in 1918, numbered from about 10,000 or more to up to 20,000 (statistics vary). Reformed Protestants, Lithuanian and Polish by background, resided in the Vilnius (Vilna; Wilno) area, the original center of the Church since its foundation in 1557. Purely ethnic Lithuanians resided in northern Lithuania in and around the cities of Kėdainiai (Kedainnen; Kiejdany) and Biržai (Birsen), the historical residences of the now extinct Protestant branch of the famous Radvila (Radziwill) family which was an adamant supporter of the Reformed faith even during the harshest times of the Counter Reformation. The Biržai congregation was in 1918 about 6,000 strong. During Tsarist rule, which extended from the last partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1795 to the end of World War I and the establishment of the Soviet Union, the Lithuanian Reformed Church succeeded in maintaining its original structure and autonomy as well as its tradition of self-government. It also maintained a tradition of education and had a sizable intelligentsia. Since its founding as the Unitas Lituaniae, this Church had always viewed itself as a native church, as was reflected in the name. Thus, despite their small number, the Reformed Lithuanians were markedly visible in the 19th century Lithuanian National Revival Movement, a phenomenon which was first pointed out by the Lithuanian-American activist Dr. Jonas Šliūpas in his article in the Princeton Review.3 During the first decade of the Republic, many Reformed Lithuanians assumed leading positions in government, education and the professions, and the Church as a whole was fully integrated into the fabric of Lithuanian society. Although at the very beginning of Independence, the Church lost its traditional center in Vilnius due to the occupation of Vilnius by Poland, its leadership succeeded in reorganizing a new center in Biržai which, although at the time perceived as a devastating loss, in the final analysis proved to be advantageous because it escaped the nationalities clash dividing the Lutheran Church. All in all, the Reformed Church functioned so well during the in-terwar period that this period is now often referred to as a Renaissance. Today Biržai still remains the northern outpost of Reformed Lithuanians, although their numbers are considerably reduced. There is also a small but active congregation in Vilnius, the original center of the Church, in Kaunas, and in other historical locations, but there is a desperate need for clergy and positive leadership.

Lithuanian Lutherans in 1918 resided mainly in Samogitia (Žemaitija) and in areas bordering on what was then East Prussia. The Lithuanian Evangelical Church had close to 70,000 members of whom about 2/5th were German, 2/5th Lithuanian and 1/5 Latvian. (This percentage varies somewhat according to sources, German sources usually setting the number of Germans considerably higher). The largest congregation within the borders of Lithuania was in Tauragė (Tauroggen), which accommodated about 4,000 Lithuanian and 3,000 German parishioners. Unlike the Reformed Church, the Lithuanian Lutheran Church had to rebuild itself almost from scratch because during the Tsarist occupation it had become partitioned and attached to the German Lutheran Church in Courland and Livland. Church leadership was in the hands of Baltic Germans, who viewed the Church as their church and were unwilling to relinquish their traditional leadership position. After 1819, as a new Lithuanian Lutheran Church was being created, a power struggle ensued between the two groups over leadership, paralyzing the Church from the very beginning and plaguing it throughout the entire interwar period. The Church survived the Soviet occupation preserving its organizational structure and is making a strong comeback at the present time, with active centers in Vilnius, Tauragė, and Klaipėda with their surrounding areas, and in smaller localities.

To complicate matters, in 1918, the majority of Lithuanian Lutherans resided outside the borders of the new Republic, in so-called Prussian-Lithuania or Lithuania Minor (Klein Litauen) and under German jurisdiction. As subjects of the Prussian monarchy, the Prussian-Lithuanians, who had been brought into the Lutheran fold as early as 1525, had remained faithful to it, eventually developing their own brand of a pietistic Lutheranism. After World War II, because of the ethnic and linguistic composition of this population, under a provision by the Treaty of Versailles, a northern strip of the larger area, renamed the Memel Territory (Klaipėdos kraštas), was detached from Germany and placed under Allied administration. In 1923, this area was annexed by Lithuania, albeit with numerous guarantees of autonomy. With it Lithuania acquired some 140,000 additional Lutherans. Although separated by geopolitical boundaries for centuries, the borders had never been airtight, and Prussian-Lithuanians had always remained in close contact with the Lithuanians across the border and had their input into the National Revival Movement as a publishing center of underground literature. Nevertheless, to the disappointment of Lithuanian patriots on either side of the border, the fusion, after centuries of separate existence and different cultural influences, was neither instant nor automatic, as had been anticipated. In fact, it caused a great deal of unforeseen problems for both church and state. The entire area was re-annexed by Hitler in 1939 and thus returned to German control. It was devastated during and after World War II. It is now a part of Lithuania, albeit without its original population, thus ending a chapter of Lithuanian history.

As can be seen from this introduction, the history of the two Protestant churches is very complex. Although both trace their roots to the very beginning of the Reformation, they cannot be discussed as a unit because they were shaped and molded by very different historical forces. We must carefully differentiate between the historical Grand Duchy of Lithuania on the one hand and so-called Prussian-Lithuania on the other. We must also distinguish between the Reformed Lithuanians in the former Grand Duchy and eventually the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Prussian-Lithuanians under the Prussian monarchy. A further distinction must be made between Lutherans in Lithuania and Prussian-Lithuanian Lutherans. Since their conversion in 1525, Prussian-Lithuanians, as subjects of the Prussian crown, had escaped the Counter Reformation altogether. They were secure in matters of faith but threatened in their ethnicity. In the Grand Duchy, Lutherans and the much more numerous Reformed Calvinists, after their initial success, were almost from the beginning threatened in their religion and over the course of several centuries were reduced to a small minority by the forces exerted by the Catholic Restoration. Ethnically, on the other hand, they were subject to the same historical developments as their Catholic neighbors. The Reformed Calvinist Church always perceived itself as a native church.

The position of a minority religion is never an easy one. Lithuanian Protestants are certainly no exception and likewise did not escape the typical psychological and sociological traumas, and especially so in a country which to this day calls itself the "Land of the Virgin Mary" and worships Our Lady of Šiluva for having delivered Lithuania from the Reformation. To be sure, when Lithuania regained its independence in 1918 and a modern republic was established, the Lithuanian Constitution, to the great satisfaction of all its religious minorities, provided equal status to all religions. Although all religions were theoretically equal, in practice, however, the balance of power was shifting in favor of the Roman Catholic Church. Its position vis-a-vis the government, offsetting the liberal constitutional provisions, was further strengthened by the signing of a Concordat in 1927. The two Protestant churches, for various reasons, were left under the provisions of the old Tsarist law which was neither repealed nor replaced, and were thus subject to government control and interference. By the 1930's, Protestant Synods, both Lutheran and Reformed, began to lodge official complaints against what they perceived as unfriendly and discriminatory practices on the part of the Roman Catholic hierarchy, even at the government level. This situation remained unsolved until the country's occupation by the Soviet Union and the prejudices and antagonisms of that time remained as if frozen in time and preserved up to the present.

Since the onset of the Counter Reformation, which coincided with the duration of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Roman Catholic Church was characterized by a very militant stance toward Protestants, which were denounced as heretics or at best as religious dissenters. After Lithuanian independence was established, these tendencies resurfaced in the course of the Republic, strengthened by a new set of strict Roman Catholic canonical laws that drew a sharp wedge between the two communities. In the National Liberation Movement, the Roman Catholic Church, which hitherto had been promoting the interests of the Polish Church, drastically changed its historic position and emerged as a bastion of Lithuanian nationalism, which it still is. Subsequently, to the growing chagrin of the Protestant minority, there developed a tendency among the population, nourished by the Church, to equate the Roman Catholic religion with Lithuanian nationality. In other words, only a Roman Catholic Lithuanian was a true Lithuanian and, by a logical extension, persons of other religious persuasions were excluded from this community. This tendency found its best expression in the widely prevalent practice to refer to Protestants as "Prussians". This designation, which was both geographical and political, had its historical justification but had no validity in the new setting. Moreover, it was indiscriminately used to include all Protestants, with little or no differentiation between the Lithuanian Lutherans and the Prussian-Lithuanian Lutherans in the Klaipeda-Memel area. It was also extended to the Reformed Protestants, to whom it did not apply at all because they had never lived under German jurisdiction. To add insult to injury, the Lithuanian term "kunigas" (clergyman) was reserved for Catholic clergy while referring to Protestant clergy by the German term "pastorius". This practice can be observed even today. Other slurs existed and were sometimes used even by educated people without malicious intent. The Protestants viewed these tendencies as an attempt to relegate them to the status of second-class citizens. They resented deeply the stigma of foreignness or otherness. They were no newcomers to Lithuania and had made significant contributions to Lithuanian culture which, in their perception, were either ignored or undermined and for which they had never been granted proper credit. Discriminatory attitudes with the resulting tensions crated a climate which needlessly alienated a large number of otherwise dedicated and loyal citizens. Some simply withdrew to the German side, where they were welcomed, an irretrievable loss to the Lithuanian nation.

In the Lithuanian setting of 1918, the role of the Protestant communities was a complex one. With the Roman Catholic Church assuming an active role in the political life of the country, the Protestant churches, with their tradition of political non-involvement, were largely passive. When a group of young Lutherans, in an effort to demonstrate their patriotism, were driven to excessive demonstrations of nationalism, the majority of Protestant congregations viewed them as grossly inappropriate.

The challenge which lay ahead for both communities was to redefine themselves in accordance with their tradition and the new political realities, to find ways to assert themselves vis-a-vis the majority, and to accomplish political and national integration without compromising their principles, traditions or identity. They also had to establish a productive cooperation with each other on an official and a personal level and learn to overcome traditional mistrusts and isolation. These exist even today.


A. The Reformation in East Prussia

The Protestant Reformation began in 1517, and already in 1525, Duke Albrecht (Albert) of Brandenburg, the last Grand-Master of the Order of the Teutonic Knights, secularized the moribund Order, renounced Roman Catholicism, and founded on the territories of the Order a new state which was to become the first Lutheran state in northeastern Europe. The new state remained a vassal state to the Polish-Lithuanian Crown (King Sigismund I was Albrecht's uncle on his mother's side), but in the course of time Brandenburg united with the Prussian monarchy and eventually became the modern German Empire. It was built on the land which the Order had conquered from the original inhabitants, the Prussians (Altpreussen; Pruzzen), a Baltic people whom the Order had defeated in 1283 after bitter and prolonged warfare, appropriating even their name, which in the course of time became synonymous with German. With the conquered territories Lithuanian-populated areas also came under the jurisdiction of the Order. Although the Order had waged its wars in the name of Christianity, it had put very little effort into missionizing the indigenous inhabitants. The bulk of the Lithuanian and Prussian population had been barely touched by Christianity, which they perceived as an alien religion. Many were placed in bondage and were treated with contempt by the German colonists, from whom they remained segregated by faith, customs and language. Christian services were almost without exception conducted in German. Old pagan practices abounded. As outlined by Mažvydas himself in the introduction to his Catechism, Lithuanians who wished to partake in Christian ceremonies had to travel across the border to the neighboring Grand Duchy.4 In the entire area hardly anyone had ever received communion.5 When the native population finally learned the Gospel, it was brought to them in its Lutheran form and as a result of very special efforts by Duke Albrecht.

The Reformation put special emphasis on the vernacular for church services and church singing and encouraged the reading of the Scriptures, thus also furthering literacy in the countries where it took root. In the Lutheran tradition, the head of state was at the same time also the protector of the faith. Duke Albrecht took this responsibility very seriously and was fiercely determined to provide every population group in his country with prayer books and religious instruction in their own language. His first step toward this goal was the founding of a seminary (Paedagogium) in 1541 in Königsberg, which in 1544 expanded into a University, for the express purpose of training Lutheran ministers.6 Albrecht offered protection to exiled Protestant scholars from the neighboring Grand Duchy of Lithuania and invited them to his University as professors and/or students. Foremost among them were Stanislovas Rapalionis (Rapagelanus) and Abraomas Kulva-Kulvietis (Abrahamus Culvensis). These men had already distinguished themselves as scholars of the Reformation and advocates of reform. In 1539, Kulva had founded a classical school in Vilnius and had just been placed under order of arrest by King Sigismund I for spreading heresies. Rapalionis had left even earlier. He earned his doctorate at Wittenberg on a scholarship from Albrecht and was the first professor of theology at the seminary in Königsberg, famous for his popular lectures. With Albrecht's support, both men dedicated their lives to translations of religious literature into Lithuanian, a formidable task. Rapalionis is said to have worked on a Bible translation and completed his translation of the Old Testament, but at the time of his funeral in the Grand Duchy in 1545, the manuscript disappeared, presumably destroyed.7 Kulva died in the same year. They died leaving much of their work unfinished, but they laid a foundation and sparked an interest for translations which for the next fifty years turned Königsberg into a lively center of Lithuanian publishing and translating activities. Some of their work was included in various later collections, beginning with the Mažvydas Catechism.

The Mažvydas Catechism, now celebrated as the first printed book in Lithuanian, was published in 1547 by Martynas Mažvydas (Mosvidius), another religious exile from the Grand Duchy and one of the first theology graduates of the new university. Mažvydas' book was primarily a translation of Luther's Catechism, presumably from Polish, with hymns and other items by several contributors. It also featured an alphabet and a primer, which at that time was a novelty, thus offering the tools for literacy. Mažvydas was totally committed to his translation work. After his graduation, he was ordained pastor at Ragainė (Ragnit), where he spent the rest of his life collecting songs and working on translations of hymns. Some of them were published soon after his death (1563) by his cousin Baltramiejus Vilentas (Willent), who took over his ministry. Vilentas also did some translations on his own. In addition to the Catechism, which was aimed at a larger audience, Mažvydas published two additional books strictly for use among Prussian-Lithuanians.

The intended audience for the Mažvydas Catechism was not just Prussia but also the Grand Duchy. This is indicated by the famous dedication Ad Magnum Ducatum Lituaniae. The dedication was obviously endorsed by the Duke, who sponsored the publication, and it was a reflection of his political plans and ambitions to promote the spread of the Reformation in the Grand Duchy, which he hoped would lead to a strong Lutheran block in the region. The Catechism was published in Königsberg by H. Weinreich in an edition of some 300 copies (the Prussian edition of 1545 was about 200, the Polish in 1513 was 300); it did not, however, receive wide distribution in the Grand Duchy, although it served as a model for later translations there, by Reformed as well as Catholic authors.8 Subsequent publications of hymns in 1566 and 1577, by various translators, were likewise directed to audiences in both countries.9 Thus we are witnessing the beginning of the curious phenomenon, which was to repeat itself, of Lithuanian authors publishing abroad and redirecting their publications to the home country.

During the first fifty years after the Reformation, it is estimated that some thirty Lithuanian scholars were collaborating at the Lithuanian Seminar at Königsberg on various translations. All of them were Lithuanians from the Grand Duchy, most likely religious exiles. Hymn publishing was especially popular and several collections were published by various authors, as well as another catechism. We also know of an early attempt at a Postilla by an unknown author who between 1566-1569 prepared a collection of popular sermons, a copy of which became known as the Wolfenbutteler Postile. In 1579, B. Vilentas published a Postilla with Luther's sermons from the original German and from Polish versions. This Postilla had a long life. It was used in all Prussian-Lithuanian congregations, was republished in 1612 in a new edition by L. Sengstock and in 1882 in the series Die littauischen und lettischen Drucke. It was also used by Reformed congregations in Lithuania.

The first Bible translation into Lithuanian was completed about 1590 by Jonas Bretkūnas (Joahnnes Bretke) in Königsberg. Beginning with the New Testament, Bretkūnas based his Bible translations on Latin texts as well as on the Luther translation. The publication of this manuscript, while approved by a special committee of scholars and theologians and paid for by the monarchy, ran into difficulties. The Lithuanian Bible thus remained unpublished; it was available to other scholars at the archives in manuscript form.10 During World War II it was transferred to the state archives in Göttingen.

Bretkūnas was a giant among the early translators and was, unlike the earlier translators, the first truly native Prussian-Lithuanian of purely Prussian-Lithuanian extraction. In 1589, he published a collection of hymns, with music, including reworked and improved versions by previous authors as well as new creations. Sixty of these hymns were reprinted in various later editions. He edited existing texts and hymns and published a prayer book. In 1591, Bretkūnas published a Postilla, which went beyond translations and using a rich, flowing and lively language, thus reaching a higher level of writing than had been achieved before.11 Although only a fraction of his work was published, it was available to later authors. Bretkūnas lived and died in Königsberg (in 1602), where he had a pastorate.

Writing in Lithuanian at that time was a monumental achievement. These men were pioneers, boldly breaking ground for later writers, creating the first written forms in Lithuanian prose and poetry, working with an oral tradition and a language that had no precedent for classical poetic forms, abstract concepts or intellectual discourse. Biblical language, already current in other countries, had to be created almost from scratch. It is even more amazing when one considers that these translators labored without dictionaries or even a grammar. The first Lithuanian grammar, by Rev. Daniel Klein, was not published until almost a century later (in 1653), also in Prussia. The same applies to dictionaries.

In the Grand Duchy at the same time, the Lithuanian language was used on and off in manuscripts and letters, but the written languages of the educated classes and of officialdom were Latin, Old Church Slavic and Polish. After Lithuania's Union with Poland, Polish was rapidly gaining in popularity while Lithuanian was declining. In fact, at the time of the Reformation, Lithuanian was maintaining itself only in an oral tradition and it was, not unlike Gaelic, perhaps doomed for extinction. In the Grand Duchy, the first Catholic Catechism and a Postilla in Lithuanian, translated by Mikalojus Daukša, became available in 1595 and 1599, followed in 1629 by a collection of sermons by Konstantinas Sirvydas (Punktai sakymų). A Calvinist Catechism, prepared by Merkelis Petkevičius, appeared in 1598, and a Postilla was published by Jokūbas Morkūnas in 1600. The belated and almost simultaneous appearance of all these texts is indicative of the religious competition between the two churches as well as an awareness by both Churches that there was a real need for religious literature in Lithuanian among the population at large. This need, however, remained largely unfulfilled until the National Revival at the end of the 19th century. In the period from 1547-1600, according to bibliographical listings, 22 Lithuanian-language publications in Prussia and eight in the Grand Duchy appeared 12

The intense literary activity at the Albertus University was the result of the initiative taken by Duke Albrecht in this early period of the Reformation. Although Albrecht's generosity was to a large extent motivated by his political ambitions, there can be no doubt concerning his missionary commitment. His interest in the Lithuanian language could to some extent have also been caused by loyalty to his own heritage. Yet he showed a similar concern for the Prussian and Polish inhabitants of his country. This respect for the vernacular set another precedent which was continued by his heirs and even by the Prussian monarchy. The stock of undistributed Lithuanian books in the royal archives at Konigsberg indicate that this was not a very profitable enterprise.

When Albrecht founded his University and assigned scholarships for theology students, six to eight were immediately designated to Lithuanian students, a number which at times even increased. Students from neighboring Lithuania were welcomed and well represented, including secular students. Among them were the sons of the most distinguished families which supported the Reformation such as the Sapiega (Sapieha), Katkus, Naruševičius and others. Merkelis Giedraitis (Giedroic), who later became a Roman Catholic bishop in Samogitia (Žemaitija) and a determined and effective adversary of the Reformation, was registered in 1560. All in all, from 1544 to 1600, some 233 students with Lithuanian family names had registered at the University, out of a total number of 3,906.13 The University was also used by the Lithuanian-Reformed Church in what by now had become the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth to train their clergy. As the Catholic Restoration was gaining momentum there, training at home had become impossible. In 1687, Ludwiga Karolina Radvilaitė (Luise Charlotte Radziwill), the last descendant of the Protestant Biržai-Dubingiai branch of the Radvila family and a generous patron of the Reformed Church, herself residing in Prussia, endowed three scholarships at the University of Königsberg for Reformed students from the Commonwealth with the specific provision that at least one of them would be conversant in Lithuanian.14

The first wave of enthusiasm for a Bible translation subsided with Bretkūnas. Only his Psalms of David were published about twenty years after his death through the efforts of Jonas Rhesa. In Lithuania, which by now had become the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, there was one serious attempt by Samuel Boguslav Chylinski. Chylinski completed the project while on a scholarship in England, but he was unable to secure the necessary funding from the Synod back home.15 In Prussia, the first complete translation of the New Testament was published in 1701, in honor of the coronation of King Frederick I of Prussia. This translation was a collaborative effort and intended for use by both Lutheran and Reformed Protestants. Its authors were two Reformed Calvinists from the Commonwealth, Samuel Bittner and J. Boszimowski (Jr.), and two Prussian-Lithuanian Lutherans, F. Schuster and B. Sanden. The New Testament was immediately put to use in Reformed congregations but did not prove popular with Prussian-Lithuanians.16 On the orders of the king, a new version of the New Testament was prepared in a new bilingual edition. A complete Bible translation finally appeared in 1727. This Bible was also a collaborative effort by numerous authors who used the work by Bretkūnas and Chylinski as well as the New Testament of 1701.17 The Bible featured the Gothic alphabet, a hallmark of Prussian-Lithuanian publications, and was published in Königsberg by Hartung in an edition of 1,000 copies. It was sold out within ten years and had to be reprinted.18 A new edition appeared in 1816, after the Napoleonic Wars, under the editorship of Ludwig Rhesa, who was basing the Old Testament

on Greek and Hebrew sources. This Bible was published in an edition of 6,000 copies, with financial support from the British Bible Society and additional grants from the Prussian Ministry of Education. Rhesa also wrote a detailed account of the history of the Lithuanian Bible,19 offering information so far unavailable to the academic community of his time. Rhesa's Bible, which went through several subsequent editions, remained the standard text for many generations to come and until the time of Lithuanian independence. It was reprinted in 1824, with a philological commentary, followed by editions by Friedrich Kuršaitis (Kurschat; Kurschatis) in 1853 and 1858.

Looking in retrospect, the Mažvydas Catechism of 1547 succeeded in its immediate task of spreading the message of the Gospel among the Prussian-Lithuanians, who remained loyal to it. It was also instrumental in establishing a tradition of Prussian-Lithuanian publishing which preserved the language. From the 16th century onward, the Lithuanian language was used in church and schools and even in the promulgation of royal edicts and in other official documents. Although most of the Lithuanian publications were religious in nature, the subsidies extended to grammars and dictionaries. Lithuanian books were published at government expense until about the middle of the 18th century.

After the devastation by the Great Plague (1709-1711), a special Lithuanian Seminar was endowed at the University at Konigsberg to provide language instruction to theology students training to fill the vacant posts in Prussian-Lithuanian congregations. The shortage of Lithuanian-speaking clergy was so acute that another seminar was opened at the University of Halle (1717-1765), with twelve government stipends for theology students of Prussian-Lithuanian heritage.20 Halle was at that time the cradle of Pietism. The Seminar, under the direction of Gottfried Francke, son of August Francke, contributed to the spread of Pietism among Prussian-Lithuanians.21 Subsequently, language study at the Lithuanian Seminar at Königsberg was made obligatory to all theology students intending to work in Prussian-Lithuanian congregations.

The Seminar was especially active under the chairmanship of Ludwig Rhesa, who also served as a professor of theology at the university, and played a dominant role in the Lithuanian cultural life of East Prussia. Rhesa is credited for having saved the very existence of the seminar during the educational reforms of 1809 as well as for having impressed upon the authorities the need to teach the language in schools. Rhesa is best known for his contributions to literature and folklore. He lifted from oblivion the now-famous epic poem Metai (The Seasons) by the Lutheran minister Kristijonas Donelaitis (Donalitius), (1714-1780), depicting the trials and tribulations of the Prussian-Lithuanian peasantry in 18th century Prussia, now celebrated as a Prussian-Lithuanian masterpiece and translated into many other languages. In 1825, affected by the then current ideas of Herder, Rhesa published the first collection of Prussian-Lithuanian folk songs, bringing them to the attention of the world community as well as that of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who praised the songs.22 This collection marks the beginning of intense work by subsequent scholars in all areas of Lithuanian folklore. Rhesa was the leading specialist in his field at the time, maintaining contact with Russian, Polish and Lithuanian philologists.23 He shared his knowledge and rich library collection with J. Plioteris, from the University of Vilnius, who was gathering material for his study on the Chylinski Bible, and with S. Stanevičius.24 Rhesa died in 1840, having succeeded in bringing the Lithuanian language to the attention of 19th century philologists as an ancient Baltic language on the brink of extinction and of great value to philological research for its archaic qualities, thus moving the study of Lithuanian language and culture to an academic level and involving the academic community in its preservation. This interest culminated, in 1897, in the creation of the Littauische Literarische Gesellschaft, a Lithuanian literary society which fostered academic scholarship and offered a forum to disseminate it.25 Needless to say, this activity was of a purely academic nature.

After the Napoleonic wars, serfdom was abolished in Prussia and progressive educational reforms introduced, including universal schooling. The Prussian-Lithuanians benefited from it. In heavily populated areas, the Lithuanian language was taught in elementary schools and in several teachers' colleges. In 1844, to fill the need for Lithuanian-speaking officials, ministers and teachers, King Frederick William designated annual stipends to 12 Prussian-Lithuanian children ,26 The spread of literacy resulted in the need for periodical publications. The first periodical for Prussian-Lithuanians was of a Pietistic orientation and appeared in 1832, published by the preacher Fridrikas Kelkis. From 1849-1880, the philology professor Friedrich Kurschat (Kuršaitis), one of Rhesa's students, started the popular and long-lived Keleivis (Traveler). Keleivis was instrumental in establishing a tradition of Lithuanian-language periodicals. Gradually, to satisfy the demand for secular literature, a number of small printing presses emerged, even in villages, among them the presses of Mauderode, jagomast (Jagomastas), M. Šernus, M. Jankus and other people who became active in the National Revival Movement.27

In the setting of the Prussian monarchy, religious publishing, as religion itself, was supported by German authorities in order to appease and manipulate the population and promote pro-German tendencies. Prussian-Lithuanians were as a group a loyal, conservative and placid population. But they were used to reading the Scriptures and other literature in the native language. After the creation of the German Empire in 1871, under Otto von Bismarck, a new and vigorous policy of Germanization was launched which was a drastic departure from the previously established practice. To prevent the displacement of the Lithuanian language, delegations and petitions were sent to the Crown, although to no avail.28 A small group of Prussian-Lithuanian activists began to organize politically and to participate in elections, aligning themselves with the conservative party. Prussian-Lithuanians as a group had never been politically active before. However, in 1898, they elected the first Lithuanian representative to the German parliament (Reichstag), Jonas Smalakys. Since 1902, the popular Rev. Dr. Vilius Gaigalaitis (Wilhelm Gaigalat) was the spokesman for Lithuanians in the German Landtag. The Tilsit district elected Dr. Vilius Steputaitis. In addition, the political activists established a closer contact with the National Revival Movement beginning to take shape across the border. In 1878, Martynas Šernus began publishing his Lietuwiszka Ceitunga (Lithuanian Newspaper), followed by Naujoji Lietuwiszka Ceitunga (New Lithuanian Newspaper), which show a new pro-Lithuanian orientation. The new sentiment found its best support in 1919 in Lietuvių balsas (Prussian-Lithuanian Voice) by Jokūbas Stiklorus.

On the other side of the border, Lithuanians of the former Commonwealth, which since the last partition of the Commonwealth had come under Tsarist rule, were subjected to a publishing ban (1864-1904) that had brought to a halt all Lithuanian publishing in Latin letters. A close collaboration between activists on both sides developed in 1883 with the publication of the underground periodical Ausra, made possible by Martynas Jankus and his group. This was the beginning of the dangerous, unprofitable, and drawn-out illegal book trafficking across the border, which lasted until the revocation of the ban after the 1905 Revolution in Russia. In retrospect, this collaboration proved crucial in the success of the entire movement. Among a number of Prussian-Lithuanians, it fanned an ethnic consciousness which went far beyond the traditional religious orientation. In addition to Jankus and Vydūnas, persons who stand out as leaders and organizers of societies or editors and publishers of newspapers were Dovas Zaunius (Sr.), Martynas Šernus, Enzys Jagomastas, Jurgis Lapinas, Jonas Vanagaitis, Ansas Bruožis, Morta Zauniūtė, Morta Raišukytė, Ona Vilmantienė and others. A small but vocal group inspired by the writer-philosopher Vydūnas and associated with the "Birutė" Society in Tilžė (Tilsit) issued the 1918 Manifesto demanding the right of self-determination and unification with the new Lithuanian Republic. Another group was actively involved in the 1923 Manifesto. Although the bulk of the population remained politically passive, it is doubtful whether the insurrection of 1923 would have taken place if there had not been a strong undercurrent of support.

B. The Reformation in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania

Unlike Prussia, where, enforced and protected by the head of state, the Reformation took root in its Lutheran form, the Grand Duchy was exposed to both traditions, first the Lutheran and then, superseding it, the Calvinist, with its ecclesiastical origin in the doctrines of John Calvin. The Calvinist tradition reached Lithuania around 1550 and was accepted with an overwhelming unanimity by the Lithuanian high aristocracy, the great land-holding magnates who dominated political and social life in the Grand Duchy. At a time when the religious Peace of Augsburg was formulating the principle of cuius regio eius religio, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania found itself in the unique historical position where a powerful nobility was accepting the Reformation on its own accord and on a massive scale while the head of state did not, and Poland, Lithuania's confederate state, remained staunchly Roman Catholic. Because of this situation, the Grand Duchy, at least for a while, was one of the few countries in Europe where religious competition was protected by the laws and was taking place without war, force, or government intervention. It is possible that this situation also produced a higher degree of religious tolerance in Poland than would have been the case otherwise. Even after the Union of Lublin of 1569, which coincided with the Catholic Restoration, the new Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, although it became militantly Roman Catholic in its religious preference, escaped some of the worst religious excesses that marked many other countries in Europe. For this and other reasons, the rise and fall of the Reformation in Lithuania and the course and circumstances of its decline remain a topic for research and speculation to this day.

The Lithuanian Grand Duchy officially accepted Roman Catholicism in 1387. Unlike neighboring Prussia, Lithuania was brought into the fold of the Roman Church not by the Sword but by a peaceful agreement facilitating the royal marriage of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Jogaila (Jagiello) to the heiress to the Polish Crown, Hedwig (Jadwyga), at which time the two countries also became joined in a dynastic union and the Grand Duke ascended the Polish throne assuming henceforth the title of Grand Duke of Lithuania and King of Poland. The Lithuanian population at the time of the conversion was still subscribing to its own ancient Pagan worship, although the Grand Duchy already included, a large population of Eastern Orthodox Christians within its jurisdiction as well as sizable segments of Muslim Tartars, Karaimes, Jews, and pockets of Roman Catholics. To accommodate these different religious groups, it had developed a tradition of religious co-existence which allowed each religious group to pursue its own form of worship. Religious laws were consistently more lenient in Lithuania than in Poland. Courts of the Inquisition, for instance, were never established in Lithuania, although they existed in Poland, nor was there a systematic persecution of heretics.29 This tradition continued for a while even after the establishment of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1569 (Union of Lublin) and was reflected in the third Lithuanian Statute of 1588, which confirmed and clarified the law of 1563, offering equal treatment before the law to all Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant nobles. A declaration comparable to the Lithuanian law of 1563 was passed in Poland in 1573, but it remained only a statement of intention which had to be repeated by each new king upon each new election.30

Having accepted Roman Catholicism through Poland, Lithuania, which until then had been functioning as a meeting ground between Eastern and Western Christianity, shifted toward the West and became part of the Western cultural and intellectual tradition, partaking in the great intellectual currents of Western Civilization: the Renaissance, Humanism, and the religious reform movements which began to challenge the hegemony of the Roman Church. At the time of the Reformation, Roman Catholicism, which had been brought to the native population at large by Polish-speaking priests from Poland, had not reached very deeply and covered pre-Christian worship only superficially. The church had done very little in advancing education, which was its domain, or in taking advantage of the discovery of the printing press for the dissemination of religious and other literature. At the onset of the Reformation, there was still no university in Vilnius and the upper educated classes continued to receive their education at foreign universities, where they became exposed to the latest philosophical and religious thinking almost as soon as it was being formulated there. Many Lithuanians studying at the universities in Leipzig and Wittenberg became students of Martin Luther or Philip Melanchton, thus gaining first-hand knowledge of the new theology. Of the pre-Reformation movements, one hundred years earlier, Lithuanian students studying at the University of Prague had become directly exposed to the ideas of the Bohemian Reform movement. Hussitism was severely curtailed after the burning of Jan Hus in 1415, but Hussite tendencies were probably never completely eliminated.31 In the Grand Duchy, the Roman Catholic Church at the onset of the Reformation did not possess the position of absolute power and authority that it enjoyed in Poland and Western Europe while the traditionally tolerant and liberal religious climate was conducive to the spread of the Reformation. This also explains the receptive, open minded attitude toward religious reforms and theological disputes and the seeming ease with which the Lithuanian aristocracy was willing to leave the Roman Catholic Church and to accept the new Reformed faith, as was the case during the reign of Sigismund II Augustus.

The first, i.e. Lutheran, phase of the Reformation coincided with the reign of King Sigismund I, who remained a staunch supporter of the Roman Catholic Church and issued a number of royal edicts, beginning in 1520, prohibiting studying at Lutheran universities and the importation of Lutheran literature. A similar law applicable to Lithuania was issued in 1537.32 During this early phase of the Reformation, the Roman Church in Lithuania assumed a purely defensive position, fending off the spread of new ideas by prohibitions rather than effective reform. One of the first theologians to publicly preach the Augsburg Confession was Jonas Tartila-Tartilavičius, pastor of Šilalė, in 1535/1536. He was forced to seek asylum in neighboring Prussia, It is also known that Duke Albrecht, with his political vision of building a strong Protestant block in northeastern Europe, was actively interested in spreading the Reformation to Lithuania and maintained a lively correspondence with a number of influential great families there, foremost among them the Radvilas, Katkus, Kęsgailą, Bilevičius and others. The branch of Jonas BileviČius-Biliūnas in Samogitia accepted the Lutheran tradition and remained faithful to it. Biliūnas offered shelter to Martynas Mažvydas before the latter left for Konigsberg.33 He continued to send prospective students, probably from schools on his own estates, to the university at Konigsberg.34 Royal edicts proved difficult to enforce in Lithuania because many powerful families were already supportive of the Reformation. As this support was a silent one, its reach and extent are difficult to assess. However, we do know that during the reign of Sigismund I, individuals who converted and went public were not safe in Lithuania and had to remove themselves to Prussia. There Duke Albrecht supported their translation and publishing activities that could not be realized in the Grand Duchy. The first publication, produced by a collaborative effort of several such religious exiles was the famous Mažvydas Catechism of 1547.

In Vilnius, the first public challenge to the established Church hierarchy occurred in 1539, when the young scholar and theologian Abraomas Kulva-Kulvietis (Abrahamus Culvensis), after extensive studies at foreign universities, founded a private classical higher school or academy in Vilnius, albeit without securing the necessary permission from the Bishop of Vilnius, Povilas Alšėniškis. The school enjoyed the support of Queen Bona Sforza and was the first and only such institution in Lithuania at the time, the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy having rejected an earlier request for a higher school.35 The school offered an innovative advanced curriculum and was attended by some sixty students. Kulva himself was a highly educated man and an expert in Hebrew, Greek and Latin. In Wittenberg he had studied with Luther and Melanchton. His school, often referred to as the first Protestant school in Lithuania, also included Lutheran theology. After three years, in 1542, the school was ordered closed by the Bishop and Kulva was to stand trial as a heretic, as was confirmed by a special edict by King Sigismund. This edict, which needed to be co-signed by the Lithuanian Council of Lords, did not, however, receive the required signatures and Kulva had sufficient time to escape to Prussia, where he was invited by Duke Albrecht to the new school at Königsberg.36 In 1543, Kulva published his Confessio Fidei, a public letter in Latin addressed to Queen Bona, in which he was asking for her support in reopening his school for the benefit of Lithuania and also expounded Luther's theological position and the responsibilities of church and state. This letter is often referred to as the first Protestant publication in Lithuania. Kulva's Confessio remains an interesting commentary on social and religious conditions in the Grand Duchy at that time.

After this slow start, the Reformation virtually exploded in the 1550s, albeit in its Calvinist interpretation. By that time the intellectual climate in Lithuania had undergone a drastic transformation. In 1544, Sigismund II Augustus, the King's son and heir, had established his residence in Vilnius as the elected and confirmed grand-duke of Lithuania. Following the example of his Italian-born mother, Queen Bona Sforza, who was a generous patron of artists and men of letters, the young prince modeled his court in Vilnius after the lifestyle of Italian Renaissance princes and within the course of a few years changed it into a flourishing center of Renaissance art and architecture, almost rivaling Cracow. Moreover, Vilnius also became a center of humanist culture, acquiring a modern and distinctly Western flavor. The prince surrounded himself with Italian and German humariists and, encouraging intellectual and theological disputes, extended protection to supporters of the Reformation. He accumulated an impressive library with works by Erasmus, Luther, Melanchton and John Calvin and even entered into a correspondence with the great reformers. His cousin Albrecht visited him in 1545/1546 and sent him Kulva's Confessio and other theological works. Martin Luther dedicated his Bible translation in 1549, and John Calvin wrote him two letters and sent him his Introduction to St. Paul's Epistles to the Jews.37 For a while, the young heir to the throne demonstrated such an active interest in the Reformation that his conversion seemed almost imminent.

By that time the Reformation in Europe had entered its second phase and the Augsburg Confession by Martin Luther was overtaken by the new Reformed Protestantism of John Calvin. With its missionary center in Geneva, it was much more radical in form and substance and quickly captivated the imagination of Calvin's contemporaries. Calvin, a generation younger than Luther and Zwingli, formulated a more abstract interpretation of the Eucharist and advanced his famous Doctrine of Predestination, published in 1536. His liturgy was more austere than the liturgies adopted by the Lutherans in Germany and the Anglicans in England. In his Institutiones, he provided for a theoretical blueprint of a church independent from the state, thus anticipating the modern separation of state and church. A masterful organizer and disciplinarian, Calvin also developed an organizational Presbyterian structure which functioned most effectively at the level of individual congregations and anticipated the modern separation of church and state. Arrogating upon itself the administration and the spiritual guidance of its members, Calvinism presented a threat and a challenge to existing church hierarchies as well as to the authority of the kings. The Roman Catholic Church viewed Calvinism as its prime enemy.

Calvinism swept through Europe as the most powerful and most dynamic branch of the Reformation, spearheading a process of change. It became the religion of choice for Lithuania's sophisticated high aristocracy for a variety of reasons which have been much debated.38 One reason for its appeal was no doubt its modernity and its organizational structure which was suitable for Lithuanian conditions. Moreover, it was entering through Poland, as did Roman Catholicism. Unlike Lutheranism, Calvinism did not have associations with Prussia which, in the collective memory of the Lithuanians, lived on as the old Teutonic enemy with the not so distant history of wars and conquests. Last but not least, Calvinism was embraced by two very highly placed members of the prominent Radvila (Radziwill) family: the two cousins Nicholas the Red and Nicholas the Black. Both were outstanding statesmen and held the highest political positions in the country. They were also close friends of Sigismund Augustus, who was in the process of marrying Barbora Radvilaitė, the widowed sister of Nicholas the Red. Among the Lithuanian magnates, only the Radvila family was granted the title of princes of the Holy Roman Empire (Reichsfūrst). Since 1550, Radvila the Red, prince of Biržai (Birsen) and Dubingiai (Dubinki), was grand hetman. Radvila the Black, prince of Nesvyžius (Nesvish) and Oleka, was marshall of the royal court and since 1550 Lithuania's chancellor and palatine of Vilnius. He headed Lithuanian delegations in crucial negotiations and ruled the country when Sigismund was in Poland. Radvila the Black became the foremost spokesman for the Reformation in Lithuania and was the founder of the Lithuanian Evangelical Reformed Church.

With its emphasis on individual responsibility, the Reformation demanded that its adherents re-examine the development and purpose of churches and their own personal relationship to God. As we know from his activities and correspondence, Radvila was a deeply religious man and followed closely the course and the substance of religious reforms. In 1553 he publicly opened his palace to Lutheran services and confirmed it in an open letter to the Papal nuncio Lippomani. He also maintained a correspondence with John Calvin and J. Laski and aided persecuted Protestants from other countries, offering hospitality to the leaders of the most radical branch of the Reformation, the Antitrinitarians (present Unitarians), who in Poland and Lithuania were known as Arians or Socinians, and to Anabaptists. Although he rejected their interpretations, he did not take them lightly and consulted on various theological points with Melanchton, Calvin and Bullinger.39 Within his own family, his sister Ona Radvilaitė Kiškienė (Anna Kiszka) and her family had become supporters of Anabaptism.

Having decided on the Calvinist tradition, Radvila took the necessary steps to consolidate the new Reformed community in Lithuania. In view of the political realities of the time, one of his paramount concerns was to devise a constitution which would provide the new church with as much independence as possible and protect it from subordination to and intervention by secular authorities. Here too he consulted with Calvin, and finally adapted the Geneva-type theocracy by working out a tightly-knit synodal-Presbyterian structure which remained virtually unchanged to this day. The highest organ of the new Reformed Church was the Synod which, functioning like a parliament, was made up, as it still is, of clergy, representatives of congregations, and church elders. The president of the Synod was a lay person, an office assumed by Radvila himself. The first spiritual head, with the title of superintendent, was Simonas Sažius (Szymon Zacjusz), after 1560 Mikalojus Vendrogovskis (Wendro-gowski). Until 1611 the great Agenda was used. The Synod minutes from 1557 to 1611 were destroyed in the church fire of 1611 but are available from 1612 onward. While the Reformed Church in Geneva had assumed a theocratic model with a very austere religious lifestyle, it does not appear that such austerity was practiced in Lithuania. The new church stood the test of time in the face of much adversity and retained a remarkable degree of continuity and autonomy through many political changes, its synods functioning with only minor interruptions until the eve of Lithuania's independence.

The first synod convened in 1557 in Radvila's palace, officially establishing the Lithuanian Evangelical Reformed Church which became known as Unitas Lituaniae (Pol. Jednota Litewska). The name was used to distinguish the new Reformed Church of Lithuania from its Polish counterpart and from the very beginning to establish its independence from the Polish Reformed Church, thus setting a precedent for the future. Although the language of the higher classes at that time was Polish, Radvila, throughout his entire political life was adamant in preserving Lithuania's political independence vis-a-vis Poland in all areas, and this sentiment carried over into the new church. From the time of its founding, Unitas Lituaniae thus viewed itself as a native church. In the course of time, the Reformed Lithuanians underwent the same historical processes as their Roman Catholic neighbors.

As all reformers, Radvila fully understood the importance of education and of the press and made big endowments to establish churches and schools on his estates. In his palace he re-opened a classical school on the model of the school by Kulva but steered its curriculum toward Calvinist doctrines. He also endowed scholarships, among others to A. Valanus. He aided persecuted Protestants from other countries and offered hospitality to the leaders of the most progressive branch of the Reformation, although he did not agree with them. He commissioned the best scholars of the time to translate the Bible into Polish, the language of the higher classes, and had it printed in a luxurious edition at the press he had established in Brest-Litovsk, in 1564. This Bible, now known as the Bible of Brest, has been considered a milestone in the development of written Polish. Other religious books were published in Latin, Polish and Ruthenian. Radvila's many activities were cut short by his death on May 29, 1565. Radvila died less than ten years after founding his Unitas Lituaniae, leaving the new church without his guidance and protection at a time when the tide was turning against it. He died four years before the arrival of the Jesuits and the signing of the Lublin Act, which contained some of the provisions that he had fought against. Radvila the Black is the father of the Lithuanian Reformed Church, in stature and importance equaling a John Knox in Scotland. It is one of the ironies of history that his sons, becoming ardent supporters of the Jesuit Order and the Catholic Restoration, spent their lives undoing what their father had built. In 1581, his eldest son, Nicholas Christopher the Orphan, publicly burned Protestant writings, including his father's Bible of Brest.

(To be continued)


1 Cf. Alekna A. Katalikų bažnyčia Lietuvoje (Kaunas: 1936). Ivinskis, Z. "Die Entwicklung der Reformation in Litauen bis zum Erscheinen der Jesuiten 1569". Sonderdruck. Forschung der Osteuropaeischen Geschichte. Vol. XII (1967). Krasauskas R. "Katalikų bažnyčia Lietuvoje XVI-XVII". Suvažiavimo darbai (Lietuvos Katalikų Mokslų akademija, (Roma: 1969). Musteikis A. The Reformation in Lithuania (New York: 1988). Sužiedėlis S. Reformacijos nuoslūgis ir katalikų reakcija (Kaunas: 1938).
2 Jurginis, Juozas and Lukšaitė, Ingė, Lietuvos kultūros istorijos bruožai (Vilnius: Mokslas, 1981). Lukšaitė, Ingė, "Lietuvių kalba reformaciniam judėjime XVII a." Actą Historica Lituanica (Vilnius: 1970). Lukšaitė, Ingė, Lietuvos pedagoginės minties raida XVI-XVII a. kultūros veikėjų raštuose (Kaunas: Šviesa, 1991). Lukšaitė, Ingė, et ai., eds. Protestantizmas Lietuvoje: Istorija ir dabartis (Vilnius: Apyaušris, 1994).
3 Szlupas, John, "Lithuania and its ancient Calvinist Churches,"Princeton Theological Review, Vol. V. No 2 (April 1907), pp. 242-253.
4 K. Korsakas, ed., Martynas Mažvydas. Pirmoji lietuviška knyga (Vilnius: Vaga, 1974).
5 V. Falkenhahn. Der Ubersetzer der litauischen Bibel Johannes Bretke und seine Heifer. (Königsberg: 1941).
6 Goetz von Seile, Gechichte der Albertus Universitat zu Konigsberg in Preussen (Königsberg: 1944), p. 9. Also see Victor Falkenhahn, "Karaliaučiaus universiteto lietuvių kalbos seminaras," Kultūros Barai, No. 2 (1987).
7 V. Biržiška, "Mažosios Lietuvos rašytojai ir raštai," Aidai, No. 18 (1948), p. 353-360.
8 Domas Kaunas, "Mažvydas ir pirmoji lietuviška knyga IV," Tėviškės Žiburiai, No. 39 (2430), 24.IX.1996, p. 7.
9 Vaclovas Biržiška, "Mažosios Lietuvos rašytojai ir raštai," Aidai, No. 18 (1948), p- 352.
10 V. Falkenhahn, Der Ubersetzer der litauischen Bibel Johannes Bretke und seine Heifer {Königsberg: 1941).
11 Ingė Lukšaitė, Lietuvos pedagoginės minties raida..., op. cit, p. 13.
12 Albertas Juška, "Die kirchliche Versorgung der Preussisch Litauer," (unpublished Manuscript), p. 11.
13 Antanas Musteikis, The Reformation in Lithuania, East European Monographs CCXLVl (New York: 1988), p. 47.
14 Ingė Lukšaitė, "Lietuvių kalba reformaciniam judėjime XVII a.," Actą Historica Lituanica, V (Vilnius: 1970, p. 43.
15 Stanislav Kot, "Chylinsky's Lithuanian Bible; Origin and historical Background," in Czeslav Kudzinowski and Jan Otrebski, Chylinski's Lithuanian Bible (Poznan: Ossolineum, 1958).
16 Juška, op. dt., p. 46.
17 Domas Kaunas, Lietuviškosios knygos istorija (Vilnius: 1992), pp. 31-32.
18 Albertas Juška, op. cit., p. 34-
19 Ludwig Rhesa, Geschichte der littauischen Bibel (Königsberg:1816).
20 V. Falkenhahn, "Karaliaučiaus universiteto lietuvių kalbos  seminaras," Kultūros Barai, No. 2 (1987), p. 60.
21 Juška, op. cit., p. 26.
22 Rhesa, L.J., Dainos oder Litthauische Voikslieder, Neue Auflage... von F. Kurschat (Berlin: 1843); Rėza, L., Lietuvių liaudies dainos, I-II (Vilnius: 1958-1964); Rėza, L., Dainos, I-II. Parengė M. Biržiška (Kaunas: 1935-1937).
23 Albinas Jovaiša, Liudvikas Rėza (Vilnius: 1969), pp. 46-56.
24 Ibid.
25 Cf. Manfred Hellmann, "Die Kirche und die litauische Nationalbewegung," in: Kirche im Osten, Vol. XXVI (1983), pp. 9-35.
26 Juška, op. cit., p. 9.
27 Domas Kaunas, Mažosios Lietuvos spaustuvės 1524-1940, qtd. in Juška, op. cit.
28 Petitions were sent 1873, 1875, 1876 and 1877. In 1896 27,775 signatures of heads of households were collected.
29 Vytautas Kavolis, "The Devil's Invasion; Cultural Changes in Early Modern Lithuania," Lituanus, Vol. 35, No. 4 (1989), p. 9.
30 Ibid., p. 8.
31 Juozas Jurginis, Renesansas ir humanizmas Lietuvoje (Vilnius: 1965), pp. 115-121. See also Povilas Jakubėnas, "Trumpa Lietuvos Reformacijos apžvalga," Mūsų sparnai, 24 (1986), p. 39.
32 Juozas Puryckis, Die Glaubenspaltung in Litauen. Dissertation (Freiburg: 1919), pp. 79ff.
33 Jurginis, op, cit., p. 200.
34 Juozas Jurginis, "Karaliaučiaus universiteto ir Reformacijos reikšmė Lietuvai," Mokslas ir gyvenimas, No. 3 (448), p. 30.
35 Jurginis, op. cit., p. 205.
36 Juozas Jurginis, "Karaliaučiaus universiteto ir Reformacijos reikšmė Lietuvai," Mokslas ir gyvenimas, 1995, No. 2 (447), p. 27.
37 Simas Sužiedėlis, "Sigismund II", Encyclopedia Lituanica, Vol. V, p. 157.
38 Cf. Joseph Puryckis, Die Glaubensspaltung in Litauen. Dissertation (Freiburg: 1919), 138 ff.
39 Ingė Lukšaitė, Radikalioji reformacijos kryptis Lietuvoje (Vilnius: Mokslas, 1980), p. 17 ff.