The security organs have currently developed a broad campaign, hoping to destroy theChronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania and centers of religious literature: Persons under suspicion are summoned before the State Security Committee, searches are conducted, the numbers arrested are growing, and material is carefully being gathered for Case No. 345.
On March 20, 1974, the security people searched the apartment of the Ukrainian priest, Vladas Pigolis, in Kaunas. The search took six hours. The security agents went through books, damaged religious images, and seized all his savings.
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On March 20, 1974, a search was conducted at the home of Kaunas resident (Miss) Bronė Kazėlaitė, at No. 4 Vaistinė g. During the search she was stripped in the presence of a female security agent. The security agents, having searched her room and storage area, seized about 400 unbound copies of the prayerbook "Melskimės" (Let Us Pray), and several books reproduced by typewriter.
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March 20, 1974. Four security agents under the direction of Captain Pilelis searched the apartment and garage of Father Sigitas Tamkevičius. In the course of the search the security agents found two issues of the Lietuvos Kataliku Bažnyčios Kronika (The Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania). They also seized ten recording tapes and some essays; e.g., "Bažnyčia ir Valstybė" ("Church and State"), "Reikia Duoti Pilną Religinę Laisvę" ("Full Religious Freedom Should be Granted"), etc. The search required six hours.
After the search, Party members in Simnas spread the rumor that Father Tamkevičius had a radio transmitter and was sending information abroad, and that was why the security police had made the search. On April 17, Father Tamkevičius was summoned before the Security Committee of Vilnius and questioned about his knowledge of theChronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania.
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April 4, 1974, four security agents from Vilnius searched the home of Vilnius resident Matulionis, who was being treated in the hospital at Druskininkai. During the search all his money was taken, along with some religious books. During questioning, the security people derided Matulionis' religious convictions. After the questioning, Matulionis was taken to Vilnius. His apartment was searched.
The record of the search does not show that any valuables or religious books were found. The following day, in the course of the interrogation, it became obvious that security agents had seized 2000 prayer book - cathechisms (in Russian), found in the reproduction section of the Library of the Republic.
The workers in the reproduction section, Opulki, Chiudakov, and Čiplys, stated during interrogation that the prayer books had been requisitioned by Matulionis and that he had ordered 200-300 copies of various religious books in the past. Matulionis said that he had indeed ordered the prayer books as gifts, but that he knew nothing of any other religious books.
It was suggested that if he told who had requested the Russian prayer book-catechisms, he and the printers would be shown leniency, and the individual making the request would not be hurt. After three days of interrogation, Matulionis was allowed to continue his treatment at the hospital in Druskininkai.
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April 8, 1974. Captain Markevičius, of the State Security Committee made a search of the home of Kaunas resident (Mrs.) Ona Volskienė. During the search a typewriter was seized. During the interrogation, Mrs. Volskienė was accused of copying the sixth issue of the LKB Kronika (The Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania).
April 9, 1974. Security agents broke into the rented room of Dr. Salomėja Mikšytė in Kulautuva and carried out a search. On April 10-11, they searched again. During the search they confiscated a typewriter, some religious books, etc.
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April 9, 1974. Virgilijus Jaugelis of Kaunas was arrested at home. Under the direction of Captain Pilelis of the State Security Committee, a second search was conducted (SeeChronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania No. 8). Jaugelis was indicted for transgression of Paragraph 68 of the Criminal Code of the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic. He is presently confined in the security prison in Vilnius.
(Paragraph 68 of the Criminal Code states: "Agitation and propaganda, seeking to undermine or weaken the Soviet government or to commit separate acts especially dangerous to the state, the dissemination for the same purpose of calumnies detrimental to the Soviet government and to public order, and likewise the dissemination or production of, or the possession of such literature, for the same purpose—shall be punishable by imprisonment of six months to seven years, with exile of from two to five years, or without exile, or by exile for from two to five years. The same activities, performed by a person with a record of especially dangerous offenses against the state, or committed in time of war, shall be punishable by deprivation of freedom for from three to ten years with exile from two to five years, or without exile.")
April 24, 1974. A squad of security agents began to search the apartment of Kaunas resident Juozas Gražis at Višinskio g. Nr. 44. After searching his rooms, storage area, and basement, the security agents took Gražis to a house undergoing extensive renovation at Zanavu gatvė No. 33, and here made a thorough search. The search turned up parts for an ERA reproducer, writing paper, and some books: O visgi S v. Raštas teisus (And Still Sacred Scripture is Right). Gražys was arrested.
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April 24, 1974. Security agents searched the house, storage room and basement at Kalniečiu g. Nr. 113. During the search many valuable pre-war books of a religious nature and others were seized. The security people alleged that in one room of this house an ERA machine had been operated at one time. The landladies of the apartment were interrogated by the Security Committee in Vilnius for two days, while the occupant, Vilius Semaška, was questioned for three days. At night they were housed in hotels.
Fragments from Interrogations
"What did you dream about last night, Grandmother?" asked the security agents, who had come to carry out a search.
"Children, I dreamt of five fierce, hungry dogs, which wanted to tear me apart."
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"We will not release you," said the interrogator. "I know—That's why I went to Confession yesterday evening. My conscience is clear."
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"Didn't you know that you're not allowed to do this?" demanded the investigator, indicating a prayerbook.
"So said the Czar too. But if it weren't for Mažvydas, (16th-century Lutheran minister; author of the first book in Lithuanian — Transl. Note) we wouldn't be speaking Lithuanian today."
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Investigator Vilimas went to the dining room during lunch, and someone stole his overcoat.
"The Catholics must be getting back at you," some security agents laughed.
"It's not the Catholics taking revenge. Someone is trying to say, 'Go after thieves, not prayerbooks; then you might not have to go home without your overcoat."
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"Aren't you ashamed," said the security agent, "You are a university graduate, and now you will be ending your life in prison." "I'm prepared. I even brought along a sandwich."