The case of Balys Gajauskas, under the direction of Major Pilelis, has been closed an remanded to the court. It would appear that the trial will be held at the end of February or the beginning of March.
Gajauskas is accused of involvement with the Solzhenitsyn Fund and the Archives of the Lithuanian Partisans. After the New Year, interrogator Pilelis and Lieut. Col. Kezys came to the Kaunas Security headquarters to interrogate Balys' mother and financee. Because his mother is ailing, the interrogator came to her apartment. According to interrogator Kezys, Balys faces a sentence of ten years at hard labor.
Balys Gajauskas has already spent 25 years in labor camps and has survived. Now the KGB wants to finish him off. It is therefore the sacred duty of all decent individuals to use all available means to defend this good and decent Lithuanian Catholic, who is completely devoted to his Fatherland. Balys Gajauskas can deservedly be considered to be the symbol of a sufferingand resisting Fatherland.
With great hope, we are waiting for our emigrant brothers, especially Simas Kudirka who knows Balys well, to do everything in their power to have Balys Gajauskas freed or allowed to go abroad. A new labor camp term for him would be tantamount to a death sentence.
On November 19, 1977, Povilas Petronis was released from labor camp. He was convicted in 1974 (see Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania No. 13) for making prayerbooks and duplicating illegal literature. Prior to his release, he was psychologically bartered for a month at the Vilnius KGB headquarters.
Ona Pranskūnaitė is serving her term in Kozlovko. Her address is: CuvaSskaja ASSR, Kozlovka, p/ja JUL 34/5a. Ona Pranskūnaitė is working as a seamstress in a raincoat factory. The quotas are very high. After eight hours of work, she goes to another factory where she sews gloves for four hours. In one letter she writes: "My health is poor. Perhaps the fragile candle of my life will be snuffed out here, but in my heart, the love of God, country and countrymen will never be snuffed out... I am prepared for anything: sacrifice, suffering and death."
From the Letters of Nijolėe Sadūnaitė
"... My "good times" in Boguchany are coming to an end! One and a half months at the school, one and a half months at the hospital—exactly three months since I've come to Boguchany, and good news: I am leaving it for the village of Irba . . ." (12/20/77).
"The village of Irba is 100 km. (62 miles) from Boguchany. When the weather is good, an airplane arrives at 12:20 P.M. our time on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Cows are milked by hand, work begins at 4:00 A.M. and ends at 10:00 P.M. without any days off. The people drink, no one works . . ." (12/23/77).
Nijolė Sadūnaitė informs us that she has been hospitalized because of a chronic temperature: "Tests are being run. They are looking for TB and other diseases . . . For some reason, my intestinal tract hurts. My temperature has risen to 100 degrees . . ."
"I have been told clearly by people living here that there is no state farm more backward and neglected than Irba. The bread is rotting, there is no feed, calves wandered around without any care until November 7th and are now dying, as are the cows, because they are only fed straw. And then they want to deduct for them from the wages of those in charge of them. Against me they would probably fabricate a case for the deliberate destruction of animals, with a serious indictment. This thought was voiced by the Siberians themselves. Wages are not paid, some have not been paid since May, there is no bookkeeper, there is complete chaos. Mud, rats, chaos. People are fleeing Irba. As local residents say: "A brothel is no place to live." (1/6/78).
"I've been discharged from the hospital. I will be treating my chronic cholecystitis at home with a diet and medication. My superiors have temporarily allowed me to live and work in Bogucha-ny . . ." (1/11/78)
The letters of Nijolė Sadūnaitė are full of cheer, happiness and love of people. She writes that she receives many letters from Lithuania and abroad: from the U.S., England, Norway, West Germany, Poland and other countries. Even periodicals come from abroad.
While imprisoned, Nijolė received her first letter from abroad only on May 16, 1977. A beautiful letter was sent from Italy by high school girls in Verona. They write: "... if, God forbid, you should have to suffer to the end, then be assured that there are many people who are suffering along with you and for you. . . nnr thoughts are constantly with you, especially when we pray . . ."
Peter Plumpa Writes
"... It is not worth complaining to the Security Police chairman about the non-delivery of letters, because everything is done with their knowledge. They have already often reminded us that letters must be written in Russian, that Russian must also be spoken during visits. In other words, an intensive anti-religious and anti-national campaign is being waged. This year, religious notes have already been confiscated from me four times; at the beginning of June, my prayerbook was snatched from my hands while I was reading (the one I still had at home, with the fern leaf).
"... Since December, I've begun to number my letters from the beginning, but I always write only in Lithuanian and will continue to do so in the future, even were Security agents to stop all my letters. In protest against national discrimination and provocations by Security agents, I've begun since June 6th to speak only Lithuanian with the local officials. It is possible that, as last year, they will again use violence against me: break my arms, batter my head,
and drag me in shackles to the punishment cell; but, after all, that is why we are in prison camps, that is why we are called martyrs and are often even held up as examples. I believe it is possible, with God's help, to bear anything and accept any form of death. It is important to be constantly and thoroughly prepared for this eventuality. We are living in fateful times, when no Christian has the right to bargain with his conscience, nor even to enjoy life's pleasures. We are called to sacrifice and to burn in the night and we must remain thus so long as the night continues, otherwise, the temporary night might become eternal night for us after death.
I wish this light to everyone who considers himself a follower of Christ!"