Vladas Lapienis writes:
"With the onset of warm weather, we are annoyingly attacked by hordes of mosquitoes. They attack outdoors, in the barracks, in the messhall; i.e., while we work, rest or eat. As soon as the doors are opened, they unnoticeably enter the building. There are several garden beds near the barracks. One time I saw the prisoner Paulaitis pulling up weeds with a bonfire lit next to him and was surrounded by clouds of drifting smoke. Mosquitoes do not like smoke and in this way we afford ourselves some protection from them . . .
"Good prayer is an extraordinarily powerful weapon, a never exhaustible treasure, the source of all treasure and our best teacher . . .
"Depriving many people of spiritual and physical freedom for the benefit of one or more persons is a great crime against natural law . . ."
"Once one becomes a prisoner (especially during interrogations) it becomes necessary to make quick decisions, there is no possibility to consult, to calmly reflect. There remains but one possibility—to obey the voice of one's conscience. Truly unfortunate later is the man who goes against his conscience under such circumstances.
June 3, 1978."
"While expecting some kind of commission during the early part of June, Major Aleksandrov, warden of the third colony, fifth zone, began such a "clean up" and "order" campaign of the living barracks and sewing factory that the garlic you brought me was confiscated from me, as well as the empty bottle I had bought from the camp store. The warden personally brought letters and magazines from the post office—Tiesa (Truth), Komjaunimo Tiesa (Truth of the Communist Youth), Czerwony Sztandar (Red Flag), Za ruheiom (Behind the Lines)—and not more than 40 minutes later personally took from me the unread magazines, carried them to the boiler and burned them . . . Much patience is required in a prisoner's life . .
"Please don't send me religious pictures to Mordovia. I am a prisoner and searches are conducted. What guarantee is there that that same zone warden will not confiscate and burn religious pictures ... I would advise against sending typewritten prayers or religious ideas for this produces many new worries and additional work for the security police. During interrogations, I have often heard from the lips of security agents that they already have enough work . . .
"Quotes from the Holy Scriptures, The Following of Christ and other religious books are necessary and helpful. I await them eagerly .. .
"While I was free, I saw many physically ill persons. But while in prison and labor camp, I have seen that there are more terrible spiritually sick persons than physical patients: crippled, blind, dumb. And Christ has said that we should fear more those who damage spiritual health . . . "June 20, 1978."
"On July 5th, I and several other prisoners from the third labor camp, fifth zone, located in the village of Barashev, were taken to the nineteenth labor camp, located in the Village of Liesna, i.e., closer to Potma. This camp is several times larger than the one I was in until July 5th. I have been told that there are fifteen or more Lithuanian prisoners alone here.
"When you come to see me, purchase a ticket from Potma to Yavas, and there transfer to a rail car. If there is none there, you'll have to take a bus. The road is full of pot holes, and some people become carsick on the bus . . .
"Though I came to this colony on July 5th and it is already J uly 15th, I have not as yet received a single newspaper or letter.
"My learning to sew gloves was all for nothing, because the work is different here . . .
"You should now write letters to this address: Mordovskaya ASSR, st. Potma, p/o Lesnoy, ucr, zch 385/19-3, Lapienis Vladas, Antano.
July 15, 1978."
Nijolė Sadūnaitė writes:
While at the Mordovian labor camp, Nijolė Sadūnaitė used to write short letters to her uncle who lives in the U.S.A. Most of these post card-letters did not reach her uncle. Nijol6 also did not receive one of her uncle's letters.
In exile in Siberia Sadūnaitė receives only a small number of the letters, parcels and packages sent her. The letters she writes also often do not reach their destinations.
In a November 14, 1977, letter Nijolė writes: "The first letters written me by Antanas, Stefa and others disappeared ... I have not received them and probably never will. Much time has elapsed since they were sent."
Somewhat later Sadūnaitė writes: "I don't know why, though I can guess, certain letters from Vilnius remain in Vilnius a long time, and only later are flown to Boguchany. A letter written from Vilnius on November 7th only left Vilnius on November 12th and arrived in Boguchany on November 18th."
On November 29, 1977 Nijolė writes: "My letters (I wrote six) did not reach their destination, only a series of postcards. Strange, who could possibly need those very simple letters?!! They contained nothing interesting or secret. . ."
On April 3, 1978 Sadunaitė writes: "Th. Sharf from West Germany wrote a letter in Russian to the head of the central post office asking how to send me packages, and what address to use so they will not be returned? She already has the address I wrote out for her, she has made photocopies of it and pastes them on the envelopes of the letters she sent me. Some packages from friends were returned abroad with the inscription "incomplete address" . . . But those packages had already reached Boguchany and the postal employees know me!"
On February 1, 1978 Claudia Damm from West Germany wrote Sadūnaitė: "For the past year and a half I've written you a letter every two weeks . . ." Nijol6 has received only three letters from Claudia
Damm. Nijolė wrote Claudia registered letters on February 22, March 11, April 7 and 21, 1978, but Claudia did not receive a single one of Nijole's letters!
"I've written four registered letters to Claudia Damm but she has not received a single one. Wonderful! I wrote again today and enclosed my picture; perhaps she will receive this fifth letter! What censorship! I write no more than a few words on a postcard. Poor security agents . . . They no longer have a grain of shame or scruples. So much for their 'morals' !"
On April 21, 1978 Nijolė wrote: "An inquiry reached the central post office asking the wherebouts of a letter written me on December 10, 1977 from West Germany. The inquiry was written by Benig-na Kaiser. I did not receive her letter (registered with proof of delivery). I told the post office that I did not receive that letter and have no idea where it disappeared. I did not receive a single letter from Benigna."
Five months ago a 1978 Lithuanian calendar was sent Nijolė from Israel, but she did not receive it. The calendar was not returned to the sender.
Sadūnaitė receives food parcels from West Germany containing various powdered food products from which labels have been removed—it is unclear how they should be used. The censors even fear labels printed in German. They search for something in the parcels, they even tear off cellophane wrappings, although all the contents can be seen through them.
On December 11, 1977 Erich Weiss wrote Nijolė from West Germany: "My friends have written you many letters. For reasons which we fail to understand, nearly all the letters my friends wrote you were returned to Germany. Dear Nijolė, please don't think we've forgotten you . . ."
We have cited here only a small fraction of examples of how censorship deals with Sadūnaitė's letters, parcels and packages. The aim of security police censors is clear: to disrupt correspondence with Nijol6 by all means possible. She must not feel the material and moral backing of her supporters.
Postal employees request that Sadūnaitė's address be written in Russian: SSSR Krosnoyarskij kraj, 663430 Boguchany, Partizanskaya 17 kv. 1, Sadūnaitė, Nijolė, Jono.