On February 6, 1979 a security police employee arrived at the Fifth Middle School in Telšiai and interrogated the following grade 10B students: Auksė Juodviršytė, Almantas Fabijonas, Rolandas Jankauskas. Arūnas Razminas was also interrogated somewhat later. The security agent wanted to recruit the students to work as security police agents. He ordered the students to spy on their friends.
Tenth-grader Romas Perminąs of the Fourth Middle School in Telšiai was systematically persecuted for several months. (Dec. 1978 — Feb. 1979) with the same goal in mind. Security agents meet him near his home on his way to school or coming back; moreover they order him to come to fixed meeting places which the student is ordered to keep secret. Romas Perminąs told the security agents he would not keep anything secret and told all comers about everything in an attempt to rid himself of the security agents. During January-February 1979, the teenager tried to avoid meeting the security agents: he hid from them, did not arrive at the appointed time or bluntly told them he would not come. When this happened, the agents tried to intimidate him in various ways. For example, one security agent even threatened the teenager they would castrate him if they catch him. The security police is especially anxious to have an agent in the tenth grade of the Fourth Middle School in Telšiai because not a single tenth-grade boy has joined the Communist Youth League and two students serve at Holy Mass. Vice Principal Andrijauskas threatened that the Party Bureau will investigate the class because of these "offenses."
At the Fifth Middle School, during one lesson in February of this year, fifth-grade homeroom teacher Urbšienė stood student Arūnas Bladžius in front of the entire class and began to ridicule him: "Look, children, you see before you a religious bigot!" Later, she kept grade 5B student Arūnas Remeza after School, accusing the boy of agitating her homeroom student Arūnas Bla-džius to attend church.
Students at the Third Middle School were ordered to answer the following questions:
1. What religious book have you read (title and author if you
2.Do you believe in God?
3.How many times have you been in church?
4.Do your parents believe?
5.Why do you go to church? (out of curiosity, boredom, someone forces you)?
6.Who else in the class believes, does not believe, doubts (list their names)?
7.Who else in the school believes (write down the class, name, underline the names of those students who serve at Mass, sing in the church choir, participate in processions)?
8.Has any program on a religious theme been conducted in class?
9.Through which subject could you prove that there is no God?
10.During what classes did you discuss God?
11.What Christian denomination do you profess?
N.B. Certain questions in the questionnaire are worded in such a manner that in answering them, the student is forced to become a traitor.
In January 1979, ninth-grade homeroom teacher (Mrs) Bučienė of the First Middle School summoned one of her students, Marytė Česnauskaitė, and questioned her about the reason she does not join the Communist Youth League. When the girl did not reply, the teacher continued:
"I know, you go to church!"
"Yes, I am a believer and attend church."
The teacher began to explain the "nonsense" of believing in God and advised the girl to read atheist books.
"No, I won't read such books, because I don't like them," the girl replied boldly.
Finally, the teacher compromised:
"Well, if you can't do otherwise, go ahead and attend that church of yours, but at least don't participate in "extra activities." The student laughed:
"There are no extra activities there. We neither dance nor put on plays there, we pray in church!"
Several days later, there was an open classroom Communist Youth League meeting durint which religious was to be discussed. Marytė asked the class teacher to excuse her from attending the meeting. Teacher Bučienė would not excuse her from the meeting. While the class Communist Youth members slandered religion, the girl calmly read from a collection of poems by Maironis. Afterward, the class Communist Youth members besieged Marytė with questions: Why does she believe? Why does she attend church? etc. The girl did not answer the questions. Then the homeroom teacher addressed her:
"Why won't you speak with and answer your friends?"
"I will not answer here. Come to my home, we will talk there."
"But your parents will be there!"
"But, teacher, I don't hide anything from my parents!" the girl exclaimed in surprise.
At the First Middle School, grade 4C homeroom teacher (Mrs) Brigaliūnienė harassed student Rita Ruzgytė for a long time. When summoned, the girl's mother urged the teachers to direct more attention to those students who are hoodlums, rob their friends in the street and in school, swear and smoke. Since her daughter has committed no offense, she asked the teacher to stop keeping her after school simply because she attends church.
In October 1978, teacher Markienė of the First Middle School kept student Santa Bučytė after school. She scolded the girl for attending church and ordered her to bring her mother to school the next day.
When she arrived at school, the girl's mother asked the teacher what had happened—perhaps the girl had become a poor student? "No, your daughter is a very good student." "Then perhaps her behavior is bad?" the motjer inquired. "No, her behavior is also good. Your daughter attends church!"
"And is that a crime?" the mother exclaimed in astonishment. "She wants to go and I don't forbid her because I also attend church."
The angry teacher retorted:
"I don't want to lose my job because of your daughter!"
Švėkšna (Rayon of Šilutė)
In December 1978, the work of "educating" students was especially intensified at the Švėkšna Middle School in order to implement the program drawn up by Education Minister Rimkus which aims to deprive school children of their national identity and belief in God. This program is administered with special zeal by teacher Ilijara Rimkutė-Černiauskienė. She introduced in the district the so-called obligatory civil "baptism" of children with a list of acceptable names. She calls zone party meetings in order to revive atheist activity; she urges officials of state farms to use any means whatsoever to punish believers, especially the parents of children who serve at Mass. It is encouraging that parents are not being intimidated. Such parents are the Būdvytis family, (Mrs) Adelė Rimkienė, (Mrs) Auškielienė and others. They reply: "Our children serve and will continue to serve at the altar. We know that then they will not break windows, will not steal or drink as do the school's party secretary Bronislavas Vilkas, his wife, son and those like them."
In order to keep her position, school principal Ona Bintvarienė is also very actively pursuing atheist work.
Other Švėkšna Middle School teachers—Petras Čeliauskas, the Urmulevičiuses, Stanislava and Jonas Vaitkus, Bronislava Že-mulienė, Vanda Vytuvytė-Šimkuvienė—should also stop and think about atheist and denationalizing activities.
Homeroom teachers at the Second Middle School in Garliava were ordered to answer the following questions:
1. Atheist activities conducted by homeroom teachers with
2. What individual work do you perform with students?
3. How do you determine the religious status of families in
your class and the religious influence of parents on children?
4. Number of religious parents in the class (preferrably by
5. What individual work is performed with believing parents ?
6. Number of religious students in the class (preferrably by name).
7. Atheist activities conducted by class Communist Youth or Pioneer Organizations.
8. Have you learned about the methods of atheist work in courses,
seminars, activities of methodology groups?
9. What is the result of atheist work in your classroom:
a. How many fewer believing parents?
b. How many fewer believing students?
c. How many active atheists have you fostered?
Kybartai (R a y o n of Vilkaviškis)
In 1979, at the end of the second trimester, good and excellent students at the Donelaitis Middle School in Kybartai were given lower deportment grades in an attempt to force believing students to renounce the church and join the Communist Youth or Pioneer organization. Principal Sinkevičius was especially zealous in this offense.
We are reporting the names of some exemplary students who suffered because of the Faith: Sigita Počaitė — Grade 8F Rima Abraitytė — Grade 9D Roma Griškaitytė — Grade 8C Rita Griškaitytė — Grade 5B Elė Šicraitytė — Grade 6A Irena Sabaliauskaitė — Grade 10C Audronė Juraitė — Grade 6A Rima Tamelytė — Grade 8A Rima Žiemelytė — Grade 6D Reda Sakalauskaitė — Grade 4D Birutė Bailiūnaitė — Grade 5A Jolita Liukinevičiūtė — 6A
This list is far from complete, but it eloquently shows what criteria are used to evaluate students in Soviet schools. Priority is not given to education or the student's behavior, but to his atheist views. A child can even be a believer: it is important though that he join the Pioneers or the Communist Youth League, obediently fulfill atheist obligations and the school administration will hold him up as an example to other students.
To: The Ministry of Education
A Letter of Complaint from: The parents of students of the K. Donelaitis School in Kybartai.
We the undersigned parents were astounded when at the end of the second trimester our children, who are good students and have not broken any school rules, were given lower deportment grades, down to satisfactory. The administration of the Kybartai Middle School did this because our children are believers and do not belong to the Pioneer or Communist Youth organizations.
On the other hand, Pioneer and Communist Youth member— for example, Rimas Balkauskas (Grade 9D), Rita Bemotaitytė (Grade 5A) and Rita Laurinaitytė (Grade IPC)—were given exemplary deportment grades, though their grades for the trimester included three to four C's.
In our view, such behavior from the educators of Kybartai is not only unprofessional but criminal as well, because exemplary students feel persecuted for their faith. As far as we know, the Constitution of the Lithuanian SSR and other Soviet laws forbid fighting against belief by such means.
We ask that you thoroughly investigate the instances of lowered deportment grades not only involving our children but other believing students as well, and direct our educators, especially principal Sinkevičius, to correct the unjustly lowered deportment grades and in the future to refrain from persecuting our children in this way.
Signed by parents:
Verbilas, Kybartai, M. Melninkaitės 3 Sabaliauskas, Kybartai, M. Melninkaitės 13 Šioraitis, "Šilupės" kolūkis, Daugėlaičiai, Počas, Kybartai, Gorkio 22 Žiemelis, Kybartai, Gorkio 22-1, Abraitis, Kybartai, Pionierių 20 Griškaitis, Kybartai, Komjaunimo 36a-54 Paujauskienė, Kybartai, Komjaunimo 12-8 Tamelienė, Kybartai, Komjaunimo sk. 23 Liukinevičius, Kybartai, Komjaunimo sk. 8, Sabaliauskas, Kybartai, Komjaunimo sk. 10 Jakimčinskienė, Kybartai, Komjaunimo sk. 26 Jurienė, Kybartai, Ostrovskio 36 Želvienė, Gutkaimio km.
Please reply individually to every parent who has signed the letter.
Grade 6A homeroom teacher (Mrs) Iešmantavičienė of the Kybartai Middle School ordered all students to draw something on an atheist subject. Two courageous believing girls Elė Šioraitytė and Jolita Liukinevičiutė refused to draw. Teacher Iešmantavičienė became enraged at student Šioraitytė and for a long time insulted her in various ways.
Didvyžiai (Rayon of Vilkaviškis)
On Easter morning 1979, Principal Salomėja Mėkelaitienė and Teacher Regina Naujokaitienė of the Arminai-Sūduva Middle School came to spy at the Resurrection services in the Didvyžiai church.
The teachers, who fanatically implement the will of the Soviet government, are horrified that most school children actively participate in religious services—processions and Holy Mass—in Didvyžiai. The boys upset them most for they fear some of them could be future candidates for the Seminary.
After Easter, Principal Mėkelaitienė interrogated student Levutė Vekeriotaitė, ordering her to betray the students who had attended services during the feast.
Arminai (Rayon of Vilkaviškis)
In 1979, at the end of the second trimester, seventh-grader Ričardas Radzevičius, a good student at the Arminai-Sūduva Middle School, received a lower deportment grade because he attends church and serves at Holy Mass. The persons responsible for this offense were: Secretary of the School Party Organization Aldona Matijošaitienė and school Principal Salomėja Mėkelaitienė.
Krosna (R a y o n of Lazdijai)
Homeroom teacher Jesevičienė told students that guests (inspectors — Ed.) were expected at the school and pleaded with believing students not to say they go to church, and if they do say it, then only that they are forced by their parents.
On April 12, 1979 the visiting inspectors asked students:
"Who among you go to church?"
Seventeen students boldly stood up.
"Do you go at the behest of your parents9" the bewildered inspectors asked.
"On our own," rang out the reply.
Šaukėnai (R a y o n of Kelmė)
On February 30, 1979 a special showing of an anti-religious film entitled "Black Procession" was presented to school children at the Šaukėnai cultural center. The film contains clips secretly taken during recollections in Šiluva and Žemaičių Kalvarija. During these recollections, various communist agents burst into the church and film the people praying there. This is how they gather "material" for anti-religious propaganda, this is how the solemnity of the services is disrupted and the faithful distracted. It is worse than hooliganism!
In this instance, teachers Žeromskaitė and Spudaitė strictly ordered all their students to attend the film. After ushering the students into the hall, they guarded the doors to prevent anyone leaving.
At the beginning, an actor's voice was heard saying: "Come to me, men and women, and I will reveal to you my hatred of religion." Such a statement clearly shows what atheists rely on. They are not interested in truth, they trade in hatred for the church, religion, truth. Their science is lies.
The film made the assertion that religious people are bad. This is how the youth of Lithuania is exploited, this is how the conscience of believing children is confused!
From the Diary of a Ninth-Grade Student
For a long time homeroom teacher S. tried to persuade me to join the Communist Youth League. She told me to keep up with my classmates. She praised me for being first-rate, for adapting and finding time for everything, only unfortunately I deny myself the "best", and when she learned that I regularly attend church she became terrible angry and ordered me to bring my parents. At the end of November, Father came to the school to see the principal and explained to him that none of the children in our family will ever join the Communist Youth League. He disapproves of the organization and we children don't want to join, and as for attending church . . . Father objected strenously and explained, on his wav out, that he is a Lithuanian and does not want to be anything else.
After my parents' visit, my homeroom teacher again gave me no peace. She urged me to disobey my parents and tempted me to join the Communist Youth League without their knowledge, besides, she ordered me not to go to church. She asked that I willingly choose the way offered by them. I thought, but did not dare say: "You are urging me to swim with the crowd with the current. Thank you, dear homeroom teacher, I've seem many such "happy ones" who followed the path you offered." The teacher did not give up hope and continued to ask me. I told her but one thing: "No, I will certainly not join the Communist Youth, and will continue going to church!" Then the homeroom teacher cajoled me: "You can go to church, only join the Communist Youth." Although she compromised, that compromise is unacceptable to me: I want to be a person, not a hypocrite.
When she saw she was not moving me, the homeroom teacher dragged me to the principal. He tried to lull me with gentle words, but when this did not work, he removed his mask and began to shout terribly' "Either join the Communist Youth League or leave our school!"
He did not frighten me: It is better to be uneducated, than an educated traitor.
They stopped summoning me for talks, although the principal had said he would, but most teachers began giving me much lower deportment grades. Lithuanian is taught by the homeroom teacher herself, she therefore finds it very convenient to ger back at me. I compared my compositions with other girls: for similar mistakes they were given B's, and I a D.
The vice-principal who is also the art teacher was very angry at me. I could never please her. She began to call me a religious bigot, always adding that this is not a church . . . Well, that is their will, and that will of theirs is very unjust and malevolent.
Because I could not stand this atmosphere, I told my homeroom teacher I wanted to transfer to another school and asked for a letter of recommendation. The letter of recommendation listed all my vices with considerable elaboration. It even included the detail that while in the fifth grade I wiped my shoes with my scarf. And as a crowning touch to all my vices—that I am very religious.