At the present time, the KGB is holding up en masse, letters addressed to prisoners and to exiles.
Letters from the camps are also received infrequently; Only a few letters have been received from Father Svarinskas.
Julius Sasnauskas and others in exile are not receiving letters. Their letters to Lithuania are also not reaching the addressees.
KGB agents once mentioned to a young woman under interrogation that letters to the camps supposedly interfere with the rehabilitation of the prisoners.
Following is an excerpt from a letter of Viktoras Petkus, which has reached us:
"It is true that man has harnessed nature, conquered the planet and opened a window to space, but has this made him happier? Man himself has evoked forces which he cannot control. Hence, have those proponents of progress not made a great detour? Have they not degraded true spiritual values? They have not realized where the basic wisdom of mankind is concentrated, they have not plumbed the depths, but merely given themselves over to technology.
"The result: In technology, great strides have been made, but what about mankind? After all, one man differs from another, first of all, in his scale of values, ambitions and ideals, and not in how he manipulates this or that technology.
"Could the rationalist believe that the stormy Twentieth Century would break upon us, bringing with it not only flights of the scientific mind, with fantastic progress in technology transposing from the mundane to the eternal dimension the tragedy of the human condition, the paradox of life and death would become more and more manifest?
"Looking from the viewpoint of eternity at our earthly concerns, joys and sorrows, we encounter layer upon layer of all sorts of nonsense, and it turns out that all of the things which we
Julius Sasnauskas, in exile in Parabel, Tomsk. He suffers from inflammation of the bone and cartilage, and curvature of the spine.
thought were so terribly important, for which the living at all times are so concerned and struggle so much, pale in the face of eternity, and all that is left is the constant succession of generations recalling the monotony of the sea, an eternal cycle.
"Does this give us the right to downgrade human life? Not at all. For the value of a human being is immeasurable. Nor can we in any way be ambivalent about our homeland or the fate of mankind. Hence the question arises: What awaits us? How must we live in this alternative situation? Where should we look for essential values?
"More and more often I think to myself: Of which are there more in the world — fools or flunkies? And how deeply are the roots of absurdity embedded in people? What is a human being's potential for becoming oneself? Where has bold and logical human behavior gone? Surely man is able to overcome his limits! Man, more and more often becomes a flunky, forgetting such things as duty, devotion to others and struggle against oppression and injustice.
"He tries not to notice the drama of life, to turn away from problems. He is more attracted by the banality of everyday life, by vague depersonalized uncreative activity. What is it — lack of willpower; ignorance; inability to distinguish truth from lies, not knowing how to distinguish one's self from others?"