Kapčiamiestis (Lazdijai rayon)
On July 22, 1983, the pastor of the parish of Kapčiamiestis, Father Ignas Plioraitis, was summoned to the Lazdijai Rayon Prosecutor's Office to see Prosecutor S.Žiautys. Since Father Plioriatis refused to write a statement, arguing that he felt himself to be innocent, Prosecutor Žiautys himself drafted it. Basing himself on material collected by Vice Chairman Liudas Vanagas, of the Lazdijai Rayon Executive Committee, Prosecutor Žiautys, in his statement, touched on the following questions:
"Why do you not get along with Vice Chairman Vanagas of the Rayon Executive Committee?"
"How does material from talks with government representatives get into the Chronicle; for example, your interview with Vanagas?" (See Chronicle No. 58 — Trans. Note)
"Why do you not submit information about religious festivals to the rayon government?"
"Why does your church committee not enter into a contract with the Rayon Executive Committee? Perhaps you, as pastor, are interfering in this matter, and causing the delay?
"How and when were you elected Vice Chairman of the parish church committee, since you are forbidden to be on the committee? Perhaps you coerce committee members?"
"Do you speak against the government and against atheists in your sermons?"
"Maybe you collect or organize the collection of signatures to various petitions?"
"Why do you organize young people to serve in church?"
Father Plioraitis would not read the statement dratted by the prosecutor, and did not sign it. "Even though you deny all the allegations, I am still obliged as prosecutor to warn you in writing." said Prosecutor Žiautys, and handed the priest a warning reading as follows:
"I warn you about systematic preaching against atheism, interference with compliance with contract law and the organizing of youth. For failure to carry out the law regarding contracts, you will be fined, and for any organizing of the youth, you will be taken to criminal court."
Father Plioraitis would not sign the warning. Prosecutor Žiautys would not allow the priest to make a copy of the warning addressed to him. The conversation lasted more or less two hours.
Eigirdžiai (Telšiai Rayon)
On July 26, 1983, two KGB agents from Vilnius came to see Father Ferdinandas Žilys, the pastor of the parish of Eigirdžiai. The unofficial interrogation lasted about two hours. The basic problem was, in the opinion of the KGB, the unsuitable sermons of Father Žilys. It seems that in his sermon during the religious festival at Žemaičių Kalvarija, he mentioned the imprisoned priests, Alfonsas Svarinskas and Sigitas Tamkevičius. The KGB was interested in knowing how information about the raid which occurred earlier reached abroad. (See Chronicle No. 57, 59 — Trans. Note) "If they find out abroad about this visit too, you'll be sorry," the chekists threatened as they took their leave of Father Žilys.
On January 13, 1984, the following were summoned to the Office of the Commissioner for Religious Affairs: Father Vaclovas Aliulis; the Administrator of the Archdiocese, Father Algirdas Gutautas and the Pastor of Holy Spirit Church, Father Aleksandras Kaskevičius. In the presence of the latter two as witnesses, Assistant Commissioner Jozėnas rebuked Father Aliulis, because in a sermon delivered in Polish at the Church of the Holy Spirit, Father Aliulis reminded the faithful that even the setting up of a Christmas tree for children was considered an anti—Soviet affair.
On September8, 1983, a KGB agent visited S. Pečkevičius, a resident at Trimitų 82-2, in Vilnius, and demanded that he immediately come to KGB headquarters. When Pečkevičius inquired about the reasons for the summons, the chekist retorted, "When you come, you'll find out." That day, Pečkevičius did not go to the KGB. Sometime later, a second summons was delivered to Pečkevičius, to come to KGB headquarters September 19. Failing to find Pečkevičius at home, and warning that if he did not come, they would take him off with the help of the militia, they left the summons with his mother.
On September 19, Pečkevičius was asked in the course of interrogation where he knew Father Sigitas Tamkevičius from, what he could say about the sermons he had delivered, etc. The investigator was interested in knowing how long Pečkevičius had been acquainted with Father Jonas Matulionis and tried to convince him that he was, in his words, "a real bastard" and not a priest.
The chekists are unhappy that Father Tamkevičius has many acquaintances abroad, and thay have found fault with the fact that he had gone to the airport with flowers to meet him. Finally, the prosecutor stated:
"You are in the hands of the KGB; we know everything; what you do in Kaunas (Pečkevičius sets up the creche at Christmastime in the Cathedral of Kaunas — Ed. Note). We won't say anything, just don't go to the airport to meet those devils (foreigners — Ed. Note)." The interrogation lasted about three hours.
Prior to the Saint Casimir Jubilee, a KGB agent visited Pečkevičius at home. Not finding him there, the chekist accosted him on the street, on his way home. This time, the KGB agent tried to start up a conversation about the creche which had been erected in the Kaunas Cathedral and inquired who had helped with the work. Pečkevičius responded that he had worked openly, without hiding anything, and so he now refused to make statements or give explanations.
On March 20, 1984, a search was carried out in the apartment of pensioner Liudas Dambrauskas in Vilnius, his wife's apartment in Kaunas, and their garden shed. During the search, the chekists seized Dambrauskas' written recollections of prison life and life in forced labor camp. (During the rule of Stalin, Dambrauskas was given the death sentence, which was later commuted to imprisonment.) Lately, he has been charged on the basis of the Criminal Code, Par. 68, "for anti-Soviet activity and agitation", and he is being threatened with seven years of imprisonment. Until now, the interrogations have taken place on a daily basis. Since Dambrauskas' health is poor, the interrogation has been postposed.
Exhausted by the constant interrogation and threats, Dambrauskas suffered a myocardial infarction, and he is presently in the hospital.
(On October 3, 1984, Liudas Dambrauskas was sentenced to three and a half years strict regime camp, to be followed by two years of internal exile. — Trans. Note)
On May 4, 1984, at 8:00 AM, in the apartment of Mrs. Elena Terleckienė (Vilnius, Nemenčinės plentas 68), eight KGB agents carried out a search. Seized during the search were: the Chronicle of the Catholic Church in Lithuania, No. 60; diaries from 1971, 1975, 1976; letters of Antanas Terleckas written from prison, and notebooks from his exile; various postal receipts and other documents and the book, Romas Kalanta.
After the search, Mrs Terleckienė was taken to KGB headquarters and interrogated for two hours. Also interrogated by the KGB was Antanas Terleckas' son, Gintas.
On June 19, 1984, Mrs. Terleckienė was interrogated by chekist Česnavičius. The interrogator, accusing Mrs. Terleckienė of maintaining ties abroad (specifically with Kęstutis Jokubynas) and "anti-Soviet elements" in Lithuania, threatened to bring her to trial on Par. 68.1 of the Criminal Code.
On May 11, 1984, Conductor Elena Butkuvienė was summoned to see Investigator Ramanauskas. When she arrived, she was interrogated by the Chief of the KGB himself, Sherkshnov. The chekist scolded Mrs. Butkuvienė for purchasing tickets for pupils to attend the anniversary in Kapsukas of the death of Archbishop Jurgis Matulevičius, and demanded, in his words, that she stop corrupting children and young people.
"You can go to church, what greater freedom do you need?" KGB Chief Sherkshnov said.
"And if I were a teacher, could I go to church publicly?" Mrs. Butkuvienė would not give in.
"The two things are incompatible," the KGB agent retorted. Letting Mrs. Butkuvienė go, chekist Sherkshnov threatened to have her employment terminated.
Vadžgirys (Jurbarkas Rayon)
The pastor of the parish of Vadžgirys, Father Alfonsas Bulotas, was summoned to the KGB in Vilnius for a talk. Arguing that since he ministered to two parishes he had no time for such a journey, Father Bulotas refused to go. On April 24, the KGB agents visited the priest in person. One of the first questions the chekists had was why the priest had not mailed the chancery his completed ballot for elections to the Priests' Council of the Archdiocese of Kaunas. Father Bulotas replied, "I thought that the ballot had to be turned in to the chancery, but now it appears that it had to be turned in to you."
During the interview, the guests were interested in Father Bulotas' attitude toward the two priests who had been sentenced, Alfonsas Svarinskas and Sigitas Tamkevičius.
On July 23, 1983, on the eve of the Feast of Saint John the Baptist, (Joninės) a group of young believers from the City of Telšiai was singing and dancing at a bonfire on a hill near the forest's edge. After the Joninės celebration, an investigation of the participants began. Mrs Jadvyga Ignotienė and Mrs Genutė Jurevičienė were summoned to KGB headquarters. The Dambrauskas family, whose children had participated in the St. John's Eve bonfire, was visited several times by the KGB. The chekists were anxious to find out who had organized the celebration, who had actively participated, that is, sang, spoke and to their knowledge, had sung the Lithuanian National Anthem (No one had sung the anthem. — Ed. Note), and who had prepared and distributed the snacks.
On July 26, 1983, Skuodas resident Miss Bronė Navickaitė was summoned to the rayon KGB. Without introducing himself, a KGB agent blamed Miss Navickaitė because the story of her discharge from work had gotten into the Chronicle. (See Chronicle No. 57, 58 — Trans. Note) The chekist was interested in discovering who could have given the information to the underground publication, and to which of her acquaintances she had given copies of her letters to Tiesa (Truth). The KGB agent stated that in the Chronicle there is an excerpt from her letter to the editors of Tiesa:
"Even the director's request that I say nothing to anyone sounded strange. After all, if everything was being done justly, why such an announcement or demand? And if it was being done unjustly, then why must I keep quiet?" — and the number of a reply sent her by the Ministry of Education, which no one but she could have given to the Chronicle.
Miss Navickaitė said that she was not concealing anything, that she had told everyone publicly about her dismissal; how all that got into the Chronicle, she did not know. Miss Navickaitė asked how she had done wrong by writing to the editors of Tiesa. The chekist affirmed that she was entitled to write and seek justice, and that she could appeal to the editors, not only of republic newspapers, but those of the Soviet Union.
"Then why was I summoned to speak with Zalepūga and Pocevičius?" Miss Navickaitė insisted. The chekist remained silent.
Concluding the interrogation, the KGB agent mentioned a few articles according to which Miss Navickaitė could be punished for false statements, failure to disclose a crime, and sending information abroad.
Šatės (Skuodas Rayon)
On July 8, 1983, the following were summoned to the Skuodas Rayon Prosecutor's Office to see Investigator R. Kurpavičius, with their children, regarding the subject of the children's religious instruction: Mrs. Irena Stončienė, Mrs. Virginija Serečkienė, Mrs. Lina Viskontienė, Mrs. Genovaitė Bertienė, Mrs. Julija Garbinčienė and Mrs. Aleksandra Jablonskienė.
On July 22, the children were summoned to the Prosecutor's Office without their mothers, but the parents would not allow them to go alone. Obviously, an attempt was being made to build a case against the pastor of the parish, Father Vaclovas Senkus, for teaching catechism to children. The mothers who were summoned, and theii children, testified that the pastor had not taught them, but only preached sermons during services, to which they listened.
On August 8, 1983, Skuodas Rayon Executive Committee Vice Chairwoman, Mrs. Luožienė, told Šatės Postmistress, Mrs. V. Sebeckienė, by phone: "If your children are going to church again, you'll be discharged, and you'll end up digging potatoes!"
The same Mrs. Luožienė told Šatės kindergarten teacher Genovaitė Bertienė to submit her resignation in writing because her two sons go to church. In August, Mrs. Bertienė was discharged from her position.
Two weeks before the bishop's visit to the parish, Rayon Communist Party Committee Second Secretary Zalepūga visited Šatės almost daily. "If you go to church, you're going to be fired!" Zalepūga warned municipal employees. During the same period, Middle School Principal, Mrs. Jakštienė, visited the parents of pupils who were religious believers and told them, "You have no right to take Soviet schoolchildren to church!"
In March, 1984, Kaunas resident Mrs. Aldona Šupenienė was summoned to the Kaunas KGB to see Investigator Jonas Matulevičius. The security agent was interested in finding out whether the mother knew what kind of people and friends her daughter, Ilona Šupenytė, was consorting with (Ilona Šupenytė signed a letter to the Attorney General of the LSSR protesting the treatment of believers who wished to attend the trial of Father Alfonsas Svarinskas — Trans. Note). He said that she was writing letters to prisoners, and could be severely punished for it. Mrs. Šupenienė defended the prisoners: Gajauskas, Skuodis and others, whom Matulevičius was insulting, and defended her daughter's behavior. At the end of the interrogation, chekist Matulevičius demanded that the mother instruct the daughter to come to KGB headquarters herself, and tell all.
Invited through her mother and by Matulevičius personally by telephone, Miss Šupenytė refused to go to KGB headquarters. The agents were forced to deliver a written summons to her home. Participating in the interrogation of Miss Šupenytė, besides chekist Matulevičius, was Director Rubinov of the Musical Studio for Youth at the Cultural Center attached to the Kaunas Synthetics Factory. He tried to find out who had advised Miss Šupenytė to quit the Youth Studio which he directed. In his opinion, the guilty party was Aldona Raižytė, and he tried to get the subject under interrogation to confirm his suspicion.
Chekist Matulevičius expressed dissatisfaction over the fact that the girl wrote letters to prisoners and participated in the nintieth anniversary of the Kražiai massacre. (See Chronicle No. 60 — Trans. Note) Matulevičius demanded that she explain herself in writing and promise that she would stop writing letters to prisoners, attending trials, etc.
When Miss Šupenytė categorically refused, he advised her to think it over and come back. The interrogation last four hours.