Father Alfonsas Svarinskas writes:
I greet you warmly. I thank you cordially, and through you, all my dear parishioners, friends and acquaintances. I wish you God's blessing, peace of heart, and spiritual joy on the occasion of our na-tions's great jubilee. May the Lord keep you all! You are my pride and joy in Christ!
I wrote you a letter last Sunday. I will write again today, kiss the letter, make the Sign of the Cross over it and send it. May it fly to our beloved, unforgettable homeland, the Land of Amber ... I thank everyone sincerely for their letters. It is difficult for you to imagine how much joy and hope these snippets of information bring. . . .My letters addressed to you in April have come back bearing a notation from the post office dated May 25; "Returned Upon Expiration of Holding Time". Inquire at the post office why that happened .. . since otherwise, we all suffer: You don't receive the letter, and I waste my quota. After all, they only allow me two letters a month! Of course, I was unable to write anything much: I wanted to wish you a good retreat, to thank-you-for your beautiful hymn-singing and to wish you the blessings of the Risen Christ. ..
How quickly time flies! June 11 will mark two years since I am here. In 1979 ... I celebrated my Silver Jubilee, and this year, October 3, will mark 30 years! Only it is too bad that I have been uprooted from my homeland, the Church and my parish, without Confession, Communion, or Holy Mass! With the faith of the righteous Job, I repeat daily, "May Your holy will be done! Amen!" ... I have little free time, I work nine hours. After that come all sorts of personal chores. The rest of the time I read and study languages. I have obtained a French-Russian dictionary, and some magazines. I am brushing-up on Italian, and learning Spanish. I may need it! ... I am well, and alert. I am doing His will, so there is no pessimism or sadness of heart. If God bestows the martyr's crown, I will accept it eagerly . ..
June 20, 1984 Vilnius
July 9 - 22, 1984, Gintautas Iešmantas found himself in the hands of the Vilnius KGB. Also interrogated were his wife and son. One gets the impression that they want to label him a psychiatric case, and thus break his spirit. This is a whole chain of psychological terror, the culmination of which took place December 14 - 31, 1982. (sic) At that time, the prisoners, as usual, marked Political Prisoners' Day, by calling a hunger strike the whole day. Iešmantas proclaimed his own personal hunger strike, protesting the fact that he is not allowed to write, and that they retained his petition addressed to the Prosecutor General of the USSR, in which he demanded a review of his case, reasoning that he has been unjustly sentenced. The administration let him go hungry for ten days, then force-fed him and, weakened as he was, ordered him to remove snow from the roof, in a temperature of 50 degrees below zero Centegrade.
For participation in the hunger strike on Political Prisoners' Day, and for demanding overtime pay, Povilas Pečeliūnas, was placed in solitary confinement, where he spent ten days and nights. The weather was especially cold, the drafts were fierce, and they gave him nothing to eat. . . He spent Christmas and New Year's Day in solitary confinement, and from there they took him directly off into exile. He remained in transit for a month and a half.
Prior to his solitary confinement, Pečeliūnas was in the infirmary, suffering from a serious inflammation of the spinal nerves. On orders from Junior Lieutenant Volkov, Doctor Pomariov discharged Pečeliūnas as recovered and capable of the journey into exile. Now, in exile, Povilas Pečeliūnas' health is in great jeapardy: His oxygen utilization has been decreased by 35%.
Petitions are coming in from abroad to various agencies in Magadan, signed by members of Congress and other prominent persons, demanding that the conditions of Antanas Terleckas' exile be eased. (See Chronicle No. 41 — Trans. Note) Recently, Terleckas obtained a separate little dormitory room, and is working as a metal-
smith. His morale, in spite of poor health, is good; his attitude is positive. KGB agents from Magadan, seeing religious pictures hanging on his wall, asked him whether he is a believer. "I believe," replied Terleckas, "if I did not believe, life would be meaningless." The chekists acted politely, and did not insult or ridicule him.
Terleckas' address in exile is:
686420 Magadanskaja obi.
p. Industrialnij do vostriebovnija
Terleckas, Antanas, Prano
According to information available, Docent Vytautas Skuodis, (United States citizen convicted in 1980 of "anti-Soviet activities". See Chronicle No. 46 — Trans. Note) interned in the prison camp of Mordovia, appealed to the Soviet government, informing them that in protest against the unequal status of the Church and against the imprisonment of priests, he is going to fast one day a week.
At the end of August, 1984, Mečislovas Jurevičius, living at Šiauliai, Spindulio 6-10, was visited by an agent of the rayon militia. In response to the false accusation that Jurevičius is not working, the former prisoner explained that there must be a misunderstanding, since he works with the administration of the LSSR Ministry of Land Reclamation and Water Administration. The inspector produced forms showing that Citizen Jurevičius is not working anywhere, and ordered him to write an explanation. Jurevičius refused to write one, and suggested that the inspector first telephone his place of employment, to find out exactly whether he is working or not. To the inspector's question what he was sentenced for, Jurevičius replied that it was because he loved God and country.