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Volume 10 - 1996 EDITOR: Algimantas P. TASKUNAS, O.A.M. ASSOCIATE EDITOR: Vince J. TASKUNAS EDITORIAL AND BUSINESS ADDRESS: Post Office Box 777 SANDY BAY, Tas. 7005 (Australia). Phone (03) 6225 2505 or 6220 2541 '. Fax (03) 6223 4105. E-mail: [emailprotected] P�I�TED in Australia by Advance Publicity Co., 550 East Derwent Hwy., Lmd1sfarne, Tas. 7015. Telephone (03) 6243 6083. © TUU Lithuanian Studies Society Sandy Bay, Tasmania, Australia. L�HU� �AP?RS jou_rnal is the widest read English-languageL1th�an1an penod1cal m Australia and in the whole Southern Hemisphere. It is pubhsh�d annually �y the Lithuanian Studies Society at the University of Tasmania, usually rn October or November. The journal is printed in ENGLISH. It conta�ns a wide selection of scholarly papers, topical reports, poetry, book reviews, humour and items of general interest. �ONTRIBUTIONS are s?licited by the Editor, or may be sent directly to the Journal by readers. Articles are normally assessed by independent referees before publication. The VIEWS expressed in this journal, unless otherwise stated, are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Editors or the oublisher.


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I Contents

Great News: Lithuanian Honours Scholarship The Adventure of Lithuania Edis Bevan



"Nobody has done so much .. " Gudni Thorlacius Johannesson 11Eugene: In Retrospect Poetry by Darius V. Snieckus

Lithuanian Nationalism Vince J. Taskiinas

The Curren�y- Board and Alternative Monetary and ExchangeRate Policies for the Bank of Lithuania Thomas Grennes

In Brief

From Rouble to Talonai and Litas Clemens Muth

Vladas Meskenas Genovaitt Kazokas

What Price Human Life? Dalia Grinkeviciute

Native Language Mikalojus Dauksa

Romuva Andrius Dundzila

Brief Notes Lithuanian Identity in US, 1950-85 Giedre van den DungenLithuania at the "United Nations"

20 21

25 36 37 43 48 51 52 54 55

59 Research: Lithuanians in Tasmania Ramimas Tarvydas 60

Lithuanian Music-making in Aust. Jennifer Rakauskas 62 North European Security Darius Furmonavicius 64

Swedish-Lithuanian Cooperation Lillemor Lewan 66 The British Council in Lithuania Barbara Hyde

From Vilnius with Love Signe Maria Landgren

70 72

Book Reviews: S.C.Rowell, Lithuania Ascending M.Bennett 74 UNICEF: Poverty, Children and Policy Amanda Banks 78

"Don't Judge a Book by its Cover" What is BATUN? Our Thanks



Inside Back Cover

Great ·News

Lithuanian Honours Scholarship

Here is great news: a $4500 scholarship will be offered at the University of Tasmania next year, to the best Honours (Fourth year) candjdate undertaking an Honours research project on Lithuania or Lithuanians.

In the Australian university system, a student who completes his/her normal Bachelor's programme with high merit may be permitted to tay on for an extra year and undertake a research project in a specialised field. This is known as the "Honours year". It usually requires writing a research dissertation and, if satisfactory, the work is rewarded with a Bachelor's degree with Honours, or a Graduate Diploma with Honours.

At the University of Tasmania, there is plenty of scope for Lithuania-related research in many disciplines, such as History, Sociology, Environmental Studies, Political Science, Economics, Business Studies, Psychology, Law, Modem Languages, English, Nursing, etc. More information is available from the Lithuanian Studies Society, PO Box 777, Sandy Bay, Tasmani�, 7005.

The Lithuanian Studies Society has now appealed to everyone -Lithuanians and non-Lithuanians - to support this Scholarship with donations, no matter how small. The project needs your moral support and your friendly assurance that the students choosing Lithuania for their research topic are not alone in their undertaking.

All donations for the Lithuanian Honours Scholarship are tax­deductible in Australia. To obtain this benefit, please observe three simple steps: 1. Write your cheque to TASMANIA UNIVERSITY FOUNDATION TRUST. 2. Enclose a note with your name and address, stating: "This is my DONATION FOR LITHUANIAN HONOURS SCHOLARSHIP". 3. Post your note and donation to: Tasmania University Foundation Inc., GPO Box 252C, Hobart, Tas. 7001 (Australia).

The Lithuanian Studies Society thanks all supporters in advance, for their generosity in this appeal.

Amanda BANKS, President, Lithuanian Studies Society.


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The Adventure of Lithuania Reflections on Not Making Predictions

Edis BEVAN Open University, U.K.

Making predictions is an odd game. And as we approach the important but artificial landmark of the year 2000, there will be a lot of predictions that will be very odd.

I am part of the Lithuanian diaspora, and don't have an intimate personal knowledge of Lithuanian conditions. It would be presumptuous to write as if I had special knowledge to pass .on about the country and its people. But I have hopes and expectations drawing on my ragbag of other experiences.

In the entrance to Canadian Chancellery in Washing ton, is a sculpture; the 'Spirit of Haida Gwaii'. This shows the heroes of traditional stories of the Haida Nation of British Columbia all together in a canoe some stiffly uncomfortable in each other's presence, all paddling together into an unknown future. That is the image of the "Spirit of the Islands of The People".

For me, Lithuania is certainly in part a place on a map, but also an adventure by many peoples through the years, with a heritage of being different and (sometimes) preserving more humane values than in many other parts of our troubled planet An adventure by people of many religions, several languages and innumerable belief systems. The past from which we can draw inspiration has many roots, including the remnants of the great Jewish civilisation so cruelly destroyed in our lifetime, and the ambiguous (for Lithu­anians!) heritage of the Noble Republic.

What can we say about the adventure into which Lithuania, this land of the most insular friendly and stubborn of peoples, is paddling in the next few years?

Like all the countries emerging from Sovak, 1 Lithuania can look at

1 Tbe standard Russian word for a garbage bin is 'Sovok'. On tbe analogy of all those USSR-period words like Sovinform, a slang term of the USSR was 'Sovok'.


• "All in the same boat ... " - From Refugees, a painting byAnatanas Rukste", 1950, oil, 81 x 130 cm. Lithuanian Museum,Lithuanian House, Adelaide.

a wide range of experiences around the world and learn from other peoples' mistakes - and follow perhap


s the.very suC€essful_Japanesestrategy of 'starting as number_ two . T�s means ad?ptlng good practices where oth�rs have p�d the pnce of followmg the first fashions. Not followmg gurus blindly.

That's one thing I want to suggest - cons�ntly but l�o�outside our experience to bring horn� what is valua�le to L1t!1uarua s conditions. We do not have to mvent everythmg agam. Can Lithuania, for example, learn from the history of other small countries in uncomfortable closeness to larger and perhaps sometimes more overbearing powers? _Of Ireland perhaps ? ,Ormaybe Lithuania should learn from Spam and Portugal emer�mg also from long years of dictatorship and battered by rapidly changing economic fortunes.

Maybe the Latin American countries offer sobe�ng lesson�. There so often small wealthy elites live an international lifestyle while m<;>st people are poor and ex�l.ude�. T_hat gr.owth of � wealthy elitecertainly is a trend very V1S1ble � L1�u�ma �ow. �ill .we suffer thesame consequences in terms of mst1tut1onal1sed cnmmal contacts,


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I economic markets manipulated to benefit the few at the expense of the many and deeply flawed democratic institutions? There are sobering indications that this model is becoming established by default.

For many people. just surviving is a crushing, time-consuming labour. How should we act to bring liberation from this burden? Perbap� Lithuania has something to learn from the huge experience Catholic development agencies, such as Caritas have oained worldwide. Experience of what actually happens to p�oples' lives as fashionable economic theories are played out

All means looking beyond the extensive, interesting, valuableexpenence of the United States to a whole world of other valuable e�perien� in other countries. But some say that any deviation by �ithuarua from the US model is a betrayal of the cause of mdependence and the start of a slide back to Soviet days. This is coupled to an often intense suspicion of any suggestions that we need to pay attention to wider social issues - as if there is no choice between unfettered markets and the dead hand of GOSPLAN.

That is a position increasingly being challenged by bodies such as the World Bank, the O�CD �d the UN development programme. In three separate studies this year these bodies come to similar conclusions. I� is �at �ose m_�ket-economy countries which try toensll!e reduc.uons m inequalities and an equitable distribution of public and pnvate resources grow fastest in current conditions. And because of those efforts, not despite them. This is not sentimental 'welfarism', but a hard headed economic assessment. And social cohesion, loyalty and commitment to the system also grow reinforcing this economic impetus.

Investing in education and in health care systems brinas real econo�c .benefits - the World Bank now suggests that a iountrycan r�se �ts GD� by 9 percent for every extra year of primary educatton 1t provides. Health, education and basic welfare are not luxuries that impose a long-term drain on the growth of the economy.

T� directly �hall�nges the economic orthodoxy that was at its tn��pha�t he1g�t .m 1991 as the Soviet Empire collapsed and Bnt1sh Pnme Mm1ster Margaret Thatcher said, "It is our job to


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glory in inequality". Let the rich· get richer and benefits will flow faster to everyone, that was the "trickle down theory". It was the basis of the economic shock treatment of the last few years.

The newer studies suggest that the success stories under shock treat­ment are largely the result of a large historic investment in education which have enriched countries such as Estonia. But I don't have the feeling that Lithuania is investing in education at a rate that will provide in the future the skilled workforce we inherited from the USSR and which give us today some ability to win markets in the growing 'information economy'. And look at the collapse of so much of the Lithuanian health system - I am told of doctors who quit practice in despair as they have literally no drugs to work with.

And yet it was Thatcher, who said in 1988, "We do not have a freehold on the earth, only a full repairing lease" and warned that through the world's industrial processes we are experimenting with the life support systems of the planet. Life support systems need our collective attention - guarding the purity of our air and water and ensuring uncontaminated food, for example. In Sweden over the last decade collective action in raising agricultural standards has led to the eradication of salmonella from the poultry flocks and other impressive benefits. This gives Swedish produce a premium slot in European markets. Maybe Lithuania can fmd another model from Sweden, on the way forwards?

The encouraging signs are here - like the groups and individuals getting together to try clean up Nemunas and restore salmon to our main rivers. And it is not just the projects themselves that give hope, but the evidence of the growth of individual initiatives and civic responsibility - people are not always waiting for government (or even the Church) to tell them that something needs doing and to provide the impetus to get it done. So one more hope is that there will be a flowering of social and political and single issue clubs and societies, drawing people into work for the good of each other and not incidentally fostering the habit of enterprise and organisation.

That spirit of building together, of forming associations for mutual benefit is a precious national resource. And it is one that suffers under the conditions of a directed society, where everything needs an official sponsor.


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That brings us to national security - and here we have a last wish. A country where people work for the good of others, trying to follow a path of justice, find the light to deal with dark places (including recent historic horrors not yet fully admitted), may be one where controversy and argument are visible daily. But it will be one where all know in what canoe they paddle. Building an economic and moral society where the tendency is to include rather than exclude will be a bedrock to protect our security from foreign meddling.

One of the unhappiest stories I beard in Lithuania was about the celebrations of the declaration of independence restoration. Every year there are two separate celebrations with mutually exclusive membership - one for the LDDP supporters and government and one for everyone else. No social binding of differences here ...

The love of Lithuania burning in our hearts should not be an occasion for tribalising what should be national occasions. Whatever the real and practical differences between our political factions, can we try to reclaim these days as occasions for looking for unity? If so, perhaps outsiders, looking at our society, will make the same mistake as those who thought England the 1650's was weak. But as Milton said in his 'Areopagitica'

"The adversary stands and waits the hour: When they have branched themselves out', says he, 'small enough into parties and partitions, then will be our time'. Fool! He sees not the firm root of which we all grow, though into branches, nor will he beware until he sees our small divided maniples cutting through at every ang/.e of his ill-united and unwieldy brigade".

Can the adventure of Lithuania lead us to seek this real and diverse security? From the safety of a foreign shore, I_ �an only _hope that wefind the inner resources - perhaps from our spmtual hentage - to do so.

Edis BEVAN, B.A. (Sussex), M.A (Lancaster) is a research associate in the Department of Systems, in the Open University in Britain. His interests include social impact of information techno­logy, local economic development and problem solving in comp/.ex social situations. He is editor of BALT-L


"Nobody Has Done So Much for Us" Iceland and Lithuania, 1990-1991

Gudni Thorlacius JOHANNESSON University of Iceland

On March 12, 1990, the day after the Lithuanian declara�on of independence, the Icelandic p�li�ent sent its co�gratulations to Vilnius. This was the begmnmg of Icelandic supp_ort forLithuanian independence. which _culmi!lated in the es�blishmentof diplomatic relations between L1thuan1a and Iceland, m the wake of the attempted putsch in Moscow in August 1991.

When examining this period of eighteen month�, three ��n questions spring to mind: l)Why did the Iceland1c auth_ontiessupport the Lithuanian drive for independence? 2) How did theydo it? 3) What effect did it have?

Historical overview It is apt to begin with a very brie1: hi�torical overvi�w of Icelandic and Lithuanian relations, mentionmg some basic facts about Iceland. Norsem*n began to settle there in the _9th century AD. One of the first Icelandic men to be seen by Baille pe_ople was the legendary viking, Egill Skallagrfrnsson. He. and his entour�ge"robbed and killed" in Courland, as recounted m the saga of Egill.

In 930 the free men of Iceland founded their national parliament, the A/thing . In 1262, after a long and bloody conflict between thevarious families and clans, the Icelanders accepted the rule of �e Norwegian kingdom. Later, when Norway came under Danish rule, Iceland followed.

In the mid-19th century, national revival began in earnest in Iceland. In 1904 home rule was won and self-governme!ll followed in 1918. Iceland was still a kingdom. though, m personal union with Denmark. and th� Danes ��ntinued to handle foreign affairs on behalf of the Icelandic authont:les.

In early 1922 the Danish consul in Kaunas _ declare� to the Lithuanian government that Iceland recogmzed de Jure the


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I independence of Lithuania. The government in Kaunas in tum sent "especially warm thanks to Iceland, whose age-old culture was well-known and respected in Lithuania. "1 In the following year, a commercial treaty was concluded between Iceland and Lithuania.

In April 1940, Nazi-Germany invaded and occupied Denmark and the Althing resolved that, since the Danes could no longer manage the foreign affairs of Iceland, the Icelanders would have to do it themselves. When Lithuania was annexed to the Soviet Union later that year, Iceland did not recognize that act de jure. However, in 1944, when Iceland declared full independence and became a republic, recognition of this event by the great powers was considered of primary importance. The Icelandic authorities therefore had no qualms about establishing diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union, ignoring the question of the Baltic states.

It is obvious that over the next decades Icelandic authorities recognised the Soviet annexation, at least de facto. Various examples of this could be cited. Perhaps the most significant of these was the official visit to the Baltic republics, in 1978, of the Icelandic ambassador to Moscow.

1990: Lithuanian declaration of independence Immediately after the A/thing sent its congratulations to the Lithuanian people in March 1990, hopes were raised in Vilnius that greater support would be forthcoming, and disputes on further responses arose in Reykjavik. The Progressive Party (mainly a rural centre party), the People's Party (the Social Democrats) and the People's Alliance (the Socialists) held the majority in parliament. These parties had formed a coalition government from the autumn of 1988 to May 1991 (from September 1989 with the aid of a small centre party, the Citizen's Party, and one independent.MP). The largest opposition party was the right-wing Independence Party which called on the coalition to grant the Lithuanians what they longed for. The media had quickly got in touch with Vytautas Landsbergis and other Lithuanian politicians.

1 Archives of the Icelandic Foreign Minislry. SU: 8.G.2. Pack 2: The Danish consulate in Kaunas to the Foreign Ministry in Copenhagen, February 2, 1922. Copy in the archives of the Icelandic Foreign Ministry (Documents from these archives are herafter cited as SU, with the number of the pack following).

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• The author (left), with Professor Landsbergis in 1993.

Their message was clear: they wanted both, renewed recognition and the establishment of diplomatic relations from Iceland.

In late March, in a private message to J6n Baldvin Hannibalsson, leader of the Social Democrats and Foreign Minister, Lands­bergis emphasised the importance of these steps. "We ask you expressly to accord immediately a formal and legal recognition of the Lithuanian Republic as founded in the declaration of independence from 11 March 1990," Landsbergis said.2

Nobody doubted that Hannibalsson sympathised with the Lithuanian cause - but he was not ready to meet the wishes of Landsbergis. He stressed that, in a legal sense, the recognition of 1922 was still valid. Other Western states opted for caution, he said, mostly for fear of Mikhail Gorbachev's position in the Soviet Union. In one of his messages to Reykjavik at the end of March, Olafur Egilsson, the Icelandic ambassador to Moscow, described how his Western colleagues thought little of Lithuanian actions and felt that Landsbergis was far too hasty and reckless: "Speaking of the speed of the Lithuanians in their quest for independence,"

2 SU-I: "Telephone conversation with Vytautas Landsbergis, President of Lithuania," March 24, 1990.


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i Egilsson concluded, "one ambassador put it this way: once a firework was set alight, there was no way to follow it. "3

Gadflies on the international scene

So Foreign Minister Hannibalsson faced a dilemma. On the one hand, he wanted to give the Lithuanians full support in their struggle for independence, but on the other hand he wanted to side with Western allies, cautious as they were. Hannibalsson soon came to realize that this would not work out In June 1990 his radical remarks in support of the Baltic cause at a CSCE-meeting on human rights in Copenhagen were clearly noticed and indicated his position. But did that matter? Iceland was, and still is, a tiny state, with inherently limited influence. "I will never forget," Hannibalsson recalled later, "when the US delegate approached me after 1 had finished my speech, embraced me and said: "It's truly a privilege to represent a small country and be able to speak one's mind".4 The implication was that the Icelandic Foreign Minister could do so because his words did not carry any weight.

But the Balts praised Hannibalsson highly for his comments, and for the rest of the year he and his Danish colleague, Uffe Ellemann-Jensen, held the Baltic cause high wherever they could at international level. The Icelandic Foreign Minister's argument that this did matter is convincing: "We were like gadflies, we stung them [other Western repre-sentatives and politicians] ... Should small states illterfere and have an opinion in matters which don't concern them directly? I thought so, especially when larger states had their hands strictly tied, because of German unification and the superpower agenda".5

Bloodbath in Vilnius

In late 1990 and at the beginning of 1991, Landsbergis felt that Hannibalsson and the Icelandic authorities were among his most ardent supporters in the West This was clearly manifested on January 13 when Soviet military units attacked the TV-tower in Vilnius. After failing to reach Gorbachev, Landsbergis decided to

3 S U-1: The Icelandic embassy in Moscow to the Foreign Ministry in Reykjavik, March 30, 1990. 4 Interview with Hannibalsson in Althtdubladid (Icelandic newspaper), March 17-19, 1995.5 Author's interview with Hannibalsson, Reykjavik, November 2, 1994.


seek help in the West by trying to contact Mr. Hannibalsson in Icelenad first6

The Icelandic Foreign Minister felt the responsibility on his shoulders. He had spoken for the Lithuanians, bat Landsbergis challenged him to do more, to come to Vilnius and visit the barricaded parliament. Hannibalsson agreed and during January 18-20 he visited the three Baltic states. He affirmed that thejourney constituted a de facto recognition of their independenceeven though he travelled on a Soviet visa I�


Vilnius, he decl�ed that the Icelandic government would carefully consider establishing full diplomatic relations with Lithuania, and possibly the other Baltic states." This news was met with great applause.7

Vytautas Landsbergis and his team truly expected that this would come about within a short period of, days or weeks. There were serious obstacles to this in Iceland, of which Hannibalsson had always been aware. Caution was expressed by members of the coalition. especially the Progressive P�e Minister, SU?ingrim1:1f Hermannsson. Lithuania did not control her borders, d1plomat:1c representatives could not deliver their credentials and while not admitting it publicly, Hannibalsson, Hermannsson and other ministers felt they had to consider the reaction of the .�oviet Union, not the least because trade negotiations with Moscow were at a very sensitive stage. 8

Still, hopes had been raised in Vilnius an_d right v;'as o�viously ?nthe side of the Lithuanians. In Hanmbalsson s mmd, Soviet violence had demonstrated that the Kremlin would hardly conduct real negotiations with the Baltic states. After some hesitatio� �e

L. Althing formally confirmed, on February 11, that the recogmtion , of Lithuania from 1922 was fully valid and declared that diplomatic relations would be esta�lished, _"as s�on � .P?ssible."The Lithuanians hailed the resolution and m their reJ01c10g even

6 Author's interview with Landsbergis, Vilnius, June 7, 1994. 1 DV (Icelandic newspaper), January 21, 1991. 8 This can be seen from minutes of meetings of the Foreign Affairs committee of the A/thing in January and February 1991.


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mistook it for immediate establishment of diplomatic relations.9 Other Weste� states, however, did not follow the Icelandic lead, as Landsbergis had hoped. Iceland could offer Lithuania political and moral support but she could not change the mood or opinions of other states.

Stalemate A stalemate in Icelandic and Lithuanian relations ensued. TheIcelandic government had long proposed that negotiations betweenthe Baltic states and the Soviet Union should take place in

----."=>�Gl-1tJNO ,,......_._;_.!..!.:....J

• This cartoon by Sigmund Johnnsson appeared inMorgunb/adid, Iceland's largest newspaper, on February17, 1991, after the Soviet Union had strongly protestedIcelandic intentions to establish diplomatic relations withLithuania. The cartoon shows Landsbergis struggling tostop the tank ( driven by Gorbachev) while Jon Baldvin isrunning towards Landsbergis and calling out, "Now that Iam here, Mr Landsbergls, you can let go!

- Reprinted with permission fromMorgunbladid.

9 See for instance "Iceland establishes diplomatic relations with Lithuania."Estonian Independent, February 21, 1991, and SU-9, a letter from A. Braziunas, Kaunas, to the Foreign Minister of Iceland, February 16, 1991.

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Reykjavik, an idea which the Estonians highly supported. Landsbergis felt that efforts along these lines stood in the way of establishing diplomatic relations between Iceland and Lithuania.10 The idea of Icelandic mediation bogged down and in late March 1991 Hannibalsson was left to say of the Balts that be had "absolutely no idea what these friends of ours are thinking any more." 11 Then, in May, a new coalition took power in Iceland. The Independence Party and the Social Democrats became partners and throughout the summer of 1991 the new chairman of the Althing's Foreign Affairs committee, Independent Eyj6lfur Konrad J6nsson, often called for the establishment of diplomatic relations with Lithuania. Hannibalsson, still Foreign Minister seemed to agree, especially after Lithuania and Russia signed a deal at the end of July, recognizing each other's independence. It could be argued that Iceland would have gone ahead and taken up full relations with Lithuania later in 1991, even without the coup attempt in Moscow in August, which dramatically changed the scene.

The race for recognition Things happened quickly after August 19, when the putsch began in Moscow. Two days later the Foreign Ministers of the NATO­states convened in Brussels. During the meeting,.they contacted Boris Yeltsin who assured them that the coup was failing. As the conversation with the Russian President ended, Hannibalsson was due to speak. As he himself recounted, he did away with his prepared speech and capitalized instead on the latest events in Moscow, arguing that it was now or never to fully recognize Baltic independence. But nobody seconded that suggestion.12

Undeterred, on August 22 the Icelandic Foreign Minister contacted representatives of the three Baltic states and declared that Iceland recognized the independence of Estonia and Latvia, as had been done in the case of Lithuania on February 11, and was ready to resume diplomatic relations with the three of them. It was a unique statement at this stage, and on August 26 the Foreign Ministers of Iceland and the Baltic states were scheduled to seal these declarations in Reykjavik.

10 SU-10: Landsbergis lo Hennannsson, March 6, 1991.11 T{,ninn (Icelandic newspaper), March 26, 1991.12 Author's inlerview willl Hannibalsson, Reykjavik, November 2, 1994.


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i Events accelerated in the final stretch of the "race for recognition". Hannibalsson was later to insist, tongue in cheek, that "we were first, although Uffe will never admit that."13 Ellemann-Jensen of Denmark had not spoken out as early as Hannibalsson on immediate Baltic independence, but he felt he had a strong card up his sleeve. Shortly before midnight on August 24 dispatches, confirming Danish resumption of diplomatic relations were sent to the Baltic capitals - "so we were the first in the world," as Ellemann-Jensen proudly claimed.14 Still, "nobody had done so much for us," Landsbergis later reminisced on Icelandic support 15 On August 24, he wrote to Hannibalsson, saying how he always " . . . believed that Iceland would be the first and this is finally happening. In January, the first time that the Soviet putsch choked on the blood of unanned combatants, your unforgettable visit to Vilnius inspired hope in the people of Lithuania that someone in the West was not neglecting them. And now larger countries have resolved to follow Iceland. I press your hand so hard as if I had eaten, once again, a piece of [Icelandic] shark meat." 16

Two days later, the Baltic Foreign Ministers signed formal declarations on diplomatic relations in Reykjavik. Over the next days a score of nations did so, too; but did they "follow Iceland", as Landsbergis remarked? On September 2, the United States joined the pack and President George Bush brushed aside suggestions that he had been late in acting, insisting that "when history is written, nobody is going to remember that we took 48 hours [sic] more than Iceland, or whoever else it was."17


1) Why did Iceland support Lithuanian independence in 1990 and1991? It began with some common historical experiences: foreignrule and freedom won in 1918. General sympathy because ofthe harm done under Soviet occupation also played a role. ThenIcelandic politicians, with Foreign Minister Hannibalsson at the

13 Ibid. 14 Morgunbladid (Icelandic newspaper), August 27, 1991.15 Author's inLerview with Landsbergis, Vilnius, June 7, 1994. 16 SU-12: Landsbergis to Hannibalsson, August 24, 1991. 17 Cited in Alfred Erich Senn: Gorbachev's Failure in Lithuania. New York1995, p. 153.


L )

I ...

• Althingishusid, Iceland's Parliament House, built in1880.

forefront realized that most Western statesmen felt they had their hands ti�d and the Icelanders did not want to see Lithuania abandoned, in the face of Soviet aggression and intimidation.

2) How did Iceland support Lithuania? Firstly, Hannibalssonspoke on behalf of the Balts at international level� ':"'as a "gadfly"as he himself said. Secondly, Iceland offered political and moral support, with Hannibalsson's visit in January 1991, the Althinfsreconfirmed recognition of Lithuanian independence the followmg month and Icelandic actions during and immediately after the attempteted putsch of August 1991 being the most important

3) What effect did Icelandic support have? It certainly gave theLithuanians a moral boost, a feeling that they were not alone intheir struggle. On the oth�r hand, they ex�ggerate? the impo�ce of Iceland on the intemattonal scene. While Hanrubalsson s efforts must have had some indirect effect, other states were not willing to follow Icelandic calls for greater support for the Balts. Further­more, in the aftermath of the events in Moscow in August 1991 the Baltic states of course would have gained independence, regardless of Icelandic actions and decisions, noble as they were nonetheless.

Gudni Thorlacius JOHANNESSON, B.A.Hons. (University of Warwick, England), is writing an M.A.thesis at the University of Iceland,titled'/celandic Support for Baltic Independence,1990-91'.



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Eugene: In Retrospect

Darius V. SNIECKUS Montreal

For my father, Victor Algirdas Sniel:kus, on the occasion of his being awarded the University of Oregon Alumni Award

Eugene, Oregon: life's hypotheses were rising in the flask-neck. Origins; countries; language; study; science distilled and left filtrate here. Before; since, you've lived through homes that urged return or passage on; won hospitable welcome; worked without -yet every road in memory led to, or from, this city's University. Between mountain and sea, Eugene, nineteen sixty-six: then as now, the Willamette runs with quick ice; the black Pacific, white, evaporates; and onshore winds condense renewed water to run again. And you, again, are on campus, alumnus, faced with honour's end: a means to new vision.

Darius V. SNTECKUS (b.1967) lives and writes in Montreal, Quebec. He has published a chap-book (The Brueghel Desk, 1994) and poems in various literary journals. He is now completing Translations, a collection of ekphasric poems.



l I

Lithuanian Nationalism and its Role in the Decay of the Soviet Union

Vince J. TASKUNAS University of Tasmania

Benedict Anderson (1987, 15) suggested that nationalism. should be treated " ... as if it belonged with 'kinship' and 'religion' rather than with 'liberalism.' or 'fascism'". Anderson's concept of it as a "cultural artefact" (1987 14), is a defining characteristic of nationalism under foreign rule. Lithuanian nationalism, a unique blend of history and legend, grew stronger as a result of its role in the dismantling of "the Kremlin's contrived nationalism" (Hartman 1992, 69-70). It was both cause and result; and simply, the more preferred option. It has been argued that Lithuania's distinctive sense of national identity, its history of 'cultural artefacts" and national symbols and its persistent quest for independence combined to produce the nationalist triumpb in 1990 (Hartman 1992; Riden and Salmon 1991· Senn 1990: Smith ed. 1994).

The Lithuanian nationalist tradition is indeed an extensive one; its construction spans centuries. Following World War I, Lithuania gained independence from the 19th century Russian occupation and this gave" ... a stamp of legitimacy to the culmination of centuries of growing nationalism" (Hartman 1992, 78). This brief period of nationhood became its own 'cultural artefact': "there already existed a pre-Soviet civic culture of democracy, embedded in the years of independent statehood" (Smith ed. 1994, 130). This was of great importance during the Soviet occupation of 1940-1991 and was used as the touchstone of nationalist sentiment.

Stalinism had no place within its framework for Baltic nationalism.. The contradictions in the Soviet Union in terms of ideology and real practice account in part for its terminal illness. The Lithuanian SSR Con titution declared "all power in the Lithuanian Soviet Socialistic Republic belongs to the people" (article 2 cited in Senn 1990 12). The Stalinist totalitruian rule of terror produced a Soviet culture of foar and repression, incompatible with the ideology susceptible to change .


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� • The failure of Communist economics led to "an economy of

-permanent shortage" (Economist April 28 1990, 6). The SovietUnion, a supposed 'Superpower', had endured decades of poverty�� �ecession due to inept centralised planning, a poor currency andv1s1bly �d of�en laughably inferior quality" of produce

(Economist April 28, 1990, 5). These conditions nourished�iscontent. Communist ideology, never popular in Lithuania,imploded as a result of its own incongruities.

Mikhail Gorbachev was the first Soviet leader to accept thee�ste�ce of an economic crisis. "Glasnost and perestroika werepnmarily a response to the breakdown, above all economic, of theSoviet system" (Hiden and Salmon 1991, 147). Gorbachev's'openness' and 'restructuring' were intended to initiate a degree of j reform and khosraschet (accountability). The pervasive'openness', however led to profound change: the Communistcontradictions drew "new critical attention" (Senn 1990, 11).

Go�bach.ev .�ad ".:.inadvertently triggered off a resurgence ofnatt�nahsm (Smith ed. 1994, 128). More accurately, thisprovided the opportunity for Baltic nationalism to be legitimatelypractised. "Rather than aiming for Baltic independence throughthese reforms, Gorbachev probably envisioned a dynamic Balticeconomy which, harnessed securely to the rest of the Soviet Union,could pull the entire country out of the economic mire" (Hartman1992, 81).

Lithuania used the reforms to give its own move towardsindependence legitimacy. Sqjudis (the 'movement') was formed atthe Lithuanian Academy of Sciences in May 1988 (Vardys inTrapans ed. 1991, 12), bringing the people together "to share long­suppressed thoughts and feelings" (Senn 1990 135). It used thepreviously banned national symbols to galvanize Lithuaniansentiment.

The Church had long been the victim of repression andconsequently was a bastion of anti-Soviet feeling. After theglasnost, public Masses celebrated by Church leaders helped uniteand strengthen the nationalist fervour (Senn 1990, 226-227).Churches became centres for anti-Soviet communication and' ... served an important dual role as both spiritual and politicalcentrepieces of the community" (Hartman 1992 72).




• Lithuanians rejoiced when, as a symbol of defianceagainst the Russian occupation forces, a flag of freeLithuania was hoisted at the War Museum, in the city of Kaunas, on October 9, 1988. - Photo: A. Kairys/Zygio Draugams.

In the 1980s, Baltic environmentalism "frequently turned anti­Soviet" (Peterson 1993, 215). Nature became a medium for social and political change, a notion well-supported in other parts of the world. In Lithuania, the environment lobby increasingly became the vehicle for nationalist views, as in the 1988 protest against the expansion of the Ignalina nuclear power plant

The decline of the Soviet Union provided the means and conditions for the 'rise' of Lithuanian nationalism. The Lithuanian declaration of independence in 1990 was facilitated in no small measure by the failure of Communist ideology and economics, the diminished status of the Soviet Union as the Cold War wound up, and the Gorbachev reform policies and the resulting decentralisation of power. The 1990 declaration is already another important "cultural artefact'' in the intriguing history of Lithuanian nationalism.

Vince J. TASKUNAS is a student of Political Science and Englishat the University of Tasmania.


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i References ANDERSON, Benedict, Imagined Communities. London: Verso, (4th impr.), 1987 pp 14-20 BELOV, Yuri (ed), Helsinki Victims in the Soviet Union 1975-1985.Frankfurt: Polyglott, 1985. The Economist, April 28, 1990: "Survey - Perestroika" pp 1-22. The Economist, October 20, 1990: "The Soviet Union - what now?" pp 64-80. HARTMAN, Gary, "The Origins and Growth of Baltic Nationalism as a Force For Independence" inLituanus - The Lithuanian Quarterly.Chicago: vol 38, number 3, (1992), pp 69-87. HIDEN, John and SALMON, Patrick,The Baltic Nations and Europe: Estonia,Latvia and Lithuania in the 20th Century. London: Longman, 1991. OLESZCZUK, Thomas A, Political Justice in the USSR: Dissent andRepression in Lithuania, 1969-1987. New York: Columbia University Press, 1988. PETERSON, D J, Troubled Lands: The Legacy of Soviet EnvironmentalDestruction. Boulder: Westview Press, 1993, pp 214-219. PRYDE, P R, "Glasnost and Public Environmental Activism" in Environmental Management in the Soviet Union. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991, pp 254-259. ROBERTSON, David, The Penguin Dictionary of Politics. London: Penguin, 1993, pp333-334. SENN, Alfred Erich, Lithuania Awakening. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990. SHIFRIN, Avraham, USSR Labour Camps: Hearings ... United States Senate.USA: Diane Books Publishing Company, 1982. SMITH, Graham (ed.), The Baltic States: The National Self-Deter-mination ofEstonia, Latvia and Lithuania. London: Macmillan, 1994. SUZIEDELIS, Simas and JAK5TAS, Juozas (eds.), Encyclopedia Lituanica.Boston:Juozas Kapocius, 1975. vol IV. TASKUNAS, Algimantas P. (ed.), Lithuania in 1991. Sandy Bay, Tas.: Tasmanian University Union Lithuanian Studies Society, 1992. TASKUNAS, Algimantas P., Dissidence in Lithuania, presented at

APSA 26th Conference, University of Melbourne, 27 August, 1984. VARDYS, V S, "Sajlidis: National Revolution In Lithuania" in TRAPANS, J A (ed.), Towards Independence: The Baltic Popular Movements.Boulder: Westview Press, 1991. pp 11-23.





The Currency Board and Alternative Monetary and Exchange Rate Policies

for the Bank of Lithuania

Thomas GRENNES North Carolina State University

Introduction Since Lithuania regained independence in 1991, its money and monetary in titutions have been evolving. Continued use of the rouble after 1991 resulted in hyperinflation, and the rouble was replaced by temporary coupons or talonas in October 1992. In June 1993 the litas became the national currency and once again the Bank of Lithuania became a central bank. Initially the litas floated against other currencies as the goals of the Bank remained unclear. In April 1994 legislation created the Lithuanian currency board with the obligation of maintaining a fixed exchange rate of four litai 1 per dollar. A currency board is a kind of central bank with limited discretionary authority. It must trade litai for dollars at the fixed exchange rate, but it is not allowed to extend credit to the government or private domestic borrowers.

Currency boards also exist in other countries, including nearby Estonia, but public support for the board seems weaker in Lithuania. A recent visitor to Lithuania contrasted public attitudes toward currency boards in Estonia and Lithuania (Zavoico, 1986). In Estonia the currency board is a symbol of independence, and advocates of devaluation of the kroon would be considered traitors. Conver ely many Lithuanians consider the board to be a symbol of oppre . ion and opponents are considered to be heroes.

The purpose of thi paper i to provide an economic analysis of the Lithuanian urrency board and some fea ible alternatives. The goal i to . timulate di cu ion among interested partie rather than to advocate a particular policy. Decisions about economic policy are political but they must take into account principles of economic and empirical evidence about central banks in other countries and

1 Litai is the plural form of litas. Both forms are used, as appropriate, in thispaper.


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i Table 1: Inflation in Eastern Europe, the Baltics and the CIS (% per year)

1995 1991 1992 1993 1994 Projection

Albania 104 237 31 16 5 Annenia 25 1,341 10,996 1,885 45 Azerbaijan 126 1,395 1,294 1,788 100 Belarus 93 1,558 1,994 1,875 200 Bulgaria 339 79 64 122 50 Croatia 149 937 1,150 -3 3 Czech Republic 52 13 18 10 10

Estonia 304 954 36 42 22 FYR

Macedonia 115 1,935 230 55 10

Georgia 131 1,463 7,492 7,380 25 Hungary 32 22 21 21 28 Kazakstan 150 2,567 2,169 1,160 60 Krygyzstan 170 1,771 1,366 87 25 Latvia 262 958 35 26 23 Lithuania 345 1,175 189 45 30 Moldova 162 2,198 837 98 20 Poland 60 44 38 30 23 Romania 223 199 296 62 30 Russia 144 2,318 841 203 145 Slovak Republic 58 9 25 12 10

Slovenia 247 93 23 18 10 Tajikkistan 204 1,364 7.344 5 240 Turkmenistru 155 644 9,750 1,100 2,500 Ukraine 161 2,000 10,155 401 150 Uzbekistan 169 910 885 423 155

Source: Transition Reporl 1995, European Bank for Reconstruction and



other times. Otherwise logically contradictory policies may be attempted. For example, political leaders might instruct the Bank of Lithuania to produce a low rate of inflation (without shortages) and extend credit at low interest rate to all borrowers who need money. No central bank has ever accompli hed such a result, but populist politicians in many countries have advocated it

I. Central Banks are not Commercial BanksA central bank i a government agency who e traditional goal is toproduce a quantity of money that results in a stable purchasingpower for money. It is not expected to earn profits by acceptingdeposits and making loans. Tho e are the functions of commercialbank . The Bank of Lithuania has been criticised for earning lowinterest rates on its dollar-denominated re erves while refusing toextend credit at higher interest rates in Lithuania. The criticism ismisplaced. The Bank has the power to create money, so that if itwere allowed to earn maximum profits, it would follow aninflationary monetary policy. Most of the central banks of theformer Soviet Republic have produced high inflation rates byprinting money to finance large budgetary deficits ( ee Table 1 ).Annual inflation rates in 1994 for the twelve republics, excludingthe Baltics, ranged from 87% (Kyrgyzstan) to 7380% (Georgia).Estonia (42%) and Lithuania (45%) re. trict money creation withcurrency boards and Latvia follow a fixed exchange rate again t

an average of five major currencies.

The Lithuanian Currency Board holds dollar reserves to fulfil its obligation to sell dollar for litai when there i a shortage of dollars at the fixed exchange rate and buy dollars when they ru·e in surplus . The Board earn competitive interest on dollar assets with negligible default risk. As long a the exchange rate remains fixed, the Board i not subject to capital gains or losses on its dollar as ets.

2. Currency Boards and Domestic LoansThe currency board i not authorised to make loans to domesticborrowers private or government. This restriction distinguishes acurrency board from a central bank. In the United States forexample, the central bank carries out its monetary policy by tradingU.S. government bond for money. However, the obligation ofthe U.S. central bank to keep the inflation rate low ha limited thean1ount of credit it can extend to the government and the re ulting


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•: ,•' ��tion. rate ha been con istently low. In Lithuania tbe

JUS�catlon for prohibiting the Bank of Lithuania from extendinocredit to the �overoment i�. that the restriction protects the Bank�om. the kind of p��tI� pressures that have producedmflationary monetary polic1e m most of the transition economies. For example, the ame political forces that produced a larcre energy debt. in Lithuania 0!1ternational Monetary Fund) wo�ld ha�elobbied the Bank of Lithuania for additional monetary emissions.

3. Inflation and the Need for a Monetary Constitution(\ central bank has the power to create money, and limit must be imposed on the bank to prevent abuse of its authority. These limits have �een called a monetary constitution. In absence of limits. the b� 1s _vulnerable. to political pressure to print too much mo�ey.L1thuamans experienced hyperinflation in 1922 when German Ostrnarks were the circulating currency and large emissions of money occurred. Insufficient limits on the money creatino authority of n�w banks in the former Soviet Republic afte�1991 resulted rn massive monetary emissions and hyperinflation.

To av<:>id thi� pr?�Jem central banks must be assigned a specific goal, like mamtarnmg; a fixed exchange rate or a table price level, and they mast be. g1ven pr?tection or independence from other government agencies that might have competino or contradictory �oals: The cla sic conflict i_s �etween the central bank seeking lowmflation and the finance mm1stry or treasury seeking low interest lo� fron:i the. bank to finance its budgetary deficit. Extensivestudies of inflation and central banks around the world inclicate that bank with the least independence from other aovemment aaencies produce the highest rntes of inflation (Cukierman and Webb 1995).


The same s�dies in�cate that there is no compensating benefit from tolerating a higher rate of inflation. Inflation does not �tirnulate real economic growth or employment. Economic orowth 1s a result of saving, investing, and innovatino rather than printino additional pieces of paper money (World B� 1993). Thu; policies that .fu?it the gr?w� rate of the money supply do not reduce econonuc growth m Lithuania.

The central. bank can be a igned the goal of fixing the exchangerate (as with the currency board) or producing a stable price level




• Poverty is visible in today's Lithuania.- Photo: Lietuvos Aidas.

but not both. If a fixed dollar exchange rate is chosen, the Bank of Lithuania must allow the supply of money (litai), price level, and money interest rates to adapt to those in the United States. If a particular rate of inflation is the goal, the Bank must allow the dollar-litas exchange rate to float, and the currency of the country with the higher inflation rate will tend to depreciate.

4. Compatibility of Money Interest Rates and InflationMoney interest rates are highest in countries with the highest inflation rate . High money interest rate erve to compensate lenders for the expected inflation created by monetary emissions. High money interest rates are a result of "too much" money creation not "too little". Money interest rates can also be influenced by high default risk on loans and monopoly power by banks, but expected inflation is the dominant influence. Money intere t rates must be compatible with inflation in order to reward savers and avoid a shortage of credit.

For example, if the inflation rate is 20%, the average good that initially cost one lita will cost 1.2 litai. Each lita will buy only .833 = 1/l.2 as many goods as before, i.e. the purchasing power


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of money ha decrea ed by 16.7%. To compensate lenders for the loss of purchasing power, a higher money rate of interest must be paid. Legal maximum interest rates that result in negative real rate can act as a severe deterrent to savings, lending, and economic growth (World Banlc, 1993). Money intere t rates mu t be compatible with inflation rates.

5. Fixed Exchange RateThe Currency Board is a particular way to achieve a fixed exchange rate and di cipline the central bank. The money supply in Lithuania adapts automatically to the fixed exchange rate. If the money supply in litai is too large the Bank must buy back the surplu by selling dollar reserves. If the money upply is too small the Bank will buy dollar and emit additional litai. The adju trnent of the Lithuanian money supply brings about the convergence of the inflation rate to the U.S. rate for goods entering international trade. The Lithuanian inflation rate has moved toward the U.S. rate since 1994, although convergence remains incomplete. One problem with the gradual convergence of inflation rate is that Lithuania s expo11 sector i harmed during the tran ition. When Lithuania has inflation with a fixed exchange rate litai received per dollar earned by exporting remain constant but costs expre ed in litai rise. Exporting becomes less profitable.

The Currency Board places the ame restrictions on the Bank of Lithuania as participation in the gold tandard did from 1922-40. The lita was introduced and the Bank of Lithuania wa founded in

1922 following the hyperinflation associated with the u e of the German Ostrnark. The Governor of the Bank from 1922-29 wa Vladas Jurgutis, who was strongly committed to the gold standard and providing the Bank with independence form political pressure (Grennes 1996). In spite of the upheaval as ociated with the Great Depression, Lithuania never devalued the litas, and there was a strong consensu in favour of the policy. In a ense, the post-1994 Currency Board follows the Lithuanian tradition of commitment to a fixed exchange rate with substantial independence of the Bank of Lithuania from the political process. A difference i that today all countries in the world have abandoned the goldstandard. Lithuania cannot recreate the gold standard unilaterally but it can secure the same essential features in a slightly different way. Lithuanians al o participated in the gold standard earlier as part of the rouble area at the end of the Tsari t period 1897-1914.

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Another reason to favour a rigidly fixed_ exchange. rate i_ the d��ireby Lithuanian to join the European �ru�n .. All L1thuaruan pohti�al parties appear to support mem�r hip m �� EU and accept1�g monetary union would be a likely condition of membership. Monetary union is the most extreme f�rm of fi�ed e�change rate, since devaluation is prohibited. So 1f the Lithuaruan Currency Board is objectionable the adoption of a single European currency hould be even more objectionable. Other conditions of EU

membership are giving up all trade barriers ag�nst goods from U:e EU and allowina residents of tho e countnes to own land m Lithuania. A difference between the Currency Board and joining the Monetary Union i that the value of the litas would be fixed in terms of the Europa (whose value is yet to be determined), not the dollar.

Some critics of the Lithuanian Currency Board have pointed to the advantages of Latvia's policy of fixing the value of the lat relative to an average of five currencies (United States, United Kingdo.m,Germany, Japan France) rather than a ingle c�rrency. �he poli�y allow the lat to fall in value against certam currencies while simultaneously rising against others. It has_ re ulted in . s�ghtlylower inflation rates in Latvia than in Lithuania and Estorua m the last two years. It gives the Bank of Latvia slightly more flexibility, but it is not fundamentally different from the Currency Board. If

the Bank of Latvia create too many lats it will have to ell reserve and buy the lats back.

However, the Bank of Latvia has received greater independence from political pressure than the Bank of Li!huania. Latvia has had only one head of its central �ank (Emars Repse ), whereas Lithuania has had four heads of its bank as of June 1996. Mr. Repse has earned an outstanding rep�tation a a ce�tral b�er in the view of the international commuruty as well as m Latvia, and that may contribute to the length of hi tenure and the independence delegated to hi bank.

6. Floating . . . One could allow the litas to float against other countnes and assign the central bank a taroet inflation rate. That i , the Bank of Lithuania could be req�ired by law to produce an inflation rate within a specified range. For example, New Zealand b�. made realisation of a target range for inflation (zero to 2%) a condition of



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I employment of the head of its central bank. In order to achieve the target inflation rate the central bank must allow a slow rate of growth of the money supply, and it must allow the exchange rate and money interest rates to vary with market conditions.

Countries like Germany, Japan and the United States have had floating exchange rates for more than twenty year and they have given their central banks more di cretionary authority than New Zealand. Although price level tability i not the only goal assigned to the e central bank , they have been given some legal independence from their governments, and they have earned a reputation for credibility by regularly producing low inflation rates.One can imagine that currency boards like those in Lithuania andEstonia might evolve into central banks after achieving sustained price stability.

7. Adjustable Peg A compromise between a rigidly fixed exchange rate like a currency board and a floating exchange rate is the adju table peg. The exchange rate is fixed for an indefinite period subject to occasional changes at the discretion of certain government officials. Unlike a currency board an adjustable peg would allow devaluation but only under extraordinary circ*mstances. MostWestern countries carried out an adjustable peg (Bretton WoodsSystem) from 1946 until a series of currency crises led to its

demise in 1973. The United Kingdom followed an adjustable peg until it was forced by a currency crisis in September 1992 to float the pound. Mexico also followed an adjustable peg until the currency crisis of December 1994 forced the government to float the peso. A major weakness of the system is that when the credibility of the government's comminnent to the fixed exchangerate is reduced, speculators abandon the domestic currency and anexchange rate crisis occurs.

Currency crises are more likely when governments are weak and when there is no consensus about exchange rate policy between the rnling party and oppo ition political parties. These conditions plu frequent turnover of prime ministers and heads of the Bank of Lithuania describe Lithuanian politics since 1991 (Vie ulas 1995· Norgaard, 1996).

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1f the litas is devalued to five litai per dollar, the credibility of the oovemment' s commitment to the new rate i likely to be weak. If a ::,ubsequent devaluation to ix litai per dollar is anticipated, peculators will convert litai to dollar expecting to sell the dollar

later at a profit. Becau e of the tendency for currency crises to develop many analysts consider the adjustable peg to be an un ustainable monetary system (Obstfeld and Rogoff 1995).

Another disadvantage of the adjustable peg i that it allows corrupt oovernment officials to profit from inside infonnation about the tirnino of exchange rate changes. If an official knows the timing ofdeval�ation, he can speculate against the Jitas himself or benefitfriends and allie by leaking information to them. Comparable opportunities to abuse power do not exist under a currency board ince exchange rate don't change. Frequent change occur under

floatino rates, but government official po ses no more inform�tion about the e change than private traders.

When devaluation occur under an adjustable peg the newmonetary policy and inflation rate mu t be compatible_with the new

exchange rate. If not, /IJ' another realignment will � · soon ... be necessary. For



example, if the litas were devalued and the Bank of Lithuania emitted enough litai to produce an inflation rate of 1500% per year

• The original Bank ofLithuania, photographedin the 1930s. The Bankwas established onOctober 2, 1922. It hadtwenty-six branches,throughout the country.The Bank's first gover­nor was Professor V.Jurgutis (to 1933); hewas succeeded by V.Stasin skas (1 933-1940) .

• Photo: Lithuania through the Ages.

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I (Belarus experience 1992-94) the new exchange rate could not bedefended. Furthermore, even if the government that devalues thecurrency intends to impl�ment a monetary policy compatible withthe new exchange rate, It may be replaced due to an election orscan��. by a govefllID:ent with different intention . Thus, thecredibility of the corrurutment of the new exchange rate i in doubt.

A slight variant of the adjustable peg would allow the exchano-e rateto move within a limited range (target zone) or corridor arou�d theofficial fixed rate. Russia experimented with tbi system in 1995and 1996. For example the exchange rate might be allowed tofloat between 4.5 and 3.5 litai per dollar. However the same�ro�lems o� credibility and currency crise arise whe� the upperlimit of 4.5 1s reached.8. Conclusion

What are the logical alternatives to the Lithuanian Currency Board?The closest alternative i to follow Latvia and link the litas to anaverage of_ five currencies that includes the dollar, rather than thedollar by itself. More extreme alternatives are floatino and anadjustable peg.


The case in favour of continuing the Currency Board is that itwould prepare Lithuania for member hip in the European Union�nd its planned single _currency. The Currency Board alsomcorporates the arne kind of monetary di cipline as the ooldsta�dard that W<l:5 chosen freely by Lithuanian during the inter�warpenod. By �11;1g out devaluation, the Currency Board reducespro�t opportu�1t1es for corrupt officials. Although the inflationrate m L1thuarua has been higher than those in the U.S. and theEuropean Union it has been close to the rates in Estonia andLatvia, and it continue to decline. It has also been far below theinfl_ation rates in the non-Baltic Republics of the former SovietUmon.

A freely �?ating litas is a logical alternative, but a preci e pricelevel stability goal would have to be imposed on the Bank ofLithuania, and the Bank would. hav_e to �e protected from politicalpressure that �ould lead to a high _ inflation rate. Like a CurrencyBoard, a flo�ting rate would provide few profit opportunities forcorrupt official


The remaining alternative, the adj°

ustable peg, ha been tried indifferent variations many times and in many countries. Its mainfeature i that the exchange rate is fixed for an indefinite period andchanged at the discretion of certain government officials. The maindisadvantage is that it has frequently resulted in currency cri eswhen a change in the exchange rate ha been anticipated. It alsoprovide profit opportunitie for corrupt official to u e insideinformation.

Minor variations of these three monetary systems can beconstructed but there are no additional fundamentally differentalternatives. Critics of the Currency Board must either advocatefloating rates or an adjustable peg. If floating i to succeed, a waymust be found to protect the Bank of Lithuania from politicalpre sure that would lead to high inflation. For an adjustable peg tosucceed, a way must be found to avoid the government'scredibility problem that leads to currency crises.

Thomas GRENNES, B.A. (Indiana), M.A. (Wisconsin) is Professor of Economics and Agricultural and Resour<;e Economics at North Carolina State University, Raleigh, N. C. U.S.A.


CUKIERMAN, Alex, and Steven WEBB, 1995, "Political Influence on the Central Bank: International Evidence". World Bank Economic Review 9 (September 1995): 397-423.

GRENNES, Thomas, 1996, "Inflation and Monetary Policy During Two Periods of Lithuanian Independence." Journal of Baltic Studies (Summer 1996): 1-10.

INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND, 1995, "Republic of Lithuania: Recent Economic Developments: IMF Staff Country Report No. 95/82, August 1995.

NORGAARD, Ole, 1996, The Baltic States After Independence. Edward Elgar Brookfield, VT.

VIESULAS, Romas Tauras, 1995, "The Politics of Macroeconomic Stabilization in the Baltic States". lituanus 41 (1995 no. I): 41-67.

OBSTFELD, Maurice, and Kenneth ROGOFF, I 995, ·'The Mirage of Fixed Exchange Rates." Journal of Economic Perspecrives 9 (Fall 1995): 73-96.

WORLD BANK, 1993, The East Asian Miracle: Economic Growth and Public Policy. Oxford University Press, New York.

ZAVOICO, Basil, 1986, "Currency Board: ·An Integral Part of Estonia's Economic Reform". The Free Market: Newsletter of the Lithuanian Free Market Institute 3: 1-2.


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In Brief

• Ernst-Moritz-Arndt University in Greifswald (North-East Germany)h� been offering_ B_altic studies for the past five years. Professor Dr. Ramer EC�RT 1s m charge of the University's Baltic Institute which teaches maJ?r sequences in Lithuanian Studies, Latvian Studies (language, llterature, folklore) Ancient Prussian as well as back­ground studies in history, mythology, etc. Professor Eckert's group has produced a range of valuable publications. (MBS)

• The scientific achievements of Aldona BUTKUS DML T AIML TMAppSc(RMIT), PhD were crowned last Dec;mber, �hen sh; r�e1ved her Ph.D. degree at the University of Melbourne. Using a di�erent approach, Aldona had isolated and, with others, cloned the maJor secretory component of the Corpuscles of Stannius (CS) which �ad defied isolation and identification for over 100 years. Aldona 1� now a Senior Research Officer at Howard Florey Institute of Expenmental Physiology and Medicine, located at the University of Melbourne. • Vilnius Vision 2015 is a comprehensive examination of the Lithua­nian capi� city's future, produced by the Canada Baltic Municipal Co-operation P_rogr�me in conjunction with Lithuanian experts. The scheme 1s fmanced by CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency). It was originally set up by the Canadian U�ban lnstit�t� early in 1994, in the three Baltic capitals Tallinn, Riga and V1lrnus. The work is proceeding to its second stage, in 1�96-99; and CIDA bas allocated 2 million dollars (Canadian) for �s �urpose. Mrs. D. Bardauskiene is the programme's manageress 1� V1l�us. Her address: Vilnius 2600, Gedimino 35/1, 110 kab., L1thuarna.. Tel.(3702) 617196. Fax. (3702) 227723. (APT)

• The German Foreign Ministry announced on July 26 1996 thatGermany :w-m pay_ 2 mi_llion German marks (AU$1.9 �llion) incompen�ation to L1thuarna. for atrocities committed during the Nazioccupation. Th� J?lOney �ill_ b� used to fund hospitals and nursinghomes for surv1vmg Nazi victims. In addition to Lithuania's Jews 29,000_ Lithua�ans were imprisoned in 103 concentration camp�and pnsons dunng the Nazi occupation (1941-44). At least 6 225died. '

• Pranci�a Gaidamavi�iiite, a Lithuanian missionary nun died inRooty Hm

! NSW on February 21, 1996 at the age of 99. Her life­

long service Lo God and mankind included 29 years in Kharbinc�.


From Rouble to Talonai and Litas Monetary Disintegration in Lithuania

Clemens MUTH University of Munich

Introduction Lithuania has been the front runner of the Baltic States in gaining political independence from the Soviet Union, leaving Latvia and Estonia quite behind. Surprisingly it was the last of the Baltics to achieve monetary independence. Estonia left the rouble zone on June 20, 1992 and introduced the Estonian Kroon. Latvia followed one month later, but it took Lith�nia until October 1, 1992 to declare the Soviet rouble a foreign currency and to make the Talonai1 (an interim coupon-currency) the sole legal tender in the republic. In this article we analyse the Lithuanian exit from the rouble zone and some factors which delayed it.

Economic theory gives us a number of possible motives for an individual country to leave a monetary union. These are: the disintegration of markets for goods; factors and firiancial assets; an increase in asymmetric shocks within the union, differences in the amount of public debt and in the preferences for monetary policy (especially the rate of inflation); an unequal share of one country in the amount of seigniorage as well as the exit of other member states from the union. In addition, political motives, like the desir for national sovereignty, the self-interest of politicians and third-party interests play an important role in the decision to leave a monetary union.

Towards Litas Preparations for the introduction of a Lithuanian currency started in 1990 when the Bank of Lithuania was founded with a view to it becoming the future Central Bank. According to the bank law of February 1990, the president, the vice-president and the other members of the board of the bank were elected by the Supreme Soviet of the Republic. The competence of the Bank concentrated on banking supervision, until in June 1991 it took over most of the

1 Talonai is the plural form of talonas. Both forms are used in the literature. The term disintegration is used here as the opposite of monetary integration.


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i activities and accounts of the Gosbank (the Soviet central bank) branch in Vilnius.

In 1990 and 1991 monetary relations between Lithuania and the So�i�t U:nion became part of the confrontation over Lithuanian political mdependence. In March 1990 and in December 1991 the S�viet and later Russian Central Bank refused to supply Lithuania w_1th ne�. amounts of rouble banknotes. This step demonstratedLtthuarua s dependence on the decisions of the Russian monetary authoriti�. The gro_wing_ demand for cash-money, caused by the�cceleratmg rate of mflauon, was not accompanied by an increase m the supply of banknotes and led to a severe shortage of rouble banknotes within Lithuania.

It was not because of this cash shortage, but in an effort to restrict the sale of goods to foreigners, that the Lithuanian authorities started intro_ducin�, in the su_mmer of 1991, the first type ofCOUJ?Ons (Lithuanian Ta�onai). From now on every citizen rece1ve_d 20 percent of his or her salary, wages or pension inTalonai and sales of some goods were restricted to the use of coupons. Mainly because of the rise of markets for Talonai this first generation of cou�ons failed, and so in February 1992 the government started to withdraw them from circulation.

Apart from this measure, considered to be a step in the wrong direction, �ithuania fell behind its Baltic neighbors on its way to �onetary rndependence. Indeed, before securing their political m�epende!lce the aut�orities placed an order worth US$6.6 m1lhon with_ an Arnencan company to print new Lithuanianbanknotes. Eight months after the establishment of the Estonian mone�ary reform committee, the Lithuanian parliament also established, on November 5, 1991, the so-called Litas-reform­com�ission. This commission had the full authority to determine the time and method for the introduction of the new Lithuanian currency, the Litas. Members of the commission were President Vy�autas L�dsbergis, Prime Minister Gediminas Vagnorius and Vilrns Bald1sis, head of the Bank of Lithuania.

Unfortunately th� work of �e commission did not proceed as planned. Instead, mner conflicts within the commission became part of the political confrontation. BaldiSis favoured a more gradual approach to the introduction of the new currency,


cushioned by trade and payments arrangements with neighbouringcountries (especially Russia); while the political leadershippreferred a fast disintegration. The debate about the timing ofdisintegration was accompanied by a personal controversy aboutthe abilities of Baldi�is. Even after the detection of a fraudscandal, together with the unsatisfactory printing of the Litas notes(caused by the low quality of the new banknotes and another orderwith the same company), the unhappy troika still remained.Supported by the parliamentary Oppostion, Baldi�is survived threeattempts to remove him from office. He finally resigned on March10, 1993.

• A specimen of the 50 Litas banknote, introduced in 1993.Photo: Lietuvos Aidas.

The Russian price-liberalisation in January 1992, the subsequent excess in the demand for money in Russia and the inability of the Central Bank of Russia to accommodate the increased demand, depleted the cash-supply in all of the former Soviet republics. The situation was particularly serious in Lithuania, because it was not receiving any shipments of rouble banknotes from Moscow. This increasingly hampered the payment of wages and pensions, so the Lithuanian government decided to introduce a second type of coupons. Following a decree of the Prime Minister on April 28, new Talonai coupons, equal to 200 and 500 roubles were introduced and the shops were ordered to accept the new Talonai at the rate of l Talonas:lrouble. Firms were instructed to pay 40 % of their wages in Talonai. From that time on, two currencies - the Soviet rouble and the Talonai - were in circulation in Lithuania, as parallel currencies.


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However, the country stayed in the monetary union. Bank accounts remained recorded in roubles and the rouble also remained (together with foreign currencies) the favoured method of payment in the shops.

Beginning in June, 1992, the situation changed. Now the Central Bank of Russia started to print roubles with higher denominations and the cash shortage was additionally met by a growing inflow of the rouble notes, mainly from Ukraine (which had also introduced a coupon-currency) and from Estonia (which left the monetary union on June 20). This resulted in an oversupply of rouble banknotes.

While Latvia reacted to the new situation very quickly by making the Latvian rouble (introduced as a parallel currency in May) the sole legal tender on July 20, the developments in Lithuania were overshadowed by political instability. In July Prime Minister Vagnorius announced the introduction of the Litas for August 1; but he had to resign after losing a confidence vote in the parliament related to the banknote scandal. He was replaced by Aleksandras AbBala as the new prime minister.

AbiSala planned to introduce the Litas in mid-October, but the inflow of rouble banknotes forced him to speed up the process. InSeptember, the government began to buy roubles against Talonai and to withdraw them from circulation. In the last week of that month, the people were ordered to change all their rouble amounts into Talonai. Finally, on the day exactly 70 years after the introduction of the prewar-Litas, the Talonai was declared the sole legal tender in Lithuania. All liabilities and bank accounts were changed 1: 1 from roubles to coupons and the political guarantee of the 1: 1 exchange rate against the Russian rouble was abolished. With this step, Lithuania was the third country after its northern neighbours to leave the rouble zone.

The separation did not coincide with the introduction of the Litas. It was another eight months before the Litas replaced the Talonai. In June 1993, the Talonas was exchanged against the Litas at the ratio of 100:1; and on August 1, the Litas became the sole legal tender in the Republic of Lithuania




There was no doubt about the general political will of the

Lithuanian authorities to leave the rouble zone. The rouble was

seen as a relic of Soviet rule, and the introduction of a national

currency as the restoration of the pre-war situation which could be

reached after achieving political independence. But despite the

clear political goal, the procedure of the exit was not planned and

was an uncoordinated reaction to external factors. While the cash­

shortage in April led to the introduction of the coupon, the

subsequent inflow of rouble notes, caused by the departure of

other members of the Union (especially Ukraine), accelerated

Lithuania's exit. In that sense, the Lithuanian departure from the

rouble zone can be seen as a reaction to earlier exits or plans to

leave the union by other countries, in order to protect the country

from inflationary pressures.

From the theoretical point of view, the inadequate supply of banknotes by the Central Bank of Russia as signifying an unequal distribution of seigniorage within the union, and the poor participation on the decisions of the central bank, relev�t beca':1se of different preferences, could be seen as further motives, which justify the Lithuanian decision to leave the u�ion. The disintegration of markets seems to be more a supportmg factor, rather than a decisive factor.

In the cases of Estonia and Latvia, third-party countries and the International Monetary Fund played a more or less sceptical role, at least without convincing them to break away from the rouble zone. In the Lithuanian case, on the other hand, the IMF supported the exit, exemplified by the October economic reform package with loans worth some US $57 million and special drawing rights.


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Bearing in mind the election in October/November and the turbu­lence before the reform, the self-interest of the politicians could not be ruled out Since, however, the population reacted positively to the government's actions, this point does not appear to be too important

A comparison of the Lithuanian case to the exit of Estonia and Latvia shows the importance of political unity during a monetary reform. Toe dissensions between government, the central bank and parliamentary Opposition together with technical failures (banknote-scandal) led to a delayed disintegration in Lithuania, accompanied by an inflow of rouble notes and higher inflation.

Clemens MUTH (Dipl. Volksw.) is a research associate and docto­ral candidate in Economics at the University of Munich.


Butting, Johann & Rudagalvis, K�tutis (1994), Der Aussenhandel Estlands und Litauens im Vergleich - Ursacben unterscbiedlicher Entwicklung zwischen 1988 und 1993, in: Gutmann, Gemot & Thalheim, Karl C. & Woehlke, Wilhelm [Hg.], Neuorientierung der Aussenwirtschaftsbeziehungen in Ostmitteleuropa, Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissen-schaftliche Ostmitteleuropa-Studien, Vol. 20, 117-134. Gimius, Saulius (1993), The Lithuanian Economy in 1992, in: RFEI RL Research Report, Vol. 2, No. 16, 28-32. Gimius, Saulius (1993), Establishing Currencies in the Baltic States, in: RFEI

, RL Research Report, Vol. 2, No.22, 35-39 . . International Monetary Fund (1993),Lithuania, the First Former Soviet State to Join IMF, Adopts Stand-By Agreement, in: !MF-Survey, January 11, 13-16. Jansonas. Frederikas (1993). Myth Becoming Reality, in: Baltic Review, Second 1993, 36-37. Lainela, Seija (1993), Currency Reforms in the Baltic States, in: Communist Economies & Economic Transfonnation, Vol.5, No. 4, 427-443.

Lloyd, John/ Volkov. Dmitri (1992), Russia cracks the whip over the rouble zone, in: Financial Times, Friday July 31 1992, 2. Muth, Clemens, Waehrungdesincegration ffhe economics of monetary disintegration], forthcoming. Prunskiene, K.azimiera (1993), Wechselwirkungen zwiscben Politik uod Wirtschaft beim Aufbau eines unabhaengigen Litauens, in: Gutmann, Gemol& Thalheim, Karl C.&Woblke Wilhelm [Hg.] (1993), Die Unabhaengigkeit der Baltischen Laender, Wircscho.fts- und Sozialwissenscho.ftliche Ostmitteleuropa­Studien, Vol. 18, 73-78. Stropus, Jonas (1993), The Lithuanian Litas - Completing Monetary Reform in the Baltics in� Baltic Review, Third 1993, 38- 39.


Vladas Me�kenas

Vladas Meskenas is a well-known and respected _Lithu_anian painterin Sydney. He celebrated his 80th birthday, earlier thzs year.

A perfectionist in his work, Mdkenas says, �e loves.each portr�it

as if it were his own child. At the same ttme: he zs never quite

satisfied., always believing that his next work will be better. A man of a temperamental, forceful yet con:,passiona.te nature, Me�kenas chooses subjects who are kindred spznts an� who have �xpenenced life with intensity. Probably for this reason he has painted fellow artists Weaver Hawkins, William Dobel.l, Russell Drysdale, Lloyd Rees, Elwyn Lynn, John Olsen, :'1-domas yarnas_ �nd Don_aldFriend, to name just a few. Me!kenas con_s�de,;s sitting sessions exhausting, "a spiritual duel of two personalines .

Vladas Mdkenas was born. on February 17, 1916, the youngest ofthree sons. He showed exceptional talent from an ea�ly age and,even at school, he was able to produce remarkable likenesses ofpeople Me!kenas's oldest surviving drawing, Father, 1930 wasdone �t the age of fourteen and reflects his study of the work ofLeonardo da Vinci.

• Vladas Meskenas (right), with some of his portraits.


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i Vladas Meskenas became a freelance artist in the late 1930s. His pencil drawing, Mother's Sorrow, won him an award in Lithuania for the best depiction of the atrocities of the Soviet occupation of Lithuania. In 1943, Mdkenas and his wife were sent to forced labour in Germany. Later, they lived in southern Austria for five years.

Mdkenas and his family migrated to Australia in 1949. After a two-year work contract at the Victoria Army Barracks in Sydney, he worked at various factory jobs. He, his wife and three children lived in very crowded conditions, and he had to paint outside in the backyard.

MeJkenas's creative work may be divided into paintings and

drawings. His paintings form two sub-groups: expressionistic and 'double-image'.

Meskenas's earliest expressionist portraits in Australia include the oil painting, Family Portrait, 1953 (first prize at the First Lithuanian Art Exhibition in Sydney) and Weaver Hawkins and his wife, 1962 (Helena Rubinstein Prize).

In 1963, Meskenas painted Sir Russell Drysdale and William Dobell in 1964. Meskenas recalled, 'Dobell reminded me of the Lithuanian folk art, the image of the Sorrowful God (Riipinto­jelis).' The outcome is in fact a portrait of Dobell in a pose characteristic of the Sorrowful God, with his head inclined and a meditative expression.

In the middle sixties, Mdkenas again became a full-time freelance artist. He painted about 150 small portraits, charging an average fee of £5 ($10). Among his larger works of the period were the portraits of painter and director of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Hal Missingham, 1963; and of artist Lloyd Rees, 1965.

During the 1970s, Me!kenas developed a unique style which he calls 'double image'. This consists of veils of subtle colour super­imposed on the whole picture plane, over the painted subject. An endless variety of ephemeral colour folds embrace the painted image. A double portrait, Elwyn Lynn, 1973, is an outstanding example of Meskenas's 'double image' style: Lynn is represented



Top left: Vladas Meikenas, . Father, 1930

! penc�I! 45 x 30 ·cm. Collection Artist. Me�kenas drew this picture at the age of four­teen. The work reflects his study of Leonardo da Vinci.

Below: Vladas Me!kenas, Elwyn Lynn, 1973, oil 100 x 140 cm. Collectio_n Artist. An outstanding example of Me�k�nas's 'double image' style.

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• Vladas Metkenas, Mother and Child, 1974, pastel,55 x 69 cm. Collection Artist.

in_ two [mage_s, ef!,ch of a different mood and appearing as if in discuss um �uh hLmself. Among other major works of this style are the portraits, Donald Grant, 1976, Algis and Vida Kabaila, 1976and Self Portrait, 1978-79.

There i! a place in Meskenas's work for young, beautiful women and chzldren, too. In these works the subjects' treatment becomes more subtle and lyrical, and expressionistic boldness is avoided. Instead, he accetuates the soft, serpentine line, uses a warmer more impresssionistic palette and applies �h.e paint smoothly, e.g.: Judy Pongrass, 1972 and Two Sisters, 1984 (see frontcover).

Between painti7:g workf of high intensity, Meskenas indulges in the sh�e_r relzsh of If!7-ages and colour by painting genre comp_osuzons, e.g., Paddmgton Marker. 1972 and The Beatniks ofPaddington, 1976. These are sophisticated compositions with a conglomerate of images and superimposed 'double image'



Vladas Meikenas, Elle Macpherson, ,.,-1-rv11996, oil.

Meskenas has also produced literally hundreds of pastel sketches. Such works as Art Dealer, 1958, John Olsen, 1962, and DonaldFriend,1985 are examples.

Although Meskenas has had no formal training, he considers his greatest teacher �o be_ Lef!nardo da Vin�i whose illustrations he meticulously copied zn high school. Smee adolescence he has admired Rembrandt's portraits for their compassion, drama and insight into psyche. MeSkenas's work is an idiosyncratic mix of many styles and trends of modem art.

Meskenas prefers to live and work in isolation. He has had no solo exhibitions. However, he has participated in various art exhibitions and was an Archibal Prize fmalist seventeen times.

Genovaite KAZOKAS.

The above article is based on an extract from Dr. Kazokas's doctoral thesis, Lithuanian Artists in Australia, 1950 - 1990. Dr. Kazokas was the first Ph.D. candidate to undenake research on a Lithuanian topic at the University of Tasmania after establishment of the Lithuanian Studies Society at this Universi� in 1987. The Society acts as the catalysl for Lithuanian �earch_ inall disciplines, and five other candidates have ince been attracted to L1thu�� research programmes in Tasmania. Dr.Kazokas completed her thesis m December 1992, and the Ph.D. degree was awarded to her in 1993.


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i What Price Human Life?


Barren and uninhabited, Trofimovsk lies well within the Arctic Circle, a tiny island at the mouth of the river Lena, not far from Tile i. Late in 1942, as the winter ice was closing in, we, four hundred Lithuanian women and children were dumped on Trofimovsk. And dumped with us were the bricks and timber with which we were to build our camp. • Dr Grinkevi�iute

We were left without any roof over our heads, without warm clothes, without food. The few men and older boys were all eized and ent to nearby islands to catch fish for the tate. Then we, women and children hurriedly began to bujld barracks. The barracks had no roofs, just plank c�ilings through which the blizzards would blow so much snow that people lying on their bunks turned completely white. A space 50cm wide was allotted for each person - a big ice grave!

Most of our 400 died on Trofimovsk, of cold hunger exhaustion and scurvy. Nearly all of u could have been aved. But nobody :cared - and we were left to die. Once winter set in, pri oners would drag friends' bodies from the leaky hut and pile them up some distance from the camp. When their parent died, children were transferred to ' the orphanage". The corpses were canied out in sacks and thrown on to the pile. There may have been everal little bodies in a ack; nobody could tell. Blizzards made it impossible to leave the huts: the dead might lie for day beside the living. And when the time came for them to be taken out, their hair would often remain caught in the ice that had formed around them.

There were forty women in our section. Only four of us were abJe to tand up and go to work. We had to go and find Jog brought



down by the Lena some miles from the camp. When we found them we chopped them out of the ice and hauled them back . . . to heat the guards' quarters. Our shoulders were covered with sores from the chafing of the sleigh-ropes.

Every night 1 used to creep out of ou� hut and steal a few bits of wood for our brazier (barahona). This was the only way we had of melting snow and ice into the water the sick women wanted, and of heating bricks to warm their feet.

B�t when the brazier was alight, the ice on the ceiling melted, too, and dripped down on us. We lay under a sheet of ice.

• Lithuanian women, forced to cut trees in Northern Siberia.

Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve, 1942, guards burst into our hut. They hadpicked up my footprints in the snow and caught me red-handed. Iwas up for trial.

Seven people appeared i� court_, counting me - five charged _withstealing firewood two with taking bread. (These two had famted in the warm bakery!) I was the last to plead. I pleaded guilty.

The court withdrew. Not long to wait now, I thought; for with the court's verdict our suffering would be over. They would march us all off to the punishment camp 30 km away . . . and not one. of uswould reach it. We would all freeze to death on the way. With the spring thaw, any of �ur friends �ho happened to survive would see the ice-floes carrymg our bodies out to sea.


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The court returned. Its entence: three years each for those who had stolen wood, one year for those who had stolen bread.

A. few days later the condemned were taken off to prison. Ablizzard blew up on the way. We heard of one party that got lost:they probably all perished with their guards.

��t I was not �ong them. I had been acquitted because of my smcere confession"!

I returned to (?e hut. It was freezing. My mother was till lying there unconscmu�, her face so bloated that you could not see her eyes. She was lymg on a board, with a sack for a blanket. There wa no water. The brazier wa out.

I went back to steal more wood.

Adapted_f:om "Frozen Inferno" (NY: 1981), by John W. DOYLE,S.J. Ongmal translation by Paulius VADUVJS and Milda DANYS.

Women in Siberia

Innocent women tak�n from their home and ' re ettled in de olate

area� thou and o� kilometre away ... Fighting huno-er and coldmaking brave acnfice. for their children ... Women °of incredible courage - t:orgotten or ignored by the world. NOW you can read these eyewitness accounts in Engli b tran lation:

• Leave Your Tears in Moscow, by Barbara ARMONAS.. . $6._00 plus ��.50 forw8_fding cost = $8.50 posted.

• Song in Sibena, by N1Jole SADUNAIIB. $6.00 plus $2.50 forwarding costs = $8.50 posted.

• Mary, Save �s. A home-l!lade prayer book, compiled byfour women m a concentration camp. Miniature edition.

$2.95 plus 55c forwarding cost = $3.50 posted.

Order your copies from: TUU Lithuanian Studies Society, PO Box 777 Sandy Bay Tas. 7005 (Au tralia).


Native Language Mikalojus DA UKSA

From the Foreword of Postilla ( 1599 ), one of the earliest Lithuanian books. Translation by Gintautas KAMINSKAS,

using the text in Lietuvi� kalbos istorija, by Dr Zi.gmas z;nkevicius, Volume Ill, Page 18l, as his source.

Let me ask: is there in the world such a nation, however impov­erished it might be, that does not have these three basic things: ancestral homeland, customs and native language? Always and everywhere people have spoken their native language and always struggled to protect it, and to beautify, improve and perfect it

Nowhere on earth is there such a miserable nation as would abandon its own native language. Every nation aspires to use its native language for its laws, its affairs of state, its literature, and wishes to use it proudly and appropriately at all times, be it in the church, or at work, or at home.

One might ask, would there not be a sensation amongst the animals if the crow decided to sing lik.e the nightingale, and the nightingale to croak like the crow? Or if the goat began to bellow like a lion, and the lion to bleat like the goat?

It is not the bounty of its crops, nor the distinctiveness of its gannents, nor the beauty of its countryside, nor the strength of its castles and cities that make a nation hale; rather it is the maintenance and use of its native language, which strengthens fellowship, peace and brotherly love. For our language is our common bond of love, the mother of unity the father of civic solidarity, the guardian of nationhood. If you destroy our language you destroy cooperation, unity and wellbeing.

- From Jogaila's seal (1422).


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Romuva Ancient Religion Revived

Audrius DUNDZILA Chicago, U.S.A.

Romuva is rekindling the ancient indigenous spiritual tradition of the Lithuanians. Ancient Baits did not profess a religion per se, but rather their spirituality, world view, and way of life composed what is now called "religion". The three are not distinguishable or separable from each other: the way of life of the ancient Balts was deeply spiritual, it included their world view, and encompassed everything they did.

The name "Romuva" honours the Prussian Baltic sanctuary called Romuva wnich stood in the Prussian land of Nadruva (near Chemabovsk in the so-called Kaliningrad region). Chronicles indicate the sanctuary was the religious centre of all the Baits -Lithuanians, Prussians, and Latvians alike. The word literally means both, temple and harmony.

The focal point of the temple was a millennial oak with statues of three gods: Perkunas (thunder, lightening and justice), Pikuolis(the dead and cattle) and Patrimpas (avatar of Dievas, the sky god). An aukuras, a fire place with an eternal flam, burned next to the oak. Priestesses called vaidilutes protected the flame while priests called vaidilos performed rites at the oak tree. The krivi14 krivaitis,the spiritual leader of all Balts, resided in the sacred forest that belonged to the sanctuary.

Romuva is firmly and deeply founded upon Lithuanian folklore the Lithuanian well-spring of Baltic religion. Folklore encompasses pasakos (folktales). dainos (folk-songs), dances, games, riddles, proverbs, weaving, embroidery, sculpture, traditional household and farm decorations, and traditional musical instruments. Romuva espouses the Lithuanian pasaulejauta (world view) that folklore expresses and studies the works of the archaeologist Marija Gimbutas and semiologist Algirdas Julian Greimas as well as those of mythologists Norbertas Velius, Bron Dundulien, Bronislava Kerbelyt and Donatas Sauka.


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In the early 19th century, historian Simonas DaukanW:s was the principal supporter of the native Baltic religion. He pro�1d� much needed intellectual support and advocacy for tJ:ie ll!d1genous religion. At the end of. t�e 19th century, hngm�t JonasBasanavi6us assumed a similar role, followed by philosopher Vydiinas in the early 20th century. Vydunas created the �tell�tual philosophical framework for the modem Lithuanian Baltic religion.

In the olden days, Lithuanians did not f?� congregations. The village council also served as the local relig1ou� bo�y. In the �ly 20th century, Lithuanian Duke Berran.skis �ed t� establishcongregations in the pre-war Ru�sian-�ccupied Lith�an1an GrandDuchy as well as in post-w� Lithu�ma. :r�e 1930 s saw a very healthy resurgence of Lithuanian Baltic rehg10n, but World War II prematurely curtailed the movement.

After the war, congregations were established in Canada an� in Siberian exile, where some Catholics had been accused of hay1�g betrayed their compatriots by turning them over to the Stali�st NKVD (forerunner of the KGB) .. In the la� 19�0's, a congregationwas established in Vilnius, but 1t was exungwsbed by the KGB. Currently there are Romuva groups in Boston, Clev�land :roronto, Chicago, Kaunas, and Vilnius. Active membership_ vanes fromgroup to group: �es�m gr�ups average about 10 acu�e members, while the groups m Lithuania have about 50 or so actlve members each.

Western groups tend to meet monthly at people's ho.mes, while theLithuanian groups meet at least weekly at set meeting pl�ces. (thegroups rent space or share sp�ce �ith �other organisau�m). Meetings typically focus on learnmg L1thuaruan �olk:lo�, especially the dainos (folk-songs). Members research topics of mterest and make presentations as well. Meetings are also used to prepare f?r the holidays: Kaledos, Uzgavene�, Velykos, Jore, Rasa, Rugiq �vente, Atlaibo Svente, Velines, Kucios, etc. The groups also �eet to celebrate the holidays. In Lithuania they celebrate at the ancient temple sites, when appropriate.

Contact addresses are: Lana Vyte, PO Box 232, Station D, 4975 Dundas St West, Etobico*ke, Ontario, M9A 4X2, Can�da. • Audrius Dundzila, Ph.D., 6B E Dundee Quarter Dr, Palatine IL 60074-1263, USA. e-mail: [emailprotected] • JD LaBash,




- -- - - - !. - . - - - _. - -- -- -- ....:.- -- - - -� -- -

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3310 Warrensville Center, 208, Cleveland OH 44122-2783, USA• Jonas Stundza KraujeJis, PO Box 1505, Lawrence, MA 01842-2705, USA • Jonas Trinkiinas, Vivulskio 27-4, 2009 Vilnius, Lithuania. e-mail: jon [emailprotected] • Algirdas Dapkus, Banaitio 2-12, Kaunas, Lithuania.

Audrius DUNDZII.A, Ph.D.(Madison) is a Seniunas (Elder) of Romuva, and one of the organisers of Romuva/Chicago.

Brief Notes • The Third Baltic Studies Summer Institute (BALSSl) took place atthe University of Illjnois at Chicago, on May 28 to July 19, 1996. Itwas supported by a consortium of five U.S. universities: the Univer­sity of Illinois at Chicago, Indiana University and the Universities ofMichigan, Washington in Seanle and Wisconsin-Madison. Next year'sInstitute will be held again in Chicago. For information, contactProfessor Violeta Kelertas, Dept. of Slavic and Baltic Studies at theUniversity of Illinois (m/c306), 1628 University Hall 601 S.MorganSt. Chicago IL 60607-7116 USA. Telephone (312) 996-4412. E-. mail Kelertas�

• The Historical Institute of Latvia, in association with the UnitedStates Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, DC has recentlypublished Andrew Ezergailis' massive study, The Holocaust inLatvia 1941-1944: The Missing Ceriter. It is the first full study ofthe Holocaust in Latvia. It is available from The Historical Instituteof Latvia, 1157 Danby Road, Ithaca, NY. 14850. USA. (US$49.95plus .$3 postage; or US$49.95 post free, if the order is prepaid).

When in Sydney, visit the


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Lithuanian Identity in the United States, 1950-1985

Giedre R. VAN DEN DUNGEN Adelaide

There is a very extensive literature on "what makes an American" and on the experience of becoming an American. t invariably the writers stres the joyous and liberating experience of identifying oneself as an American, and an exploration of the means which made it po sible. But many of the approximately 30 000 Lithuanian refugees who emigrated to the United State: after World War II, did not expect to experience the joys of becoming American for they were detemrined to remain Lithuanian. They thought of themselves as exile and intended to return to Lithuania if it became independent. With tbi in mind as well as the perceived threatened extinction of the Lithuanian nation behind the Iron Curtain, they endeavoured to maintain their national identity and to inculcate their ideals and value in their children.

But as their children grew up, or were born and brought up in the United States, and as the hope of an independent Lithuania seemed to wane it became more and more difficult to maintain that heiobtened ense of Lithuanian consciousness. As the children of the


immigrant were increasingly influenced at school and university by American ideas, they began to question what had appeared to their elder to be elf-evident. The children formulated their own ideas on the relevance of such crucial factors to Lithuanian identity as an understanding of Lithuanian history, a knowledge of the Lithuanian language and the Catholic faith.

Many of the ideas which shaped modern Lithuanian national identity were formulated in the nineteenth century. The re­discovery of a glorious Lithuanian past bad kindled the imagination of many Polish-influenced Lithuanians, and had been a source of national pride during independence (1918-1940). But w he.n _theolder generation in the United States attempted to arouse a surular enthusiasm in their children, they were met by indifference and a questioning derived from a different tradition and different values.


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Even the shining beacon of their own lives - independent Lithuania - was regarded by their children with ambivalence. History couldnot speak to those who did not want to listen.

In nineteenth-century Lithuania, the Catholic faith could be regarded in a po itive light a well as in a negative light as far as the national con ciousnes wa concerned: it provided a strong defence against the Rus ian Orthodox Church and hence Ru sification, but for many years the Chw-ch hierarchy bad been almost totally Polish-minded and could be regarded as a very strong Polonizing influence.

During the period known as the National revival, in the second half of the nineteenth century, there had been great ideological rivalry between the Catholic and the liberals. Both claimed to be the true guardians of the Lithuanian language and fosterers of the real Lithuanian identity. Thl rivalry continued into the twentieth century and was even transposed to the United States. There, a new and decisive factor emerged in thi old struggle - a new American-style liberalism. Ultimately even the Catholic could no longer claim that only a good Catholic i a true Lithuanian.

From the perspective of the original immigrant activists the effort to sustain a Lithuanian national identity amongst the immigrants for a number of generation was not. ucce sful. The post-World War II refugees who emigrated to the United States had a disproportionate number of the educated and intellectual elite among their member . Consequently they were misled into thinking that a high level of Lithuanian cultural and intellectual activity could be maintained indefinitely. But creative talent is not necessarily hereditary, and so the next generation could expect a more normal distribution of Lalent and hence a much malJer number of creative individual . In addition, lhe creative members of the second generation would be

tempted to contribute to the wider, i.e., American ociety where recognition would be more highly rewarded. On the other hand, even those who wished to contribute to Lithuanian American cultural life, could not be unaffected by the American cultural life around them. They tended to stigmatise what their elder perceived a the pecifically Lithuanian features of lheir culture a being merely parochial and old-fashioned. Even the Lithuanian language, the one truly unique marker of Lithuanian ethnic/national identity wa difficult to maintain when the wider society placed no


• Chapter 85 of the Knights of Lithuania in Westville,Illinois (1931 ). Some Lithuanian organisations, such asthe Knights, have managed to span generations and havesurvived to the present day.

Photo: Wolkovich-Valkavi�ius, Lithuanian Fraternalism

value on it, and indeed rewarded competence in its replacement, Enolish. By the third generation Lithuanian had become, at best the° second language in a bilingual situation and at worst was deemed unimportant.

Nevertheless, almost despite themselves, the post-Worl� War II Lithuanian refugees in the United States laid th� ��undatJ.�ms of a real face-to-face community. Many of the acuv1ties. which were initiated with very high ideals and aims, served to bnng scatte�ed members of the Lithuanian community together and to provide opportunitie for "meeting p�ople and for making. friends" and, on.emight add for making mamages. Thus the v.ar1ous Cultll!al andYouth Conferences and the annual Santara-Sv1esa conven�o!1s, to name only some of the more important events, drew p�c1pru:its not only from the United States, but from other countries with Lithuanian communities, as well. On a more local scale, br�nch­meeting of the various organisations, Lithuanian panshes,


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Saturday ch.ools, folk-dancing groups and choirs, concerts andcommemorations. prov�ded opportunitie to meet and to develop face-to-face relationship . It was at this level that the chano-ino­perceptions of what constituted a Lithuanian identity ;er� accommodated and individual members were welcomed or made to feel . unwanted becau e they did not conform to groupexpectat10ns.

�ne of the more striking feature of the numerou formal and rnfor.rnal e�changes regarding what i or is not an important feature of L�thuan_ian culture, character or identity, i the exclusion from cons1derat1on of the possible view of Lithuanians in Lithuania on these matters. Such total disreo-ard would indicate that consciously or not, what was undet di cussion and elaboratio� was �ot a �ithuanian identity, but a totally new identity. That this new 1den�ty was regarded � totally American in Lithuania, came as a surpnse to tho e who still felt themselves to be in ome way or at least in part, Lithuanian. In a sen e_ w_e have come f�l-circle. The nineteenth century sawthe first stirrings of an ethruc awareness in Lithuanians livinc in wh�t was .then a part of the. Czarist Russian Empire, an aware;esswhich qmckly . d�veloped mto a en e of national identity quiteseparate and distinct from that of its nei chbours. The sense of national identity was further strengthened during independence. After World War I many of the Lithuanian refuo-ees who emi!!fated �o th� United States were determined to maintain that national identity them elves and to pas it on to their de cendants. But in their grandc1:ildren that �eigh_tened sense of national identity hadalready declined to a .flickenng awareness of etlmic orio-in of kinship and of "roots '. 0 '

�ec�nt e�ents in. Eastern Eur_ope have re�oved ?De of the primeJU tifications for the future existence of a L1thuaruan community in the U�ted State�. Lithuania regained its independence however precariously, without any direct assistance from Lithuanians abroad, who could only watch as events unfolded in the former Soviet Union. Lithuania is stiJI in need of as i tance, but it has �come. already clear that what Lithuanians think they need fromL1thuamans abroad does not coincide with what Lithuanians abroad think Lithuania needs . There has been no mass return to Lithuania of 'exiles" from abroad· nor one suspects, would Lithuania


welcome it. Indeed, there is much to learn on both sides. On present evidence, it would seem that that learning will take place, if at all on an individual basi as relative in the Unites States get to know their relatives in Lithuania, and a en e of kinship is maintained. This summa1y of conclusions draws on Dr. Van den Dungen's Ph.D. thesis, accepted by Flinders University of South Australia earlier this year. The thesis is entitled "The Elaboration of Ethnic Identiry: Lithuanians in the United States, 1950-1985", where a discussion of sources and a full bibliography may be fowul..

Lithuania at the "United Nations"

High-school students from all over Tasmania flocked to Deloraine last April, to take part in a mock General Assembly of the United Nations Organisation. The two-day event was hosted by the local Rotary Club, and was known as the Rotary Model United Nations. Lithuania was ably represented at this large gathering by Jodie Dare and Nichola Horton (pictured, fromleft to right). Both are Grade 10 students at Cosgrove High School in Hobart. Although neither girl has any Lithuanian blood, they made a very successful major presentation on Lithuania at the assembly. They

had been coached for this task by their teacher, Mary Koolhof, and by members of the Lithuanian Studies Society at the University of Tasmania. Jodie and Nicola wore authentic Lithuanian national costumes, provided by two members of the small Lithuanian community in Hobart, Mesdames T. Kairys and Ona Barnes. The colourful costumes attracted a lot interest among the participants.


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Research in Progress

Lithuanians in Tasmania

Ramiinas TARVYDAS Hobart

On_28 Novembe1:, 1947, the US Army Tran port ( hip) Gen StuartH_ezntze�mann �1ved at Frem�tle, WA, with the fir t shipment of Ltthu�an Latv1� and E toruan refugee (843 in all) whom the Australian authonties had gathered from the Di placed Persons' camps all over We tern Germany. After four days in WA they transferred to the Austr�an Navy ship, the HMAS Kanimbla, for the voyage to Melbo�me. Fron:1 there by train and bus they were all tak�n to Bon�g1lla Transit Camp, for initiation into the Au trah� way o�life. From that camp, the new arrival were ent out, at different times, to all parts of Australia to work. The first Balts to arriv� in Tasmania did so on 21 January 1948, and were taken to log timber near Maydena, on the edge of what is now the SW World Heritage Area.

For the 50th anniversary of �e coming to Tasmania 21 January 1998, I have undertaken to wnte a book describino the arrival and ettling in Tasmania of Lithuanian migrants who �e here from

-1948 to 152, and a few who came later. I think this should bed�ne not o�y to r�cord their story, but also to acquaint Australians�1th the L1thuan1an heritage that was brought here by thosep10neers.

For that task, I have a questionnaire aimed at all the Lithuanian�grants in T�smania. I . ask _for the names, dates and places ofbirth of the rrugrants, therr children parents and iblino-s. Thesedetails I will deposit with the Tasmanian Archives.

T�e re�t of �he q_uesti?nnaire asks briefly about their life inL1t�uania, therr amval m mainland Au tralia, and mainly abouttherr fir t few years in Ta mania, e.g. where they worked off their2-year contract how they obtained their first house whatcondi_tion were like ec?nomically and socially. Fro� thesequest10ns, I hope to descnbe their early life in Tasmania.

I am also interviewing the older survivors of those early arrivals. It is here that the human side of the story is revealed. During these interviews, whether I like it or not, they describe how they escaped from Lithuania; the sufferings in the refugee camps of Germany; the selection process for migration; the transit camps in Germany, Italy and Australia; the varied experiences at sea; and, fina_lly,. thefirst years of hardship in Tasmania. These stories are fascmatmg, and worth sharing. I hope that my publication will do justice to the memory of those Baltic pioneers in Tasmania. If any reader has information or photographs about the Baltic settlement of Tasmania, I'd be glad to hear from him or her.

Ramunas (Ray) TARVYDAS, M.Sc.Hons. (Auckland) is President of the Lithuanian Community in Hobart. All correspondence should be directed to him at 26 Balmain St., Glenorchy, Tas. 7010 (Australia). Telephone (03) 6225 1920 (work), 6272 5147 (home).

• 10,000 Lithuanian refugees settled in Australia after WorldWar II. They made lasting contributions to Australia's economy, arts and sciences; but these contributions have not been docu­mented adequately, so far. Pictured: Migrant laboure�s at !he construction of Wayatinah 'B' Power station in Tasmania, during the mid-1950&. · Photo: Hydro Electric Commission, Tasmania.


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Lithuanian Music-Making in Australia

Jennifer RAKA USKAS Benowa, Qld.

Lithuanians came to Australia as refugee immigrants during the years 1947-1952. They brought with them a long tradition of music-making. They wanted to preserve this tradition, along with many other customs, as part of the heritage to be passed on to their children in Australia. As displaced persons, and forced to flee their country for political reasons, their sense of Lithuanian identity was very strong. This en e of identity, largely expressed in song, either alone or within the group, helped provide a stabilising factor for them, particularly as they settled into an alien environment.

Although the liaudies dainos (literally: "songs of the people") had formed an integral part of Lithuanian culture in the homeland, a imilar lifestyle could not be practised ia the same way in Australia.

The functions of the singing tradition bad changed and now belonged to a different time and place.

Spontaneous inging when gathered together with their countrymen and countrywomen bad always been a prolific form of music-making for Lithuanians. Today, Lithuanian music-making in Au tralia embrace two cultures instead of one.

Lithuanians of the first generation have described participating ia a choir a a ociaJ event. Because they were Jiving in a foreign environment attending choir practice at the Lithuanian community centre and socialising with their compatriots helped to ease the en e of isolation encountered largely through a lack of Engli h


The second generation Lithuanians who were raised within thi tradition remember their childhood with great warmth. They recall attending function at the community centre singing ong around the fire at cout camps or around the dining table with family friends. Many participated in the folk dancing groups. They recall feeling a very strong emotional attachment to their Lithuanian heritage through the ong . As adult however, they


had formed closer ties with non-Lithuanians through chool an? the workplace. The Lithuani� �entres no long�r fulfilled �e! interests, although they till the connecuon by attendinb

social functions there.

The third generation of Lithuani�s who stiµ p�icipate � groups within the communities are very mterested m therr _root� . 1?eyhave a particular interest in the sutartines �d �e Lw1:1dies dl:'znosbecause they see them as the essence of therr Lithuanian hentage. Although the words of the songs describe a far �istant land, and have little meaning for them they are representatl�e of tJ:ie culture to which they are tied. Language presents some difficulties as not many of them are fluent in Lithuanian.

Young people feel that the old songs are sun� and play�d far t?o slowly by the first generation. Tho e �ho are mvolv�d wi�h music­making activities want to express therr cultural hentage m a way which is familiar to them.

Being Lithuanian has different connot_ations. for �ach gen�ration.Toe second and third generations of Li��an�a�s m Austral�a have not had the opportunity to expand �err mdiv1d_ual repertoires ofLithuanian songs over time. The_ third generation gener�ly feelmore non-Lithuanian than Litbuaruan. Older member of this gr�up who have been to Lithuania enjoy the common bond which knowledge of the language and the songs bring for them.

Have Lithuanians been able to retain a strong music-making tradition in Australia? Will Lithuania's recent independence from the Soviet Union result in closer ties with the __ homelan? for Australian Lithuanians and thus reinforce the traditlo�s? W� the ties be maintained by younger members of �he c�mmu�ty? Wil� the strong sense of identity felt by first generation L1thuaruan . contm�eto be felt by the follow�ng g�nerati?nS (e�pressed so emotionally _mtheir songs)? How 1s bemg L1thuan_1an exp!essed by music­making in Australia? These are all quesuons which future res�arch (my own included) will need to address, so �hat a complet� picture of the contribution of Lithuanian music-making to Australian song tradition is better understood.

Jennifer RAKAUSKAS is a Master's candidate at the University of Queensland.


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Northern European Security Community

Darius FURMONA VICIUS University of Nottingham

After the restoration of their independence, the Baltic States had faced enormous security problems: withdrawal of the Soviet army, reorientation of their economies to the West sensitive quest:i�ns.of minorities, environmental problems caused by Sovietcolomsation. One could only wonder how the Baltic States successfully solved their major security problem - the withdrawal of the Soviet Army.

� n�ber of in�rnal an� external factors can be identified: (1) znte:na;: th� _ firmness of leadership, particularly ofLith_u�ua; the poliucal culture of the Baltic nations based on p�c1patton; * the active foreign policy of Lithuania and other Baltic States; and (ii) external: * international pressure for Russia to withdraw the�any; * in p�cular, the granting of US economic aid to Russia linked to the withdrawal of the army from the Baltic States· * CNN and other media attention.

After. the withdr�wal of the Soviet army, a Northern Europeansec*nty comrnuruty expanded to the eastern shores of the Baltic sea. So, in this brief note I would like to explain the formation of the Northern European Security Community and to emphasise the role of Professor Vytautas Landsbergis in its development.

The No�em European security community means that a war is now unthmkable between any of the Baltic and Scandinavian states. The Baltic States share a common historical experience of Ru�s�a's aggression, common goals and values and a similar political _culture. These factors have led to their peacefulcollaboration and economic competition.

This is not necessarily a state of affairs that needs to be held together by treaties. Institutional ties and the sense of habitual co­oper:ati ve behaviour among individuals, social groups and the Baltt� and Scand0avian states indicates that a Northern European sec*nty commumty has been formed in this Baltic sea area.


The precondition for the establishment of this community was the withdrawal of the Russian army from the Baltic States. Lithuania performed the major role in the withdrawal arrangements.

Professor Vytautas Lansbergis developed an active foreign policy for Lithuania which convinced other leaders of the Baltic States -such as former communist nomcnclatura wolf Gorbunov (Latvia) and Rutel (Estonia) - of this necessity. Lithuania and other Baltic states managed to win a diplomatic victory over Russia in the UN and the CSCE, where resolutions were accepted demanding the withdrawal of Russian troops.

The Russian army, despite strenuous attempts to stay longer, left Lithuania in the autumn of 1993 and Latvia and Estonia in the end of 1994.

The Northern European security community will most probably play the central role in European security framework in the near future. The Baltic States need NATO security guarantees most of all. It seems, however, that the Alliance enlargement issue is strongly influenced by Russia. NATO is afraid to provoke Russia, but on the other hand is concerned with the future of the Baltic States. The Baltic States are seeking membership of NATO and other interlocking institutions, EU and its defensive arm WEU. The Baltic States became associate members of EU in 1995, associate partners of WEU in 1994, and members of NATO partnership programme for peace in 1994.

My study of the Baltic security after independence also attempts to give the reasons why the Baltic States need to be invited to join NATO in the first round of its enlargement Surrounded by a more powerful Slavic world, the Baltic States have been important islands of European civilisation on the Eastern shores of the Baltic Sea. To what extent has their example influenced the development of democracy and independence in Belorussia and Ukraine (which were formerly parts of the Great Duchy of Lithuania), as well as in Russia itself?

Darius FURMONA Vf(;/US, B.Eng. (Kaunas TU) is a post­graduate student in International Relations, in the Department of Politics of the University of Nottingham, U.K.


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Swedish-Lithuanian Cooperation (It all started in Hobart!)

Lillemor LEW AN Lund University, Sweden

Introduction L�nd univer�ity, �weden, has had a student exchange programmewith the Unf vers1ty o� Tasmania since 1987. The programmebrought m� m .t<?uch with th_e �ithuanian Society when I and myhusband Nils VlSlted Tasmama m 1988 and we were invited to oivea lectur7 about our cl�se neighbour country across the Baltic Sea. Everything was �ery different at that time. Al] these countries wereactu�Uy mo�e. d1stant to us than Tasmania. They were not at allpossible to vmt and we got no dependable information.

But th� situa�on cha�ged r.apidly, and I think that it was my visit to t�e Ln�uanian Society m Hobart, which made us focus on Lit�uarua when we started a Lund University Baltic Cooperation Project � few years later. It was really a coincidence that Amanda Banks rn 1996 came to our workshop in Vilnius to share her knowledge about the environmental situation in Lithuania developed. at_ th� �ntipode - Ta�mania_! Thi workshop wasarranged w1thm a jomt research project which I have coordinated.

The Lund Cooperation Project !he possibilities of travelling and ?Omm�nication within the region1mprov� greatly after the restoration of mdependence in the BalticRepublic_ and �entral Europ�. A _Lund University BalticCooperat�on p_roJect w�s organised with a steering committeerepresentrng d1ffe:ent fields of the univer ity: The aim was top_rom?te cooperative re earch, especially in the environmental1tuat1on of t�e area. Initial activitie focused on univer ities in thesou�em_regio� of the Baltic area primarily universities in Gdansk�nd. m L1thua�1� . . �xperie�ce from this pilot project would then1mprov�_po�s1b1ht1es of bilateral and network cooperation withumvers1t1es m other region of Eastern and Central Europe.

Some re�earcher and student from Kauna and Vilniu who were already Ill Lund on grants from the Swedish In titute were then contact per ons in the project which was coordinated by me. The


po sibilities for cooperation in teaching and tudent exchange as well a re earch were investigated. Further grants from the Swedi h In titute for re earch vi it and exchange between department have broadened the base for cooperation.

The EU Programmes The EU programme for mobi1ity and network cooperation in research and education (Tempus), fir t in Central Europe and then also in the Baltic Republic and other former Soviet Republics, opened new possibilitie from 1992/1993. Planning was initiated for a Tempus project coordinated by Lund Univer ity in Environmental Science : Analysis and Solutions of Environmental Problem - Strategie for a Su tainable Development coordinated by Ingrid Stjemqui t Dept. of Ecology and Dept. of Environmental and Energy Systems in cooperation with univer itie in Lithuania in Kiel, Germany Roskilde, Denmark, and Utrecht, the Netherlands. The project i till running and everal MSc course are being developed at the participating universitie in Lithuania which have organi ed Environmental Study Centres or their equivalent for the joint programme. Lithuanian students can now combine courses from different universities for their Master's degree. Responsible teachers visit Tempus partner universities abroad for this development and up-grading.

Lund University also joined other ongoing Tempus projects in Environmental Sciences in the Baltic area: Centre for Environmental Sciences and Management Studies, Riga Latvia, and Centre for Environmental Studie Gdansk, Poland, coordinated from Roskilde University Centre Denmark in cooperation with the Free (Freie) University Berlin. Other discipline and countries were also involved in Tempus projects: uch a France and USA.

We participated in the two satellite-transmitted series of video seminars on "The Baltic Sea Environment" and "People of the Baltic'.' coordinated by Uppsala University, Sweden by making video films in special field of intere t. The programmes were received at ome hundred univer itie in nine countrie around the Baltic Catchment Area. At Lund University, the programme were used for two new courses based on the themes of the seminar .

A Lund University Student Workshop was arranged for a week in May 1991. Students from Kauna Vilnius, Gdansk and Lund had


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a joint seminar for presentation of their projects made during the atellite transmitted Baltic Sea Environment cour e. The tudents

were invited to departments in Lund according to their intere ts and field trips and vi its to some industrie and municipal departments were arranged.

An International Environment Summer School was oruanized 1992-1995 by the Department of Environment and Energy Sy terns Studie . Student from Lithuania and other Eastern and Central European Republics have participated.

Research Pl�nin� for_ bilat�ral research projects resulted in funding of twoprojects m Lithuania from 1993/94 by the Swedish Institute:

1) Cooperation in Research and Education in EnvironmentalEducation between the Department of Industrial Economics and theCentre for Environmental Engineering at Kaunas Institute ofTechnology, Lithuania. The Swedish Department has now developed into an International Institute of Industrial Economic and offers a special Master's Programme for foreign students taught in English.

2) J:Iist�ry Use and �anagement of Wetlands. Economy andLeg1 lat1�n for_ Re�torat1�:m _an� Future Sust_ainable Development.The project I rnterd1sc1plrnary covenng Departments in Technology, Biology the Social Sciences and the Humanities in Lund and equivalent departments in Kaunas and Vilnius. It is coor�inated by me �nd we _are now planning for final report andcontinued cooperation. Jomt work between cholars involved in

this_ research programm� and the Environmental Science Tempuproject has been very fru1tful. We hope that the cooperation can be extended to include scholars in the Tempus project in Law with Ms Graciela Ratti de Carbonari ar Swedi h coordinator.

Special efforts have been made by the Centre for Women Studie at Lund Univer icy for cooperation in research and education with corre ponding centres or department in Kauna. and Vilniu .

Lund University Library ha initiated cooperation with the Vilniu .. University Library, the Vilniu Technical Univer ity Library and the Vilniu University Medical Library. The Dept. of lnformatic



Lund University, has initiated coo_peration wit� the F�cultr ofCommunication at Vilnius University for educat10n of hbranans

and information pecialists.

Experiences from the project . .

Experiences from the Lund University Baltic Cooperation project

show that

• there is a great need and interest in co_ntact. _in the West amongthe Central and Ea. tern European Universities;

• it is very important to support young researchers a!1d resea_rchstudents already at the Master's level, particularly m planning fortheir future PhD studie ;

• networks within the Tempus programme can be used forinvitation of students at advanced levels for both undergraduateand research studies in the West;

• it is very difficult to get sufficient funding for equipment in the

eligible countries; • assistance with librarian services is of importance;• English is not always spoken and understood in East European

countries; • it is relatively easy to get funding for visit , but very difficult to

get research funding; invited st�dents �nd re earchers are supposed to participate in ongoing projects; . .

• it is difficult for Swedish researchers t� find fundmg_for theirown research in the East European proJects and for time devotedto the joint projects;

• transports of equipm�nt, b?o� and journals which can be

relinquished at the umv�r 1ty m �avour of the Eastern European

countries poses substantial pracuca1 problems; . • once started the network grows, and it is no longer possible to

keep in one project!

The Lund University cooperation project i now a group <?f peoplewho can tell other about their experiences and perbap give someaood advice for future cooperation. b

Dr Lillemor LEWAN is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of

Animal Physiology, Lund University, Sweden.



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Lithuanian Papers - [PDF Document] (37)

The British Council in Lithuania

Barbara HYDE Vilnius

Since th� en� of t!ie Soviet period the English Language hasboomed m L1thuarua. Almost every chool child learns it andmany adult al o anend English cla ses for profe sional or otherpurpo es. What ha the British Council contributed to thisdevelopment?

The Briti h <:;oun�jj Baltics, with offi�es in ea�h Baltic country tarted operat.J.on lll 1992. Not all of 1t work 1s concerned withthe English Language: h?wever, in the e four years it ha perhapsbe�ome best known for its support for Engli h language teachers.Thi support fall loosely into three interrelated categorie :re ources, the ELT Con ultant projects and programmes.Resources The Engli�b Language Teaching Resource Centre in Vilnius is wellstocked �1th the best up-to-date books on ELT which teachers canconsult m the ce!1tre or borrow. There is also a wide range ofnew papers and Journal . For teacher out ide Vilniu there arefive branch� of the_library called Outreach Centre , in Kedainiai,Ute�a ManJampole: Pru:ievefys and now, since JuJy 1996 in�rup�da. Th_ese l1_branes borrow collection of books fromVilnm on a shift bas1 , and also have their own permanent stock.Donations of book� can occ�ionaµy be made to department ofschool or �olleges m cases of special need. Additionally, there j son:ie funding to enabJe teachers to attend conferences in theregion. The e co_uld be refre her course , or increasinglyconference on special areas uch a Busines English or Testing.E°:glish Lan�uage Teaching Consultant This UK-appointed specia!ist has a full-time job covering variousaspects of EL T: managmg the projects giving advice andcon_ u_ltancy �o departments or individuals, running Teacher­Tra1rung e' ion '. and o on. The consultant al o writes and editsth� monthly English Language pages in the teachers new paperD1aloga . I am the econd person in the po t and J have nowcompJ_eted 11:Y first year. The previou consultant urvived threeyear in the Job!


These projects support groups of Lithuanian professionals in different areas of expertise, and are the fruit of careful long term planning, in which the British Council responds to clearly articulated needs in Lithuanian Education. They thus represent a more focussed and specific channelling of resources than the o!her two categories. Some projects have already reached complet10n, such as the one supporting Teacher Requalification and the Translation and Interpretation project.

Existing projects are: . • Year 12, concerned with the setting up of a new school leavmgexamination in English,

• Advanced Writing and British Studies, �ot� inv�lvin� thewriting of new courses in these subjects at V1lmus l!mvers1ty,

• the Professional Development Programme, supportmg a groupof 12 experienced teachers from different parts ?f �ithuania whowork as trainers in their regions, and come to V1lmus at monthlyintervals for ongoing development and support.

There are other projects in the pipeline: the aim is always to answer clear needs and achieve sustainability.

Barbara HYDE is ELT Consultant for the British Council in Vilnius.

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Its aim is to encourage, support and promote Lithuanian culture in many ways: in the sciences, education, art - and in various other Forms.

You can make the Foundation stronger by joining it as a member, by making donations and by remembering it in your will.

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Lithuanian Papers - [PDF Document] (38)

From Vilnius with Love

Signe Maria LANDGRENSIPRI (Sweden)

In May this year I visit�d Lithuania to collect material for my?UITent research report enllt1ed The Baltic States -New Participantsm the European �ecurity Debate. Lovely lovely Vilnius! It hasch�ged many of 1ts facades since I was there last - the Old Town isbe1_ng bru�hed up with light ye1low. blue, rosy and green colours. Iamved with the recently opened Lithuanian Airlines' direct fli htfr_om S�ockholm_ and my first encounter turned out to b; aLithu�1an o_ffic1al who was the very best example of a newge�erauon w1th�ut a trac� of any old "Soviet thinking"_ a themewhich kept commg up dunng my trip as a great worry and obstacleto. refonn� and de".elopment in these countries. This youno man with _the lltle _of Third Secr�tary was 23 years old and had I;arned Engh�h on his o�n from v�deos a_nd �usic tapes. (I also met hisopposite : a Russian-speaking tax1-dnver who was 40 and foundth� new life unbearable because he was a fonner state-employedartist and now the new Lithuanian state refused to pay him ... ) In-�' I interviewed over _twenty officials in Vilnius who werestriking!� outspo�en and without exception "Western" in style and outlook! �rrespec�1ve of age. Most of them expressed scepticism asto Russia s capa?1ty to become a "nonnal and democratic" nation _:e veteran MP� the_ Seimas decl�, for example, that "Russia is�dy E�ro-As1an with a Euro-Asian economic system and a ost-S0v1et hentage that will never be overcome."


T�e mare� backwards to a neo-communist totalitarian state ofne1ghbounng Belarus is watched close]y in Lithuania as it getswors� by the day. Through the_ near-union agreement with Belarus,Russia ha_s actually advanced 1ts state border right up to Lithuaniaand Latv1�. !)le buil_d-up of a modern border guard force is adefe�ce pnonty for Lithuania, and the new defence doctrine statesthat, 1� case o� attack fro�. 8:11.Y foreign country, lhe plan is to fightback, Irrespective of possibilities of foreign aid against the attacker .P�ofess?r �ytautas Landsbergis, the once fonnidable fighter forL1th�aman m�ependence and now in opposition in the Seimas hascauuoned agamst a danger, perceived by many in the Baltic S�tes:


namely that the United States may bend to Russian demands and not allow the Baltic nations to join NATO. It would amount to. a shameful repetition of history if �e West should one� agam abandon Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and leave them. behind as a

"grey zone" between Russia and a NATO expandrng o�y to

incorporate the Visegrad nations. Such a move wo�ld �o. �1�pose of all the beautiful words from the OSCE about the mdivis1bility of European security on to the "garbage heap of history", together with many other grand dreams.

Western Europe and the United States should this time stop to

consider a broader aspect, namely that such a grey zone would al�o

endanger Europe and as a matter of fact present a. �ger to �°:ssia, contrary to whatever parts of the latter's polit1c�l or military establishment might think ! Fortunatelr, the Russ1�n _electorateturned out to be perfectly "normal" in spite of all pr�dict1ons of the

opposite, and they voted for democraC'y an� contm�ed �eforms. Maybe the outcome of the Russian. pres1dent1al elec�on� 1s a first signal of a new time to come - a um� o� co-operation mstead of confrontation. Such a development 1s mdeed the most-wanted scenario in Lithuania and a fair answer to all their hard work to consolidate their renewed state!

Signe Maria I.ANDGREN, B.A., M.A. (St�ckholm) is a Senior Researcher with SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute) and is writing her Ph.D. thesi_s for the Stockhc:Zm MilitaryAcademy on a Baltic subject. SIPRI zs a non_-proftt zndepende'!tresearch insitute financed by the Swedish Parlzament and set up zn 1966 to commemorate Sweden's 150 years of unbroken peace. The ;ta.ff rnembers are international and include a'! Australian, Mr Trevor Findlay, who is an expert on Peace-keeping Forces. For more details of SJPRJ research program, and staff. see SIPRI homepage on the Internet:

• Giedrius Plechavifius (acontemporary Lithuanian artistliving in Vilnius), Detail fromsculpture, A Woman's · Figure, 1994, granite, 95 x 45 x 65 cm.


Lithuanian Papers - [PDF Document] (39)

Book Review by Michael BENNETT:

Impressive ScholarshipS .. C.�OWELL, Lithuania Ascending: A Pagan Empirewithm. East-C�ntr�J Europe, 1295-1345. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994

Rowell's. Lithuani� Ascending is an impressive work ofcholars_hip. T_he fruit ?f research stretching back into the 1980s wh�n L1thuaru� langu1sh_ed under the dead weight of the Sovietreglill� the �ook now_achie�es publication in more propitious time f_or Lithuania and L�thuaman studies. The upbeat title is bothliter�JJy and sym�ohcally appropriate, and publication in theprest.1g10u Cambndge Studies in Medieval Life and Thouaht willassure the work the attention it merits in the Anglophone wo�ld.Rowell i?entifies �e late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries asthe crucial phase m the formation of the Lithuanian state. Whilethere has been a teod�ncy to focus on Mindaugas, the Lithuanianwarlord who fought his way to supreme power in Lithuania in the 1230 , embrac�d Christianity and received a crown at the hands ofa papal legate m 1253, or on the reign of Jogaila (Jagiello) in thelate fo�rteenth century who finally brought his people into theCatholic fold and secured the fateful union between Lithuania andPol�d, Rowell's study focuses on the arguably more solid politicalachievements of the first Gedimid princes. The key fiaures are thesons of Pukuye�as, a Lithuanian warlord of the 1280s, mostnotably Vyterus _Grand Duke ' from around 1295, and Gedimina wh? succeeded his brother as 'Grand Duke' around 1315 and ruleduntil around 134 l .

Lithuania �as a land of pea ant farmers whose village Jay underthe protection of a horse-borne warrior cla s. Pukuvera and hisso_ns proved _ rut�less ai:d effec�ive warlords, eliminating rivalpnnces, _draw1�g 1!1to t�eir followmg the be t warriors and creatinga _new L1tbuaruan identity. _The basic �ask was defence and patriotic hi tory acknowledge their succes 10 thwartina the ambitions of the _Order of Te�tonic K�ights :md other predat;ry powers. In thi p�no�, though It wa L1thuarna that was in expansionary mode.�1voma was conquered and Gedimid rule extended ea t and outh10to present-day Belorus ia and Ukraine. Viteb k was under74

Lithuanian control by around 1318, and

Kiev was occupied in 1323, while N ovgorord and Smolensk were

tributary or allied states. The nature of this expansion is a matter of some debate. For rather different reasons Lithuanian and Russian historians have

both tended to emphasise the acquiescence of the Slavs in the

process. The Lithuanians were after all moving into a power-vacuum consequent on the retreat of Tatar power, and through the establishment of a pax Lithuanica brought a measure of security and prosperity to the Slavs of the region. Still, to outsiders, the Lithuanians appeared first and foremost as raiders and conquerors. It was well known at Constantinople in the 1360s

Grand Duke Gediminas, founder of the

Gedimid Dynasty.

From Uthuania 700 Years.

that the Lithuanians were brave . . warriors and-that 'their-ruler surpasses immensely .�11 the Chnstlan

princes of northern Rus' in power and the martial skill of his army' (94).

The success of the early Oedimid was not solel}'. attri�utable to ruthless warlordi m. It was also a matter of mtelhgent and imaginative policy. Row�ll_docume�ts in some detail the kill wit_h which Vytenis and Ged1mmas marupulated the strengths of their position and addre ed ome of the _ weakness_es. The style ?fwarfare of the Lithuanian was weU-su1ted to the mtractable terram in which they lived. Early Gedimid po�er �a ba ed on _respect a well as fear, was nouri hed by the distnbut_1on of the spoil of war,and was consolidated in the growing weight of the grand-ducal office. The Gedimids certainly recogni ed the wealth that could bederived from their command of trade-routes between the Baltic and the Black Sea, and derived great benefit froin their alliance w�th the merchants and the Archbishop of Riga. Above all Vyterus and Gediminas knew the value of diplomacy, exploiting riv_alries ��ng their neighbours and more generally the confessional d1v1de

between the Catholic and Orthodox worlds.


Lithuanian Papers - [PDF Document] (40)

Their ac�evement was quite simply the creation in Lithuania of as�ate which bears comparison with the emergent Christiankrngdoms _ of central-east Europe and Scandinavia. Rowelldocuments � SO?Je detail the development of the grand-ducal office�d the begmnmgs of warriors into the semblance of a landed anstocracy. Though _ lac.king a c�own, G_ediminas was generallystyl�d rex. and �n his seals he 1s acclaimed as Dei gratia anddepicted w�th � diade�: He J?ade use of Italian clerks and Germanmer��ants m his administra�10n_, �d used Latin in djplomacy withfore1on �ov:,, Already sigmf1cant as a trading post and cultcen�e, Viln1�s _began t? take ?D the role and appearance of a small capital. Gedillllnas built as his palace a stout timber fort (not thebnck tower that now bears his name). Unli_ke_ the rule:s of other European peoples, however, the earlyGedmuds rema1_ne� re�ol�tely _ pagan. Amid great fanfare in the �arly ! 32�s G�dimrna mv1ted m a papal mission but hortly afterits arr�val m �1Inus he ent it packing. For the most part be showedmore !Dtere t m the Orthodox Church, working hard to secure theestabl!sh1;11en� of a metropolita� church in Lithuania (and thus e�cles1as°:cal md�pen9enc_e for his Orthodox subjects). RoweU i ath1_s mos! rnterestmg rn his analysis of the pagan religion of theLithuanians, and of the development toward a more centralisedstate-cult under the early Gedimids. Excavations in old Vilniu in th� 1980s revealed, between the foundation of the church built byMu�daugas and the tonework of later medieval cathedral, theou�es of a quare temple constructed by the early Gedimids. Theresilience of paganism in Lithuania is a complex and fascinatino­probl�m. but Rowell's study certainly helps explain both th�adapti_veI_Jes of the traditional religion and the re istibility ofChrist1aruty.

�o�t _basical:1y '. Gediminas was able to have his cake and eat itD1v1s10ns w1 thm Christendom, not only between Catholic and Orthodox, but also competing interests in the Catholic world itself meant �at a pagan power was neither friendle s or i olated. Much""".a! gamed by playing on the _ rival�ies of Pope and Emperor thekine, of Poland an_d the Teutoruc Krughts, the missionaries and theme:chants. _The Lithuanian were able to borrow electively and inth�II own tlme absorbi_n� the technology of war and government from the west but denvrng much too, from the culture of theOrthodox world. Early Gedimid Lithuania remained 'open' for76


busine s, and indeed its generally open-minded app�oach to other relio-ions assi ted its territorial expansion. It was a time when the

Lithuanians or at lea t their Gedimid grand duke , eem co have

had real options. A a people and culture Lithuania eems to have

derived an inner trength from the fact that for mo t o[ the

fourteenth century 'the pagan realm bad the _ chance to avoid an irrevocable decision to join the Christian club m Europe' (288). Rowell is t� be conirratulated for this learned and stimulating study. In prosecuting his �e e�ch _h� has see�gly �a tered a_ polyglotliterature and acquired lingw tic and technical skills _ of a high orde_r. He has u ed bis sources critically but creatively and h1 conclusions deserve re pect. It will be interesting to s�e theu: impact on Lithuanian historiography and pre ent day cli. cuss1ons of identity. In hi preface Rowell alludes to the fact tha� m September 1991 when the Kremlin renounced the Molotow-Ribbentrop pact and relinquished claims to the Baltic states the L�thuanian Academy of Science held an international ymposmm to mark the

anniversary of the death six hundred and fifty years e_arlier . of Grand Duke Gecliro.inas, arguably the founder of the L1thuaru�n state. One would assume that the author wa present, but _Row�ll 1 disappointingly reticent about himself, ho� he came to �s ubJect , the conditions in which he worked, and his own perception of t�e change taking place in present day Lithuania. Tr�e trus monograph is not really the place for anecd�tage �d reflection. The hope is that in the coming year Rowell will wnte more and more expansively on Lithuanian hlstory. Michael BENNETT, B.A.(Liv.), Ph.D.(Lanc.), FRHistS, is Pro­fessor of History at the University of Tasmania.

• A 9th-10th century Lithuanian fortification.- Lithuanian Heritage Magazine.


Lithuanian Papers - [PDF Document] (41)

Book Review by Amanda/. BANKS:

Poverty, Children, Policy B�twee� 1989 �d 1994, the nnm�r of people living in poverty inL1thuarua has mcreased by 26 tunes, according to a UNICEF;�o�t Th; report, Pov�rty, Children and Policy: Responses for a· ng ter. �ture, p_rovides many statistics and graphs showin pov�rty �d1cators m the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) an�Baluc region. �t argues tha!, s�ce 1989, poverty has escalated with the steepestmcreas�.s bem_g m M<?ldova, Bulgaria, Romania, Lithuania, and�:baIJ� (with Latvia and Estonia also having sharp increases).Lithuarua? the percentage of the population in poverty increasedfrom. 1.5% m 1989 to 39.I % . in 1994 with a further 25% in thelow mco�e bracket who, while not considered to be below thepoverty lm�, are unable t� fully participate in social life. It pointsout that there we� appro�ately 75 million NEW poor in the CEEand f�rmer Soviet Union region (excluding Central AsianrSelpub�cs, Kazakhstan, and Former Yugoslavia but includingovema) between 1989 and 1994.

The fi:POrt look:, at ch�ges in welfare during the transition as well� d��ble_policy_ opt:ions. Although the title refers to the welfare°£ c th r�n i_n particular, the report contains many detailed graphso � er. indicators o[ health, well being, and poverty for all agessue as infant and child mortality, fertility, and average wages . It is Re�ional �o.nit?rin& Report No 3 in the 'Central and EasternEurope 10 Tr�s1t:Jon Senes and can be ordered from the UNICEFHeadquarters m Sydney or directly from UNICEJ: International Child Development Centre �onom1c �d. Social Policies Research ProgrammePiazza Sannssima Annunziata, 12 50122 Florence, Italy. Tel.(39 55)2345258. Fax(39 55)244817F�er _statistical infonnation may be ordered from the MethodicalPublishing Centre, Gedimino 29, 2746 Vilnius, Lithuania Amand

1 a J. !JANK� is a PhD student at the Centre for Environ­menta Studies, University of Tasmania.


"Don't Judge a Book by its Cover"

In the early 1980s, new kinds of books started appearing in Lithu­ania, Estonia and in other Russian-occupied regions. On theoutside, they did not differ from other official Soviet publications.They had the replica covers of well-known Soviet books; the firstfew and the final pages were reprints of the same Soviet title, too.Nestled inside this camouflage, however, there were history texts inlocal languages - texts totally banned by Soviet censors.A book circulated in Lithuania purported to be the biography ofMecislovas Gedvilas, a prominent figure in the Communist Party ofLithuania (Lemiamas posukis). After Page 16, however, this bookabruptly switched to Vien11 Vieni (All Alone), a factual account ofthe Lithuanian resistance against the Russian occupation forcesfrom 1944 to mid-1950s. This book by N.E. Siiduvis had beenpreviously published in the West: the German edition was printed inGermany in 1964 (Allein, ganz allein); and a Lithuanian editionsubsequently, in the United States. Because of the strict bookimport controls by the Soviet authorities, neither edition wasaccessible to the ordinary people of Lithuania. Another book dQing the rounds in Estonia had'the cover and thetitle-page of E.Opik's study of the Estonian peasants' socialist struggles against the big landowners. Inside, was something quitedifferent - the chronological history of the Estonian people, by E.Magi, first published in the West, in 1979.These "camouflaged books" were the brainchild of a wealthyUkrainian expatriate. He had desperately searched for a way tosmuggle Western books behind the Iron Curtain, without arousingthe suspicions of the Soviet customs officials. Over the years,hundreds and thousands of his books reached their destinationsfrom a number of despatch points, including Australia. Finally, a Swedish parliamentarian was caught, on enteringEstonia. A Soviet official thought, this visitor had too much"prohibited" weekend reading with him. Soon after, an article fullof venom and accusations appeared in the Estonian paper Kodumaa(Homeland). Maybe books are mightier than swords?Acknowledgments: Estonian Daily (Stockholm), Mrs. Lia Looveer, B.E.M.


Lithuanian Papers - [PDF Document] (42)

What is BA TUN?

BA TUN is a vol�ntary Baltic association with headquarters in New Yor�. Its name ts an abbreviation of Baltic Appeal to the United Nation .

BATU1:'J was founded in 1967 by Baltic-Americans who were ?eterm1�ed t� us� the UN t? support human rights and the rule of mtemat1onaJ law 1� t�e Baltic State . The Baltic i sue was pur ued

th!ough th� Comri:us t�n ?n Human Rights and with the as i tance of �nendly d1plomat17 m1ss1ons. Fonner BATUN activists and tudent mterns now work m the UN mi sions the Latvian Foreio-n Mini try are mem_bers o! the Estonian Parliament, and have servel'on the staff of the L1thuaman Parliament. Long bef?�e 1991, B�TUN organised demon trarion , eminars, and l�tte� wnting .c�mpa1gn for prisoners of con cience. BATUN d1 tnbuted pos1t1on paper chronolooies and news bulletin A the :t-J:SSR :elaxed i�s �rip, BA TUN a;ranged press conferen.ces and 1trneranes !'or d1 s1dents and political leaders in New York and

Geneva. S11�ce th�n, BAT_UN h�s concentrated on troop withdrawal �nd hu1!1an rights issues - mcludmg the plight of national minorities m Russia - and has helped found the Balci� UN A ociation . Each year. BATUN _activists - or Baltic volunteer supported by BATUN - attend se 10!1 _of the UN Human Rights Commission, as well as. the Sub_-Co_�rn1 10n on Prevention of Di crimination andP.rotect1on of M11�or_it1es. BATUN trie t� P:event Russia from using either t�e Comm1 s!on or the Sub-Comm, s1on as a political tool for pressunng th.e B�t,c government . BATUN ha also been active atconferences m V 1enna (I 993) and Copenhagen ( J 995). In J 994 BA TUN ponsored a. Genev� pre· c?nfere�ce on the history and

co� equence of Soviet ethmc clean mg - mcluding Chechen and

Crimean Tatar representative .

BATUN welcomes new members and donations. The address is· UBA/BATUN 15 W 183rd St. Bronx NY 10453 USA.

This t:rticle has bee'! !ponsored by Cox s Pendle Hill Pharmac)(Laune Cox and Knstma Rupsys), 136 Pendle Way, Pendle Hill, NSW, 2145. Tel. (02) 9631 3688. Fax (02) 9896 3347.



Our Thanks

A specialised journal like Lithuanian Papers cannot break even: the readership is small, yet the costs of production and distribution still have to be paid. In spite of such handicaps, this is the tenth year that Lithuanian Papers are appearing in Tasmania.

This uninterrupted publication milestone has been achieved, thanks to the combined help of our advertisers; our contributors who continue writing for us without an honorarium; our unpaid volunteers who help in the production and mailing; and our financial supporters throughout Australia and beyond.

We thank you all for your support in so many ways. We also gratefully acknowledge the following donations received since our last issue: Lithuanian Club Library Bankstown, Lithuanian Community of Brisbane, Tasmania University Union Inc., $250 each; Adelaide Ateitininkai, $236; Anon. (Tas) $195; A.Kramilius, Dr.K.Zdanius, $130 each; The Australian Lithuanian Community of Sydney, $125; M.O'Learey, $105; The Australian Lithuanian Community of Adelaide, ALB Krasto Valdyba, Geelong Lithuanian Association Club, Lithuanian Caritas Inc. (Adelaide), Rev.A.Savickis, Sociali­nes Globos Moteru Draugija Melbourne, $100 each; J.Cyzas, I.M.&A.L.Loder, E.Sidlauskas, $50 each; J.Paskevicius, $40; S.Katinas, $35; Q.King,$30; A.Grikepelis, $26; B.Francas, G.Ka­teiva, J.Kupris, J.Mockunas, V.Navickas, A.Rahdon, A.Reisgys, P.Siauciunas, "Zidinys" (Geelong), J.Zinkus, $20 each; V.Kristen­sen, E.Sidlauskas, $16 each; J.W.Kuncas, $15;L.Dunsdorfs, H.A. Johansons, J.Karosas, $12 each; LG.Bray, A.Budrys, J.Jona­vicius, J.P.Kedys, J.Kniuipys, J.Kojelis, J.Krutulis, A.Luksyte­Meiliuniene, Dr.A.Mauragis, M.Musinskas, V.&J.Rupinskas, $10 each; Anon.(S.A.), B.Siksnius, $6 each; Rev.D.Clarke, $5.

The first part of the eyewitness report "Conscripts for the Soviet Empire" by Algirdas Makarevicius was published in last year's Lithuanian Papers (Volume 9, 1995). The report will be continued in our next issue (Vol.I I, '97).

Lithuanian Papers - [PDF Document] (43)


Yod Nati

BA1 dete1 inter thro1

frien inter are 1


Loni lette di tr USS itine Gen,

and in R

: iJ!!r..1111'�'1,.!:-


BA1 well Prot eith

con. Crin



This (Lai NSV

• Vladas Meskenas, Mother's Sorrow, 1943, pencil.

Lithuanian Papers - [PDF Document] (2024)


Is Lithuanian hard to learn? ›

It is quite difficult to learn the Lithuanian language; however, it is worth learning it if one wants to stay in Lithuania for a longer time. Several institutions organize courses in the Lithuanian language, and most them are in Vilnius.

What does Lithuania struggle with? ›

Lithuania is a democracy in which political rights and civil liberties are generally respected. Chronic problems including corruption and socioeconomic inequality often arouse public dissatisfaction with the government, political parties, and other institutions.

Is Lithuanian a Germanic language? ›

Lithuanian (endonym: lietuvių kalba, pronounced [lʲiəˈtʊvʲuː kɐɫˈbɐ]) is an East Baltic language belonging to the Baltic branch of the Indo-European language family.

What is the gender system in Lithuanian? ›

In the Lithuanian language, people, objects, and adjectives are usually either masculine or feminine, with a few rare exceptions, and the plural pronoun 'they', encompassing the two existing genders in the Lithuanian language, is in the neutral/universal masculine form.

What language is closest to Lithuanian? ›

The language most closely related to Lithuanian is Latvian, spoken by 1,344,000 speakers in Latvia in the early 1980s and about 156,000 abroad, mostly in the United States.

Which language is older Russian or Lithuanian? ›

Linguists are particularly interested in Lithuanian because it is considered to be the oldest surviving Indo-European language. It retains many archaic features, which are believed to have been present in the early stages of the Proto-Indo-European language.

How long does it take to learn Lithuanian? ›

✅ How long does it take to master Lithuanian? In order to learn the communication phrases used by tourists in daily situations a couple days in the language course will suffice. However, if you want to master written and spoken Lithuanian more properly, you should allow one to three years.

Is Finnish or Lithuanian harder? ›

LIthuanian is an Indo-European language just like English, Finnish is not. Thus Finnish is harder to learn.

What are the top 10 hardest languages to learn? ›

The top 10 hardest languages in the world include Mandarin Chinese, Arabic, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Finnish, Hungarian, Icelandic, Georgian, and Navajo. These languages are renowned for their intricate grammar systems, complex writing systems, and significant differences from English.

Will Duolingo add Lithuanian? ›

When will Duolingo add Lithuanian? According to some rumours, there is no solid plan to add Lithuanian to the list.

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