How Art Transformed a City: MaLonNY 2022

Laima Vincė. Ten years ago, two couples met in Jamaica to spend their vacation together. New York-based Lithuanian-born artist Ray Bartkus and his wife, Ina, a fashion designer, flew from New York to Jamaica, while Algirdas Kumža, signatory of Lithuania’s Declaration of Independence, and his wife, Toma, and their two …

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We all Felt Like Kings: The Tale of Kings: The 16th Lithuanian Dance Festival in Philadelphia

Laima Vincė. My first Lithuanian folk dance festival – as veterans of Lithuanian folk dance festivals like to say – took place in Cleveland in 1984. I danced with “Liepsna” from Elizabeth, New Jersey. We’d dance in the church hall, just like all over the United States and Canada, young …

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COMMENTARY. How Putin’s War Can Bring Soviet Reckoning

Sandy Baksys. Sometimes the buried war crimes of the past and the brazen crimes of the present vibrate at the same emotional frequency. This was clearly the case at a recent World War II “Victory Day” incident in a Soviet military cemetery in Warsaw. Online videos showed the Russian ambassador …

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The Case for Unconventional Thinking

Victor Nakas. When George H.W. Bush assumed the presidency in January 1989, he directed his team to propose a creative new strategic approach to dealing with a U.S.S.R. that was becoming less repressive and more amenable. His national security adviser called the results disappointing. Though Bush deserves credit for engineering …

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There is no alternative: We must win A conversation with Jonas Ohman

Jonas Ohman is a legendary figure in Lithuania. Born and raised a Swede, he first arrived in Lithuania in the early 1990s as a student. Then he knew nothing about the country except that it was occupied by the Soviet Union. He was impressed with how ordinary Lithuanians faced down …

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An Immigrants’ Grandson Remembers: Life and Death in a Pennsylvania Coal ‘Patch

Reminiscences of Bernard Terway about his youth from 1940-1959 in Seltzer City, Pennsylvania, composed by Sandy Baksys. In June 1940, when I was just five weeks old, my father Joseph Tirva, 45, was buried alive in an accident in a “bootleg” coal mine. Dad’s so-called “coal hole” couldn’t have been …

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To Ukraine: A Lithuanian Volunteer

Linas Jegelevičius. The current invasion of Ukraine shook Richard, a 30-year-old Lithuanian, to the core of his being. Emboldened by the bravery of Kyiv’s defenders, he resolved to join the Ukrainian military forces in their struggle against the invading Russian army. “Richard” is a pseudonym; he asked not to be …

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The Parallels of Dita

Živilė Gimbutas. This memoir opens with a stroll along Freedom Avenue in Kaunas during the author’s childhood, around 1938, and a return to the bustling city center in recent times, around 2000. Turning on Daukantas Street, Dita and her mother pass Swans Pharmacy and come to the garden of the …

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Mission Accomplished, Almost. THE LITHUANIAN-AMERICAN HERITAGE MAP

“Destination Lithuanian America,” the five-year-long heritage mapping project, is coming to a close. This January, project director Augustinas Žemaitis added his last 100 discovered heritage sites to the 750-site compendium. The map covers Lithuanian-American churches, cemeteries, clubs, monuments, museums, and locations otherwise falling under the rubric of “Lithuanian heritage.” It …

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A Life of Devotion: Brother Vincent Žvingilas

By Kendall Svengalis. LITHUANIAN HERITAGE September / October 2021 Over the course of its 112-year existence, Draugas (The Friend), the Chicago-based Lithuanian-Catholic newspaper, has bene ted from the contributions and tireless efforts of several hundreds of editors, writers, and staff members. Beginning in 1918, its operations, both administrative and editorial, …

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