How a Lithuanian-American Son Lost in World War II Unites Multiple Generations of His Family.

Two Brothers Went to War, Only One Came Home Neither Is Forgotten Sandy Baksys. Some 80 years ago, Julius and George Sneckus went to fight for their parents’ adopted homeland in World War II. The only children of first-wave Lithuanian immigrants Petronele (Nellie) Matukaite and Jurgis (George) Charles Snieckus, the …

Read More »

Pains and Rewards along the Path to Freedom

Victor Nakas. In a verdant village grew three sons Three sons – solid oaks Off they went to defend us against the enemy Sacrificing bravely for our homeland One died at Radviliškis, a second at Širvintos A third on the amber seashore. This is an excerpt from a mournful Lithuanian …

Read More »

Emanuelis Zingeris. An Eyewitness Recalls – 31 Years of Independence and Counting

Linas Jegelevičius. Statesman Emanuelis Zingeris, a signatory of the March 11, 1990 Act of the Restoration of Lithuania’s Independence, is serving his seventh term as a Member of Parliament, the Seimas. Zingeris is also vice-chairman of the Human Rights and Legal Affairs Committee in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council …

Read More »

Thirty Years Ago, Lithuania Faced Its Moment of Truth

Victor Nakas. Imagine a world in which your local university offers a course in modern Lithuanian history. Of course you’ve enrolled and now it’s time for your final exam.  Your first essay question reads “What were the five most important milestones in 20th century Lithuanian history? Why?” How would you …

Read More »

WHEN THE MOUSE REALLY ROARED. Remembering the 30th anniversary of the beginning of the end of the USSR

Victor Nakas. Walk to the White House As we approached the northwest gate of the White House, we expected that our Lincoln sedan would just drive through. Instead, the guards told us to get out and walk through the pedestrian entrance. There they checked our IDs and riffled through the …

Read More »

Vilnius Dispute Brother Against Brother

By Miltiades Varvounis. After the last partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1795, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was annexed by the Russian Empire. However, the Lithuanian national revival emerged during the late 19th century and the movement to establish an independent nation-state intensified during the early 20th century. During …

Read More »

AN INTERVIEW WITH President Valdas Adamkus

National Lithuanian American Hall of Fame 2017 inductees: U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, Stanley Balzekas Jr., former president of Lithuania, Valdas Adamkus and Juozas Kazickas (posthumously) represented by his daughter, Jurate Kazickas.

Our Draugas corres­pondent, Vitalius Zai­kaus­kas, met up with President Adamkus in Lithuania and engaged him in a candid conversation about his legacy, the future of Lithuania, and its ongoing struggles. President, we meet again after some two years. Presently we are commemorating Lithuania’s Independence Day this month. Do you have …

Read More »

BATUN – BALTIC COOPERATION IN EXILE. How Baltic Americans banded together to stir the conscience of the United Nations

BATUN’s 20th anniversary celebration at the UN in New York. Gintė Damušis is in the second row, 7th from the left.

Sirje Okas Ainso. We, Baltic Americans, victims of World War II and its aftermath, were steadfast in our resolve that one day we will be able to return to a free Estonia, Latvia or Lithuania – lands that the Soviet Union so ruthlessly occupied. We wanted to find a way …

Read More »

The Hippie Movement in Lithuania – Forerunners

Dress rehearsal for the rock opera “Jesus Christ SuperStar” before its premiere on Christmas Day, 1971, in Vilnius.

by Skaistė Plaušinytė. The largest and most significant youth movement in Lithuania during the Soviet period was that of the hippies. This movement, which started in the West at the beginning of the 1960s (in the U.S., Great Britain and Western Europe), reached the Soviet Union as well. The hippies seemed …

Read More »

A Gift from the Heart – The American Lithuanian Liberty Bell

An appeal from the Lithuanian Liberty Bell Committee. Patrons contributing five dollars or more received a bronze medal replica of the bell. The center photograph shows Lithuania and Columbia flanking the newly cast Lithuanian Liberty Bell.

Dr. Stasys Bačkaitis. The world sighed a sigh of relief when the horrors of the 1914-1918 war drew to a close. It was identified by the misnomer “Great” and only later given a number when the subsequent War outdid the previous one. The Lithuanian people, like other oppressed peoples, rightfully assumed …

Read More »