Tag Archives: BAKSYS-S

“Thug Rose”: Lithuanian America’s Ultimate Fighter. A Film Review

Sandy Baksys. Just as we might expect of a biopic about a female champion in the sport of “ultimate” fighting, the new documentary, “Thug Rose: Mixed Martial Artist,” by veteran Lithuanian-American filmmaker Marius Markevičius, can be described as the ultimate sports psychology film. Whereas Markevičius’ Lithuanian basketball documentary, “The Other …

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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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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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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 …

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I Gave Half of My U.S. Stimulus Check to Help Lithuania Fight COVID-19 – And You Can, Too!

Sandy Baksys. As of this writing, Lithuania has more than 800 coronavirus cases. And like every other country in the world, Lithuania has widespread shortages of crucial medical supplies. Most of its businesses are shuttered, just like ours – and most of its population is at home instead of work. …

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Lithuania’s Children from At-Risk Families, Elderly Suffer from Quarantine

BNS with additional reporting from Sandra Baksys. Children from at-risk families and elderly shut-ins at high risk of coronavirus have become even more vulnerable since the start of Lithuania’s COVID-19 quarantine. And despite this increasing need, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) providing assistance are facing worsening shortages of both funds and volunteers. …

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They came from Vilnius. Digging for Hidden Treasure Finding Lithuanian markers across America

A meeting with local contacts (from l.) Aistė Žemaitienė, Stephen Kwedar, M.D., Susan Eby, Mary Ann Rackauskas, D.D.S., Rick Dunham, Augustinas Žemaitis, Gražina Macius, Sheila Mack, Maureen (Mack) Mueller. Photo by Sandra Baksys

Sandra Baksys. After 25 days and 4,500 miles criss-crossing the Midwest, following upon the heels of a similar expedition on the East Coast last year, Augustinas Žemaitis and Aistė Žemaitienė, both of Vilnius, Lithuania, have visited more Lithuanian-American heritage sites than anyone else in the world. This year’s “Destination Lithuanian …

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Ashes in the Snow

Actors Bel Powley as Lina Vilkas and Jonah Hauer-King as Andrius Aras in Ashes in the Snow.

Sandra Baksys. The “biggest Lithuanian movie of all time” is set for worldwide release October 12, 2018.  Filmed in accented English and some Russian with subtitles, Ashes in the Snow will tell the world the little-known story of the U.S.S.R.’s deportations of tens of thousands of innocent Lithuanians to their …

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We Thought We’d Be Back Soon: 18 Stories of Refugees 1940-44 Selected and Edited by Dalia Stake Anysas, Dalia Cidzikaitė, and ALaima Petrauskas Vanderstoep

We Thought We’d be Back Soon book signing at the Lithuanian World Center in Lemont, Illinois. The book’s editors (from left) Dalia Cidzikaitė, Laima Petrauskas Vanderstoep and Dalia Stake Anysas meet with enthusiastic readers.

Sandra Baksys. As traumatized survivors of three invasions of their homeland (Soviets in 1940, Nazis in 1941, and Soviets, again, in 1944), members of Lithuania’s “DP” generation were famously tight-lipped about their World War II refugee experiences. Until my father Vince was in his 70s and 80s, I learned few …

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Fighting Fake News, Twisted History & Cyber Trolls: The 24/7 Lithuanian Life of Linas Johansonas

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Sandy Baksys. If his voice is a little ragged and his words come out rapid-fire, that’s because Linas Johansonas, 57, is simultaneously living two very full “Lithuanian lives.” His first life is grounded in Cleveland, Ohio’s 18,000 square-foot Lithuanian Community Center, where Johansonas assists Rūta Degutis, president of the Lithuanian …

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