Algis Kašėta. Dainava distict. Beginning of armed resistance.

Front moved west through Dzūkija in July of 1944. There were a lot of Red army units all over the land in August Soviet power was organized just in towns and it looked for co-operation. So called "soviet activists" were often immoral, illiterate people.

First of all, occupation power announced the mobilization. Men of 19 - 35 were called to Red army from August 1. Nevertheless, most of such men tried to avoid enlistment offices, so occupants had begun their repressions. Mass searches of cottages and forests were made. Just in 5 days approximately 500 men were sent to military commissariats after such searches in Alytus region only. It was hard to hide from in human cruelty of NKVD troops. Organization of partizans units had begun. First units were organized from men of one or few villages. They stayed in nearby forests and partizans often used to return back home at night. First units were called according to the place they were organized at Later, when small units were united to larger ones, they were named according to pseudonym of their leaders - Rugys, Žaibas etc.

Larger or smaller partizans' units acted already in all Dzūkija regions in autumn of 1944. They were led by men who had acquired more military knowledge non-commissioned officers, warrant officers, former policemen, teachers. There were 27 partizans units with 700-750 fighters registered in Alytus region NKGB department in December. In such documents, some of most active units are mentioned, such as: unit of Jonas Jokubavičius-Rugys, acting in Varėna region, unit of Antanas Kušlys-Vilkas, acting in Simnas region, unit of Vladas Stepulevičius-Daktaras (Mindaugas), acting in Seirijai region, and others.

Partizans activités grew stronger after October, 1944, because large units of NKVD troops left Alytus and near regions right then. Soviet repression structures could not act without help of local betrayers - militia, destroyers, so called "soviet activists". Since they informed against population and robbed, society's anger and freedom fighters resistance was directed against them

first of alll. In fact, partizans fulfilled functions of local power and did not recognize any representatives of occupation power. For example, there were 13 military actions of freedom fighters in Alytus region in October, and NKVD already had registered 30 such actions in November. Larger operations, such as setting free of arrested, attacks of region centres and destruction of occupation officers, took place all over Dzūkija. Some units were larger, 60 to 150 fighters. In such units, military discipline was obligatory, headquarters with organization, reconnaissance, economy and press (propaganda) departments were organized.

Cruel reaction of occupants' troops followed partizans’ attacks. Partizans units often had to fight with larger NKVD army and sometimes they had many losses. Large struggles between partizans and NKVD took place in Lazdijai, Alytus regions in spring of 1945. Especially hard battle took place in Alytus region Kalniškės forest on May 17,1945, where unit of 100 partizans was surrounded by NKVD troops. This battle symbolizes courage and renunciation of Dzūkija partizans during all tragic post-war years.

Juozas Bagušauskas.Youth anti-soviet resistance in Lithuania in 1944-1960.

Anti-soviet resistance in Lithuania arose in 1940, it grew stronger day by day and finally it became a strong political force to defend Lithuania's independence. Youth took an active part in this movement. Underground organizations were the main form of it

At first, youth underground activities were connected with partizans. Members of underground organizations rendered their help to partizans and were ready to join them any time. Young men were sent by partizans to soviet institutions etc. with reconnaissance purposes. Analysis of archive documents and other historic sources shows that youth organizations did a significant work of declaring ideas of Lituania's independence and nation's freedom. Many organizations realized meaning of propaganda in fight for self-dependence of State system and had chosen distribution of underground press and proclamations. Such were organizations "Lietuvos išvadavimo Kauno organizacija" in Kaunas, "Jaunosios Lietuvos būrys" in Telšiai region, "geležinio Vilko pulkas" in Šilutė region, "Jaunoji Lietuva" in Prienai

town, "Laisvę Lietuvai" in Rokiškis region and many others.

Underground organizations considered communist party and its members, Russian colonists, the main cause of all nation's disasters, so there was significant anti-communist view in activities of most of them. They spread agitation between pupils and students not to join komsomol and communist party, expressed their protest against policy of russification in many different ways. Underground youth organizations united people of various social status. That demonstrated that they fought first of all against occupants, but not for "lost property", as it was declared by the same occupants.

From the first steps, underground organizations felt cruel repressions of soviet system. If such organizations were suspected, NKGB used to bring an action, organize spying upon youth, recruit special agency. For example, there were 26 people who served to NKGB in Vilnius university in 1945. In Kaunas Vytautas Didysis university, there were 43 such people. NKGB agents were in every education institution. Special ideology campaigns were organized against resistance members to discredit them before the society.

When armed resistance was over, spiritual resistance of Lithuanian nation to strange compulsory ideology, way of life, still continued. Activity of resistance organizations was a part of fight against occupation, for independence of Lithuania. It had a big influence to keep national identity and to spread hopes of freedom later. Youth organizations continued their fight for freedom.

Nijolė Gaškaitė.What say statistics of partizan war.

It is a question if we could have final statistics data of partizan war in last ten years. It is hard to imagine volume of partizan fights of 1944-1953 till full war history is written, lists of partizans are completed, all killed ones are registered. It is much harder to refute opinion and way of thinking formed during five decades of occupation. Many people of present generation educated in demagogic spirit of soviet pacifism think that armed resistance is something suspicious. Even many post-war intelligents prefered the non-armed forms of resistance, and sometimes it was very acceptable for MGB agents to join their underground organizations.

The best way of fighting is to reach best results with least losses. Purpose of all resistance organizations was the same to restore independent democratic state of Lithuania. Since there were hopes to realize the principles of Atlantic Charter after the war, it seemed to be possible to reach this aim without armed fight.

Nevertheless, partizans units organized in 1944 were armed forces of Lithuania, who demonstrated their resolve to defend Lithuania's independence. Means of this defence depended on occupants reaction to nation's wilL

Partizans fight and terror activities were inspired by much more intensive repressions against population of Lithuania of 1944-1945. Without such a terror of occupants, resistance would have been more moderate and it would have caused less sacrifice. Partizan war was not a form of resistance chosen by some Lithuanian political group, but an indispensable defence of a nation occupied by agressor. Resolute partizans' activity of 1947-1948 had shown that even small nation could resist successfully in partizan war, if occupants would not begin total ethnic "cleansing" and destroy traditional social and moral mode of life. Superiority of military forces is not a fatal factor to destroy nation's resistance in a well-organized partizan war.

If there would not had been mass deportations of 1948-1949, partizan war could last for a very long time. After these deportations partizans' fights as well as occupants repressions diminished. Partizans did not provoke occupants, though actions against freedom fighters were twice more intensive than partizans' activities. In spite of that, occupation power repeated mass deportations in 1951. This deportation meant that partizan war was just a pretext for nation's genocide and colonial policy. Partizans actions were almost over in 1952-1953, but repression structures tried simply to kill all remaining partizans.

For occupants, it was possible to suppress nation's will just by complex repression means: huge superiority of military forces, various methods of provocation (discreditation, spies, chemical specmeans, groups of provocators etc.), ethnical "cleansing", destruction of farmers' economical independence and Christian mentality, ideological lies for new generations and so on. Besides, time was on occupants' side as well as their unseen brutality, demagogy and perfidy.

Juozas Starkauskas.Destroyers.

There are many words describing them in Lithuanian. All these names (stribas, skrebas etc.) are made from Russian "istrebiteli" - destroyers. They were military units with strong criminal intentions. First of all, these units were formed of poor people deluded by communists who declared that the cause of their poverty was the former social system of Lithuania. Besides, service in these units was an easy way to earn by stealing. Anyway, all the destroyers were betrayers of Lithuania in spite of motives why they became soldiers of occupation power.

First units were established in Soviet Union at the beginning of World War II by NKVD order No.00804 of June 25,1941.

On July 24, 1944, LCP(b) passed a decision to organize the units of professional destroyers in Lithuania. These units had to be formed by NKVD and party committees.

There were many difficulties for soviet power in Lithuania: efficient activity of partizans, people's hostility etc. There were enough of various Russian troops, but occupants did not know the land and language, so they had depend on help of local betrayers.

Formation of betrayers' units in Lithuania was over in autumn of 1945. Structure of these units had not changed much, and it remained almost the same till the end of 1954, when destroyers' units were disbanded by the decision of USSR MGB of July 19,1954.

A.Snieckus in his letter to region party secretaries in 1945 said that it was very important to destroy partizans units, to deprive their families of land and property with the help of destroyers. Nevertheless, destroyers were rather tamed by partizans in 1945 (even according to official data, more than 700 destroyers were killed, i.e. every tenth of them; there were some regions, for example, Alytus, where more than a half fo all destroyers were killed). So party leaders had choice and established units of regular occupants troops in all regions after 1946. Destroyers had not demonstrated courage to fight. On the one hand, they had a habit not to risk much, to hide behind the soldiers. On the other hand, their leaders preferred to cooperate with more disciplined soldiers than with craven destroyers who just drank and stole. For example, LSSR MGB dep. minister Počkaj wrote that during 7 months of 1952 destroyers commited 14 crimes and 327 times acted immorally.

There are no data in any documents how many partizans were killed by destroyers during all 10 years. There are just common conclusions that they "furthered to destruction of armed bands" etc. and fragmentary data of some periods - few months, half a year and so on. It is clear that destroyers' deeds are rather inflated in their accounts. Their role in suppression of armed resistance was not as significant as it was described in various writtings of communists. Communists had to praise destroyers to prove that Lithuanian nation itself, its best representatives with sound name "people's defenders" destroyed armed nationalists underground, because according to marxist theory, not armed resistance to occupants, but class struggle took place in Lithuania after World War II.