Resistance and Rebellion: Lessons from Eastern Europe

By Roger D. Petersen | Go to book overview

6.
Postwar Lithuania

The Soviet postwar occupation of Lithuania was far different from the prewar occupation.1 First, and perhaps foremost, the Soviets' primary tool in the latter period was out-and-out brutality. There was little of the “hearts and minds” propaganda campaign that accompanied threat and deportation in the earlier period. No doubt four years of savage fighting against the Germans, and the millions of dead produced by it, contributed to the formation and execution of savage pacification policies, especially when these policies were to be applied to a population considered guilty of collaboration.

The Soviet effort in Lithuania, led by General Kruglov, combined the resources of the NKVD, SMERSH (military counterintelligence), and the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The overall strategy included five fundamental

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1
In this chapter, I concentrate mainly on the action at the community level while glossing over the policies of the Soviet regime and the politics among partisan factions. Several articles or short sections of books deal with these elements. One concise piece is V. Stanley Vardys, “The Partisan Movement in Postwar Lithuania, ” Slavic Review 22 (1963): 499–522. Also see Thomas Remeikis, Opposition to Soviet Rule in Lithuania (Chicago: Institute of Lithuanian Studies Press, 1980), chap. 2; also by Remeikis, “The Armed Struggle against the Sovietization of Lithuania after 1944, ” Lituanas 8 (1962): 29–40. Romuald J. Misiunas and Rein Taagerpera, The Baltic States: Years of Dependence, 1940–1980 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983), pp. 81–91, review the partisan war. More-specific aspects of the postwar struggle are discussed by various authors. On collectivization-deportation, see Kestutis Girnius, “The Collectivization of Lithuanian Agriculture, 1944–1950, ” Soviet Studies 40 (1988): 460–478; John Biggart, “The Collectivization of Agriculture in Soviet Lithuania, ” East European Quarterly 9 (1990): 53–75; Julius Slavenas, “Deportations, ” Lituanas 6 (1960): 47–52. On the growth of the Soviet party apparatus and a general review based on mainly Soviet documents available at the time, see Benedict Vytenis Maciuika, “The Baltic States under Soviet Russia: A Case Study in Sovietization” (Ph. D. dissertation, University of Chicago, 1963), especially chap. 3. Finally, to juxtapose the lives of the hunted with those of the hunters, compare the memoirs of one partisan leader, Juozas Daumantas, Fighters for Freedom (New York: Maryland Books, 1975), with the testimony of a former NKVD officer and participant in antipartisan action, Colonel Burlitski, who defected to the West. See U. S. Congress, Hearings: Communist Aggression Investigation, Fourth Interim Report of the Select Committee on Communist Aggression, 82nd Cong., 2nd sess., 1952, beginning on p. 1372.

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Resistance and Rebellion: Lessons from Eastern Europe
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents *
  • Figures and Tables xi
  • Preface xiii
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - Mechanisms and Process 32
  • 3 - Lithuania, 1940–1941 80
  • 4 - Rebellion in an Urban Community: the Role of Leadership and Centralization 134
  • 5 - The German Occupation of Lithuania 153
  • 6 - Postwar Lithuania 170
  • 7 - More Cases, More Comparisons 205
  • 8 - Resistance in the Perestroika Period 236
  • 9 - Fanatics and First Actors 272
  • 10 - Conclusions 296
  • Bibliography 305
  • Index 317
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