Director: Arūnas Bubnys
Tel. + 370 5 266 1521
The department consists of two branches: the Historical Research Programmes, and Indices of Archival Proper Names
The Branch of Historical Research Programmes
This branch implements research programmes, prepares historical and archival certificates, gives consultations in its research fields to other state institutions, prepares the research journal Genocidas ir rezistencija for publication, edits publications on the genocide and the resistance to the occupying regimes, and holds conferences and seminars on issues of the genocide and resistance.
The Branch of Indices of Archival Proper Names
This branch works in several areas: it prepares indices of names of genocide victims, makes catalogues of the names of the genocide’s organisers and perpetrators, genocide victims and participants in the resistance. It also prepares a computer database for the Lithuanian Extraordinary Archive and gives information about resistance participants whose names are to be immortalised, former KGB workers, political prisoners and deportees.
Continuous programmes of the Genocide and Resistance Research Department
History of the Resistance
Every state which has been a victim of aggression generalises and immortalises the experience of the resistance to the occupying force. In the history of Lithuania, civic resistance or disobedience to the occupying regimes and non-cooperation were combined with other forms of action, first of all with armed resistance. From 1944 to 1953, about 100,000 people, or 4 per cent of the population, participated actively in the armed resistance. The main objective of the research in this programme is the anti-Soviet resistance in Lithuania. In order to show the history of the armed resistance of the people, actual events in this history, forms and methods of the resistance, are analysed. The peculiarities of the Lithuanian resistance are highlighted, and studies about the history of the resistance are written.
The aim of this programme is to make an atlas of the military bodies and the actions of the armed resistance in the partisan districts between 1944 and 1965. On the map, the 1945 boundaries between regions, districts, cities and towns and market towns, as well as other more important places, will be marked; a network of bodies of water and forests with names; the boundaries of the partisan districts (1949); battles between the Soviet military repressive institutions and partisan military units (with no fewer than three recorded deaths among the partisans) between 1944 and 1953; and the sites of killings, deaths, bunkers, memorial places and monuments.
Descriptions of the battles which took place in the partisan districts of Dainava (150 descriptions), Tauras (101), Didžioji Kova (72), Kęstutis (107) and Žemaičiai (84) have been made.
Research into the Holocaust has been going on in Lithuania for about a decade. Nevertheless, some questions have not been answered. They include: Why is the percentage of Lithuanian Jews killed, compared with other European countries, the largest (on the other hand, the number of victims must be made more accurate)? Why was the killing of Jews so hurried in August and September 1941? It is important to establish the number of Lithuanians who participated in anti-Jewish actions, their social status and education. It is necessary to identify the motives of those who killed Jews and of those whose saved them. In order to answer these questions, it is necessary to conduct comparative regional research into the Holocaust. Only research like this will be able to show the role which local military formations and state institutions played in the “preliminary” work done before the killings, and how this process was influenced and/or coordinated by the occupying Nazi authorities.
The liberation of Lithuania
The wave of Lithuanian political refugees, which spread across the West after the Second World War, augmented the ranks of old émigrés. They formed various organisations, and the most important sphere of their political activities became Lithuania’s liberation. In order to research into this sphere, the following main émigré organisations have been chosen: the American Lithuanian Council (ALT), the Chief Committee for Lithuania’s Liberation (VLIK), the Lithuanian Freedom Committee (LLK), and the World Lithuanian Community (PLB). The research shows the contribution of all these organisations to the cause of Lithuania’s liberation. The tactics of their political activities is being investigated, and the efforts to unite their work and common steps taken together with émigrés from the other Baltic states occupied by the Soviets to liberate their countries are shown.
The KGB in Lithuania
One of the main pillars of the communist regime was the KGB. The implementation of its functions depended upon communist ideology and the domestic and foreign policies of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. The activities of the KGB, together with other parts of the totalitarian system, had to ensure the power of one party and the domination of its ideology. By persecuting the champions of Lithuania’s statehood and the opponents to the Soviet regime and communist ideology, the KGB aimed to prevent the reestablishment of the Lithuanian state and to implement a policy of non-recognition of Lithuania’s annexation.
The research programme must help to answer the question how reliable KGB documents are. It should also disclose the main traits of the activities of the KGB, the principles and ways of political surveillance, the formation of the image of the enemy, the use of discrediting and misinformation, peculiarities of obligatory psychiatric treatment, and others. The research carried out will facilitate the analysis of the activities of the KGB in Lithuania and the effect of the measures employed by the KGB and the influence of its legacy on society. This research programme will be carried out from 2005 to 2010.
The Sovietisation of cultural life in Lithuania between 1940 and 1990 and its aftermath
In discussing the cultural policy carried out by the Soviet regime in Lithuania, the concept of spiritual, or cultural, genocide is often applied. The concept of cultural genocide means the efforts to annihilate completely the cultural heritage of a certain group of people. The Soviets, however, in order to achieve their aim, which was to create a new type of people, “homo sovieticus”, did more than destroy. Their efforts can be more precisely defined as changing and falsifying the cultural heritage, and instilling new content into parts of the old cultural meaning and ways of thinking and creating. This process may have added to the appearance of the phenomenon of Soviet society. Therefore, it was undoubtedly one of the most important parts of the new history of Lithuania.
In carrying out the research envisioned in this programme, attempts are made to disclose the process of the formation of Soviet culture and the mentality in Lithuania, and to highlight the specifics of this process. The task of the programme is not only to investigate the mechanisms of Sovietisation employed by the regime, the tools for ideological indoctrination and the means of the control of cultural life, but also to establish their effect on society, and the aftermath of Soviet deformations, which are still being felt. It will allow for a better understanding of the reasons for some social problems today and their influence on the state of cultural creativity.