The opinion of the court was delivered by: DEBEVOISE
This is an action which the United States, acting through the Office of Special Investigations of the Criminal Division of the United States Department of Justice, instituted against defendant Juozas Kungys pursuant to Section 340(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, as amended, 8 U.S.C. § 1451(a), seeking to revoke defendant's citizenship. Jurisdiction is properly asserted under 28 U.S.C. § 1345, 8 U.S.C. § 1421(a) and 8 U.S.C. § 1451(a).
A summary of the government's charges upon which the complaint is based is as follows: During the first two months after the June 1941 German invasion of Lithuania (which the Soviet Union then occupied) defendant organized and led an armed group of civilians which actively assisted the Germans in the arrest and execution of persons who had been government and communist party leaders in the District of Kedainiai during the Soviet occupation. Defendant's armed group assisted the Germans in confining the 2500 Jews of the Kedainiai District in a ghetto and then assisted the Germans in bringing these Jewish citizens to a horse breeding farm. Defendant's armed group under defendant's personal direction joined with German soldiers of Einsatzkommando 3 in bringing the Jewish captives in groups of 200-300 from the farm to a huge pit where the German soldiers and defendant and his group shot and then buried their victims in earth and lime. Thereafter, according to the government's charges, defendant moved to Kaunas where he became manager of a German controlled industrial concern. In 1944 when the Soviet Armies overran the German forces in Lithuania defendant preceded the retreating German army into Germany where he resided until his immigration to the United States in 1948.
The government charges that in the course of applying for entry into the United States and for citizenship, defendant made the following false statements:
a. Defendant swore that he was born on October 4, 1913, and thereby concealed the true date of September 21, 1915.
b. Defendant swore that he was born in Kaunas, Lithuania, and thereby concealed his true place of birth, Reistru, Lithuania.
c. Defendant swore that he resided at Telsiai, Lithuania during the period 1940-1942, and thereby concealed his true place of residence in Kedainiai, Lithuania during the period December 1939 to October 1941.
d. Defendant swore that he was not a criminal when in fact he had participated in the persecution and murder of over 2000 unarmed civilians.
e. Defendant swore that during the five-year period preceeding [sic] January 1947 he had been occupied as a student, dental technician and farm and forestry worker. Defendant thereby concealed his now-claimed employment as a bookkeeper during the period 1942-1944.
f. Defendant represented that he was married to Sofia Kungys nee Anuskeviciute when in fact he was not.
In connection with his visa application defendant presented United States officials with a forged Lithuanian Identity Card dated April 1944 and a false birth record fraudulently obtained from the Vatican representative in Germany.
Based upon the aforementioned application, the United States Consulate at Stuttgart issued defendant on March 4, 1948 Quota Immigration Visa No. 114 pursuant to the provisions of the Immigration Act of 1924, Pub. L. No. 68-139, 43 Stat. 153, as amended.
Defendant entered the United States at New York, New York on April 29, 1948 upon presentation of the aforementioned visa. The defendant was examined by an Immigration Inspector at the Port of Entry to determine his fitness to enter the United States.
On or about May 29, 1948, defendant executed under oath an "Application for Certificate of Arrival and Preliminary Form for a Declaration of Intention" No. 119188 (Form N-300). In said form N-300, defendant misrepresented and concealed the following facts:
a. Defendant swore that his date of birth was October 4, 1913, and thereby concealed his true date of birth, September 21, 1915.
b. Defendant swore that he was born in Kaunas, Lithuania, and thereby concealed his true place of birth, Reistru, Lithuania.
c. Defendant swore he was married to Sofia Kungys nee Anuskeviciute on August 24, 1943 at Kaunas, Lithuania when in fact he was not.
On or about May 11, 1953, defendant executed an "Application to File Petition for Naturalization" No. 92961 and an attached "Statement of Facts for Preparation of Petition" (together comprising Form N-400). In said form defendant misrepresented and concealed the following facts:
a. Defendant swore that he had not given false testimony to obtain benefits under the immigration and naturalization laws when in fact he had given false testimony to the United States Consul at Stuttgart, Germany in order to obtain a visa and to the Immigration and Naturalization Service (hereinafter "INS") in order to obtain entry to the United States and to obtain citizenship.
b. Defendant swore that he had never committed a crime involving moral turpitude when in fact he had participated in the persecution and murder of over 2000 unarmed civilians.
c. Defendant swore that his date of birth was October 4, 1913, and thereby concealed his true date of birth, September 21, 1915.
e. Defendant swore that he was married on August 24, 1943 to Sofia Kungys nee Anuskeviciute in Kaunas, Lithuania when in fact he was not.
On October 23, 1953, at a naturalization examination, defendant reviewed the N-400 and swore the contents were true.
On October 23, 1953, defendant executed under oath at a naturalization examination a "Petition for Naturalization" No. 92961 (Form N-405). In said petition, defendant misrepresented and concealed the following facts:
a. Defendant swore that his date of birth was October 4, 1913 and thereby concealed his true date of birth of September 21, 1915.
b. Defendant swore that he was born in Kaunas, Lithuania and thereby concealed his true place of birth, Reistru, Lithuania.
c. Defendant swore that he was married to Sofia Kungys nee Anuskeviciute on August 24, 1943 in Kaunas, Lithuania when in fact he was not.
On February 3, 1954, the United States District Court at Newark, New Jersey, granted defendant's petition for naturalization and issued to him Certificate of Naturalization No. 7131022.
Pretrial Order pp. 9-12.
Defendant denies that he ever committed any crime and in particular that he participated in any way in the killing of the communist and government leaders and the Jewish population of Kedainiai. According to him in 1939 he commenced employment with the Kedainiai branch of the Lithuanian Bank and boarded at the home of the parents of the woman who later became his wife. In July 1941, before either of the mass killings which form the basis of the government's charges, he left Kedainiai to seek employment in Kaunas. From July until the fall he was employed in a print shop there; from the fall until Christmas he was a seminarian at the Telsiai Seminary; and after Christmas he returned to Kaunas and was employed first in the print shop and then in a small, family owned factory until the summer of 1944 when the Soviet forces again entered Lithuania. He claims to have participated in the work of the anti-German resistance while in Kaunas. He further claims that upon the approach of the Soviet Army, his wife and members of her family fled as refugees to Germany eventually reaching what became a part of the French occupied zone.
Defendant admits that he gave false information during his immigration and naturalization proceedings concerning the date and place of his birth and concerning certain details of his employment during the period of the original Soviet occupation and the German occupation. He asserts that the false information was not material to any of the proceedings and insofar as the date and place of birth is concerned arose out of the necessity of obtaining a false identification card during the German occupation of Kaunas to avoid detection of his underground activities and to avoid mobilization into the German armed forces.
To support its most serious charges the government relies upon deposition testimony of Lithuanian witnesses taken in Vilnius with the cooperation of the Soviet authorities. Defendant contends that this testimony upon which the government relies to connect him to the killings in Kedainiai is false and is the product of a continuing effort of the Soviet Union to safeguard its hold upon the occupied Baltic states by discrediting emigres from those countries with fabricated charges that they committed war crimes during the period of the German occupation.
The charges, defenses and evidential rulings in this case can be understood only in the light of the historical context in which the pertinent events took place.
For centuries Lithuania, like the other Baltic states, has been in the path of conquerors from the east and from the west, see, e.g., Massie, Peter the Great (Alfred A. Knopf 1980); Hatton, Charles XII of Sweden (Weybright and Lalley 1968). Once extending from the Baltic to the Black Sea, Lithuania ceased to exist as a nation altogether in 1795 at the time of the Third Partition of Poland by Russia and Prussia.
At the time of the Russian Revolution in 1917 Lithuania was occupied by Germany. It declared and achieved its independence on February 16, 1918. During the interwar years, according to documents submitted by the government in this case, Lithuania looked primarily to France and England for cultural, political and military resources.
The years 1939-40 marked the extinction once again of independent Lithuania. Nazi Germany, having absorbed Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland after the Munich Pact, occupied Czechoslovakia's principal provinces of Bohemia and Moravia on March 15, 1939. On March 23 Germany seized, without resistance, Lithuania's City of Memel. Preparations then began for the invasion of Poland, scheduled for September 1.
Seeking to avoid fighting simultaneously against major powers on the east and the west, Germany entered into negotiations with the Soviet Union. On August 23, 1939 the German-Soviet Non-Aggression Pact was signed. Discovered after the War in German archives were the secret protocols in which Germany and the Soviet Union divided between them Poland and the Baltic states. At that time Lithuania was allocated to Germany, Latvia and Estonia to the Soviet Union.
Thus secured against the Soviet Union in the east, Germany attacked Poland on September 1, rapidly overcoming the Polish armed forces. On September 17, implementing the secret protocols, the Soviet Union invaded Poland. On September 28 Germany and the Soviet Union executed a German-Soviet Boundary and Friendship Treaty establishing their common frontier in Poland. Another secret protocol added Lithuania to the Soviet Union's share of the seized territory. Later in 1939 the Soviet Union invaded Finland. In June 1940 Lithuania was occupied by and in due course incorporated into the Soviet Union. It's brief period of independence came to an end. Lithuania was a predominantly Roman Catholic country. The political and social reorganization of the nation required to transform it into a Soviet province entailed deportation of political and business leaders, intellectuals and Catholic priests.
Turning to the west, Germany conquered Denmark and Norway. This opened the way to the assault upon the Netherlands, Belgium and France in early May 1940. With the fall of France and the evacuation of the major part of the British Expeditionary Force at Dunkirk by June 4, 1940, only England stood against Germany in the west. After failing to eliminate England's air force and after cancelling plans for the invasion of England, Germany once again turned its attention to the east. It prepared to implement Operation Barbarossa -- the invasion and conquest of the Soviet Union and the territories occupied by it.
The plans for Barbarossa included "special tasks" for the Reichsfuehrer SS, headed by Heinrich Himmler. These "special tasks" were the implementation of Hitler's program for "Jews, communists, criminals and the insane." Proceeding from Nazi Germany's oppression of the Jewish population in Germany and the conquered countries of the west it was decided shortly before the invasion of the Soviet Union that the Jewish population in the east would be totally annihilated.
Overall responsibility for implementation of this "special task" was assigned to the SS's Reich Security Main Office headed by Heydrich. The actual rounding up and killing of the Jewish people was to be accomplished by four Einsatzgruppen, A, B, C and D, which were mobile units equipped with vehicles and weapons. These units were to move as rapidly as possible into the newly occupied territories in the wake of the German army, performing their assigned task as they went.
Einsatzgruppen A, which had 1000 men at its peak, was assigned to Army Group North. Army Group North was to attack through the Baltic states and adjacent areas of the Soviet Union with the ultimate objective of capturing Leningrad. Commander of Einsatzgruppen A was SS Brigadefuehrer (Brigadier General) Stahlecker, author of a report (Exh. G19) which is the source of much of the information concerning the killings in Lithuania.
Each Einsatzgruppen was subdivided into subgroups called Einsatzkommandos which were actually to carry out the killings. At the outset of the invasion Einsatzkommando 1b was to operate in Lithuania. As the German Army moved into Latvia, Einsatzkommando 1b was to follow and responsibility for Lithuanian operations was to be assumed by Einsatzkommando 3 headed by SS Colonel Jager.
The procedures to be followed were worked out in advance of the invasion. For a very brief period after the Einsatzgruppen were able to move into areas secured by the advancing armies, local people were to be incited to attack and kill members of the Jewish population, thus making it appear that the killings arose spontaneously in the occupied territories. Thus Heydrich's instructions to various Einsatzgruppen commanders and others responsible for the extermination program (Exh. G2) read, in part:
I wish to make reference to and bring into recollection the statements which I already made on 17 June in Berlin.
1) No obstacles are to be created for the self purification endeavors of anti-Communist or anti-Jewish circles in the territories to be occupied in the future. On the contrary, they are to be incited and intensified if necessary, and to be directed onto the right track without leaving evidence. This is to be done in such a manner that these local "Self Protection Circles" cannot recall orders or political assurances given to them, at a later time.
Since such a procedure is only possible in the initial stages of the military occupation, because of obvious reasons, the Einsatzgruppen and Einsatzkommandos of the Security Police and the Security Service in cooperation with the military offices, must act as quickly as possible to at least move into the newly occupied areas with an advance detachment, in order to bring about the requirements. Only those members of the Security Police and the Security Service who possess the necessary political flair should be selected as leaders of such advance detachments.
The formation of permanent Self Protection Units with central leadership is to be avoided initially. Appropriate local population pogroms, as outlined above, are to be incited in their place.
After a brief period of killings by local people, the extermination program was to be undertaken by the Einsatzkommando units, aided as needed by such members of the local populace as could be persuaded or forced to assist. In addition communist leaders and others who might be expected to resist the Germans were to be captured and killed.
As the Soviet occupation forces retreated, groups of Lithuanians organized to attack them and to aid in securing self rule once again. Efforts were made to establish a provisional Lithuanian government, efforts which were quickly terminated by the German authorities.
At the outset, at least, many Lithuanians viewed the Germans as liberators from Soviet oppression, a view which facilitated the Germans' plans to use the Lithuanians for their own ends.
Implementation of the "special task" of the Reich Security Main Office is described in the reports filed by the leaders of the Einsatzgruppen and Einsatzkommandos. Those pertaining to Lithuania were identified by the government's expert witness, Dr. Raul Hilberg, and were admitted into evidence. Their authenticity has been clearly established. In cold, bureaucratic language they describe the killing of the major portion of Lithuania's Jewish population. While they constitute evidence that Einsatzkommando 3 used local people during the course of their work, they do not refer specifically to the use of local people at the killings at Kedainiai nor do they implicate the defendant in this case in any way.
Heydrich's July 2, 1941 orders (Exh. G5) summarize the general outline of the procedures being implemented in the occupied territories:
The Reichsfuhrer SS and Chief of the German Police must be continuously informed about all results of deployment of the Security Police and the Security Service.
officials of the Comintern (Communist International) (as well as Communist career politicians overall)
the senior, middle, and radical lower level officials of the Party, the Central Committee, the Regional and District commissars
Jews in Party or state positions
other radical elements (saboteurs, propagandists, partisans, assassins, agitators, etc.
No obstacles are to be placed before the self-purification attempts by anti-Communist or anti-Jewish circles in the areas to be occupied. To the contrary, they are to be promoted without leaving evidence, so that these local "self-defense" circles cannot later lay claims to regulations or political assurances granted to them.
Since such a procedure is only possible during the initial period of a military occupation, for obvious reasons, the Einsatzgruppen of the Security Police and the SD have to make an effort to the furthest extent possible -- in cooperation with the military agencies -- to move into the particular newly occupied areas with all possible dispatch, at least with an advance detachment.
The initial stage of the extermination process in Lithuania during which the Einsatzgruppen sought to incite local groups to attack Jewish citizens is described in what will be referred to in this opinion as the Stahlecker Report (Exh. G19). The report describes particularly the killings in Kaunas, suggesting that there was more difficulty than expected in initiating a pogrom there. There is also reference in general terms to "other parts of Lithuania" where "similar actions took place according to the example set in Kaunas, although on a smaller scale." Nowhere in the Stahlecker Report or in the other reports in evidence in this case is there anything to suggest that local groups in Kedainiai had been persuaded to take action against Jewish inhabitants of the City. According to the Stahlecker Report:
In light of the consideration that the population of the Baltic countries had suffered most heavily under the rule of Bolshevism and Judaism during the period of integration into the USSR, it could be expected that after their liberation of the foreign domination they would eliminate the enemies who were remaining in the country after the retreat of the Red Army. It was the duty of the Security Police to initiate these self-purging efforts and to guide them into the proper channels, so that the goal set for cleaning the area is reached as quickly as possible. It was no less important to establish for the future the firm and demonstrable fact that the liberated population on their own accord had taken the harshest measures against the Bolshevist and Jewish enemy, without any direction from German agencies.
In Lithuania this was accomplished for the first time in Kaunas by using partisans. Suprisingly, at first, it was not easy to initiate a large-scale Jewish pogrom there. The leader of the previously mentioned partisan group, KLIMATIS, who was primarily used here, succeeded in initiating a pogrom as a result of the advice given to him by a small advance detachment deployed by Kaunas, without any visible indication to the outside world of a German order or of any German suggestion. During the course of the first pogrom on the night of 25 June to 26 June more than 1,500 Jews were eliminated by the Lithuanian partisans; several synagogues were burned or otherwise destroyed and a Jewish residential quarter with approximately 60 houses was also burned down. During the following nights, 2,300 Jews were eliminated in the same manner. In other parts of Lithuania similar actions took place according to the example set in Kaunas, although on a smaller scale, extending as well to those Communists who had stayed behind.
By means of instruction given by the Wehrmacht agencies, which understood such activity thoroughly, the self-purging actions progressed without any problems. At the same time it was clear from the beginning that only the first few days of the occupation would provide the opportunity for carrying out pogroms. After the disarming of the partisans the self-purging activities, of necessity, had to cease.
For police protection in the Baltic states the regular police were to be supplemented by auxiliary police who were to be recruited from reliable members of recognized nationalist organizations friendly to Germany and members of former Baltic armies who had not participated in combat against the German Wehrmacht. These auxiliary police were to be selected and used locally and were to assist in the purely police functions of preserving public order in the local area. They were to be identified by armbands and were not to wear uniforms. "For the cleansing of larger rural districts (i.e., killing all Jews in those districts), the auxiliary police may be used only with the advice and consent of a Wehrmacht command post or office." (Exh. G17).
In addition to the search actions, a systematic search for remaining Communist functionaries, Red Army personnel and those persons tainted by their work for Communism was undertaken. In some cases the Self-Protective Forces had already spontaneously taken care of the most notorious Communists.
Large-scale actions were undertaken in the larger cities by all available personnel of the Kommandos and all the Self-Protective Forces, as well as with the support of the German Ordnungspolizei, during the course of which numerous arrests and searches were conducted.
After these priority tasks had been completed in the cities, the mopping-up operation was undertaken in the countryside by small Teilkommandos [partial detachments]. In this task, too, the Self-Protective Forces provided valuable help. On occasion rural Self-Protective Squads transported Communists caught in their area 150 km to deliver them to the Einsatzkommandos.
The daily situation report of August 16, 1941 (Exh. G9) summarized the results of the "Execution Activities" or "special operations" of Einsatzkommando 3 during the period from July 22 to August 3, 1941. A total of 1,592 persons were killed in ten different localities. One of these was Kedainiai where on July 23, 1941 "125 persons (83 Communist Jews, 12 Communist Jewish women, 14 Russian and 15 Lithuanian Communist functionaries, 1 Political Agent) were liquidated."
While the political prisoners were being captured and exterminated Einsatzgruppen A and Einsatzkommando 3 took steps preparatory to the destruction of all of Lithuania's remaining Jewish population since "from the very beginning it was to be expected that pogroms alone would not solve the Jewish problem in the Ostland." (Exh. G19T at 23). During the pogroms instigated during the early stage of the German invasion, according to the Stahlecker Report, 3,800 Jews had been killed in Kaunas and 1,200 had been killed in Lithuania's smaller cities.
It was first necessary to gather all the Jewish residents in each locality in a central place from which they could then be taken in large groups to be killed. The process of assembling these residents is described in a number of the daily situation reports and summaries in the Stahlecker Report. According to the latter document:
Apart from the organization and implementation of executions, the process of creating ghettos in the larger cities was already started during the first few days of operation. This was particularly urgent in Kaunas, since 30,000 Jews lived there among a total population of 152,400. For this reason, after the completion of the first pogroms a Jewish Committee was summoned and informed that the German offices had no reason until now to intervene in the differences between Lithuanians and Jews. A prerequisite for the creation of normal relationships for the time being would be the construction of a Jewish ghetto. When the Jewish Committees raised objections, they were told that there was no other possibility of preventing further pogroms. Forthwith, the Jews immediately declared themselves ready to do everything to re-settle their fellow-Jews with the utmost speed to that part of the City, called Viliampol, designated as a Jewish ghetto. This part of the city is located in the triangle created by the Niemen on one side and a tributary on the other and is connected to Kaunas by only one bridge and is therefore easy to block off.
After the Jewish population had been confined in ghettos, the systematic killings began. The methods used and the results achieved are described in the December 10, 1941 report to Stahlecker from SS Colonel Jager, commandant of Einsatzkommando 3. (Exh. G14A, 14B). He described the procedures as follows:
The goal to make Lithuania "Jew free" could only be attained through the formation of a mobile detachment with specially selected men under the leadership of SS Obersturmfuhrer Hamann who shared my goals completely and who would guarantee the cooperation of the Lithuanian partisans and the existing civil offices.
The carrying-out of such actions is, in the first place, a question of organization. The decision to systematically make each district free of Jews necessitated a thorough preparation of each individual action and knowledge of the existing conditions in the districts in question. The Jews had to be collected in one or in several locations. Based on the numbers [of Jews] a place for the necessary pits had to be found and dug up. The route of the march from the collection point to the pits averaged 4 to 5 km. The Jews were transported to the execution site in groups of 500 and in intervals of at least 2 km. What difficulties and nerve-racking work that had to be accomplished is shown in the following random example:
In Rokiskis, 3,208 people were to be transported 4 1/2 km before they could be liquidated. In order to accomplish this work in 24 hours, 60 of the 80 available Lithuanian partisans had to be detailed for transport duty and perimeter security. The remainder, who had to be repeatedly relieved, carried out the work with my men. Trucks were seldom available for transport. Attempts to escape that happened here and there were prevented entirely by my men and with some danger to their lives. For example, 3 men of the detachment shot down 38 escaping Jews and Communist officials on a forest path near Mariampole. Not one escaped. The marching to and from [the execution site] for the individual actions amounted to ca. 160-200 km. Only through skillful use of time was it possible to carry out up to 5 actions in a week's time and to handle the work that had accumulated in Kaunas so that no bottlenecks occurred in the official functions.
The actions in Kaunas itself, where there were sufficient reasonably well-trained partisans available, were virtually duck shoots compared with the enormous difficulties which were often encountered elsewhere.
Jager's report sets forth chronologically and in meticulous detail the dates when each killing took place, the location of the killing and the precise number of men, women and children killed at each place on each date. There are 20 entries for August, 35 entries for September, 11 entries for October, and 10 entries for November, each entry recording the killing of anywhere from 6 to 9,200 persons.
In all 133,346 men, women and children are reported to have been killed as a result of Einsatzkommando 3's activities during this period, plus 4,000 killed through pogroms and liquidations while Einsatzkommando 1b was responsible for the operation.
On December 10, wrote Jager, "I can state today that the goal to solve the Jewish problem for Lithuania has been attained by EK 3. There are no more Jews in Lithuania except for those working Jews and their families" -- those required in order for the economy to survive: 4,500 in Siauliai, 15,000 in Kaunas, 15,000 in Vilnius. Of Lithuania's 1923 population of approximately 150,000 Jews, only 34,500 remained.
December 10, 1941, the date of Jager's report, was three days after Pearl Harbor, the extension of the War to the Pacific and the commitment of United States armed forces into the conflict in Africa and Europe.
Perhaps coincidentally, in the following month the German reports first reflected signs of organized Lithuanian resistance to German occupation. The January 14, 1942 consolidated daily situation report (Exh. G15) stated:
11) Reports of the Einsatzgruppen and Einsatzkommandos Einsatzgruppen A:
While up to now anti-German propaganda was spread mainly through word of mouth, spreading of rumors, and whispering campaigns, now, for the first time, pamphlets, printed in the Lithuanian language were found in some places in Kaunas with the following contents.
"Appeal to the Inhabitants:
The Germans are fighting for the freedom of nations, they are dying for the rights of the new Europe. We Lithuanians have already fully experienced what this promised freedom means. The German crusaders have betrayed the Lithuanian people. Have we fought for such freedom in the first days of the war and our brothers and partisans have shed their blood? Is that the freedom we possess today? The Lithuanian today is a slave without rights. The Lithuanians have already comprehended this. You partisans, wake up and go forward along with the entire Lithuanian nation.
The Germans began to murder the Jewish citizens by your hand. They have robbed the Jews' possessions. Know for sure partisans, you will end up the same way. You are the tool of the German Crusaders in the murder of innocent Lithuanian citizens. For once we all must all say the following: "It is enough to shed streams of innocent human blood. Today we must announce that we will fight all for one and one for all against the crusaders.
Partisans, choose one of two ways. Stop with the murder of defenseless people or you will fall at the hands of your brothers. We know for sure that the Germans wish the same fate as the Jews on all other ethnic groups. We will not allow that the Lithuanian people are liquidated by your hand, you will be liquidated by your brother. Today we will have the power to fight and win. Know that our eye observes you everywhere, even among your friends.
Judging from the entire manner of expression, this pamphlet is not likely to be of Communist origin, but rather the author is to be found mainly in the ranks of the activists or even among the ranks of the nationalists.
The evidence in this case does not purport to describe the extent of the Lithuanian resistance to the German forces. However, there is evidence concerning elements of the resistance movement which is pertinent here.
The evidence in this case describes two kinds of Lithuanian resistance efforts.
One was the ambiguous conduct of the leaders of the Lithuanian Local Forces established in 1944 with the agreement of the Nazis occupation forces. (Exh. D16). Its role was to fight communist partisans in Lithuania who worked with the Soviet forces advancing from the east. The German SS sought to mobilize this local defense force to fight with the Germans on the eastern front. This the leadership of the Local Forces resisted. Because of this show of independence and the failure of German mobilization attempts, in May 1944 SS Police General Jeckeln called a meeting in Kaunas to which the Local Forces commandant General Plechavicius and chief of staff Colonel Urbonas were invited. Upon arrival they were arrested. In addition 28 other officers were arrested, deported and imprisoned. According to the Lithuanian Encyclopedia extract in evidence (Exh. D16) 3500 of the 10,000 Local Forces members were transported to Germany for forced labor or service in antiaircraft units. Other members of the Local Forces escaped, fleeing into forest areas with their leaders and weapons.
Of more direct pertinence in the present case are the resistance efforts described by Vydaudas Vidiekunas, a 79 year old man whose testimony I found to be convincing and totally credible.
When the Soviet Union invaded Lithuania in June 1940 pursuant to the secret protocols accompanying the September 1939 Boundary and Friendship Treaty, Vidiekunas was a lawyer in Kaunas and a leader of the Lithuanian Christian movement. In July of 1940 Soviet arrests commenced, and on July 11 and 12 a first wave of 1200 Lithuanian "intellectuals" was seized. Vidiekunas was on the list but was not captured because he was not at his office when he was to have been taken into custody. He fled to Germany, returning to Kaunas illegally in June 1942 to find that during the Soviet occupation his family had been deported to Siberia.
Upon his return to Kaunas Vidiekunas became a member of the Lithuanian Front, a resistance group which had started during the Soviet occupation and continued during the German occupation. Ultimately Vidiekunas became a member of the Supreme Committee for the Liberation of Lithuania.
The Lithuanian Front edited an underground newspaper. One of its primary activities through its paper and otherwise was to urge young people not to respond to mobilization orders issued by SS General Jeckeln, head of the police for the Baltic states. These orders were repeated throughout the 1941-1944 period. Members of the underground worked in German controlled industries, in local government offices and in the local Lithuanian police forces. Through these sources the ...