1944m KALĖDOS: Stribai Dzūkijoje (Soviet Destruction Battalions in Lithuania) ENGLISH SUBTITLES

1944m KALĖDOS: Stribai Dzūkijoje (Soviet Destruction Battalions in Lithuania) ENGLISH SUBTITLES

So, there, son, when they burned down the village Klepociai it was Christmas Eve It was on Sunday – the 1st day As for me, there were four farmsteads here, they were burned on the 2nd day of Christmas They came out of the forest, they’ve burned down Baliai’ farmstead over there – where my daughter now lives, in that village They were also shooting at people there – but only wounded them When they came out of the forest, just downhill from my place, those farmsteads are called Duburys village while mine – Forma village, My husband went out to feed the horses and heard that the dogs were barking in Duburys But what could we know – it could have been the Forrest brothers And so they came here But the evening before we had a visit from Ceplikas, now deceased He came in and said to my husband Julius: – Julius, let’s go somewhere! All young men from our village have already fled, only we two have stayed behind – But where could we go? – Julius replied. – We really should go, – said Ceplikas. – Now they’ve come from Klepociai via Galintenai So, we should go the other way Because if they’ll attack us anywhere – they’ll shoot us anyway. – Well, maybe it would work out, – my husband said. – Those Soviets might also burn houses, – Ceplikas added. My husband answered: – If they’ll burn our farmsteads on the 2nd day of Christmas – how would we live then?! Then it’s better if they’d shot us down! Then I started crying together with my son who was less than 2 years old then My daughter was just 13 years old back then And so he said: “what is there to do… I won’t go anywhere, I’ll stay at home I have never joined any political party, I am just a plain farmer, worker What could those Soviets have against me?! I’ve only served the term in compulsory enlistment when I had to and that’s it. He was 45 years old then. After that conversation we went to sleep The next morning he went to feed the horses and heard that the dogs were barking at Duburys What could we know then… When the dawn broke, his parents started preparing to go to church Husband told me that I could to with our girl too and he will watch over our son at home On the 2nd day of Christmas the church holds St Stephen’s indulgence The parents were already about to leave when our dog started barking and we saw a band of Soviet army approaching When the Soviets came in my husband was lying on the bed, playing with our child Those Soviets searched through all corners here, all cupboards They opened mine and mother’s chests They stole whatever things they liked for themselves and left In the meantime in the room where my husband was they were interrogating him They were accusing him that he’s plays a thug at nights Husband said: “How could I be a thug, I have two old parents, two small children” “Why would I act like a thug when I have my own cows, food, why would I rob?” “I’m not young, I’m already 45 years old” Then that flock left but a new flock of Soviets came in and it started all over again Then a third flock of Soviets came in and they ordered my husband to dress up they arrested him and they were going to take him away towards Alytus But before to their headquarters in Nemunaitis village Good god, I told I needed to give my husband some food to take with him The soviets said: “Sure, give it!” I took a sack and put some pie, some meat – it was Christmas after all I put all that I could into that sack and then they led my husband away But they only took him as far as the granary which was next to the house They were beating him so brutally there that he was screeching Good god, I couldn’t bear to listen to it But they blocked me exit from the house with their riffles and they didn’t let me, my girl or husband’s parents out The sound was unbearable, we could hear the rumbling of their punches, kicks They were beating him as if he was just some piece of wood After they finished beating him, one tall Soviet came into the house He said something but I don’t understand Russian My father translated it to me “In five minutes the house has to be burned down and the people shot down” The flock of Soviets dispersed around The broke the windows The mattresses were all made of straw back then, they tore it out They lit it up in the middle of the house, the fire quickly engulfed the roof they pushed me out of the house together with husband’s parents and children As I walked along the corridor (old houses used to be two-sided) I thought I should at least grab some roll of linen I couldn’t just leave as I stand, without any food, clothes, anything… I carried my son out to the yard and rushed back into the house Son was shouting: “Mommy, mommy!” as I ran back to the house I grabbed as much as I could carry two rolls of linen One of them rolled out as I walked and I tripped on it I couldn’t do anything else, my shawl and blouse caught on fire I threw the shawl off and fled to the yard with my hair burning I extinguished it with the snow and I saw a Russian standing there He was holding my child My child wanted to run to the fire towards me As I stood in the yard, I thought to myself: “God, if only I had thrown the linen further away!” Linen had caught fire from the house and burned down… Then I pondered on where could my husband be As they were taking him away from the granary, I watched through the window His face was all bloody, not even the eyes were visible He waved us with his hand but the soviets punched him and took to the barn I still saw him as he was being taken to the barn But I don’t know what was happening with him after that My daughter told me: “Mommy, the barn is on fire!” The barn… everything else was already on fire too: the stables, the granary Nothing could be seen through the smoke, the house was on fire too And I thought to myself: “God, where could my husband be?…” I ran onto the hill which is just beyond Bukliai with my boy I was hoping to see him being led by Soviets somewhere – he was in civil clothes I couldn’t see him anywhere, there was a cold mist around All I saw around were Soviets in army clothes Then I went back and saw the apples trees that were next to the granary burning too All roofs had already collapsed from the fire when two more Soviets rode in There was still a lot of Soviet army flocks around The two who rode in on horses ordered the others: “Only arrest the men if you find any but don’t burn any more houses” If those two hadn’t come, the soldiers would have burned many more houses By then the soldiers had already thrown one of our neighbours into fire they shot down neighbour Maslauskas but Bagdonaviciai weren’t at home then Ceplikas’ son ran back home when he heard that his father was being beaten Soviets threw him into fire but he was young and hadn’t been beaten much so, he managed to run out of the fire and soviets shot him down as he was running While my husband was already beaten hard, all bloody Soviets led him into the barn, closed the doors – how could he run away? He may have still been conscious: the roof of the chamber where chaff are kept is a bit lower and I found his burned down body pressed right to the wall of that chamber Maybe he was still trying to get out, god knows… If they had shot him after throwing him into the granary But they didn’t shoot him, there was no mark of a bullet on his corpse His arms and shins had burned to coal he had been wearing a rough jacket, a sweater, long fur coat Oops! My button has just come off So, I think it’s because of that charred fabric that his chest didn’t burst Because for the other people who were also burned down the heart, the lungs had all fallen out from the chests But my husband spine was all intact, his eyes had burned down completely, his nose too whereas his trunk was intact So, I was still searching for him then, carrying my son with me and I was thinking to myself: “God, where could he be? Where could I find him dead or alive? Men die but the farmsteads, the animals stay behind But for me there was nothing left – neither a farmstead & any animals, nor husband Just too small children and two old parents of my husband – where to go without a home? I thought to myself: when the irrigation system was made a large pond was dug out by the apple trees So, I took my boy and went to that pond to drown myself What else could I do? No clothes, no place to sleep, not even a mouthful of bread was left… Absolutely nothing was left I thought there’s was nothing else I could do, I had to kill myself I ran to that pond and was about to jump in but when my son saw the water, he started kissing me: “Mommy, I’m afraid of water!” I took a step back and started thinking: “Yes, I can kill myself and my boy” “but then my daughter will be alone” – I didn’t know where she was then, the smoke was so thick She was walking around, shouting “Mommy, mommy!” but I didn’t hear it then So, I thought to myself: “God, what should I do?” I felt sorry for my boy – I would kill myself but I would have to kill him too I felt sorry for him, he was asking me so nicely… So, I crossed myself and stepped aside from that pond Then I finally heard my daughter calling me, so, I called out too We went towards each other through that smoke, I hugged her And I told my children: “What are we going to do now…” “The birds can fly under the rooftops for a shelter whereas we have nothing for the winter” “Just the white snow around… Where will we live? What shall we do?” No money, nothing.. We were left as we stood with those children Son, they say when a person gets ill or becomes infected with some disease – all of it comes from god’s will How was I not to lose my mind back then? I wonder about this myself How could I live? How could I bring up my children? What was I to do? My neighbours came, they took the charred corpse of my husband, wrapped it into a cloth They took it to my neighbour’s home, I went there together with my children too My husband was lying there and I said to him: “Our dear father! My dear husband! You are lying here in peace now” “who knows where your soul is now but what am I to do, where will I find a shelter?” “But will I do, I’m left on the white snow as I stand” “Where will I get any help? How will I live?” The Soviet Russians had finally left My neighbour made three coffins, put the corpses there and took them to Nemunaitis village where we buried them There was still some Soviet soldiers there but already not many – only some around their headquarters I came back from the cemetery and where was I to go then? Where to go? Where to sleep? My boy started asking nicely: “Mommy, I want some milk…” I saw a cow which had had a calf just two weeks ago her calf had burned down but she had somehow managed to escape I went to her but I didn’t even have any box or any vessel everything around had burned down to ashes I milked some milk onto my palm and gave it to my boy to drink then he stopped crying I took him to my neighbour’s place and my son fell asleep, he was so tired So, there, son, that’s what my fortune and my life has been And it all had to be lived through

5 Comments on "1944m KALĖDOS: Stribai Dzūkijoje (Soviet Destruction Battalions in Lithuania) ENGLISH SUBTITLES"

  1. Can you give me more information about this video? Who produced it? Are you in Lithuania? Do you speak English?

    One of the names mentioned in the video was my grandfather's family. I would like to know more.


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