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Vol. 1 September 1998 No. 8
Editor: Bernard Tiva
Layout/Design: Rick Gostautas

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. Mushrooms
2. Introduction to "The History of the Lithuanian Language" by Dr. Zigma Zinkevicius
3. Changes at A.P.P.L.E.
4. What Happened to Lakewood Park?
5. Never to young to be a Hero or Heroine

6. RFE/RL Newsline : Divided on Security
7. Lithuania Finds Maintaining Exchange Rate Increasingly Difficult
8. Peace Ride Welcomes San Francisco
9. Lithuania forms Soviet, Nazi War Crimes Commission

LITHUANIANS HELPING LITHUANIANS

Please take time to look through the charitable organizations that are listed. There are also Lithuanians in business for themselves with products that may be of use to you. Also listed are publications about Lithuania in English and Lithuanian with addresses, phone numbers, subscription rates.


1. Mushrooms

While searching for clipart of a "grybas", I found this page about mushrooms. It was titled "Polish Mushrooms" and started with an excerpt from a poem. I thought I would put this in here because the poet was Lithuanian, the poem excerpt was about Lithuania, but somehow got turned into Polish.

"Mushrooms abounded-round the fair damsels the young men did throng; Or vixens, as they're hailed in Lithuanian song. They symbolize maidenhood, their flesh no maggot bites And no insect thereon ever even alights. The slender bolete maidens pursued instead, That colonel of mushrooms as it's commonly said, But all hunt for milky caps which, though not very tall And largely unsung, are the tastiest of all!"

The above passage comes from the epic Pan Tadeusz by the great 19th century romantic poet, Adam Mickiewicz, and is one of many literary portrayals of Lithuanian mushroom lore and legend. It is no wonder, for a certain magic has always surrounded grybai in this heavily forested country.

Historically speaking, culinary lifestyles had run largely along economic and class lines. Whereas the nobility feasted on choice meats, rich cakes, and imported wines, the peasantry had to make do with groats, dumpling, cabbage and course breads. Mushrooms were the great equalizer. They held a place of honor on the banquet tables of royalty, but were equally at home in the peasant cottage. they were there for the picking and after a good warm rain, carpeted the forest floor and sprouted abundantly in meadows and at waysides.

To this day mushroom picking remains a national pastime. In a good season, when the weather is right, a family can gather enough for the entire year. what isn^“t used at once is canned, brine-cured, pickled, or dried for the months ahead. Fresh mushrooms are delicious in soups and stews as well as scrambled eggs, and dried mushrooms are in a class by themselves. They greatly enhance the flavor in soups, gravies, and sauerkraut dishes. Both fresh, wild and domestic, cultivated mushrooms as well as the reconstituted dry variety are often a meal in themselves, usually sautťed in butter or simmered in sour cream.

The statement that mushrooms are all flavor and no nutrition or that they are non-fattening and therefore a perfect diet food is only partially true. Nutritionally they are low in protein, but the contain plenty of vitamin PP, provitamin D, minerals (notably zinc and copper), some B vitamins, and glycogen, a substance that promotes the body^“s natural functions. They indeed have very few calories and someone who ate nothing but boiled mushrooms would certainly lose weight. But the butter, cream, and other such embellishments with which they are often prepared definitely undermine their low-calorie status.


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What follows has been circulating on the net - it was on Lek-L, Balt-L, Rootsweb-L and I thought I would include it here for those of you who did not get to read it. A commentary follows that was on Balt-L that I thought was interesting enough to include here, with my own commentary. B. Tirva


2. Introduction to The History of the Lithuanian Language,
by Dr Zigmas Zinkevicius
Published in Vilnius in 1996 by Mokslo ir enciklopediju leidykla
Translated from the Lithuanian original by Ramute Plioplys
Editor: Rita Bendes

THE LITHUANIAN LANGUAGE IN CZARIST RUSSIA (1795-1918)

After the third partition of the Lithuanian-Polish Commonwealth (1795) the greater part of ethnic Lithuania fell to Russia, only the area beyond the Nemunas River (the future Suvalkai territory) was allocated to Prussia. The politics of the ruling class in both countries were chauvinistic: in the Russian Czar's domain Russianisation was introduced; in the Prussian king's domain, Germanisation was introduced. After the Congress of Vienna in 1815 the territory beyond the Nemunas River was transferred to Russian rule, though the system there remained different. The most important difference was that feudalism had been abolished there in the times of Napoleon. That is why a Lithuanian intelligentsia arose from the peasantry earlier in this area. But in Lithuania under the Czarist rule no reforms were made and the feudal oppression of the peasantry grew stronger.

Attempts were made to erase the name of Lithuania from peoples' memories. It was called Severn-Zapadskij Kraj (Northwest Territory). It was proclaimed that since early times this was Russian territory, which had only been Polonised and therefore had to be re-Russianised. The Russians ignored the Lithuanian nation and its language as if they did not exist. However, Lithuania did not succumb to Russianisation, it continued to be Polonised, even more vigorously than before. Common adversity drew the Lithuanians and Poles more closely together. The earlier goal of independent statehood was now irrelevant. There could be no question of opposing the expansion of the Polish language in Lithuania. As regards the defence of national interests, the Vilnius 'Poles' were even more aggressive than those in Warsaw. The Polish-speaking Lithuanian aristocracy made a vital contribution to Polish culture. It produced a rich literature (Adam Mickiewicz, Julius Slowacki, Ludwik Kondratowicz, Wladyslaw Syrokomla, etc.) written in Polish, but Lithuanian in spirit. Only a few of that period's intelligentsia (e.g., Ksaveras Logusas/ Lohusz, Kazimieras Kantrimas/Kontrym, Leonas Uvainis) were interested in their ancestral language, though only as an object for study.

A nation was forming in the spirit "gente Lituani, Natione Poloni" ("Lithuanian origin, Polish nationality) which spoke Polish. Only those peasants who had not lorgotten their ancestral language were not yet Polonised. All efforts were then directed at them. Priests proclaimed that God did not understand Lithuanian and so prayers must be said in Polish. There were even priests who did not allow the peasants to make their confession in Lithuanian. The peasants tried to pray in Polish, but not understanding the language they distorted the words of the prayers to the point of absurdity. At school it was even forbidden to speak Lithuanian during recess. Students who did so were punished. A special "plaque of shame" would be hung around his or her neck which the "offender" would have to wear until he or she caught another student speaking Lithuanian and could transfer it to them.

The contempt for Lithuanian everywhere - on the estates, in church, in school - affected the peasants' psyche. They began to be ashamed of their native language, they avoided speaking it in public places. Supposedly it was suitable only for the kitchen and the stable! At the time the Polish language had social prestige, therefore it was fashionable to intersperse Polish words when speaking Lithuanian. These words were supposed to "embellish" and "improve" Lithuanian. With frequent usage those words gained a foothold in the language. The flow of Polonisms into Lithuanian grew even stronger. Most of those words were unnecessary as there were enough Lithuanian words for the concepts they expressed. A purer form of Lithuanian survived only in those places which were further from the Polonized cities, estates and churches. Paradoxically, the less educated the area in Lithuania, the more correct and pure was the Lithuanian spoken there.

After the revolts in 1831 and especially in 1863, the Czarist government took steps to stop Polonisation in Lithuania and replace it with Russianisation. After crushing the rebellion, Governor-General Mikhail MuraviŽv decided to annihilate the Polonisation of Lithuania which had lasted over 400 years. He closed all Polish schools and began opening Russian ones. He increased the number of Russian inhabitants in Lithuania by bringing people from the depths of Russia to replace the deported rebels. Settlements began to be called by Russian names. MuraviŽv even tried to change the Latin-based Lithuanian alphabet (already used for over 300 years at that stage!) because he claimed it was "Polish". He ordered that all Lithuanian books be printed in Cyrillic script. But people did not buy these books and they burned those which were given free of charge. In an effort to firmly establish their use, MuraviŽv banned the publication of Lithuanian books in the Latin alphabet. Essentially this was a ban on Lithuanian publications, a method used against Lithuanians which was unheard of in the civilised world. This evoked great opposition among Lithuanians: they began printing books abroad and "knygne iai" (book smugglers) smuggled them into Lithuania and secretly distributed them. The knygne iai epoch began - a unique phenomenon in Europe at the time. The ban on Lithuanian publications was extremely detrimental to the Lithuanian nation, its culture and especially to its language. However, the efforts of MuraviŽv and his successors to stop Polonisation and in its place spread Russianisation produced contrary results: as the gendarmes were wearing themselves out trying to capture the book smugglers, Polish books flooded into Lithuania and bookstores were filled with them. Polish influence was not reduced, but rather grew stronger. Even though it was not their intention, with its brutal actions the government pushed the Lithuanians further into the Polish sphere of influence.

Though Lithuanian was banned from secondary schools and it was also being driven out of elementary schools, nevertheless, literacy among the peasants continued to increase. They were determined to get some education. Encouraged by Bishop Motiejus Valan_ius, they began forming small secret Lithuanian schools. Teachers called daraktoriai (a distortion of direktorius 'director') traveled from farmstead to farmstead teaching the people (conspiracy!). This was the Lithuanian vargo mokykla 'the school of hardship'. At that time there were more schools of this type in the countryside than there were Russian subjects. This indicates a growing national awareness among the peasantry, their determination to fight for their inherent rights, for their ancestral language. A prevalent custom was to allow the children to attend State Russian schools only after they had learned to read and write Lithuanian in these secret schools. At that time in Lithuania there were three times more people literate in Lithuanian than there were literate in Russian. Irrespective of the press ban and cruel persecutions the number of Lithuanian books increased significantly.Their subject matter also changed: clearly anti-Czarist secular literature became dominant (about 80%).

Along the eastern borders of ethnic Lithuania, in spite of the efforts of the proponents of Polonisation, the Lithuanian peasantry was not so much Polonised, as it was Belarusinised. Apart from "formal" Polish language, two folk vernaculars were used in this area: Lithuanian and Belarusin. The latter, which the Belarusins themselves called "plain language", had many advantages compared to Lithuanian. As a Slavic language it was close to Polish and especially to Russian, so it was useful. Knowing this language one could understand more easily the Polish- speaking priest or landlord and the Russian speaking officials. Poland was far away, but Belarusins were right here: in many places Lithuanian farmsteads were adjacent to Belarusin ones. As they interacted daily with their neighbors, the Lithuanian farmers quickly learned the Belarusin language. Many substrative Lithuanianisms have survived in Belarusin to the present. The Russian government supported Belarusinisation, because they considered this language a Russian dialect.


Zigmas ZinkeviŤius,
The History of the Lithuanian Language
,
Science and Encyclopedia Publishing Institute [Lithuania], 1998, 332 Pages.
ENGLISH
If you wish to order a copy of The History of the Lithuanian Language visit The Little Lithuanian Bookstore.
Response:

I want to respond, though, to the discussion on languages. The extract from Mr. Zinkevicius' book makes sad reading for all those, who have the slightest knowledge of Belarus, and is, in fact, a bitter distortion of history.

The Grand Duchy, after the Lublin Union, basically comprised today's Lithuania (minus Klaipeda, etc.) and Belarus (plus Bjalostok, etc.). A very rough estimate of today's population (3 mil. ethnic Lithuanians and 8 mil. ethnic Belarusans) clearly shows that the Belarusan population was much larger - at all times. The official language of the Grand Duchy, prior to the imposition of Polish, was old East Slav, the ancestor of today's Belarusan. This was the language of the Statutes of 1588.

Lithuania then meant the entire territory of the Grand Duchy and not only present day Lithuania. Lithuanian was the name used for all people of the Grand Duchy, not only for the Baltic component. Noblemen of Lithuanian descent and Polish culture (and religion) were not necessarily of Baltic descent, but probably 8 of Belarusan descent for every 3 of Baltic Lithuanian, just like the rest of the population. Mickevich, Kalinouski, Kastsiushka, Maniushka, etc. etc. were probably not of Baltic descent - but Belarusan. When Mickevich cries: Litwo, Ojczyzno Moja!, he did not know that one day the concept of Lithuanian will only be used for the Baltic component of his native Litva. The Belarusans were always - until late 1800s - called Litviny. The Russians in Muscovy called these people's language "Litovski". Brest is still called Litovsk. The Jews of Belarus are still called Litwaks, as are those of Kaunas and other present-day Lithuanian places. All old books mention Lithuanian provinces such as: Miensk, Mahiljou, Harodnja, Vitsebsk, etc. As they mention Kaunas-Kovno. In any GDL army, the Belarusan/Slav component must have been much larger than the Lithuanian/Baltic one. The revolt of 1794 was as much Belarusan as Lithuanian. The revolts of 1831 and 1863 also. It is wrong and offensive to talk about Lithuanians and Poles alone as the force of resistance to the Muscovite rule. The Russians oppressed the Lithuanian language but also the Belarusan. And the Poles did not object. "Tutajshy" is not Belarusan, but just a remnant of those days, when Old East Slav was THE language.

The Belarusans lost their elite first to the Poles - then to the Russians. Many important Russian cultural figures, like Dostojevski, Glinka, Musorgski, Shostakovich, etc. etc. have Belarusan roots. As do Poles. First the Poles told them they spoke a barbaric Eastern language, then the Russians told them they spoke a boorish language. While the (Baltic) Lithuanians revived their culture and national identity early, the Belarusans began late and did not make it. Again today they are victims of a particular vicious type of Russification, coming from their own ruler. And the Lithuanians do not seem to understand the importance of an independent, democratic and prosperous Belarus, based on a healthy national identity and a sober understanding of their glorious and less glorious Belarusan history.

I very much wish our Lithuanian friends would accept that - the fact the Belarus was a major part of the GDL, and they did have a language, and a culture, and good people - does not mean that the Lithuanians did not. The Belarusans have been dealt a miserable hand of cards. The Lithuanians also a bad one, but one that could be played - leading to the striking difference between the two societies today.

At the end of the 20th Century, I think we can face facts. Look at the map: Belarus is there, believe me.

Vladimir Weissman
Copenhagen

Children do not understand the workings of the adult mind. Because of this, they are used and abused. The children hold the future in their hands. It would be a wonderful thing if they were all schooled properly, taught to do the right things at the right time and to be proud of who they are and not to denigrate others because they are not of the same race, religion or nationality. Hatred is learned. It is easier to hate than to love. Love is demanding, hate is demeaning. Too bad that we have no comment from some of the children who had to wear those signs in the schools in Vilnius to tell us their tale. How many of them wore it as a 'badge of courage' and not one of shame? How many of them looked on themselves as the more intelligent because they spoke two languages as opposed to those who knew only one and thought that one to be 'superior?' Thank the good Lord for those children and their parents for teaching them Lithuanian and keeping the language alive and well. Thank the good Lord for those children and parents who kept the Lithuanian language alive and well through the 50 years of Communist rule. Let us bow our heads in silent prayer to thank the good Lord for all who suffered and died for the love of their native Lithuania.

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3. Changes at A.P.P.L.E.

A.P.P.L.E. has experienced some changes this year. Our general director, Vaiva Vebra, has become a Vice-Minister of Education and Science of the Republic of Lithuania. We are very proud of this accomplishment. Her work with A.P.P.L.E. was a contributing factor to the decision to invite her to this post.

Because of this change, we now have a new General director. Her address is below. Also, please include our A.P.P.L.E. home page address. Our web pages are both in Lithuanian and in English. As I started them with the idea of publicizing our work in USA, it was started in English. I am in the process of translating a lot into Lithuanian for our students and associates in Lithuania. On most pages, the Lithuanian and English are direct translations, therefore, one can study the language as well as see many pictures of Lithuanians, Lithuania, and A.P.P.L.E. people on these pages.

Here is the new address for our organization:

American Professional Partnership for Lithuanian Education [A.P.P.L.E.]
Emilija Sakadolskis, General Director
9509 Ocala Street
Silver Spring, MD 20901-3049

Telephone: 301-585-6362
Fax: 301-608-3261
E-Mail
Homepage

Sincerely,
Amanda Muliolis, Registrar and Member of the Board of Directors
A.P.P.L.E. Chat room UIN# 12955375

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4. WHAT HAPPENED TO LAKEWOOD PARK?

This question has come up several times in various places on the internet and I do not think it has been answered. Many of us from the Northeastern part of the United States have fond memories of Lakewood Park, especially those of us of Lithuanian ancestry. August 15th was the day, actually the Sunday closest to that date, when Lithuanians from big cities and small villages gathered at the park to celebrate our heritage. Everyone came. The night before tables were "staked out" for various families. If you came late you had to fend for yourself.

The memories are fading now, but I always remember that day when everything and everyone was Lithuanian. I really didn't know why we took such pride in our ethnicity, I just know we did, it was there for everyone to see and to share. Lithuanian music, Lithuanian dances, costumes, amber, flags waving, Lithuanian sausage that was stuffed at home a few days before, kugelis made for the occasion , the inevitable blynai (the correct Lithuanian form : we called them 'Nblinis') hot out of the (unbeknownst to us then) cholesterol producing grease of the huge iron frying pans.

The rides for the kids, the lake to swim in and cool off on a usually hot August afternoon. What could be better and why did it die? Or did it die? Lithuanian day is somehow not the same when it is indoors in a mall, but the tradition continues. But where is Lakewood Park? What happened to it?

The carousel was restored and can be seen at the Van Andel Museum in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Where are the other rides? They too are distant memories. 15 years ago the park closed, a park that was opened in 1916. In 1914, on those hallowed grounds the first Lithuanian Day took place. August 15th was the day " a real holiday for the Lithuanians of the region " mines closed, shops closed, and Lithuanians celebrated.

For 70 years Lithuanians celebrated, appropriately enough, the last event held at the park was Lithuanian Day in 1984. What happened? Why did it stop? It wasn't only the Lithuanians who celebrated there, the Bavarian Festival was held there, the Irish used the park. What happened?

Did our "Great Melting Pot" society finally kill off the pride people had in their roots? Did society change so much in the 60's and 70's to blunt our desire to be who we were? Festivals are still held, but on a much smaller scale ; there will never be a Lakewood Park Lithuanian Day celebration any more. Our children have left the fold to go out on their own and their own is not our own any more. "Our" park died, our churches are dying, but I know our pride in being Lithuanian isn't.

Sorry Lakewood , we miss you. Our pride in our ancestry will live on without you, you will be a fond memory as long as those of us who knew you tell about you. New technology is taking over, our pride is shown in different ways, we can visit Lithuania, we can talk to our brothers and sisters on the internet, on the phone, they can come to visit us, we can go visit them. How proud we are to say, like the Romans of old: "I am Lithuanian".

So, where is it now? The Friday, August 14th edition of the Pottsville Republican finds the celebration alive and well in the Schuylkill mall, in Frackville, PA. Never heard of it? You should have. Frackville is also the home of the Lithuanian museum, Schuylkill county is the home of Anthracite Council 144 of the Knights of Lithuania, a very active council indeed. through their efforts, the Republican displayed a huge picture of Marguciai and klumpes on the front page of the county Life section. The following week there was a picture of Bernice Mikatavage, Annie Margolis and Anne Sikora with a straw and linen wall hanging with amber. Thank you, Council 144 for all your efforts. Small towns do indeed make big news.

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5. Never Too Young to be a Hero or Heroine

"The most heroic child on record is Ausra Sakalauskaite of Budronys village in the Kupiskis region. She is the youngest person to receive the Lithuanian Order. 'Well I can state that she is the youngest person in the world who received a medal,' said Navaitis.

On Februrary 17, 1995, when Ausra was three years old, her house caught fire. She took her seven-month-old brother from bed and brought him 300 metres from the burning house. She received the "Cross of Saving People from Death" from the Lithuanian president.

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6. "RFE/RL NEWSLINE"
Extract (with RFE permission) items of Baltic interest from: RFE/RL
Newsline 165 27 August 1998

DIVIDED ON SECURITY
by Paul Goble

Estonians, Latvians, and Lithuanians agree that they cannot defend themselves and that no one is likely to defend them, but they disagree profoundly about the nature of the threat to their countries and about just how useful various international groups are likely to be in helping them deal with it.

Both the points of agreement and those of disagreement are likely to make it increasingly difficult for the three Baltic governments to maintain a common position on their efforts to join NATO and the EU and for the West to treat them as a single bloc, rather than as three very different countries.

Earlier this summer, the Estonian Saar polling company interviewed 1,000 adults in each of the three Baltic countries to determine popular attitudes toward a variety of security questions and to find out how people in each think their governments should proceed.

Commissioned by NATO and the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry, the poll revealed a remarkable pattern of agreement and disagreement along national lines.

Huge majorities--76% of Estonians, 81% of Latvians, and 72% of Lithuanians-- believe that their countries would not be able to effectively defend themselves in the event of a military attack. And most also believe that the West would be unlikely to help them in the event of such an attack.

According to the poll, only 23 percent of Estonians, 15% of Latvians, and 15% of Lithuanians are confident that Western countries would provide military assistance. Instead, small majorities in all three believe that the West's assistance in such circumstances would be limited to diplomatic activities.

Such judgments about the willingness of the West to help, however, apparently do not disturb most people in these three countries. Indeed, the Saar poll found that more than 95% of the residents in each country were convinced that their state does not currently face any real military threat from another country.

But that is where the unanimity ends and the differences begin. According to this poll, Estonians, Latvians, and Lithuanians disagree on the nature of the threats facing their countries, on whether they should join NATO, and on what mix of international memberships they believe would best meet their security needs.

Estonians believe that the greatest threats to their security come from abroad, but Latvians and, to a lesser extent, Lithuanians believe that the greatest security threats are domestic ones. Only 35% of Estonians believe that they face a domestic security threat, while 62% of Latvians and 45% of Lithuanians hold that opinion.

According to the Estonian director of the poll, Andrus Saar, this pattern reflects what he called Estonia's more balanced pattern of economic development, one in which there is much less variation among sectors, as compared with the situation in the other two countries.

The three nationalities also diverge, if somewhat less dramatically, over the value of NATO membership for their countries. A bare majority of Lithuanians [51%] support the idea of joining NATO, with only 25% opposed to that step. In Estonia, 43% want to join the Western alliance, but 25 percent are opposed. And in Latvia, only 37% support the idea of membership, with 29% opposed.

But perhaps most interesting are the differences among the three peoples on the approaches they believe would give them the greatest amount of security. Some 30% of Estonians believe that membership in both NATO and the EU would provide the best guarantee, while 29% think neutrality would be the best stance.

Among Latvians, 29% believe neutrality would be best, with 26% favoring membership in both NATO and the EU, and smaller percentages backing membership in only NATO or only the EU.

Finally, 26% of Lithuanians believe NATO membership would give their country the best chance for security, with 23% backing neutrality and 23 percent backing membership in both the Western alliance and the EU.

Obviously, these numbers could quickly change if the geopolitics of the region change or if national leaders expand their own efforts to promote particular security agendas.

But the differences this poll reveals suggest that the three countries are likely to move in increasingly different directions and that the international community, long accustomed to thinking of them as the undifferentiated Balts, is going to have to respond to that development.


Copyright (c) 1998 RFE/RL, Inc. All rights reserved.

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7. LITHUANIA FINDS MAINTAINING FIXED EXCHANGE RATE INCREASINGLY DIFFICULT
Michael Wyzan
Lithuania's economy generally receives less attention from foreign observers than its two Baltic neighbors. It is often seen as less reformed than Estonia and Latvia, although since last year its macroeconomic performance has been at least as strong as theirs.

A continuing distinction between Lithuania and the other two Baltic States is that it remains more dependent on trade with Russia: 22 percent of its exports went to that country during January-April, while the corresponding figure for imports was 24.4 percent. The corresponding figures for Latvian trade with Russia during the same period were 17.4 percent for exports and 13.6 percent for imports. Some 8.3 percent of Estonia's exports went to Russia, while 8.5 percent of its imports came from there.

Most Lithuanian macroeconomic indicators are highly favorable. GDP in the first quarter of 1998 was 6.9 percent higher than in the same period last year, reflecting an acceleration of economic growth from 1997's figure of 5.7 percent. Sales of industrial production were up by 9.4 percent during the first six months, almost double last year's 5.0 percent.

While production has boomed, consumer price inflation has subsided, reaching 6.1 percent in the 12 months to June, compared with 8.4 percent in the year to December 1997. Another favorable macroeconomic indicator is the budget deficit, which as of May was on target to meet the goal of 1 percent of GDP, which was agreed to with the IMF. That deficit fell from 4.5 percent in 1996 to 1.8 percent last year.

Wages have been booming, along with the economy: the average gross monthly wage reached $249 in May, compared with $199 a year earlier. This may explain why the unemployment rate has been higher during every month this year than in the corresponding month in 1997. However, by June the difference was negligible, with the rate that month of 5.5 percent only slightly above June 1997's 5.3 percent.

Large current account deficits have been a hallmark of the Lithuanian economy. As economic growth turned positive in 1995, the current account imbalance rose from $94 million (2.2 percent of GDP) in 1994 to $981 million in 1997 (a high 10.3 percent). This trend continued into the first quarter of 1998, when the deficit was $514 million, up $118 million on the same period last year.

Such deficits have been commonplace in rapidly growing transition economies, especially ones with fixed exchange rates; the litas has been pegged at four to the dollar under the currency board introduced in April 1994.

The Bank of Lithuania is currently undergoing a transition to a normal central bank, a three-stage process scheduled to be completed next year. For example, under the currency board, the bank is not allowed to provide overnight loans to commercial banks. In April, as part of the transition to central banking, it set the interest rate it will charge on such loans.

To retain confidence in monetary policy, the fixed rate for the litas against the dollar is to remain valid at least until 1999, when the currency will be tied partly to EU currencies; by the end of 2000, the litas will be pegged to the Euro.

Although the current account deficit is high, the Bank of Lithuania's foreign reserves have risen steadily, reaching $1.2 billion in June (further augmented by privatization proceeds in July), compared with $939.6 million in June 1997. Another encouraging sign is the rapid rise in foreign direct investment, which was a cumulative $1.1 billion at the end of June, compared with $727.6 million in June 1997.

The IMF's Executive Board in July praised the government for increasing excise taxes, improving tax collection and the budget process, privatization successes in banking and telecommunications; and creating an Energy Pricing Commission. The board called for further fiscal tightening to limit the growth of expenditures and to put the Social Security Agency on a firmer footing, especially by raising the retirement age.

These are the standard recommendations that the fund would make to any successful economy in transition. A more interesting question is how vulnerable Lithuania will prove to contagion from the financial turbulence in East Asia and especially Russia. Large current account deficits under fixed exchange regimes are often an indication of such vulnerability.

The key issue is whether Lithuania will be able to manage the transition to central banking under a fixed exchange rate or whether it will be forced to allow its currency to weaken, as the Czech Republic did in spring 1997 and Russia on 17 August 1998. In this context, Lithuania's high trade dependence on Russia is worrisome, since the weaker ruble will probably further increase the Baltic State's already large trade deficit with that country.

The author is a research scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Laxenburg, Austria.


Copyright (c) 1998 RFE/RL, Inc.
All rights reserved.


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8. PEACE RIDE WELCOMES SAN FRANCISCO

1998.08.23. Port Bragg, California, USA. The Peaceriders from different countries - Lithuania, Germany, Russia, Turkey and Poland - gathered in Seattle on 6 August, Hiroshima Memorial, to start the Great Millennium Peace Ride around the world. In one and half years our international and intercultural Peace Ride Team of cyclists will visit 46 countries including North and South America, Africa, Europe, Middle East and finally Asia. To celebrate the new millennium the ride will arrive in Hiroshima, Japan, on 1 January 2000.

Most of us, an international and intercultural group of eleven people, a woman and ten men, - got to know each other only on the trip. The first three weeks have been challenging. We had to get organized with our team work , to plan the route for the next days, buy and cook food, fix bikes and not get lost. In the first three weeks, we made over 1000 miles along the coast of the Pacific at the same time sharing our ideas with local people.

We want to meet people interested in our cycling experiences and ideas on peace, and invite all enthusiasts to join this international event. Our aim is to bridge the gap between cultures and traditions, and share views and understanding on our different ways.

Cycling is peaceful, for it does not create any threat, and the Peace Ride is open to anyone who wants to join our international group and make friends on the way, also for any distance and time.

Sigitas Kucas
International Coordinator

For more information, please contact me at the following number:
(1) 503 7910185 or
Pat Radin, USA Headquarters, at (1) 206 286 9321.
E-Mail
Or, CHECK OUT OUR WEBSITE.

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9. LITHUANIA FORMS SOVIET, NAZI WAR CRIMES COMMISSION.

Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus has officially established an international commission to examine war crimes committed during the Nazi and Soviet occupations of Lithuania. Presidential adviser Julius Shmulkshtis told Reuters on 7 September that the commission's main function is "to investigate the World War Two period and the immediate aftermath in order to come up with answers to various questions concerning Jewish and Lithuanian genocide." The commission will be headed by parliamentary deputy Emanuelis Zingeris. Earlier this year, the presidents of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia agreed to set up commissions in their countries to investigate the events of 1939-1991, especially during and after World War II. JC




LITHUANIANS HELPING LITHUANIANS

This section is to acquaint you with some of the not for profit organizations helping Lithuanians and Lithuanians who have a business with whom other Lithuanians may do business.

NOT-FOR-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS PROVIDING AID TO LITHUANIA The U.S. Baltic Foundation 1717 Massachusetts Ave., N.W. Ste. 601 Washington, D.C. 20036 Tel: 202-986-0380 Fax: 202-234-8130 Purpose: to provide an interactive forum between U.S. and Baltic business, education and political leaders.

Lithuanian Mercy Lift 14911 127th St. Lemont, IL 60439 Tel: 630-257-6777 Fax: 708-388-2059 Purpose: To solicit and transport conations of critically needed medicines, medical supplies and equipment to the people of Lithuania.

Lithuanian Children's Hope 2711 West 71st St. Chicago, IL 60629 Tel: 773-476-0664 Fax: 773-436-6909 Purpose: To bring Lithuanian children to the U.S. to receive specialized medical treatment through the Shriner's and sponsor and orthopedic teaching facility in Lithuania.

Lithuanian Orphan Care, Inc. 2711 West 71st St. Chicago, IL 60629 Tel: 773-476-2655 Purpose: To provide care to orphaned and needy children and large natural and foster families in Lithuania as well as scholarship aid to needy student. Suggested annual donation is $150 per child or $250 per student.

American Professional Partnership for Lithuanian Education [A.P.P.L.E.] Emilija Sakadolskis, General Director 9509 Ocala Street Silver Spring, MD 20901-3049 tel: 301-585-6362; fax: 301-608-3261; e-mail:
applemail@erols.com Home page: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Parthenon/3414 Purpose: To conduct summer in service seminars for teachers in Lithuania and support ongoing exchange of educational information, material and personnel. Scholarships to sponsor summer interns in 1998 are $30.
A.P.P.L.E. instructors are volunteers.

"Saulute" (Sunlight Committee) 419 Weidner Road Buffalo Grove, IL 60089 Tel: 847-537-7949 Purpose: to provide care to needy children. $240 suggested annual donation per child.

The Lithuanians of America is a non-profit organization for Lithuanian-Americans based in Kansas City. The purpose of the organization is to promote the Lithuanian culture through education, dance, and language. We have several events per year, including a Christmas party with Kucios table and Independence Day celebration. Membership is only $10 for a family or $7 for a single person. For more information, contact Kathy Hazlewood at khazlewo@kumc.edu or (913)262-7175.

Is your not-for-profit organizations not listed? Send an email to tirva@pdq.net with a brief description of your mission and get it listed.

ARCHIVE OF AUSRININKAS DR. JONAS SLIUPAS (registered with IRS as non-profit, publicly supported, tax deductable organization). Purpose: original purpose was to collect writings, letters, books, articles, photos of or about Lithuanian-American patriot activist, Dr. Jonas Sliupas. Soon, upon demand from over 380 donors, Archive was expanded to include all Lithuanian-American heritage historical materials. Donations of such materials are appreciated, as we are the only Lith-Amer. archive of that type west of Chicago. For further information contact:

The Archive of Ausrininkas Dr. Jonas Sliupas 2907 Frontera Way, Burlingame, CA 94010 USA E-mail: SliupasVyt@aol.com

AUKSUCIAI FOUNDATION FOR AGRICULTURAL AND FOREST DEVELOPMENT Purpose: to help underpriviledged small-size Lithuanian farmers in Siauliai-Kursenai area, Lithuania improve agricultural skills, learn free market techniques, and regain former self respect. Initial volunteers-founders came from universities in California, Texas and Illinois. Project is funded by donations that are urgently needed to build-up a 100 hectare demonstration farm. For information please visit our Website: http://odin.community.net/~kestas/project.htm or write to: Auksuciai Foundation (being registered as non-profit organization)


BUSINESSES

Are you looking for a speaker for your next event? Author RAIMONDA MIKATAVAGE is not only a writer, but also a great public speaker. Please visit her site at http://www.GuestFinder.com/mikrai.htm

Jauzinios, the magazine of the Australian Lithuanian Youth Association is about to release edition 46 which contains articles about Congress held in Boston and information regarding the next Congress in Australia. It also has some local articles and information. For further details and subscription information email the editor L.Zdanius@latrobe.edu.au (Lukas Zdanius)

Translations International, base in Vilnius, offers translations to/from Lithuanian, Russian, and English. If you are a private individual, business, school, or government, no job is too large or too small for us. Our work is high-quality, fast, and costs considerably less than our competitors. If you want it done right and if you want to save money, contact us at:
Email: ti@post.omnitel.net Fax: (370 2) 751056 Address: P.d. 3290 LT-2013 Vilnius Lietuva (Lithuania)

LOSE FAT WHILE YOU SLEEP!! Take one tablespoon of Calorad in a full glass of water just before going to sleep on a three hour empty stomach and wake up thinner. Testimonials by fellow Lithuanians who have taken the product and had great results. Find out how by visiting http://www.eyiteam.com. The code is A9018N1125.

GET PAID FOR DRINKING COFFEE. That's right! You can get paid for drinking gourmet coffee. Go to http://www.clubjoe.com/dist/10107 and find out how easy it is.

Join many Christians all across this country in the GREATEST Christian Business there is: SCRIPTURES (Salon, Nutrition, and Bible Studies) FREE information: http://get-it.net/cgi-bin/get-it

If you have a business or you are a not for profit organization and would like to advertise here, just email me and I will put it in. There will never be a charge for not for profit ads, business ads are also free at this time.

PUBLICATIONS IN ENGLISH

LITHUANIAN PAPERS is an 80 page journal, published annually in English by the Lithuanian Studies Society at the University of Tasmania (Australia). The latest issue, No.11/97, is bursting with topical articles and information. Professor Valdas Samonis discusses "Lithuania's road to Europe" and what Lithuania should do to gain admission to the European Union (EU). Howard Jarvis, an English journalist living in Vilnius, gives an account of Sofija Grauziniene^“s undeserved tragedy and appeals for help to continue his research. Other articles deal with understanding change in Lithuania, Baltic co-operation, Soviet conscripts, saving Jewish children, the cost of NATO enlargement and so on. There is poetry and a presentation of a Lithuanian sculptor, Teisutis Zikaras. Six books are reviewed. Many brief items record various Lithuanian events. Finally, some humor appears on the Back Page. All this is available at $6 (including surface postage) in US, Australian or Canadian currency. Please add $2 if airmail is required. Prepayment is not mandatory. You ORDER BY E-MAIL and pay when you receive the journal.

Bridges: Editorial offices 7416 Piney Branch Road Takoma Park, MD 20912 301-588-8559 fax: 301-588-8942
Subscription offices LAC, Inc. Treasurer 1927 West Boulevard Racine WI 53403 Published 10 times per year. Annual subscription $18
Lithuanian Heritage Magazine Baltech Publishing P.O. Bos 225 Lemont, IL 60439-0225 Full color bi-monthly magazine of Lithuanian history, news and culture. Annual subscription $29.95 (six issues) ; Two years $55.00 (twelve issues)

Lithuanian Weekly Lithuanian Weekly P.O. Box 533 2024 Vilnius, Lithuania tel: (3702)22-42-83 fax: (3702)22-37-30 Published weekly in Vilnius. Annual overseas subscription (including air-mail) US $40

Lituanus Lituanus 6621 South Troy Chicago IL 60629-2913 Lithuanian quarterly journal of arts and sciences. Annual subscription $10 (individual) - $15 for library donation.

PUBLICATIONS IN LITHUANIAN
Draugas Draugas 4545 West 63rd Street Chicago, IL 60629 Tel: 773-585-9500 Fax: 773-585-8284 email: draugas@earthlink.net
Lithuanian daily published Tuesday through Saturday. Annual subscription $95.
Dirva Dirva P.O. Box 19191 19807 Cherokee Ave. Cleveland, OH 44119-0191 Tel: 216-531-8150 Fax: 216-531-8428 email: dirva@ix.netcom.com Lithuanian weekly. Annual subscription $35.

Darbininkas Darbininkas 641 Highland Blvd. Brooklyn, NY 11207 Tel: 718-827-1352 (ed. office) 718-827-1351 (Bus. office) Fax: 718-827-2964 Lithuanian weekly. Annual subscription $20.

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