David P. Boder Interviews Andrius Suvalkaitis; September 21, 1946; München, Germany

var transcription = { interview: [ David Boder

[In English] Spool 9-143A and 9-143B. Mr. Suvalkaitis and Mrs. Bronė Skudaikienė, respectively. October 7th 1950, Chicago, Boder. 143A in Lithuanian, 143B partly in Lithuanian, partly German.

David Boder

Spool 143. Spool 143. Munich, September the 21st 1946 at Lohengrinstrasse, in a camp for displaced BalticsâLithuanians, Latvians and Estonians. The interviewee is Mr. Andrius Suvalkaitis, 41 years old [incorrect], Lithuanian. He will speak German.

David Boder

[In German] Sie werden Deutsch sprechen, nicht wahr?

David Boder

[In English] Of course it is not his language, but we will do the best we can.

David Boder

[In German] Also, Herr Suvalkaitis, wollen Sie nochmal sagen, wie heiÃen Sie, und wo sind Sie geboren und wie alt sind Sie?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Ich war geboren in VilkaviÅkis erste 1915 Jahre, erstes Kind geboren.

David Boder

Also, welche Monat ist das?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

1 April

David Boder

1 April?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Ja.

David Boder

Und wo waren Sie, Herr Suvalkaitis, wenn der Krieg angefangen hat?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Wenn der Krieg angefangen, ich war in Kaunas.

David Boder

Also wollen wir sagen so: zuerst sind doch zu Ihnen die Sowjets gekommen, nicht wahr?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Die Sowjets wenn sie kommen bei uns in Litauen, ich war auch in Kaunas. Wir haben gehabt ein Dienst in eine BÃroâBeamter.

David Boder

Als was- als was haben Sie gehabt den Dienst?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Ich hatte gehabt als dieâeineâAbteilungsleiter.

David Boder

In was fÃr einem BÃro?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Das war in litauische MilitÃr in Kauno komendantūra.

David Boder

Waren Sie Soldat?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Ich war Oberfeldwebel.

David Boder

Sie waren Oberfeldwebel?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Ja.

David Boder

Und dann sind die Sowjets gekommen. Was hat das denn passiert?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Wenn die Sowjets gekommen erst alle unsereâalle unsere MilitÃrersten gemacht eine Corps, und alle diese Korpsobersten geschickt nach Irland.

David Boder

Die Russen haben ein Korps gemacht?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Die russische gemacht ein Korps, weil die litauische gar nicht in MilitÃr. Und unsere Ersten noch gewarten in Kaunas eine Liquidationskommission. In diese Kommission ich auch erst gearbeitenâbis 23-igste Februar.

David Boder

Also 23.Februar, welches Jahr?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Das war 41, Jahr.

David Boder

Und, wie haben Sie gelebt, wenn die Russen in Litauen waren? Wilna war doch Poland, nicht wahr?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Ja, die war Polen.

David Boder

Aber ich dachte, die Stadt Wilna . . .

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Ja, das war litauische Stadt.

David Boder

Aber, bevor die Russen gekommen sind, haben doch die Polen gehabt, nicht wahr?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Ja, das die Polen erst gehabt.

David Boder

Und dann haben die Russen Wilna zurÃckgegeben zu Litauen.

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Ja, das bestimmt.

David Boder

Und ist jetzt Wilna in Litauen?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Ja, es ist auch in Litauen. Aber jetzt die ganze Litauen ist sowjetische . . .

David Boder

Sowjetische.

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Ja.

David Boder

Aber die Polen haben nicht Wilna.

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Nee, jetzt haben nicht.

David Boder

Also weiter, was hat denn passiert?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Ja, das war. Und dann die ersten Abblasenâbeim MilitÃrâbei Kommission erste alles in Ordnung gemacht- und dann in 25. Februar die ersten gesperrt in GefÃngnisâdie Bolschewisten. [To the reader: In German, this passage does not make any sense at all, it is just fragments.]

David Boder

Warum?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Warum? Ich weià nicht warum. Ich habe gar nicht gemacht. Bei ersten ich war nur ein bestimmender BÃro-Beamterâwar nicht mehr. Und dann die ersten gesperrtâdie ersten geschicken nach Kaunasâdritte in Kaunas gefangenâund dann, wer er gar nicht gemacht fÃr mich gerichtâer ab zu wenigâgar nicht.. [To the reader: In German, this passage does not make any sense at all, it is just fragments. This is why they are switching to Lithuanian afterwards.]

David Boder

Herr Suvalkaitis, sprechen Sie Litauisch. Sprechen Sie Litauisch oder Polnisch?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Litauisch.

David Boder

[In English] Okay, go ahead.

Andrius Suvalkaitis

[In Lithuanian] Tai jie mane dvideÅimt penktą vasario areÅtavo, patalpino Kauno kalėjime. Kauno kalėjime sėdėjau, bet kadangi ten buvo per mažas įrodymas, negalėjo sudaryt man teismo, per maža buvo įrodymų, tai jie mane tardė gana ilgaiâkas antra, trečia naktis iÅkviesdami tardymui. IÅ karto tardė tardytojas rusas, vėliau žydas, pagaliau lietuvis. Bet nė vienas tardytojas iÅ manęs negalėjo nieko iÅtraukt rimto. Kadangi paro . . . įrodymų trūko, matydami, kad negalės sudaryti man teismo, jie paėmė mane ir iÅsiuntė į Vilniaus kalėjimą, tūkstantis devyni Åimtai keturiasdeÅimts pirmais birželio trečią dieną. Ir pagaliau palaikę Vilniaus kalėjime tris dienas nusiuntė į Minską. Minsko kalėjime tikėjaus, kaip ir visi kiti teisiamieji, arba suimtieji, kuriems negalėjo sudaryt teismo, sulaukt už akių sprendimo penkiolikos, deÅimties, daugiau ar mažiau metų katargos ir būt iÅsiųstas į Sibiro teiges. Bet laimė, tuo momentu tūkstantis devyni Åimtai keturiasdeÅimt pirmais metais birželio dvideÅimt antrą dieną kilęs karas, ir birželio dvideÅimts ketvirtą dieną užskridę vokiečių aviacijos lėktuvai bombardavo Minską, ir pataikė viena bomba į kalėjimą. Kadangi ta bomba krito ant kalėjimo kampo, kalėjime kilo didelė panika.

David Boder

[In Russian] Это была немецкая бомба?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Немецкая бомба.

Andrius Suvalkaitis

[In Lithuanian] Kalėjime kilo didelė panika. Visi kalėjimo sargai, enkavedistai, prižiūrėtojai puolė lakstyt po kalėjimą, visus suimtuosius iÅvarė lauk į kiemą. Kurie buvo nuteisti daugiau ar mažiau, visus iki vienam ir be teismo visus kalinius suvarė į kiemą. Kieme girdėjos ir koridoriuj Åaudymas. Kalėjime visus nuteistuosius mirt arba didelėm bausmėm, suÅaudė kalėjimo kieme, suvarę į antrą pusę. Mus visus sustatė į tvorą žiūrint, iÅkėlus rankas aukÅtyn, ir tuo momentu vaikÅčioj aplinkui visokie sargai enkavedistai ir Åaukė. Mes manėm, kad ir mus tam kieme suÅaudys, bet vėliau iÅ jų skaitymo kiek buvo galima suprast, atskaitė mus apie tūkstantį du Åimtus žmoniųâmūsų tarpe buvo daugiausia lietuvių, buvo dalis lenkų, keletas latvių,âir varė visus gilyn į Rusi.. į Rusiją pėsčius. Ėjom pėsti tris paras, tris dienas ir tris naktis, maža valgę ir beveik nemigę. Valgyt gavom tik tą, ką enkavedistai iÅmesdavo iÅ maÅinų, patys valgę. IÅ paskui važiavo maÅinos, maÅinose važiavo enkavedistai, enkavedistai keitėsi pamainomsâkuomet vieni pavargdavo, sėsdavosi į maÅinas, kiti eidavo. Pražygiavus gerą galą vienam miÅkelyâmiÅkelio pavadinimo dabar aÅ neprisimenuâbuvo toks kaip ir postovis. Pailsėt davė tik tokiu momentu, kada krito minia ir negalėjo paeitiâdidesnė pusė krisdavo, tada mums leisdavo Åiek tiek pailsėt. Pagaliau tam miÅkely suÅaudė gana daug žmonių, ir likusius visus varė tolyn. Pagaliau trečią dieną pavakariais pražygiavus pro Červenę prie vieno miÅkelio netolimai upelio panaÅaus į lietuviÅką Nevėžį gilumo ir sriaunumo atžvilgiu, ir prie to upelio leido atseit poilsį. Ir tam poilsyâa mes kaip sykis neÅėm kartu dviejuosâaÅ ir dar vienas prietelis pulkininką Petruitįâant rankų, ir mes sumerkėm vis kojas į tą upelį, kad atgaut bent kiek, Åiek tiek . . . atgaivint kraują, nes buvom privargę, nevalgę, iÅalkę ir be to, nuo tardymo iÅkankinti. Mano asmeniÅkai kojos buvo sudaužytos čia taip, kad vos į kelnes tilpo. Tuo momentu antrasis prietelis, kuris stovėjo, man sudavė per petį ranka ir pasakėâžiūrėk, Andriau, į užpakalį. Kuomet aÅ atsisukau į užpakalį pamačiau įstatytus aplinkui kulkosvaidžius. Ir po to mano tų enkavedistų vadas sukomandavo stot visiem ir gult. Po Åito momento prasidėjo Åaudymas. SuÅaudė mūsų visą minią, kiek mūs buvo ten. Laimei, ant manęs iÅ karto užkrito negyvi lavonai. Buvo toks, matyt, laimės momentas, likimasâmes visi trys kai buvom, ir sugulėm į tokią vagą. Sugulėm visi, ir laimei krito ant mūs lavonai, paskiau tas egzekucija tęsėsi maždaug tris valandas. Po trijų valandų nurimo, nutilo kulkosvaidžių Åaudymai, pasigirdo vaikÅčiojimas, keiksmas rusiÅkas enkavedistų, ir gyvus, kurie nebuvo visiÅkai nuÅauti, durtuvais subadė galvas arba kastuvėliais suskaldė pakauÅius žmonėms. Po Åito visai nurimus jiems, kada jau pasidarė tyla, pradėjo, aÅ pradėjau judintis, nes ant manęs kuomet gulėjo dvylika lavonų, aÅ buvau kraujy pasruvęs visas. Apie mane nieko nebuvo daugiau iÅskiriant svetimo kraujo. Tuo momentu aÅ pasijudinau, numečiau pirmuosius lavonus nuo galvos, pakėlęs galvą apsidairiau, ar nesimato kas nors,ânieko nesimatė, tik tuÅčias lavonų laukas. Tuo momentu aÅ pakėlęs galvą atsisėdau, pradėjau Åaukt, pradėjau Åaukt, iÅgirdau vieną duslų balsą. Ir Åtai atsikėlė vienas prietelis, mes atsikėlėm abudu, pradėjom vaikÅčiot po lavonų lauk,ą iÅgirdom duslų balsą. IÅgirdę Åį duslų balsą pribėgom, iÅgelbėjom tuojaus pulkininką Petruitį. Petruitis atsikėlė, mes tikiedamiesi, kad mes esam gyvi, yra dar ir daugiau gyvų, Åaukėm ir vaikÅčiojom po minią, po ko.. Åitą, lavonų lauką. Bet tuo momentu kitam kraÅte atsikėlė dar trys lietuviai ir du lenkai. IÅ to dvylika Åimtų mes atsikėlėm iÅ viso aÅtuoni žmonės, ÅeÅi lietuviai ir du lenkai. Paskiau, kada mes vaikÅčiojom tikiedamiesi surast daugiau ką nors, bet deja, tuo momentu enkavedistai pavažiavę toliau žemyn už krūmų laukė ir sekė mus. Pastebėję vaikÅčiojant žmones po lavonų lauką paleido maÅiną ir kulkosvaidžių Åūvius ir pradėjo važiuot artyn prie mūs, tikiedamiesi mus pagaut. Bet tuo momentu mes, k . . . kuomet jie paleido Åūvius, nuo mūs buvo miÅkas maždaug du Åimtai metrų, ir toj pusėjâkairėj pusėj kelio, ir čia grįžtant buvo rugių laukas. Per tą rugių lauką laimingai pasprukom apÅaudomi į miÅką. Ką bū darę toliau enkavedistaiâaiÅku, būt mus ieÅkoję, bet tuo momentu užskrido vokiečių aviacijos lėktuvai, ir pradėjo apÅaudyt jų maÅinas.

David Boder

[In German] Ich will, dass Sie mir selbst erzÃhlen sollen, was hat Ihnen persÃnlichâ Ihnen selbst passiert, wenn die Deutschen nach Litauen gekommen sind.

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Ja dass ich komme . . .

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Deutsch. Ich kann sprechen Sie. Wir hatten gekommen zu michâich hatte gefangen. Ich dann ich kann sprechenâich kann Sie sprechen Ãber ich hatte gekommen zurÃckâvon die Gefangen- welche haben gemacht und welchen Berufâin Deutsch.

David Boder

Sprechen Sie Litauish.

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Gut, spreche ich Litauisch wieder.

Andrius Suvalkaitis

[In Lithuanian] Kuomet mes grįžom į Lietuvą, iÅ tos Červenės, jau radau vokiečius Lietuvoje. Vokiečiai Lietuvoj iÅ karto mums dar nieko ypatingo nedarė. AÅ grįžęs iÅ karto gavau tarnybą, kepyklos vedėju. Dirbau kepykloj, po to perėjau į malūnų centrą. Malūnų centre buvau revizorium. Ir iÅ tenâpatarnavau iki keturiasdeÅimts ketvirtų metų gegužės penkioliktos dienos. Gegužės penkioliktą dieną balÅevikai maneâne tik mane, bet ir visus kitusâgaudydavo bažnyčiose ir iÅveždavo. Tuo pačiu sugavo ir mane ir atvežė į Vokietiją.

David Boder

[In German] Langsam.

Andrius Suvalkaitis

[In Lithuanian] Atvežė į Vokietiją, ir visą laiką turėjau dirbt prie apkasų, apkasų kasimuos. Dirbau Rytprūsiuos, ir taip palaipsniui atsiradau iki Karaliaučiaus. Nuo Karaliaučiaus iÅ apkasų pabėgau, atvažiavau į Berlyną, iÅ Berlyno pusės perėjęs į Åią pusę mėnesį laikoâtai buvo kovo balandžio pradžiaâmėnesį laiko pasi . . . pasislapÅčius pas ūkininkus, vieną kitą dieną padirbus, užėjo amerikiečiai. Užėjus amerikiečiams laimingai pakliuvau į Rytų lagerį ir Åiandien dar tebegyvenu.

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Wenn die Amerikaner ersten gekommen..

David Boder

Litauisch.

Andrius Suvalkaitis

[In Lithuanian] Kai amerikonai atvažiavo, aÅ buvau Austrijoj.

Andrius Suvalkaitis

[In Lithuanian] O tai iÅ Austrijos aÅ tuojaus nuėjau į Militėrvojinimentą Zalcburge, prisistačiau ir ten jie mane tuojaus davė nurodymą, kad aÅ eič . . . eičiau į Zalcburgo Glazenbako bendrai visų tautybių surinkimo lagerį. Ten aÅ ir nuvykau, bet kuomet paaiÅkėjo, kad tas lageris yra tik tautoms, grįžtančioms į tėvynę, o aÅ į tėvynę grįžt dar nenorėjau tol, kol Lietuvoj bus balÅevykinė diktatūra, tai aÅ pa..paėmiau ir iÅvažiavau į Miuncheną. Atvažiavau į Miuncheną ir nuo praeitų birželio dvideÅimts devintos dienos tebegyvenu Miunchene Didi lageryje.

David Boder

[In Russian] Ну а что вы думаете, у вас тут что, семья есть . . . в лагере, или вы один?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

[In German] Bitte sprechen Sie Deutsch.

David Boder

Ja ja. Haben Sie eine Familie im Lager oder sind Sie allein?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Nein, meine Familie ist in Litauer. Ich hab keine Familie. Ich bin verheiratet. Meine Frau und zwei Kinder es in Litauen.

David Boder

Haben sie geschrieben?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Nein, hat nicht geschrieben. Hat keine geschrieben. Meine Bruder von Amerika hat Brief geschrieben in Litauen, aber er hat nicht gekriegt.

David Boder

Hat keine Antwort bekommen?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Hab ich keine Antwort.

David Boder

Und was denken Sie wird jetzt weiter passieren? Was werden Sie tun?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Jetzt . . .

David Boder

Sie haben Bruder in Amerika.

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Ich habe Bruder und Schwester in Amerika.

David Boder

Werden die Sie rÃbernehmen?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Ja, ich habe jetzt Afidavit, aber ich weià nicht, vielleicht ich kann nicht fahren in Amerika.

David Boder

Aha. Wenn Sie ein Afidavit haben, werden Sie schon bald fahren, in ein paar Monate vielleicht. Diesen Dienstag fahren 400 Menschen wegâvom anderen Lager.

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Na ja, die reste fahren. Ich auch jetzt hab Dienstâin Lager sind jetzt Ferien.

David Boder

Und was tun Sie jetzt hier?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Ich jetzt hierâich bin jetzt Feuerwehrmann.

David Boder

Sie sind Feuerwehr. Was verstehen Sie zu tun? Weil womit kÃnnen Sie was verdienen?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Ich bin Ãkonomistâ ich bin Buchhalter.

David Boder

Was heiÃtâÃkonomist?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

[In Lithuanian] Ekonomika.

Andrius Suvalkaitis

[In German] LitauischâBuchhalter

David Boder

Aha, Sie haben Ãkonomie studiert?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Ja.

David Boder

Wo?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

In Kaunas.

David Boder

In Kaunas. In der UniversitÃt. Oh. Wieviel Litauer sind hier in diesem Camp?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Hier? UngefÃhr 800.

David Boder

800 Litauer.

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Ja.

David Boder

MÃnner, Frauen und Kinder?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Ja, alles zusammen.

David Boder

Haben Sie eine Schule?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Ja, haben eine Schule.

David Boder

Eine litauische Schule?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Ja, eine litauische Schule. Und eine litauische Gymnasium. Und das ist . . .

David Boder

Und wo haben Sie BÃcher bekommen?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

BÃcher? Jetzt . . . bisschen gekriecht von unseren Leuten, und geschickt jetzt aus Amerika.

David Boder

Und von Litauen haben Sie BÃcher?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Nein, von Litauen nein, von Litauen gar nicht mehr gekriegt.

David Boder

Also danke, Herr Suvalkaitis, das war ein sehr guter Report, und wir werden Ãbersetzen lassen, und ich denke, wir werden sehr interessant, ihn sehr interessant finden.

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Danke.

David Boder

[In English] This concludes the report of Mr. Andrius Suvalkaitis, given mostly in Lithuanian, at Munich Baltic Center, at Lohengrinstrasse, September the 21st, 1946.

var english_translation = { interview: [ David Boder

[In English] Spool 9-143A and 9-143B. Mr. Suvalkaitis and Mrs. Bronė Skudaikienė, respectively. October 7th 1950, Chicago, Boder. 143A in Lithuanian, 143B partly in Lithuanian, partly German.

David Boder

Spool 143. Spool 143. Munich, September the 21st 1946 at Lohengrinstrasse, in a camp for displaced BalticsâLithuanians, Latvians and Estonians. The interviewee is Mr. Andrius Suvalkaitis, 41 years old [incorrect], Lithuanian. He will speak German.

David Boder

[In German] You are going to speak German, aren't you?

David Boder

[In English] Of course it is not his language, but we will do the best we can.

David Boder

[In German] So, Mr. Suvalkaitis, would you please tell me your name, where you were born and how old you are?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

I was born in VilkaviÅkis, at the beginning of 1915, as the first child.

David Boder

In which month?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

On the 1st of April.

David Boder

On the 1st of April?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Yeah.

David Boder

And where had you been, Mr. Suvalkaitis, when the war began?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

When the war started, I was in Kaunas.

David Boder

So, isn't it true that first the Soviets came to you?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

When the Soviets came to us in Lithuania, I was in Kaunas as well. I was on duty in an officeâas a clerk.

David Boder

So, what was this duty like? What did you do?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

I worked as aâdepartment manager.

David Boder

In which kind of office?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

It was for the Lithuanian Army in the Kauno komendantūra.

David Boder

You were a soldier?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

I was a sergeant major.

David Boder

You were a sergeant major?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Yeah.

David Boder

And then the Soviets came. What happened then?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

When the Soviets came, all of ourâall our Colonels established a corps, and all the commanders of this corps were sent to Ireland.

David Boder

The Russians established a corps?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

The Russians established a corps, as the Lithuanians hadn't been in the Army at all. And our commanders waited in Kaunas for a liquidation committee. In the beginning, I worked for this committee as wellâuntil the 23rd of February.

David Boder

So, the 23rd of February? Which year?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

In the year 41.

David Boder

And how did you live when the Russians were in Lithuania? Vilnius belonged to Poland, didn't it?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Yeah, it was Polish.

David Boder

But I thought that Vilnius . . .

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Yeah, it was a Lithuanian town.

David Boder

But before the Russians came, it belonged the Polish, didn't it?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Yeah, first it belonged to the Polish.

David Boder

And then the Russians passed Vilnius back to the Lithuanians.

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Yeah, that's right.

David Boder

And is Vilnius now a part of Lithuania?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Yeah, it is in Lithuania. But all of Lithuania is now a Soviet . . .

David Boder

Soviet.

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Yeah.

David Boder

But the Polish don't have Vilnius.

Andrius Suvalkaitis

No, they don't have.

David Boder

So, what happened further?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

That's right. And then the commanders cancelledâat the Armyâthe committee first arranged everythingâand then, on the 25th of February, the first ones were brought to jailâthe Bolshevists.

David Boder

For what reason?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

For what reason? I have no idea. I didn't do anything. For the commanders I just was a leading office-clerkânothing more. And then the first ones were arrestedâthe first ones were sent to Kaunasâthe third ones captured in Kaunasâand then, he didn't do anything for meâthe courtâhe did not enoughâat all.

David Boder

Mr. Suvalkaitis, please speak Lithuanian. Do you speak Lithuanian or Polish?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Lithuanian.

David Boder

[In English] Okay, go ahead.

Andrius Suvalkaitis

[In Lithuanian] They arrested me on February 25, put me in a prison in Kaunas. I was being kept there, but since they did not have enough evidence, they could not bring me to trial, too little evidence, so they interrogated me for quite a long timeâthey would take me out for interrogation once in two, three nights. First, the interrogator was Russian, then a Jew, and finally a Lithuanian. But none of them could get anything serious out of me. Since they did not have sufficient testiâ . . . evidence, seeing that they would not be able to bring me to court, they took me and sent me away to Vilnius prison on June 3, 1941. And finally, having kept me in Vilnius prison for three days, they sent me to Minsk. Once in Minsk prison, I was expecting, just like every suspect or arrestee, who could not be brought to trial, that a decision would be made in absentia, and I would be sentenced to fifteen, ten, more or less years of servitude and sent to the Siberian taiga. But lucky for me, the war began on June 21, 1941, and on the 24th of June, German airplanes bombed Minsk, and a bomb hit the prison building. Since the bomb fell on a corner of the prison building, huge panic started inside the prison.

David Boder

[In Russian] Was it a German bomb?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

A German bomb.

Andrius Suvalkaitis

[In Lithuanian] Huge panic started inside the prison. All the guards, overseers, started running around, drove all the inmates out into the courtyard. Those who had been sentenced, and those who had not been tried yetâevery prisoner was taken outside. Once outside, we could hear gunfire in the corridors. Everyone who was sentenced to death or to a long term of imprisonment was executed in the courtyard, on the other side of it. We were put face against the wall, with our hands up, and various guards from the NKVD were walking around, shouting. We thought they would execute us in that courtyard as well, but then what we figured from their count, they counted around twelve hundred peopleâmost of us were Lithuanians, but there were also Poles, some Latviansâand we were all herded deep into Russâ . . . to Russia on foot. We walked for three full days, three days and three nights, with little to eat and almost no sleep. We would get to eat only any scraps the NKVD men would throw out of the cars, having eaten themselves. We were being followed by cars with NKVD men, they would do shiftsâwhen some of them got tired, they would get into the cars, others would walk. After a good length of the march, we sort of camped in some forestâI cannot remember its name now. They only allowed us to rest when a lot of people had fallen, unable to go onâwhen more than one-half would fall, then we would be allowed some rest. Finally, quite a lot of people were executed in that forest, and the rest were pushed on. Then, in the evening of the third day, after we had passed Cherven, (by a forest and a river that looked like the Lithuanian Nevėžis, depth- and stream-wise) we were allowed some sort of rest. And during that breakâand two of usâme and a friend of mineâwere carrying Colonel Petruitis, and we put our feet into that stream, to regain some . . . to revive the blood, as we were tired, hungry and going mad from the interrogation. My own legs were so beaten up they could hardly fit in my pants. At that time, a second friend who was standing, slapped me on a shoulder and said, "Look, Andrius, behind you." When I looked around, I saw machine-guns set all around. And then the chief of the NKVD men commanded us to stand up and then lie down. After that, the shooting began. The whole lot of us were gunned down, whatever was left of us. Lucky for me, dead bodies fell on me right away. Apparently, that was a lucky moment, destinyâthe three of us laid in some trench. We all lay, and lucky for us, dead bodies were falling onto us, that execution continued for around three hours. After three hours, everything fell quiet, the machine-gun fire ceased, we could hear footsteps, Russian swears from the NKVD men, and those who were still alive had their heads skewered with bayonets or cracked open with trowels. Then, after they all had quieted down, when silence had fallen, I started to wriggle because I had some twelve corpses on top of me and was all drenched in blood. Other people's blood was all that surrounded me. Then I moved, moved the first few bodies off my head, raised my head and took a look aroundâthere was nobody around, only an empty field with bodies. At that time, after I raised my head I sat up, started yelling and heard a muffled voice. And then a friend of mine got up, we both got up, started walking around the field of bodies, heard a muffled voice. We ran to it and rescued Colonel Petruitis. Petruitis got up. We (hoping that as we had survived there would be more survivors as well) were yelling and walking around, around this field of corpses. But then three more Lithuanians and two Poles got up at the other end. Of the twelve hundred people, a total of eight survivedâsix Lithuanians and two Poles. Then we were walking in hopes of find more survivors, but unfortunately, the NKVD men had driven down behind bushes, watching us. Having spotted people walking around, they started up the engine and were coming at us, firing the machine-guns, hoping to get us. But then we . . . when they started shooting, the forest was about two hundred meters away, and on that sideâon the left of the road, was a rye field. Under gunfire, we escaped, cutting through the rye to the woods. What would the NKVD men have doneâof course, they would have looked for us, but at that time German airplanes came and started firing at their cars.

David Boder

[In German] I would like you to tell me, with your own words, what happened to youâpersonallyâwhen the Germans came to Lithuania.

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Yeah, that I come to . . .

Andrius Suvalkaitis

German. I can tell you. We came back to my placeâI had been arrested. Then I can further tell youâI could tell you how I came backâfrom imprisonmentâand what I did or which job I hadâin German.

David Boder

Speak Lithuanian.

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Okay, I will speak Lithuanian again.

Andrius Suvalkaitis

[In Lithuanian] When we returned to Lithuania from Cherven, I found Germans in Lithuania. At the start, the Germans did nothing in particular to us. As I returned, I immediately got a job as a bakery director. I worked at the bakery, then moved to a mill hub. I worked as an auditor at the mill hub. And there I served until the 15th of May, 1944. On May 15th, the Bolsheviks were catching people in churches and taking them away. I was caught too, and taken to Germany.

David Boder

[In German] Slowly.

Andrius Suvalkaitis

[In Lithuanian] I was brought to Germany and had to work all the time at trenches, digging them. I worked in Eastern Prussia and ended up in Karaliaučiaus. Once in Karaliaučiaus, I ran away from the trenches, came to Berlin, having crossed to this side from Berlinâthat was the beginning of March, Aprilâafter hiâ . . . hiding at some farm for a month, the Americans came at the end of one working day. When they came, I was successfully put into the Eastern camp, where I live to this day.

Andrius Suvalkaitis

When the first Americans came . . .

David Boder

Lithuanian.

Andrius Suvalkaitis

[In Lithuanian] When the American came, I was in Austria.

Andrius Suvalkaitis

[In Lithuanian] Once in Austria, I immediately went to the Salzburg Militėrvojiniment, reported there and they ordered me to go . . . to go to the Salzburg general displaced persons camp of Glasenbach. I went there, but only to find out that that camp was only for repatriating persons, and I did not want to go back home as long as there was a Bolshevik dictatorship in Lithuania, so I picked up and went to Munich. I came to Munich and have been living at the Didi camp since June 29 of last year.

David Boder

[In Russian] Do you think you have a family here . . . at the camp, or are you here by yourself?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

[In German] Please speak German.

David Boder

Yeah, yeah.. Do you have a family in the camp or are you by yourself?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

No, my family is in Lithuania. I don't have a family. I am married. My wife and two children are in Lithuania.

David Boder

Did they write to you?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

No, she didn't write. Nobody wrote to me. My brother from America wrote a letter to Lithuania, but didn't get any reply.

David Boder

He didn't get an answer?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

I didn't get an answer.

David Boder

And what do you think will happen now? What are you going to do?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Now . . .

David Boder

You have a brother in America.

Andrius Suvalkaitis

I have a brother and a sister in America.

David Boder

Will they take you over there?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Yeah, I now got an affidavit, but I don't know, maybe I won't be able to go to America.

David Boder

Uh. But since you got an affidavit you will soon be leaving, maybe as quickly as in a few months. On Tuesday, about 400 people are leavingâfrom the other camp.

Andrius Suvalkaitis

So, the first ones leave. But I am on duty. Besides. there are holidays in the camp right now.

David Boder

And what do you do here?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

I am now . . . I am now a fire fighter.

David Boder

You are a fire fighter.And what profession did you learn? How did you earn your living?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

I am an economist . . . I am a bookkeeper.

David Boder

What does this mean? Economist?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

[In Lithuanian] Economics.

Andrius Suvalkaitis

[In German] Lithuanianâbookkeeper.

David Boder

Aha, you studied business economics?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Yeah.

David Boder

Where?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

In Kaunas

David Boder

In Kaunas. At the university. Uhm. How many Lithuanians are living here in this camp?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Here? About eight hundred.

David Boder

Eight hundred Lithuanians.

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Yeah.

David Boder

Men, woman, and children?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Right, all together.

David Boder

Do you have a school?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Yeah, we have a school.

David Boder

A Lithuanian school?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

A Lithuanian school. And a Lithuanian secondary school. And that is . . .

David Boder

And where did you get books from?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Books? So . . . we got a few from our own people, and now they are sent from America.

David Boder

And did you get books from Lithuania?

Andrius Suvalkaitis

No, not from Lithuania, we didn't get anything from Lithuania.

David Boder

So, thank you, Mr. Suvalkaitis, that was a very good report, and we will have it translated. I think it will be very interesting, we will find it very interesting.

Andrius Suvalkaitis

Thank you.

David Boder

[In English] This concludes the report of Mr. Andrius Suvalkaitis, given mostly in Lithuanian, at Munich Baltic Center, at Lohengrinstrasse, September the 21st, 1946.