David P. Boder Interviews Bronė Skudaikienė; September 21, 1946; München, Germany

  • David Boder: [In English] Munich, September 21st, 1946. At a Baltic camp, populated by Lithuanians, Latvians and Estonians. The Interview is Ms. Bronė Skudaikienė, a widow who claims that her husband was killed in Lithuania in the time of the Soviets. She is 36 years old and has here 2 children.
  • David Boder: [In German] How old are the children? Once again.
  • David Boder: [In English] One of them is 14 years old, and the other, six. Her German causes her difficulty. We will have interview probably part in German, part in Lithuanian.
  • David Boder: [In German] So, Mrs. Skudaykina, please tell me where you were when the Soviets came to Lithuania.
  • Bronė Skudaikienė: I was in Lithuania, in . . .
  • David Boder: In which town?
  • Bronė Skudaikienė: Žemaičių Kalvarija.
  • David Boder: Žemaičių Kalvarija? How far is that away from Vilnius?
  • Bronė Skudaikienė: From Vilnius? It is about 200 kilometers from Vilnius.
  • David Boder: About 200 kilometers?
  • Bronė Skudaikienė: Yeah.
  • David Boder: And what did you do there?
  • Bronė Skudaikienė: I worked as an accountant in a dairy, and my husband was the dairy manager.
  • David Boder: Dairy—accountant in a dairy, and the husband dairy . . .
  • Bronė Skudaikienė: Dairy manager.
  • David Boder: What kind of qualification did your husband have?
  • Bronė Skudaikienė: I . . . .did everything. Everything.
  • David Boder: Yeah. Did he go to school, before . . .
  • Bronė Skudaikienė: Yeah.
  • David Boder: Had he been an agronomist?
  • Bronė Skudaikienė: No, not an agronomist. He did everything in the dairy.
  • David Boder: And what was it like? A large estate? Where had this dairy been?
  • Bronė Skudaikienė: He did everything.
  • David Boder: [In German/English] Ja. Alright . . .
  • David Boder: [In Russian] Well, tell us in Lithuanian then.
  • David Boder: [In German] So, tell me, just say what happened when the Russians came to Lithuania.
  • Bronė Skudaikienė: [In Lithuanian] So, my husband was a milkman. As always, I was working at his dairy house when the Bolsheviks came. My husband enjoyed high trust with the farmers in those parts, and the Bolsheviks did not like that, my Bolshevik . . . my husband did not go along with the Bolsheviks, and they hated that much. They arrested my husband, arrested him on January 12, 1941. They put him in Telšiai prison, and kept him there until the war with the Germans started. After the war started, every prisoner of the state, my husband included, a total of seventy-three men, were brutally executed in a forest at Rainiai. First of all, their arrest was very atrocious, they were shoved into cars . . . they started the engines so no one could hear their screams. They were gagged and had their hands tied. Then they took them to the forest, dug out four pits, and brutally executed them. In particular, they were being savagely burned with electrical machines, then they would cook cabbage and put it on their mouths . . . and . . . some even had their eyes clawed out . . . tongues, ears cut off. And then they were all brutally tortured to death. Beaten. The skin of their lips, hands, faces was just boiled away. The entire body was bloodied, and with hands tied, gagged they were slaughtered, and then . . . piled into the pit and covered with dirt. And then all the Bolsheviks ran from Lithuania. It was after four days that partisans found those pits. It was all very suspicious. And once they uncovered them, they found all the prisoners of state. Then they exhumed them all, laid them out in a field and then all the p— . . . acquaintances, relatives came, and they were all buried ceremoniously, there has rarely been such a ceremony and such a horrible procession for anyone to see in Telšiai.
  • David Boder: [In Russian] And now . . . now tell me . . .
  • David Boder: [In German] Uh, now tell me please, what happened to you, and how did it happen, when the Germans came to Lithuanaia?
  • Bronė Skudaikienė: [In Lithuanian] When the Germans came, it was not very good either, because it was hard for the farmers, because . . . because they had many duties. They had alot of milk to produce, dairy houses, ba— . . . meat, and everything. Later, when they saw that the Germans were not doing well, they would catch men and take them away to work in Germany. People would come to the marketplace. So they would surround the marketplace and the local police, the troops, would catch all the men, put them into vehicles and take them to Germany. They would all be taken to work. So husbands were separated from their wives, parents from kids.
  • David Boder: [In Russian] How did you get here . . .
  • David Boder: [In German] Which way did you come to Munich? Lithuanian.
  • Bronė Skudaikienė: [In Lithuanian] I came to Munich on the twenty-third day of May, 1945.
  • David Boder: [In German] Do you have relatives in America?
  • Bronė Skudaikienė: [In Lithuanian] I have . . . There is my mother’s brother and husband’s brother . . .
  • David Boder: [In German] Have you already received an affidavit?
  • Bronė Skudaikienė: [In Lithuanian] No.
  • David Boder: [In German] Do you want to leave for America?
  • Bronė Skudaikienė: [In Lithuanian] At any time, whenever possible.
  • David Boder: [In German] Did you write to them? Do you have their address?
  • Bronė Skudaikienė: [In Lithuanian] I wrote an inquiry to the consul, but did not receive a reply.
  • David Boder: [In German] Do you have the address?
  • Bronė Skudaikienė: No, I sent it to the consulate, in Sofia.
  • David Boder: I see. You sent it to Sofia. And what do you think, how long will you still be here?
  • Bronė Skudaikienė: I have no idea.
  • David Boder: And what do your children do here?
  • Bronė Skudaikienė: They go to school.
  • David Boder: They go to school?
  • Bronė Skudaikienė: Yeah, to school.
  • David Boder: A Lithuanian school?
  • Bronė Skudaikienė: To a Lithuanian school.
  • David Boder: I see, and what do you do yourself?
  • Bronė Skudaikienė: I do . . . I am working as a dress maker.
  • David Boder: So, are you already dress maker, or are you learning how to be a dress maker?
  • Bronė Skudaikienė: No, I have already finished my training. I am working as a dress maker now.
  • David Boder: Who do you work for?
  • Bronė Skudaikienė: For the tailor of the camp.
  • David Boder: For the tailor shop in the camp. Thank you very much, Mrs. Skudaykina. This is really interesting. I am sorry that I am not able to understand everything, but we wrote it all down here and it will be translated.
  • Bronė Skudaikienė: Yeah, thanks.
  • David Boder: [In English] Munich, September the 21st of 1946. This concludes the short interview with B. Skudaykina, who insists on talking only Lithuanian and unfortunately very difficult for me to steer this conversation. It will be necessary that a competent Lithuanian anthropologist or psychologist really come over and really interview these people.
  • David Boder: This concluded Spool 9-143A and 9-143B. The last part, 9-143C, the interview with Father Kharchenko, is on a separate spool. This spool contains two interviews, one with Mr. Sevalkaitis or Suvalkaitis, and the other, 9-143B, is Bronė Skudaikienė. Chicago, October the 7th, 1950. Boder.
  • Contributors to this text:
  • Transcription (German) : S. Peters, P. Gaensicke
  • Transcription (Lithuanian) : L. Paulauskaite
  • Transcription (Russian) :
  • English Translation (German) : S. Peters, P. Gaensicke
  • English Translation (Lithuanian) : L. Paulauskaite
  • English Translation (Russian) :