Monday, 24 December 2012

Merry Christmas

Over the past year, great progress has been made with the history of the Lithuanian community in Australia.  Much work has occurred in amalgamating three collections to form one archive here in Adelaide.  Work has started on digitising parts of the collection, early minutes of the Lithuanian Community in Australia have been scanned and several hundred photographs.  

The year is coming to a close with the 27th Australian Lithuanian Festival in Adelaide.  For the first time we will be holding a history symposium to celebrate our past.
 
Early 2013, a visiting scholar from Vytautas university  in Lithuania will be spending a month viewing our collection.  Plans are under way to work closely with the Lithuanian school in regards to teaching the children our recent Lithuanian history and the connection with Australia.   Open days, scanning days and maybe even a Baltic tracing your family history are planned for history month in May.
 
Work will also continue on the museum, and becoming re-credited with History SA.  
 
If you can make it to any of the Festival events or the folk art exhibition at the Migration Museum please stop by and say hi.  Details of what's on when can be found here.

Until 2013, Linksmų Kalėdų ir Naujųjų metų. 

Monday, 17 December 2012

Folk art - Iron work

Ironwork on wooden cross made by Gintaras Valuzis
Artistic smithery is one of the branches of folk art with very deep ethnic traditions. Various metals (including non-ferrous) are known to have been  used in Lithuania even at the second millennium  B.C. Mostly they were used for decoration. Much  later (from the first millennium A.D.) forged metal  began to be used more and more frequently in household items, in the  production of agricultural implements, in furniture decoration, in the production of agricultural implements and means of transport, such as horse carriages.

The most common wrought iron objects are crosses that adorn graves. The cross usually passes into sun rays which sometimes include blossoms and leaves of  tulips, rues and other flowers, and sometimes moon and stars.


Local Adelaidian Gintaras Valužis was born in Telsiai, Lithuania in 1969.  He came to call Adelaide home when he married an Australian Lithuanian 20 years ago.  Gintaras studied arts and blacksmithing and has created some breathtaking examples of iron work in traditional Lithuanian style.  



Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Folk art - Wood



Crosses and chapels
Crosses and chapels are religious folk art that stands at roadsides in homesteads and graveyards.  The crosses were built for the remembrance of the dead or in places where accidents had occurred.  They were also erected near villages and in the fields in the expectation that God would grant a good harvest and keep away disease.

Crosses began to appear in Lithuania with the spread of Christianity in the 14 - 15th centuries.  The crosses and chapels were often topped with iron heads incorporating smaller crosses, trumpeting angels, sunbeams, arrows, firs, lilies and tulips.

Sculpture
Folk art sculpture is mainly carvings from wood.  They are commonly of religious figures, Christ, the Virgin Mary and popular saints.  The most popular figure is the Rūpintojėlis (The Pensive Christ).  The sculptures are of primitive form and lack anatomical proportion.

Wood sculpture is one of the most popular folk art mediums in Lithuania. Figures were often made with simple expressions and having an unproportional body. Very typical of the surviving Lithuanian  sculptural tradition are the images of the following three saints - the Suffering Christ, St Isidore and St George.  Sculptures of work, life, holidays and folklore were also made.


Household items
Many wooden household items were carved, spinning and weaving implements being most common.  They were carved  in shallow grooves in geometric shapes and plant life.  More simple ornamentation was found on kitchen utensils, pestles, bowls, jugs, goblets, cups, ladles, spoons etc.  Instruments such as Kankles, reed pipes and whistles were also carved as was furniture, carts and sledges.  Glory boxes and other chests were specially decorated with botanical designs in various colours.


Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Folk art - Weaving



Country women would spin yarn and weave all the material they required for garments and furnishing.  Plain linen was used for sheets, pillow cases, underwear and towels.  More complex patterned weaves were used for towels and table cloths.  Brighter coloured material in several colours were made for women’s clothes, bed spreads, rugs etc. 

Sashes were also woven, given as gifts and commonly worn.  There are distinct regional patterns from the stylised tulips and stars of Lithuanian Minor to the checks and stripes of Dzukija.

Knitwear consisted mainly of gloves and stockings shawls and sweaters.  Knitwear designs were selected from the patterns used in weaving.

The majority of patterns on white linen cloth are based on ancient geometrical ornaments which symbolize the sun and other natural objects. 

A lot of attention was paid to colours. Striped or checked bedspreads do not have many colours, usually two, three or four.  Dominating colour combinations are black, green and red; green, white and red; black and red.

Janina Maželis
Born in Kaunas in 1912.  Janina enrolled in the University of Vytautas the Great to study medicine.  She married Antanas Maželis a law student.  They both graduated in 1938.  The second world war forced them to flee their country with two young daughters.  In 1947 the Maželis family migrated to Australia and settled in Adelaide.  Janina worked as a laboratory assistant at the Queen Elizabeth hospital until her retirement in 1977. 
Weaving began as a hobby, a way of showing allegiance to old Lithuanian traditions.  Fine wool and cotton was used to create stunning woven sashes.  

In the mid 1970’s Janina turned her artistic talents to pottery.  Attending private classes taught by fellow Lithuanian Vilija Dunda, then furthered her interest with Adult Education classes at Thebarton.  From 1978 to 1981 she studied pottery at classes held at Flinders University. 



The Festival of Arts in Adelaide, South Australia, 1962. The Minister for Immigration (Mr Downer) discusses weaving with Janina Maželis, during a demonstration which she gave as part of the migrant Arts and Crafts.


Monday, 26 November 2012

Straw decorations



Straw compositions were used to decorate rooms on various occasions, such as Christmas and weddings.  Ornate hanging ornaments made of straw were the special feature of the decorative setting for bridal tables. To mark the Epiphany, stars made of pieces of straw of different length were used to decorate rooms.

The basic element of every straw composition is a segment made of 12 pieces of straw strung together with a thread.

Elena Daniene

In 1971, Elena told the News newspaper that “Christmas decorations should strive for beauty, individuality, and the true meaning of the festive season”.  But when I was a girl we were taught to make Christmas tree decorations from straw when we were at school and there used to be great rivalry between families to see who could present the most original decorations each year”.

The straw, a symbol of Christs only comfort at his birth in the stable.  The straw must be stripped cut it into workable lengths so it can be threaded into the chains, bells and lanterns which decorate the home and Christmas trees.

Elena was born February 17th, 1908 in Daukuose, Marijampolė.  She, her husband and young son migrated to Australia, and resided in Adelaide after the second world war.

Elena worked at Calvary hospital and quickly learnt English.  She later worked in a hotel and became head housekeeper and assisted Lithuanian women to gain employment.

Elena organised with P. Rutenis Adelaide’s first theatre group and was an actor and director.  She sand soprano in the choir and often sang solo parts.  She was later elected to the ALB Committee.  Elena also wrote articles for Lithuanian and English newspapers about the Soviet occupation of Lithuania.  Elena was a member and at one time, President of the Baltic Women’s group in Adelaide.
She was a great ambassador that was always promoting Lithuania.

In the last years, she and her husband moved to Port Macquarie, NSW where her son has a doctor’s practice.

She died on September 11th, 1997.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Lithuanian Folk Art






I have been doing some research for the upcoming Folk Art exhibition which will be held at the Migration Museum in Adelaide over the Christmas, New Year period.  The exhibition looks at folk art, but also members of the SA community who continued these tradition in Adelaide.

Folk Art is the inner voice of the people, a creation of the heart and the hands which manifests itself in textiles, pictures, sculptures, carvings. It is a unique and living phenomenon of national culture which reveals a nations understating of life.

Folk art is an art form based on old traditions that have developed from the practical necessities of country life.  Farmers would decorate their various utensils and women would weave material for their clothing and for decoration.  

Amongst the surviving arts which have preserved the oldest tradition s of Lithuanian folk art are Easter Eggs, woven sashes, wood carvings, and straw compositions.  

Generally, the ornamentation consists of geometric figures, zig-zags, triangles, wheels, segmented stars, suns and moons, combined with motifs from plant and animal life, blossoming flowers, rosettes, lilies, fir-trees, birds, rams, horses, and snakes.

Textiles, all prepared by women in the home, particularly linen and wool, are among the oldest and richest branches of Lithuanian folk art. These were represented in daily and ceremonial costumes, sheets, bedspreads, towels, and table cloths. 

The folk especially loved the saints whose functions were related to the pre-Christian gods. Saint George, the dragon-killer, can be linked with the ancient Indo-European warrior-god and a spring-god. As the protector of animals he became extremely popular in Lithuania.  A knight on a white steed is an emblem of Lithuania, a country whose economy in past ages was predominantly pastoral and whose people were great horse lovers. 

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Youth camp at O’Sullivan’s Beach 1965

A Youth camp was organised by the Lithuanian Church, and held from 1-10 of January. Activities held were; singing, poetry, national dancing.  The weather was pleasant and so the children could swim and play. 

Mrs Marija Intienė and Agota Leščinskienė were the camps cooks.  They were helped for several days by U. Jučienė.

Awards at the camp
Best model camper: Algis Rečiuga and Asta Rečiugaitė
Tidyness Award:  Algimantas Čiplys and Marytė Martinaitytė
Sport: Juratė Čiplytė and Kastytis Mažeika
For speaking Lithuanian all the time: Romas Šiaučiuvėnas

Teachers at camp
Birūtė Būdrienė – singing
Aldona Tugaudytė – Girls Leader
Nemira Masiulytė – Girls dormitory leader
Nijolė Bataitytė – Sport
Aldona Kaščiukaitytė – Mentor
Leonas Macpanas – Boys Leader
Leonas Vasiliunas – Boys band leader and accordionist

Camp participants
Viktoras Adutavičius
Birūtė Alminauskaitė
Kestutis Bagusauskas
Dalia Barauskaitė
Vytautas Butvila
Algimantas Čiplys
Juratė Čiplys
Asta Dainutė
Dalia Jaunutis
Klausis Jaunutis
Rūta Glainskaitė
Danutė Grigonytė
Eduardas Grigonis
Vitas Gudiskis
Romukas Kalikas
Viktoras Kaminskas
Vida Kazlauskaitė
Kestutis Kuncaitis
Rasa Kubiliutė
Birūtė Latvėnaitė
Kastyts Mažeika
Maryte Martinaityte
Jonas Mockūnas
Jurgis Petrėnas
Kestutis Pranskunas
Algis Rečiuga
Asta Rečiugaitė
Aldona Stalbaitė
Kristina Stalbaitė
Auksė Stankevičiutė
Ramute Stankevičiutė
Milda Staugaitė
Ramutė Staugaitė
Gintautas Stimburys
Ramūnas Stimburys
Romas Šiaučiuvenas
Saulius Valčiukas
Linas Varnas

Thursday, 8 November 2012

100 years young

Stefania as she appears in her
Immigration papers
Today, Stefania Binkevicius celebrates her 100th birthday.  An Adelaide resident since 1949, she is now residing in the Baltic Homes.  Born in Panevezys, Stefania and her husband Juozas, with their two children came to Australia on the good ship Nelly in September 1949.  Juozas passed away 30 years ago in 1980.

There may be something said for Lithuanian's living a long life.  I have a record of 35 Adelaide Lithuanian's who have lived 90 years or longer.  The oldest Adelaide Lithuanian was Marija Butauskas who passed away on 3 November 1988, aged 103 years.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Baltic Women banner


The same year that the Lithuanian banner was created  another was produced by the Baltic Women's Association.   Designed by Ieva Pocius, a Lithuanian artist.
 
The fir trees represent the Baltic landscape. The faces symbolise the women of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. They are set against a combination of the national colours of the three states. This central image highlights the individuality of the Baltic States, while stressing the essential unity in the region.

The Jubilee 150 logo honours South Australia’s sesquicentenary. It symbolises the link between the old culture and the experience of Baltic women in their new land.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Lithuanian banner at the Migration Museum

The Migration Museum in Adelaide holds a Lithuanian banner in its collection.  When the Museum opened in 1985, they invited communities to community groups to make banners representing their memories, hopes and dreams as immigrants.

Members of the Adelaide Lithuanian craft group at that time collectively produced a community banner.  It was designed by Architect Eugenijus Kalibatas.  

The patterns and colours are taken from the rich idiom of Lithuanian folk art. The wayside shrine, angels ploughing, and stylised flowers evoke memories of a peaceful and religious homeland. The knight and spearman represent the turbulent periods of Lithuanian history. The central design is a folk symbol of the sun depicting Australia, the ‘sunburnt country’. The new beginning, with its hopes of peace and freedom, are signified by the planting of a seedling. These hopes are also represented by the blue cross, Lithuania’s Liberty Bell and the birds. In the words of the designer, ‘all the different elements … form the larger themes of Homeland and Australia within the overall theme of memories and dreams’.
some of the contributing creators, E. Kalibitas, third from right

Made by A. Juospaitis, R. Pocius, A. Dainius, A. Vieraitis, J. Bagdonas, B. Sinickas, V. Morkunas, J. Brazauskas, E. Mikeliunas, N. Alvikis, E. Petraitis, J. Zinkus, A. Bauze, A. Patupas, G. Straukas, F. Kazlauskas, B. Jasiutis, and R. Kurauskas, 1986.

You can find out more about the banner collection at http://migration.historysa.com.au/collections/community-banner-collection

Monday, 15 October 2012

Max Fatchen writes about Lithuanians

Max at his Angle Vale home using his beloved "Ivan the Imperial" typewriter. 


Today we mourn the death of one of South Australians most iconic writers.  

Max Fatchen, born 92 years ago at Angle Vale has entertained readers, both young and old with his stories in the Advertiser newspaper and his books.  He said of writing "Writing is living, dreaming, creating new worlds, inventing characters and bringing them to life for other people to enjoy and read.  My pen is always hand.  I watch and listen and my mind brings me rhymes and rhythms and my typewriter beats them out".

He wrote of everyday people and their extraordinary life.  In 1967, he met several Lithuanian's and wrote their story in the Advertiser.  Here is the article.

Lithuanians keep up artistic tradition

When the long icy winters hung over Lithuania, recalls Mrs Ieva Pocius, of Myrtle Bank, her mother put cotton wool and charcoal between the inner and outer windows of her home to absorb the moisture and keep the windows clear in the knife-edged cold.

This drought stricken summer Mrs Pocius, with many other Adelaide housewives, will be keeping out the dust.

She is more than a housewife.  I found her in her studio, if that’s the right name for the place where a sculptress works skilfully with metal, fashioning it into abstract shapes with a welding outfit.

She said: “Its easier than using a washing machine.  You have a feeling of power, melting metal down, controlling it”.

She paused to talk about the fulfilment of life in Australia and it was then she recalled the frost patterns on the window of that far off Lithuanian home, the tall dark trees of the forest where her father a forester and the way Lithuanians whittled with wood in the winter nights and made wood carvings one of the country’s notable arts.

Mrs Pocius has kept up the artistic tradition and it was here that she developed her talent at the South Australian School of Art.  She is now an accomplished sculptress, and a lecturer as well.

She is also an example of the way Lithuanians who came to Australia after World War II have adapted themselves yet retained something of their own culture to share with other Australians.

Lithuanians are looking back this month, for next Saturday a social at Lithuanian house, Norwood with its museum and hall and its reminders of this small Baltic country will recall the arrival 20 years ago of the first Lithuanian migrants after World War II.

Lithuanian are aware of the Communist domination of their country and their memories on this score are sad ones.  Yet they are determined and progressive people and they have fitted well into contemporary Australian life.

They’re shy about their success stories.  The fact that most of them have been successful is showing in the imposing list of engineers, architects, chemists, lawyers, doctors (including three in one family) and musicians among the 1,800 people of the Lithuanian community in South Australia.

It was 2am when Mr A Sliuzas first saw Australia in 1947.

Behind him were the refugee camps of Europe and ahead of him was a hope.  Later he wandered around Perth, amazed at the contrast with ruined Europe and surprised at the buildings and obvious signs of progress around him.

He came to Adelaide in 1948.  He worked on a waterworks project, later became a hospital orderly at night so that he could study engineering during the day.

Then he found it too much so he became a builder instead. He built service stations, bridges and even schools.  Now he has a property he is developing at Forest Range. As a naturalised Australian he also has a powerful feeling for his new country. 

When Mr Pranas Matiukas came to South Australia 19 years ago, he didn’t have many possessions but he brought his two violins. He had graduated from Kaunas Conservatory in Lithuania but intended making law his living.  The war ended all that. 

He found the sunlit vineyards of Renmark stimulating after the bitter European winter.  He picked grapes in the day time. At night he played the violin at social evenings while his employers wife played the piano, but it was several years before he could play professionally. 

His wife and daughter Emily (She’s 20 now and a kindergarten teacher) joined him from Europe.   He said “I worked as a hospital orderly, did some painting jobs. But I looked after my hands”.

He uses them now to good effect as a violinist with the South Australian Symphony Orchestra.   He said “Australian Symphony Orchestra compare very favourably with similar city orchestras in Europe. But I wish Adelaide had a permanent opera”.

He recalled that before World War II, the Lithuanian city of Kaunas with 150 000 people had a permanent opera company which performed for 10 months of the year. “And we had a ballet too”.

Mr Matiukas and his family still talk Lithuanian at their Everard Park home, because it is good for their daughter to have a second language and Lithuanian is meaningful to her. 

Life in Australia has meant readjustments.

Mr V Raginis, 57, President of the Lithuanian community smiles  when he contrasts his former job with his present one.  Now he’s a first class machinist. In Lithuania he was a senior inspector of taxation.  

He began by sweeping factory floors in Australia.  He was amused at the lecture by a well meaning major at Bonegilla migrant camp in Victoria soon after his arrival.  The major had said “ You must forget everything and start a new life.  Don’t look back”.  “Its hard” reflects Mr Raginis to chop the past. About 95% of Lithuanian's here are naturalised but the past is very real to us”.  But he keeps it in perspective. 

Sixteen year old Maria Neverauskas of St Mary’s and 14 year old Giedre Straukas of Highgate can tread the lively and graceful measures of Lithuanian national dancers but they are Australian born and contemporary in outlook. They enjoy the customs of Lithuania especially at Christmas.  “I think” said Maria “that these customs enrich your life.  After all Australia is forming its culture, and Lithuania has a very old culture.  One has something for the other”.

The Advertiser Nov 18th, 1967

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Ambersail


Ambersail, is the name of the yacht that circumnavigated the globe to commemorate the Millennium of Lithuania celebrated in 2009.   11 crew of sailors on rotation took part in the voyage, a total of 120 sailors. In nine months, the yacht visited 26 Lithuanian communities in 20 countries in 5 continents.

Coming from Cape Town, the yacht arrived in Adelaide, on the end of its second leg,   Christmas Day 2008.  The yacht was greeted in Adelaide by members of the Lithuanian community.  Community president Elena Varniene gifted the sailors with a koala and didgeridoo.  The Captain brought greetings from Lithuanian President Vladas Adamkus and the displayed the Presidential flag.  The crew shared a Christmas meal with the community at Lithuanian House.

Ambersail crew and members of the Lithuanian community at Lithuanian House
Many turned out the following day to farewell them, calling out “Gero vejo”.  

The yacht then sailed to Melbourne and on to Sydney.

The crew on that leg:
Captain: Tauras Rymonis
Virginijus Rainys
Darius Liutkus 
Christmas meal with crew
Linas Ivanauskas 
Paulius Egidijus Kovas 
Rolandas Žentelis 
Arūnas Vilkauskas 
Gediminas Jurevičius
Romanas Borisovas 
Algis Patašius
Sigitas Daugnoras

 Ambersail is of the VOLVO 60 (former “Assa Abloy”) class. VOLVO 60 yachts are built to race in one of the most prestigious competitions around the world, the Volvo Ocean Race. These races take place over the southern latitudes of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific oceans where strong winds (up to 100km/h and stronger) and storms are common. During the storms, the waves rise up to 25 – 30 meters. This is why the vessels must be not only light and agile, but also extremely durable and reliable. 

The construction process of VOLVO 60 yachts involves cutting-edge technologies and materials. The hulls of these craft are made of Kevlar composite, the masts of carbon fiber, the stay of stainless steel strings. All deck equipment (winches, burtons, etc.) is made of titanium and other lightweight alloys. 

Ships details
Length – 19,25 m 
Width – 5,25 m 
Draught – 3,8 m 
Weight – 13,5 t 
Keel – 7,5 t 
Water ballast – 2 x 2,5 t 
Mast height – 26 m 
Sails: mainsail 117 m2, staysail 83 m2 and spinnaker 300 m2 
Year of production – 2001 
Designed by Bruce Farr 
Made in Green Marine Yard (UK)

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Names, names and more names


There are several sets of index cards in the collection with details of Lithuanian families in Adelaide.  I am not sure of the reason they were created but are a great and fascinating asset to the collection.  Both sets were part of the St Casmir Church Archives and I can only presume were created by the priest of the time.

South Australian families
Each card is hand written and may contain surname, followed by first name, or head of the household.  In most cases they contain the persons address, and changes of address.  It may contain place of work, birth date, children’s name and dates of birth, if the house they were living in was their own.  It may contain maiden names of spouses, sometimes place of birth, occupation, arrival date, some names of extended families.

The top right hand corner has a number which I believe indicates the number of people in the household.

It is believed they were compiled by in the 1950’s.  In Lithuanian.
Several hundred cards.

South Australian families 2

The cards have a printed template in Lithuanian. 
Pavardė vardas  Name
Adresas  Address
Šeimos nariai   amžius Pastabos  (Family member, Age,Comments).

The details are then hand written, very few are typed.  The latest date is 1962.  Birth dates are usually just the year.  The comments may contain information such as whether they are Catholic, and marital details.

Contains 331 cards.

Copies of the cards will be placed in the Lithuanian Museum for people to access.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Migration Museum Hostel stories


Can you help support this project.  Many Lithuanian's coming to Australia were first housed interstate but some were placed in the Woodside Migrant camp.  The details are below.
In SA History Week 2010 the Migration Museum launched an exciting new project called ‘Hostel Stories’. The aim of the project is to collect records of migrant hostel life, which will contribute to an exhibition in 2013.
The University of Adelaide are undertaking research into the Migrant hostels which will continue after the exhibition. Museum staff and volunteers are very excited about this partnership which will contribute to much greater resources for people wanting to find out about migrant lives in the hostels.
Thousands of migrants passed through South Australia’s migrant hostels, reception centres and camps – including Elder Park, Gepps Cross, Glenelg, Rosewater, Pennington/Finsbury, Smithfield, Willaston and Woodside – from the 1940s to the 1980s. The hostels were temporary homes to a wide range of migrants, from Displaced Persons and refugees, through to Ten Pound Poms.
The opportunity to gather first-hand accounts of day to day life in the hostels is diminishing as the years pass by. This project will help ensure that the memories are captured for future generations.
The Museum is keen to hear from people who are willing to complete our questionnaire and loan, donate or have relevant material scanned. 
Please complete the registration of interest form, or for further information please ring 08 8207 7570.

http://migration.historysa.com.au/research/callouts/hostel-stories

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Why the Baltic University was unique


I have written briefly on the Baltic University that existed for a short time in Germany, just after WWII. I have come across a booklet on the University published in English and Lithuanian printed in the 50th year after the University was formed.

The University, or Study Centre as it was officially known was unable to confer any academic degrees, but the course of study was in line with other universities.  The University was one of the cheapest at the time.  The teachers received no salaries, no funding was received.  The students and professors shared the same overcrowded barracks, the same food and shared the same common pursuit of knowledge and ideal of freedom and justice.  It was founded by scholars of three different speaking nationalities.  It was important for the three Baltic countries to preserve and further develop their national cultures.   The University symbolised the countries fierce stance against the occupation of their countries.  
Baltic University staff and students, 1946 Hamburg


Monday, 10 September 2012

Lithuanian DP periodicals


The end of the war for many of the Lithuanians became a waiting and hoping game.  Hoping that their country would be free again and they could return home.  While they hoped, they waited. 
Some 70,000 Lithuanians made their way west, mainly ending up in Germany.  A large percentage of these Lithuanians were professionals: physicians, engineers, jurists, teachers, artists, public officials, and others who would have been targeted by the Soviet occupational regime had they stayed in or returned to Soviet-occupied Lithuania.  While in DP camps, members tried to resume their former occupations, or worked at other jobs, and tried establish a sense of normalcy in what were abnormal conditions.

With time on their hands, many camps began printing their own newspapers.  These camp publications come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some contain news simply typed up and mimeographed on low-quality paper. Others were professionally type-set and contain artwork and photographs.   173 are known to exist, produced in Germany, Austria, Denmark, Italy, Sweden and Switzerland.  The names given to the publication show that the DP’s retained hope,  Kelyje Tėvynėn  (The path to homeland),that the newsletters were practical Lietuvių Žinios (Lithuanian news), or echoed their current predicament Tremtinio Žodis (Word of an Exile).

Stories, poems and articles were scattered throughout, mixed with day to day news of the camp. Various regulations and schedules of all types are published in these newsletters. The DPs had to contend with not only the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA), but also with national governments as well as they formulated policies regarding the stay and the immigration of Displaced Persons. 


The newspapers do contain names, names of deceased, people being saught, even wives to go to other countries were advertised for. Sports scores of competitions between the athletes of the various DP camps also featured.

Aušros Belaukiant (Waiting for the dawn) first published 11 October 1945 in the Montgomery camp, Dorverden Kreis Verden.  Edited by Albinas Pocius, the cover drawn by V. Vaitekunas.   It was a monthly publication, that initially cost 1 Reich mark and later 2.  The eighth publication printed on 15 June 1946 was done in Seedorf with the added subtitle of Literature and Cultural information.  Not sure when the publication ceased, the last we have is August 1946.

Albinas Pocius was born on December 13th 1918, not far from Sėda in northern Zemaitija, Albinas finished high school in Klaipeda and then began a course in journalism.  In August 1944 he fled the Russian front and fled to the west.  He found himself in the Montomery camp in Dorverdene camp and later Seedorf, the British zone. He later moved to Rotenburg camp.  At Rotenburg he assisted in the publication of a daily newspaper, Mūsų Žinios (Our news).   In 1949, Albinas and his new wife Ruta boarded the boat for Australia.  They settled in Melbourne until their retirement in the 1980’s when they moved to Adelaide to be closer to Ruta’s family.  They were both actively involved in the Lithuanian community, Albinas with the newspaper and scouts.  He wrote many articles and even a small booklet on what was obviously a passionate topic of his, ‘Mažosios Lietuva’ (Lithuania Minor). 
Several camps also issued books on various Lithuanian topics. 

The Adelaide Archives have varied copies of books and journals.  One such journal is ‘Gintaras’ Neperiodinis literaturos Žurnalas  (Amber, a occasional literature journal).  This was edited by J. Kruminas from Haffkrug,Germany first printed on October 1945.  The first issue was 56 A4 pages with sketches by A. M Šimkunas and later A. Džukas and S. Krutulis.  'Gintaras' was printed at Baltija.  Baltija appears to be a communal printer, located in Neustadt Holst DP camp IV Block.  Issue 10 was in September 1946.

Baltija had also released ‘Baltija’ literature almanac of 60 pages, ‘Tevų Nameliai’ Vytautas Nemunelis poems for children, 44 pages, ‘Sugrižimo Laivas’ a book by Juozas Kruminas, ‘Išpirktoji mirtis’ by Bronius Daubaris. 

The publications never lasted for more than a few years.  A refugee’s life was one of upheaval and frequent changes in where you lived were common.  USA accepted refugees much earlier than Australia, and so it wasn’t long before the workers migrated.  It’s amazing that copies still exist, firstly because of the poor quality of the works and secondly the fact that someone thought to bring with them copies as they migrated to a new country.