Tuesday, 6 December 2016

The dissident Professor visits Adelaide

Vytautas Skuodis (b. March 21 1929, Chicago) - Lithuania geologist , natural sciences, associate professor, dissident movement participant. Although born in Chicago, his parents returned to independent Lithuania in 1930.

In 1988, Professor Skuodis visited Australia. From September 9 to 26, he visited the larger Lithuanian communities. He arrived in Adelaide on the 15th, and gave his first appearance on Saturday 17th. At Lithuanian House he gave a presentation followed by an opportunity to speak to him. The following day he attended mass at St Casimir’s, and was free after lunch to mix with people. He flew out from Adelaide on the 20th.

From 1941 - 1948 he studied at Paneve┼żys Gymnasium. Following which he furthered his education at the Vilnius State University where he gained geologist qualifications, 1948 - 1953. From 1964 – 1969, he studied for his PhD at the manufacturing-scientific engineering research building institute in Moscow.

Vytautas was a member of the Helsinki Group, a Catholic Committee, 1978 - 1979 m. He was initiator and editor of the illegal underground magazine " Outlook ". In 1980 he was arrested for anti-Soviet activities and sentenced to 12 years imprisoned. Skuodis had been arrested for signing the Baltic 45 memorandum, which on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, demanded that the Baltic states be granted their guaranteed right to self-determination. However Skuodis' signature was not among the 45.

He spent six years in a concentration camp and six years in Siberia until his release in 1987. He was then exiled to the United States.

He has written a many books and articles about geology and devoted many to the issues of genocide in Lithuania and Lithuanian independence.

Vytautas Skuodis now 87, lives in Lithuania.