1975. First Edition; First Printing (no jacket)
This is a factual, first-hand account of the activities of the armed resistance movement in Lithuania during the first three years of Russian occupation (1944-47) and of the desperate conditions which brought it about.
The author, a leading figure in the movement, vividly describes how he and countless other young Lithuanian men and women were forced by relentless Soviet persecutions to abandon their everyday activities and take up arms against their nation’s oppressors.
Living as virtual outlaws, hiding in forests, knowing that at any moment they might be hunted down and killed like so many wild animals, these young freedom fighters were nonetheless determined to strike back with every resource at their command.
We see them risking their lives to protect Lithuanian farmers against Red Army marauders, publishing underground newspapers to combat the vast Communist propaganda machine, even pitting their meager forces against the dreaded NKVD and MGB.
About the author:His real name was Juozas Lukša. He was regarded with respect and admiration by the Lithuanian partisans. He understood well the psychology of leadership and, in addition, was gifted with a poetic talent which he used to compose a number of songs for the underground.The communists considered him to be one of the most dangerous figures of the resistance and sought revenge on his entire family. His four brothers and his 75-year-old father were either killed or deported to Siberia by Russians. of his other close relatives, eleven were killed and twenty were deported. Lukša was betrayed by defectors and died in battle in a forest between Veiveriai and Prienai in September of 1951.
Lukša memoirs, as well as the songs he composed to celebrate the cause of the freedom fighters, were greatly instrumental in creating a partisan “cult” among Lithuanians and served to influence a number of Lithuanian writers who had managed to escape to the free world.