In this issue: Views of East Prussia Antanas Gustaitis and his ANBO Planes Opposites Pro-independence P.R. in 1919 –22 USAF Lt. Col. and Physician Banionis Babka: The Queen Lithuanian Portraits

The late Prof. Kazys Almenas, nuclear physicist, engineer, and essayist, exploring the ruins of a church in Gross Ottenhagen in East Prussia, now part of the Kaliningrad Oblast. Volume 6, Number S2 Mar / Apr 2018

FEATURES Views of East Prussia by Romanas Borisovas 6 by Kazys Almenas The paintings cover a period when cataclysmic change swept over East Prussia, a time when the cultural heritage of an entire historical era was being mercilessly destroyed. 11 Antanas Nori Būti Ore – Gustaitis and ANBO by Mindaugas Sereičikas During his years in the , Antanas Gustaitis built and made trial flights in 9 different types of ANBO planes. They became one of the best-known symbols of nationhood in in the years 6 before the Second World War. page 15 Opposites by Constantine K. Kliorys I lectured in Lithuania both behind the and after it was lifted. Luckily mathematics is the same, 2 + 2 is still 4 for both com - munists and capitalists. Most other things are different. 18 P.R. in the Fight for Lithuania’s Independence by Eric Sibul In order to change this situation, and to influence the American government to support de jure recognition of Lithuanian independence, enlisted the assistance two of the foremost pioneers in the fields of public relations, public opinion, and propaganda, Edward Bernays and Carl Byoir. 21 USAF Lt. Col. and Physician, Arūnas Banionis by Henry L. Gaidis Since Dr. Banionis is not the kind of person who brags about his ex - ploits, a guy like myself has to do it for him. page 11 25 Babka: The Easter Queen by Ona Daugirdienė Velykų boba , or what many of us call babka, is one of the most traditional cakes baked at this time and without a doubt, the queen of the Easter table.

Cover Credits: FRONT COVER: East Prussian ruin (R. Borisovas) BACK COVER: Baby foxes in spring (V. Knyva) INSIDE FRONT COVER: K. Almenas in Prussia. (R. Borisovas) INSIDE BACK COVER: Shrove Tuesday girl monsters. (shutterstock, MNStudio) page 25

March / April 2018 LITHUANIAN HERITAGE 1 L A B A S Those magnificent men in their flying machines PUBLISHER Lithuanian Catholic Press Society as a British comedy set in 1910, replete with antics surrounding , IL a fictional London to air race. The first part of the 20th century was a time when planes were a source of awe and in - EDITOR sWpiration, as evidenced by the symbolic power of the transatlantic flights Jonas Daugirdas of Steponas Darius and Stasys Gir ėnas in 1933, and of Feliksas Vaitkus two years later. In the January 2015 LH , Henry Gaidis described the ad - ASSOCIATE EDITOR ventures of World War I flying ace Vytautas Grai čiūnas. In the January Ona Daugirdienė 2016 issue (“Gliders on the Dunes”), Mindaugas Serei čikas recounted the exploits of Lithuanian Air Force pilots using gliders launched from sand dunes for training as well as fun. In the present issue, Serei čikas Wondering about your Estate Plan? writes about a unique individual whose engineering prowess did much Remember the Draugas Foundation and to advance Lithuanian Air Force readiness during the interwar years. His assure the future of our Lithuanian-Amer- name was Antanas Gustaitis, and his ANBO series of plane designs was ican Press. Since 1992, the Foundation has internationally recognized and renowned. In another story in this issue, served to sustain the Gaidis writes about a Lithuanian American U.S. Air Force Lt. Colonel, Draugas and now comes to the aid of Ar ūnas Banionis, who was inspired by these aviation heroes from an Draugas News and Lithuanian Heritage as earlier time. well. Over the years, it has supported capi - tal improvements and invested in printing The centenary celebration of Lithuania’s declaration of independence hardware and computers. When times on February 16, 1918 continues, and Eric Sibul tells us how Lithuanian were especially rough, it helped to pay op - Americans pulled off a remarkable feat – getting the U.S. Congress and erating expenses. The Draugas Foundation President to officially recognize the three Baltic nations as fully inde - is our lifeline and guarantor of the future pendent countries in 1922. To achieve that goal, state-of-the-art public of Draugas’s unique set of publications. relations methods were used, and our grandparents called up two of the For the Draugas Foundation to fulfill its nation’s premier experts in the field of P.R. (one of whom would earn mission, it needs your support and in - the title of “The Father of Public Relations”). volvement. A few legacy gifts of moderate The importance of fighting for one’s freedom and cultural identity size will ensure the health of Draugas is brought home by the realization that such struggles are not uniformly News, Draugas, and Lithuanian Heritage for years to come. successful. The fate of the Prussian nation comes to mind, as poignantly recounted by the late Professor Kazys Almenas, and illustrated by the All donations are tax deductible. The beautiful watercolors of Romanas Borisovas, whose work enhances not Draugas Foundation (http://www.draugo- only the pages of Almenas’ , but also the cover of the current is a charitable, 501(c)(3) organization. You can write the foundation issue of LH . into your will by specifying: “Draugas Some of us who are older had the opportunity to visit Lithuania Foundation,” EIN number: 36-3916303. while it was under Soviet occupation, and can compare what we saw For questions, please call: Marija Remiene, then with how we experienced the country after independence. Con - President, Draugas Foundation, stantine Kliorys, Professor of Management at Gannon University, re - tel. 773-585-9500. members his brief sabbaticals in Lithuania during both periods, and re - minds us how different things were, using restaurants as an example.

Jonas Daugirdas, Editor

Lithuanian Heritage is published by the Lithuanian Catholic Press Society (DRAUGAS), 4545 W. 63rd Street, Chicago, IL 60629-5532. Lithuanian Heritage is available as a bimonthly (six times per year) supplement to Draugas News ( Please consult our website or the back page of this magazine for subscription information. Copyright 2018 by the Lithuanian Catholic Press Society.

2 LITHUANIAN HERITAGE March / April 2018 able manner, allowing our readers to easily go back and find their fa - Heritage vorite stories. When people write for one of our newspapers, their con - Mailbo x tributions will remain accessible. For example, I’ve been very impressed with articles I’ve been reading from the Draugas cultural supplement, Suggestions for the annual printed of Draugas News / Lithuanian Her - Mokslas, Menas, ir Literatūra, which calendar itage magazine. Thank you for mak - began in 1949, and which continues I would like to see a calendar of ing it available to those of us of to this day as Kultūra . Lithuanian costumes and the regions Lithuanian heritage who unfortu - to which they belong. I saw one in nately cannot speak the language. Lithuania but could not find one for Have taken classes when available, myself. but they never lasted long enough. Thank you, Frances Petkus Mary Ann Lariviere Dayton, Ohio Waterbury, Connecticut Editor’s responses: Lithuanian Heritage as a Christ - To Mary Ann: Great idea for mas present the calendar and we’ll keep it in Dear Draugas : (translated from mind. In the meantime, I found this Lithuanian): We’re sending along our on the Web: - subscription renewals to Lithuanian diene/llkostiumas-6116088. Heritage , which are pres - To Marija and Kazimieras: We ents to our children. Wish you all really appreciate your idea of giving the best. We all value your efforts subscriptions to Lithuanian Heritage highly and are grateful for them. to your children for Christmas. Too Marija and Kazimieras often, Christmas gifts turn out to Marcinkevicius have little lasting meaning, and we Chagrin Falls, Ohio at Draugas believe that gifting sub - Hanging apple cheese. Like the publications scriptions is an important way of Re Rimvydas Laužikas’ apple not only increasing our subscriber cheese recipe Dear Ona and Jonas: I want to base, but also, helping ensure that from the Radvila tell you how much I and my wife Lithuanian culture and will continue kitchen, as described in the enjoy receiving and reading Lithuan - to impact our children, relatives, and Sept/Oct 2017 issue: Ona actually ian Heritage magazine. I appreciate friends. made this, after making a few mod - all the work that you two are doing To Jonas: Many thanks for the ifications to the original instructions. as associate editor and editor. I rec - kind words, and thanks also for your She added hazelnuts (and, in re - ommend all and those generous gift of $1,000 to help de - sponse to my brilliant suggestion, interested in Lithuania to subscribe fray the costs of constructing the pistacchios). You can see the results to the English language Draugas Draugas digital archive. of our (her) effort pictured above. News and Lithuanian Heritage . To Fran : No contest that a Keep up the good work! printed journal is better. However, John V. Prunskis, M.D. with Draugas , we have been faced Knight of the Order of Merit with slow and unreliable USPS de - We welcome letters and comments Hon. Consul of Lithuania livery, and this now is affecting even from our readers. Please address cor - Dean, Aspen Consular Corps respondence to: Lithuanian Heritage , delivery of Draugas News and c/o Draugas News , 4545 W 63rd St., Internet is fine, but print is even Lithuanian Heritage. We’re trying to Chicago, IL 60629; Fax: 773-585-8284. better have the best of both worlds, mak - email: [email protected] ing our publications available both Include your full name, address, and I am from the “old school.” I telephone number or email address. want a book/newspaper in my in print and online in PDF format, Letters may be edited for space or hands. I look forward to each issue archiving these PDF files in a search - clarity.

March / April 2018 LITHUANIAN HERITAGE 3 of a bird, but an entire skeleton that was found locked in the pinesap goo. Team member Ryan McKellar of the Royal Saskatchewan Museum in Canada, sharing the excitement, says, “It’s the most complete and detailed view we’ve ever had.” McKellar believes that the bird hatched on the ground, and then proceeded to move up into the trees. That would have made it more likely that it would get trapped, as is the case with the freshly found specimen.

Liola brothers and Neniškis win architecture de - Lithuanian National Anthem being sung around the world for the sign award. centenary celebration . ( The Journal of the American Insti - Celebrating the centenary tute of Architects or - The winning design entry. ( A number of interesting facebook pages have been ganized a design documenting how Lithuanians around the world have competition in San Francisco late last year. The category been celebrating the 100 year anniversary of the decla - of “Residential Architecture: Custom Home,” was won ration of independence on February 16, 1918. Among by an architecture studio ( ) from Lithuania them is a facebook page linked to , headed by brothers Ar ūnas and Rolandas Liola, and begun in 2009, the main purpose of which appears to Edgaras Neniškis. As described by journalist Edward be to archive Lithuanians singing their national anthem. Keegan, “Local firm Arches designed Valley Villa for a wooded site just outside Vilnius, Lithuania. The two- story, 4478-square-feet residence is a collision of ec - centric geometries, with a U-shaped base that is en - sconced in the sloped site supporting a V-shaped main living level above.”

“Somewhere Over the Rainbow” composer His name was Harold Arlen, but he was born Hy - man Arluck, and Litvak grandparents on both sides of the family hailed from the Vilnius region. Harold’s father was a cantor in the local synagogue. While growing up, he wrote show music for Harlem’s “Cotton Club.” In 1938, he was hired by Metro-Goldwyn Mayer to write music for the “Wizard of Oz” movie, and among the songs that he wrote was “Somewhere Over 100 million year old Cretaceous bird preserved in amber. (R.C. the Rainbow,” for which he and lyri - McKellar, Royal Saskatchewan Museum) cist E.Y. (Yip) Harburg won the Academy Award for Best Music. Poor birdie! Another favorite from Harold’s The Canadian archeologists keep finding interesting more than 500 composed songs is Harold Arlen, circa once-living relics in amber from their diggings in Myan - “That Old Black Magic,” written in 1960. (photo by Carl mar. In this particular case, it was not only the feathers 1942 with Johnny Mercer. Van Vechten)

4 LITHUANIAN HERITAGE March / April 2018 Vilnius getting into the blockchain pro - gramming space Most people are not quite sure what blockchains are, exactly. As described by Wikipedia, “A blockchain is a contin - uously growing list of Building housing the new blockchain records, called blocks, center in Vilnius ( which are linked and “Better late than never” voyagers in front of the castle at Trakai. secured using cryptography. Each block typically con - ( tains a cryptographic hash of the previous block, a timestamp and transaction data... By design, a blockchain available for watching on the website, but be - is inherently resistant to modification of the data. It is fore granting access, the site does require that you vali - an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions date a link to your cable TV provider. between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way... Blockchain was invented by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008 for use in the cryptocurrency bitcoin, as its public transaction ledger.” Recently, Antanas Guoga, a Lithuanian businessman, poker player, politi - cian, and philanthropist, organized the opening of “Blockchain Centre Vilnius,” housed in the new Green Hall 2 technology building. This not for profit center aims to be a “catalyst for the adoption of blockchain technology for the benefit of all,” according to the or - ganization’s website, . Guoga is a fas - cinating person in his own right. Born in Lithuania, he Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update” anchors comment on moved to Melbourne, Australia when he was 11 years the Ball brothers séjour in Lithuania. old, and later returned to found many businesses in ( Lithuania. His blockchain center in Vilnius may serve as a springboard to help make Vilnius a leading sector Ball brothers training in Prienai a source of comedy in this new technology, which can be applied not only jabs to cryptocurrency, but to banking, and even secure vote LaVar Ball is an American business man and the counting during elections. Lithuania is positioning itself father of 3 basketball players. The eldest, Lonzo, is a as “a gateway to Europe for Asian partners looking for guard for the Los Angeles Lakers. Next, his second son opportunities in blockchain driven technologies,” the LiAngelo was enrolled as a student at UCLA and played center’s chairman Paulius Kuncinas said in a statement. for their team, but was suspended after he was accused of shoplifting while on a trip to China. His youngest “Better late than never” traveling companions visit son, LaMelo, was a high school basketball star. Father Lithuania LaVar pulled both sons out from their schools and de - As described on Wikipedia, this American reality cided that they would benefit from basketball training TV show aired by NBC documents the experiences of in Europe, and for this purpose, he signed them on to ų “four ‘seasoned’ North American celebrities, William the Prien Vytautas basketball team in Prienai, Lithuania. Shatner, Henry Winkler, George Foreman and Terry Due to father LaVar’s rather eccentric nature and his Bradshaw, accompanied by younger comedian Jeff Dye, public spat with President Trump after LiAngelo’s as they travel overseas without luxuries, experiencing shoplifting episode, the experience of the two Ball new cultures and checking off their bucket lists.” They brothers in Lithuania has become the subject of a lot finally got around to visiting Lithuania and one of the of amusement and satire. The above youtube link shows moving aspects of this episode was Star Trek captain how Saturday Night Live’s satirical news show, “Week - William Shatner’s visit to Vilkaviškis, the hometown of end Update,” views the situation. his Litvak grandparents. The Lithuanian visit episode is

March / April 2018 LITHUANIAN HERITAGE 5 Borisovas: Views of East Prussia by Kazys Almenas

he watercolors of Romanas Borisovas are beau - tiful. Works of art do not require any additional justification. However, I am certain that after Tviewing them, many will experience something more. Let’s call it the breath of passing history, or possibly an intimation of the vulnerability of the works of man. The watercolors were painted during the past several decades; the destructive effect of time and history is their unifying thread. They cover a period when cata - clysmic change swept over East Prussia, a time when the cultural heritage of an entire historical era was being mercilessly destroyed, and when a totally different his - torical reality was to be built on its ruins. The setting for Borisovas’ paintings is a unique cor - Seaside home near the Baltic sea. Watercolor, 2001. ner of Europe, which for a long time was called East Prussia. Periodically glaciers advanced over this territory can see the history of this land, stretching back for from the heights of Scandinavia. The marks left by many millions of years. Layers of gravel created by the these geological events can be seen clearly on the western debris of melted glaciers are separated by layers of sand, shore of the Semba peninsula (just to the east of pres - which mark millions of years when oceans covered the ent-day Kaliningrad or Karaliaučiai ), where the rolling land. Down at the bottom, almost at the level where hills of Semba meet the Baltic Sea. It is not a gentle the waves beat against the precipitous face of the shore - meeting; there is no beach; the waves hurl their full side hills, there is a dark, tarlike layer, the remains from force directly against the hills that impede their progress. when the climate here was tropical and enormous conifer Looking down their remarkably stable sheer faces, one forests covered the region. It is this layer that has left a unique gift to this land. The sap that oozed from those trees became fossilized and the sea washed segments of it onto the beach, giving the region its name – “The Amber Shore.” The glaciers of the last ice age melted about 12,000 years ago, a mere blink of the eye on the geological scale; human settlement followed not long thereafter. Evidence of the first Neolithic settlers is present from about 6,000 years ago, and thus antedates the pyramids of Egypt. Archeological evidence shows that the in - habitants were . They evolved here through Ne - olithic times, to the Bronze, and subsequently, to the Iron Age. They had amber to trade, and did so with Greece, Rome, and Byzantium. After the Roman Empire Romanas Borisovas next to his most recent work (left) and portrait collapsed and entire nations moved across the face of of his daughter Joana (center). Europe, the Prussian Balts did not join the wandering

6 LITHUANIAN HERITAGE March / April 2018 Fragment of a German church at Allenburg, Prussia. Watercolor. 2004. throngs. Their neighbors, the Goths and the Galinds, spreading of Christianity was just a façade; actually, the moved; Slavs appeared in their stead. But the Baltic movement of Christian armies to the north was moti - tribes remained where they had first settled. They cleared vated by the knowledge that here lands could be won a part of the extensive forests and engaged in agriculture and held. and fishery, and became artisans and tradesmen. The following two centuries were bloody. In 1233 The glacier-swept land they inherited was not a the Teutonic knights, an order of armed monks with wilderness anymore; it became desirable and attracted origins in the Holy Land, transferred their base to Torun, the attention of its neighbors. The Balts built numerous Mazovia (a region in north central Poland, about 100 hill forts to defend their territory. It is at this point that written history begins. About 1,000 years ago, missionary Christianity reached the Baltic lands. The first meeting was not successful. Their neighbors, the Slavs and the Germanic peoples, had converted to Christianity a cen - tury or so earlier, but the Baltic tribes, including the Prussians, could not be persuaded. An additional two hundred years passed. Enormous changes occurred in Christian Europe during that time. Under the influence of the Crusades to the Holy Land, the teachings of Christ, the Prince of Peace, had become subverted. Christianity deformed into a war-like religion; the teach - ings of Christ were now spread by the sword. In fact, Ruins at Kneiphof, a district of Königsberg. Watercolor. 2015.

March / April 2018 LITHUANIAN HERITAGE 7 miles south of Gdansk), and, aided by volunteers from existing society, but a gradual, centuries-long coexistence Christian Europe, began a war of conquest and con - and eventual blending of two peoples. As a result, a version against the Prussian tribes. It took half a century unique Prussian ethos developed. to conquer the Prussians, then another 150 years during Characteristics of the monarchical system and some which the war was prosecuted less successfully against unique historical accidents led to the ironic development the Lithuanians. The numerous castles which dot the that in the 16th century, “Prussia,” the name of the Prussian lands hark back to this time. conquered people, was transferred to the region of Until the Second World War this prolonged war Brandenburg (surrounding current-day Berlin), and later dominated the historical consciousness of Prussia. This became synonymous with . This changed the was due not only to the extraordinary length of this image of “Prussia,” and it was not a change for the bet - conflict, but also because in the medieval context, it ter. It is well to remember that the inhabitants of the was a clash of civilizations. The stakes were high – for real Prussia were not responsible for the sins committed the Baltic peoples, losing meant not just a change of re - in their name during the 20th century by the government ligion but also servitude and acceptance of Germanic in Berlin. societal values and language. In the end the Lithuanians Let’s return to the watercolors of Romanas Boriso - won and maintained much of their territory and most vas. They show the cultural heritage of the original importantly, their identity, but the Prussians had to ac - Prussians only indirectly. It could not be otherwise. cept the lot of the conquered. Prussian dwellings and hill fortifications were built of It took a long time for the conquerors and the con - wood and vanished long ago. However, in choosing lo - quered to meld into a new society. In conquered Prussia, cations to be fortified, they chose well. The conquering the Prussian language survived for four hundred years, Teutonic knights recognized this and built their own into the 17th century. In its northern segments Lithuan - fortifications on the same sites. Usually they did not ian was spoken well into the 20th century. Books were change the name of conquered territories, or changed published in these languages, church services held. Baltic them only slightly; thus Balga remained Balga, Ragain ė place-names survived in slightly Germanized versions; was changed to Ragnit, and Šakiai to Schaaken. the legends, folk-tales, and songs of this region were a There is not much stone to be found in the glacier- blend of local and German traditions. It is now apparent scraped land, so the builders of forts, churches, and that the conquest was not a sudden destruction of the castles used mostly bricks. This is evident in the water -

15th century church in Pobethen - Pabėčiai (Romanovo), destroyed during WWII. Watercolor. 2010

8 LITHUANIAN HERITAGE March / April 2018 region. They show that no ties exist between the inhab - itants who worshiped in these churches, some of them dating back to the 13th century, and the latest conquerors who replaced them. This time historical continuity was severed completely. It is difficult to write about the fate of Prussia after 1945. The changes which took place there are so unique that it is difficult to find a point of comparison. There simply are no recognizable analogies. In 2003, after re - peated visits to the region now called Kaliningrad ( Kar - aliaučiai ), I tried to summarize what I saw in an article titled “Consciousness Determines Reality.” An excerpt follows: “It is ‘Kaliningrad’ not ‘Königsberg,’ which falls so much more gently on our ears. The historical city is A Christmas tale. Ruins of a church in Medenau, East Prussia. Watercolor, 2009. gone, now there is just ‘Kaliningrad.’ I had to face this fact during my first visits here in the beginning of the colors of Borisovas. In most of the depicted structures, 1990s. Not a trace was to be found of the old Königs - brick walls dominate. They show that medieval brick berg. When I first visited this sad city, the ruins of the was not only a strong, but also an amazingly varied, cathedral stood roofless, Lenin glared across the huge, building material. Borisovas reflects this variation in a concrete-paved ‘Victory’ square, surrounded by truly masterful fashion. Note especially his paintings of pompous, massive, colonnaded Soviet buildings. On the structural elements like doorways and arches. The colors flat roofs of seemingly endless five- storied buildings of of the bricks vary from almost black, through various crumbling concrete, slogans such as ‘Slava Sovietskomu shades of red, to burnt yellow. That’s how they appear Narodu’ (Glory To the Soviet Nation) were spread out. in reality. These were not factory-stamped bricks; each The huge letters made of rusting iron matched the des - was formed individually by hand, dried in the sun and olate gray, peeling facades of the buildings… baked in wood-fired kilns. Subsequent centuries of sun, “The prime example of this ‘glory’ squatted right rain, and freezing weather altered their colors further. in the gutted heart of old Königsberg. There, at the lo - At the hands of a master painter, the subtle color vari - cation where Köningsberg’s landmark castle, the defen - ation of these bricks is represented beautifully. sive, administrative, and cultural center of Prussia, had Most of the structures depicted in the watercolors stood for 700 years, rose an uncompleted concrete mon - are ruins. Ruins of medieval castles do not dismay us. strosity of unique ugliness. Try to imagine a twenty- Openings in weathered massive walls, which allow a story high structure of bare gray concrete; rows of view into a stark interior, arches which support no roof, empty, glassless windows, and strange concrete protru - partially collapsed towers – all of that seems almost sions. It squatted among piles of abandoned structural natural. Castles have long ago lost their function; their elements, garbage, and weeds, surrounded by a weath - ruins mark the relentless passage of time. But look ered wooden fence marred by scatological graffiti. Those again. Many of the ruins documented in these water - who have seen the ‘Building of the Soviets’ know that colors are the remains of churches! Not only churches my description of it is inadequate. Before giving up its in the large towns which were bombed during the war, ghost, the Soviet system built a monument to its impo - but in small villages, like Tarava, Lapynai, Pavanden ė, tence… and Obeliškiai, which survived the war intact. Borisovas “It was still like that five years ago. At that time the recorded what he saw over several decades, thus the first supermarkets had been built in Lithuania, pizza presented view is a glimpse not of what is, but what was replacing shashliks, and many facades of the Vilnius was. In the course of these decades, destruction pro - Old Town were gleaming with new paint. In comparison, ceeded apace, and some of the depicted church towers Kaliningrad appeared even bleaker than during earlier are now just piles of rubble. visits. German funds were slowly restoring the cathedral, That is the painful component of Borisovas’ work; and the cleansed ancient brickwork contrasted with So - it starkly shows us the changes that engulfed the Prussian viet bleakness. Another change was a huge crater dug land after 1945. The ruins of churches do not reflect in a ramshackle park behind the statue of Lenin. A the relentless, gradual action of time; they are evidence weathered billboard proclaimed that a cathedral was to that a uniquely destructive historical shift engulfed this be built in this place. At that time there was water at its

March / April 2018 LITHUANIAN HERITAGE 9 Majestic ruins of the cathedral at Königsberg. Watercolor, 2010. bottom, trash floated on top of it, and Lenin did not have developed a nostalgia for that which was destroyed. seem overly concerned. So far, the evidence of capital - Pictures and mementos of old Köningsberg have be - ism around him consisted of numerous ramshackle come very popular, and some of the remaining struc - kiosks… tures in old Köningsberg have been restored. “I noted that things had started to change during The latest historical glacier which engulfed East my 2003 visit when I reached the bridge across the Prussia in 1945 is melting, leaving enormous destruction Pregel River. From this position one had a good view and much debris behind. Like a block of hardening am - of the blocks of concrete buildings which had been ber, the watercolors of Borisovas capture what happened adorned with the huge rusting “Slava Sovietskomu Nar - to the cultural heritage of East Prussia. Even when the odu” slogan. The slogan had now vanished! In its place, paintings depict evidence of barbaric destruction, they in somewhat smaller and considerably more elegant remain beautiful. That is the mark of the artist. However, , not Cyrillic, letters there was just one word – the artist is free to choose what he will depict. Borisovas SAMSUNG.” chose to depict the vanishing cultural heritage of Prussia It is evident that changes are occurring. What will and Königsberg. His accomplishment is not just the re - follow now? Lenin had cause to be worried. He is gone sult of artistic talent, but also recognition of what is from Victory (formerly Hansa) square. In place of the truly valuable. The technique is professional; it is the crater behind his back there now rises a large Orthodox choice of subject matter that makes his work unique. cathedral with five gold-plated domes. The generation which was born and grew up in this land does not harbor the destructive hate which their parents and Adapted with permission from: “Disappearing East Prussia” grandparents brought with them. They are still very un - (Išeinantys Rytprūsiai ). Catalog for an Art Exhibition by Romanas Borisovas. : Kopa, 2006. Watercolors can be purchased certain with regard to their identity, but many of them directly from the artist: [email protected] .

10 LITHUANIAN HERITAGE March / April 2018 Antanas Gustaitis Builder of Airplanes by Mindaugas Sereičikas

s we celebrate the centenary Antanas Gustaitis was born on School became especially difficult. of Lithuanian Independ - March 26, 1898, in the village of Because it lacked its own facilities, ence, we look to the past to Obelin ė, near Marijampol ė. On May the School at first operated out of fAind people and symbols to serve as 28, 1916, at the age of eighteen, he the parental home of its first com - reminders of the concept of state - graduated from high school and be - mandant, Konstantinas Fugalevi čius. hood embodied in the February 16, gan studies in , Rus - The school lacked supplies, text - 1918 Declaration of Independence. sia, at the School of Engineering books, and most importantly, in - One of the individuals who embod - named after Czar Alexander I. structors who were knowledgeable ied this concept of Lithuanian state - As the battles of the First World in the theoretical disciplines of avi - hood was fighter pilot and airplane War dragged on for more than three ation and who could teach flying. builder Antanas Gustaitis. In 1925 years, farmers, factory workers and Military Aviation School students re - his future wife Bron ė came up with students lived in constant anticipa - ceived only fragmentary instruction the acronym ANBO from the words tion. In 1917 it became clear to An - in warfare and aviation. ‘Antanas Nori Būti Ore ’ (Antanas tanas that he, like other students, Flying lessons began when the wants to be in the air). This acronym would not be able to avoid service school obtained three Albatros B.II was used on all the planes that Gus - in the Russian imperial army. In 1917 training planes from the Germans, taitis built and became one of the he enrolled in the Constantine who were retreating from Lithuania. best-known symbols of nationhood School of Artillery, but the Bolshe - The students at the School of Mili - in Lithuania in the years before the vik Revolution cut short his military tary Aviation were divided according Second World War. service. The war and the revolution to their abilities into pilot and scout caused turmoil to spread over the groups. On July 21, 1919, Antanas Russian empire. In 1918 Gustaitis was assigned to the first flying-lesson returned to Lithuania as the revolu - group, headed by senior lieutenant tion was spreading. Haris Rotteris. By the end of August By the end of 1918 it became a group consisting of six advanced evident that military force would be students was created, and Antanas needed to establish and defend Gustaitis became part of that group. Lithuanian independence. This led Unfortunately, flying instruction to the creation of the Lithuanian soon came to an end after instructor Army, and on March 12, 1919, the Rotteris stole a plane and fled Lithuanian School of Military Avia - Lithuania. This led to the firing of tion was created. Its purpose was to the remaining German instructors train fighter pilots for the Lithuanian for fear that they might be untrust - Army. Gustaitis enrolled at this worthy. school on March 15, 1919. From As 1919 drew to a close, Gus - that day forward his entire life be - taitis’ superiors made the decision came connected with the Lithuanian to accelerate his studies at the School Air Force. of Military Aviation so that they Antanas after finishing his studies at the School of Military Aviation. Kaunas, 1920. As the Red Army attacked could be concluded by the end of (Author’s archive) Lithuania, work at the Air Force the year. He graduated on December

March / April 2018 LITHUANIAN HERITAGE 11 Gustaitis in front of his first plane, the ANBO-I, Kaunas, 1925. (Lithuanian Aviation Museum archive) 16, 1919, with the degree of lieu - Air Force, to build his first plane, Squadron, whose pilots used tenant of engineering and was as - which he began to do at the end of ANBO-I to conduct accurate land - signed to the Lithuanian Air Force. 1924 in factories of the Lithuanian ing exercises. This plane is the only In 1920, as battles for Lithuan - Air Force with money he himself plane constructed by Gustaitis which ian independence continued, flying had saved. has survived. It is on display in the lessons intensified and pilots solidi - Gustaitis constructed airplanes Vytautas Magnus War Museum in fied their flying skills by making which were very practical and met Kaunas. flights into battle. In 1920 Gustaitis, the needs of the Lithuanian Air The commanders of the who had just begun flying on his Force. His first plane was a compact, Lithuanian Air Force took note of own, made three flights to the front. low-winged sports monoplane. He Gustaitis’ talents, and the Ministry His fourth flight ended before it himself made a trial flight in this of Defense awarded him a scholar - could begin: on October 4th the plane, which was made of metal ship. In the fall of 1925 he left to plane he was piloting crashed on pipes and woodwork, in Kaunas on study at the prestigious Paris Ad - takeoff because it was overloaded July 14, 1925. The plane was named vanced School of Aeronautics and with bombs. ANBO-I. The Roman numeral in - Mechanical Construction. He re - After the battles for independ - dicated that it was the first to be turned three years later after having ence ended, a more peaceful life be - constructed. Upon completion, the been trained as a professional engi - gan. New squadrons were formed, plane was turned over to the First neer of aeronautics and mechanical pilots were trained, and new planes were purchased. Gustaitis took courses for pilots and scouts, and he later completed advanced acro - batic piloting courses. On August 29, 1922, he was awarded the title of fighter pilot. In 1923 the career of Gustaitis took a leap forward: at age 25 he was made head of the Training Squadron. He was entrusted with organizing advanced piloting classes and was promoted to the rank of senior lieutenant. Gustaitis had a tal - ent for mathematics. He got permis - sion from lieutenant general Juozas Kraucevi čius, head of the Lithuanian ANBO-III plane in flight over Kaunas. (Lithuanian Aviation Museum archive)

12 LITHUANIAN HERITAGE March / April 2018 construction. He soon used the sys - tematic knowledge of plane con - struction he had acquired to build a new plane, the ANBO-II. This was a two-seater designed to train begin - ner pilots. The style dominant in Paris influenced the techniques that Gustaitis used to construct the ANBO-II. It was a high-winged monoplane with wings supported on props. Gustaitis took a pragmatic approach to the materials, attach - ments and motor needed to con - struct the plane: he took cost, quality, and use of the various elements of the plane into account. When he re - turned from Paris in the summer of Participants in the flight around Europe. Gustaitis is third from the left. Kaunas, 1934. 1927, he oversaw construction of (Lithuanian Aviation Museum Archive) the plane, and he finally made a trial sponsible for all of the aviation tech - with the prototype of this plane flight with it on November 10, 1927. nology of the Lithuanian Air Force, from the Kaunas airfield on July 14, The plane was used to train pilots, and he was entrusted with the care, 1932. In 1932 the command of the and in 1931 it was donated to the assembly and repair of all of its Lithuanian Army and Air Force an - Lithuanian Flying Club. planes. nounced an international contest for While still in Paris, Gustaitis at - Gustaitis returned from Paris the best new scouting plane. Gus - tained the rank of captain. When he with plans and preliminary drawings taitis won the contest with his came back from his studies, he was for a few more airplanes. One of ANBO-IV plane. He beat out three made a major, and also chief of staff them was a plane designed for ad - other planes entered by world-fa - for the Lithuanian Air Force. A few vanced training of pilots, the mous airplane manufacturers. This months later he assumed the post ANBO-III. Pilots training in the led to serial manufacture of the of Head of the Technical Depart - Lithuanian Air Force had to make ANBO-IV plane. There were 15 ment of Lithuania’s Air Force, which between 80 and 130 trial flights with ANBO-IV planes built in Lithuanian included Air Force manufacturing an instructor before flying on their Air Force plants from 1932 to 1935. plants. Even though he was still a own. From the beginning of the In the summer of 1934, on the young engineer, he was made re - 1930s, it was the ANBO-III that was first anniversary of the flight of used for further pilot training after Darius and Gir ėnas across the At - a pilot’s first solo flight. ANBO-III lantic, three ANBO-IV planes led was the first plane manufactured se - by Gustaitis flew around Europe. rially. In 1930-1931 nine of these They visited 12 countries and cov - planes were manufactured in ered 10,000 kilometers by air. The Lithuanian Air Force plants. ANBO name became known all After finishing ANBO-III Gus - over Europe and brought interna - taitis began working on his most fa - tional acclaim not only to Gustaitis, mous airplane, the ANBO-IV. In but also to the Lithuanian Air Force. this new plane he combined the After this flight the British engine characteristics of a scouting plane manufacturer Bristol used the with those of a bomber. The new ANBO-IV plane in its advertise - plane was smaller than planes used ments. After the European flight, for scouting missions at that time. Gustaitis was given the military rank It was fast, more nimble, and had of colonel and was made head of the capacity to carry a small number the Lithuanian Air Force. On No - Gustatitis In front of an ANBO-IV. Kaunas 1934. (Lithuanian Aviation Museum of bombs intended for enemy land vember 23, 1937, he was made a archive) targets. Gustaitis made a trial flight brigadier general.

March / April 2018 LITHUANIAN HERITAGE 13 ANBO-VIII, piloted by Gustaitis, made its first trial flight on Septem - ber 5, 1939. It was anticipated that this well-equipped and aerodynamic airplane would enable the greater part of the battle squadrons of the Lithuanian Air Force to be ready for combat. Unfortunately, the begin - ning of the Second World War and the Soviet occupation which fol - lowed put an end to the construction of ANBO-VIII. During his years of service in The reconnaissance ANBO-41 plane, credited with being one of Gustaitis’ finest designs. the Lithuanian Air Force, Antanas (Lithuanian Aviation Museum archive) Gustaitis built and made trial flights The years 1935-1939 were espe - after the first flight of ANBO-V, in nine different types of ANBO cially productive. Gustaitis began to Gustaitis created the ANBO-VI planes. In 1940, of the 120 planes perfect the ANBO-IV. The new plane, which was designed to train a in the Lithuanian Air Force, 56 were ANBO-41 had a three-blade pro - new generation of pilots. ANBO-construction planes. Gus - peller and a larger wing span. From At the end of the 1930s the air - taitis designed all of the training 1936 to 1939 twenty ANBO-41 fields of the Lithuanian Air Force planes and a large part of the scout - planes were built. They became the still had a fair number of German ing planes. When the most highly regarded of the planes planes made during the First World occupied Lithuania, the Soviets constructed by Gustaitis. War, but in 1931 the ANBO-V de - seized some of Gustaitis’ planes and The Lithuanian Air Force grew signed by Gustaitis began to take transported them east, and they de - considerably after 1930. New the place of these uneconomical, stroyed the others, using them for squadrons were formed. The net - outdated and unsafe planes. In 1936 target practice. In March of 1941, work of airfields expanded. In 1932 Gustaitis designed and built his last the Soviets arrested Gustaitis, ac - the Lithuanian Air Force School was training plane – the ANBO-51. cused him of anti-Soviet activity, and reestablished. More pilots and more In 1938 he took on his last proj - conducted a sham trial. They con - training planes were needed. In 1931 ect – designing a light bomber. It demned him to death and executed Gustaitis began to design a new was a two-seater low-winged mono - him in the Butyrka prison of training plane, the ANBO-V. Soon plane of mixed construction. The on October 16, 1941.

Mindaugas Sereičikas is a Ph.D. student of History at Klaipėda University ( The main sources for this report, which are available on request, in - clude unpublished documents from Office of the Chief Archivist of Lithuania, Lithuan - ian Special Archives and the Lithuanian Aviation Museum. Also used were articles by Algirdas Gamziukas, Estela Gruzdienė, Eugenijus Raubickas, Gytis Ramoška, Vik - toras Ašmenskas, Vilius Kavaliauskas, and Vytautas Asevičius. Memoirs used included those by Jonas Martynas Laurinaitis, Jonas Mikėnas, Juozas Namikas, Leonardas Peseckas, Pranas Hiksa, and Simas Stanaitis, as well as unpublished memoirs by Bronė Aleksandravičiūtė-Jablonskienė Gustaitienė. The last of the ANBO designs, the ANBO-VIII, first tested in flight in September of 1939. (Lithuanian Museum Archive) Translated from Lithuanian by Rimas Černius.

14 LITHUANIAN HERITAGE March / April 2018 A Tale of Two Countries, Pre- and Post-Soviet Lithuania (A mathematician’s discovery of the “opposite” principle)

By Constantine K. Kliorys

o anyone born after 1990 the term “Iron Curtain” is just a historical term of no more iTmport than the term “Hadrian’s Wall.” Unless it falls again, no one will experience it again. As a profes - sor of mathematics I had the op - portunity to lecture in Lithuania both behind the Iron Curtain and after it was lifted. Luckily mathemat - ics is the same, 2 + 2 is still 4 for both communists and capitalists. Most other things are different. In 1980, as a newly minted as - Full class, but no one wants to sit up front. sistant professor I lectured for about 3 months on Algebraic Number rations on freedom of religion, but garita. It is a hot day and the poet Theory at the Institute of Mathe - that meant you had better not go to Bezdomny would like a cold drink. matics and Cybernetics of the Acad - church or it would be the worse for “A glass of lemonade, please,” said emy of Sciences of Lithuania in Vil - you. I became a godfather to a col - Bezdomny. “There isn’t any,” replied nius. league’s baby son. We arranged the the woman in the kiosk. For some After much thought, I decided baptism in a darkened church reason the request seemed to offend that my entire experience could be through a back entrance in the mid - her. “Got any beer?” inquired Bez - best described by one word, “oppo - dle of the night. Examples of these domny in a hoarse voice. “Beer is site” in the sense that the real mean - reverse, opposite meanings being delivered later this evening,” ing of a word was the exact opposite abounded in everyday life. What is a said the woman. “Well what have of its literal meaning. It was like liv - bar? A place for a beer? Of course you got?” asked Bezdomny. “Apricot ing in Orwell’s 1984 and in Alice’s not, that is a place where there is no juice, only it is warm,” was the an - Wonderland. If Orwell had a Min - beer or at best it will be warm. A swer. istry of Truth, a main Soviet publi - typical Soviet joke describes a tourist It continues. A hotel is a place cation was “Pravda” (Truth) which who by mistake walks into a butcher where you cannot stay. Every tourist of course published everything but shop and asks for bread. The indig - that travelled to Lithuania under So - that. When Humpty Dumpty used nant clerk replies that this is a butcher viet rule knew that all hotels were a word incorrectly and Alice ob - shop: we have no meat here. Next off limits except “Gintaras” where jected he replied that when he used door is the bakery: that is where they here it was now off limits to locals. a word it meant only what he wanted have no bread. This type of phe - Restaurants were usually places to, what was important was who was nomenon was so pervasive that it ac - where you could not eat. First, it was to be the master. tually appeared in literature (which because it was very difficult to get As I walked down streets, red of course was banned: what is a in past the doorman. The standard banners proclaimed “liberty,” but the book? something you cannot read). greeting was “there are no empty people were enslaved. The Soviet Here is a short dialogue from places,” which meant there were constitution had very strong decla - Mikhail Bulgakov’s Master and Mar - empty places (the opposite principle

March / April 2018 LITHUANIAN HERITAGE 15 again – o.p), only you forgot to give The invariant answer will be “meat” gan to replay itself. All the two per - him a bribe. A half empty restaurant and if you ask what kind, the stan - son tables were again full, but there was preferred to a full one (o.p. dard answer is “cooked” ( kepsnys ). were plenty of empty four person again) since the wages were the same The beverage will always be “drink” tables where I again sat down. Only and there was half as much work. (gerimas ), and if you ask what kind, this time when the waiter went by I Even if you got in, don’t look at the you will get an angry retort that it is collared him and said “there are four menu or it will become impossible a “brand drink” ( firminis ). Of course, of us at this table and I would like to order a meal. The menus were you have no idea if you will get beer to order four dinners.” When he usually imposing leather bound vol - or buttermilk, but you will get the brought the four dinners, I happily umes whose purpose was to list all “drink.” So I happily ate my meat began eating mine. A few minutes the food that was unavailable. and had my drink while the poor later the waiter came by and asked I witnessed the following com - students were still engaged in the where my three friends were. I edy. A group of foreign students hopeless task of trying to order from replied “Oh they are enjoying their came in to the restaurant and care - the menu. It was like a skit from Sat - meals very much, only they are in - fully studied the menu an placed urday Night Live, where whatever you visible.” I had learned how live in their order when the waiter ap - order you will always get “cheese - the theater of the absurd. peared. He immediately informed burger, cheeseburger, cheeseburger, This “opposite” principle also them that none of their choices were no Coke, Pepsi.” surfaced in more serious situations. available. They again resumed study - Even having discovered the The purpose of the “Iron Curtain” ing the menu and placed a different “opposite” principle, it was not that was not to keep people from entering order with the same result. This easy for a capitalist like me to im - the communist paradise, but from pointless back and forth went on for plement it in a communist society. leaving paradise (opposite again!). In quite a while. In the meantime, I was Knowing how to enter a restaurant conversations with some of my rel - enjoying my meal because I had and how not to look at the menu atives I lamented the fact that they learned how to operate in a country was not always enough. I entered a could not travel to other countries. run under the “opposite” principle. restaurant where all the tables had To my surprise they answered that The first step is NOT to open the either two chairs or four chairs. All they were free to travel. They said menu, but to ask what is available. the two seaters were occupied so I they could travel to any democratic sat down at a four seater. I was ig - country. At which point I exclaimed, nored for about ten minutes. Finally, well then come visit us in America! I grabbed a passing waiter to try and We would love to see you. Oh no, order. He rudely muttered, “we don’t they replied America is not a demo - serve at that table.” I figured maybe cratic country, it is a capitalist coun - that section of the restaurant was try. Totally befuddled, I asked, so closed, and moved to a different what are the democratic countries? four person table. The same result, Democratic East Germany, the the waiter even more angrily stated Democratic Country of North Ko - that they don’t serve at that table ei - rea, Democratic Peoples Republic of ther. Desperately, I asked, “where China, was the list. I could have do you serve then?” He replied that kicked myself. Here I thought I was a single person must sit at a two per - mastering the “opposite” principle son table (which were all occupied). and it turns out I was still a neophyte. I left without eating, but with a much Of course! A Democratic country is deeper understanding of the beauty one where there is no democracy, of the “opposite” principle. You how could I forget. cannot sit where there is room, but When Communism was de - must sit where there is no room. But stroying Lithuania and pushing it I was not about to starve in a com - back into a Stone Age, all the news - munist paradise, after all only capi - papers, radio, T.V., and government talists in America were starving. The agencies trumpeted the great next day I returned to the same progress that was being made. Of Jackets disappear during heated lectures. restaurant and the same scenario be - course that now makes sense. Under

16 LITHUANIAN HERITAGE March / April 2018 play it (an interesting opportunity to apply the “opposite “ principle to their comments). Expensive cars clog the streets, but beggars also sit on the curbs. There is a surprising number of young people in churches, but also a number of them sitting on curbs in the morning drinking beer. I learned in my first grade Lithuanian grammar book “ alu gerti sveika ” (to drink beer is healthy), but I cannot understand how one can drink it in the morning. The prices are also mysterious. Are they high or are they low? The Restaurant that is “full.” daily paper is more expensive than my Cleveland Plain Dealer , but a plate the “opposite” principle all regress You walk past a gleaming steel and of cepelinai (potato dumplings) is was labeled progress. glass Omnitel building, but you also dirt cheap. Is the city safe or dan - I returned to Lithuania in 2001 pass crumbling cement and broken gerous? Under Communism I as a lecturer at Vytautas Magnus door multistory apartment buildings. walked everywhere at all hours in University in Kaunas. Then the You walk into a store whose cash perfect safety. There were militiamen “Iron Curtain” was just a historical register is an abacus (no need for and blinking blue lights on every memory. Yet when much progress electricity!), but next door is an In - corner. Now I was warned to avoid was already made, there were people ternet café where kids competently certain sections of town, day or still stating that it was better under are surfing the web. Some clever night. Cars are routinely stolen. But Communism when the total meat in hackers broke into Parliament’s web the reverse vocabulary of Soviet a butcher shop was a row of cow’s site and posted a game “Vytai, Vytai” times is still useful. Ads appear in hooves. So vestiges of the “oppo - where the object was to blow off newspapers stating that a car “dis - site” principle still remain. If things Vytautas Landsbergis’ head. appeared” on such and such a day get better, it is still important to say Violent games are routine in in such and such a location. Reward that they are worse. America, but this caused a sensation for “finding” it. You get your car However, for restored inde - in Lithuania. It was amusing to listen back by paying ransom to the thief. pendent Lithuania I have a new sum - to parliamentarians admit that they I kind of enjoyed those ads about mary descriptor word, “contrast.” saw the game, but certainly did not “disappearing cars.” It reminded me of my invisible dinner companions. In a café I see parents give a few litai to their kids and the kids run off to spend them in toy stores or arcades. No fear of letting kids run loose. My neighbors in America built a wooden fence around their back - yard, afraid to let them play in their own yard. Reflecting on my trip to now in - dependent Lithuania I was sur - rounded by contrasts. And I was not sure if I was happy or sad. Perhaps the “opposite” principle was still in effect.

Vytautas Magnus University entrance.

March / April 2018 LITHUANIAN HERITAGE 17 New Techniques of Public Relations in the Fight for Lithuania’s Independence

By Eric Sibul iven the contemporary im - on Public Information “bolstered portance of strategic com - the morale of our citizens and of munications, information our allies and helped to break down oGperations, and counter-propaganda enemy morale. Its propaganda ef - for the Baltic countries, it is perhaps forts were so effective that one his - useful to look at the Lithuanian ex - torian later wrote that words won perience in its relations with the the war.” Bernays greatest contribu - in the 1918–1922 pe - tion to the Committee on Public In - riod, when Lithuanian Americans formation was creating the League needed to sway American public of Oppressed Nations which rep - opinion and ultimately influence resented various ethnic groups in American policy. the U.S. who had relatives in Europe The problem the Lithuanians under Austrian or German rule. faced in 1919 was that the U.S. De - In March of 1919, Bernays left partment of State accepted some Edward L. Bernays. the Committee on Public Informa - form of autonomy for the Baltic lied powers maintained a consensus tion and returned from Europe to Countries in an “indivisible Russia” of recognizing the de facto independ - the United States. Of his experience but not full independence. In con - ence of the Baltic countries, but not with the committee, he stated, “I trast, the independence of Poland de jure . Among the Allies, Great had learned much in the war that and Armenia from Russia was sup - Britain was perhaps the most sup - could be applied to peacetime pur - ported, largely because of influential portive of full independence and the suits.” On return to the United electorates in the Pittsburgh and United States the least. In order to States, Bernays opened a public re - Chicago areas and in Southern Cal - change this situation, and to influ - lations firm – his first two clients ifornia. State Department policy was ence the American government to were the American government, that driven by “old Russia hands,” who support de jure recognition of wanted someone to conduct a cam - had associated with Baltic Germans, Lithuanian independence, Lithuan - paign encouraging businesses to hire and Polish and Russian aristocrats ian Americans enlisted the assistance recently discharged veterans, and the during diplomatic missions to two of the foremost pioneers in the Lithuanian National Council. Moscow and Saint Petersburg and fields of public relations, public Bernays took on a partner, Carl had come to share the beliefs and opinion, and propaganda, Edward Byoir, to work with him in the effort biases of their social acquaintances. Bernays and Carl Byoir. to assist Lithuania. Byoir was born There were other factors in play Edward Bernays can perhaps be to Jewish immigrant parents from as well. There existed a powerful a considered one of the foremost fig - “white Russian” lobby which sup - ures in the early conceptual devel - ported an “indivisible Russia” due opment of the field of public rela - to worries about recouping Ameri - tions. A Cornell University graduate, can investments in the Tsarist Em - Bernays was initially not involved in pire. There were also fears by petro - corporate communications or polit - leum interests that the Japanese ical campaigns but rather, was a pub - might gain control of oil bearing licist for the arts – the theatre, the Russian territories with the dissolu - opera, and the ballet in New York tion of the Empire. Both of these City. However, as the United States interest groups were working hard entered World War I, he joined the to influence Congress and the State U.S. Committee on Public Informa - Department to not recognize Baltic tion headed by George Creel. Ac - independence. All of the major Al - cording to Bernays, the Committee Carl Byoir. (FDR Library)

18 LITHUANIAN HERITAGE March / April 2018 Poland and raised in Des Moines, of the siege to observe the police Iowa. Like Bernays, Byoir had operations and was met by specta - worked with the Committee on Pub - tors with boos and shouts of “Oo lic Information and had returned to let’em in?” (who let them in?) refer - the United States in early 1919. ring to the Liberal Party’s immigra - In order to support the effort tion policy that had allowed the in - to get Congress to recognize Lithua - flux of immigrants from the Russian nia’s independence, Byoir and Empire. On the other hand, around One of the many rallies supporting inde - Bernays, the two public relations in - 1915, Latvians gained some positive pendence for Lithuania. novators, employed techniques they publicity regarding the organization On the advice of Byoir and had learned while working with the of Latvian Rifle Regiments in their Bernays, the Lithuanian National Committee on Public Information, homeland; the stout defense of the Council gathered together promi - including using printed media, ar - Riga front by these Latvian soldiers, nent Lithuanian Americans and es - ranging for prominent local spokes - while the rest of the Russian Army tablished a Lithuanian information men to speak to civic organizations, seemed always to be failing, was bureau. They made an exhaustive placing editorials in influential pub - widely reported in American news - study on every conceivable aspect lications, and directly engaging key papers. There was negative press of Lithuanian history and culture individuals in society, politics and about the Latvian Riflemen as well, and presented this information to government. however; this had to do with their the American public to garner the involvement in helping install the most interest and widest spread of Bolsheviks to power in Petrograd in information. October of 1917. According to Professor Harold The best known Estonians in D. Lasswell, writing about the America and the rest of the world Lithuanian example of creating pub - at the time, although not identified lic opinion in 1930, “For the amateur always as Estonians, were profes - ethnologist there was presented in - sional wrestling champions George teresting and accurate data about the Hackenschmidt, George Lurich, racial origins of Lithuania. The stu - Aleksander Aberg and women’s dent of language was provided with champion Maria Loorberg. Hacken - authentic and well-written studies of schmidt, Aberg and Lurich all had the development of the Lithuanian at the Siege of Sidney toured America and were household language from its origin in Sanskrit. Street. (Illustrated London News, 1911) names. As early as 1915, Aberg iden - The sporting fan was told about Theirs had to be a comprehen - tified himself as an Estonian to Lithuanian sports. American women sive effort, as not much was known American newspapers and sporting were introduced to Lithuanian about Lithuania, nor about Estonia journals; he even became dubbed clothes. The jeweler was shown the nor Latvia for that matter, by the the “Estonian Giant” on American beauty and desirability of Lithuanian American public at the time. What sports pages. amber, and the music lover was in - the public knew of the three Baltic The Lithuanians, though larger vited to concerts of Lithuanian mu - groups was spotty and not invariably in population and having a large im - sic. Senators and representatives were positive. As one example, shortly be - migrant community in the United furnished with multitudes of facts fore the outbreak of the world war, States, were similarly unknown to about Lithuania. Mass meetings were Latvians had been associated with much of the American public. Most held, petitions signed, and presented. some negative notoriety relating to Americans knew of the ancient Personal calls were made on the the “Siege of Sidney Street,” an Lithuanian empire from school text - members of the Senate and House event that occurred in London in books and maps; many Americans of Representatives. The mails carried January of 1911. On that occasion, had perhaps read or heard about the statements about Lithuania to promi - a gang of Latvian and Jewish jewel large Lithuanian neighborhoods in nent individuals. Lecturers embodied thieves/anarchists had engaged in a Chicago and the anthracite produc - the pleas of Lithuania in their ad - spectacular shootout with the Lon - ing towns of Northeastern Pennsyl - dresses. Newspaper advertising was don and the vania, but they knew little to nothing bought. The radio carried the mes - Scots Guards. Liberal Party politician about the contemporary situation in sages of speakers throughout the Winston Churchill arrived on scene Lithuania. country. Even motion pictures con -

March / April 2018 LITHUANIAN HERITAGE 19 tributed their share. [Radio and film more, Lodge thoroughly disliked the were very new media at the time. The effete Colby and the late, arrogant first commercial radio station KDKA Woodrow Wilson and could utilize went on the air in Pittsburgh in 1920] the case of the Baltic countries to The Lithuanian Bureau furnished his own advantage to discredit corrections to the press of incorrect Colby’s policies and those of the news from interested sources and in previous administration. The issue turn received the publicity which they was settled and sealed in a Boston desired from the correct facts.” hotel room with a Lithuanian from Despite the extensive work of Texas acting as intermediary be - Byoir, Bernays and the Lithuanian Na - tween the Lithuanians and the Re - tional Council, the United States re - publican senator. mained the last major power in 1921 The Lithuanian Americans of Henry Cabot Lodge. not to have granted de jure recognition Massachusetts were mobilized to vote from recognition of the Baltic coun - to Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. In and did their part in helping to elect tries. Thus, despite, not yielding contrast, Great Britain, France and Lodge. Lodge delivered on his end quick results, overall the Lithuanian Italy had recognized the independ - of the bargain, when he was able to information campaign was success - ence of the three Baltic nations on obtain recognition of all three Baltic ful and it benefited Estonia and January 26, 1921, and Japan followed countries in the summer 1922. When Latvia as well. soon thereafter, on March 8, 1921. Lodge brought the issue up directly According to Professor Lasswell, In 1921, a new presidential ad - with President Harding, the President the Lithuanian example “helps one to ministration came into power in the immediately called Secretary of State see how tremendous is the influence United States under Warren Hard - Charles Evans Hughes on the tele - which can be brought to bear on a ing. Before the Harding Administra - phone. “Don’t we recognize Lithua - situation in a community or country tion came into office, American for - nia?” the President asked the Secretary if adequate leadership is provided and eign policy had been directed by of State. “No,” said Hughes. “Well, the campaign well organized.” Secretary of State Bainbridge Colby, why in the Hell don’t we?” Hughes whom University of California in - was stumped for an adequate reply. Abridged from an article by the author in ternational law professor, Melbone Harding cut the conversation short, the Baltic Military History Newsletter (Au - W. Graham described as a “sinister “Well, go ahead and recognize them gust 2013). figure…a ci-devant liberal, who then.” At 11:00 a.m., Eastern standard turned out to be one of the most time, on the morning of July 22, 1922, References: Edward L. Bernays, “Emergence of the unfortunately reactionary secretaries the United States fully recognized Public Relations Counsel: Principles and of state in America’s history… Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia. Recollections,” Business History Review. Colby was a Progressive who had The recognition of the Baltic (Autumn 1971): 297-299 gone sour in the process.” countries was generally praised in Edward L. Bernays, Chapter 13. Publicity Direction, in “Biography of an Idea: The The influential Senator Henry the press and engendered no politi - Founding Principles of Public Relations.” Cabot Lodge was a political “king - cal opposition in the Congress; all Open Road Media, 2015. pin” in the new Republican admin - issues of an “indivisible Russia” and Donald Rumbelow. The Mur - istration. Through careful research worries about recouping American ders and the Siege of Sidney Street. (Lon - don: W H Allen. 1988): 135 it was found that some several thou - investments in Russia were forgot - Harold D. Lasswell, “Creating Public Opin - sand Lithuanian American voters ten. Regarding the issue of petro - ion,” in Building a Moral Reserve. (Chicago lived in Lodge’s home state of Mas - leum, in 1921 Standard Oil had IL: The American Institute of Scared Liter - sachusetts. The Massachusetts come to a secret agreement with the ature. 1930): 82 Melbone W. Graham, “The Recognition of Lithuanian American population Bolshevik government and had the Baltic States in the Configuration of was made aware of the situation – a taken over operations of a refinery American Diplomacy,” In Jüri G. Poska (ed) solid guarantee of Lithuanian Amer - in the Caucasus formerly operated Pro Baltica: Mélanges dédiés à Kaarel R. ican votes in Senator Lodge’s up - by the Nobel Brothers, which it Pusta. (Stockholm: Publication du Comité coming re-election campaign in au - could use to supply the Standard Oil des amis de K. K. Pusta, 1965): 145 Melbone W. Graham, “The Recognition of tumn of 1921 could cement the distribution network in Europe. the Baltic States in the Configuration of election for him and thus bring the Other elements of American busi - American Diplomacy,” 145, “Postscript on Lithuanians great influence with the ness looked optimistically at new the US Recognition of the Baltic States in Harding Administration. Further - trade opportunities that might arise 1922,” Lituanus. (Spring 1966)

20 LITHUANIAN HERITAGE March / April 2018 An Extraordinary Lithuanian-American USAF Lieutenant Colonel and Physician, Arūnas Banionis

By Henry L. Gaidis ost American live tradi - Ar ūnas was born and raised in tional mundane lives, go - Los Angeles, California. His parents, ing to work five days a Mindaugas and Regina Banionis, née wMeek and spending evenings and Šeškas, were both Lithuanian born weekends with family and friends. who came to the United States as Some are blessed or cursed in having immigrants via Displaced Person a more active lifestyle where they Camps in post World War II Ger - work odd shifts, hours, and days of many. When Ar ūnas speaks about the week. Generally one finds these his parents, he describes them as people in the first responder, mili - having been ordinary people who tary, or medical fields, where their lived through an extraordinary time. services are needed twenty-four Their life stories could fill the pages hours a day. Still others have tradi - of a book, but time and space allow Lt. Col. Arūnas Banionis, USAF. tional lifestyles, but chose not only for only a brief recounting. Ar ūnas’ to have an active family and social father, Mindaugas, was born in Kau - tion. Mindaugas decided to flee his life, but also chose to be active in nas in 1924, and his mother Regina homeland in July of 1944, several various areas of interest. Occasion - was born in Taurag ė in 1934. His weeks before the second Soviet in - ally, one finds a person who not only grandfather Matas Banionis was an vasion of Lithuania, at which time works in one of the active lifestyles officer in the Imperial Russian Army he made his way to the Prussian bor - and is a devoted husband and father, who fought in both World War I and der. He was stopped there by the but who also participates in a series the 1918 Lithuanian War of Inde - German army and forced to work of activities at the same time. One pendence. His grandmother Maria digging tank defenses before being of these rare people is Lieutenant Banionis was a partisan during the allow to flee into Germany proper. Colonel Dr. Ar ūnas Banionis. Ar ū- wars who rendered first aid to After Germany’s surrender, Mindau - nas lives with his family in Poulsbo, Lithuanian Army soldiers and vol - gas was housed at the Hochfeld Dis - Washington, and practices family unteers. His paternal great grandfa - placed Persons Camp, where he re - medicine in Bremerton, Washington. ther Kazimieras Steik ūnas was an sumed his technical studies at the Besides being on twenty-four hour ordinary farmer in the Mol ėtai re - Lithuanian Technical School. Min - call for his wife and two sons, he gion of eastern Lithuania, but who daugas wanted to immigrate to has also served as a flight surgeon happened to be one of the delegates America and initially immigrated to for over twenty years in the United to the 1905 Great Vilnius Seimas, Canada where he worked in the East States Air Force Reserve and now which laid the groundwork for Malarctic Gold Mines in Québec. the Washington Air National Guard. Lithuania’s 1918 declaration of in - Subsequently, Mindaugas moved Although such a lifestyle would wear dependence. Ar ūnas’ Lithuanian to Windsor, Ontario. He attended out a normal person, Dr. Banionis roots intertwine deeply with those the Chrysler Institute of Engineering throughout his life has been a of 20th century Lithuanian history. in Detroit and was trained as a drafts - Lithuanian American activist as well. Although father Mindaugas man. He was active in the Ontario Since Dr. Banionis is not the kind wanted to fight for his country dur - and Detroit Lithuanian communities, of person who brags about his ex - ing the Russian and German inva - where met his future wife, Regina ploits, a guy like myself has to do it sions, his parents forced him to work Šeškas, at a Lithuanian dance. Regina for him. on a farm to avoid military induc - and her parents had similarly fled

March / April 2018 LITHUANIAN HERITAGE 21 Visiting the airplane replica at the Kaunas aviation museum. Lithuania before the approaching Russian Army. The Šeškas family lived in various Displaced Persons camps in Germany, mainly in Bavaria. During her stay in Germany, Regina was the personal secretary to Monsignor Mykolas Krupavi čius, the Chairman of the Supreme Commit - tee for the Liberation of Lithuania (VLIKAS) and even met Juozas Lukša (Daumantas), the fabled Lithuanian Partisan leader. Mindau - gas and Regina were married in De - troit in 1959 and then moved to Los Angeles, California. They settled close to St. Casimir’s Lithuanian Church in order to be closer to fel - low Lithuanians. There Mindaugas became active in the Lithuanian Na - tional Guard in Exile (Lietuvos Šauli ų Sąjunga – Juozo Daumanto Kuopa) and Regina joined the Banionis designed stamp commemorating Darius and Girėnas. Lithuanian choir at the church.

22 LITHUANIAN HERITAGE March / April 2018 Ar ūnas attended St. Casimir’s School and each day, along with the other Lithuanian American kids, at - tended a Lithuanian class where they were taught Lithuanian reading, writ - ing and grammar as well as history. In his youth, he became active in the Lithuanian Cub Scouts (vilkiukai) and Lithuanian Boy Scouts. After the first Lithuanian Air Scouts troop was created in Los Angeles, Ar ūnas joined them and he learned to build models and eventually became pro - ficient in flying gliders. One of his first major accomplishment was to become a Skautas Vytis , equivalent to an American Eagle Scout. Ar ūnas remained active in this unit for many years and eventually assumed com - mand of the Los Angeles Darius and Gir ėnas Troop. Although Ar ūnas’ childhood ap - Arūnas in front of a C-17 “Globemaster” military transport plane in 2012. pears to have been ordinary, he had many close extraordinary friends and nas’ future activities was the former that summer attending Air Force neighbors. General Stasys Raštikis, Lithuanian Air Force pilot, Grego - Officer training at Lackland Air the former Commander of the rius Radvenis, who was a recipient Force Base in Texas. Medical school Lithuanian Army, and his wife Elena of the coveted Iron Wings (Plieno was tough and the equivalent of lived two doors down from his Sparnai) award. Radvenis became mental boot camp, especially during home. As a boy, Ar ūnas would see Ar ūnas’ mentor in his youthful in - the first year. Ar ūnas spent his last the general walking down the street volvement in the Los Angeles year of medical school attending the in his gray suit and fedora and fre - Lithuanian Philatelic Club. Ar ūnas Air Force School of Aerospace quently walk with him while talking continues to take an interest in Medicine at Brooks Air Force Base about all sorts of topics in Lithuan - Lithuanian postage stamps, and his in San Antonio, Texas. Once more, ian. When Ar ūnas and brother Vytas entry won the 2013 Lithuanian gov - ordinary was not enough and Ar ū- became older, they would help the ernment stamp design competition nas, while in medical school, was general and his wife with chores for to mark the 80th anniversary of the also able to complete flight training which they were always paid. On Darius and Gir ėnas transatlantic and gain a Private Pilot rating. several occasions, Ar ūnas and his flight. Upon graduation from medical brother both drove the general to Eventually all boys have to grow school, Ar ūnas was awarded the U.S. see his Lithuanian doctor, Dr. Zig - up, and how Ar ūnas grew up is just Air Force rank of Captain and the mas Brinkis, and Ar ūnas frequently another chapter in the life of an ex - coveted silver wings of an Air Force proclaims that he was once the gen - traordinary individual. Ar ūnas at - Flight Surgeon. After completing a eral’s driver. General Raštikis was a tended California State University – general internship, Ar ūnas was as - humble and honorable man and a Northridge, where he majored in signed to Vance Air Force Base in true gentleman and officer. Many Molecular Biology. As his academic Enid, Oklahoma, which is a pilot notable Lithuanian figures would demands accelerated he had to with - training base. Here he served as a frequently visit the general and the draw from Scout activities and focus flight surgeon with the 71st Medical Banionis family would be invited on his studies. Four years later he Group, providing support to the 8th over to meet them. earned his Bachelor’s and shortly Flying Training Squadron. This Space precludes recounting the thereafter his Master’s degree in Mo - group trained aboard the Cessna T- many historical figures that Ar ūnas lecular Biology. In 1991, Ar ūnas was 37 twin-engine jet trainer, which at met in his childhood. One who accepted into medical school on a the time was the primary U.S. Air would play a significant part in Ar ū- full Air Force scholarship and spent Force training aircraft. Once again,

March / April 2018 LITHUANIAN HERITAGE 23 In 2003, Ar ūnas was called to similarly as a translator during Ex - support Operation Deep Freeze and ercise Cooperative Osprey at Camp was temporarily assigned to Lejeune, North Carolina, where he Christchurch, New Zealand, where worked closely with members of the he provided medical support to Klaip ėda-based Lithuanian Grand flight crews involved in the opera - Duke Butgeidis Motorized Dragoon tion. While there, Ar ūnas had the Infantry Battalion. While on that as - opportunity to land in Antarctica signment, this extraordinary officer where he tended to a post-surgical took it upon himself to compile a patient who was subsequently air - Lithuanian-American military dic - lifted back to New Zealand. For his tionary that was utilized by the efforts, Ar ūnas was awarded the Lithuanian armed forces throughout Aerial Achievement Medal as well their NATO acceptance period. For Teaching history at the Lithuanian Heritage as the Antarctica Service Medal. In this service, Ar ūnas received a per - Saturday School in Seattle. 2016, Ar ūnas provided support to sonal letter of commendation from USAF crews in drug interdiction General Jonas Kronkaitis, the Com - this extraordinary medical officer support missions in Colombia. mander of the Lithuanian military. was not content to minister to his From 2004 to 2016, Ar ūnas In 2013, Ar ūnas visited his Lithuan - assigned pilots, but was able to be - served with the 446th Aerospace ian Air Force colleagues at the come proficient in flying this basic Medicine Squadron (AMDS), which Lithuanian Air Base in Šiauliai, Air Force jet. Since that time, Ar ūnas is a physical exam unit at McChord where he observed the rotating has managed to combine his civilian Air Force Base in Washington (now NATO Baltic Air Police mission, and military medical practices designated as the Joint Base Lewis- which continues to this day to pro - through service in both the U.S. Air McChord). During that period, Ar ū- tect NATO and the Baltic States Force Reserves and the Washington nas conducted many physical exams from Russian encroachment. In early State Air National Guard. for Air Force Reserve personnel and 2017, Ar ūnas was transferred to the Some of his notable activities routinely flew all over the world Washington State Air National include his selection in 1997 to at - aboard the Boeing C-17 Globemas - Guard and now provides medical tend the “Top Knife” course for ter, the largest military transport air - support for combat air controllers, USAF flight surgeons in order to craft. Several missions were flown as well as air traffic controllers, for better to understand the stresses ex - to Germany, England and Estonia the Western Air Defense Sector. perienced by Air Force fighter pilots. in direct support of NATO opera - One would think that this The course involves class work, use tions. Lithuanian American who has pro - of flight simulators and flying com - Surely anyone reading this article vided medical assistance to thou - bat training sorties in F-16s at Luke would agree that Ar ūnas has had an sands and defended his nation for Air Force Base in Arizona. The fol - outstanding military career, but one decades would be content in grow - lowing year, he was called to an ac - would be remiss to not at least ing older gracefully. That is not the tual F-16 mishap at the base. An briefly expound upon how his case. Dr. Banionis has recently be - F-16 jet fighter engine had caught Lithuanian heritage benefitted both come even more involved in the fire and the female student pilot had the United States and his ancestral Seattle area Lithuanian American to eject. The pilot ejected safely, but homeland. In 1997, Ar ūnas was Community. For some time now, there was a need to investigate the tasked along with several other Ar ūnas has been teaching Lithuanian circumstances of the crash. Ar ūnas Lithuanian American military offi - history classes at the non-profit was assigned to review the crash, cers to take part in Exercise Coop - Linas Lithuanian Saturday School and administered required drug tests erative Nugget at Fort Polk, (Lino Lituanistin ė Mokykla). In ad - to make sure there were no medical Louisiana. During this international dition, Dr. Ar ūnas has recently taken issues that had contributed to the NATO peace keeping exercise, Ar ū- up writing articles for various crash. It was the first female pilot nas served as translator to a battalion Lithuanian American publications. ejection from an F-16 and the pilot of Lithuanian Army cadets com - Needless to say, what has been re - only suffered minor scratches in her manded by Lieutenant (now ported about Dr. Banionis is just a ordeal and was able to promptly re - Colonel) Remigius Baltr ėnas. The brief summary of the many exploits turn to duty. following year Ar ūnas participated of this extraordinary man.

24 LITHUANIAN HERITAGE March / April 2018 Cooking Lithuanian BABKA by Ona Daugirdienė The Easter Queen

he origin of the Lithuanian A very special babka And the third secret is three ris - name for Easter is the sub - I don’t know if the recipe I am ings. There is science behind this, ject of some debate. Lin - sharing with you is 200 years old, too. But all you need to know is that gTuists and etymologists claim that but it’s been used in our family for yeast is a mystery and mysterious the word Velykos is borrowed from over 50 years. I do know that it came things will happen three times. our neighbors to the east, the Be - from a convent in Europe, and that larusians, who call Easter velikij denj the nuns who originated it definitely A journey of my own – literally, great (or grand) day. But knew a thing or two about baking. In Lithuania, babka is tradition - žemaičiai , or Lowlanders, insist that While there are hundreds of babka ally baked on Holy Saturday and the name comes from velkinis , their recipes available, this one is special. brought to church with other food word for the first springtime egg. In Firstly, because it makes use of items to be blessed. This is how my turn, the Highlanders, or aukštaičiai , a very old baking technique where a own grandmother did it, my mother maintain that the name comes from portion of the flour is scalded did it, and how I do it. But for many vėlė , a word for soul. Traditionally, (plikyta ). Today there is a lot of new years, my inexperience with yeast- the people of this region visited the science explaining the rationale be - based baking resulted in a very, very graves of their dearly departed on hind this. It involves starch gela - long Saturday... Married and living Easter, after which the souls left for tinization, gliadin and glutenin, and in Chicago, every year on Holy Sat - the fields to act as guardians of the water molecules leaving and entering urday morning, I would call my upcoming growing season. the flour protein stuctures. Scalding mother in Cleveland. “Mom, I’m Whatever the origin of the (called tangzhong in Japan) is now getting ready to make the babkas,” I name, everyone who celebrates actually becoming quite the fad in would announce with grim resolve, Easter knows that it is a period of bread baking because it results in “don’t leave the house and stay close special customs and of very special bread that is especially light, moist to the phone.” Every year, my food. Velykų boba , or what many of and with a fine crumb. I suspect the mother would laugh and reassure us call babka, is one of the most tra - nuns knew this not from science, me that everything would be just ditional cakes baked at this time and but from centuries of collective bak - fine. Of course, her confidence was without a doubt, the queen of the ing experience. They simply knew greatly misplaced... Her babka-sup - Easter table. that it resulted in heavenly babkas. port hotline got lots of phone calls. In olden days, women would The second secret to this recipe I remember the smell of baking commission potters to make special lies in the egg yolks. Most of today’s babka that filled the house when I tall clay pots for baking, because the babka recipes ask for 3 or 4 measly was a child. My mother’s babkas taller their babkas, the better the eggs. The nuns, on the other hand, were so light and delicate, that they wheat harvest would be. Historians require a real commitment – 15 egg had to be handled with extreme gen - have found recorded recipes for this yolks, people, or don’t even bother. tleness. We were not permitted to sweet raisin bread in the chronicles All these years I thought this was a run around during the rising and of Žemaitijos bajorai (Lowland no - bit extreme, until I read that “ Didžioji baking, and as befits a queen, after bles) from at least 200 years ago. Virėja ,” the Lithuanian cookbook removal from the oven, the babkas Our mothers and grandmothers “bible” published in 1936, had were enthroned on soft down pil - have been faithfully continuing this recipes for babkas that used 24, 36, lows to cool. I remember the magi - tradition, and now it’s your turn to 60 and even 90 egg yolks! So bakers, cal moment when my mother cut bake a babka. 15 egg yolks is nothing... into the little baby babka she always

March / April 2018 LITHUANIAN HERITAGE 25 made for us. Everything else was hands-off until Easter morning, but this bit of heaven was our special early treat. Continuing traditions is a way to respect history, to connect gen - erations and to enjoy the treasures of our rich culture. So this year, let’s do this together – let’s all channel our good baking energies on Holy Saturday and bake! May your babka be the tallest! Easter Babka Velykų Boba The second rise: the bowl and the top of the dough were well-greased to allow for easy expansion. This dough is ready to be divided into baking pans. Sponge 2. Dissolve yeast in ¼ cup luke - raisins and citrus zest and mix well. 2 cups (16 oz.) milk warm milk and 1 tsp. sugar. When Knead until dough is smooth and 2 cups sifted flour bubbly, add to cooled scalded flour blistered and leaves fingers. 2 packages dry yeast mixture and beat in well. Cover and 3. Cover and let rise in a large, (regular, not rapid-rise) let rise until doubled (first rise). well-greased bowl until doubled (sec - ¼ cup lukewarm milk ond rise). 1 tsp. sugar Making the dough 1. Meanwhile, separate eggs, sav - Preparing for baking Dough ing whites for another use. Beat egg 1. Get your baking pans col - 15 egg yolks, large yolks with 1 cup sugar until very, lected well before baking day. You 1 cup sugar very thick and almost white. Melt can use an assortment of tall metal 1 cup butter, melted the butter, cool to lukewarm. cans or other oven-proof cylindrical 6 cups sifted flour 2. Add beaten egg yolks and containers in a variety of sizes. Make 1 cup golden raisins melted butter to risen sponge. Mix sure the interiors of the cans don’t 1 tsp. salt in. Then add 6 cups sifted flour, salt, have a protective coating. Gener - zest of a lemon+orange

Icing confectioners sugar milk

My mother made babka using only a wooden spoon, a mixing bowl, and a rotary egg beater. I’ve begun using a stand mixer. You de - cide what’s best for you. Note that the recipe asks for cups of “sifted flour,” not “flour, sifted.” It makes a difference. Preparing the sponge 1. Scald 2 cups milk (bring just to a boil). Remove from heat and add 2 cups sifted flour all at once, The third rise: the dough was placed in 1, 2 and 3 lb. coffee cans for the final rise. The stirring hard to prevent lumping. smallest babka got a bit too much dough, the largest (in the back) could have used a bit Mix until very smooth. Cool. more. The babka on the right is perfect. They are now ready to bake.

26 LITHUANIAN HERITAGE March / April 2018 ously butter the bottom and sides Baking babka in the 3 lb. coffee can bakes of your cans and sprinkle lightly 1. Before baking, be sure to approx. 35–40 minutes; 2 lb. can – with plain, fine bread crumbs. check the height of your babkas in approx. 30–35 minutes; 1 lb. – about 2. After the second rise, divide the oven. If they are close to the 25 min. Note: Same size cans from dough into the baking cans. The top heating element, remove some different products can bake differ - dough is soft and best handled by a racks. ently. Perhaps the metal or gauge is gentle two-handed pinching of the 2. Preheat your oven to a little different? Be alert and watch your appropriate amount of dough. Try less than 350º F. Place the biggest babka and not the clock to assess not to manipulate it too much. Each babkas in the back of the oven – it’s doneness. piece should be rounded and hotter there, plus they won’t get in smooth on top, with any seams the way of removing the smaller Cooling, glazing and slicing tucked underneath. Carefully drop ones as they are done. 1. After removing from the the dough into the cans. It’s a bit of 3. After about 15 min. of bak - oven, cool for 5 –10 min. in the pans, a guessing game to figure out how ing, cover the taller babkas with foil then carefully slide the babkas out much dough to put in, but as a gen - to prevent over-browning. Baking onto a towel-covered down pillow eral rule, it should fill no more than time will be VERY individual de - to cool. Carefully change their posi - half of any can. pending on the sizes of your babkas. tions several times during cooling. 3. Cover and let rise again until You will have use your baker’s judge - 2. While the babkas are still a the cans are full (third rise). ment for this. As an example, my bit lukewarm, spread the cap with an icing made from confectioner’s sugar and a little milk. The amount and consistency of the glaze is your preference. Traditionally, the icing is allowed to drip prettily down the sides. 3. The best way to slice a tall babka is horizontally. First, cut across to remove the cap, then con - tinue slicing generous round slices. These can be divided into desired serving sizes. Post-script 1. Babka is best while fresh, but it also freezes very well. Wrapped in wax paper and foil, then placed in a plastic bag, a frozen babka will keep a long time. Defrosted, it tastes like you made it yesterday. 2. The reserved egg whites can be used in a lovely angel food cake (12 egg whites), meringue cookies, or frozen up to a year. Recipes and techniques abound on the internet.

The babkas are gently cooling on a down pillow (the littlest babka is in a better place...)


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32 LITHUANIAN HERITAGE March / April 2018 Lithuanian Portraits

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