Lithuanian Communist Party Central Committee Collection (1953-1962)
The collection holds much valuable information on the policy of Lithuanian Communist Party Central Committee towards various manifestations of cultural opposition. The documents also reflect the situation of the Lithuanian intelligentsia, whose main goal was to preserve the Lithuanian cultural heritage. The documents cover the period of liberalisation, i.e. de-Stalinisation, in Soviet Lithuania.
Lithuania, LT-01103, Vilnius, Gedimino pr. 12
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Name of collection
- Lithuanian Communist Party Central Committee Collection (1953 – 1962)
Provenance and cultural activities
The collection is held in the Lithuanian Communist Party Documents Archive, which is a subdivision of the Lithuanian Special Archive. The Lithuanian Communist Party Central Committee (LCP CC) started to collect documents in 1940. Until 1946, all the files were kept in a special Central Committee archive. In 1946, the documents were passed to the Lithuanian Communist Party Archive, which was a branch of the Institute of the History of the Communist Party. After 1946, the Central Committee regularly sent documents to the archive. The archive was closed to the public, and even to historians, except for those who worked in the Institute of Communist Party History. The situation changed dramatically after 1990. In 1991, the Institute was closed, and the archive was transformed into the Lithuania’s Society Organizations Archive. Since then, the collection of documents on the Lithuanian Communist Party Central Committee (fond No. 1771) has been open to researchers and the public. (This collection is probably the most popular among Lithuanian and foreign researchers.) In 2001, the archive was reformed once more, and became a subdivision of the Lithuanian Special Archive.
The collection gives us an understanding not only of the government’s cultural policy, which became very active during the period of de-Stalinisation. Party policy fluctuated, from cooperation with representatives of the Lithuanian intelligentsia to the suppression of various forms of social activism (in 1956, for instance).
On the other hand, the collection also shows the expectations of the Lithuanian intelligentsia, scholars and artists whose main aim was to preserve the Lithuanian national heritage. This section of the cultural elite of Soviet Lithuania had no intention of criticising the regime or the Communist Party; however, they used the liberalisation policy to criticise aspects only of the government’s policy, especially policies which impeded the development of Lithuania’s national culture. Even this gentle criticism was sometimes suppressed by the government. Therefore, documents from the collection illustrate very well the possibilities and the limits of social activism and cultural opposition during the period of de-Stalinisation.
Description of content
The collection consists of various documents: transcripts of Party congresses, decisions and reports by the Lithuanian Communist Party Central Committee Bureau. The most valuable documents in the collection are those which are directly related to cultural opposition. This includes documents relating to the activities of Juozas Bulavas (1909-1995), the rector of Vilnius University, who was accused of ‘bourgeois nationalism’, dismissed and expelled from the Party (1958–1959); Vanda Zaborskaitė (1922-2010), Irena Kostkevičiūtė (1927-2007), Meilė Lukšienė (1913-2009) and Aurelija Rabačiauskaitė (1924-2002), scholars at the Department of Lithuanian Literature at Vilnius University, who were also accused of ‘anti-Marxism’ and ‘bourgeois nationalism’, and finally removed from their jobs (1961); and student protests in Kaunas and Vilnius in 1956.
- manuscripts (ego-documents, diaries, notes, letters, drafts, etc.): 1000-
Stakeholder(s) of the collection
Date of founding
Place of founding
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Creator(s) of content
Important events in the history of the collection
- Acquisition of the Last Documents of the Lithuanian Communist Party Central Committee by the Lithuanian Communist Party Archive
- Structural change: Incorporation of the Collections of the Party History Institute's Archive to the Lithuania’s Society Organizations Archive
- Structural change: Incorporation of the Collections of Lithuanian Society Organization's Archive to the Lithuanian Communist Party Documents Archive
- completely open to the public
Author(s) of this page
- Sirutavičius, Vladas
Anušauskas, Arvydas, et. al. Lietuva 1940-1990 m. Okupuotos Lietuvos istorija [Lithuania 1940 – 1990. The History of Occupied Lithuania]. In Lithuanian. Vilnius: Lietuvos gyventojų genocido ir rezistencijos centras, 2015. Book
Streikus, Arūnas. Lietuvos kultūra sovietinės ideologijos nelaisvėje [Lithuanian Culture under the Enslavement of Soviet Ideology]. In Lithuanian. Vilnius: Lietuvos gyventojų genocido ir rezistencijos centras, 2005. Book
Anušauskas, Arvydas. Lietuvių tautos sovietinis naikinimas 1940 – 1958 metais [The Annihilation of the Lithuanian Nation by the Soviets, 1940 – 1958]. In Lithuanian. Vilnius: Mintis, 1996. Book
Maslauskienė, Nijolė , interview by Ivanauskas, Vilius, Sirutavičius, Vladas , Grybkauskas, Saulius, September 26, 2016. COURAGE Registry Oral History Collection