Adolfas Ramanauskas Codenamed VANAGAS

Signatory to the Declaration of the Council of the Lithuanian Freedom Fight Movement (LFFM) signed on 16 February 1949; Commander of the LLFM Defense Force; First Deputy Chair of the Presidium of the LFFM Council; chief official of the LFFM until 1956.

Adolfas Ramanauskas, born on 6 March 1918 in New Britain, Connecticut, USA, came to Lithuania with his parents as a child aged three.

In 1936, he graduated from the Žiburys Hight School in Lazdijai; next year completed 8 classes in Sejny Hight School, and enrolled in the Pedagogical Institute in Klaipeda. The Institute was transferred to Panevėžys in 1939, which Ramanauskas graduated from the same year. In 1940, he completed studies at the Kaunas War School as part of its 15th graduating class.

In 1942–1945, he was teaching at the Teachers’ Seminary in Alytus.

On 25 April 1945, he decided not to be a passive observer of the occupation of Lithuania by the Soviet Union and chose to become a partisan and defender of Lithuanian freedom and independence.

Ramanauskas followed his freedom-fighter’s vocation by joining a partisan platoon in the vicinity of Nemunaitis and was elected the head of the platoon on the very first day. He took the codename Vanagas (Hawk). As an outstanding organiser, Ramanauskas united the partisan platoons in Merkinė and Alovė parishes and formed a company of 140 men under his leadership.

The company joined the Dzūkai Territorial Unit and was later reformed into a battalion under Ramanauskas’ command in the autumn of 1945.

In 1945, he was appointed Commander of the Merkys Territorial Unit.

On 23 April 1946, he became the First Deputy Commander of the Dainava Military District.

At their Congress on 24–25 September 1947, Commanders of the Dainava Military District elected him by secret ballot as District Commander.

Ramanauskas was a great example to other partisans as a hard-working and principled person driven by high ideals. His pedagogical and military talent was well reflected in his activities. He was well aware that in order to keep the freedom cause alive, armed resistance needed to go hand in hand with THE political struggle based on ideals. He was, therefore, adamant about the underground press, organised its publishing and editing, and authored a number of articles in a variety of partisan newspapers including Trečias skambutis (The Third Call), Mylėk Tėvynę (Love Thy Homeland), Laisvės varpas (The Bell of Freedom), Svobodnoye Slovo (The Free Word, a publication in Russian aimed at the soldiers of the occupying army), Partizanas (The Partisan), and Miško brolis (The Forest Brother).

Dainavos apygardos partizanų štabo spaustuvė. 1948 m. Stovi Dainavos apygardos vadas Adolfas Ramanauskas Vanagas dešinėje1

 In 1948, he was elected the Commander of partisans of the Southern Region of Lithuania.

He undertook a long and dangerous journey on foot from the  Dzūkija region to Radviliškis to participate in the Congress of the Lithuanian Chief Partisan Commanders on 2-22 February 1949.

The Lithuanian Freedom Fight Movement (LFFM) was established there and the key partisan leadership was formed as the sole legitimate government in occupied Lithuania. The Congress approved Ramanauskas in the role of the partisan forces Commander in the Southern Lithuania Region.

Ramanauskas was signatory to the Declaration of the LFFM adopted by the LFFM Council on 16 February 1949.

At the LFFM Congress in 1949, Ramanauskas was promoted to the rank of Major.

On 3 November 1949, the Chair of the Presidium of the LFFM appointed Ramanauskas First Deputy Chair of the Presidium of the LFFM Council by means of Act No 17.

In the autumn of 1949, after promotion to the rank of a Lieutenant Colonel, Ramanauskas was appointed Commander of the LFFM Defence Force.

Chief Commander of the Lithuanian partisan force Jonas Žemaitis codenamed Vytautas, who was himself seriously ill at the time, proposed Ramanauskas to take over the postion of the Chair of the Presidium of the LFFM Council in 1951.

Pietų Lietuvos Nemuno srities Dainavos ir Tauro apygardų partizanų vadovybės susitikimas. Balbieriškio miškas 1950 m. Trečioje eilėje ketvirtas iš kairės stovi L1

Žemaitis was arrested by the soviet forces in 1953, and links between the partisans were terminated. As a result, Ramanauskas became the supreme official of the LFFM. Soviet authorities referred to Ramanauskas as the general of the partisans.

On 9 April 1946, Ramanauskas was awarded a Band of Diligence for his organisational work in the resistance movement, and a Band of Courage for leading the partisan effort in the attack in Merkinė. In 1949, he was awarded the Second Degree Order of the Cross of the Freedom Fights with Swords by the LFFM for courage and outstanding contribution. In 1950, the Presidium of the LFFM Council awarded him with the 1st and 2nd class First Degree Orders of the Cross of the Freedom Fights for courage, dedication, smart leadership, and organisational work.

On 7 October 1945, Ramanauskas married Birutė Mažeikaitė. Their daughter was born in 1948. The wife, Mažeikaitė-Ramanauskienė, was a partisan in the Dainava Military District. She was posthumously awarded the Order of the Grand Cross under the decree of the President of the Republic of Lithuania.

Ramanauskas continued the ideological struggle well after the armed partisan resistance movement was dissolved. He described the crimes of the occupiers inflicted on the Lithuanian nation in writing. Back in 1955, as a leader of the LFFM, he had issued certificates, stamped and validated by his own signature, to award to the most active supporters of the partisans.

Ramanauskas authored a memoir in three volumes, titled Partizanų gretose… (In the Partisan Movement). The book tells the story of the struggle for Lithuania’s freedom in the Dainava Military District, Southern Lithuania Region. The ability to write memoirs at the time of an armed conflict bears testimony to his unwavering belief in the future freedom of Lithuania and in the need for a genuine account of the partisan struggle. Ramanauskas hid the manuscript in a variety of locations in Southern Lithuania, confided only  in trusted people and hoped that part of the writings would outlive the Soviet occupation. Ramanauskas memoirs were first issued as a book entitled Daugel krito sūnų … in 1991 (Many Sons Have Fallen in the Partisan Ranks).

The MGB (Ministry of State Security), and later the KGB (Committee for State Security) were hunting for Ramanauskas and his spouse throughout Lithuania’s struggle for freedom. Top security officials of the KGB in the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic (LSSR) were assigned to supervise the search effort. However, the couple was arrested only after 11 years of the partisan struggle, on 12 October 1956, in Kaunas. Ramanauskas was taken to Vilnius and jailed in the KGB prison where he was sadistically tortured on the very first day after the arrest. Tortures and interrogations lasted for an entire year.70. KGB kpt. N.Šabaldino įrašas kad Ramanauskas atvežtas į KGB kalėjimą 13 val

On 25 September 1957, the partisan leader was sentenced to death by the LSSR Supreme Court. The sentence was executed by shooting him to death on 29 November 1957. The body was buried by the KGB in an unknown location.

In June 2018, his remains were found in the Orphans' Cemetery in Vilnius by the Genocide and Resistance Research Centre of Lithuania.

On 6 October 2018, the remains were solemnly re-buried in the pantheon of the Heads of State of Lithuania in the Antakalnis Cemetery in Vilnius.

“I am the Hawk”("Aš esu Vanagas") Summary

by Arvydas Anušauskas, PhD

1.      The study of the shortest episode of Ramanauskas’ biography, spanning from 22 June to 10 July 1941 after the onset of the German-Soviet war, revealed that Ramanauskas joined the local security platoon in Druskininkai on 23–24 June 1941. There were two platoons of roughly 18–20 men in each. Both were part of a company headed by Ret. Lt. Jakavonis. The platoon under Ramanauskas was in charge of protecting state property in Druskininkai. Ramanauskas’ account of this is supported by archival documents. The study found no evidence of Ramanauskas' involvement in helping the German forces. There was discovered no evidence of him remaining in the security platoon for two weeks. The security platoon under his leadership made no arrests and took no other repressive measures. Ramanauskas resigned in the period when the situation in Lithuania was still out of control and well before 7 July 1941. Meanwhile,  the German troops were still engaged in looting of the abandoned warehouses.

2.      In early 1945, Ramanauskas was secretly detained by the NKGB (People’s Commissariat for State Security) in Alytus. Capt. Platov, Deputy Head of Alytus NKGB, filled in the documents on recruitment allegedly based on compromising information. However, this only speeded up Ramanauskas’ conscious decision to join the ranks of the armed underground movement.

In order to avoid arrest and possible NKGB set traps, Ramanauskas codenamed himself Vanagas (Hawk). He had never concealed this recruitment episode from friends and relatives. He also mentioned this fact in his memoirs written a decade later, entitled Partizanų gretose (In the Partisan Movement). The LSSR (the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic) Supreme Court deliberately omitted a part of his statement made in court. Ramanauskas testified: ‘I once was detained by the state security. They wanted to recruit me, but I refused. They threatened me.’

3.      After joining the armed resistance movement in late April 1945, Ramanauskas contributed greatly to the rearrangement of the partisan platoons into combat units abiding by the military discipline code and organisational and operational instructions. This was crucial to avoid losses on account of inferior training or treason. Ramanauskas spared no effort in ensuring proper application of disciplinary provisions in the fight against spies. He required reports and explanations for all suspicious cases of court-martial. Under his command, every action had to be well-grounded and sanctions could only be enforced on specific individuals who collaborated with the occupying power. Ramanauskas enforced strict punishment for partisans who committed crimes and demanded accountability of commanders for disciplinary and statutory offences committed by their subordinates.

4.      At the Partisan Commanders Congress on 24–25 September 1947, commanders of the Dainava Military District elected Ramanauskas Commander of partisans of the district. Ramanauskas immediately demanded to avoid any possible civilian casualties. The complexity level of sentence enforcement under court-martial was increased as a precaution against unilateral decisions.

5.      In addition to acting in a modest and principled manner as the Commander, Ramanauskas also organised the publishing of the underground press. He printed articles, painted cartoons, and printed newspapers, including the Merkys Battalion newspaper Trečias skambutis (The Third Bell) in 1945; the Merkys Territorial Unit newspaper Mylėk Tėvynę (Love thy Homeland) in 1946–1947; the Dainava Military District newspaper Laisvės varpas (The Bell of Freedom) in 1947–1949; Southern Lithuania Region Military District newspaper Partizanas (The Partisan in 1949–1950), and other publications. Unfortunately, he was not in a position to help his own family, which was listed for deportation. His father Liudas Ramanauskas, his younger brother Albinas and sister Aldona were all deported to Siberia.

6.      In the autumn of 1948, Ramanauskas was elected Commander of the Southern Lithuania Region (later named after the Nemunas River). In November, jointly with the Tauras Military District Commander, he left for Samogitia for a commanders’ meeting to consider the establishment of joint military management. On 2–22 February 1949, alongside other commanders, he participated in the establishment of the Lithuanian Freedom Fight Movement (LFFM). He became the First Deputy of Jonas Žemaitis codenamed Vytautas, Chair of the Presidium of the LFFM Council. In the debate on the content of the declaration of the LFFM Council, which Ramanauskas signed on 16 February 1949, he argued for the restoration of an independent, democratic and socially responsible Lithuanian state based on the foundations of the Constitution of 1922. He defined liability for collaboration with Soviet and Nazi occupying forces as follows: ‘individuals shall be liable before the Lithuanian Court for treason through collaboration with the enemy during the illegal Bolshevik and German occupation, for actions or influence undermining the cause of freedom, as well as for treason and bloodshed’.

7.      In April 1949, Ramanauskas returned to the Dainava Military District and initiated the fight against alcohol consumption. Dedicated pledges were printed. By signing them, partisans would commit to avoid drinking vodka. Moreover, joining the ranks of the Freedom Fight Movement was conditioned on the commitment to avoid alcohol consumption. As a result by the second half of 1949, the abstinence rate of partisans in the Dainava Military District reached 80 %. This improved the level of the Movement, raising the trust in the Movement’s fight against thieves and looters, who often operated under the guise of the partisans.

8.      Ramanauskas took over the command of the Southern Lithuania Region, with Dainava and Tauras Military Districts comprised of approx. 500 armed men. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and appointed Commander of LFFM Defence Force by the Chair of the LFFM Presidium in the autumn of 1949.

When Ramanauskas took command of the LFFM Defence Force, he still had 250 active armed partisans in the Tauras and Dainava Military Districts under his leedership. Jonas Žemaitis codenamed Vytautas resigned as Chair of the Presidium of the LFFM Council on account of illness.

On 30 January 1952 Žemaitis asked the Council to elect his First Deputy, Ramanauskas, in his own place. Since the inter-partisan ties were weak and fragmented at that time, formal transfer of duties never took place. However, Ramanauskas remained the top official of the LFFM from the summer of 1953 until the autumn of 1957.

9.       The MGB (Ministry of State Security) and the KGB (Committee for State Security) carried out secret arrests of Ramanauskas' supporters, tortured and executed partisans taken into captivity, employed storm troopers (hitmen), used chemical substances (psychotropic substances, sleeping pills, gas capsules, etc.) and employed mines masked as typewriters or bundles to trick communication agents. Soviet authorities recruited agents to infiltrate the resistance movement, employed storm troopers to conduct secret interrogations of the communication agents, and used active mental and physical torture to interrogate the arrested partisans. However, the information received by the MGB on the location of Ramanauskas and his wife would regularly prove to be inaccurate and belated.

10.      In 1951, the MGB managed to kill over a hundred partisans in the Southern Lithuania Region and arrested several hundred communication agents and supporters during one of the most powerful blows to the partisan movement. Afterwards, the resistance movement in the Southern Lithuania Region was never restored to its former power. The MGB still failed to track down Ramanauskas, Supreme Commander of the LFFM Defence Force and First Deputy Chair of the LFFM Presidium.

11.      By late 1951, due to infiltration by the MGB agents and the establishment of fake headquarters, links between partisan commanders fragmented and it become increasingly complicated to prevent interception of communication channels. Since mid-1952, all the subordinate command in the Southern Lithuania Region ranging from military district to territorial unit HQs were, with rare exceptions, controlled by MGB agents. Every contact with these structural units raised a threat of exposure for Ramanauskas. Therefore, in early 1953, he disappeared from the sight of the fake headquarters of the MGB.

12.      By the spring of 1955, the KGB managed to collect information about some habits, lifestyle features of Ramanauskas, and the fake names of his child. The KGB was also aware of the memoirs Ramanauskas had written and gradually learned about the former hosts and hideouts Ramanauskas and his family had used before the spring of 1956.

13.      Agent Antanas Urbonas codenamed Žinomas (Known), working in collaboration with the MGB, waited for several years to host Ramanauskas in a house on the outskirts of Kaunas (built in 1952–1953). Before going to Kaunas in early October 1956, Ramanauskas went to Vilnius to check on the safety of the future stay in Kaunas and the circumstances of his former acquaintance. He, incidentally, received a leaflet from an unknown person entitled Wolna Europa (Free Europe) published in Poland in June 1956.

14.      Ramanauskas was arrested between 8:20 and 8:35 on 12 October 1956. The search of the arrested took place in the office of Petras Raslanas, Kaunas KGB’s High Representative. The KGB was expecting to disclose Ramanauskas’ foreign connections, identify the addresses, passwords, and cipher for decoding encrypted messages, as well as find the hideouts with arms, archives, and diaries. Capt. Nikolai Shabaldin brought Ramanauskas to the KGB prison at 1 p.m.

DSC 09291

After the photo of the arrestee was made for the case, Shabaldin took Ramanauskas for a secret interrogation, which lasted from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. During the interrogation, Ramanauskas was injured. His wounds were dressed with massive bandages, and by 3 p.m. he had to be accompanied to the prison cell by two KGB men, namely, Nikolai Shabaldin and Gilelis Blochas. At 4:30 p.m., unconscious Ramanauskas was transferred to the Lukiškės prison hospital.

15.      Col. Yakov Sinitsyn, acting as KGB Chair, along with Lt. Col. Leonardas Martavičius, Deputy Chair, and Maj. Nachman Dushanski, their subordinate, were in charge of engaging storm troopers and authorisation of active interrogation methods before 1954. Maj. Dushanski, in particular, was the first one to tell his subordinate about Ramanauskas’ alleged attempt to injure his sexual organs ostensibly in an effort to commit suicide. In addition, he pointed out that it was Martavičius, who threatened Ramanauskas with torture. As Col. Sinitsyn accompanied Ramanauskas in person, was among the key supporters of methods of active interrogation, and in fact authorised their use, we can reasonably assume that torture took place primarily with his knowledge and involved his participation. Nachman Dushanski and his subordinates Gilelis Blochas and Nikolai Shabaldin were the executors.

16.      After the secret interrogation, Col. Martavičius immediately used the hotline to inform Fiodor Khharitonov, Head of the Fourth Directorate of the KGB of the USSR that ‘so far, Ramanauskas refuses to unveil the locations of his former stays.’ The KGB was not so much interested in the addresses of past stays, but rather in locations where the documents, archives, manuscripts, and arms were kept. However, what the torturers failed to understand was that Ramanauskas chiefly sought to keep his daughter’s hideout in secret and therefore kept silence about the most recent places he had inhabited.

17.      Following Ramanauskas’ arrival at the hospital, all efforts were put into concealing the fact that he had undergone torture. The KGB management therefore promptly engaged in collecting explanations from all the prison guards, who had seen Ramanauskas. The official version of attempted suicide remained unchallenged. The KGB first distributed the fake news of attempted suicide in the KGB premises. Both Dushanski and Martavičius told the story with faked details to their colleagues. Other injuries, including the cut finger tendons, the marks of injury on the abdomen, and the injury on the ear, went unmentioned. In 1992, the General Prosecutor’s Office failed to make any notice of the serious discrepancies between the testimonies, on the one hand, and the KGB documents, on the other.

18.      On 10 November 1956, Ramanauskas was taken to the KGB prison for interrogation, even though he had barely started moving with other people’s help nine days before, was diagnosed with asthenia, had wounds not fully healed and a bad headache. One of his ears could no longer hear and one of his eyes could no longer see.

19.      During interrogation, both Ramanauskas and his wife Mažeikaitė concealed the place of residence of their daughter and her guardian, Mažeikienė, from the KGB. Mažeikaitė kept complete silence during interrogations between 17 October and 26 November 1956.

20.      Ramanauskas was interrogated by Col. Ariston Chelnokov, Head of Section, KGB Interrogation Unit, and Vytautas Bašinskas, Senior Interrogator. Only in 2018 an expert of the Criminal Investigation Centre of the Lithuanian Police established that the signatures on the first minutes from the interrogation in 1956 were forged.

21.      Suffering from wounds and a headache, Ramanauskas could barely move. Irrespective of that, he underwent fairly intensive interrogations as head of the partisans. However, despite his poor health, at the outset of interrogations he clearly stated his motives for joining the resistance movement: "In order to fight against the Soviet Union, as I equal Lithuania’s annexation to the Soviet Union to an occupation".

22.      As Commander of the Dainava Military District, Southern Lithuania Region Defence Force, and LFFM Defence Force, Ramanauskas authorised the collection and storage of the partisan archives and was responsible for keeping the storage location secret. He described the experience of partisan fights in 1945–1947 in early personal writings. The KGB found four hideouts with his memoirs. In total, 8 hideouts were found in the districts of Alytus, Jieznas, Varėna and Veisiejai, containing archives, personal diaries, three volumes of memoirs, a typewriter, a radio, and an automatic gun with ammunition. In reply to the KGB’s charges raised against him in person and the resistance movement in general, Ramanauskas revealed the hideouts of the archives. The KGB made no use of the documents found as a result, as they contained information that contradicted the KGB charges.

23.      Ramanauskas partly achieved his aims: even though the detention regime remained unchanged, the interrogations were suspended for a month. Ramanauskas managed to mislead the interrogators. Therefore, the agenda for interrogation in February 1957 no longer included any plans of searching for other hideouts with memoirs and archives. In March, the case of Ramanauskas’ wife, Mažeikaitė, was separated from the overall case of the resistance movement. Thanks to the lawyer Ovsei Levitan, the charges, on which the KGB had toiled for half a year, were dropped in court and replaced by less grave ones. In July, criminal prosecution of Ramanauskas’ supporters and helpers was officially dropped. There might have been other reasons for all of these changes. In any case, while in solitary confinement in the KGB prison, Ramanauskas spared no effort to alleviate the fate of his family and other people.

24.      By the end of interrogations in July 1957, the KGB failed to prove Ramanauskas’ direct leadership in committing any terrorist act. The case was supplemented by a statement On the Origin and Activities in Lithuania of the Bourgeois-Nationalist Underground and its Armed Gangs signed by Gen. Maj. Kazimieras Liaudis, KGB Chair, and Lt. Col. Juozas Obukauskas, Head of the Fourth Directorate of the KGB. Together with the false statements on the 8,000 victims allegedly killed by the troops under Ramanauskas command, it formulated the basis for the indictment.  

25.      In response to the allegations, Ramanauskas provided his clarifications. However, further progress of the case did not take them into consideration. Only the charges were in focus and remained documented. No documents or material whatsoever was received from the KGB to confirm the validity of any allegations against Ramanauskas. The criminal case itself had a range of death certificates attached. They included certificates of death at the hand of the partisans (the reason of death being established without any examination). Even so, they only totalled to around 300 people. Approximately 70 of them were soldiers, guards, destruction battalions, soviet police, armed party activists, and soviet activists. In the case of the remaining 230 people, reasons for their deaths were arbitrary and it was unclear, whether they were armed civilians (open supporters of the soviet authorities) or people suspected of treason and espionage by the resistance movement (covert supporters of the occupation). The case also included documents of death sentences issued to nearly 140 persons by the court-martials of the military units active in Dzūkija, including the Merkys Territorial Unit. The KGB had no other real data to substantiate the figure of 500, let alone 8,000 civilians allegedly killed by the partisans.

26.      Ramanauskas managed to rebut on merits almost every point in the criminal charges and only partially confirmed and accepted his liability as a commander in the fight against occupation. However, the indictment could not be expected to change. The Soviet authorities did not consider Ramanauskas to be a prisoner of war. He was treated as an inconvenient witness to the crimes and arbitrariness of the government of the time. Therefore, removing Ramanauskas at any cost as soon as possible was a top priority.

27.      In order to psychologically affect Ramanauskas and make him refrain from any reference at the court proceedings to the torture he underwent during the interrogation, he was allowed to see his eight-year-old daughter for the last time on 11 September 1957.

28.      On 24–25 September 1957, 33 witnesses were invited to court, of which only a third were personally acquainted with Ramanauskas. The rest of them were Soviet party activists and members of the Soviet paramilitary units. The Court secretary documented only a part of the speeches made by Ramanauskas in the minutes of the hearing. The KGB was doing its utmost to prevent Ramanauskas from speaking before the court about the real causes of his painful suffering in 1956. Ramanauskas had learnt from the press in prison about the political change underway in the Soviet Union. Therefore, he observed that the Soviet apparatus should also, in equal measure to the partisans, regret the atrocities they authored, to which the regime referred to as mere errors. Despite the court being held behind closed doors and nobody being able to hear Ramanauskas’ words, and despite his awareness of the impossibility of making any impact on the sentence, he still provided explanations, clarifications, denials, denunciations, and arguments. He defended the legitimacy of actions of the resistance movement; referred to the occupation power as the occupiers;

and referred to his own actions as part of the struggle for independence of Lithuania.

29.      At the end of his last word, Ramanauskas made one of his crucial statements, ‘I have affronted death a hundred times. I therefore dare to say today, as on any day, that the fight for the cause I have led was sacrosanct.’

30.      After Ramanauskas was sentenced to death, his lawyer Ivanas Zeleckas drafted an appeal for grace, yet the document disappeared from the case.

31.      Two to three weeks before the execution of the death penalty, Ramanauskas was brutally beaten up once again, forensic experts testified after examination of his skull after the exhumation. They found signs of half-healed wounds on the skull. The death penalty was executed on 29 November 1957. Vasiliy Podoroga, the KGB’s in-house executioner, killed Ramanauskas to death by shooting him on the left side of the head through the jaw. The victim possibly stayed alive for some time after the execution. Two more individuals, Antanas Grigaliūnas and Antanas Launikonis, were executed that same night in the Lukiškės prison on charges of looting and murder. It was a common trait of the KGB’s methodology for masking arbitrary executions: criminal and political prisoners would be buried in the same pit. In this case, all of the three prisoners were shot dead and buried in the Orphans’ Cemetery in Vilnius.

32.      In 1992–1993, a forensic examination assessed the circumstances of Ramanauskas’ alleged suicide attempt as documented by the KGB. The forensic lab found that the tools of torture had different design characteristics and injuries were caused by a sharp tool for cutting; either a sharp object or scissors. Was it a self-inflicted injury? Extraordinary physical pain would have paralysed the victim and prevented him from completing the action. Therefore, in the opinion of the experts, Ramanauskas was unable to inflict on himself all of the injuries he suffered from.

33.        In 1992–2010, the enquiry of Ramanauskas torture and injury was constantly suspended. After the establishment of the place of residence of Nachman Dushanski in Israel, the first request for legal aid in interrogating the suspect was made in 1999. In the absence of prosecution of other high-level LSSR’s KGB and NKVD staff, the request was rejected by the Israeli Public Prosecutor’s Office in 2000 as discriminatory. Israeli representatives were right. Leonardas Martavičius, Dushanski’s superior, was not charged even though he was still alive. Neither were any charges put forward against Vasiliy Podoroga or other individuals associated with the torture and murder of Ramanauskas.

34.      The search for other possible perpetrators from the KGB did not begin until 2001. The second request for legal aid was submitted to the Israeli Ministry of Justice, but no reply was received for seven years, until Dushanski’s death.

35.      It was only in 2018 the location of Ramanauskas' remains was identified. Eventually, three bodies were found in grave No 27 of the Orphans’ Cemetery in Vilnius: two bodies of criminals on the top, and the body of Ramanauskas at the very bottom. The results of the ensuing examination demonstrated that Ramanauskas’ skull had marks of unhealed wounds incurred several weeks before death. On the right side of the orbital socket, five round-shaped injuries were identified. It was clear that they were punctur wounds and marked the signs of torture documented on 12 October 1956.

36.      Adolfas Ramanauskas codenamed Vanagas, Signatory to the Declaration of the LFFM Council of 16 February 1949, Commander of the LFFM Defence Force, First Deputy Chair of the Presidium of the LFFM Council, was given a solemn burial in Vilnius Antakalnis Cemetery on 6 October 2018. He was buried in the pantheon of the Heads of State, barely 200 metres away from his former secret grave.

 

© 2019 Arvydas Anušauskas. Visos teisės saugomos.