Grand Finale of Hope and Spirit

On April 29, 2012, the Grand Finale of the Hope and Spirit project took place at the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture. This project, which originally was to last only four months, was extended to almost a full year. For the finale, there was a double book presentation, and double book signing, entitled Hands across History. Ruta Sepetys, from Nashville, TN, presented her book, Between Shades of Gray, the story of a teenage girl deported from Lithuania to Siberia, and Ellen Cassedy, from Washington, DC, presented We are Here, her family’s story as victims of the holocaust that took place in Lithuania.

The turn-out was record breaking. Never in the history of the museum have so many individuals attended a presentation. All of the available seats were taken, additional chairs were brought in, and still people had to stand at the back. This was a remarkable, and very satisfying finale to a project that has consumed two years of my life. In the photograph below stand Ellen Cassedy and Ruta Sepetys, with me in the center.

Leave Your Tears in Moscow

Leave Your Tears in Moscow, was originally published 50 years ago. It is the story of Barbara Armonas, and her decades of imprisonment in many different Siberian gulags and prison camps. The stories in this book are utterly unbelievable. This book, at the time, received acclaim and  partial serialization in Life magazine. Continue Reading →

European Union Parliament’s declaration

It was an honor for me to participate in the commemoration of Stalin’s deportations, as part of the European Union’s parliamentary declaration requesting international cooperation. This commemoration dealt with the March 25 to 28, 1949 wave of deportations from the Baltic republics. Continue Reading →

Presentations of Letters from Siberia

Presentation of Hope and Spirit to the Board of Directors of the Illinois Humanities Council

On January 7, 2012, a busload of historians, who were attending the annual American Historical Association meeting, arrived from the conference in downtown Chicago. I gave them a tour of the exhibit. It was very gratifying to have a professional historical association pay so much attention to this neglected chapter in the world’s history. Continue Reading →

Poems from Siberia

Previously unpublished poem written and sent from Siberia, by a deported Lithuanian school teacher in 1953 Continue Reading →