TE15 Lithuanian Honey Cake
Irena Veisaitė & Aurimas Švedas
Lithuania’s woes. 1 I myself did not want to leave the ghetto. My grandfather, aunt, and other relatives and friends were still alive. But then, in 1943, I received a letter from Onutė Bagdonavičiūtė-Strimaitienė . . . Onutė had worked for my father at the head office of the Lithuanian State Lottery. I loved her dearly and knew her family well. Onutė’s father was the organist at the church in the town of Kudirkos Naumiestis and I had sometimes visited them there in the summer. I was friends with Onutė’s brothers and sisters and was close to her entire family. Onutė was married in 1938. My mother and I were invited to her wedding and I still have a few photographs from that celebration. Onutė’s husband, Juozas Strimaitis, was a Lithuanian army officer. He was sent to study in Belgium and went there with his wife before the first Soviet occupation, so they were spared deportation. They were in Belgium when the war started and returned to Kaunas in 1942. I am making the assumption that they saw my father in Belgium, who, as I mentioned previously, was by then 1 LAF (Lietuvių aktivistų frontas) [Lithuanian activists’ front]— anti-Soviet resistance organisation (1940–1941) that organised and implemented the June Uprising of 1941. The LAF united a wide range of anti-Soviet forces: the core LAF group in Kaunas was formed from a secret student coalition; in Vilnius, LAF was headed by former military officers; and the Berlin branch was established by former ambassador to Germany Kazys Škirpa. For political reasons, the Berlin LAF leadership collaborated with German military intelligence and Senior Armed Forces leadership. LAF’s ideology contained distinctly anti-Semitic elements in the LAF’s ideology.
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