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Booksmugglers: Juozas Bagdonas



Juozas Bagdonas. Nuotrauka iš B. Kaluškevičiaus archyvoJUOZAS BAGDONAS, (1866-1956), physician and publicist, born in Slibinai, near Kybartai, county of Vilkaviskis, on. April 16, 1866. From 1886-1891 he studied medicine at the Universities of Warsaw and Moscow. From 1892-1899 he practiced medicine in Naumiestis, in the province of Suduva. Here he helped organize the smuggling of clandestine Lithuanian publications from Lithuania Minor (East Prussia). An active member of the Lithuanian socialist underground, he wrote political and social essays. In 1897 he was arrested and imprisoned in Kalvarija for several months. Learning that he was about to be exiled to Viatka, Siberia, he fled to the West in 1899. Under various pseudonyms he lived in Germany, England, France, and Switzerland until 1905. During this time (1899-1905) he edited Varpas (The Bell), published by the Lithuanian Democrats in Tilze (Tilsit) directed against Russian rule in Lithuania. In 1900 he organized a Lithuanian pavilion at the International Exhibition in Paris, in which he included much anti-Russian propaganda. He returned to Lithuania after the Revolution of 1905 and practiced medicine in Vilnius until 1915, at the same time writing for the progressive Lithuanian press. After World War I began, he was drafted into the army and assigned the chief physician of the military hospital in Vilnius. When the hospital was relocated in Moscow in 1915, he went to Moscow and continued in his duties until 1918.
He returned to Lithuania when it became independent in 1918. From March of 1919 he was director of the Lithuanian Department of Health; from November 18, 1922, an associate professor at the University of Kaunas; and from 1923-1924, dean of the Faculty of Medicine. He taught an introductory course in internal medicine. In 1937 he founded the Lithuanian Temperance Association with its center in Kaunas and 100 chapters elsewhere. He was chairman of the association and editor of its publications. When Soviet Russia occupied Lithuania in the summer 1944, he fled to austria and leter lived for a time in germany. In 1951 he emigrated to the United States, settling in Cleveland, Ohio. He died at the age of 90 in Cleveland on June 8, 1956. He was writen a number of articles and brochures om political and social problems and on various aspects of publicc health and medicine.
Noteworthy are his memoirs, “Is musu kovu ir zygiu” (Of Pour battles and Deeds0, I-II, Kaunas, 1931-1932; and Ivadas i bendraja medicina (Introduction to General Medicine), Kaunas, 1926.