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Booksmugglers: Stanislovas Stakele



Stanislovas StakeleSTAKELE STANISLOVAS (1862-1930), Roman Catholic priest, major figure in the Lithuanian national movement, born in Adamava, county of Panevezys. Having graduated from the Samogitian Theological Seminary at Kaunas in 1885, he was assigned as curate to Latvia. The Russian police, discovering that he had been traveling
to Lithuania without permission, sentenced him to a two-year confinement
at the Kretinga monastery (1890-1892). In 1895 he was again banished to Kretinga, this time from the Lithuanian parish of Pasvalys, for disseminating forbidden Lithuanian literature and operating a secret school. But during this three-year confinement, he often
disappeared from the monastery to deliver the manuscript copy of the monthly Tevynes Sargas (Guardian of the Homeland) across the border to East Prussia to be printed there, and to organize groups of booksmugglers. After the governor of Kaunas province refused to approve his reassignment to a parish within the Samogitian diocese, he transferred to the diocese of Vilnius; but the governor of Vilnius province ordered him
to move from parish to parish, allowing him to serve only a short term at each. Eventually his friends were able to bribe the governor of Kaunas to permit him to be assigned indefinitely to the parish of Dusetos as one of three curates. During the Wars of Independence (1919-20) he organized volunteers for the Lithuanian army, participated in the work of a number of Important organizations, gave speeches, and wrote for the press. In 1927 the Lithuanian government awarded him a pension for his contribution to the Lithuanian national movement. Stakele was an irrepressible, dynamic fighter who knew how to turn the psychology of the police as well as the legal system to his own advantage; failing this, he occasionally resorted to the use of physical force. He died in Ramygala on October 27, 1930.