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PERIODICALS. The first periodicals in the Lithuanian language were published in East Prussia (Lithuania Minor), where ethnic discrimination was less severe than in the rest of Lithuania, at that time under Tsarist Russia's rule. Thus, in 1832 there appeared the monthly Nusidavima.i apie Evangelijos praplatinimą tarp žydų ir pagonių (News about the Propagation of the Gospel among Jews and Pagans), a bulletin reporting mainly on the work of Protestant missions. Published at Konigsberg and coming out irregularly after 1901, the bulletin survived until 1914. Another publication, the weekly Keleivis (The Traveler), was published from 1849-80 with support from the Prussian government, but it showed little interest in Lithuanian causes. Somewhat more committed in this respect was the weekly Lietuviš ka Ceitunga (The Lithuanian Newspaper), published in Klaipeda from 1878-1939; for a time its contributors included Jonas Basanavicius and Jonas Sliupas. Eventually this newspaper also came to serve the cause of Germanization.
In Lithuania Major, the Russian authorities not only withheld permission to publish periodicals in the Lithuanian language but in 1864 announced a total prohibition on any printing using the Latin alphabet (see Press Ban). The latter decree only prompted more Lithuanian newspapers and books to be printed in East Prussia for secret distribution across the border. In this way a whole number of periodicals with a pronounced political content and national orientation came into being. The first of these was Aušra (The Dawn), appearing monthly between 1883-86 and printed in Ragainė (Ragnit) and Tilžė (Tilsit). It was followed by a group of periodicals differentiated along ideological lines. Šviesa (The Light), appearing intermittently in the period between 1887-90, still attempted to accommodate both liberal and strict Catholic viewpoints. The more influential Varpas (The Bell, 1889-1905) and Ūkininkas (The Farmer, 1890-1905) adhered to a liberal, secular, positivist line. This turned out to be the middle course between the conservatively Catholic žemaičių ir Lietuvos Apžvalga (The Samogitian and Lithuanian Review, 1889-96) and Tėvynės Sargas (Guardian of the Fatherland, 1896-1904), on the one hand, and the revolutionary Socialist Lietuvos Darbininkas (The Lithuanian Worker, 1896-99) and Darbinin'kų Balsas (The Workers' Voice, 1901-06), on the other. All of these clandestine publications had the effect of strengthening resistance against Russian oppression. Seeing that the press ban was futile and counter-productive, the Tsar revoked it in 1904.
The first new Lithuanian newspaper to appear immediately after the abolition of the press ban was the weekly Lietuviu Laikraštis (The Lithuanian Newspaper, 1904-06) of St. Petersburg. The second was Vilniaus žinios (The Vilnius News, 1904-09), a daily whose editors tried to maintain a nonpartisan line. But the majority of subsequent periodicals were published to express one or another 'of the political ideologies prevailing in Lithuania at that time. Thus, the semi-weekly Lietuvos žinios (The Lithuanian News, founded in 1909) served the center liberals; in time it grew into a daily and became the organ of the Peasant Populist Union. Viltis (Hope), published thrice weekly from 1907 on, attempted to integrate diverse cultural orientations on a national basis, deemphasizing thy socio-economic and class aspects of current concerns, and adopting a sympathetic but moderate attitude on religious matters. Partisans of this outlook became known as viltininkai (after the name of their newspaper), forming the embryo of a subsequently powerful political party, the Nationalist Union. Meanwhile, as the publishers of Viltis began pressuring the editors towards a more pronounced Catholic conservatism, the viltininkai decided to break away and establish a new publication, to which they gave the name of Vairas (The Rudder, 1914-15). Securely in the Catholic camp were the weekly Vienybė (Unity, 1907-15) and the monthly cultural journal Draugija (Association, 1907-15), both published in Kaunas. Catholic organizations likewise published a number of periodicals specifically directed towards students, village youth, and women. In addition, there were also a few Catholic publications restricted to the pastoral field, such as the weekly Šaltinis (The Source, 1906-14) and the monthly Vadovas (The Guide, 1908-14), both published in Seinai.
Although the press ban had been re-pealed, publishing activity was still subject to censorship by Russian officials. Indeed, scarcely a single Lithuanian publication managed to avoid a larger or smaller penalty at least once during its existence. For instance, merely requesting that the Lithuanian language be taught in schools was toften sufficient to draw a fine. Therefore, a number of publications which spoke out unequivocally and directly against the Tsarist regime were confiscated and closed down as soon as they appeared. Such short-lived publications were mostly sponsored by the Socialists; of their many attempts, only the weekly Žarija (The Ember, 1907-08) and the journal Visuomenė (Society, 1910-11) held out a little longer.
Between World War 1 and World'War II. In 1915, Lithuania was evacuated by the Russians and occupied by the Germans. During the ensuing three years, almost all publishing activity was put to a halt. In the field of periodicals, the exceptions were Dabartis (The Present), a newspaper published by the German military command, and Lietwos Aidas (Echo of Lithuania), a semi-weekly, later a daily. This latter newspaper first appeared towards the end of the German occupation in 1917, as a concession of the German authorities towards the Council of Lithuania, an influential political coalition of all Lithuanian forces actively striving for the reestablishment of national independence. But when the text of the Lithuanian Declaration of Independence, signed on Feb. 16, 1918, was actually carried in the Feb. 19 edition of Lietuvos Aidas, fearful German officials immediately confiscated this issue.
During the period of national independence (1918-40), a vast number of periodicals appeared for a shorter or longer time. They served a wide spectrum of needs and interests and were published by state agencies, scientific and educational institutions, secular and religious organizations, and small private groups as well as individuals. From 1919-28 the official voice of the government was the daily Lietuva (Lithuania); from 1928-40 it was Lietuvos Aidas. Other dailies were Lietuvos Žinios (1922-40), published by the Peasant Populists; and Laisvė (Freedom, 1919-23), Rytas (Morning, 1923-36), and XX Amžius (The Twentieth Century, 1936-40), all published by Christian Democrats or Catholics. In the Klaipeda Territory, a portion 'of Lithuania Minor (East Prussia) returned to Lithuania in 1923, there were two Lithuanian-language dailies: Lietuvos Keleivis (The Lithuanian Traveler, 1924-39) and the old proGerman Lietuviška Ceitunga. Both newspapers were closed down when Germany reannexed the area in 1939.
Among the weekly and monthly publications in Lithuania, more than a halt were Catholic in orientation. The most important of these were .Mūsų Laikraštis (Our Newspaper, 1928-40), published by the Catholic Action Center; Darbininkas (The Worker, 1919-40); Židinys (The Hearth, 1925-10), a cultural journal; Pavasaris (Spring, 1918-40), for young people; Ateitis (The Future, 1919-40), for students; Naujoji Vaidilute (The New Priestess, 1921-40), for girls and women; Moteris (Woman, 1919-40); Lietuvos Mokykla (The Lithuanian School, 1918-40); and Tiesos Kelias (The Way of Truth, 1925-40); also, the illustrated weekly Naujoji Romuva (The New Romuva, 1931-40), which aimed at fostering a modern, dynamic, tolerant version of Christian Lithuanian culture.
The second largest group of periodicals was published by the Peasant Populists and other liberal organizations. These included the weekly Lietuvos Ūkininkas (The Lithuanian Farmer); Var-pas (The Bell, 1918-21), a cultural magazine; Mokykla ir Gyvenimas (School and Life, 1920-41), a teachers' magazine; and the youthoriented Jaunimas (Youth, 1921-36). The journals Kultura (Culture, 1923-41) and Laisvoji Mintis (Free Thought, 1933-41) expressed materialist, anti-religious, often radical attitudes.
Periodicals of the Nationalist Union and affiliated organizations increased in number following the coup d'etat of 1926. Before that event, which placed them into power, the Nationalists published the weeklies Tauta (The Nation, 1919-20); Krašto Balsas (The Voice of the Country, 1922-23); and Lietuvis (The Lithuanian, 1924-28), which for a time ran as a daily. In1928 the latter was merged with the heretofore-official Lietuva to yield Lietuvos Aidas, the organ of the Nationalist government. A series of weeklies and monthlies aimed at specific segments of the population were also established under Nationalist auspices: Vairas (The Rudder, 1929-40), a cultural monthly; Jaunoji Karta (The Young Generation, 1928-10), for village youth; Jaunoj Lietuva (Young Lithuania, 1928-40), for students; and Tautos Mokykla (The National School, 1933-40), a teachers' magazine. Futhermore, the weeklies Ūkininko Patarejas (The Farmer's Advisor, 1925-40), musų Rytojus (Our Tomorrow, 1927-36), and Darbas (Labor, 1936-40) likewise displayed a Nationalist orientation.
Socialist publications included the weekly Socialdemokratas (The Social Democrat, 1919-33); the journals Darbo Visuomenė (Workers' Society, 1935-36) and Naujoji Gadynė (The New Era, 1926-27); and Žiežirba (The Spark, 1922-26), a journal for young people. After the coup d'etat oi 1926, Socialists, as the group most strongly opposed to the ruling authoritarian regime, were hindered from developing a vigorous and open publishing activity. Except for a short period prior to the coup, when the country was led by a Peasant Populist-Socialist coalition regime, the press was under continuous government censorship.
Publications dedicated to literature and the arts were numerous but short-lived. Among the more significant may be mentioned Gairės (Landmarks, 1923-24); Keturi Vėjai (The Four Winds, 1924-28); Boras (The Row, 1925); Pradai ir žygiai (Sources and Deeds, 1926-27); Meno Kultūra (Art Culture, 1926-30); Pjūvis (Cross Section, 1929-31); Literatūros Naujienos (1934-iO); and Literatūra (Literature, 1936). Another literary journal, Skaitymai (Readings, 1920-23), was published by the Ministry of Education. Other ministries, academic institutions, and professional societies maintained their own publications. Examples were Medicina (Medicine, 1920-40); Teis6 (The Law, 1922-10); Technika (Technics, 1924-35); Žemeės Ūkis (Agriculture, 1925-40); and Mūsų žinynas (Our Book of Facts, 1921-39), a historical journal published by the Ministry of Defense. Specialized scholarly journals were also published by individual departments of the University of Kaunas.
During and after World War II. The first occupation by the Soviets (1940-41) resulted in the suppression of most previously existing publications, the closing of publishing houses, and the confiscation of their inventories. The official daily for several months was Darbo Lietuva (Working Lithuania), later changed to Tarybu Lietuva (Soviet Lithuania). During the ensuing German occupation (1941-44), despite a paper shortage and strict censorship, the Lithuanian press was able to reassume a limited measure of ideological and cultural diversity. But the influential Į Laisvę (Towards Freedom, 1941^2), published by the Lithuanian Activist Front, was forced to close because its name sounded too much like an incitement against the Nazi 'occupation administration. On the other hand, permission was granted to publish the daily Ateitis (Future, 1943-44) as well as the daily Naujoji Lietuva (The New Lithuania) and weekly Karys (The Warrior), both published from 1941^44. Appearing at irregular intervals were also the journals Lietuviškoji Medicina (Lithuanian Medicine, 1941-44); Savaitė (The Week, 1941-44); and Kuryba (Creativity, 1943-44). All of these publications used various stratagems to avoid serving the Nazi cause, limiting themselves as much as possible to a purely reportorial function, or publishing a large amount of folklore and literary fiction (which allowed the expression of Lithuanian interests in an indirect, veiled way), or exploiting the difference in language competence existing between Lithuanian editors and German censors. At the same time, an extensive network of underground publications had developed since 1942, maintained by the Lithuanian Activist Front, the Lithuanian Freedom Fighters' Association and other resistance groups. These Illegal publications had a great effect on popular attitudes towards the occupation regime, such as those which expressed themselves in the overt and covert boycott of Nazi attempts to exploit Lithuanian manpowner for the benefit of the German warmachine (see Resistance).
With the return of the Soviets in 1944, the entire press was again placed under state ownership and in the service of goals set by the Communist Party. Tiesa (Truth) and the Russian language Sovietskaia Litva (Soviet Lithuania) are the principal dailies. A huge number of other periodicals are geared to specific segments of the readership. Final ideological control still rests with Russian party authorities, but recently the once very sparse local Lithuanian party cadres have acquired a greater say. While this sometimes affords official protection to what might otherwise be condemned as deviant regionalism, the overall effect is still that of a stranglehold on potential expressions of Lithuanian political and cultural originality and creativity. No substantive criticism of Communist theory or practice, or of Lithuania's Incorporation into the Soviet Union, has ever been permitted. A recent development unique to Lithuania (among other Soviet-dominated countries) is the appearance, since 1972, of an underground Chronicle of the Lithuanian Catholic Church, of which 15 issues have appeared by early 1975. This publication details cases of religious and national dissent and of its suppression, and is based on a more massive underground support and distribution network than its Russian counterpart, the Samizdat.
Lithuanian periodicals abroad. The first Lithuanian newspaper in the United States was Gazieta LietuviSka, published and edited by Mykolas Tvarauskas from 1879-82 in New York. Subsequently he and Jonas Šliupas published the weekly Unija (The Union, 1884-85), recalling by its name the political union that once existed between Lithuania and Poland. At that time many Lithuanians still tended to think of themselves and the Poles as forming one people. But in his later publications Šliupas urged readers to reject this idea and to recognize the linguistic, historical and cultural distinctness of the Lithuanian nation. These included the liberal Lietuviškas Balsas (The Lithuanian Voice, 1885-88), the socialist Nauja Gadynė (The New Era, 1894-96), the first Lithuanian scholarly journal Apšvieta (Enlightenment, printed in Tilsit from 1894-96), and Laisvoji Mintis (Free Thought, 1910-15). Meanwhile, in 1886 Juozas Paukštys began to publish Vienybė Lietuvninkų (Lithuanian Unity), an originally Catholic weekly which has changed its orientation repeatedly under different publishers and editors. It is still in existence today, having shortened its name to Vienybė (Unity) in 1920. Another Pennsylvania weekly, Sauls (The Sun, 1888-1952), was aimed at a readership consisting almost exclusively of Coal miners. The two major fraternal benefit associations still publish their newspapers, the liberal Tėvynė (The Fatherland, since 1896) and the Catholic Garsas (Sound, since 1917). At present there are three dailies appearing in the United States: the once Socialist, now unaffiliated Naujienos (The News, since 1913), the Catholic Draugas (The Friend, since 1909), and the Communist Vilnis (The Wave, since 1920). Published once or twice a week are the socialist Keleivis (The Traveler, since 1909); the Nationalist Dirva (The Field, since 1915); the Catholic Darbininkas (The Worker, since 1915); the Communist Laisvė (Liberty, since 1917); and the liberal Sandara (The Concord, since 1918). Of the many magazines, the m'oderate nationalist Margutis (1928-59) and the Catholic Vytis (The Knight, since 1915) survived the longest. After World War II a new influx of immigrants resulted in the appearance of a wide variety of periodicals. The following are among the most important of these: the right-wing Nationalist Laisvoji Lietuva (Free Lithuania, since1946); the socialist journal Darbas (Labor, 1947-53); the Catholic cultural review Aidai (Echoes, since 1949); the religious and cultural journal Laiškai Lietuviams (Letters to Lithuanians, since 1950); the Christian Democratic journal Tėvynės Sargas (Guardian of the Homeland, since 1947); the Populist cultural review Varpas (The Bell, since 1950), and its political counterpart, Sėja (The Sowing, since 1953); the radical liberal cultural and political journal Metmenys (Outlines, since 1959); and the non-aligned but generally radical Akiračiai (Horizons, since 1968). Various special interest groups (youth, professional, religious) put out their own publications. The quarterly journal Lituanus (since 1954) is being published in English. Periodicals published outside of the United States include the non-aligned weekly Nepriklausoma Lietuva (Independent Lithuania, since 1940) and the Catholic weekly Tėviškės žibūriai (Lights of the Homeland, since 1949) in Canada; Laikas (Time, since 1948) in Argentina; Mūsų Lietuva (Our Lithuania, since 1948) in Brazil; musų Pastogė (Our Shelter, since 1948) and Tėviškės Aidai (Echoes of the Homeland, since 1956) in Australia; and Europos Lietuvis (The European Lithuanian, since 1947) in Great Britain.
A large collection of periodicals issued during 1944-1968, including those published in refugee camps in Western Europe, was acquired by the University of Minnesota from Vladas Lišauskas. The collection contains 500 titles from 20 countries, 50 of them in foreign languages. The more important periodicals are supplied with brief descriptions of their contents.
Bibl.: A. Klaipėdietis (Bruožis), prūsų lietuvių laikraščiai, Klaipėda, 1914; J. Kirlys, "Prieškarinė mūsų periodika." Židinys, No. 12, 1930 (Kaunas); V. Kaupas, Die Presse Litauens, I, Klaipėda. 1934; F. Lavinskas, Amerikos Lietuvių laikraščiai 1875-1S5S, New York, 1956; V. Biržička, "The American Lithuanian Publications 1875-1910," Journal of Central Europe Affairs, No. 4, 1959; J. Kardelis, "Mūsų išeivijos periodinės spaudos pokario metais nueitas kelias," Aidai, No. 2, 1963 (Brooklyn); V. Žukas, "Prie lietuvių periodikos Istorijos," Bibliotekininkystės ir bibliografijos klausimai, Vol. 3, 1964 (Vilnius).
Text from the ENCYCLOPEDIA LITUANICA I-VI.  Boston, 1970-1978