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  • Author or Editor: Vanda Kašauskienė x
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Following Stalin’s death, the political rivalry for the highest posts in the Kremlin and the ‘new political course’, initiated by Lavretii Beria, affected the social activity of Lithuanian students. Tendencies of the anti-Soviet movement again increased in Lithuania. Student national actions (in the documents of the Communist Party and state security referred to as ‘nationalistic anti-Soviet actions’) were detected in all the institutions of higher education in Lithuania in that period. Patriotically-minded students required to introduce Lithuanian in state offices and stop falsifying the history of Lithuania. They collected signatures for the return of the former names of the main streets of Vilnius and Kaunas (instead of being named after Stalin) and for the erection of a monument to the founder of Vilnius, Grand Duke Gediminas, in the capital. In 1955-57 the celebration of All Souls’ Day (2 November) became a peculiar form of student demonstration in the cemeteries of Vilnius and Kaunas. That was the first open action of protest after the suppression of the armed resistance. The ‘nationalistic actions’ of the students were associated with the changes in Eastern European countries. ‘The instigators of the disturbances’ were punished, expelled from the institutions of higher education, deprived of scholarships, dismissed from the hostels, etc. When Khrushchev had clearly established his superiority in 1959-1960, control from Moscow was strengthened and the pressure of the political regime and russification intensified. In some cases heads and teachers of the institutions of higher education were dismissed for their national orientation. Nevertheless, the re-introduction of the Lithuanian spirit and the processes of liberation helped to foster the national intelligentsia, which was at the head of the national re-birth movement in the late 1980s.

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In: Lithuanian Historical Studies
In: Lithuanian Historical Studies