New Publications

August 20, 2013

“Lithuanians in DP Camps in Germany, 1945–1951” (Lith. “Lietuviai DP stovyklose Vokietijoje, 1945–1951”) by Vincas Bartusevičius:

In 2012, the publishing company “Versus aureus” published the book “Lithuanians in DP Camps in Germany, 1945–1951” (Lith. “Lietuviai DP stovyklose Vokietijoje, 1945–1951”), which was written by the historian, sociologist, and Head of the Lithuanian Cultural Institute in Hüttenfeld, Dr. Vincas Bartusevičius. World War II not only destroyed Europe, but also painfully affected the Lithuanian nation, causing many citizens to immigrate to other countries. The author of the book, Vincas Bartusevičius, focuses on more than 80,000 inhabitants of Lithuania, who, after the end of World War II, had found themselves in the areas of Germany and Austria under control of the Western Allies and had been compactly accommodated in the camps. Under such conditions, the inhabitants of the DP camps had created a distinctive cultural autonomy: their own education system, press, social, professional and political organisations, and political parties. This type of living lasted a few years. The author used especially abundant archival materials for his own monograph — manuscript documents kept at the Lithuanian Cultural Institute, the Lithuanian Central State Archive and the Unit of Manuscripts of the Library of Vilnius University, the works not only by Lithuanian authors, but also by foreign authors, which examined the issues of the organisation and activities of the DP camps in Germany during the years 1945 through 1951. The monograph by V. Bartusevičius is an important work in recording and summarising this historical period, especially complicated for the Lithuanian nation, and provides new possibilities for future trends of research into the Lithuanian diaspora of the middle of the 20th century. The new book is very important to and awaited by the readers and employees of the National Library. “Lithuanian DP Press Collection, 1945–1952,” as evaluated by the National Programme “Memory of the World” of the UNESCO organisation and included in the Lithuanian National Register in the year 2011, is kept at Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania, where the National Archival Fund of Published Documents is collected.

“The Sprout of the Willow Tree. The History of the World of the Lithuanians” by Egidijus Aleksandravičius:

The book “The Sprout of the Willow Tree. The History of the World of the Lithuanians” by the Director of the VMU Lithuanian Emigration Institute, Prof. Dr. Habil. Egidijus Aleksandravičius, which researches the migration of the Lithuanian nation from ancient times to present, was published in 2013. The version of the inverted title of the history of the world of the Lithuanians had been chosen as the title of the book. According to the author, the title had been chosen consciously. The history of Lithuania is variable, having both great victories and painful experiences, and downfalls. The Lithuanians are the actors of the history of eternal migration; however, wherever they find themselves, Lithuania has always been the centre of everything. The metaphor of the willow-tree in the title of the book is not random — Lithuanians throughout the world may be compared to the willow thickets. They built up and rose in spite of the toughest conditions. This metaphor formed throughout the narrative of the world of the Lithuanians with the detection of the Lithuanian youth society, called by the same name — “The Sprout” in two places at once — Buenos Aires and Klaipėda — right before World War II. The monograph is the real intellectual provocation revealing the flamboyance of the historical imagination of the Lithuanians. The book was prepared accurately and carefully. It sought to find and use all accessible historical sources. The end of the study includes the list of literature and the index of personal names; the book was illustrated with the photographs of that time. E. Aleksandravičius has a polycentric viewpoint. Each text in the book is a proposal to look at the history differently. This book is used as an attempt to challenge the stereotypes related to the migration and those nationals who found themselves there. According to him, even a person not speaking Lithuanian can still be a representative of the diaspora. The basis of national identity is historical memory.

Deimantė Bandzevičiūtė,
Senior Bibliographer at the Lituanica Department of The Lithuanian National Library of Martynas Mažvydas