Voices from Russia

Saturday, 2 June 2018

The Burning of Pirčiupiai… Lest We Forget What Rightwing Racism Leads To

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On 3 June 1944, the fascist occupiers burned the village of Pirčiupiai in Lithuania, killing 119 people, burning them alive. Amongst the victims were 5 elderly persons over 65, 1 pregnant woman, 49 children under 15 years of age, 14 children under 5 years of age, and 4 nursing infants.

In 1960, the young Lithuanian sculptor Gediminas Jokūbonis created a memorial at the site of the tragedy, including the statue “Mother”, with a wall with decorated reliefs carved with names of the dead. The central monument portrays a tense image of a mother, the anger and sorrow of the old Lithuanian peasants, as well as severe generalised images, harmonising the architecture and memorial space with the surrounding countryside. In 1963, Jokūbonis received a Lenin Prize for creating the memorial. A Memorial Museum is also in Pirčiupiai.

In 1981, the Lithuanian cinema studio LKS filmed the movie Fakt (Fact) directed by Steponas Almantas Grikevičius, telling the story of the destruction of the village by the fascists. It won the main prize at the 14th all-Union Film Festival in Vilnius and represented the Soviet film industry in the competition at the Cannes International Film Festival, which it won the award for Best Supporting Female Role for actress E Ya Solovey.

2 June 2018

СССР. Прекрасная страна, в которой мы жили

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