Scientists next year are planning to search for the remains of Adolfas Ramanauskas-Vanagas, a Lithuanian anti-Soviet resistance commander, and other freedom fighters in a Vilnius cemetery.
Adolfas Ramanauskas-Vanagas
© LGGRTC

Scientists from the Genocide and Resistance Research Centre of Lithuania (LGGRTC) and Vilnius University believe after the first stage of research that people executed at the capital's Lukiškių and KGB prisons between 1956 and 1969 were buried in the Naslaičių (Orphans) Cemetery in the Antakalnis neighbourhood.

Experts say that those buried at the site may include Ramanauskas–Vanagas, Pranciškus Prusaitis–Lapė, Juozas Streikus–Stumbras and Antanas Kraujelis–Siaubūnas.

Nine of the 14 graves examined during the archaeological research were found to contain the remains of 16 people with gunshot wounds in the skulls. The bodies of the executed were subjected to chemicals before being buried.

Further archaeological research is planned to be continued next spring.

The Seimas has designated 2018 as the year of Ramanauskas-Vanagas to mark his 100th birth anniversary.

The guerrilla war in Lithuania started after Soviet troops in the summer of 1944 pushed Nazi forces out of the country and occupied it for the second time.

Ramanauskas-Vanagas, the commander of the South Lithuania region, was among the partisan leaders who signed the Union of Lithuanian Freedom Fighters' Declaration in 1949.

The organized armed resistance against the Soviet occupation ended in the spring of 1953. Ramanauskas-Vanagas was arrested by the Soviets in 1956. He was tortured and executed a year later.

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