Aleksandras Bosas (1951-2014)



O B I T U A R Y

by Evaldas Balčiūnas

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Aleksandras Bosas (1951 — 2014). Photo: Sandrauga.

Aleksandras Bosas, a respected Lithuanian poet, died unexpectedly on July 24, 2014. The wider Defending History  community extends deepest condolences to the family and friends of our suddenly departed colleague, who is survived by his wife, Natalija, three sons and a daughter.

We have lost a courageously active literary voice against fascism and against the contemporary attempts at high levels to glorify fascism via posthumous honors for collaborators and local perpetrators of the Lithuanian Holocaust.

At the beginning of 2014 his book of poems dedicated to commemorating the Holocaust in Lithuania appeared. It is called Iš ten sugrįžtantiems (“For Those Who Returned from There”).

He last read his poetry publicly ten days before his death, on July 14. It is symbolically fitting for Bosas’s stature that the reading was held at a protest calling for the removal of a statue glorifying Holocaust perpetrator J. Krištaponis from a square in Ukmergė (Vilkomir).

Aleksandras Bosas and others protesting glorification of Holocaust perpetrator

Aleksandras Bosas, fifth from left, holding a sign saying “Juozas Krištaponis is the Shame of Ukmergė.” Photo: Gediminas Nemunaitis / ukzinios.lt.

In 2013, on June 23, the day which some use to commemorate the Lithuanian Activist Front and the Provisional Government, historically the day (June 23, 1941) the Lithuanian Holocaust broke out, Aleksandras Bosas participated in a demonstration by Lithuanian anti-fascists in Kaunas to ask that the collaborators and perpetrators be condemned, not honored. The event was covered by Milan Chersonski for Defending History.

Aleksandras Bosas was persecuted by the current government for his anti-fascist activity. A criminal case was filed against him in response to articles he wrote in 2013 concerning Holocaust perpetrators.

Bosas was born on May 18, 1951, in Pervazninkai village in the Šakiai region of Lithuania. He attended the Šakiai High School, and later the Vilnius State Pedagogical Institute, where he was graduated in 1972 and granted a degree as a qualified teacher of Russian language and literature. He was employed as a teacher at Garliava High School. Later he worked in the DOSAF organization doing party work. Bosas was also graduated from the Vilnius High Party School.

He became actively involved in business in 1990, and at the end of 1991 he was appointed Lithuanian consul to Kaliningrad. He took the job of deputy director of facilities at the A. Mitkus High School in Garliava in the Kaunas region in 2000. He continued in this job while actively participating in the Sandrauga trade union until he was elected to the union’s leadership.

Several poems by the late author and activist follow, in Geoff Vasil’s English translation. Jonas Noreika (“General Vėtra”) referenced in the first poem, was a Holocaust perpetrator who is widely honored in Lithuania by street names, plaques and even the naming of a school.

With a Little Wind into History

  • A captain made “General Vėtra”
  • Rising up out of Žemaitija like a cyclone never seen before
  • Inspirer of mass murder Vėtra was hard as stone —
  • Defeated and fittingly buried in our history.
  • (Author’s note at the bottom: “General Vėtra” was J. Noreika, a national hero of questionable distinction, or, put more directly, a criminal who committed crimes against humanity)

The Worst Thing of All

  • The worst thing of all in life
  • You have experienced and seen,-
  • It is not death
  • Nor disease
  • But, sadly, JEALOUSY
  • I think without the black jealousy of man
  • There would be neither war nor genocide
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