- January 22, 2013
Bumblauskaus: A Lithuanian loves freedom and respects the Statutes of Lithuania
“The historians have no doubt that the January Uprising was the last moment of our common history and it cannot be understood without the understanding the tradition of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania,” said Mr Alfredas Bumblauskas, a recognized historian, in the interview for “Rzeczpospolita”.
The year 2013 has been proclaimed as “the year of January Uprising”. “Firstly, we got the initiative taken by the then Speaker of the Seimas, Ms Irena Degutienė and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Audronis Ažubalis who tended to announce the 2013 as ‘the year of January Uprising’. It was the idea of the right-wind, but the Seimas’ decision was unanimous. As a result, a governmental decree was issued,” explained Mr Bumblauskas.
The historian is concerned about the possible nationalistic nature of the celebrations. “In the spirit of tautininkai (the Lithuanian Nationalists), in the spirit of the Polish National Democracy movement. If we analyze the official schedule of the Sesquicentennial Celebrations of the January Uprising, we may detect a sort of political pragmatism. It is expressed in the willingness to underline the historical bonds of Lithuania and neighbouring countries. The Uprising is said to have influenced the situation of Lithuania, Poland and Belarus. Nonetheless, the schedule also suggests that the Uprising was a fight over the freedom of Lithuania,” adds Mr Bumblauskas.
Poland has not yet perished, so long as the Samogitians still live
According to the professor, the Lithuanian histology possesses a few tendencies which claim the January Uprising to be the Lithuanian independence spurt. However, Mr Bumblauskas is sceptical towards these views. “And it is worth reminding that Samogitian peasants fighting in the Uprising sang: ‘Dabar Lenkai ne prapuolei koi Žemaičiai’ which is: ‘Poland has not yet perished, so long as the Samogitians still live’. We cannot negate certain historical awareness. What was the image of a Great and Real Lithuanian? The Lithuanian-patriot catechism talks about it. A Lithuanian loves freedom and respects the Statutes of Lithuania,” explains Mr Bumblauskas.
According to the historian, The Statutes of Lithuania are the heritage of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and this period in the history is often omitted. “The most important task is to exhibit the January Uprising’s Coat of Arms (Pagonia, Eagle and Archangel Michael) which was held by the insurgents when they roared into the battle. Certain ideas which were mentioned by Mr Jerzy Giedroyc are still present and we should not forget about them.
This year, Lithuania will hold a number of festivities devoted to the events from that time. “I look at these conferences with an ironic eye, even if I am also their organizer. It is said that if the historians will reach the conclusion, then everything will change. I do not agree. It will not change anything. We are not able to change the peoples’ manner of thinking. And I am saying this as a man who works with the television for the past 20 years”, says Bumblauskas.
Tłumaczenie Bartłomiej Cichoń w ramach praktyk w Europejskiej Fundacji Praw Człowieka, www.efhr.eu. Translated by Bartłomiej Cichoń the framework of a traineeship programme of the European Foundation of Human Rights, www.efhr.eu.