There are many people in the world who really don't understand, or say they don't, what is the great issue between the free world and the Communist world. Let them come to Berlin. There are some who say that Communism is the wave of the future. Let them come to Berlin. <...> And there are even a few who say that it is true that Communism is an evil system, but it permits to make economic progress. Lass' sie nach Berlin kommen. Let them come to Berlin.
Freedom has many difficulties and democracy is not perfect, but we have never had to put a wall up to keep our people in, to prevent them from leaving us.).
But Vilnius 1991 showed that the old system is making it's last breathes. It's not single days events that are sometimes called. They were clearly orchestrated (otherwise why on January 4 or about 10 days before the culmination to Vilnius arrived famous (or infamous) group "Alfa" and Pskov paratroopers. It is very interesting that despite the fact that in Lithuania there were many paratroopers located soviet authorities were reluctant to use them). And the January 8th demonstrations of mainly Russian-speaking workers with the demand to dissolve government and parliament, the appearance of mysterious national salvation committee which never identified itself were only consequences of some plan. But the next days showed that they are completely incapable to do anything rational. And it showed that this is only their agony.
For me this is live history. I perfectly remember those days. We were young then ... I perfectly remember sirens. I perfectly remember the constructions of barricades all over the country. I remember the talks with the first witnesses of tragic events near the TV tower. And I don't have any reasons not to believe the conversation with one student several days after the tragedy who personally saw the killing of innocent civilians (he said then just a few days after that all victims were the work of single major who lost control, went into nervous attack and began to shoot indiscriminately to the crowd). And it is difficult to believe that 20 years passed. And that there is a whole generation of young people in Lithuania and worldwide which were born and grown up after that. And that means how old we are...
And today my unsorted collection from various sources (15min.lt, civis.lt, delfui.lt) with the photos from those days. It is our lifes, it is our history:
January 8, 1991:
Soon situation near the parliament changed radically:
It is difficult to imagine such streets of Vilnius today:
The most difficult night - from January 12 to January 13, 1991:
Defenses within the parliament ...
January 15 - one of the biggest funerals in Lithuania. Let be sacredly blessed their memory :