SOCIETY

The Lithuanian N. Roerich Society was established in Kaunas, temporary capital of Lithuania, in 1935. The founder was Nadezda Sarapiniene, a medical doctor, the chairwoman – Julija Dvarionaite-Montvydiene – opera singer in Kaunas. Lev Karsavin, philosopher, the Kaunas Vytautas the Great University professor who died in exile in Abez, initiated the establishment of the N. Roerich Society. During WW1 a lot of unforgettable masterpieces of architecture (the famous gothic cathedral in Reims among them), unestimable pieces of art and culture were destroyed. In 1929 Nicholas Roerich launched an idea that, according to the existing international agreement on protection of hospitals treated as neutral in case of war if a white flag with a red cross flies over them, a similar agreement – pact should be signed concerning cultural historical heritage. The “Banner of Peace” would symbolize the care and protection of world historic and culture heritage during military confrontations. The idea received a great support in the whole world. Romain Rolland, Bernard Shaw, Thomas Mann, Albert Einstein, Rabindranath Tagore and many other outstanding men of culture, art and science expressed their solidarity with the idea. The N. Roerich societies which propagated the idea of the N. Roerich Pact were established in many parts of the world. In 1935 the Pact was signed by some states on the American continent. In 1936 the Lithuanian N. Roerich Society initiated and tabled a Memorandum to the Lithuanian Foreign Office. The Memorandum addressed the Government of Lithuania to accept and ratify the Pact. The Memorandum was signed by outstanding painters, writers, opera singers, actors, social activists, professors and journalists. The Government would not respond because at that time Lithuania like other countries in Europe did not run the risk of infuriating powerful Hitler Germany though the very idea of the Memorandum reflected the courage and understanding of the Lithuanian society at that time. Members of the N. Roerich Society in Lithuania studied the cultural heritage of the Roerich family, published the journal “New Consciousness”. By the year 1940 two issues of the journal came out when the Soviet government banned the Society. In 1948 – 1949 massive arrests were made in Riga, Vilnius, Kaunas. The members of the Society were tried and exiled to Siberia. The case against them got the code-name “Bouquet”. Journalist Rimantas Vanagas wrote about it in his book “Ex Oriente Lux – the Roerichovites of Lithuania”. After Stalin’s death the exiled members of the N. Roerich Society came back home and continued their work secretly. The Society was officially re-established December 2, 1989 due to unending attempts of the former members of the Society – the former professor of Kaunas University, exprisoner Steponas Stulginskis and others. Prof. Steponas Stulginskis became the 1st president of the Society. At present the Society continues the traditions of their senior colleagues.

 

 

 



Joy is a special Wisdom


himalajayas

The Himalayas. 1937.

 

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