In 2020, the restored partisan uniform was presented to the Lithuanian public for the first time
Exhibition took place from
Exhibition took place until
March 13, due to the announced quarantine,
it was closed and opened for one day, on June 1.
Vilnius Academy of Arts
Exhibition halls “Titanikas“
A WORD FROM LIEUTENANT GENERAL VALDEMARAS RUPŠYS CHIEF OF THE LITHUANIAN ARMED FORCES
For every soldier and officer, the uniform gives meaning to his oath to the Homeland to serve Lithuania always, everywhere, and by all possible means, to unconditionally defend it even at the highest cost of one’s life. Patches with our country’s flag, the symbols of the military and the unit signify a special interrelationship, a sense of community and the highest level of trust and sacrifice for the sake of another, which can only exist between brothers in arms.
The Lithuanian uniform was extremely important to the partisans who fought for the freedom of their Homeland.
They wore their uniforms with pride and respect, even though it could have made their struggle more difficult and made them more recognizable to the enemy. The uniform was cherished and protected even in the most difficult conditions – in the moist and cold underground bunkers in the woods while enduring hardship and deprivation.
The uniform of the Lithuanian freedom fighter, the patches with the Tricolor and the dark double cross on green background were special symbols for those who had lost their state at that time. These symbols united, helped to endure, motivated and gave meaning to the conviction that the fight against brutal occupation was legal. For the participants of the resistance, the uniform gave sense to the statehood of Independent Lithuania, the self-sacrificial will of the whole nation
and its right to live in a free, sovereign, and democratic state.
At the very beginning of the rise of the armed anti-Soviet resistance in Lithuania in 1944, the partisans made a deliberate decision to wear uniforms and insignia even in the most difficult and unfavorable conditions. In doing so, they embodied the continuity of the Lithuanian army and earned the status of combatants as defined by the international community under the Geneva Convention of 1949. It is a testimony that the annexation of our state imposed by means of lies, mass repressions, deportations, and massacres was illegal and grossly violating the fundamental principles of international law.
Giedrius Paulauskas recreated every single detail of the Lithuanian partisan uniform with great precision. The exhibition “Warriors of Freedom” organized by him together with the Design Innovation Center of the Vilnius Academy of Arts, where everyone can take a look at the reconstructed authentic uniform of freedom fighters, is an important step for restoring the history of our country and for naming the partisans for what they really were – Lithuanian heroes.
The courage and the sacrifice of the freedom fighters makes us morally obliged today to defend our freedom, our state, and its people for as long as we live.
LIEUTENANT GENERAL VALDEMARAS RUPŠYS
EXHIBITION’S EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES
On March 12, the exhibition was visited by the Chief of Defence of the Republic Lieutenant General of Lithuania Valdemaras Rupšys and his staff officers. They learned about the history of the reconstructed partisan uniforms from the exhibition’s author Giedrius Paulauskas.
EXHIBITION’S SECRET MISSION FOR CHILDREN
“While looking for exhibition realization ideas, we set ourselves a goal to make it “alive”. We did not want to simply place it under glass. We searched for solutions on how to make people feel as much emotion as possible”, says the author of the exhibition G. Paulauskas.
At the exhibition, children have an interesting task: to find hidden animal whose names the partisans used as their aliases. “This is a wonderful way for children to get acquainted with the history of Lithuania and to spend quality time at the exhibition together with their parents,” says Marius Urbanavičius, director of the VAA Design Innovation Center.
After completing the task, the children receive a certificate with signatures of the designer G. Paulauskas and M. Urbanavičius. The author of the exhibition believes that this is a great alternative to a regular history lesson.
AUTHOR’S THANKS TO
ats. mjr. Darius Antanaitis
Alina Maldžiūnaitė – Žemienė
Daiva Ona Šopienė
Rita Saunorytė – Norutienė
Mjr. Donatas Mazurkevičius
Gražina (Gaubaitė) Kriaučiūnienė
Senelis Jonas Lukošiūnas
Bobutė Joana (Gasiūnaitė) Lukošiūnienė
Mama Vanda (Lukošiūnaitė) Paulauskienė
Tėtis Antanas Paulauskas
Brolis Laimonas Paulauskas