The Babickai famous family

Aldona Ruseckaitė

One dealing with Lithuanian culture history can analyse not only single persons. There are quite a few interesting, talented families, which experienced specific life and fate events. One of such families is the Babickai living in Laukminiškiai Village in Kupiškis District, the Aukštaitija ethnographic region. This family was formed when a widower Jurgis Babickas married Agota Graičiūnaitė from the same region. They had four kids: Uršulė Unė (1897–1961), Vytautas (1899–1963), Kazys (1901–1968) and Petras (1903–1991). The Babickai children had suffered the fate of a deportee, a prisoner and an emigrant. The dramatic and even tragic character of the 20th century is revealed through their fate.

Complicated historical conversions, such as two wars, two Soviet occupations, retreat to the West, and post-war exile, all this formed their fate and unexpectedly change their life. All four Babickai members, however, left their traces in political, public and cultural life of Lithuania. Uršulė Unė Babickaitė-Graičiūnienė (Une Bay) took the art road of theatre. She studied in Petersburg, United States, London, and Paris, played roles in cinema and theatre and acted as art director. She experienced the fate of a deportee. Vytautas Babickas was former officer of Lithuanian army, teacher, prisoner and deportee. Kazys Babickas, Lithuanian volunteer and officer, took high posts within the army structures during the pre-war Independence; he had issued several books about military art and was decorated by the State, in 1944 he retreated to the West. Petras Babickas, an artist of a wide range, greatly talented, who left a wide furrow ploughed in the field of Lithuanian culture. He was a poet, writer, translator, journalist, photographer, editor, cinematographer, broadcaster and organiser, educator, artist, ethnographer, museum worker, diplomat, and traveller. This was a very diligent man whose main course in his life was serving for the Homeland. In 1944 he retreated to the West and lived in Brazil.

The Babickai is an example of a harmonious family that fostered moral values, pursued beauty and goodness, and did not abandon spiritual things.