Partisan activity in the area of Šeduva in 1944–1953

Aurelija Malinauskaitė

In 1944, after the second Soviet occupation of Lithuania began, the armed resistance started to be organised in the Šeduva rural district. In the same summer in Šeduva, a newly formed Motherland Rescue Committee elected former Lithuanian army officer Capt. Izidorius Pucevičius-Radvila coming from Šeduva to head this military group. In March of 1945, the Žalioji (Green) Brigade joined several partisan groups, which fought in Šeduva and neighbouring districts, as well as the Brigade’s headquarters had been formed.

The Brigade maintained subordinate contacts with LLA (Lithuanian Freedom Army) headquarters. Capt. Pucevičius, who distinguished himself as a good organiser, who tried to join more partisan detachments, was killed on August 26, 1945 during an organisational mission. At the end of 1945 and beginning of 1946, the partisans of the Žalioji Brigade, which belonged to the LLA Panevėžys District, lost their central leadership after several military actions of the partisans and the response of repressive structures. Several groups of partisans in Šeduva area fought acting in liaison with each other. They were lead by Juozas Skačkauskas-Strausas, who was temporary commandeer of the Žalioji Brigade; after his death their leader was Petras Masilaitis-Virpša.

With centralisation of the partisan movement in Lithuania, maintaining contacts with the organisational centres, the Žalioji Brigade was consolidated. In April of 1948, it joined the newly formed Prisikėlimas (Resurrection) District. In July, the Brigade had been reformed into 3 regions, wile the Šeduva Valsčius area covered the two regions. The reformed Brigade and its detachments then acted as a well-organised partisan structure.

In 1948, when the MGB agent Juozas Rudžionis-Obelinskas penetrated into the headquarters of the Brigade (based in Šeduva Valsčius), its partisans had been methodically exterminated. On January 25, 1949, the Brigade commander Masilaitis-Virpša with other fighters had been killed, and by 1951 the rest freedom fighters had been arrested. Several other partisans in Šeduva area had been killed in January of 1953.