The Birth of Sajudis

On June 3, 1988 Sajudis was born. The rest is Lithuanian history:

"Sąjūdis actually came into being on June 3, 1988, at a time when public life was dominated by discussions about the drafting of a new constitution for Soviet Lithuania and a plan for the country’s future economic development. The occasion was a meeting in the Small Conference Hall of Lithuania’s Academy of Sciences.24 Only a day earlier, a monthly discussion on the situation in the country, organized by Professor Bronius Genzelis, had taken place in Mokslininkų rūmai, the Palace of Scholars, in the village of Verkiai in the Vilnius region.

The participants in that discussion, recognizing the significance of the moment, formally resolved to redesignate the following day’s session as a broader national meeting to discuss the country’s future systematically. This meeting then became, without any real previous planning, the effective founding meeting of Sąjūdis, since participants then went on to elect the Iniciatyvinė grupė, (Founding Group) for Sąjūdis, which embraced the most prominent intellectual figures present, representatives of the nation’s cultural and scholarly organizations and institutions.25 The hope was expressed at this first meeting that these people “could unite those institutions and raise foundations for the new and powerful movement able to take responsibility for the restoration of Lithuania’s independence.”

Professor Vytautas Landsbergis has recalled the significance of that day in his interview for the BBC documentary film “The Second Russian Revolution”:

The most important moment was when we were elected. I wasn’t there, but the next day I was told that the Committee had been elected and that I was on it. I was at that meeting at the beginning, but then had to speak on television. There I said that the movement should be created, we shouldn’t wait any longer; we are already late. Even the first meeting of the group went off without me; I wasn’t informed in time. After that I was at every meeting of the committee. They were quite unusual; there were also meetings with the people, they lasted for many hours in stuffy rooms, but nobody cared. There we formulated ideas that were to become a program of action and our methods.26 " Darius Furmonavicius

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