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Democracy, Culture, CatholicismVoices from Four Continents$
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Michael J. Schuck and John Crowley-Buck

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823267309

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823267309.001.0001

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Traumatized Society, Democracy, and Religious Faith: The Lithuanian Experience

Traumatized Society, Democracy, and Religious Faith: The Lithuanian Experience

Chapter:
(p.43) Traumatized Society, Democracy, and Religious Faith: The Lithuanian Experience
Source:
Democracy, Culture, Catholicism
Author(s):

Danutė Gailienė

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823267309.003.0003

Twenty years after regaining independence, Lithuanians are still experiencing the traumatic effects of successive occupations by the Soviet Union in 1940, Nazi Germany between 1941 and 1944, and the Soviet Union from 1944-1990. Lithuania’s efforts at building democracy have been hampered by this fifty-year social trauma. While ample research exists on the social trauma caused by the Nazi Holocaust in Europe, little research exists on the social trauma caused by communist oppression in the Soviet satellite countries. Gailienė tells the story of this trauma in Lithuania, a story of unrelenting repression, mass deportations, arrests, imprisonment, forced labor, torture, and murder—and the trauma of leading a ‘double-life’ by having to publicly declare allegiance to official Soviet values, while privately disowning them. For some, religious faith functioned as a private coping mechanism against trauma, but here—as elsewhere—more research is needed on the phenomenon of social trauma in Lithuania.

Keywords:   double-life, Nazi Holocaust, religious faith, social trauma, Soviet Union

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