Forest Brother's betrayer charged

  • 2009-04-11
  • TBT Staff

Lithuanian Forest Brothers. Photo by Vytautas Kazimieraitis

VILNIUS- A Belarusian priest has been charged withbetraying the Lithuanian Forest Brothers in the 1950s. Juozas Bulka, a Catholic priest hashad a case opened against him by Lithuanian prosecutors, reported theLithuanian embassy in Minsk, Belarus.

"The criminal case was opened, and Bulka was put on the wanted list,"the embassy reported.

Bulka is accused of cooperating and conspiring with Soviet authorities in the1950s, Belarusian media reported. Lithuania is now saying that heidentified the guerrilla fighters as Forest Brothers.

"This is all wrong. I have been fighting alcohol abuse all the time, andthey are ascribing a political case to me," Bulka told Interfax on April6.

"People talking about the Forest Brothers want me out. I know wherethis propaganda comes from," he said.

Forest Brothers is the name ofthe civilian guerrilla movement of nationalists in all three Baltic States from 1940-1957, many of who remained in hiding until theearly 1990s. In Lithuania,the movement was most active in the years 1944-47. Some Russian historiansclaim the movement was pro-Nazi, a claim denied by the west, and is known asthe national liberation movement.