I wonder if any of your readers can help me discover something of the Lithuanian past of my uncle Zeno, whom I knew very well for the last half of his life here in Australia. Uncle [Zeno] was born in Lithuania and grew up and lived there until, in his middle age, he left to come to Australia as a displaced person in the years immediately following World II. When he arrived here he married into our family and lived happily here in Australia – in Melbourne – until his death in 1994. The relatives of his generation in our family are all dead now. His relatives of my generation – the next generation down from uncle’s – have only very limited knowledge of his life in Lithuania before and during WW II – and the period immediately following it - and that is why I am seeking help.
In particular, I am curious about the specific reasons for his departure from his homeland. What was uncle’s place in the tumultuous events happening in Lithuania at that time? What, exactly, were the circumstances of his leaving Lithuania? Precisely what happened to his friends and relatives in Lithuania at that time? And so on.
I do understand the upheaval experienced by all Lithuanians in the 1940s and beyond, and know in broad terms that his emigration from Europe was a direct consequence of this. But the details of this have never been known and understood by my generation, and that is why I write this open letter to you. I am hoping that, with the new, freer circumstances in Lithuania, it is now possible for us to find out what uncle’s Lithuanian background was in the decades leading up to his departure from Europe some time in the late 1940s. While there is still time. Before our generation, too, passes into history.
Uncle’s basic details are these:
His full name was Zenonas Anucauskas. He was born on May 24, 1905, in the village of Plenbergas in the community of Ariogala in the district of Kedainiai in Lithuania. He was the son of Kazys Anucauskas and Ona Zimantravicuite. His brothers and sisters were: Ludovic, Bruno, Tadas, Helena, Kazamera, Zenenas, and Javeiqua. He had a step sister called Ludavika. He also had a close connection with someone called Regina whom he knew in Lithuania as a young woman and with whom he maintained some distant contact while he was in Australia by correspondence.
Uncle was a musician by profession and played the oboe. He spent some time in the German army.
If anyone has any information about the first half of my uncle’s life in Lithuania and elsewhere in Europe between 1905 and 1950, please contact me at this address:
TERRY AND JULIE HEWTON,
14 HOBART ROAD,
HENLEY BEACH SOUTH,
SOUTH AUSTRALIA 5022
PHONE: (08) 83560545
Adelaide, South Australia