At midnight on Saturday, all the people in Lithuania who were by the radio and television were scared. At 2:10 the TV screens went blank, and Eglė Bučelytė (TV commentator) cried out: „Jesus, how awful!" Then there was silence on the air. We all understood that the TV tower had been seized with weapons. A few minutes passed and the Lithuanian television editorial studio of Kaunas began to speak. Who are those people who kept us from panicking and helped maintain communication between the main state institutions and the citizens?

It turned out that the television connections in Kaunas weren't lost for a single minute. At 2:10 when the Vilnius TV tower went silent, Algimantas Vidmantas, an engineer at the Juragiai re-broadcasting station, turned on a microphone and appealed to the viewers with the following words: „This is Lithuanian television, Kaunas is talking." At that very moment, viewers in Kaunas saw an illumination on the screen. Vidmantas broadcasted audio and visual material from the re-translation station for five minutes, until the connection with the LTV editorial studio of Kaunas was fixed. At 2:15 the viewers in Kaunas saw the face of Modestas Patašius, the journalist on duty, on the screen. After a few minutes, the connections with other re-translation stations were fixed and almost all of Lithuania could watch Kaunas TV. Though the Jurgaičiai re-translator isn't very powerful, its signal was almost instantaneously caught by Polish television. In short, Lithuanian contact with the outside world was saved by the Kaunas communication workers and journalists. Journalists such as Raimondas Yla, Raimondas Šeštakauskas, and Vidas Mačiulis skillfully oriented themselves - they quickly arrived at the studio from their homes to help the bewildered Lithuanians understand what was happening in their capital.

The radio wasn't cut off at all either. When Vilnius radio went quiet at 2:10, you could hear the voice of Jolanta Šarpnickiene from the Sitkūnai station: „Attention! This is Kaunas radio, the last free radio station in Lithuania." She was the first to inform most of Lithuania that the Parliament and the Government of the Republic were continuing their work. She read her appeal to the Lithuanian people and to the whole world several times. After some time, the Sitkūnai radio station started broadcasting the audio portion of Kaunas television. Few of us probably know that that was the same radio station that, in June of 1941, announced to Lithuania that the Bolsheviks had been driven out from Kaunas and that the Germans weren't permitted into the temporary capital of Lithuania. Kaunas remains faithful to its traditions.

Of course it would be naive to think that those emergency radio and television lines were established by chance, solely on the initiative of some engineers and journalists. Maybe some day we'll find out the names of the people who or¬ganized this emergency information network. Let's remember the names of the people that we can announce. At the very least, they deserve our gratitude.

Lithuania, 1991.01.13 : documents, testimonies, comments. - Vilnius : State Publishing Center, 1992, p. 197-198.