BALYS SRUOGA FOREST OF THE GODS PDF

Early life[ edit ] He contributed to cultural journals from his early youth. In , he enrolled in the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich , where in he received his Ph. D for a doctoral thesis on Lithuanian folklore. After returning to Lithuania, Sruoga taught at the University of Lithuania , and established a theater seminar that eventually became a course of study. He also wrote various articles on literature.

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In revenge, in March of they arrested a group of Lithuanian intellectuals and sent them to the Stuthoff concentration camp. Among these was Balys Sruoga, a writer, specialist in literature, and a professor at Vytautas the Great and Vilnius universities. He considered totalitarianism the greatest enemy of mankind. In Stutthof it fell to his lot to experience the horror of the Nazi system of violence, and several times he narrowly escaped death.

But still another tragedy awaited him on his return to Lithuania in His wife, an historian, and his daughter, fleeing from Soviet occupation, had gone west as had thousands of other Lithuanian scholars, artists and writers. This is one of the first memoirs in Europe about the Nazi concentration camps.

In it the process of dehumanization, which the totalitarian systems perpetrated, is exposed from within. Unlike many other works of this genre, here an attempt is made to conceal fragile human nature under external irony, laughter through tears, a screen for what cannot be completely told. But the book was received with hostility by the Soviet system because of its subtle irony, which did not allow a note of sentimentality to thrust its way through in the presence of the brutality and meaninglessness of death.

The book was not published until about a decade later, when Europe had more or less had its fill of this kind of memoir. It is entitled "Forest of the Gods," after the name of the swampy place in which the Stutthof concentration camp had been built.

Here, Nazism is treated as contempt for the human being and a rejection of the ethical and cultural norms of millennia of human history.

The writer depicts the forced death as an act of degradation of the world, rejecting all of the values which had existed until the present time. It is not the horror of death that is accentuated, but rather its senselessness, its outrageous, disfigured, befouled image. It is beyond the realm of natural relationships and natural feelings. It is unimaginable to measure it with the emotions of pity and sympathy.

This death does not even evoke protest, because it is unclear to whom to protest. A few changes have been made in the selected part of this translation in order to adapt it better for English speakers.

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Balys Sruoga

In revenge, in March of they arrested a group of Lithuanian intellectuals and sent them to the Stuthoff concentration camp. Among these was Balys Sruoga, a writer, specialist in literature, and a professor at Vytautas the Great and Vilnius universities. He considered totalitarianism the greatest enemy of mankind. In Stutthof it fell to his lot to experience the horror of the Nazi system of violence, and several times he narrowly escaped death. But still another tragedy awaited him on his return to Lithuania in

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The hostages were sent to the Stutthof Concentration Camp near Danzig. With his health ruined, Sruoga returned to Lithuania where he died. Till the end, he refused to cooperate with the Bolshevik demands to write propaganda for them. Forest of the Gods, which is a prose work of his remembrances from Stutthof, already translated into Russian, Polish, French and Latvian, is presently being translated into English by B. Arizona State University.

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Forest of the Gods

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