|Owner(s)||VšĮ "Kurier Wilenski"|
Kurier Wileński (literally: Vilnian Courier) is the main Polish-language newspaper in Lithuania. Printed in Vilnius, it is the only Polish-language daily newspaper published east of Poland. A direct descendant of both the 19th-century newspaper of the same name and the Czerwony Sztandar newspaper, created by the Soviet authorities in 1953 as a means of Sovietization of the Polish diaspora left in the Polish areas annexed by the Soviet Union. The newspaper is a member of the European Association of Daily Newspapers in Minority and Regional Languages (MIDAS). According to TNS Gallup media research, Kurier Wileński 36,800 people or 1.4% of Lithuania's population read at least one issue out of the last six in summer 2008,but that measure dropped to 0.3% in spring 2010.
The newspaper was first founded under the name of Kurier Litewski in 1796 in Grodno (modern Hrodna). The following year it moved to Vilna (modern Vilnius, Lithuania), where it became one of the principal sources of information for the local population. After the November Uprising of 1831, the newspaper was ordered to prepare a Russian language version as well, and served the role of the official newspaper of the Russian authorities of Vilna Governorate. However, it also fulfilled an important role in countering the Russification of local Poles.
In 1840 the newspaper was renamed to Kurier Wileński and attracted many notable Polish writers and journalists of the era as one of the very few relatively free newspapers in the lands ruled by the Russian Empire. Among them was Władysław Syrokomla and Antoni Odyniec. The newspaper was closed down and banned after the failed January Uprising of 1863.
It was relaunched under the title of Kurier Litewski after the Revolution of 1905. Headed by Eliza Orzeszkowa, it promoted Polish literature and culture, for which it was closed down several times by the Tsarist authorities. The title remained until the outbreak of World War I and the German occupation of Vilna in 1915.
During the interbellum the Polish press was no longer persecuted by the local authorities and the title was continued as one of several newspapers, the most important local newspapers being Słowo (headed by Stanisław Cat Mackiewicz), Robotnik Wileński and Express Wileński. Altogether, there were 114 newspapers published in Wilno in late 1930s, among them 17 dailies. 74 titles were being published in Polish, 16 in Yiddish and Hebrew, 12 in Belarusian, 9 in Lithuanian and 3 in Russian.
After the Invasion of Poland of 1939 and the Soviet annexation of Vilna, Kurier Wileński was closed down (the last issue was dated September 18, 1939). The only newspaper that was allowed by the Soviet authorities was Belarusian-language Vilenskaya Prauda (Віленская праўда). After the city was transferred to Lithuania, Kurier Wileński was allowed to be published, this time under heavy control of the Lithuanian authorities and censorship. It was again closed down after the city was annexed by the Soviet Union and its role was taken over by roughly 73 underground newspapers published in the city during the rest of World War II.
After the war most of the local inhabitants of Vilnius were expelled from the city. However, a sizeable Polish minority in Lithuania remained. The Polish-language newspaper Czerwony Sztandar (Red Banner), edited by Antoni Fiedorowicz, was established.
In 1962, Leonid Romanowicz became the new editor in chief. Although Russian himself, Romanowicz was fascinated by the Polish culture and started to attract many notable journalists and writers.[ dubious ] He also promoted the newspaper and it became the only daily newspaper in Polish available to many Poles in the Soviet Union. With time Russian staff was replaced by Poles and in 1984 Stanisław Jakutis became the new editor in chief.[ citation needed ]
On November 1, 1988, Stanisław Jakutis was replaced by Zbigniew Balcewicz, who wanted to rename the newspaper back to Kurier Wileński to reflect the historic traditions. The first attempt to rename the daily was dismissed at the 20th Assembly of the Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Lithuania as a "newspaper with such name was being published during the period between World Wars, when Vilnius region was under Polish occupation". Only after second attempt, made after publication by Lithuanian scientist about the roots of Kurier Wileński and the history of Lithuanian press, Czerwony Sztandar ceased to exist and was replaced by Kurier Wileński on February 9, 1990.
On February 23, 1990, the Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Lithuania and Chair of the Supreme Soviet of the Lithuanian SSR issued a statement, of which 3rd point stated, that "In order to reflect the opinions of representatives of various nationalities and social classes of the Republic, we state that Sovietskaya Litva and Kurier Wileński are the newspapers of the Supreme Soviet of Lithuania and the Council of Ministers of Lithuania".[ citation needed ] On May 2, special issue of the newspaper was issued and Dziennik KC KP Litwy (The daily of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Lithuania) was removed from the paper's front page.[ citation needed ]
In 1995, the newspaper was privatised by its staff and in upcoming turmoil almost went bankrupt. It was taken over by UAB "Klion", and, after being reorganised and modernised, was moved to the new quarters. In 2000 it was passed to non-profit publisher Vilnijos Žodis.
The newspaper does not financially sustain itself and relies on support from the Polish Senate. According to press reports in 2007, the daily received approximately 120,000 litas annually to cover paper and printing costs from the Polish Senate and 4,000 litas monthly from Vilnius city municipality for advertising.In 2011, the daily suffered large financial losses due to increased postage costs, shrinking readership, and overall economic downturn. It considered publishing only three issues a week, but Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs promised to find enough funding to keep the newspaper on a daily schedule. The Polish support during the first ten months amounted to 328,000 Polish zloty.
Kurier Wileński has its own printing shop, which proved to be more cost effective. Its current circulation is between 2,500 and 3,500, issued Tuesday through Saturday. Daily issues have 16 pages, while Saturday issues have 24 pages and a TV supplement. Gazeta Harcerska (Scout's gazette) is a weekly page about Polish scouts is written exclusively by the scouts.
The staff consists of 24 people, including printing-shop's workers and management. There are four full-time journalists, four half-time journalists and seven freelancers.
During the Perestroika and the dissolution of the USSR, Czerwony Sztandar and later Kurier Wileński led numerous social campaigns. Among them were campaigns against demolition of the Rasos Cemetery and for creation of Polish kindergartens to prevent the growing Lithuanization of Polish children.
Kurier Wileński is also, along with Gazeta Wyborcza , responsible for media coverage of the festival Kaziuki Wilniuki (inspired by Kaziuko mugė in Vilnius) held annually on March 3 to 6 in Lidzbark Warmiński.
On August 5, 2005, journalists of Kurier Wileński, together with colleagues from newspapers Tygodnik Wileńszczyzny and Magazyn Wileński , radio station Znad Wilii, quarterly Znad Wilii and TV program Album Wileńskie organised a protest in front of the Belarusian embassy in Vilnius against repressions of Polish journalists in Belarus.
On October 17, 2008, the daily switched to the F4 format(before that Kurier Wileński was published in the tabloid format).
Much of controversy surrounds the daily regarding its financial status and takeover by UAB "Klion". Also, there are conflicts with Lithuanian nationalists who regard Lithuanian Poles as merely Polonised Lithuanians.
In November 2006, Kurier Wileński published an article by Krzysztof Buchowski, Polish historian from the Białystok University, about Polish and Lithuanian relations between the world wars (Polish : Jak Polak widział Litwina w okresie międzywojennym). It was a reprint of a thesis presented during a Polish–Lithuanian historical conference (Polish : Stosunki polsko-litewskie na przestrzeni wieków) at Vilnius University.
In January 2007 (before municipal elections, in which Polish party also participated), Lithuanian TV program Savaitės komentarai on the TV3 station sparked a scandal claiming that the article was insulting the Lithuanians. Information about the article was passed on to the Lithuanian Ethics Committee of Journalists and Publishers (Lithuanian : Lietuvos žurnalistų ir leidėjų etikos komisija), which decided on March 19, 2007, that Kurier Wileński acted unethically publishing an article that was derogatory and insulting to the Lithuanians. The daily lost the appeal with the Committee and sued in the Lithuanian courts. The court rejected the appeal in April 2011. Kurier Wileński then submitted the case to the European Court of Human Rights.
Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania and its largest city, with a population of 589,425 as of 2019. The population of Vilnius's functional urban area, which stretches beyond the city limits, is estimated at 706,832, while according to the Vilnius territorial health insurance fund, there were 732,421 permanent inhabitants as of October 2020 in Vilnius city and Vilnius district municipalities combined. Vilnius is in southeastern Lithuania and is the second-largest city in the Baltic states. It is the seat of Lithuania's national government and the Vilnius District Municipality.
Rasos Cemetery is the oldest and most famous cemetery in the city of Vilnius, Lithuania. It is named after the Rasos district where it is located. It is separated into two parts, the old and the new cemeteries, by a narrow Sukilėliai Street. The total area is 10.8 ha. Since 1990 new burials are allowed only to family graves.
Lithuanian book smugglers or Lithuanian book carriers transported Lithuanian language books printed in the Latin alphabet into Lithuanian-speaking areas of the Russian Empire, defying a ban on such materials in force from 1864 to 1904. In Lithuanian it literally means the one who carries the books. Opposing imperial Russian authorities' efforts to replace the traditional Latin orthography with Cyrillic, and transporting printed matter from as far away as the United States to do so, the book smugglers became a symbol of Lithuanians' resistance to Russification.
Several Soviet OMON assaults on Lithuanian border posts occurred in 1991, after Lithuania declared its independence from the Soviet Union on 11 March 1990. As a Soviet republic, the Lithuanian SSR did not have a state border with customs or checkpoints. The newly declared Republic of Lithuania began establishing the State Border Guard Service, before it was internationally recognized on 27 August 1991 by the states of the European Community. These posts also became a symbol of its struggle for independence. The Soviet government viewed the customs posts as illegal and sent the OMON troops against the posts, especially those along the eastern border with Belarus. The unarmed custom officers and armed policemen were harassed, beaten or killed, their cars were stolen or bombed, the posts were burned down or wrecked, and work of the checkpoints was otherwise disrupted. Two of the incidents resulted in the deaths of eight Lithuanian citizens. In total, about 60 officers were attacked and injured, and 23 border posts were burned or destroyed.
Vilnija is a Lithuanian cultural and political organization, created to promote and cherish Lithuanian culture in Vilnius region. Due to its frequent anti-Polish bias it has been described as extremist and nationalist.
The Polish minority in Lithuania, estimated at 164,000 people, according to the Lithuanian estimates of 2015, or 5.6% of the total population of Lithuania, is the largest ethnic minority in the country and the second largest Polish diaspora group among the post-Soviet states. Poles are concentrated in the Vilnius Region.
Lietuvos aidas is a daily newspaper in Lithuania. It was established on September 6, 1917 by Antanas Smetona, and became the semi-official voice of the newly formed Lithuanian government. When the government evacuated from Vilnius to the temporary capital, Kaunas, it ceased publication. The newspaper was revived in 1928 as the newspaper of the Lithuanian government and became the most popular newspaper in Lithuania. At its peak, it published three daily editions with combined circulation of 90,000 copies. World War II disrupted its publication. In 1990, after Lithuania declared independence from the Soviet Union, the newspaper once again became the official newspaper of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania. At the end of 1992, its circulation reached 103,000 copies. However, it was soon privatized and faced shrinking readership, financial difficulties, and other controversies. In April 2006, bankruptcy proceedings were initiated by the State Tax Inspectorate when its tax debts reached more than 4 million litas. The company was liquidated in 2015, but the newspaper continues to be published by a non-profit organization.
The Voivode of Vilnius was a high-ranking officer in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania who governed the Vilnius Voivodeship from 1413. He was considered as the most influential member of the Lithuanian Council of Lords. After the Union of Lublin in 1569, the Voivodes of Vilnius were ranked as the fourth highest, while the Castellans of Vilnius were ranked as the sixth highest officers among the Voivodeships of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. After the Third Partition of the Commonwealth, the Vilnius Voivodeship was annexed by the Russian Empire and this position was annulled.
Lukiškės Prison was a prison in the center of Vilnius, Lithuania, near the Lukiškės Square. As of 2007, it housed approximately 1,000 prisoners and employed around 250 prison guards. Most prisoners there were under temporary arrest awaiting court decisions or transfers to other detention facilities, but there was also a permanent prison with about 180 inmates; about 80 of whom were serving life terms.
Polish–Lithuanian relations date from the 13th century, after the Grand Duchy of Lithuania under Mindaugas acquired some of the territory of Rus' and thus established a border with the then-fragmented Kingdom of Poland. Polish-Lithuanian relations subsequently improved, ultimately leading to a personal union between the two states. From the mid-16th to the late-18th century Poland and Lithuania merged to form the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, a state that was dissolved following their partition by Austria, Prussia and Russia. After the two states regained independence following the First World War, Polish-Lithuanian relations steadily worsened due to rising nationalist sentiments. Competing claims to the Vilnius region led to armed conflict and deteriorating relations in the interwar period. During the Second World War Polish and Lithuanian territories were occupied by both the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany, but relations between Poles and Lithuanians remained hostile. Following the end of World War II, both Poland and Lithuania found themselves in the Eastern Bloc, Poland as a Soviet satellite state, Lithuania as a Soviet republic. With the fall of communism relations between the two countries were reestablished.
Ludwik Abramowicz-Niepokójczycki (1879–1939) was a Polish activist, bibliophile, publicist and editor. He was one of the major activists of the krajowcy faction, living in Vilnius.
Zbignev Balcevičpol. Zbigniew Balcewicz is a Polish-Lithuanian politician. In 1990 he was among those who signed the Act of the Re-Establishment of the State of Lithuania.
Sovetskaya Litva was a Russian-language daily newspaper published in the Lithuanian SSR. In tandem with the Lithuanian-language Tiesa, it was the official newspaper of the Communist Party of Lithuania, the Supreme Soviet of the Lithuanian SSR, and the Council of Ministers of the Lithuanian SSR. After the restoration of Lithuania's independence in 1990, the newspaper became an independent daily under the name Echo Litvy. Its circulation was 79,000 copies in 1981, 26,000 copies in 1993, and 12,000 copies in 1997. It discontinued publication in 2001 due to financial difficulties.
The Józef Zawadzki printing shop was a family-owned printing shop operating in Vilnius from 1805 to 1939. It was established by Józef Zawadzki who took over the failing printing press of Vilnius University established in 1575. It was one of the largest and most prominent printing presses in Vilnius. Until 1828, it had the exclusive rights to publish university publications. It published numerous books and periodicals in Polish, Latin, Lithuanian. It suffered difficulties due to Russification policies that closed Vilnius University in 1832 and banned Lithuanian press in 1864, but recovered after the restrictions were lifted due to the Russian Revolution of 1905. After World War I, it had difficulty competing with the larger printing presses in Poland. The press was sold to a Lithuanian company Spindulys in 1939 and nationalized by the Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1940. After World War II, the press was transferred to the communist daily Tiesa.
The Union for the Liberation of Vilnius was an organization established in 1925 to support Lithuanian territorial claims to Vilnius Region then part of the Second Polish Republic. With 27,000 members and 600,000 supporters in 1937, it was one of the most popular organizations in interwar Lithuania. Its main goal was to mobilize the entire Lithuanian nation for cultural and educational work. It established an unofficial but highly popular national mourning day on 9 October. It organized numerous events, such as lectures and concerts, to promote the idea of Vilnius as an integral part of the Lithuanian national identity – the historical capital of Lithuania that was unjustly occupied by Poland, though the city itself had a minuscule Lithuanian population. It also developed a coherent narrative of suffering brothers Lithuanians under the oppressive Polish regime, giving Lithuanians a common enemy. The union promoted emotional, almost cult-like, national attachment to Vilnius. The union was disestablished after the Polish ultimatum in March 1938.
Konstancja Skirmuntt was an amateur Polish-Lithuanian historian, a member of the Krajowcy movement who wanted to preserve the dual Polish-Lithuanian identity. Born to a noble family of deep roots in the former Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Skirmuntt spent most of her life in or near Pinsk. Without any formal education in history, she wrote four major historical works that romanticized and idealized the past. Written in easy and accessible language, they became popular. She also published articles in Polish and Lithuanian press debating the issues of the Polish-Lithuanian identity. She supported the Lithuanian National Revival, but opposed both Lithuanian and Polish nationalism. After World War I, she published criticism of the Second Polish Republic and its policies and attitudes towards its ethnic minorities.
Aleksandras Lileikis was the chief of the Lithuanian Security Police in Vilnius during the Nazi occupation of Lithuania and a perpetrator of the Holocaust in Lithuania. He signed documents handing at least 75 Jews in his control over to Ypatingasis būrys, a Lithuanian collaborationist death squad, and is suspected of responsibility in the murder of thousands of Lithuanian Jews. After the Soviet occupation of Lithuania, he fled to Germany as a displaced person. Refused permission to immigrate to the United States because of his Nazi past, he worked for the Central Intelligence Agency in the early 1950s. In 1955, his second application for permission to immigrate was granted and he settled in Norwood, Massachusetts, becoming a naturalized citizen in 1976. Eli Rosenbaum, an investigator for the Office of Special Investigations, uncovered evidence of Lileikis' war crimes; proceedings for his denaturalization were opened in 1994 and concluded with Lileikis being stripped of his United States citizenship. He returned to Lithuania, where he was charged with genocide in February 1998. It was the first Nazi war crimes prosecution in post-Soviet block of Europe. He died of a heart attack in 2000 before a verdict was reached.
Kurier Litewski was the first periodical newspaper (weekly) published in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. It was published in Polish and later, after the partitions of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, also Russian, in Vilnius from 19 April 1760 to 19 August 1763 by the Academy of Vilnius. After the suppression of the Society of Jesus in the Commonwealth in 1773, the newspaper passed into private hands and was published until 1915 under different names. The newspaper retained the word Litewski (Lithuanian) in its name until 1840, despite dissolution of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Commonwealth in 1795.
Evelina Dobrovolska is a Lithuanian politician, and activist. She was elected to the Seimas on behalf of the Freedom Party in 2020.
„Kurier Wilenski” kasmet iš Lenkijos senato gauna 120 000 litų dotaciją, už kurią perka popierių bei dengia dalį spausdinimo išlaidų. 4 tūkst. litų „Kurier Wilenski” kas mėnesį skiria ir Vilniaus miesto savivaldybė, už tai leidinyje gaunanti keturis puslapius reklaminio ploto.