THE HERO, THE MARTYR, AND THE ERASED RAPE (LITHUANIA 1944-2000)

Abstract : In June 1959, Elena Spirgevičienė from Kaunas (Lithuania) lodged a complaint with the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, protesting against the posthumous award of Hero of the Soviet Union to the partisan Alfonsas Čeponis. In 1944, she wrote, this man was part of a gang that raped her, murdered her sister, and tried to rape then killed her daughter. Drawing on original archival documents published in this issue of Clio, this paper traces the various stages of the case and the conflicting stories it generated. It confronts the figure of the Soviet hero Čeponis with its deconstruction by Elena Spirgevičienė, who portrays him as a bandit. It shows the reversal that took place during the investigation by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Lithuania: not only was the rape denied, but charges were brought against the plaintiff herself. Finally, the article outlines how the attempted rape and death of the daughter was used in the 1970s in a dissident Lithuanian discourse, which now prevails, to construct a new icon of martyrdom.
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Alain Blum, Amandine Regamey. THE HERO, THE MARTYR, AND THE ERASED RAPE (LITHUANIA 1944-2000). Clio. Femmes, Genre, Histoire, Belin, 2014, Gendered Laws of War, 39, pp.105 - 128. ⟨hal-01390325⟩

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