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Rollover image of a current photograph of the Kudirka bust and a historical photograph of the bust.Vincas Kudirka: (1858-1896) Lithuanian Poet

Vincas Kudirka was born on December 31, 1858 in the village of Paežeria.  In 1871, he entered the Marijampolė high school where he began to write verses in Polish.  It was at Marijampolė high school where he began to edit a satirical paper called Klamstwo” (The Lie).  (Lithuanian Classic Literature Anthology)

In 1881, he began his studies at the Warsaw University, where he studied history and philology before he moved on to the School of Medicine from which he graduated in 1889. “In 1890-1894 Vincas Kudirka practiced medicine at Šakiai.  There, he wrote literary works and collected Lithuanian folklore to compose musical works. He went to Yalta (Crimea) in 1894, after falling ill with tuberculosis, but returned to Lithuania in 1895.” (Lithuanian Classic Literature Anthology)  

Kudirka was one of the ideologists of the Lithuanian national movement and editor of prohibited newspaper "Varpas" ("The Bell"), publicist, and poet.  He is perhaps best known for his publication of  "National Hymn" (text and notes), which became the national anthem of Lithuania later.  “In 1940, after the Soviet occupation, the anthem was prohibited, but in 1944 through the efforts of Justas Paleckis the "National Hymn" of Vincas Kudirka was recognised as an official anthem of the Lithuanian SSR and preserved this status until July, 1950. Then it was replaced by a typical Soviet anthem, glorifying Stalin and the Communist Party. Since 1988 the "National Hymn" became the official anthem of Lithuania again.” (Medieval Lithuania)

Kudirka eventually settled in Naumiestis and wrote until his death on November 6, 1896.


Bust of Vincas Kudirka in Lithuanian Cultural Garden

Photographs of the Garden

Further Reading:

Samples of Poetry

Encyclopedia Britannica

Lithuanian Classic Literature Anthology

Lithuanian Cultural Garden

Information on Lithuanians in Cleveland, The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

Lithuanian Links

Cleveland’s Lithuanian Community

St. George Parish, Cleveland Lithuanian Cultural Garden

The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. 

Cleveland State University Special Collections Library.