The Memory of January 13th Lives

These photos bear witness to the night the nation converged on Vilnius, chanted together, sang together and prayed together to shield and defend its new leadership. Thirty years ago, on January 13, 1991, 10 short months after declaring independence, Lithuania saw Soviet tanks roll in and try to take over once again. Here are the crowds of people from all over Lithuania who stood arm in arm around the parliament buildings, here are the coffins of those whose lives were taken by sheer Soviet brutality. With deepest gratitude and respect for each and every one of them and their families, we remember what their actions meant for Lithuania.

These photos tell the story of that night.

Vytautas Landsbergis, the first president of the High Council of Lithuania and visionary who dared to challenge the Russian bear – guarded by young men at the Parliament buildings

From archives