Paletskis, Iustas Ignovich
(Justas Pâleckis). Born Jan. 10 (22), 1899, in the city of Telsiai, now Lithuanian SSR. Soviet statesman and public figure. Writer and journalist. Hero of Socialist Labor (1969). Member of the CPSU since 1940.
The son of a blacksmith, Paletskis went to work in 1915 as an industrial worker, later becoming an office worker in Riga. He began teaching in 1922. In 1926 he was made director of Elta, the Lithuanian news agency in Kaunas, but he was dismissed after the fascist coup d’etat in May 1927. He studied at the University of Kaunas from 1926 to 1928, becoming a journalist in 1927.
Paletskis established contact with the underground of the Communist Party of Lithuania (CPL) in 1931 and joined an antifascist committee in Kaunas in 1937. Arrested and confined in a concentration camp in 1939, he became chairman of the people’s government in June 1940, after the establishment of Soviet power in Lithuania.
Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Lithuanian SSR from August 1940 through April 1967, Paletskis was deputy chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR from 1941 to 1966 and chairman of the Soviet of Nationalities of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR from 1966 to 1970. He has been a representative at the Conference of the Interparliamentary Union since 1955, and he was first deputy chairman of the Parliamentary Group of the USSR from 1966 to 1970. A delegate to the 19th through 23rd congresses of the CPSU—at each of which he was elected a candidate member of the Central Committee—he was a member of the Central Committee and the Bureau of the Central Committee of the CPL from 1940 to 1966. Paletskis received a special pension in 1970. A deputy to the first through eighth convocations of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, he has been awarded six Orders of Lenin, the Order of Friendship of Peoples, the Order of the Patriotic War First Class, and a number of medals.
Paletskis was first published in 1919. He is the author of many collections of poems, dominated by civic themes, and essays, short stories, and memoirs and of the historical novel The Last Tsar (1937–38). He also translated Latvian works into Lithuanian and wrote books and brochures on public affairs. His works have been translated into Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, and German.
WORKSDienu nelaisvej: Eiléraščiai ir vertimai. Kaunas, 1932.
Paskutinis caras: Beletristine istorija, vols. 1–3. Kaunas, 1937–38.
Latvija. [Kaunas, 1938.]
Gyvenimo vardu. Vilnius, 1961.
Zingsniai smêly: 1926 metai Vilnius, 1968.
Kelionių knyga. Vilnius, 1969.
Tûkstantis ẑingsnelių (Eiléraščiai). Vilnius, 1970.
Sovetskaia Litva: Istoriko-geograficheskii ocherk. Moscow, 1949.
Vozrozhdenie: Stikhi. Moscow, 1958.
Zdravstvui, Sovetskaia Litva! Stikhi. Vilnius, 1960.
Na zhiznennom puti: Stikhi Moscow, 1969.
Zhizn’ nachinaetsia: Vospominaniia, rasskazy, ocherki. [Moscow] 1970.
“Pamiatnye stranitsy.” Voprosy istorii, 1974, no. 1: V dvukh mirakh. Moscow, 1974.