(pseudonym of Storosta). Born Mar. 22, 1868, in the village of Jonaičiuose, present-day Šilutės Raion, Lithuanian SSR; died Feb. 20, 1953, in Detmolde, Federal Republic of Germany. Lithuanian playwright, philosopher, and cultural figure.
Vydūnas studied literature, philosophy, and foreign languages in universities in Germany. From 1888 he taught in Lithuanian schools. From 1912 he lived and worked in Tilsit, where he was a cultural leader of the Lithuanians in East Prussia. Vydūnas studied history and linguistics, published the Lithuanian periodicals Saltinis, Jaunimas, and Naujovė, and lectured. He was persecuted during the Hitlerite rule. His philosophical works include Death and Beyond (1907), The Mysterious Grandeur of Man (1907), and The Vital Basis of the People (1920), which are close to the ideas of the Neoplatonists. Ideas of moral improvement and the independence of the individual and the people pervade Vydūnas’ dramatic works, including the tragedy Shades of Ancestors (1908), Eternal Fire (1912), and The World Conflagration (1928), which are directed against .the Germanization of Lithuanians.
REFERENCEAmžina ugnis. Vilnius, 1968.