Freethinker Cemetery: A Test of (Non) Tolerance in the 3–4 Decades of the 20th Century in Lithuania
Keywords:Free-thinker Ethical Culture Society, freethinkers, freethinker, cemetery
Annotation. Te article analyzes freethinker cemeteries established and functioning in Lithuania in the 1920s and 1930s. Te article introduces the Freethinker Ethical Culture Society, which was the initiator of the Free-Tinker Cemetery. It is emphasized that one of the main ways of disseminating the ideas of this community was the need to have a freethinker cemetery. Based on the information available in the sources, the context, causes and circumstances of the
establishment of such cemeteries are discussed. Te functioning of freethinker cemeteries and public reactions to them are analyzed. Te article highlights the personalities that contributed the most to the establishment of free cemeteries in Lithuania. Te study reveals that dozens of freethinker cemeteries have been set up in various parts of Lithuania at the initiative of the Freethinker community during the two decades of Lithuanian independence. Te establishment
of this type of cemetery was routinely opposed by both the local government and the Catholic community. No fewer problems were encountered afer the cemetery was set up – interruptions in funerals and devastation of the cemetery.