A bas-relief of the linguist Prof. Jonas Kazlauskas (1930-1970) is unveiled, and a named endowment sub-fund is established at the VU Faculty of Philology

2024 04 29

A bas-relief of the linguist Prof. Jonas Kazlauskas (1930-1970) is unveiled, and a named endowment sub-fund is established at the VU Faculty of Philology

A bronze bas-relief, cast from a plaster medal created in 1979 by sculptor Vytautas Mačiuika (1929-1999), was unveiled at the Faculty of Philology of Vilnius University (VU), in the auditorium named after Prof. Jonas Kazlauskas (1930-1970). During the event, Eglė Danielienė, the daughter of the famous linguist, and her husband Romualdas Danielius, announced the establishment of a sub-fund in the amount of EUR 140 thousand in the name of Prof. J. Kazlauskas. The return of the sub-fund will be used to establish named scholarships, prizes, and finance other initiatives at the VU Philology Faculty.

Justinas Noreika, Mindaugas Kvietkauskas, Eglė Danielienė, Romualdas Danielius, Artūras Vasiliauskas

Professor J. Kazlauskas, habilitated doctor of sciences - one of the most prominent specialists in 20th century Baltic linguistics - was the actual leader of post-war Baltic studies. From 1949 to 1954, Prof. Kazlauskas studied Lithuanian language and literature at Vilnius University, and from 1958 to 1970 he worked as a lecturer at the University, and from 1962 as an associate professor. In 1968, he defended his Habilitated Doctor of Philology degree. In 1968-1970, Prof. Kazlauskas was the Dean of the Faculty of History and Philology at Vilnius University, and since 1969 - Professor.

"The dean, Professor Jonas Kazlauskas, a great talent in Baltic studies, was interrupted by the Soviet regime on his way to world recognition. It is wonderful that today his memory is not only perpetuated, but also becomes a strong support for today's young philological talents on their way to the top of their fields. The support of the patrons Eglė and Romualdas Danielius in the name of J. Kazlauskas is a gift of a special value to the Faculty and to the future of Lithuanian philology," says Prof. Mindaugas Kvietkauskas, Dean of the VU Philology Faculty.

In 1965, the journal of Baltic linguistics "Baltistica" was founded thanks to the efforts of Prof. J. Kazlauskas, which soon gained international recognition (he was the editor-in-chief from 1965-1970). In 1964 and 1970, on his initiative, international conferences of Baltic studies were held in Vilnius, which later became traditional, and since 1980 have been held alternately in Vilnius and Riga. In 1970, Prof. Kazlauskas was invited to the University of Pennsylvania in the USA to teach a course in Baltic linguistics.

Unfortunately, the professor disappeared on 8 October 1970. His body was found in the Neris River on 17 November. His death is still shrouded in mystery - all the documents have disappeared from the KGB archives. The professor was buried in the Saulės Cemetery in Vilnius on the 20th of January, 1970. The Prof. Kazlauskas

Auditorium at the VU Faculty of Philology was also renovated in 2020-2021 with the help of patrons Eglė and Romualdas Danielius.