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Povilas Višinskis

Lithuanian politician

Died when: 30 years 299 days (369 months)
Star Sign: Cancer


Povilas Višinskis

Povilas Višinskis (28 June 1875 – 23 April 1906) was a Lithuanian cultural and political activist during the Lithuanian National Revival.He is best remembered as a mentor of literary talent.

He discovered Julija Žymantienė (Žemaitė) and advised Marija Pečkauskaitė (Šatrijos Ragana), Sofija Pšibiliauskienė (Lazdynų Pelėda), Gabrielė Petkevičaitė (Bitė), Jonas Biliūnas, Jonas Krikščiūnas (Jovaras), helping them edit and publish their first works.

As a biology student at the Saint Petersburg University, Višinskis conducted anthropological research on Samogitians which included detailed anthropometric measurements.

After the university studies, he returned to Lithuania earning a living as a private tutor in various locations (near Pašvitinys, Kurtuvėnai Manor, Šiauliai).

Višinskis directed and played the main role in staging the first Lithuanian-language play America in the Bathhouse (Amerika pirtyje) in 1899.

When advertisements for another play printed in Lithuanian using Latin alphabet were confiscated by police as violating the Lithuanian press ban, Višinskis sued and obtained a favorable judgment from the Governing Senate in 1903.

He contributed some 86 articles and 120 short correspondences to various Lithuanian periodicals, most notably Varpas, Ūkininkas, Naujienos, that were published in East Prussia and then smuggled into Lithuania.

After the death of Vincas Kudirka, these newspapers suffered financial losses and frequent staff changes, and he stepped in to fill the leadership gap.

He raised funds and addressed other printing issues, essentially becoming an unofficial editor of Varpas and leader of its contributors.

He was an ardent opponent of the Tsarist regime and one of the first to declare that full independence was the ultimate goal of the Lithuanian National Revival.

This ultimate goal was adopted by the Lithuanian Democratic Party, which he co-founded in 1902.After the lifting of the press ban in 1904, he moved to Vilnius and worked on publishing Lithuanian literature.

He strongly supported the Russian Revolution of 1905, but advocated against armed resistance.He edited the first issues of Vilniaus žinios and Lietuvos ūkininkas, but quickly resigned due to ideological differences with their publishers.

In 1905, he established Šviesa publishing company to publish Lithuanian books.The company operated until 1913 and published about twenty books.

He died in 1906 of tuberculosis that he was first diagnosed with in 1896.

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