The Image of the Lithuanian Intellectual in the Youth Magazine Aušrinė (1910–1914)

  • Olga Mastianica-Stankevič
Keywords: intelligentsia, identity, youth, periodical press


The magazine Aušrinė was intended for the young generation of the Lithuanian intelligentsia and as it was created by the representatives of this generation it allowed understanding of the collective thinking of this group of society. In the first half of the twentieth century, the young generation of the Lithuanian intelligentsia defined the intelligentsia not so much by formal characteristics as by its cultural, and, more precisely, by its national role. The collaborators of Aušrinė were convinced that the future of the Lithuanian national movement and the Lithuanian nation depended on the intelligentsia and its role. However, unlike other periodicals of the time, the editors of this magazine mostly focused not on the dissemination of ideas of Lithuanian nationalism, but looked for ways to strengthen social activism of the intellectuals, their relations with the homeland and with other sections of society. It was the environment of Aušrinė that tied student summer holidays to learning about regions, history, and culture of Lithuania, encouraged students to actively participate in the activities of farming societies, enlightenment societies, and to bring together local youth societies. In parallel, this magazine addressed the issue of the harmonisation of the individual needs of the intelligentsia and the community needs. Among other things, the collaborators of Aušrinė claimed that the Lithuanian intellectuals would not be able to properly perform their social functions unless they cared more about the nurturing of individuality: moral self-development and intellectual education. By introducing the column “Educational Affairs”, the editors of this magazine provided a list of literature recommended to the students, knowing that it would help the young generation of the Lithuanian intelligentsia “to seriously, consciously, and consistently develop a worldview, to accurately determine the path of an active life”. The discussion in the magazine Aušrinė shows that in the vision of the nation’s future, the young generation of the Lithuanian intelligentsia encouraged regarding women not only as wives and mothers in order to implement projects of the national intelligent family, but as partners in social activities. The editors of the magazine emphasized the need for women’s participation in the process of building a national intelligentsia and encouraged them to be socially active.