Aleksandras Štromas (1931–1999)
Photo from the archive of
Diaspora Studies Centre
Emerging figure of Aleksandras Stromas testifies about the intellectual personality capable of absorbing broad nature ideas. A. Štromas‘ field of interests is broad and multi-layered, and scientific space of knowledge filled with ideas of law, politics and journalism. A. Stromas, undoubtedly, as a thinker and researcher, perfectly reflected the realities of living period, looked for exsistential self-connections giving meaning to past and future. He dealt with sensitive political and social life issues, perceiving his existential identity sustainability enriched in Lithuanian, Jewish and Russian culture.
A. Štromas was born and grew up in in Kaunas. During German occupation in 1941-1943 his family was locked in Kaunas ghetto in Vilijampolė. Destiny paradox, but little Štromas was saved by Antanas Sniečkus, Lithuanian communist party leader. So A. Štromas grew in A. Sniečkus family, graduated from secondary school in Kaunas, began studies at the Faculty of Law in Vilnius University. He taught in various Lithuanian cities, was also engaged in legal practice. A.Štromas continued law studies in Russia, broadened his forensic knowledge there. In 1952 he graduated from Moscow University, later studied in Moscow Institute of Law Sciences and here in 1964 he defended his PhD thesis in law.
Involved in anti-Soviet activities, in 1973 A. Štromas went to Great Britain. Here he worked as a scientist, became a professor of the Department of Peace studies at Bradford University, later worked at Saltford University. A. Štromas developed the discourse of his dissident views; cooperated with liberal wing press: lots of his articles appeared in monthly „Akiračiai“ and journal „Metmenys“. Since 1989 till the end of his life he taught political science in the United States in Hillsdale College. At the same time he took active part in the activities of Lithuanian emigration community and organisation „Santara-Šviesa“.
It is difficult to define the value of A. Štromas‘ intellectual heritage, however, the possibility to see his dedication to work allows to feel at least a part of his acumulated human and scientific experience. A. Štromas‘ archive, which is stored in Lithuanian Emigration Institute in Kaunas, consists of books on political, social sciences and humanities, articles, study books, dissident periodicals and valuable correspondence material with different personalities.