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Medicina (Kaunas). 2008;44(11):895-904.

[Lithuanian pharmacists in Russia at the beginning of the 20th century: their practice and national patriotic activity].

[Article in Lithuanian]

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Lithuanian Museum of the History of Medicine and Pharmacy, Kaunas University of Medicine, Raguvos 10A, Kaunas, Lithuania.


An important role in the formation of modern Lithuanian society was played by pharmacists who at the beginning of the 20th century were one of the most numerous parts of Lithuanian intelligentsia. They chose a job in a pharmacy not as a mission of life but due to political, social, and economic reasons. The majority of pharmacists were children of peasants who had refused to obey their parents and study in the seminary of priests. Those people who had been ousted from gymnasiums because of an anticzarist activity or those who had not finished school due to the lack of money also became pharmacists. Young men who had chosen a way of self-support left to the biggest cities of Russia and started the practice of an apprentice in a pharmacy. Later, they took examinations to become an assistant of a pharmacist, and after two years of studies at university, they took examinations of a pharmacist at last. Having got a diploma, they usually did not return to their motherland because there was a large network of pharmacies; thus, business conditions were harder, of course. They established pharmacies in various provinces of Russia most often, and it is supposed that only 10% of Lithuanian pharmacists worked in their native country. Living and working in a Russian environment, however, they enshrined national patriotic ideas, were active participants in social activities, published a Lithuanian professional newspaper "Farmaceutu reikalai" (translation, "Matters of pharmacists"), and attempted to unite all Lithuanians living in czarist Russia to struggle against denationalization, to encourage people to return to their motherland, and to work for its good. This article deals with the path for a career of Lithuanian pharmacists in czarist Russia and their national patriotic activity.

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