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Varpas

Varpas (literally: The Bell) was a monthly Lithuanian-language newspaper published during the Lithuanian press ban from January 1889 to December 1905. Because its publication was illegal in Lithuania, then part of the Russian Empire, it was printed in Tilsit (current Sovetsk) and Ragnit (current Neman) in German East Prussia and smuggled into Lithuania by the knygnešiai (book smugglers). Varpas, with circulation of about 500–1,000, played a pivotal role in the Lithuanian National Revival. Tautiška giesmė, one of poems by founder and editor Vincas Kudirka written to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Varpas, became the Lithuanian national anthem. Editorial staff of Varpas later started two more specialized publications: more practical Ūkininkas (The Farmer, 1890–1905) for less educated peasants and apolitical Naujienos (News, 1901–1903) for general public.