The European Jewish Congress and the Lithuanian Jewish Community acknowledge the important contribution of Lithuania in creating a positive climate for Jewish life and Jewish tradition to flourish. We also commend Lithuania for pursuing friendly relations with the State of Israel. This is undoubtedly a positive example for many European countries.
We encourage further respectful discussion on the topic of the tragedy of Lithuanian Jews during the Holocaust in order to allow for the restoration of historical justice. Those who try to reopen the dark pages of the history of Lithuanian collaboration, such as the renowned author Rūta Vanagaitė, should not be victimised or persecuted, but their efforts should be acknowledged.
We praise Lithuanian historians, such as Prof. Saulius Sužiedėlis, Dr. Valentinas Brandišauskas or Dr. Algimantas Kasparavičius, who have spoken out on many occasions and written extensively on the topic of the Lithuanian Activist Front’s role in perpetrating the Holocaust in Lithuania. However, there is a lack of such content to this day in Lithuanian textbooks. Nor is there sufficient mention of the vast Jewish contribution to Lithuanian society over the centuries. In a pluralist society, those who speak out on the biggest tragedy of European history should not become incapacitated by inappropriate measures taken against them. Having just concluded the celebrations of Hanukkah, which signifies victory of mind and soul against coercion, and just a few days after the International Human Rights Day, we wish a happy and peaceful festive season to all Lithuanian people and call for further respectful discussion to enable Lithuanian society to come to terms with its past.