The Lithuanian Jewish Community expressed shock at an unsigned statement published by the Center for the Study of the Genocide and Resistance of Residents of Lithuania (LGGRTC), which reportedly seeks to remove the responsibility from the crimes committed by Lithuanian partisans in the Holocaust, and to justify the actions of Nazi collaborator Jonas Noreika.

Published on 27 March 2019, the statement by the LGGRTC also claims that “the number of Lithuanians who shot Jews was lower than in other nations” and that “the residents of occupied Lithuania in 1941 didn’t understand ghettos as part of the Holocaust.”

The President of the Lithuanian Jewish community (LJC), Adv. Faina Kukliansky, declared that the statement by the LGGRTC contains elements, which are crimes under the Lithuanian criminal code, namely, denial or gross trivialisation of the Holocaust, a crime that also applies to corporate entities.

“It is unacceptable to the LJC that there might be a collective condemnation of ethnic Lithuanians or any other ethnic group for perpetrating the Holocaust, and therefore it is equally incomprehensible to us on what basis the Center tried to convince Lithuanians, writing in the name of all Lithuanians, of Holocaust revisionist ideas,” declared Ms. Kukliansky.

“It is the LJC’s opinion that the LGGRTC as a body of public law should not distort historical facts, grossly diminish the scope of the Holocaust and create a fictional narrative of history. [Such an institution] is incapable of fulfilling its main task as defined in Lithuanian law, namely, the restoration of historical truth and justice,” she concluded.

Subsequently, the LJC called on representatives of the Lithuanian government to condemn  this instance of institutional antisemitism and on the LGGRTC to assume responsibility for this statement, retract it publicly and apologise to Lithuanian Jewry for grossly trivialising the Holocaust and for misleading the public.

Click here to read the statement by the LGGRTC (Translation courtesy of the LJC)