Lithuanian court rejects lawsuit against state honours for Nazi collaborator

A court in Lithuania dismissed a lawsuit against a state museum’s glorification of a Nazi collaborator, citing the plaintiff’s “ill-based” intentions.

The ruling in Vilnius was on a petition submitted last year by Californian Grant Gochin, a descendant of Lithuanian Jews.

He sued the state-funded Center for the Study of the Genocide and Resistance of the Residents of Lithuania for erecting a plaque honoring Jonas Noreika, a local anti-Communist hero who died while in Soviet custody.

“Me calling for truth against the government machine of fraud is ‘ill based.’ They have no interest in truth — anyone that speaks for truth there is labelled an ‘enemy of the State,’” Gochin wrote on Facebook about the ruling.

The case is thought to be the first in which civil servants publicly defended in court the actions and good name of an alleged collaborator with the Nazis.

In documents submitted to the court, the center claimed Noreika’s actions cannot be judged posthumously and that in any case there is no evidence to suggest he perpetrated war crimes.

Gochin, who lost many relatives in Holocaust-era executions attributed to Noreika and his men, said he would appeal all the way to the European Court of Justice


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