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Tunnel used by Jews in Lithuania to escape Nazis uncovered

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A tunnel in Lithuania used by Jewish prisoners to escape the Nazis has been uncovered by an international research team near Vilnius. The Israel Antiquities Authority in a statement Wednesday announced the discovery of the 100-foot-long tunnel at the Ponar Forest massacre site. Ponar prisoners used the tunnel, which was located with […]

Lithuania lifts major obstruction to citizenship applications by Jews

(JTA) — Lithuania’s parliament passed legislation that is expected to simplify the naturalization of Litvak Jews abroad and their descendants. Under amendments passed Thursday by the Seimas in Vilnius, Lithuanians who left before 1990 and their direct descendants may be naturalized without renouncing their other nationalities. The legislation passed with 96 its 141 lawmakers voting […]

Lithuanian mayor dismantles building made from Jewish headstones

The municipality of Vilnius in Lithuania began dismantling a Soviet-era structure made from Jewish headstones. Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Šimašius removed the first stone from the structure housing an electricity and heating generator on Olandų Street Wednesday, the mayor‘s office said in a statement. The generator was built by the Soviet authorities of Lithuania between 1965-1968, when it […]

Lithuanian town plans to name street after priest who organized gang that murdered Jews

Jerusalem Post Feb. 28, ’16       by Sam Sokol Lithuanian town plans to name street after priest who organized gang that murdered Jews Naming flap exposes issues with dealing with Holocaust memory. JONAS ZVINYS. (photo credit:KAISIADORIU ENCIKLOPEDIJA) Jewish organizations and Holocaust historians have long complained that many countries of the former Soviet Union have failed […]

Op-Ed: Exclusive interview: ‘Journey with an Enemy’ on the Lithuanian Shoah

Op-Ed: Exclusive interview: ‘Journey with an Enemy’ on the Lithuanian Shoah Manfred Gerstenfeld interviews Ruta Vanagaite on her new book, My people; Journey with an enemy: “Older people have apparently found the book quite offensive; it is incredibly painful for them to face their past.” Published: Sunday, February 21, 2016   Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld The writer […]

Lithuanian nationalists march in memory of Nazi collaborators

Lithuanian nationalists march in memory of Nazi collaborators February 16, 2016 (JTA) — Approximately 250 Lithuanians attended a march commemorating nationalists who are accused of complicity in the murder of Jews during the Holocaust. The march Tuesday in Kaunas, a city 65 miles east of Vilnius, was organized on Lithuania’s independence day by the Union […]

Lithuanian Jews call for government to publish list of Nazi collaborators

Lithuanian Jews call for government to publish list of Nazi collaborators The Genocide Center has given the government a list containing 2,055 names of supposed perpetrators but Vilnius neither published it nor made any attempt to investigate the people concerned. A man walks past a sign at a commemoration place during the March of the […]

Lithuania’s first street honoring Holocaust Righteous unveiled in Vilnius

(JTA) – Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Simasius unveiled the sign of the first street in Lithuania named for a non-Jew who risked her life to save Jews from the Holocaust. The Sept. 22 ceremony was at Simaites Street, where a heavily Jewish crowd of several dozen people convened to honor Ona Šimaitė, a Vilnius University librarian […]

On Israel visit, Lithuanian PM makes pledge on Jewish cemeteries

September 10, 2015 6:24am (JTA) – Lithuania’s prime minister reiterated that all Jewish cemeteries in the country would be marked or memorialized by 2017. Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevicius addressed the issue during a visit to Israel this week. “Let me reassure you that the history of Lithuanian Jews and [their] memorials are very important to the […]

Lithuanian chief rabbi protests excavation of WWII mass grave

July 14, ’15 (JTA) — The chief rabbi of Lithuania appealed to authorities to prevent the excavation of a mass grave of Holocaust victims in the country’s north. Rabbi Chaim Burshtein issued the statement Tuesday about the mass grave discovered this week during road construction work in Siauliai, a city located 120 miles northwest of Vilnius, Lithuania’s […]