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Hope for change in Lithuania

by Efraim Zuroff Let us all hope that the new spirit on display in Moletai will mark the beginning of a new era in Lithuania. Lithuania skyline. (photo credit:REUTERS) MOLETAI, LITHUANIA – If anyone had told me prior to this week’s Holocaust memorial event here that numerous people from all over the country, the majority […]

A former Nazi concentration camp where up to 5,000 Jews died now hosts weddings, parties and kids’ treasure hunts in move slammed as ‘disgusting’ by campaigners

Kaunas’ Seventh Fort in Lithuania was a concentration camp in 1941 Up to 5,000 Jews were killed there, and many remain buried on-site Since 2009, it has become a popular venue for weddings and a kids’ camp  By Annabel Fenwick Elliott for MailOnline Published: 06:26 EST, 25 July 2016 | Updated: 09:36 EST, 26 July […]

This Lithuanian concentration camp is now a wedding venue

KAUNAS, Lithuania (JTA) — In this drab city 55 miles west of Vilnius, there are few heritage sites as mysterious and lovely looking as the Seventh Fort. This 18-acre red-brick bunker complex, which dates to 1882, features massive underground passages that connect its halls and chambers. Above ground, the hilltop fortress is carpeted with lush […]

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 […]