WASHINGTON (JTA) — B’nai B’rith International condemned the Lithuanian government’s posthumous honor of Juozas Ambrazeviciu, the wartime prime minister who was a Nazi collaborator.
The Jewish organization sent a letter to Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite in response to the Lithuanian government’s plans to honor Ambrazeviciu, who was the prime minister of the 1941 Nazi-backed regime in Lithuania.
The Lithuania government is planning four days of events this month to honor the former prime minister, culminating in the reburial of his remains in Lithuania. Ambrazeviciu is buried in the United States, where he died in 1974.
B’nai B’rith President Allan Jacobs and Executive Vice President Daniel Mariaschin wrote Grybauskaite that the organization “deplores the glorification and reinterment — with full honors — of a man who headed Lithuania’s Nazi-backed regime during the Holocaust.”
“We call on you to cancel all public tributes to Ambrazevicius and to unequivocally condemn the role that he and his puppet government played in orchestrating the mass murder of Lithuanian Jewry,” Jacobs and Mariaschin wrote. “Madam President, any ideology or movement that glorifies Nazism and minimizes the tragedy of the Holocaust must be forcefully opposed.”