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Lithuania

  • Lithuania to Seek Extradition of Alleged Nazi-era War Criminal

    Lithuania plans to ask British officials to extradite a man accused of Nazi war crimes. Anton Gecas, 85, is alleged to have killed Jews and other civilians when he was head of a special Nazi police unit in a part of Lithuania that is now in the former Soviet republic of Belarus. More than 90… More ▸

  • Israeli Ambassador Calls Lithuania a Nazi Haven, Angering Lawmakers

    Once again, Israel’s ambassador to Lithuania has managed to raise the hackles of many of that Baltic nation’s politicians. And once again, he touched on the same hot-button accusation: that Lithuania’s poor record of prosecuting suspected Nazi war criminals proves that the country has turned into a haven for Nazi collaborators. Oded Ben Hur, who… More ▸

  • Alleged Lithuanian Collaborator Denies He Killed Jews During War

    An 81-year-old man deported from the United States for his World War II-era activities told prosecutors in his native Lithuania this week that he had not killed any Jews during the war. But in a meeting with Lithuanian prosecutors in the capital Vilnius, Kazys Ciurinskas did not deny collaboration with the Nazis, who occupied the… More ▸

  • Genealogists Compiling Full List of Lithuanian Holocaust Victims

    Two Jewish genealogists are compiling a comprehensive list of the roughly 200,000 to 240,000 Jews from Lithuania who perished in the Holocaust. “We’re going to create a database and hopefully publish a memorial book in a few years,” said Saul Issroff. Issroff, a semi-retired dermatologist who lives in London, traveled to Lithuania last year and… More ▸

  • Jewish Leader Doubts Sincerity of Lithuania’s Self-examination

    Lithuania has officially established an international commission to examine war crimes committed during the Nazi and Soviet occupations of the Baltic nation. Julius Smulkstis, an adviser to Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus who was named government liaison to the Jewish community in June, was quoted as saying that the commission’s main function is “to investigate the… More ▸

  • Chief Rabbi Asks Lithuania to Transfer Torahs to Israel

    Israel’s chief Ashkenazi rabbi has asked Lithuania to transfer dozens of Torah scrolls to the Jewish state. The scrolls, currently housed in the Baltic nation’s main library, are at the center of a dispute between Lithuania and Jewish groups, both in Lithuania and abroad, over the ownership of a large repository of Judaica material. More… More ▸

  • Lithuanian Jews Look to U.S. for Help in Recovering Property

    The president of Lithuania has promised a top U.S. official that he would try to advance efforts to restore Jewish communal property. President Valdas Adamkus made the promise to Stuart Eizenstat, the U.S. undersecretary of state for economic affairs, who was in the Baltic nation last week to discuss U.S.-Lithuanian economic relations. Local Jewish leaders… More ▸

  • Lithuanian President Names Liaison to Jewish Community

    The president of Lithuania has named his chief adviser to also serve as the government’s liaison to the Jewish community. Simonas Alperavicius, chairman of the Lithuanian Jewish community, expressed cautious optimism in a telephone interview that the appointment of Julius Smulkstys could have a positive effect on Lithuanian-Jewish relations. During the Nazi occupation of Lithuania… More ▸

  • U.S. to Deport Lithuanian

    The United States is one step closer to deporting an 80-year-old man who served in a Lithuanian mobile killing squad during World War II. A federal appeals court in Chicago unanimously affirmed last Friday a 1995 court decision to strip Kazys Ciurinskas of his U.S. citizenship. The U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations charged… More ▸

  • Lithuanian Judge Delays Trial of Alleged Nazi War Criminal

    A Lithuanian judge has postponed the trial of an alleged Nazi war criminal for the second time. The trial of Aleksandras Lileikis, 91, was slated to begin this week in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius. But a judge in the case granted an adjournment of one month to allow investigators to finish examining recently obtained… More ▸