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Lithuania

  • Around the Jewish World One of Lithuania’s Few Jews Fights to Rebuild Vilna Ghetto

    It’s a shivery winter Shabbat evening and Emanuelis Zingeris is immersed in a spiritual moment at Europe’s largest synagogue. That would be normal enough, except that the Great Synagogue was destroyed decades ago and Zingeris, totally unfazed by the Baltic chill, stands outside facing the once-holy site, which now houses a Soviet-style kindergarten and a… More ▸

  • U.S. Seeks to Evict Alleged Nazi Ally Who Helped to Kill Jews in Lithuania

    The U.S. Justice Department is seeking to deport an Illinois man for allegedly participating in the persecution and murder of Jews during World War II. According to a complaint filed Monday, Peter John Bernes, alias Petras Bernotavicius, was a deputy to Werner Loew, a Nazi-appointed mayor and police commander assigned to Kupiskis, Lithuania. Bernes, 79,… More ▸

  • Arts & Culture Painter Who Survived Holocaust Has Homecoming Exhibit in Vilnius

    Lithuania is commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Holocaust by helping to fund an exhibit of paintings by Samuel Bak, a Lithuanian-born Holocaust survivor. The show, housed in both the State Art Museum and the Gaon Jewish State Museum, features more than 100 of Bak’s works from 1942-2001. Bak, 68, now lives in Boston. Boston’s… More ▸

  • Lithuanian Moves Against Ex-nazis Seen As Response to Global Pressure

    Lithuania has long been accused of purposefully dragging its feet in Nazi-era war crimes cases. But two recent events appear to show that the former Soviet republic is responding to international pressure and moving ahead with some prosecutions. Last week the country saw its first successful World War II-era conviction since it earned its independence… More ▸

  • 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 ▸