(JTA) — Lithuanian Jews are protesting the appointment of a journalist they say is engaged in Holocaust distortion to top adviser at the state museum on genocide.
Vidmantas Valušaitis “has been deliberately distorting history in his publications for several years and presenting to the public untrue facts about the anti-Semitic actions of the Lithuanian Activists’ Front and the Provisional Government of Lithuania” during the Holocaust, the Jewish Community of Lithuania association said in a statement Friday on its website.
The Genocide and Resistance Research Centre of Lithuania has faced Holocaust distortion allegations for years.
The Jewish group said it “does not support the appointment of a person who is an open supporter of those who disseminated ideas of anti-Semitism in Lithuania.” The statement added that Valusaitis is unfit for the post because he is “openly defending anti-Semites who directly or indirectly took part in the extermination of the Jews of Lithuania.”
In July, Valušaitis penned an article defending Juozas Luksa-Daumantas, a nationalist accused of participating in a Holocaust-era massacre of Jews. The Lithuanian parliament recently named 2021 as devoted to celebrating his memory.
Multiple witnesses have placed Luksa-Daumantas, a leader of the pro-Nazi Lithuanian Activist Front militia during World War II, at the 1941 Lietukis Garage massacre in Kaunas.
Valušaitis wrote that this cannot be true because relatives of Luksa-Daumantas’ wife had rescued Jews and photos said to be of Luksa-Daumantas at the site of the massacre were forgeries.