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Jews and Lithuanians, United and Distant

“We have to go forward to preserve in peace what we won in war”, a sentence by Douglas MacArthur. An idea, that years later continues to be a goal.

The Second World War and the case of Lithuania continue to be a current topic of debate owing to the behaviour of the Government in the Baltic country. The rulers of this small nation have been accused of rewriting the events that happened between 1941 and 1944.

It is estimated that 195,000 Jews were annihilated, but in spite of all that, there has been no official recognition of the victims. Lithuania was situated in the middle of the battle ground, on one side the spread of Nazism, and on the other, pressure from the Soviets. While the Nazis promoted the persecution of the Jews, the Soviets assassinated more than 30,000 Lithuanians.

However, the debate concerns the fact that the Government does not want to recognise the ‘double genocide’, that it only talks about the death of the Lithuanians, and the others are forgotten.

This ambiguous behaviour has resulted in different confrontations. In 2010, in London, a letter was sent to the Lithuanian ambassador from Parliament and signed by Jewish personalities rebuffing the attitude that Lithuania is showing over the tragic era of the holocaust.

With the aim of understanding the scale of the problem, and to describe the true situation, there will be a conference in London on the 17th December entitled “Jews and non-Jews in Lithuania: Coexistence, Cooperation, Violence”. The event will take place at the Lithuanian Embassy in London.

The session will debate the relationship between Jews and Lithuanians throughout history, and will focus on the participation of the President of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Mr Vivian Wineman, among other speakers who will present different studies undertaken concerning the cause.

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(Translated by Claire Donneky – Email:

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