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Ceturtdiena 23.05.2019 | Name days: Leontīne, Ligija, Lonija, Leokādija
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Lithuania in row with Russia and Jewish centre over heritage of guerrilla leader

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A new monument to a Lithuanian hero of the guerilla war against Soviet occupation has triggered a row with Russia and the Simon Wiesenthal Center as to alleged links to Holocaust.

British public broadcaster BBC and the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry reported that Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius attended an unveiling ceremony on Sunday, May 5, in Chicago, the U.S., to unveil a monument to Adolfas Ramanauskas-Vanagas who commanded Lithuania’s resistance to Soviet occupation after World War Two.

The revent was attended by members of the Lithuanian community in the U.S. and the daughter and granddaughter of Ramanauskas-Vanagas.

Allegations and reaction

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, which researches the Holocaust, argues that Ramanauskas-Vanagas also led a vigilante gang that persecuted Jews in the town on Druskininkai after the 1941 Nazi invasion.

The Lithuanian Foreign Ministry stated on Tuesday, May 7, it had summoned the Russian embassy representative in Vilnius in protest and called on Moscow to stop spreading disinformation about Ramanauskas’s «impeccable reputation».

«In the meeting, the Russian representative was advised to study the personality and activities of A. Ramanauskas-Vanagas more closely, as it is most inappropriate for Russia to accuse him of collaboration with the Nazis or of participation in the Holocaust.  His impeccable reputation has been confirmed by numerous independent experts researching the historical events and archival documents of that time,» the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry wrote on its website.

The tragedy

Reportedly, during the period of 1941 – 1944, under the rule of Nazi Germany during World War II, the majority of the 200 000 Jews living in Lithuania were killed by the hands of Nazis and local collaborators. Today, 5 000 Jews live in Lithuania.


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