by Kamilė Rupeikaitė
In response to an emailed letter from this journal expressing the concern of Holocaust survivors and others concerning forthcoming meetings or events in London on the Lithuanian Holocaust, to be held together with the antisemitic and Holocaust-obfuscating Genocide Center, Dr. Kamilė Rupeikaitė, deputy director at the Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum, today issued the following statement, reproduced here in full:
Representatives of the Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum were invited to London by the Lithuanian Embassy at the beginning of the summer. The aim of our trip is to meet historians and Holocaust educators at the Imperial War Museum and to look for possible cooperation between the Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum and similar British institutions in London. We knew in advance that the Genocide Center is also invited.
Obviously, we have no intention to discuss any common projects with the Genocide Center because of their attitude and policy toward the Holocaust which is, to say the least, not correct.
The Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum has signed the petition together with the Jewish Community against the celebration of the reburial of the Chief of the Provisional Government Ambrazevičius, as we did not support the policy of the Genocide Center to honor the Nazi collaborator. For the same reason we have also declined partnership with the Genocide Center in the project “Names of the Holocaust Victims” which was initiated and is being implemented by the Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum.
We have officially informed the Lithuanian government, which partly sponsors the “Names” project, that we refuse to be partners with the Genocide Center.
Also, our museum expressed criticism of the book Those Who Rescued, 1941-1944 recently published by the Genocide Center, as this book is full of misleading information (for example, the name of a murderer is included into the list of rescuers, etc. etc.), and we have expressed our concern to the director of the Genocide Center, asking that the book not be distributed.
Therefore, our trip to London institutions should not be perceived as “joining forces” with the Genocide Center at a common event. Dr. Neringa Latvytė-Gustaitienė and I are going to present our museum activities in Holocaust research and education, and to look for partnership with British institutions.
The Vilna Gaon State Jewish Museum does not see opportunities for any cooperation with the Genocide Center, even though we are invited by the Embassy to participate in common meetings.
So we would kindly ask you to pass this information to survivors and other persons who might be concerned. Any rumors about “joint efforts” and “common projects” with the Genocide Center have no basis.