JERUSALEM—The Simon Wiesenthal Center today praised the call issued late last week in Vilnius by the Lithuanian Jewish community to the official state Genocide and Resistance Research Center to publish its list of 2,055 Lithuanians whom it alleges participated in the mass murder of Jews during the Holocaust. In a statement issued here by its chief Nazi-hunter Dr. Efraim Zuroff, who also is responsible for Eastern European Affairs, the Center noted the importance of the call by community president Faina Kukliansky to finally reveal the names on the list which was originally compiled in 2012, but has hitherto never been made public. Of particular importance was the community’s call upon the Genocide Center to verify whether any of the persons on the list were still alive, how many of them had been granted rehabilitations and whether any of these persons had received decorations from the Lithuanian government (for their anti-Soviet activities).
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According to Zuroff:
“We fully support this step by the local Jewish community and urge the Genocide and Resistance Research Center to once and for all publish its list of Lithuanian Holocaust perpetrators. Even though, according to the Center’s research, the number on this list is only a fraction of those who participated, aided, and assisted in the murder of Jews, publicizing the list is an important first step toward historical transparency vis-à-vis the role of local Nazi collaborators in Lithuania. This was precisely the reason why the recent publication of Mūsiškiai that I co-authored with Ruta Vanagaite was of such importance.”