VILNIUS—On March 27, Wednesday, at 1 PM here in Vilnius, the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court will be reading its verdict on the case filed by California resident Grant Gochin calling on the state-sponsored Lithuanian Genocide and Resistance Research Center, widely known as the Genocide Center, to revise its evaluation of Holocaust perpetrator Jonas Noreika as a hero who is worthy of state honors. Hundreds of documents have been produced demonstrating beyond all doubt his participation in the Lithuanian Holocaust (see sample document). One of the case’s sensations was the powerful and historic statement condemning Noreik’a crimes produced by his granddaughter, the American educator and author Silvia Foti.
The public and the press are welcome to attend the conclusion of this historic trial at Žygimantų Street 2 in central Vilnius.
DH’s take. Report on 15 Jan. hearing. Report on 5 March hearing. Evaldas Balčiūnas’s 2012 article that brought Noreika to the attention of the English speaking world. Balčiūnas’s DH section.
The following day, on March 28, Thursday, from 4 PM to 6 PM Dr. Andrius Kulikauskas, curator of the Jonas Noreika Museum and Archive, is leading an event on “How Can We Take Responsibility For Lithuania’s Past, Present and Future?” The three-part event, in Lithuanian, will take place at the Great Hall of the newly renovated Vilnius County Adomas Mickevičius Public Library at Trakų Street 10. Library Director Emilija Banionytė emphasized that libraries serve a vital function as meeting grounds for all manner of perspectives. The event will be filmed. For more of Dr. Kulikauskas’s writings on this and related topics in English, see his section in Defending History.
Dr. Kulikauskas will start by giving a presentation on the rise and fall of the legend of Jonas Noreika.
The second part of the event will be a press conference. Dr. Kulikauskas will discuss the verdict and its implications and answer questions from the press. Representatives of Grant Gochin and the Lithuanian Genocide and Resistance Research Center will be welcome to make their comments and answer questions. Afterwards, all who come to the event will likewise have the opportunity to comment and reply.
The last and major part of the event will be a discussion led by Dr. Kulikauskas on the various ways of taking responsibility for Lithuania’s past, present and future. Participants are encouraged to read the list of 33 demands published in the February 8, 2019 issue of Žemaičių saulutė. According to Dr. Kulikauskas, the most urgent demand is to respond to the pain felt by Lithuanian Jews that the Soviet desecration of building a Sports Palace upon Vilnius’s oldest Jewish cemetery is about to be doubled by remaking that Sports Palace into a convention center. Participants can read the March 8, 2019 issue of Žemaičių saulutė to get a sense of the inspiring discussion held at the Plungė Public Library on February 22.
The emphasis will be to reach out to all parties for a wider discussion, formulating exploratory questions rather than definitive answers. The Lithuanian language Baltic News Service (BNS) press release includes further details of the event.