A BNS (Baltic News Service) report released today quotes the foreign ministry as saying for the record today that ‘The attitude of the Russian institutions that by condemning some crimes against humanity (the Stalinist crimes), other crimes, i.e. the crimes of Nazism, are being rehabilitated, shall be regarded as very odd’.
The nation’s prime minister, Andrius Kubilius, weighed in more ardently. In an Lrytas.lt report (which credits ELTA), he is quoted as saying: ‘Thanks to Lithuania’s active policy it is being understood better and more clearly throughout the EU that Stalin’s crimes against humanity need to be judged in the same way Hitler’s crimes against humanity are judged. And not just Stalin’s [crimes], but [those] of the entire Soviet period […].’
The statement is presented as a reply to a Russian Federation statement, and there is no mention of the missing ‘elephants in the room’: (a) that opposition to East European nationalist historical revisionism (and — to Lithuanian state efforts in that regard) comes substantially from Western and Jewish sources, not just Russia; (b) that Lithuania’s wartime participation in Nazi genocide resulted in the near-total annihilation of the country’s Jewish minority; (c) that instead of coming to terms with this dark period in its history, the current Lithuanian state runs museums and research centers that present Soviet crimes as the genocide; (d) invests in events to sanitize and glorify the local perpetrators; (e) pushes European Parliament resolutions to ‘equalize’ Nazi and Soviet crimes; (f) remains the only country on the planet that tries to prosecute Holocaust survivors who survived by joining the anti-Nazi resistance. On top of it all, in 2010, (g) a Lithuanian court (to the utter silence of the foreign ministry and prime minister) even legalized public swastikas (chronology of the saga here).
This record makes the foreign ministry’s failure to understand the existence of criticism all the more strange.
At the same time, mainstream Western (and Jewish) opinion agrees on the need to condemn and seek justice for the damages of Soviet crimes, as a separate and distinct issue.