Marius Ivaškevičius is a famous writer, theater and cinema playwright and director who has clearly stated his opinion on the Holocaust more than once. He also contributed substantially to the 2016 Molėtai (Malát) Holocaust remembrance march. He has even criticized the naming of Škirpa Street in central Vilnius after a Nazi collaborator who called for Lithuania’s Jewish citizens to be expelled.
Once the reports that Ivaškevičius was chosen to receive the National Prize for his achievements in literature became public, a public persecution of the writer got underway with rapidity and venom. Far-right groups appealed to the prosecutor’s office not only to stop him getting the prize, but also to start a court case against him, allegedly for violating Criminal Code in his writings, turning him into a potential criminal. The pretext was Ivaškevičius’ novel Žali (The Greens), written sixteen years ago and dedicated to exploring the topic of postwar anti-Soviet resistance. The prosecutor’s office rejected the call and Ivaškevičius received the prize.