The following is a verbatim reprint of Monica Lowenberg’s December 2012 petition on Change.org. Embedded links have been added, marked by underlining, referring readers to further coverage on Defending History pages which link to various sources providing more background.
Petitioning HE Ambassador Asta Skaisgirytė Liauškienė
This petition will be delivered to:
- Lithuanian Ambassador for London, UK
- HE Ambassador Asta Skaisgirytė Liauškienė
Abandon state sponsored Anti-Semitism and Holocaust Obfuscation
- Petition by
- Monica Lowenberg
- London, United Kingdom
Following the announcement that the Lithuanian Embassy is one of the generous co-sponsors of this month’s London conference on Jewish-Lithuanian issues including the Holocaust, we the undersigned ask the Embassy’s public support on the following urgent matters:
1) Rapid and elegant public apologies, released prior to the conference, to the Jewish Holocaust Survivors defamed in recent years by Lithuanian prosecutors, media and some government officials. The survivors are in their late 80s and 90s, making time essential if there is going to be a symbolic amelioration in the manner in which the Lithuanian state is ending a 700 year old history of Jewish settlement, and on what note, with the last survivors of the bona fide pre Holocaust generation. Most urgently, Rachel Margolis; also: Yitzhak Arad and Fania Brantsovsky and Joseph Melamed.
2) Rapid removal of the anti-Semitic exhibits and/or inscriptions in the Genocide Museum in central Vilnius and in the historic information signs supplied by the Genocide Centre to the Gruto parkas memorial complex outside Druskininkai.
3) Schedule for rapid removal of all state-sponsored memorials in public places and state-funded institutions to Holocaust collaborators, perpetrators and other pro-Nazi figures and organisations. Most urgent are street names honouring 1941 murderers, and the lecture hall and bas relief plaque at Vytautas Magnus University (which it seems is sending several representatives to the conference) honouring the 1941 Nazi puppet prime minister who signed the orders for the Kovno Ghetto. (Earlier this year, your government invested heavily in his reburial amidst various glittering events that caused untold anguish to Holocaust Survivors and their families as well as to those whose family members and nations made vast sacrifices to free Europe from Hitler’s rule).
4) A commitment to disallow the neo-Nazi parades in the city centres of Vilnius and of Kaunas on national Independence Day holidays in 2013 (with no prejudice to reassignment of venues on free speech grounds to sites and dates that do not heavily imply state support).
5) Guarantee of freedom of people in Lithuania, citizens and others, to support the Seventy Years Declaration and oppose the Prague Declaration without fear of repercussion (current fear resulting under the 2010 law making double genocide in some sense the law of the land and criminalising dissent).
6) Agreement in principle to preserve for posterity the last and only surviving Jewish partisan anti-Nazi fort, which is rapidly sinking into the earth and subject to vandalism and pilfering for firewood. It is a major international site testifying to the indomitable human spirit of survival against all odds.
7) Immediate abandonment of the state’s financing of the campaign to obfuscate the Holocaust by way of the ongoing campaign for ‘making equal’ Nazi and Soviet crimes, via commissions, conferences, events, publications and the continuing pressure in the European Union and European Parliament; deletion of the revisionist goals announced for Lithuania’s forthcoming 2013 presidency of the EU, a deletion which can only enhance Lithuania’s authority and prestige for the fulfilling of the role in a manner which the fine people of Lithuania deserve and merit.
Attempts of the Lithuanian government to ingratiate itself to Jewish communities in Western cities, such as the ones in London, whilst continuing to actively fund and support the above mentioned issues, can only be seen as wholly duplicitous and unacceptable, undermining even the public relations goals of such events to the detriment of all parties concerned.
With the sincere intent of repairing Lithuanian-Jewish relations and calling for the people of Lithuania to enjoy the same standards as citizens of any other EU and NATO state, we the undersigned request that the newly elected Lithuanian government addresses, without further delay and as a matter of urgency, the seven matters raised within this petition.