It seemed to many Vilnius observers this week that Yale historian Professor Timothy Snyder and Yivo director Mr. Jonathan Brent were both “brought” to Lithuania for various events that would, without their foreknowledge, coincide with the week of the Ambrazevičius-Brazaitis glorification ceremonies financed by the Lithuanian government. These ceremonies have now attracted considerable international criticism (see page one).
It was hoped by some in high places, it is alleged, that their presece would deflect international attention from the honoring of the Nazi puppet prime minister (it didn’t), and that their own fabled reluctance to criticize the Lithuanian government unambiguously would in its own way add legitimacy to the controversial events (it won’t).
Though neither of the two Foreign Ministry Chosen, both painfully controversial among Holocaust survivors and their families, would issue during their stay in Vilnius a public statement on the series of state-sponsored events to honor a Nazi collaborator, Professor Snyder did answer a question about the reburial in a public interview carried by 15min.lt. The question and answer are as follows:
— There is a controversy in Lithuania surrounding the reburial of Juozas Brazaitis, leader of the provisional government, with the support of the government. Do you think it’s a right thing to do?
“I am going to choose my words very carefully here. I think before you rebury anyone, you should think very very hard and probably wait a very very long time because once you rebury somebody once, you can’t rebury them again.”