VILNIUS—Public opposition to the placing of a twenty-five million dollar convention center in the heart of Vilna’s old Jewish cemetery has come from an array of individuals and organizations, in Vilnius and internationally.
But what is the opinion of various organizations and bodies dedicated explicitly to working for the preservation of Jewish cemeteries and heritage internationally, in Europe, and indeed in Lithuania specifically? Perhaps readers can help find out from the boards of these eminent organizations and let us know (info <at> defendinghistory.com). The question is about whether organizations have the backbone to stand up for the simplest proposition (i.e. that the old cemetery is not the right place for the convention center!). In a few of the cases enumerated below, there are cricumstances where a government has on occasion invested diplomatic, political and actual capital in discouraging even purpose-specific groups (or one of their prominent members) from speaking out for the very causes for which they were created.
No doubt some of these organizations are in the process of formulating their own positions and will very soon issue public statements. Some of them, dedicated more to reporting on events than expressing views, may simply wish to inform their readers, members and donors about the danger to Vilna’s old Jewish cemetery with, at the very least, links to both sides of the argument. None of them, surely, would wish to keep knowledge of this central current issue of Jewish heritage in Europe from their readers.