California displeased with Lithuanian attempts to deny Holocaust participation

The bill of the Lithuanian parliament also met with criticism from the Conference of European Rabbis and Simon Wiesenthal Center

On May 19, 2020, the Beverly Hills City Council unanimously adopted the declaration condemning the glorification, by the government of Lithuania, of individuals who were responsible for the ghettoisation of subsequent massacre of Jewish population of Lithuania during WWII, as well as any attempts of today’s Lithuanian government to deny the fact that Lithuanians participated in the Holocaust. 

This is how to city authorities reacted to the draft legislation which the Lithuanian parliament is now working on, denying that either the nation or its leaders participated in the Holocaust. The bill was earlier advertised by Arunas Gumuliauskas, chairman of the Lithuanian parliamentary Commission for the Cause of Freedom and the National Historical Memory, who particularly said the bill text would include the message that the Lithuanian people could not be participants in the Holocaust as they were occupied and enslaved.  

The bill was advertised as it was in the process of preparation in December of 2019, and it angered many Jewish organizations both in Lithuania and other countries. In particular, it triggered criticism from the Conference of European Rabbis and Simon Wiesenthal Center

In April of 2020, the High Administrative Court of Lithuania defended Jonas Norejka, the Lithuanian who participated in the Holocaust. A month before, a photograph of another Holocaust participant, Kazys Škirp, appeared on the cover of the Lithuanian defense ministry in-house magazine.  

Lithuania is not the only nation to step on the slippery path of denying its responsibility for WWII crimes. In Poland, the Sejm adopted amendments to the law of the Institute of National Remembrance on January 26, 2018. The amendments introduced criminal persecution for public statement on Polish complicity in the massacre of Jews during World War II. They came into force on March 1, 2018; five months later, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, under Israeli pressure, declare that the article should not imply any criminal liability.

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