SEIMAS OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

 

 

RESOLUTION

ON THE REMEMBRANCE OF THE 80TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE HOLOCAUST IN LITHUANIA

 

23 September 2021     No XIV-542

Vilnius

 

 

 

The Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania,

commemorating the Day of Genocide of Lithuanian Jews and the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the Holocaust in Lithuania,

expressing its sincere respect for the victims of the Holocaust,

noting the uniqueness of the Holocaust,

reminding that during World War II the Nazis and their local collaborators murdered approximately 94 percent out of more than 200 000 Lithuanian citizens of Jewish origin,

recalling also the Lithuanian citizens of all other nationalities who perished from the terror of the Third Reich,

emphasising that the tragedy of the Jewish people is also a huge loss for all of Lithuania, resulting in the loss of phenomenal intellectual, cultural, political and economic potential of the country,

appreciating  the contribution of Lithuanian Jews to the creation of the State of Lithuania, the importance of Litvak culture and the importance of historical justice for the State of Lithuania and civil society,

pointing out that the Holocaust was a severe blow to European Yiddish culture,

adding that the repression of Yiddish culture perpetrated by the Soviet regime by destructing the Jewish education system and closing Vilnius Jewish Museum was one of the last blows to this European culture,

remembering the rescuers of Jews, the Righteous Among the Nations in Lithuania, who, despite the risk to their lives, were the bearers of hope and light amid the horrors of the Holocaust,

continuing the policy of national concord enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania and of the fight against all forms of anti-Semitism,

feels the moral duty of the Republic of Lithuania to support the foundation of the statehood of the Jewish people, the State of Israel, given that the majority of the Jewish people perished during the Holocaust;

calls on Lithuanian municipalities to perpetuate all sites of mass murder of Jews, to put old Jewish cemeteries in order, and to set up appropriate direction signs and interpretive displays;

stresses that monuments to those who collaborated with the Nazis and the Soviets as well as other commemorative markers must not remain in public spaces or be commemorated in educational programmes;

emphasises the need to continue the searching for the identities of Jews who perished during the Holocaust in order to perpetuate the sites of massacres with the names of the victims;

invites Lithuanian municipalities to name streets, squares and schools of cities after the Righteous Among the Nations;

proposes that Vilnius City Municipality name other public spaces of the city after Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat who 81 years ago issued Japanese transit visas to Jews fleeing war, thus saving thousands of lives;

calls on Vilnius City Municipality to implement a memorial project embodying the efforts of the Righteous Among the Nations in the place envisaged;

appreciates the initiatives and invites to continue marking the monuments of the Righteous Among the Nations with signs in their remembrance;

proposes that sufficient funds be made available for perpetuation of the remembrance at the Memorial Museum of Paneriai and an international council be set up for the arrangement of the Memorial Museum of Paneriai;

proposes that a memorial exposition be created for the Stutthof Death Camp Museum in remembrance of the Jews deported and murdered by the Nazis in the Kovno ghetto and its surroundings;

proposes that a memorial exposition be created for the Klooga Death Camp Museum in remembrance of the Jews deported and murdered by the Nazis in the Vilna ghetto and its surroundings;

appeals to the residents of Lithuania to send copies of archival photographs, documents, exhibits related to Jews who lived in the neighbourhood to the Vilna Gaon Museum of Jewish History, which is preparing a permanent exposition about the life history of Lithuanian Jews;

invites the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport of the Republic of Lithuania to continue and to expand the content of educational programmes, the teaching of Jewish culture and the history of the Holocaust;

calls for a more united understanding of history between Lithuanians and Jews through teacher seminars, visits to the Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem, and other programmes, becoming aware of the contribution of Lithuanian Jews to Lithuanian heritage and the extent of the Holocaust perpetrated by the Nazis and their local collaborators in Lithuania;

invites the Lithuanian Institute of History, the Genocide and Resistance Research Centre of Lithuania and the community of historians to make efforts to open the chapters of life stories of Lithuanian Jews unknown to the public;

adds that effective measures to prevent and combat anti-Semitism include enhanced activities to increase education and raise awareness about the Holocaust, ensuring of the security of Jewish communities and gathering places and regular monitoring of hate crimes against Jews;

asks the Government of the Republic of Lithuania to implement the 1998 Washington Principles on Nazi-Confiscated Art and to draft a law on the restitution of works of art seized by the Nazis;

calls on the Government of the Republic of Lithuania to raise in the international community the issue of the return to Lithuania of the artefacts of Judaica which were created over centuries and looted from Lithuania;

requests the Prosecutor’s Office of the Republic of Lithuania to open an international investigation into the confiscation of the Jewish People’s Bank;

invites the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania to strengthen the fraternal ties between Lithuanians and people of other nationalities from Lithuania living around the world;

welcomes the successful archaeological research of the Great Synagogue of Vilna complex (Vokiečių str. 13A, Vilnius), which led to the discovery of the Bimah, an important central part of the synagogue from which the Torah is read and where prayers are held;

notes that the former Great Synagogue of Vilna, which was one of the largest Jewish religious institutions in Eastern Europe, is an important asset of cultural heritage known as a major Jewish spiritual and educational centre and giving Vilnius the name of the Jerusalem of the North;

appreciates the desire of society and the State to preserve and perpetuate the Jewish cultural heritage created in Lithuania over centuries;

asks the National Commission for Cultural Heritage to disseminate data on cultural heritage significant to Lithuania and located abroad which is related to the activities of Lithuanian Jews in the U-HERITAGE database of cultural heritage significant to Lithuania and located abroad;

requests the Government of the Republic of Lithuania to increase funding for the Heritage Management Programme, which would allow more funds to be allocated for the management of Lithuanian Jewish heritage;

invites the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, Vilnius City Municipality, Lithuanian and foreign Jewish communities to start discussions not only on the proper presentation of the site of the Great Synagogue of Vilna, but also on its possible reconstruction.

 

 

 

Speaker of the Seimas                                                                               Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen