Roughly 200 students from Rambam Mesivta High School in Lawrence rallied outside the Lithuanian consulate to the United Nations on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan on May 2, in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day, to protest what is believed to be Lithuania’s continued Holocaust distortion.
The Lithuanian courts have validated Jonas Noreika, believed to be a Nazi war criminal, to national hero status. His granddaughter, Silvia Foti, conducted research into her family demonstrates that her grandfather was a Lithuanian Nazi collaborator who was involved in the murder of close to 15,000 Jewish men, women and children during the Holocaust.
However, the Lithuanian government continues to believes that he is a national hero. The Simon Wiesenthal Center research arm says that the Lithuanian government commissioned its Genocide and Research Center to identify Lithuanian Holocaust perpetrators.
The center came up with 2,055 names, “yet none of the names have been investigated by prosecutors ensuring that no legal action will be taken against local Nazi war criminals.” Sadly, the government of Lithuania “continues to do everything possible to avoid prosecution and punishment of Lithuanian Holocaust perpetrators,” center officials said.
“I cannot stand by and watch the deceptive distortions and revisionism by the government of Lithuania in order to validate its conduct in reforming my grandfather into a national hero,” Foti has stated. “He was not. My grandfather was a Holocaust perpetrator, and he was not alone. Lithuania has the freedom — and responsibility — to look at the actions of Lithuanians during the Holocaust. We must face our grandparents’ misdeeds. It is time.”