Jerusalem – The Simon Wiesenthal Center today demanded prompt action from the Lithuanian government to identify and punish those responsible for the vandalization yesterday of the offices of the Jewish community in central Vilnius. In a letter sent today to the Lithuanian ambassador in Israel Mrs. Asta Skaisgiryté-Liauskienè, the Center’s chief Nazi-hunter, Israel director Dr. Efraim Zuroff, accused the Lithuanian authorities of failing to adequately respond to recent several anti-Semitic provocations as well as to protecting local Nazi war criminals from prosecution and instead harassing Jewish anti-Nazi Soviet partisans, all of which paved the way for yesterday’s attack on the Vilnius Jewish community.
According to Zuroff:
“Given the woefully inadequate response by the government to the neo-Nazi march through the center of Vilnius less than half a year ago, I believe that the time has come for unequivocal, resolute and immediate action to identify and punish those responsible for this anti-Semitic attack.
“There is no doubt in my mind that these outbreaks of anti-Jewish violence are the direct result of Lithuania’s failure to punish its Nazi collaborators, the recent campaign against Soviet Jewish partisans and the ongoing efforts to minimize the role of Lithuanians in the mass murder of their Jewish neighbors during the Holocaust. Today’s anti-Semitic violence is the direct result of ignoring the crimes of the past.”
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