Jerusalem – The Simon Wiesenthal Center today expressed a measure of relief that the fabricated case for war crimes against former Yad Vashem Chairman and Holocaust historian Dr. Yitzchak Arad was finally closed with no legal action taken, but warned that greater scrutiny was required to deal with what it termed “the far more serious problem of Lithuanian Holocaust distortion and blame deflection.” In a statement issued today in Jerusalem by its chief Nazi-hunter, Israel director Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the Center noted its grave concern over the campaign being waged by the Lithuanian authorities to create a false symmetry between Nazi and Communist crimes as part of a deliberate effort to hide the scope and extent of Lithuanian criminality during the Holocaust.
According to Zuroff:
“The case against Dr. Arad is only the tip of an ugly iceberg created in Vilnius by government officials and institutions determined to hide the truth about the critical and extremely significant role played by local Nazi collaborators in the annihilation of Lithuanian Jewry and the mass murder of Jews in Belarus and Poland. Thus the Lithuanians did everything possible to avoid prosecution of their own Nazi war criminals, and when pressured to prosecute the three cases brought to trial [Lileikis, Gimzauskas, and Dailide], made sure by devious legal tactics that none of the three would ever be punished, thereby reinforcing the myth propagated by the authorities that only a few local hooligans mistreated Jews. The latest campaign to prosecute Soviet anti-Nazi Jewish partisans was merely another link in this chain of historical duplicity and distortion. It’s high time that the truth about the Shoa will finally be told in Vilnius and the investigations of Jewish partisans Rachel Margolis and Fania Brantsovsky be closed as well.”