Jerusalem – The Simon Wiesenthal Center today issued a statement harshly condemning military exercises being held by the Lithuanian Army at the Seventh Fort in Kaunas (Kovno), the site of the mass murder of several thousand Jews in July 1941.
In a statement issued here by its director of Eastern European Affairs, Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the Center labelled the decision to conduct military training at the site “grossly insensitive,” and called upon the army to immediately halt the exercises at the mass murder site and move them to an alternate venue.
According to Zuroff:
“The original sin in this regard was the horrendous mistake of privatizing the mass murder site by the government in 2009 over the objections of the Lithuanian Jewish community. Given the fact that the area where the victims are buried is not fenced off, nor is it appropriately marked, there is a danger of the desecration of the dead. We urge the Lithuanian authorities to acknowledge their lack of sensitivity to these Holocaust victims and immediately move the military exercises elsewhere.”
For additional information please contact the Israel Office of the Wiesenthal Center: