Jerusalem – The Simon Wiesenthal Center today welcomed the removal early Saturday morning by the Vilnius municipality of a plaque honoring Lithuanian Nazi collaborator Jonas Noreika, who played an important role in the annihilation of Jews in northwestern Lithuania during the Holocaust.
In a statement issued here today by its Director of Eastern European Affairs, Holocaust historian Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the Center emphasized the importance of the removal of the plaque honoring Noreika from the façade of the library of the Lithuanian Academy of Science.
According to Zuroff:
“The removal of the plaque honoring Noreika is an important step in the efforts to stop the glorification of Lithuanian anti-Soviet heroes who participated in Holocaust crimes. While turning anti-Soviet fighters into national heroes is understandable, those who participated in the murder of Jews should not be granted that status. We hope that other honors granted to members of the 12th Lithuanian Auxiliary Police Battalion, for example, which murdered thousands of Jews in Belarus in 1941-1942, will similarly be removed.”
For additional information please contact the Israel Office of the Wiesenthal Center: