Lithuania to look at its wartime record

By Simon Rocker, January 20, 2011
Before the Shoah: Lithuanian Jews in Vilnius pre-war

Before the Shoah: Lithuanian Jews in Vilnius pre-war

The Lithuanian Embassy in London is jointly sponsoring a conference next month which will address "sensitive" questions about the country's wartime record.

Daiva Parulskiene, the embassy's cultural attaché, said it was the first time it had been involved with such an event, to be held at University College London on February 6-7.

Ms Parulskiene said: "Its main purpose is to gather academicians and specialists to try to understand the reason behind extreme violence on the part of Lithuanians in 1941 and who was involved in pogroms.

"These are highly sensitive questions for Lithuanians to discuss. However, there is understanding that this process is important and unavoidable.

"Even if it is not the beginning of the conversation, I very much hope it will be a worthy discussion about the events of 60 years ago."

The embassy is supporting a related exhibition at London's Spiro Ark in Marylebone and events at West London Synagogue.

Lithuania has declared this year as a year of remembrance for the victims of the Holocaust.

But its government has caused controversy by leading attempts to get Europe to recognise "double genocide" - which would equate the crimes of Stalinism with those of the Nazis.

Last updated: 2:12pm, January 20 2011