General Storm Jonas Noreika with his future wife Antanina Karpavičiūtė, Palanga circa 1936

General Storm: what is the worth of the Pakalniškis attestation about Noreika?

It wasn’t by chance that I spoke about my meeting with the daughter of Jonas Noreika – General Storm, Dalia Noreikaitė Kučėnienė, and the broad conversation that I had with her. I resolved to remember […]

Vidmantas Valiušaitis

Vidmantas Valiušaitis. Regarding Škirpa – my Dear Mayor, the truth is rather to the contrary

The recent assertion by the Mayor of Vilnius, Remigijus Šimašius, regarding the Lithuanian diplomat and military officer, Col. Kazys Škirpa, and the pending attempt to “recall” the dedication of the street in Vilnius in his honour, compels me to respond. I do so in the name of truth and justice. The mayor opines that, while he concedes that Col. Škirpa was one of the first military volunteers to raise the Lithuanian flag at Gediminas Castle, on the other hand, he also allegedly called for the removal of the Jews. The Mayor goes on to say, “I am not inclined to agree that people, who have made such a declaration, be honoured by naming a street after them,” and he further asserts that “discussion on the matter has taken place” and now awaits “the decision of the Vilnius City Council on the matter.” […]

Sergejus Kanovičius

For Your Freedom and Ours?

For our freedom and yours, we heard this motto during the independence movement in 1990 inviting everyone–Lithuanians, us Jews, and others–to rally to fight for independence. And we rallied, believing that in that Lithuania–the Lithuania of today–we would all be equal, and not just before God. We thought we’d be equal before memory, and before our history. As brothers and sisters. Are we equal in memory? Are we equal before history? […]

Robert van Voren

Remove indecent monuments of a painful past

In the summer of 2015 Vilnius municipality removed four Soviet statutes on the Green Bridge linking the suburb Šnipiskes with the city center. The statutes represented farmers, students, industrial workers and “defenders of peace”, depicting Soviet soldiers who liberated the city from the Nazis in 1944 and subsequently imposed the second Soviet occupation. The statutes were a prime example of Soviet realism and for Soviet standards quite innocent: there was little heroism to be seen, no images of political leaders like Lenin or Stalin, just examples of four classes of Soviet citizens being part of Soviet life. Yet for Vilnius mayor Remigijus Šimašius they depicted a lie and for that reason should not be retained: “The statues represent a lie. Their heroic portrayal of the Soviet people – that is all a lie … The statues are a mockery of the real people who had to live during the Soviet period.” […]