Businessman promoting Jewish memory wins Person of Tolerance award

DELFI / Mindaugas Ažušilis

During the award ceremony at Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, Lithuania’s second-largest city, on Saturday, the award was presented by Nobuki Sugihara, the son of famous Japanese diplomat Chiune Sugihara who saved Jews during World War Two.

Balčiūnas was recognized for his efforts to memorialise the Jewish population of Žagarė that perished during the Holocaust.

The award is presented annually to Lithuanians who openly expressed their concern about xenophobia, anti-Semitism, religious and ethnic persecution, intolerance of dissent, manifestation of radicalism and chauvinism in the political and social spheres.

This year, the organization’s board selected the winner from five candidates, including Lithuanian Lutheran Bishop Mindaugas Sabutis, journalist Rimvydas Valatka, businessman Valdas Balčiūnas, psychologist Paulius Skruibis, as well as poet and public figure Sergey Kanovich.

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