“Having divided Europe for half a century, World War II took dozens of millions lives. It was the great pain of the XX century, giving rise to the Holocaust and Siberia forced labour camps. As we mark the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII, we must do everything we can to safeguard peace and fates of nations and people,” Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė said during the ceremony.
According to the presidential press service, Grybauskaitė laid flowers at the monuments to Nazism and Holocaust victims as well as well as Lithuanian, Polish troops and civilians killed during WWII.
World War II was the deadliest war in human history, claiming lives of 50-85 million people, according to various sources. Around 100,000 people, mainly Jews, were killed in Paneriai during the war.
The war in Europe ended on 8 May 1945 when Germany signed the act of surrender.
After the end of WWII, Lithuanian remained occupied by the Soviet Union. 275,000 people were deported to Siberia and over 20,000 resistance participants, their family members and supporters were killed during the Soviet occupation.