Lithuanian prosecutors start to investigate alleged Holocaust perpetrators on list

The Lithuanian Jewish Community recently wrote a letter to the Prosecutor General’s Office, asking it to investigate and bring the perpetrators to justice.

The office has said in a statement it will “look into the information” supplied by the Centre and will then decide on launching proceedings against perpetrators who are still alive.

The Prosecutor General’s Office also said that it could ask Lithuania’s Supreme Court to revoke rehabilitation of individuals who had been prosecuted for involvement in killings of Jews by the Soviets, but were later vindicated.

Some of the latter include members of Lithuania’s post-war anti-Soviet resistance who have been granted posthumous honours for heroism.

However, there are limitations to starting proceedings against Holocaust perpetrators, including the statute of limitations on some crimes, the Office said.

The list of Holocaust perpetrators, which has not been made public, was reportedly handed over to the Government Chancellery four years ago.

Teresė Burauskaitė, the director of the Genocide and Resistance Research Centre, has confirmed that the list exists.

“We decided we had to check the so-called Melaned list, which included references to names like [anti-Soviet partisan fighters] Juozas Lukša, Adolfas Ramanauskas and others. It contained over 4,000 names. For three years, our researchers worked to identify the persons, which resulted in a list of over 1,000 Lithuanians who were involved in the Holocaust,” Burauskaitė recently told DELFI. “This does not mean, however, that they all killed Jews.”

She said that the researchers looked into criminal files and documents of a Soviet commission that investigated killings of Jews after World War Two. They found about 900 more people who had not been included in the original Melamed list.

In all, Burauskaitė says, there is evidence about some 2,000 Lithuanians who took part in the Holocaust, although not all of them were directly involved in the killings.

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