Tuesday, September 22, Vilnius – On the occasion of the National Memorial Day for the Genocide of Lithuanian Jews, President Dalia Grybauskaitė awarded the Life Saving Cross to those who despite grave danger to their families and themselves saved Jews from the Nazi genocide during World War II.
“We are proud of those brave men and women who overcame egoism, disregarded the instinct of self-preservation and did what seemed to be the impossible. Today we can say that their act was priceless,” the President said.
According to the President, to help people persecuted by the Nazis – such was the noble mission of Lithuanians who rescued Jews during World War II. It was a genuine sign of true friendship between Lithuanians and Jews who had lived in peace and harmony for very many years.
Although many of those decorated today are no longer among us, the President said, their heroism lives on in our hearts and in our minds. It should inspire and give strength to each and every person at all times and in every place to defend freedom, protect fellow man and promote democracy.
The President sincerely thanked all those who – although exhausted by war and persecution – saved lives and attested humanity as well as those whose work and dedication had kept this memory alive.
The Life Saving Cross was conferred on 47 persons by presidential decree.