To mark the international day against fascism and anti-Semitism, the Lithuanian Jewish Community held a large international conference November 9 called “Remembrance, Responsibility, Future” which attracted well-known scholars and media attention. Speakers discussed whether commemoration of painful historical events can serve as a bridge to understanding contemporary politics and prevent such events in the future.
LJC chairwoman Faina Kukliansky, US ambassador Anne Hall, German ambassador Angelika Viets and deputy chief of mission for the Israeli embassy Efrat Hochtetler welcomed conference participants.
The goal of the conference was to come up with effective recommendations for fighting anti-Semitism and Romophobia in Lithuania. The conference showcased the intersection of historical memory and contemporary forms of hate in Lithuania.
It was held as part of the project “Drafting and Publication of Recommendations for Action to Fight Anti-Semitism and Romophobia in Lithuania” supported by Germany’s EVZ foundation, which supports systematic long-term research into discrimination against and the marginalization of Roma and Jews in Europe. The Goodwill Foundation also supports this project.
The main presentation was by US historian and professor Saulius Sužiedėlis. The title of his presentation was “Warning of History: Origins and Development of Anti-Semitism in Lithuania,” covering the topic from the 19th century through anti-Jewish propaganda during the Holocaust into the present time, and examined how ideology and specific political, social and economic factors shaped anti-Semitic stereotypes and the social environment.
Šarūnas Liekis, Vygantas Vareikis, Linas Venclauskas, Violeta Davoliūtė and Charles Perrin also gave presentations to a large audience who listened intently to the new information in the well-prepared lectures.