War Hero or Nazi Collaborator? Family Partners with Victim’s Kin to Expose Truth
Vilnius trial will see whether Jonas Noreika was whitewashed by Lithuania’s Genocide and Resistance Research Center; his granddaughter says he did his best to help Nazis kill Jews
by Robert Philpot
LONDON–Seventy years after he was shot by the Soviets, the reputation of Jonas Noreika goes on trial in Lithuania next week.
Noreika–a hero to many in the Baltic state for resisting Communist subjugation of their country–stands accused of being a Nazi collaborator complicit in the Holocaust.
The case before the Vilnius Regional Administrative Court charges the state-funded Genocide and Resistance Research Center of Lithuania with intentionally distorting the role of Noreika in the murder of Jews.
It has been brought by Grant Gochin, a Lithuanian citizen living in the US whose relatives were among Noreika’s victims.
In an extraordinary twist, Gochin’s effort is being actively supported by Noreika’s granddaughter. Silvia Foti has spent more than two decades investigating “General Storm,” as her grandfather is known to many in his former homeland. Her conclusion is brutal: “Jonas Noreika willingly played a role in cleansing Lithuania of Jews. He did everything in his power to help the Nazis kill Jews, and nothing to stop them.”
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