Vilnius’s main synagogue shut its doors after the mayor denied city honors to two Holocaust enablers, prompting threats. It has since reopened, but the controversy over how to deal with the past has hardly died down.
This was never going to be an easy decision. The mayor of Vilnius, Remigijus Simasius, knew a storm was coming when he signed a decree on July 24 changing the name of Kazys Skirpa Street and days later another, to remove a memorial plaque dedicated to Jonas Noreika from the library of the country’s Academy of Sciences.
A small group of radical nationalists held a rally in central Vilnius to protest the mayor’s decrees, railing against “traitors who spit at the memory of the nation’s great sons.” Vilnius’s synagogue was temporarily closed. The president’s office tabled a meeting to address, among other issues, renaming streets and memorial plaques, the BNS news agency reported.
The most sensitive issue of Lithuania’s past–the Holocaust–had ignited passions once again.
Full story in English here.