by Sigitas Parulskis
When I think about Lithuanian anti-Semitism, there is a lack of reasoning. How can you hate someone who isn’t there? And there are almost no Jews left in Lithuania. It would be the same as being afraid of or hating the Wizard of Oz because he didn’t give you a brain.
Lithuanian anti-Semitism’s list of grievances, its casus belli, was fully formed in the period from 1939 to 1941. The loss of the Klaipeda region, the Soviet occupation, deportation, massacres, the Nazi invasion–all good reasons to look for a culprit. And here we are, still afflicted by this hapless anti-Semitism. Is it in our subconscious? In our genes? We are no longer living under conditions of occupation and war, so where does this anachronism come from?
Is it possible for us to overcome our warped relationship with Jews? Everything’s possible, if there’s a will and reason. And this is a political rather than a cultural relationship. The political man proclaims truth is on my side, while the cultural man asks what in the hell truth is anyway, and to me this question seems more interesting, more imaginative and more human.
Full text in Lithuanian here.