Lithuanian MP and chairman of the parliament’s Commission on the Fight for Freedom and Historical Memory Arūnas Gumuliauskas announced earlier he is drafting a parliamentary resolution saying the Lithuanian state and the Lithuanian people are guiltless in the mass murder of Jews during WWII. The announcement made in mid-December provoked public discussion and it seems the author, who said earlier Lithuania’s position on the Holocaust cannot be the same as the West’s, has changed his mind and is now citing resolutions adopted by the European Parliament in 2009 and 2019 as the foundation for his resolution.
Lithuanian Jewish Community chairwoman Faina Kukliansky refrained from any categorical comment on the planned resolution because of the lack of information surrounding it.
“We only know about this draft from the press, so it’s very difficult to judge it, because we just don’t what it really says,” Kukliansky told alfa.lt
She explained the Litvak diaspora has never accused the entire Lithuanian nation of bearing collective responsibility for the Holocaust. “The worst thing about the draft resolution is, it’s formulated in such a way that we are forced to explain that we never said all Lithuanians murdered Jews. We have never talked of collective responsibility, so this draft as I understand it is over the top, it doesn’t have a foundation. We don’t need to begin these sorts of discussions on this issue, it’s just over the top,” Kukliansky said.
Commenting earlier in the Jerusalem Post, chairwoman Kukliansky said she was disappointed on the lack of reaction to MP Gumuliaskas’s proposal.
“Someone must have the courage to talk about this. Someone wants to adopt a law in parliament, so we’ll focus on the problem and stop it [or him]. No one should be initiating anything like this,” she reportedly said.
“If everyone remains silent and smiling, then this reminds Jews of the same situation which existed before the war,” she reportedly told the Israeli press.
MP Gumuliauskas said his draft resolution won’t be heard in parliament on January 14 and said the public can read it when it’s done. “You have to wait until I register it, and only then can you read it. But right now it’s being polished, all the legal positions and so on, there is still work to do, it’s going on but isn’t done yet,” he said.
Journalists Didn’t Understand
Speaking earlier to the Lithuanian news website 15min.lt, the MP said “We cannot hold the same view of the Holocaust as in Western Europe,” but when alfa.lt contacted him he started claiming his resolution isn’t connected with the Holocaust and that reporters were responsible for the misunderstanding.
“This document isn’t about the Holocaust. This document is about World War II war crimes in Lithuania. Reporters have interpreted this very loosely and I would say that’s what led to such a negative reaction. I’d like to stress this isn’t legislation, it’s a resolution, and that the document is still being drafted and is not about the Holocaust and Jews specifically, but about war crimes in Lithuania during World War II,” the Lithuanian MP and parliamentary commission chairman said.
Full text in Lithuanian here.
Note: As www.lzb.lt has pointed out in previous articles about this, any resolution absolving the Lithuanian state of complicity in the Holocaust ipso facto and de facto rejects any claims to legitimacy for the pro-Nazi Lithuanian Provisional Government and the pro-Nazi Lithuanian Activist Front who seized power during the Nazi invasion in late June of 1941.