Jonas Noreika Was Holocaust Perp, Not Righteous Gentile, Granddaughter Says

Jonas Noreika Was Holocaust Perp, Not Righteous Gentile, Granddaughter Says

Jonas Noreika: Savior or slayer of Jews?
by Silvia Foti

My maternal grandfather was declared a Rescuer of the Jews by the Lithuanian Genocide Resistance and Research Centre. This division is funded by the Lithuanian government, dedicated to establishing and enforcing the legal and official historical narrative of the nation.

The context of the pronouncement was the impending launch of my memoir The Nazi’s Granddaughter: How I Discovered My Grandfather Was a War Criminal. Reluctantly, I had come to the horrific conclusion that my grandfather, Jonas Noreika, was involved in the murder of 8,000 – 15,000 Jews in Lithuania. The book launch in March 2021 coincided with multiple lawsuits against the government of Lithuania, accusing them of Holocaust fraud; these were filed by Grant Gochin, the descendant of some of my grandfather’s victims.

Father Borevičius

A single testimony, given by the Lithuanian priest, Father Jonas Borevičius, was the well from which this decree about my grandfather was drawn. His deposition was given 40 years after the Holocaust in a court in Chicago.

I knew Father Borevičius. I grew up in Chicago, and Father Borevičius was a close friend to both my grandmother and mother. He attended many family and holiday celebrations, blessing the events and providing spiritual support. Father Borevičius and my grandfather were friends in Šiauliai. He was parish priest at the St. Ignatius Church just down the street from where my grandfather worked as the governor of the Šiauliai district during the Holocaust.

In July 1944, my grandmother and mother fled Lithuania. They were unable to obtain visas to the United States. They were diverted to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where they lived for seven years, until they could find an American sponsor. According to my father, Father Borevičius became that immigration sponsor.

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