US Ambassador Calls on Ukmergė Mayor to Remove Monument to Lithuanian Nazi

US Ambassador Calls on Ukmergė Mayor to Remove Monument to Lithuanian Nazi

Photos: Grant Gochin via Times of Israel

According to an article on the webpage of Lithuanian State Radio and Television, US ambassador to Lithuania Robert Gilchrist did more than just attend events to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day. According to the report, he sent a letter to the mayor of Ukmergė (Yiddish Vilkomir), Rolandas Janickas, asking a a monument be erected at the site where around 10,000 Jews murdered there in the Holocaust, and asking an existing monument to Lithuanian Holocaust perpetrator Juozas Krikštaponis be removed from its location at the central park in the small Lithuanian town north of Vilnius.

According to Lithuanian State Radio and Television, copies of the letter were sent to speaker of parliament Viktorija Čmilytė-Nielsen, Lithuanian culture minister Simonas Kairys, Lithuanian foreign minister Garbielius Landsbergis and director of the Center for the Study of the Genocide and Resistance of Residents of Lithuania Arūnas Bubnys.

He also wants the plaque to Jonas Noreika in central Vilnius removed. According to the US embassy’s website, ambassador Gilchrist said the following in an address on Holocaust Remembrance Day at the National Gallery of Art in Vilnius:

“I would like to express appreciation to the Speaker, the government, and the Seimas for the recent passage of legislation to provide symbolic compensation for heirless and pending claims on private property lost by Jewish Lithuanians during the Holocaust. I also commend you for the passage of legislation that would direct removal of monuments to totalitarian and authoritarian regimes, which includes Nazi collaborators who participated in the Holocaust. I hope this will lead to the swift removal of such monuments, including to Juozas Krištaponis in Ukmergė and Jonas Noreika here in Vilnius.”

Full article in Lithuanian here.
Ambassador Gilchrist’s full address here.
Background here.