Wiesenthal Center Calls for Prosecution of Senior Lithuanian Ministry of Interior Specialist Who Denied the Holocaust

November 25, 2010

Zuroff: Government-Sponsored Holocaust Distortion Paves the Way for Denial

Jerusalem – The Simon Wiesenthal Center today called upon the Lithuanian government to prosecute Lithuanian Ministry of the Interior senior specialist Petras Stankeras, who called the Holocaust a “legend” and denied the murder of six million Jews in an article he published in the November 14 issue of the news weekly Veidas. In a statement issued here by its Israel director, Holocaust historian Dr. Efraim Zuroff , the Center welcomed Stankeras’ resignation today, but noted that Holocaust denial is a criminal offense in Lithuania and urged the implementation of the law in this case for the first time ever.

According to Zuroff:

“As shocking as the article by Stankeras was, it is hardly surprising to see Holocaust denial in a popular mainstream publication, in a country in which the government itself is actively promoting Holocaust distortion by seeking to gain recognition that Communist crimes are equivalent to those of the Nazis. If we add the abysmal failure to punish a single Lithuanian Holocaust perpetrator and the tendency to minimize or hide the role of Lithuanians in the mass murder of Jews, Stankeras’ article is only the tip of a very dangerous iceberg of lies and distortion.”

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

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