Wiesenthal Center Expresses Grave Concern in Wake of Anti-Semitic Vandalizations of Major Lithuanian Holocaust Memorial

April 6, 2022

Jerusalem - The Simon Wiesenthal Center has expressed grave concern regarding two recent incidents, on March 31 and April 3, in which Lithuania's major Holocaust memorial at Ponar, the site of the mass murder of approximately 70,000 Jews, was smeared with anti-Semitic graffiti, ostensibly expressing support for the Russian military campaign in Ukraine. The Center's Director for Eastern European Affairs, Holocaust historian Dr. Efraim Zuroff, noted that linking the local Jewish community with the Russian invasion of Ukraine is a completely false and very dangerous accusation, which can only inspire the spread of anti-Semitism and encourage attacks on Jews and Jewish institutions.

According to Zuroff:

"These incidents are reminiscent of the false accusations of Judeo-Bolshevism which fueled the collaboration of tens of thousands oflocal Nazi collaborators in Eastern Europe during World War II and their active participation in the mass murder of hundreds of thousands of Jews, We urge the local authorities to apprehend and punish the perpetrators of these ugly incidents as quickly as possible."

For additional information please contact the Israel Office of the Wiesenthal Center: Tel: 972-2-563-1274 or Tel: 972-50-721-4156, follow the Center on Facebook, or @simonwiesenthal and @EZuroff for news updates sent directly to your Twitter feed.

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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