Wiesenthal Center Harshly Criticizes Call by Eastern European Leaders to the European Union to "Preserve Historical Memory"

July 28, 2022

Jerusalem-The Simon Wiesenthal Center's Director for Eastern European Affairs, Holocaust historian Dr. Efraim Zuroff, has harshly criticized a recent urgent call to the EU by the leaders of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Romania, to "preserve historical memory" in light of Russia's recent attempts to "manipulate historical facts." 

In an op-ed in The Times of Israel, Zuroff pointed to the systematic steps taken by all five countries to distort Holocaust history, and especially to hide or minimize the highly significant role of local collaborators in the mass murder of Jews.

According to Dr. Zuroff:

"Each of these countries has produced its own false narrative of the events of the Shoah, either extremely minimizing or completely erasing the highly significant role played by their own local Nazi collaborators. It must be noted that only in Eastern Europe did collaboration with the Nazis include participation in the systematic mass murder of Jews. None of them is ready to admit the full scope and significance of their complicity and culpability.

"There is, of course, no doubt that the Russians are manipulating history to justify the invasion of Ukraine. Nevertheless, a plea by these leaders to “preserve historical memory,” is the height of hypocrisy and chutzpah. Before making demands on the EU, let them begin to practice what they preach at home."

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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