>Lithuania investigates ‘war crimes’ of WWII Jewish resistance fighters


Excellent report on BBC Radio 4’s Crossing Continents programme about historical memory in Lithuania, where the authorities are investigating the supposed war crimes of Jewish resistance fighters in World War II, whilst dragging their feet over prosecuting the country’s own wartime collaborators who took part in the Holocaust. Lithuania’s deputy foreign minister explains that Soviet mass deportations of the country’s elite were also a ‘genocide’. Anti-communism with an undercurrent of anti-semitism. Uncomfortable listening.

2 Responses to “>Lithuania investigates ‘war crimes’ of WWII Jewish resistance fighters”

  1. santaka13 18 July 2008 at 12:15 pm #

    >Why the inverted comments around ‘war crimes’? Is there any doubt in your mind that assisting the illegal invasion of one country (Lithuania) by another country (Russia) constitutes a war crime? This included assisting the murder or deportation to Siberia of tens of thousands of Lithuanian citizens. And don’t forget that this took place in 1941, before the German invasion, so they cannot pretend they were ‘fighting nazism’. All they were doing was aiding and abetting Russian imperialism.

  2. Sean Hanley 18 July 2008 at 3:57 pm #

    >I’m not quite sure whom ‘they’ refers to here (pro-Soviet partisans? Jewish partisans? Communists?) but the incident the programme discusses, in fact, took place in 1943, during the German occupation. There is no evidence that those concerned participated in the 1940 invasion and deportions (which the programme does discuss). The case mentioned concerned the killing by partisans in raid of Polish-speaking villagers, who refused to supply them with food. I use inverted commas because because I don’t know the full details (nor I suspect do you) and no criminal case has been brought, so legally speaking the facts have not been established. I do not know if it would qualify as a war crime. I am not a lawyer, but I suspect, that you are certainly correct to surmise that if Soviet leaders had faced a Nuremberg style indictment they would have been found guilty of war crimes for the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and subsequent invasion of the Baltic states in 1940. However, this programme was about politics and historical memory in contemporary Lithuania, not the crimes of the Soviet regime in and after 1940, which are widely known and accepted as such.

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