Lithuania’s Foreign Ministry honours memory of Holocaust victims
On 26 January, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania together with the Lithuanian Jewish Community marked the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
“The Holocaust in Lithuania is a scar on the face of our country. We must remember and do our utmost in order to prevent this tragedy from happening again,” said the Minister Linas Linkevičius. Lithuania’s Foreign Minister addressed himself to the Holocaust survivors who attended the commemoration – Prof. Markas Petuchauskas, Fania Brancovskaja, and others – and expressed his respect for those, who were no longer among us. He also highlighted the important role of foreign diplomats who were instrumental in saving the Jews. According to Lithuania’s Foreign Minister, every diplomat must feel obliged to help people, despite their ethnicity.
Lithuania’s Foreign Minister reminded everyone of the salvaged Lithuanian Jewish cultural heritage and the recent discovery of YIVO’s archives and books. “Lithuania’s history is impossible without the Jews, and the history of the Jews is impossible without Lithuania,” said L. Linkevičius.
The Chair of the Jewish Community of Lithuania Faina Kukliansky and the Israeli Embassy’s Deputy Head of Mission Efrat Hochstetler also welcomed the participants of the commemorative event. The opera singer Rafailas Karpis performed the Kaddish (the Mourner’s prayer) by Maurice Ravel. The exhibition of photographs by Mečys Brazaitis, entitled the “Vilna Jewish Quarter”, was opened during the event.
The event was attended by representatives of the Lithuanian Jewish Community, former prisoners of the Vilna and Kovno Jewish ghettos, foreign diplomats residing in Lithuania, and members of various cultural organizations.
In 2005, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution to designate 27 January as the International Holocaust Remembrance Day in memory of the victims of the Holocaust.
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