- The Simon Wiesenthal Center today responded with dismay
and consternation to a communication from EU Ambassador
to Afghanistan Vygaudas Ušackes to its chief Nazi-hunter,
Israel director Dr. Efraim Zuroff, following his criticism
of an op-ed by Ušackes in the Wall Street Journal in
which the ambassador referred to the Nazi occupation
of Lithuania as "a few years' respite from the Communists".
In a statement issued here today, the Center noted that rather than rectifying
his grossly insensitive remark about the Holocaust, Ambassador
Ušackes has again insulted its victims, especially those
murdered in his homeland.
According to Zuroff:
Ušackes was expected to do was to admit that his original
comment was inappropriate and apologize for his lack
of sensitivity to the fate of Lithuanian Jewry during
Instead, he chose to defend
his callous indifference to the murder of some 212,000
Lithuanian Jews during the Nazi occupation, by complaining
about the imbalance in public opinion between "Nazi crimes which have been universally condemned by all civilized humanity", and "the crimes of Stalin's regime - and the tragedy of its victims", which only received recognition more recently, as if this justifies ignoring
And while he did condemn Holocaust
crimes in general, he did not say a word about those
committed by Lithuanian Nazi collaborators.
to honestly deal with his country's bloody Holocaust
past raises serious doubts about his ability to properly
represent the European Union".