Lithuanian chutzpah

By Baruch Shuv

Earlier this month it was announced that historian Dr. Yitzhak Arad, former chairman of the Yad Vashem Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority, might be interrogated about his past as a partisan if he visited Lithuania.

Arad, who served in the Palmach (the elite strike force of the Haganah, the pre-state underground Jewish militia) and reached the rank of brigadier general as the Israel Defense Forces’ chief education officer, was invited to Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital, to participate in the deliberations of the committee investigating Nazi and Soviet crimes in Lithuania. But ahead of his visit, the Lithuanian newspaper Republika accused him of wrongdoing during World War II. In addition, right-wing extremists called on the Lithuanian attorney general to open an investigation.

This is not the first time this newspaper has expressed anti-Semitic and fascist ideas. It is also no secret that Republika has come out in favor of Nazi collaborators serving in the Gestapo, who murdered hundreds of thousands of Jews and are still wandering around free. Now Lithuania’s judicial objectivity will be put to the test.