Event at Foreign Ministry commemorates Holocaust victims
On 28 January, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania, together with representatives of the Jewish (Litvak) Community of Lithuania, commemorated the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
“The Holocaust has left terrible scars on the faces of the humankind and of Lithuania. Such wounds will probably never heal. We hope and seek to make sure this never happens again. We are very grateful to all the survivors of the Holocaust who came from near and far to be here with us today. When celebrating the 300th anniversary of the birth of the Vilna Gaon, we wish Vilnius to reignite its attraction to Jews from around the world and to be once again called the Jerusalem of the North," said the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Lithuania Linas Linkevičius, who presented the Holocaust survivors with red roses.
The Vilnius Sholem Aleichem ORT Gymnasium Children's Choir performed three songs in Hebrew, Yiddish, and Lithuanian.
Israel's Ambassador to Lithuania Yossef Levy, the Chair of the Jewish (Litvak) Community of Lithuania Faina Kukliansky, and the famous Lithuanian theatre critic and art historian, Dr. Markas Petuchauskas delivered speeches.
The Holocaust survivors, representatives of the Lithuanian Jewish Community, members of the Seimas (Parliament), foreign diplomats who reside in Lithuania, and members of various cultural organizations attended the event.
The author and producer Dominykas Kubilius spoke about the Lithuanian people, who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust and presented the second season of the documentary series about the Righteous among the Nations.
An exhibition of photos “Historical Jewish Places and Spaces in Lithuania” by Saulius Paukštis was also opened on the occasion of the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. From 1941 to 1945, mass destruction dealt a fatal blow to Jews in Lithuania and elsewhere in Europe. Their cultural heritage has also been severely affected. A big number of important historical objects of the Jewish Community have been either damaged or destroyed. However, today, in various Lithuanian towns and villages, one can still visit sites and buildings that witness to the past. The author makes use of the Van Dyke brown printing process to create images of the remaining historical Jewish objects in Lithuania.
In 2005, the United Nations General Assembly designated 27 January as an annual International Day of Commemoration to honor the victims of the Holocaust.