Prime Minister: ‘never again’ are neither mere nor declarative words


2019 01 28

S.Skvernelis dalyvavo Tarptautinės Holokausto aukų dienos minėjime  .jpg

Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis took part in the conference marking the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, held by the Jews from Vilnius and Vicinity in Israel ‘Beit Vilna’.

The Prime Minister underlined that almost 8 decades on from the tragedy of the Holocaust, the history of suffering is still a never-healing wound in Europe. The world has changed after World War II and the Holocaust, yet it will take long for families, societies and nations to recover from the traumas.

The Prime Minister pointed out that the State and history of Lithuania is inseparable from the Jews having lived there. Last year, as the Centennial of the Restoration of Statehood of Lithuania was celebrated, Jews were remembered also for their invaluable contribution in building and consolidating the State. Many Jews volunteered to the Lithuanian Armed Forces, while others became prominent cultural and political personalities, lawyers and businessmen of the Republic of Lithuania.

Since the restoration of independence, Lithuania has been carrying a responsible policy with respect to the Jewish community, while particularly focussing on the problems facing the Lithuanian Jewish community. It is pleasing that the tiny Jewish community is well-integrated into the Lithuanian society and takes an active part in the public life.

“We will not tolerate any manifestations of antisemitism. The Government and every citizen have common obligation: to recognize and stop this from happening. A year ago, in January 2018, the Lithuanian Government approved the definition of antisemitism used by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). ‘Never again’ are neither mere nor declarative words. They signify an important commitment to prevent the recurrence of the tragedy and to state clearly that there is no place for antisemitism in Lithuania.”

Saulius Skvernelis said he was grateful to all the Jewish people living in Lithuania and around the world, who are attached to the homeland of their ancestors despite the tragedy that they had suffered here. The Prime Minister was certain that the Righteous Among the Nations, both those honoured by Yad Vashem and those who have remained unnoticed, help us to continue in hope that the good will prevail.  The delegation of the Prime Minister included Faina Kukliansky, Chairperson of the Lithuanian Jewish Community.

According to the Prime Minister, we cannot forget or delete history while building our future. This is our shared commitment. The Prime Minister invited everyone to work jointly for the future, for the better world, while respecting the tragedies of the past.