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Prime Minister on Holocaust: words ‘never again’ must become the air we breathe every day

Date

2022 09 24

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On September 23, the day of commemoration of the Genocide of the Lithuanian Jews, Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė has taken part in events held in Rūdninkai Square and Paneriai paying tribute to victims of the Holocaust in Lithuania.

After the Memory Road procession, Prime Minister I. Šimonytė has participated in a ceremony dedicated to the memory of the victims of the genocide of Lithuanian Jews at the Paneriai Memorial.

‘Today, as every year, we gather in the pine forest of Aukštieji Paneriai, remembering the greatest tragedy of the 20th century. It is a place permeated with pain and endless heartache. Paneriai is a painful echo of the name of death. I can only imagine what it feels for the Holocaust survivors and relatives of those killed in Paneriai to come here.

We can only dream of how we would live today, what Lithuania would have been like if it were not for the blind brutal hatred where lives of innocent people no longer mattered. The Shoah mercilessly destroyed everything—people, their dreams, their talents, their relationships—and it did so under the guise of conspiracy theories, absurd deductions, and fear of otherness. Our state and nation, and the destinies of our people fell into pieces. Jerusalem of Lithuania ceased to exist’, said Prime Minister I. Šimonytė.

Until now, we believed that these were the most painful mistakes of the past, times of madness that have nothing to do with the present, said the Head of the Government, but the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the atrocities in Bucha, Borodianka, Irpiny, Mariupol, Izyum made it painfully clear that hatred and cruelty will not go away on their own.

According to the Prime Minister, this clearly shows how important it is not only to repeat the words ‘never again’ but to live them and make them the air we breathe every day.

‘We are learning the lessons of history every day. And we come to fully realise that we all must do our part for the world to hear the pain of the victims, for the truth to prevail and never be hidden again and rest there for good and all, irrespective of the challenges. I firmly believe that we will all do everything together, protecting the common values of humanity, the unique heritage of Litvaks and educating the younger generation in the spirit of humanism.

If this happens, those lying here will be resting in peace’, said the Prime Minister.