Lithuanian holocaust denial sparks European outrage

  • 2010-11-26
  • TBT Staff

The Lithuanian Jewish community was almost entirely wiped out during WWII.

VILNIUS - Embassies from seven European countries have sent a joint letter of protest to the Lithuanian government and president over comments from a Lithuanian Interior Ministry official denying the holocaust.

In a column for Veidas, one of Lithuania's largest and most popular weeklies, historian and interior ministry advisor Dr Petras Stankeras said that the holocaust was a "legend" and that the Nuremberg trial was "the biggest legal farce in history".

"It is also important that during the Nurnberg Trial the legend about six million supposedly murdered Jews acquired a legal basis, even though the court did not have a single document signed by A. Hitler concerning the extermination of Jews (this document, if it ever existed, has not been found to this day, although a million dollar reward has been promised)," the column said.

The ambassadors of Britain, France, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Holland and Finland on Thursday sent a letter of protest condemning the article and the fact that there "have been no public or official condemnation of Mr Stankeras's views".

The Simon Wiesenthal Center also condemned the comments and called on the state to prosecute Stankeras.

The editor of Veidas said in an interview with the Baltic News Service that the historian had meant to assert that 4 million, rather than 6 million, had been killed and that due to an editorial error the meaning had been misconstrued.

Stankeras resigned from his position Friday.