VILNIUS – Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda has on Tuesday presented state awards to Jews savers.
37 people were awarded Life Saving Crosses for saving Jews from the Nazi genocide during WWII, despite deadly danger for them and their families.
Almost all of them were awarded posthumously.
"Every September, as we mark the National Memorial Day for the Genocide of Lithuanian Jews, we honor the memory of Lithuanian Jewish citizens who were killed during World War II. We also pay respect to Jew savers – the people who had the courage to stand against the occupying regime, despite the deadly danger for them and their families," the president said during the award ceremony.
This year marks 80 years since the genocide of Jews started in Lithuania. Moreover, September 23 is marked as the National Memorial Day for the Genocide of Lithuanian Jews in Lithuania. On that day, the Vilna Jewish Ghetto was liquidated in 1943.
Around 195,000 Jews were killed in Lithuania during WWII.
Some 208,000 Jewish people lived in Lithuania before WWII, according to the Genocide and Resistance Research Center of Lithuania.