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Mayor of Vilnius removes memorial signs honouring alleged Nazi collaborators

 

A commemorative plaque honouring Jonas Noreika, a Lithuanian general who allegedly collaborated with the Nazis during World War II, was taken down on Saturday in the capital of Vilnius. This action follows the city’s decision just several days earlier to change the name of the Kazys Skirpa Street, which honoured another alleged collaborator.

“Vilnius is an open city that values freedom and respect, which means people that collaborated with totalitarian regimes or have shown contempt for their fellow citizens should not be celebrated as heroes here. This is why I decided to take down the memorial signs for both Skirpa and Noreika, who despite their efforts to fight the enemies of Lithuania, acted unjustifiably by collaborating with Nazi officials,” says Mayor of Vilnius Remigijus Simasius.

High-ranking military officers Jonas Noreika and Kazys Skirpa were both long-honoured in Vilnius for their roles in the fight for Lithuania’s independence from the Soviet Union. However, some historical sources have revealed their involvement in actions related to the Holocaust.

The commemorative plaque for Jonas Noreika was permanently taken down from an external wall of Lithuania’s Academy of Sciences.

The former Kazys Skirpa Street, which is located in the heart of Vilnius Old Town, will be renamed Tricolour Alley in honour of the Lithuanian flag.