Lithuania investigates war criminals

An investigation by a Vilnius-based academic centre has pinpointed over 1000 possible Lithuanian war criminals believed to have actively taken part in the Holocaust.

Although this number is likely to double by the time that the investigation ends in 2013, it is unlikely that there will be further cases brought to court.

Terese Birute Burauskaite, head of the Genocide Resistance and Research Center, has clarified that the overwhelming majority of those involved in such crimes were dealt with by Soviet courts in the wake of World War II.

However, it is probable that the entire list that is currently being prepared by the Vilnius centre will ultimately be made public.

Mrs Burauskaite will pass on the list to Lithuania's justice authoritoes when it is complete, but she believes that no war criminal is still alive on Lithuanian territory.

About 220,000 Jews lived in Lithuania prior to the war, and Vilnius was considered a Jerusalem of northern Europe, such was the importance of its Jewish community.

About 5000 Jews live in Lithuania today.


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