President of the Republic of Lithuania

Litvaks – important part of Lithuania

2013-09-23

Monday, September 23, Vilnius - On National Memorial Day for the Genocide Victims of the Lithuanian Jews, President Dalia Grybauskaitė extended her greetings to the participants of the Fourth World Congress of Litvaks.

"Litvaks are an important part of Lithuania's cultural, social and everyday life. Throughout the ages, Lithuania - and especially Vilnius - was known as the house of tolerance. Litvaks were and continue to be part of our shared, common culture. Therefore, our task today is to recreate what we can and to remember what we can no longer bring back. The history of Lithuanian Jews and the Holocaust must take its proper place in our memory and in our school textbooks," the President said.

Dalia Grybauskaitė underlined that this was a year of opportunity since Lithuania was presiding over the Council of the European Union. We must never forget the past and work together for our future, she said.

"Nothing brings people closer together than friendship and better mutual understanding. Therefore, I call on all Litvaks to create youth exchange programs: between Lithuania and Israel, between Lithuanians and Jews in other countries," the President said.

She pointed out that Lithuania was a nation of information technology, lasers and, most importantly, well-educated and hard-working people. We are presently the fastest growing country in the European Union, the President said, so I invite you to invest and start joint businesses here in Lithuania.

According to Dalia Grybauskaitė, only by working together can we preserve what some would rather have us forget - our shared history, culture and our life together, side by side.

The President emphasized that Lithuania's Righteous Among the Nations who helped save the Jews had to be remembered, and their acts of courage and human decency commemorated.

Copyright - Dž. G. Barysaitė

Press Service of the President

Last updated 2013.09.23 17:43

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