Since 1945, the word Holocaust has been used for the genocide of millions of European Jews, as well as members of some other persecuted groups, by the German Nazi regime during World War II. A book by Ruta Vanagaite and Efraim Zuroff about the Holocaust in Lithuania has recently been translated to Swedish. An article in Swedish explains why 27,000 copies of the original book are being destroyed. This is a translation of part of the article:
The Holocaust in Lithuania distinguished itself in several ways. In no other country (with a larger Jewish population) in the Europe occupied by Hitler, such a large proportion of the Jewish inhabitants were exterminated.
Of the 220,000 Jews that existed before the war, 96 percent were killed. Only 8,000 survived. The participation of the indigenous people in the Holocaust was unique in its scope, as about 20,000 Lithuanians participated in some form. In addition, the Lithuanians took an active part in the extermination of the Jews also in Belarus.
The country has not seriously dealt with its past. War criminals are still hailed today as heroes and streets and squares are named after people who participated in the murdering.
Since Ruta Vanagaite released the book Mūsiškiai or “Our People” in Lithuania a few years ago, she has continued to dig in history. But the authorities in Lithuania and the public opinion have proved extremely sensitive to her research.
Read also about Lithuania’s Museum of Holocaust Denial.