Old website version during the term of office of acting President Artűras Paulauskas (2004 04 06-2004 07 12)

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Acting President of Lithuania receives Lithuania’s ambassador to Israel


Vilnius April 14th. In reaction to the allegations voiced in the US media that Lithuanian basketball players had participated in the Holocaust in 1941, acting President Arturas Paulauskas had a meeting with Ambassador Alfonsas Eidintas of the Republic of Lithuania to Israel.

The acting President expressed concern over a reportage on American TV channel about a basketball game between Lithuanian basketball players and German soldiers in 1941 in Lithuania, and allegations concerning Lithuanian players’ participation in the Holocaust in Kaunas, the second largest city of Lithuania.

The acting President and Ambassador Alfonsas Eidintas discussed the letter of April 9th that Lithuanian Ambassador Vygaudas Ushatskas sent to the American TV channel concerning its programme voicing these allegations unsubstantiated by facts.

The acting President discussed with Lithuanian Ambassador possible diplomatic steps that could be take to avoid a negative effect of such events on Lithuania’s relationship with Israel.

According to acting President Arturas Paulauskas, such unsubstantiated allegations discredit the entire nation and ignore the merits of those Lithuanians who had been saving the Jews during the World War II.

“Lithuanian basketball makes one of the brightest parts of our history and we cannot allow blackening it by unsubstantiates allegations,” acting President stated.

The acting President will request the International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania to evaluate as soon as possible these allegations and present its conclusions.

Press Service of the President

Maintained by the Office of the President of the Republic of Lithuania. Please specify source when quoting.