Herzog: ‘Moral obligation’ to remove Chicago monument of Nazi collaborator

Jewish Agency Chair discussed the issue with the Chicago Jewish leadership to seek action.

Isaac Herzog (photo credit: JEWISH AGENCY)
Isaac Herzog
(photo credit: JEWISH AGENCY)
The Jewish Agency’s chairman of the Executive, Isaac Herzog, expressed his support last Wednesday for the efforts of Jewish leaders in Chicago and elsewhere who have protested the recently erected monument in the city honoring a Lithuanian World War II-era commander who collaborated with the Nazis.
Earlier last month, Lithuanian-Americans unveiled a monument in Chicago to Adolfas Ramanauskas-Vanagas, a Lithuanian war hero for his leadership of Lithuania’s resistance to Soviet occupation.
According to the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Ramanauskas mentions in his memoirs that he led a gang of vigilantes that persecuted the Jewish community of Druskininkai, Lithuania.
In his meeting with a group from Chicago’s Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago, the city’s Jewish Federation, Herzog underscored the “moral obligation” to expediently remove the monument to Ramanauskas.
“It is inconceivable that on the soil of the United States – the best friend of Israel and the Jewish people in the international community – there is a memorial to an alleged murderer who cooperated with the Nazis and was involved in the mass slaughter of Jews,” Herzog said. “I discussed it at length with the incoming president of the Federation, Lonnie Nasatir – himself a lawyer with record of fighting antisemites – who I am confident will take further action to confront local authorities so that the monument will be removed as soon as possible.”