The Beverly Hills City Council adopted a resolution Wednesday condemning any attempts by the Lithuanian government to deny involvement in the Holocaust.
The resolution was presented after a committee of the Lithuanian parliament began drafting legislation in January to declare that neither Lithuania nor its leaders had participated in the Holocaust.
“The Lithuanian state did not participate in the Holocaust because it was occupied, just as the Lithuanian nation could not participate in the Holocaust because it was enslaved, but individual representatives are obviously involved and it is up to the court to decide,” said Arunas Gumuliauskas, one of the Lithuanian lawmakers working on the legislation in parliament, in a quote referenced by the Beverly Hills resolution.
About 95% of the about 250,000 Jews in Lithuania in 1945 were killed in the Holocaust.
Lithuania’s Jewish community and members of the expatriate Lithuanian Jewish community in Israel have expressed serious concern about the possible legislation which would declare that the Lithuanian state and people did not collaborate in the murder of Jews during the Holocaust.
In January, the Beverly Hills City Council adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s working definition of antisemitism.
The resolution passed by the council stated that “the government of Lithuania is engaged in an active campaign to deny the culpability of Lithuanians who murdered Jews during the Holocaust, revising history, turning perpetrators into national heroes.”
“Holocaust distortion” by the Genocide and Resistance Research Centre of Lithuania and intimidation tactics used against those who speak out against such distortions in the country, were referenced by the resolution as well. Multiple state honors, monuments and streets are named for Holocaust perpetrators.
Lithuania’s ruling party has publicly floated the idea of draft legislation declaring that Lithuania and its leaders were not responsible for the Holocaust and was “just a victim.”
The Beverly Hills City Council condemns “any attempts by the Lithuanian government to deny their historical state-sponsored, and other official acts facilitating the murder of Jews and others during the Holocaust.”
The resolution also demands that Lithuania cease all efforts to advance proposed legislation declaring the country innocent of all crimes in furtherance of the Holocaust and calls upon Lithuanian leaders to discourage future attempts to pass such legislation and acknowledge the culpability of their Interim Government, leadership and population in the Holocaust.
The city council encouraged the Lithuanian government to revoke national honors for those who participated in the Holocaust and hold Lithuanian officials who participate in Holocaust revisionism accountable.
The Beverly Hills City Council has passed a number of resolutions against antisemitism and entered into a declaration with the state of Israel to “promote and strengthen bilateral collaboration, economic development, enhance cultural relationships, and educational opportunities.”Jeremy Sharon contributed to this report.