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Lithuania Commemorates National Holocaust Remembrance Day


23 September is the Day of Commemoration of the Victims of the Genocide of Lithuanian Jews.

This date was chosen by the Lithuania Parliament in 1994 to commemorate the memory of the victims of the destruction of Vilnius ghetto, who were killed in Paneriai in 1943.

At the initiative of the International Historical Commission and Radviliškis Vaižgantas Progymnasium Tolerance Educational Centre, on 21 September the exhibition "Butterfly" was opened in the Prime Minister's office (Gedimino ave. 11, Vilnius). The Prime Minister Andrius Kubilius personally opened the exhibition. Cabinet ministers, foreign diplomats, Lithuanian Jewish Community members, students and teachers who created the exhibition were present at the opening ceremony. The exhibition "Butterfly" was created in 2011 - 2012 during implementation of the national project dedicated to mark the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, January 27.  Students from more than 70 schools created more than 6,000 butterflies, which symbolize the Jewish children who perished during the Holocaust.

In response to the proposal of International Historical Commission, on 21-24 September the events for commemoration of Lithuanian Jews tragedy were organized in different places around Lithuania. About 200 schools and education institutions in Lithuania paid respect to the memory of the victims. Commemorations were organized in different forms, such as lessons, lectures, and remembrance events in mass murder sites. During these events the students created symbolic books on the "Life and the tragedy of Lithuanian Jews."

An official state commemoration was held in Paneriai on 24 September. Students from five Vilnius schools - Tolerance Educational Centres - participated and created the symbolic book "Shoah in Lithuania."

The International Historical Commission (as a part of their comprehensive educational initiative "Holocaust and Tolerance Education for the Prevention of Crimes against Humanity") initiates the commemoration of the National Holocaust Remembrance Day every year since 2003 at schools and educational institutions.

More information is available here.