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Commemorative Event: Anton Schmid, Righteous Among the Nations


On May 20th, 2011, The Jewish Tolerance Center and the Austrian Embassy in Vilnius, LIthuania organized an event to commemorate Anton Schmid, Righteous Among the Nations.

In 1941 and 1942 the Austrian-born Wehrmacht Sergeant Anton Schmid heroically saved the lives of hundreds of Jews in the Vilnius Ghetto. Upon disclosure he was finally sentenced to death and shot by the Nazis. In his farewell letter to his wife in Vienna, Schmid wrote the famous words "I only saved human beings."  Dr. Renate S. Meissner, Deputy Secretary General of the National Fund for Victims of National Socialism (Austria), Albert Lichtblau, professor for history at Salzburg University and chairman of the Centre for Jewish Cultural History (Austria), as well as Leonidas Donskis, Member of the European Parliament, philosopher and fighter for human rights (Lithuania) participated in this event, which was attended by the Lithuanian Vice-Minister for Culture Deividas Staponkus and several MPs, scientists, and members of the Jewish Community. The speeches of the panel members were followed by the presentation of a film about Anton Schmid.

As part of the government program for the year of Remembrance of Holocaust Victims, a memorial plaque to Anton Schmid will be revealed on Antakalnis Cemetery on 23 September 2011.