BEVERLY HILLS—On Tuesday, May 19, the Beverly Hills City Council adopted a resolution aimed at condemning a recent piece of legislation discussed at the Lithuanian Parliament. The legislation was proposed by Arunas Gumuliauskas, a Parliament member, in January 2020.
The part of the legislation raising concerns, as quoted by the City Council’s resolution is:
“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.”
During the War, Lithuania was under both Nazi and Soviet occupation.
The resolution adopted by the city of Beverly Hills claims the Lithuanian government to be engaging in an active campaign to deny state-sponsored facilitation of the murder of Jewish people during the Holocaust. It accuses this legislation of “revising history.” Amongst its demands are the ceasing of efforts to advance the legislation, a revoking of honors given to anyone involved in the furtherance of the Holocaust, and formal acknowledgment of the involvement of the Lithuanian Interim Government in the violence.
Faina Kunkliansky, the head of the Lithuanian Jewish community said: “Just like there were only singular killers of Jews, there were singular victims of the Holocaust, which all combined made up 200,000.” A member of the Lithuanian community, Justas Pakašius, spoke with Canyon News on the public reception of the legislation. Pakašius revealed public sentiment in Lithuania is somewhat skeptical, given a lack of justification for the need for this law. Additionally, M.P. Gumuliauskas’ party has stated the proposal is perteklinis, roughly translating to “too much.”
This is not the first time the City Council passed resolutions regarding anti-Semitism. The Beverly Hills City Council previously released a joint declaration with the state of Israel to promote and strengthen bilateral collaboration and cultural understanding.