January 19, 2020

Anti-Semitic Graffiti Found on Lithuanian Project Commemorating Jewish Life

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Anti-Semitic graffiti was found on Oct. 12 on a Lithuanian project depicting Jewish life before World War II in the capital of Vilnius.

The project, Walls That Remember, posted a photo of the graffiti on their Facebook page. The graffiti shows a Jewish Star of David crossed out.

“The people who did this must be found and held accountable for this hate crime. We believe Lithuania is a country that does not tolerate hatred,” the post states. “We will seek this case to be investigated by the Lithuanian police.”

The Lithuanian Jewish Community noted on their website that the graffiti “is the latest in a series of acts of anti-Semitic vandalism of Jewish sites and statues in Vilnius and Lithuania.”

Walls That Remember consists of murals based on photographs of ordinary people that lived in the Jewish community at the time standing against the walls of Vilnius’ former Jewish quarter. The creator of the project, Lina Šlipavičiūtė-Černiauskienė, told a Lithuanian news outlet, “I chose to use the modern language of graffiti in order to bring history closer to today’s people and youths.”

The StopAntisemitism.org watchdog tweeted, “Before the #Holocaust even started, the Lithuanian killing machine took preemptive steps to eliminate nearly 95% of Vilnius’ #Jewish population. This week we see the hatred towards Jews still is alive and well in #Vilnius!”

According to the Times of Israel, around 3,000 Jews who reside in Lithuania are perturbed at the Lithuanian government’s decision to preside over monuments and naming street names after Nazi collaborators. Efforts from the Jewish community to remove such monuments have been met with fury from Lithuanian nationalists, resulting in the lone synagogue in Vilnius being shut down for two days in August.