Lithuania asks to quiz ex-Yad Vashem head over WWII killings – Haaretz – Israel News

Lithuania asks to quiz ex-Yad Vashem head over WWII killings – Haaretz – Israel News
Lithuania’s chief prosecutor is mulling whether to order a probe against the former director of Yad Vashem Yitzhak Arad into allegations he was involved in the killing of Lithuanians as a partisan fighter during World War Two. In a letter to the Justice Ministry, Lithuanian authorities asked to question the Lithuanian-born historian and retired Israel Defense Forces brigadier general on murder accusations raised by a local magazine article based on quotes from his autobiography and testimony he gave as a witness in trials of Nazi criminals. (…) The Lithuanian Holocaust is unique in that it was largely carried out by locals, especially members of the Order Police, who began butchering Jews the moment the Soviets left in 1941, even before the German army arrived. Only a few thousand of Lithuania’s 220,000 Jews survived the Holocaust. After the German army conquered Lithuania in 1941, the 15-year-old Arad fled his hometown ghetto and joined a unit of Soviet partisans until the Red Army took over the region. After the war he boarded an illegal immigrant ship to Israel, joined the Palmach [a pre-state elite strike force], and later served as an officer in the IDF, retiring in 1972 as head of the Education Corps. In civilian life Arad became a scholar and lecturer on Jewish history, specializing in the Holocaust. He was director of Yad Vashem from 1972 to 1993.

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