The Museum of Genocide Victims, situated in the former KGB building in Vilnius, has been renamed the Museum of Occupation and Freedom Fighters.
Museum of Occupation and Freedom Fighters
© DELFI / Augustas Didžgalvis

The new name has been included into the new version of the Law on the Genocide and Resistance Research Centre of Lithuania, which was unanimously approved by the Seimas on Thursday.

The bill still needs to be signed by the president to come into effect.

The museum’s older name was criticized because Lithuania allegedly puts too much emphasis on Soviet crimes, which it considers genocide, and downplays the genocide of Jews by Nazi Germany, which also involved Lithuanian collaborators. The museum mainly focuses on crimes committed by the Soviet regime.

Teresė Birutė Burauskaitė, director general of the Genocide and Resistance Research Centre of Lithuania, said earlier the museum’s name did not reflect its exposition.

"It‘s not only a museum of victims as other themes are also presented. The exposition also covers freedom fighters, dissidents, all signs of the occupation regime, its impact. The definition of genocide is narrower", she told BNS Lithuania.

According to the new version of the law, the center will also become a coordinating institution for collecting, researching, analyzing historic processes linked to the Soviet aggression, including after Lithuania restored independence.

The Museum of Genocide Victims and the Genocide and Resistance Research Centre of Lithuania were founded in 1992.

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