The authorities in Lithuania's northern city of Šiauliai have decided against excavating remains from a recently discovered World War Two mass burial site due to concerns from the Jewish community.
© AFP/Scanpix

Martynas Šiurkus, deputy director of administration at Šiauliai Municipality, said the decision was made to show respect "for all ethnic groups' traditions and customs".

"Šiauliai City Municipality assures that (…) no land digging work will be done until proper respect is guaranteed for the remains buried in the mass grave," Šiurkus said in a statement on Wednesday.

Vitalis Lebedis, spokesman for the municipality, told BNS the ongoing project for the construction of the road involved will be amended.

Faina Kukliansky, chairwoman of the Jewish Community of Lithuania, has welcomed the decision.

"Jewish interested have been satisfied since there's a cultural difference and a different requirement to show respect for the dead. On the other hand, I would still want some concreteness from the municipality since there's no guarantee at all that more remains would not be found during the construction work," she told BNS on Wednesday.

According to Kukliansky, members of the Committee for the Preservation of Jewish Cemeteries in Europe and the Lithuanian Department of Cultural Heritage visited the recently-discovered mass grave in Šiauliai.

Documents show that people were killed at the discovered site during WWII, possibly brought from Šiauliai Prison.

Around 40 remains were found at the site, and some of them are suspected to be Jewish. Under Jewish religious customs, remains found in the ground cannot be moved.

It is prohibited to copy and republish the text of this publication without a written permission from UAB „BNS“.
Leave a comment
or for anonymous commenting click here
By posting, you agree to terms
Read comments Read comments

How to save when shopping online?

With the growing popularity of online sales, customers of such stores are often looking for a variety...

Gender equality is human right, and it is great for society. Let’s listen to Norwegians

Even though Lithuania has achieved a lot in gender equality, it is still a long way to go, especially...

Kaunas is the most innovative city in Lithuania - expert

Less talked about Kaunas startup world is experiencing a breakthrough. Products developed in city’s...

World War One memorial service held at Vilnius International Church

On Sunday November 11th a World War One memorial remembrance service was held at the Vilnius...

Pope Francis confirms Lithuanian Giedraitis as blessed

Mykolas Giedraitis, a secular Augustinian born in Lithuania in the 15th century, has been confirmed as...