VILNIUS (BNS) – The Lithuanian Prosecutor General’s Office transferred to Vilnius District Court Oct. 26, the criminal case of Jewish genocide suspect Kazys Gimzauskas.
Criminal charges were pressed against Gimzauskas one year ago. He is not in police custody.
The Prosecutor General’s Office decided to arraign Gimzauskas on charges of violating article 18, part 6 of the Penal Code (collaboration in committing a crime) and article 71, part 2 (genocide), the prosecution’s press spokesman reported.
The prosecution believes that there is sufficient evidence in the case to press charges on the basis of Gimzauskas’s WWII activities.
Gimzauskas worked in the Security Police of Vilnius District as deputy chief during the Nazi occupation from the fall of 1941 until July 1944.
His direct chief was Aleksandras Lileikis, who has been arraigned on similar charges, though his trial has been postponed due to poor health. A court session in Lileikis’ case has been scheduled for November 5.
Gimzauskas, who is now 90, is suspected of personally having given orders to arrest, investigate and imprison civilians, largely Jews, and hand them over to the perpetrators of mass killings in Lithuania – the Nazi’s special units.
Both Gimzauskas and Lileikis deny the charges against them.
Gimzauskas was stripped of his US citizenship due to his wartime activities and concealing his past. Without awaiting deportation, he left the United States where he had lived since the war. For the past five years, he has lived in Vilnius.
State attorneys have called Gimzauskas “a man with an interesting biography,” who even before the Nazi occupation carried out many assignments for State Security.
Gimzauskas, who had served in Lithuania’s State Security since 1931, was arrested by the NKVD in 1940. During that year of Soviet occupation, Gimzauskas was in prison, and in July 1941, the acting Lithuanian government appointed him State Security investigation department chief in Kaunas.
After the Nazis halted the activity of the Lithuanian government, Gimzauskas said he was urged by Lithuanian underground leaders to remain in State Security.
Gimzauskas says that the Lithuanian Security Police had nothing to do with the killings of Jews, since all Jewish affairs were decided by the occupational power itself, without involving Lithuanians.
However, the U.S. Special Investigations Department states documents signed by Gimzauskas have been found in Lithuanian archives, testifying that he personally ordered the arrest, investigation and imprisonment of civilians and turning civilians, including many Jews, over to Nazi butchers.
Gimzauskas left for the United States in 1956 and lived in St. Petersburg, Fla. until his return to Lithuania.
Leaders call for broader Holocaust study
VILNIUS (BNS) – A scholarly conference
in Vilnius has asserted that the most important aspects of Lithuanian-Jewish
relations have yet to be explored.
A two-day conference earlier
this month was devoted to the relations between the Catholic Church and
Lithuanian Jews in
the 19th and 20th centuries. The conference was held by the Catholic Academy of Sciences of Lithuania, Vilnius University
and Lithuania’s Historical Institute.
The scholarly forum was arranged
after the receipt of a letter from Pope John Paul II named “We recall:
reflections on the
The head of the Lithuanian Citizens
Holocaust and Resistance Investigation Center, Professor Valentinas Brandisauskas
he regretted that “despite the fact that 94 percent of Jews were killed in Lithuania during the years of the Nazi occupation,
Holocaust issues are still illuminated in a fragmental fashion.”
According to the historian, theories
of “double genocide” – that Bolshevik Jews killed Lithuanians, so Lithuanians
vengeance on Jews – seem to be hindering the recreation of a detailed picture of the events.
“We are faced with another dilemma.
The issue is widely discussed in Israel, the United States, Great Britain
Lithuanian historians can neither confirm nor reject some of the not too pleasing statements by Westerners,” Brandisauskas
Among the reports read at the
conference were lectures on the beginning of the Lithuanian Jews’ catastrophe
during the first
months of the war, the Vatican’s position towards the Holocaust and priests who saved Jews.