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7 Aug, 2019 13:47

Last functioning synagogue in Vilnius, Lithuania closes in face of right-wing threats

Last functioning synagogue in Vilnius, Lithuania closes in face of right-wing threats

Lithuania’s Jewish community has decided to indefinitely shutter the only functioning synagogue in Vilnius, after receiving multiple threats. This comes amid fierce public debate over the country’s adulation of Nazi collaborators.

A Jewish center and the historic Choral Synagogue in Vilnius will close for “an indeterminate period,” the Lithuanian Jewish Community (LJC) said in a statement on their website. The decision was made after the LJC received “threatening telephone calls and letters in recent days.”

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Nationalists and right-wing elements in Lithuania’s capital are incensed over the removal of a plaque commemorating a Nazi collaborator at the entrance to the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences. In a similar move, the Vilnius municipality last week renamed a street that had been named after one wartime diplomat and Hitler ally.

Lithuanian Jews hailed the decisions as long-overdue – while nationalists threatened with nationwide protests in response.

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