Lithuania Plans to Relocate Soviet Soldiers' Graves

Written by Camilla Jessen

Feb.26 - 2024 8:54 AM CET

Photo: Birute Vijeikiene / Shutterstock.com
Photo: Birute Vijeikiene / Shutterstock.com
Lithuania's Parliament, the Seimas, is considering new laws that could lead to the relocation of Soviet soldiers' graves.

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Reported by LRT, the proposed amendments aim to classify cemeteries as public spaces under laws that restrict the promotion of totalitarian and authoritarian regimes and their ideologies.

One proposal suggests modifying the rule that protects graves registered as cultural heritage, allowing the relocation of those recognized as symbols of totalitarian or authoritarian ideologies.

The proponents argue that Soviet soldiers' burial sites could be seen as promoting a totalitarian regime's ideology, making them eligible for relocation, even if they're protected as cultural heritage.

The changes are advocated by Seimas members from various parties and particularly by the Šiauliai municipality, which seeks to move Soviet servicemen's graves from the city center.

These graves, near the Cathedral of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, contain 52 Soviet soldiers from World War II and are currently protected as cultural heritage.

This initiative follows revelations that several members of the Lithuanian Parliament and mayors had past affiliations with the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, often not disclosed in their official biographies.

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