Lithuania to deport activist against glorification of alleged Holocaust culprits
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Lithuania to deport activist against glorification of alleged Holocaust culprits

History tutor Miquel Puertas, from Spain, criticized state honors conferred on those who helped Nazi regime, among them Jonas Noreika, said to have organized murder of Jews

Screen capture from video of Spanish activist Miquel Puertas. (YouTube)
Screen capture from video of Spanish activist Miquel Puertas. (YouTube)

JTA — Lithuanian state police have arrested a university lecturer from Spain for criticizing the glorification of alleged Holocaust perpetrators, a fellow activist said.

Miquel Puertas, who several years ago taught the language and history of his native Spain at the Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, Lithuania, was arrested on August 25 to be deported to Spain, Stanislovas Tomas, a human rights lawyer from Lithuania, wrote Tuesday in his blog on The Times of Israel.

He is being kept until he can be put on a direct flight to Spain, Tomas wrote.

Puertas is a persona non-grata in Lithuania for his critical writings on the state honors conferred there on alleged Holocaust perpetrators, including Jonas Noreika, a governor for the German occupation during World War II who allegedly organized the wholesale murder of Jews and participated in the theft of their property.

This memorial plaque to Nazi collaborator Jonas Noreika was removed from the Library of Academy of science in Vilnius in July 2019, but demonstrators reinstalled a new one in September. (Alma Pater/Wikimedia Commons via JTA)

Lithuania’s State Security Department and Justice Ministry did not immediately reply to written queries about Puertas’s case emailed to them by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

The veneration of Nazi collaborators, including killers of Jews, is a growing phenomenon in Eastern Europe, where many consider such individuals as heroes because they fought against Russian domination.

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