Viewing cable 08VILNIUS803
Title: VISIT OF SPECIAL ENVOY GREGG RICKMAN: CONCERNED

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
08VILNIUS8032008-09-26 12:25:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Vilnius
VZCZCXRO2389
RR RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHVL #0803 2701225
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 261225Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY VILNIUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2872
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
C O N F I D E N T I A L VILNIUS 000803 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/NB, EUR/OHI, DRL/SEAS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/25/2018 
TAGS: PGOV LH
SUBJECT: VISIT OF SPECIAL ENVOY GREGG RICKMAN:  CONCERNED 
ABOUT CONTINUED INEFFECTIVENESS OF GOL ON JEWISH ISSUES 
 
Classified By: Ambassador John A. Cloud for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 
 
¶1.  (U) SUMMARY.  Gregg Rickman, Special Envoy to Monitor and 
Combat Anti-Semitism, visited Lithuania September 15-18 and 
met with members of the Jewish community, GOL officials, and 
representatives from civil society and academia.  Rickman 
came away from his meetings concerned about the 
ineffectiveness of GOL efforts to resolve several Jewish 
issues.  End summary. 
 
Investigation of anti-Nazi partisans 
------------------------------------ 
¶2.  (U) Rickman discussed with GOL officials two 
investigations of actions of anti-Nazi partisans -- one 
involving Israeli historian Yitzhak Arad and the other 
involving the death of 38 people in Kaniukai (or Koniuchy) 
village.  Several GOL officials -- including MFA Vice 
Minister Jaroslav Neverovic, MP Emmanuel Zingeris, and the 
PM's adviser Vilius Kavaliauskas -- told Rickman that the 
Prosecutor's office is independent and there is little that 
others in the GOL can do to influence it.  Vice Minister 
Neverovic pointed out that the Prosecutor's office has many 
investigations dealing with Soviet and Nazi crimes -- there 
are 42 ongoing investigations of Nazi crimes and 79 of Soviet 
crimes.  Neverovic also noted that many Nazi crimes were 
investigated during the Soviet period. Rickman stressed to 
Neverovic and others that the impression of the anti-Nazi 
partisan investigations around the world is very negative and 
any mitigating nuances are missed.  (Note:  On September 25, 
the Prosecutor's office issued a statement noting that, due 
to lack of evidence, the part of the investigation about 
Arad's involvement in criminal activities was closed on 
September 19.) 
 
Anti-Semitism 
------------- 
¶3.  (U) Academics and GOL officials both expressed concern 
about the current increase in anti-Semitic events in 
Lithuania.  At the same time, most were reluctant to call for 
the Prosecutor either to halt or resolve the anti-Nazi 
partisan investigations, due to the impression this might 
give of trying to impinge on the Prosecutor's independence. 
 
Cemeteries 
---------- 
¶4.  (U) The GOL has still not found a way forward to protect 
the Snipiskes cemetery and GOL officials had no positive news 
to report.  Rickman also visited a Jewish cemetery in the 
city of Kaunas that was in a state of extreme disarray -- a 
couple of teenagers playing cards on a gravestone, people 
walking their dogs in the cemetery, toppled gravestones, 
trash strewn about, and overgrown grass and weeds. 
 
Restitution 
----------- 
¶5.  (C) Rickman heard mixed messages on communal property 
restitution.  MP Zingeris, contrary to earlier pessimism he 
expressed to Post, was optimistic that the legislation would 
come to parliament.  Prime Minister's adviser Kavaliauskas 
was unsure if the GOL would present the relevant amendments 
to the Parliament this autumn.  (Note:  Kavaliauskas's 
statements contradict what we have been told by several 
more-senior officials:  that the Government will submit the 
legislation to the parliament in late October or early 
November.) 
 
Comment 
------- 
¶6.  (U) Rickman's visit was another demonstration to the GOL 
that these issues are important to Washington.  We will 
continue to remind our interlocutors of this fact. 
 
¶7.  (U) Special Envoy Rickman cleared this cable. 
LEADER