Tombstones lay strewn across the cemetery grounds, while the Vilnius Mayor refuses the Save Vilna coalition permission to restore the desecrated graves.
The Vilnius City Council has denied an application by the international Jewish community to restore desecrated graves at the 500-year old Jewish cemetery. The request also included the erection of a fence and designation of a prayer area for lighting candles. Protective fencing, prayer and lighting candles are hallmarks for Jewish cemeteries across the globe.
The denial of the request by the council is a direct violation of recent Seimas Resolution No. XIV-542, which calls on local authorities to restore Jewish cemeteries that have been desecrated. The Snipsikes is one the city of Vilnius’ oldest and largest Jewish cemeteries. Over 50,000 graves are located on the cemetery. Mayor Remigijus Šimašius has been a vocal opponent of efforts to restore the cemetery. Locals believe that the Mayor will continue to violate international Freedom of Religion provisions and Jewish law, that he will not comply with the new Seimas resolution.
Tombstones lay strewn across the cemetery grounds, while the Vilnius Mayor refuses the Save Vilna coalition permission to restore the descrated graves.
Mayor Šimašius is well known for his stance on promoting the retention of streets named after Lithuanians who were connected to murdering thousands of Jews during the war. After pressure from various political groups, the mayor recently retracted his position.
Lithuanian locals report that people continue to trample on graves and walk their dogs in an area which should be reserved for activity consistent with that of a cemetery.