Lithuanian ethics official offers cash reward for thesis pinning war crimes on Jews


(JTA) — A Lithuanian official responsible for ethics in academia offered a cash reward for students or scholars willing to write a thesis about Jews’ involvement in war crimes or murder.

Vigilijus Sadauskas, ombudsman for academic ethics and procedures, made the offer for subsidy on his blog. The speaker of the Lithuanian parliament ,Viktoras Pranckietis, called on Sadauskas to resign.

In the blog entry, Sadauskas offered 1,000 euros, or $1,221, to “a school student, a university student, a postgraduate student, a teacher or a scientist who will collect information, documents, materials and write a thesis (at least 10 printed pages) or a publication about individuals of the Jewish nationality who killed people, contributed to deportations or tortures,” the LETA news agency reported Thursday.

Sadauskas plans to stay on until the end of his tenure in June as ombudsman, to which he was appointed in 2013 by parliament, LETA reported.

But Pranckietis, the speaker of parliament, said about Sadauskas: “I am convinced he should resign.”

Faina Kukliansky, a leader of the Lithuanian Jewish community, said Sadauskas’ statements were anti-Semitic.

Sadauskas’ call comes amid an acrimonious debate in neighboring Poland, and also in Lithuania, about complicity in the Holocaust. Nationalists across Eastern Europe have rejected the idea that their nations have any collective responsibility for these actions. In recent weeks, the Polish parliament passed a law criminalizing such assertions. Lithuania passed similar laws in 2010.

In 2008, Lithuanian prosecutors began a dubious probe into allegations against three Jews, who were suspected of war crimes allegedly committed during World War II. The investigation was abandoned amid an international outcry.

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