New director of Lithuania’s genocide center: we’ll boost our international visibility

Adas Jakubauskas, 55, the new director of the Genocide and Resistance Research Center of Lithuania, vows to improve the center’s international and internal communication and spread awareness on Lithuania’s historic memory issues abroad.

At a press conference, he informed about his decision to initiate drafting of the center’s new strategy, announcing that a panel of historians, public figures and other experts will help to formulate tasks for the center. “We will ask experts to update and specify the center’s mission and strategy, and also provide some advice on other very important issues since we have a lot of historic narratives that are very sensitive, with the same phenomenon viewed from different positions by different sides. Therefore, it is very important for us to formulate a state attitude on certain topics, formulate the state’s policy on historic memory topics,” Jakubauskas said.

He also said he missed proper cooperation among the center’s divisions, better internal communication, adding that the center’s statute, adopted more than two decades ago, needs “changing and modernizing”, taking today’s challenges into account. “The institution should be non-political. History is non-political, history is a science and it needs to be impartial. The second matter that is very important is that we need refine our values and that’s where experts come into play,” he said. “The other thing is that there’s too little communication about the center’s work, importance, mission and strategic goals. The key thing is that the center needs to become transnational, and to provide more information in English and not to close itself within Lithuania’s geographical border. It should be very visible internationally,” Jakubauskas said. He mentioned Poland’s Institute of National Remembrance as an example, saying that the institute “has gained weight in the state’s policies” and forms Poland’s state policy. The Genocide and Resistance Research Centre of Lithuania investigates all of the manifestations of genocide, crimes against humanity and humaneness, persecution of the Lithuanian population during the years of occupation, and also the processes of armed and unarmed resistance against the occupations, and initiating legal assessment of the organizers and perpetrators of genocide.

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