VILNIUS – President Dalia Grybauskaitė bestowed the Life Saving Cross awards on the Lithuanian citizens who rescued Jews from danger of death while risking their own lives and those of their loved ones during World War II.
This year, Lithuania commemorates the 76th anniversary of the Holocaust. In commemoration of the National Memorial Day for the Genocide of Lithuanian Jews, State awards were bestowed upon 43 rescuers of Jews. As the majority of them are no longer among the living, the ceremony was attended by children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and other members of the Righteous‘ families.
The President stated that we celebrated life by awarding these decorations.
Dalia Grybauskaitė noted that it was easy to speak about sacrifice and obligation to humanity in times of peace; but it was quite another thing to open your door and your heart to the people doomed to death during World War II, knowing what the consequences could be.
“Their self-determination was to choose the fate of the doomed and the outcasts. Moreover, it amounted to sewing on the Star of David with your own hands. Each story of rescue is the most valuable testament to humanity that we still need today for support. So that is the answer to the eternal question: what an ordinary and defenceless human being can do, “ said the President.
Dalia Grybauskaitė wished everyone to hold the memory of human decency and dignity in our hearts as a promise that humanity would always be the highest virtue and that the Righteous stood as a source of inspiration to all of us.
Office of the President of Lithuania