World Report

Lithuania lifts pardon of alleged criminal

MOSCOW (JTA) — The Lithuanian Supreme Court has annulled a 1991 pardon granted to an alleged war criminal.

Petras Kriksciunas was accused by the Soviet authorities of killing Jews in Vilnius, Lithuania, during World War II.

Some 50,000 Lithuanians who were convicted as war criminals by Soviet courts were exonerated by the Baltic nation after it gained independence in 1991. Among those pardoned were people who allegedly helped the Nazis kill Jews.

Holocaust survivors, American Jewish leaders and the Lithuanian Jewish community have called upon the Lithuanian government to reverse the pardons. There are 16 incomplete annulment cases before the Supreme Court.

Slovak Jews fear rise in anti-Semitism

PRAGUE (JTA) — Despite assurances from Slovak Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar that anti-Semitism is not a threat in Slovakia, local Jewish leaders remain worried.

At a meeting earlier this month with Meciar, B'nai B'rith President Tommy Baer expressed concern about the government's refusal to withdraw from state schools a teacher's manual romanticizing the life of Slovak Jews during World War II.

Meciar insisted that anti-Semitism in Slovakia was a marginal phenomena and that he would prevent it from gaining popularity. The premier maintained that Slovakia had been more diligent than some other former Soviet Bloc countries in returning property that had been confiscated from Jews by the Nazis.

Latvia sees no case against Nazi suspect

MOSCOW (JTA) — Latvia has found no evidence to support allegations against a suspected Nazi war criminal now living in Australia.

Konrad Kalejs, 84, is alleged to have been a member of the mobile killing squad known as the Arajs Kommando, or Latvian Auxiliary Security Police, that collaborated with the Nazis. Kalejs is accused of having participated in the killing of 20,000 Jews during World War II.

He claims that he was a university student at the time.

About 75,000 Jews, or more than 90 percent of the country's prewar Jewish community, were murdered.

The Latvian Prosecutor General's Office said last week its investigation turned up no convincing evidence against Kalejs.