July 10, 2023
An open letter from Lithuanian MP Emanuelis Zingeris and Faina Kukliansky, Chairman of the Lithuanian Jewish Community, to President Joe Biden:
We are the second generation of the Holocaust survivors still living in Vilnius, Lithuania, and with an open heart, we welcome the U.S. President Joe Biden’s visit to our capital. But at the same time we are asking President Biden, during the Vilnius NATO Summit, to encourage all NATO member States to include a crystal clear formula for Ukrainian membership in NATO.
The reason for our letter is that Western allies were too late with the final liberation of Nazi camps during the World War II. Hundreds of American and British aircraft, which so heroically fought Nazis, at the same time were flying above these camps as their inmates looked up to the sky with no realized hope.
Most survivors could not return to their motherlands, not only because their brothers and sisters and whole families were killed by Nazis and their local collaborators, but also because their native countries were captured by the Soviet antisemitic totalitarian regime. Therefore, the democratic State of Israel and the West became authentic homes for the survivors, for the continuation of Jewish identity, and for the expression of the implementation of human rights.
The Soviet occupational space was artificially created in Europe by Moscow in agreement with the West after the II World War. The Kremlin regime created a massive propaganda of Soviet victory to use for imperial Moscow territorial goals. That had nothing to do with the real terrible Holocaust story.
We are welcoming the U.S. President Biden visit to our historic place which celebrates 700 years of its multicultural history. We are asking His Excellency to encourage all NATO member States to invite Ukraine to NATO now. Because Ukraine is a part of our democratic world. Our region’s security depends on Ukraine’s security. Ukraine in NATO now means a peace for all of us and the end of Russian totalitarian illusions.
The then-U.S. President George W. Bush, during his visit to Lithuania in November 2002, before our NATO membership, spoke the historic phrase: “Anyone who would choose Lithuania as an enemy has also made an enemy of the United States of America.”
We hope Mr. President that you can say the same thing today about Ukraine. Please help stop the expansion of the murderous Kremlin totalitarian regime in Europe.
Emanuelis Zingeris, MP, Signatory of Act of Independence of Lithuania
Faina Kukliansky, Chairman of the Lithuanian Jewish Community