Vilnius University in Lithuania said it would award academic degrees posthumously to Jewish students who were murdered in the Holocaust — unless they were partisans.
In a statement published Wednesday on its website announcing the initiative titled Recovering Memory, the university encouraged relatives of Holocaust victims to apply for recognition through a special procedure set up this year.
But in a twist connected to the Lithuanian state’s complicated attitude to its wartime history, the procedure excludes any Jewish student who fought with communist or pro-Soviet partisans against the Nazis. Diplomas will not be issued “if evidence of collaboration with political and police structures of totalitarian regimes is determined,” the procedure states.
Virtually all resistance movements in Lithuania during World War II were supported or otherwise linked to the Soviet Union.