About the Commission

...the Commission was formed due to the repressive legacy of Soviet rule painful problems of the past, such as the Holocaust and other issues, had never been subjected to uncensored public discussion...

 

 

The Need to Evaluate the Crimes of Nazi and Soviet Occupations

The need to evaluate the crimes of the Nazi and Soviet occupation regimes in Lithuania and provide answers to historical questions which had been suppressed or not sufficiently elucidated became evident from the very beginning of the restoration of the country’s independence from the Soviet Union in 1990. Preoccupation with vital political, military, economic and other problems during the first years of independence did not allow a thorough examination of critical historical issues. However, it soon became apparent that an investigation of the many controversial and difficult problems of the period after 1940 could no longer be postponed. 

 

The Decree on the Establishment of the Commission

 

  The International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania (hereinafter referred to as the Commission) was formed by the Decree of 7 September 1998 issue by the President of the Republic of Lithuania, Valdas Adamkus. Due to the repressive legacy of Soviet rule painful problems of the past, such as the Holocaust and other issues, had never been subjected to uncensored public discussion. It is recognized that for the sake of future generations such historical issues must be addressed, researched and evaluated in compliance with accepted international standards. Thus, the presidential decree of 7 September proclaimed the search for historical truth, which is a precondition for a reconciliation among nations, as a national priority.

The President of the Republic of Lithuania Valdas Adamkus established the International Commission in 1998

Since Nazi and Soviet crimes were carried out for different reasons and employed distinct methods, on 17 November 1998, during its first meeting, the members  of the Commission, headed by Emanuelis Zingeris, the Signatory of the 11th March Act on the Restoration of Independence, formed two subcommissions to examine the responsibility of the two occupying powers. In turn, these two subcommissions are to coordinate and supervise two separate working groups of experts investigating crimes committed as a result of the Nazi and the Soviet occupations. The Secretariat  started its work on 8 October, 1999. This institution organizes work of the Commission and is headed by the Executive Director of the Commission.