The president signed a decree on the establishment of the new commission on Tuesday. The commission is expected to evaluate consequences of the Nazi and Soviet occupations on the people of Lithuania. The commission, as previously, will be chaired by Emanuelis Zingeris, chairman of the Seimas Committee on Foreign Affairs.
The commission will be subdivided into two subcommissions – the Subcommission on the Evaluation of Crimes of the Nazi Occupation Regime and the Holocaust and the Subcommission on the Evaluation of Crimes of the Soviet Occupation Regime. The two subcommissions will have ten members each.
Two representatives of the Israel-based Yad Vashem organization Dina Porat and Arkadiy Zeltser, Andrew Baker of the American Jewish Committee, Saulius Sužiedėlis of Millersville University and Kęstutis Grinius of Vilnius University will work in the fist subcommission.
Meanwhile Soviet crimes will be evaluated by Alexander Daniel of international public organization Memorial in Russia, Nicolas Lane of the American Jewish Committee, Timothy Snyder from Yale University, Françoise Thomas from Sorbonne University, Hungarian historian Janos M. Rainer, and Arvydas Anušauskas, chairman of the Seimas Committee on National Security and Defense.
The previous commission was set up in 1998 and worked until 2007 when Lithuania's Prosecutor General's Office charged its member historian Yitzhak Arad with having served in the Soviet NKVD and having been involved in executions of Lithuanian civilians and members of the anti-Soviet resistance movement between 1943 and 1944. The investigation was dropped in 2008 due to lack of evidence.