"We are standing on the land where the blood of thousands of innocent people was spilled. Most probably, the right thing to do would be to stand in silence, because it is hard to find the words that describe the evil of the Holocaust", the Lithuanian president said after honoring the memory of Paneriai victims with visiting Israeli President Shimon Peres.
In her speech, the Lithuanian president reminded that 100,000 people, mostly Jews, were mass murdered here during World War II. "All of them had names, families, home, and occupation. They were our friends and neighbors who lived and worked in Lithuania and for Lithuania," President Grybauskaitė said.
"Time will never fill the painful void that opened up in our hearts after we lost the hard-working and creative community who had built the Jerusalem of the North. We must remember and honor those who perished. We must also remember those who in the face of the horrors of the Holocaust carried hope and light - the Righteous among the Nations who risking their lives saved hundreds of Jews. Eternal respect for them," the Lithuanian president said.
Around 90 percent of the Jewish population of around 208,000 were killed by German Nazis in Lithuania during the Holocaust.
Israeli President Shimon Peres started his two-day state visit to Lithuania on Wednesday.