2019.08.06 10:00

Vilnius removes memorial plaque to poet accused of collaboration with Soviet security services

Ignas Jačauskas, BNS2019.08.06 10:00

A Soviet-era memorial plaque to Valerija Valsiūnienė, a Lithuanian poet who worked for Soviet security services, was taken down in Vilnius on Tuesday morning.

Aleksandras Zubriakovas, spokesman for Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Šimašius, confirmed this to BNS.

Valsiūnienė was recruited by the Soviet Ministry of State Security, or MGB, following her arrest and deportation to the Siberian region of Krasnoyarsk in 1941, according to historical sources.

As a result of her collaboration, over 40 members of the Lithuanian National Council (LTT) were denounced to the Soviet authorities.

One of the them was Jonas Noreika, the LTT founder. A memorial plaque to Noreika, a high-ranking Lithuanian military officer accused of collaborating with the Nazis, was taken down a week ago on the mayor's orders.

Mayor Šimašius has noted that Valsiūnienė voluntarily denounced Lithuanian citizens and thus ruined their lives.

“Whether the Nazis or the Soviets, doing harm to people by collaborating with these regimes cannot be justified under any difficult circumstances,” he said in a press release on Monday.

The decision to remove the plaque honoring Valsiūnienė from a building in Vilnius Žvėrynas neighborhood was made by a special commission made up of historians, politicians, urban development specialists, painters and architects.

Read more: Vilnius removes plaque for anti-Soviet partisan and accused Nazi collaborator Jonas Noreika

Read more: Despite protests, Vilnius renames street dedicated to Škirpa 'who promoted Holocaust'