Fighting the “fake-news” in the dawn of Perestroika
On the 30th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence of Lithuania
“We have known for a long time what we are heading for, and this last step holds no more surprises. Here we are only drawing the institutional consequences of the fact that on 7 February we declared the Stalin-Hitler pact invalid,” declared the editor-in-chief of the Lithuanian reform magazine Soglasie Romanenkov with regard to Lithuania's declaration of independence from the Soviet Union on March 11, 1990. Previously, the Sąjūdis reform movement had won the first free elections for the Supreme Soviet of the Lithuanian SSR with the aim of national independence.
The Genocide and Resistance Research Centre of Lithuania (LGGRTC) is a state entity that engages in the following: the study of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes in Lithuania; the study of the persecution of local residents by occupying regimes; the study of armed and unarmed resistance to occupying regimes; the initiation of the legal evaluation of the activities of the organisers and implementers of genocide; and the commemoration of freedom fighters and genocide victims. The centre also coordinates research activities in this field that are undertaken by other entities.
The activities, tasks, functions, legal status, structure, and work procedures of the LGGRTC are described in the Law on the Genocide and Resistance Research Centre of Lithuania (Official Gazette, 5 June 1997, No VIII - 238) and in the Regulations of the LGGRTC (Official Gazette, 26 November 1997, No. 107-2690).
The LGGRTC comprises the following:
1. The Genocide and Resistance Research Department;
2. The Memorial Department with Museum of Occupations and Freedom Fights; and
3. The Special Investigation Unit.
The LGGRTC is managed by a director general who is proposed by the prime minister and appointed and dismissed by the Seimas. The LGGRTC reports to the Seimas and to the national government.
The following priority activities of the centre are identified:
1. Scientific analysis of the processes that occurred during the Soviet and Nazi occupations and dissemination of the results of the analysis;
2. Commemoration of the key resistance events and personalities and celebration of anniversaries; and
3. Work with youth aimed at deepening their knowledge of 20th century history acquired at school and developing their ability to independently evaluate historical processes.
The LGGRTC takes part in the implementation of national programmes (e.g. the Year of Remembrance of the Defence of Freedom and Great Losses and the Year of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust in Lithuania), interinstitutional plans (e.g. care for graves of Lithuanian deportees and political prisoners and for monuments marking their burial places), and activities of international working groups and institutions (e.g. the Platform of European Memory and Conscience) and actively cooperates with similar foreign entities (e.g. the Polish Institute of National Remembrance (IPN), the Czech Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes, and the Russian Research and Information Centre Memorial).
In 2011, the centre was assigned a new function: study, analysis and publication of documents of the special services of the former USSR. To this end, the website www.kgbveikla.lt was created.