Lithuanian lawmaker who blamed Jews for Holocaust quits parliament’s memorial commission

(JTA) — A Lithuanian lawmaker who had suggested that Jews share the blame for the Holocaust resigned as chair of the parliament’s historical memory commission.

Valdas Rakutis faced criticism over his comments, made during a speech in parliament on International Holocaust Remembrance Day, including a rare rebuke from the U.S. ambassador.

Rakutis cited his desire to “reduce tensions between home and abroad” when he announced his resignation on Saturday. He also said he had not meant to place blame on Jewish victims of the Nazi genocide.

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