CFI’s Parliamentary Chairman in the House of Lords, and the UK’s Special Envoy for post-Holocaust issues, Rt. Hon. The Lord Pickles, visited Lithuania this week to learn about efforts to preserve Jewish heritage and historical memory of the Holocaust in the country.
During the trip, Lord Pickles visited a number of Holocaust memorials and laid flowers at the memorial stone for Righteous Among Nations, as well as meeting state officials and visiting Jewish cultural centres. Lord Pickles emphasised the need to speak the truth about the Holocaust, citing plans for London’s new Holocaust Memorial and Learning Centre beside Parliament which will advance Holocaust education around the world. Lord Pickles was accompanied by the British Ambassador to Lithuania, H.E. Brian Olley, during his stay.
The Conservative peer commemorated the legacy of former British diplomat Sir Thomas Hildebrand Preston, who helped Jews escape from Lithuania in 1940. Sir Thomas provided 800 Jews with legal travel certificates as well as illegal Palestine certificates to enable them to flee, with his efforts recognised in 2017 with a British Heroes of the Holocaust medal.
Lord Pickles presented a replica of Sir Thomas’s medal to The Sugihara Foundation in Kaunas, for display in its public exhibition.