VILNIUS. Sept 11, 2007 (Interfax) - Lithuania has requested that the Israeli authorities facilitate the questioning of prominent historian and Holocaust researcher Yitzhak Arad regarding his partisan past during World War II and his supposed subsequent service for the Soviet NKVD security police.
"The pretrial investigation documents of this criminal case include enough data to assume that the suspect Yitzhak Arad might have committed criminal deeds in Lithuania," the Lithuanian Prosecutor General's Office said in a press release.
According to the Lithuanian prosecution authorities, Arad joined a Soviet partisan squad while Lithuania was occupied by Nazi Germany and then served with the NKVD. He is suspected of involvement in executions of Lithuanian civilians and members of the anti-Soviet resistance movement, the statement says.
Following WWII, Arad served for the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and was promoted to brigadier general. After retirement in 1972, he became a historian and a Holocaust researcher. He was the director of Yad Vashem, the Israeli Holocaust Remembrance Authority, for 21 years from 1972 to 1991.