The Litvak Connection is a documentary that depicts the role of Nazi collaborators during the Shoah who were complicit in the liquidation of Latvian and Lithuanian Jewry, i.e. the Litvak population, as well as their connection to present day war crimes issues.
More than 275,000 Latvian and Lithuanian Jews (ninety-five percent of the Jewish population of these countries), as well as tens of thousands of other Jews who had been transported to these countries from elsewhere, were murdered during this time. Most were murdered in the forests, shot in large pits not far from where they lived, within the five-month period before the United States formally entered the war in December 1941, and before the use of the gas chambers in both Poland and Germany.
Many of these war criminals chose to immigrate to the United States and other countries as displaced persons following the war. In order to do so, they lied on their visa forms, stating that they were not complicit in any war crimes. They were subsequently admitted to these countries and eventually became citizens.
For more than thirty years, little was done to investigate these collaborators. It was not until 1979 that the United States began to actively investigate and document war crimes. Even if evidence of criminal activity had been discovered, the fact that the acts were not committed on U.S. soil and did not involve U.S. citizens, meant that the U.S. criminal code had not been violated. Criminals could only be held accountable for lying on their visa application and deported back to the country they came from. However, many of these countries not only refuse to investigate the war crimes of their citizens, but also refused to take back their denaturalized citizens.
Archival photographs from the
Holocaust Memorial Museum ,
and other sources, as well as interviews with Holocaust survivors, were
used in the making of this film. The efforts spearheaded by Operation Last
Chance and by the Office of Special Investigations, U.S. Department of
Justice, who helped to prosecute Nazi war criminals and bring justice for
the many victims, are also featured in this documentary.
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