Vilna is renaming its streets with many new names that represent its multi-ethnic heritage, such “Jewish Street” in the former Jewish quarter, Russia Street and Warsaw Street.
“To see here the street name in Hebrew language, Yiddish language is very moving,” said Amir Moimon, Israel’s ambassador to Lithuania. “This used to be a small ghetto, where 11,000 Jews were packed. They were all murdered.”
But a government representative objected that the new names violated a law requiring new names to be Lithuanian, Reuters reports.
The controversy reflects the anxiety of the Baltic States, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, over Russian minorities in their midst and Russia’s attempts to influence the region exemplified by its ongoing invasion of Crimea.