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The East German leader, Erich Honecker, talks of the danger of nuclear war in Mitteleuropa.
The musical offered viewers a question—Hero or Murderer? Cukurs was presented as a courageous aviator and unfortunate victim of the chaos and violence of World War II.
And it gives rise to another question: Why would post-communist societies that in recent decades embraced democratic institutions and free market capitalism in their quest to “return to Europe” choose to elevate countrymen implicated in Holocaust atrocities ?
In fact, Herberts Cukurs sits among a pantheon of Nazi collaborators revealed and revived in the postcommunist period.
Though Noreika was suspected by some of collaboration with the Nazis, those suspicions were largely discounted in Lithuania as Russian propaganda seeking to smear his memory.
Yet Noreika’s granddaughter, a Chicago journalist, has uncovered evidence that shows his complicity.