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V. Simonko: The first LGBT activists in Lithuania paid a painful price for being open

The executive director of the National LGBT rights organisation LGL Vladimir Simonko can rightfully be called a chronicler of the LGBT rights movement in Lithuania. In 1995 being the first one in Lithuania to openly speak about his sexual orientation together with his partner Eduardas, today he opened the carefully guarded archive of Lithuanian publications

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Nazis considered homosexuality a disease, therefore homosexuals were subjected systemic persecution, arrest and imprisonment at concentrations camps. Many of the 5000 to 10000 imprisoned homosexuals fell victims of various dehumanizing pseudo-medical experiments and, as they were considered the “lowest caste”, experienced the harshest forms of torture. However, many representatives of the Lithuanian state institutions in