Wollongong City Council awaits the review outcome

March 25, 2022 by J-Wire Staff
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The Wollongong City Council is awaiting the results of reviews underway to assess the claim that Bronius Sredersas was involved in killing Jews in Lithuania in WWII before making its next move.

Wollongong Art Gallery Photo: Wikipedia

Sredersas lived alone in Wollongong after immigrating to Australia and amassed a significant art collection which he gifted to the council and has been honoured with a plaque carrying his name.

Former councillor Michael Samaras said: “In 2018 there was an exhibition about his gift to the city and the promotional media around this exhibition made mention that he was a police officer in Lithuania before the war. I knew from my own general knowledge what the auxiliary police battalions had done in Lithuania, so just thought, ha, that is interesting. I decided it was worth investigating to see if I could find out if he had been involved.”

A spokesperson from Wollongong Council told J-Wire: “Wollongong City Council is deeply concerned about the nature of recent allegations toward Mr Bronius Sredersas.

In 1977 Wollongong City Council accepted a gift of artworks from local art collector Bronius “Bob” Sredersas. The collection featured early Australian artists, collected during Mr Sredersas’ life in Australia. Standard industry processes were followed for the donation of these artworks.  As a result, these artworks were accepted in good faith. Council understands Mr Sredersas migrated to Australia from Lithuania in 1950 and died in Wollongong in 1982.

Council is aware of the information received from Mr Michael Samaras, which includes allegations in relation to Mr Sredersas’ life prior to his migration to Australia in 1950.

The nature of Mr Michael Samaras’ allegations are of deep concern to Council. Council has made contact with appropriate and relevant parties, including Mr Samaras, the Jewish Museum, the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies and the Australian Federal Police, to assist in the review of the matters that have been raised.  This will inform our next steps.”

There is a move to remove the plaque any reference to Sredersas following the allegation he was involved in killing Jews during the Second War World.

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