News The Mayor of Vilnius invites a co-founder of Facebook to visit Vilnius By donatas Posted on 2017 February 2 2 min read 0 580 Remigijus Šimašius, Mayor of Vilnius, invited Sheryl Sandberg, one of the founders of Facebook to visit Vilnius. As a criticism of the policy concerning immigrants of the new President Donald Trump, Sheryl Sandberg uploaded at the social network a picture of her great-great-grandmother Chana Bassa, originally coming from Vilnius. ‘If Chana had not taken that difficult journey, I would not be here today – my family would almost certainly have perished in the concentration camps of World War II.’ – Sheryl Sandberg wrote in her account. Her Jewish great-great-grandmother Chana Bassa left Vilnius in 1889 to escape religious persecution. In his letter to one of the founders of Facebook the Mayor expressed his admiration with her principled statement, and invited her to visit the land of her ancestors. ‘Vilnius has changed considerably since your great-grandmother left the city. I am happy to report that today Vilnius is, once again, as it was historically, an open and friendly European capital that welcomes people of all nationalities – especially those with roots in our multicultural heritage. I would like to personally invite you as such an individual to visit us in Vilnius, to see it for yourself and experience the history and heritage of the city of your ancestors’, wrote the Mayor of Vilnius in his letter. Before the WWII, the Vilnius Jewish population was one of the largest of Europe – about 60,000 Jews accounted for 27.9% of the total population of the city. Vilnius was known in Europe as the most prominent centre of Jewish culture, on the eve of the war there were more than 110 synagogues and 10 prayer houses.