Musiskiai exposes the highly-significant role played by local political leaders, as well as the prewar Lithuanian administration which remained in place during the Nazi occupation, in implementing the Nazis' Final Solution, but also tackles the sensitive issue of the motivation of thousands of simple Lithuanians in the murder of their Jewish neighbors.
These issues are the heart of the book which uses exclusively Lithuanian material: books written by Lithuanian historians, testimonies of the murderers, interviews with eye witnesses and local residents, including those currently living in close proximity to the mass murder sites, as well as visits to local museums to investigate how the Holocaust and the history of the Jewish communities are being presented in contemporary Lithuania. And it is these themes which Vanagaite and Zuroff discuss, debate, argue about, and analyze as they crisscross the country and seek out more than thirty sites of the mass murder of Lithuanian Jewry, approximately 212,000 of whom were annihilated, out of the 220,000 who lived under the Nazi occupation, the highest percentage among the large European Jewish communities during the Holocaust.
Musiskiai is a very bold call for historical truth, which hopefully will mark a turning point in official Lithuania's attitude to its bloody Holocaust past. If Jan Gross' book Neighbors, about a single village where Poles murdered Jews without any Germans present, led to serious soul-searching in Polish society, imagine the impact and importance of Musiskiai which deals with an entire country full of Jedwabnes.