Trending in Defending
In Riga, Latvia, court punishes an anti-Nazi demonstrator for his placard showing Nazi violence of 1941; he was a counter-demonstrator at this year’s Waffen-SS march. Now also in Jewish Currents (NY). See Latvia and Riga’s Waffen SS marches sections.
Ukrainian city, Kalush, names street in honor of Waffen-SS Hauptsturmführer; Bold citizen challenges the decision in court; JTA report; Also; WJC decries new monument in Vinnitsa for pogrom-meister Petliura
Radio Free Europe reports up to 20,000 participated in October 14th march in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev to glorify the UPA, a major fascist group that collaborated in the Holocaust; Nazi salutes documented
Israeli ambassador to Ukraine speaks out on repeated state honoring of major antisemitic figures. See Ukraine section.
Lithuania’s prime minister says convention center on old Jewish cemetery will “lift” nation’s capital
Linas Vildžiūnas, a leading intellectual in Lithuania, reviews Rūta Vanagaitė’s book on the Holocaust — his review now in English translation
Professor Josifas Parisonas on need for democracy in Lithuanian Jewish Community. See Lithuania section.
Clemens Heni in Times of Israel on the specificity of antisemitism in light of “post-colonial studies”
27 September 2017
A NEW FILM
Vilnius screening of The Last Sunday in August, major new documentary film on the Holocaust in Lithuania, focused on Malát (Molėtai) in eastern Lithuania, is so far ignored by mainstream media and the “Double Genocide Industry”. To date: not one media outlet has published a review. The film documents the murder of all 2,000 Jews of the shtetl in one day (29 August 1941), entirely by enthusiastic, volunteer local murderers working for the German Nazi occupiers of their own country, who killed all of their own neighbors who were Jewish. There was not a single rescuer in the town (but there were incredibly brave Righteous in the surrounding countryside). It also documents those inspiringly courageous Lithuanian citizens today who are determined to tell the simple truth. Defending History calls on the film’s producers to make it very rapidly widely available. The film’s historic narrative and moral message are a precise opposite of the state-sponsored “International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes of Lithuania” (“red-brown commission”) that specializes in spewing moral confusion and doubletalk.
A NEW POSTAGE STAMP
Well-intentioned postage stamp honoring Litvaks goes disastrously wrong, incorporating a nationalist symbol which Holocaust survivors and Lithuanian Jews associate with Nazi and neo-Nazi usage, from the Holocaust to the present day. It also insults the nation’s proud Yiddish heritage. Hopefully the Postal Service and the government will now do the right thing and rapidly withdraw it from circulation. It is causing wholly unnecessary pain all around.
QUESTION OF THE MONTH: Is there a renewed initiative to talk EU Commission President Juncker into embracing Eastern Europe’s “Double Genocide Industry” mantra about all of Europe needing to accept a “unified history” = the claim that Prague Declaration Holocaust revisionism is the one acceptable history (as per the criminalization of dissent in some East European countries)?
BACKGROUND: The 2008 Tallinn proclamation and UK MP John Mann’s Response in the House of Commons; On the 2008 Prague Declaration; The 2012 Seventy Years Declaration; Sample attempt to (ab)use the “United Europe United History” slogan; Criminalization of dissenting views in Eastern Europe (Latvia; Lithuania; Ukraine). Fate of an earlier attempt to manipulate the EU into “legislating” history as per eastern states’ demands.
19 September 2017
All welcome at this Sunday’s Vilnius showing of the new film The Last Sunday in August about Malát (Molėtai). 24 September 2017 at 6 PM at the Ozas Multi Cinema, Ozo 18, Vilnius 08009. Admission free but pre-registration required (phone or SMS: +3706 718-6202 or +3706 153-9950). For background see DH’s Malát section. Trailer for the film.
Would Ukraine really want to compromise its international integrity by naming “Stepan Bandera University” in Lviv? More on Stepan Bandera, head of groups that murdered hundreds of thousands of civilian Jews and Poles in the Hitler era. DH recommends G. Rossolinski-Liebe’s indispensable book.
All welcome at opening of the Nechama Lifschitz Exhibit at the Tolerance Center (Naugarduko 10/2, Vilnius, +3705 231-2357) at 6 PM on 25 September 2017
8 September 2017
“COURAGEOUS STEP”; DEFENDING HISTORY SAYS: CONGRATULATIONS!
2 September 2017
אַ ליכטיקן געבאָרנטאָג, טײַערער מילאַן!
Holocaust flight survivor. Powerful essayist and masterful editor. For 20 years he directed the Vilnius Yiddish Folk Theater. Then, for a dozen years he edited Jerusalem of Lithuania, the Jewish community’s quadrilingual (English-Lithuanian-Russian-Yiddish) newspaper (with each issue produced in four separate editions). Beloved writer at DefendingHistory.com. Champion for Jewish and human rights causes, freedom of speech, and a just and fair society for all. Vilnius says: Happy Birthday, Milan!
1 September 2017
TRENDING AT DEFENDING
23 August 2017
8 East European Countries Issue New Call for Double Genocide, Demanding “Equal” Status for Nazi and Soviet Crimes
Call comes from the Czech Republic, Croatia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, & Slovakia
EU Taxpayer Financed “Prague Platform” Plays Key Role in the Ongoing Orchestration. Meanwhile, “Platform” boasts that its new competition for a mix-n-match red-brown memorial is “under the High Patronage of the European Parliament”. It’s “Bible” is the 2008 Prague Declaration (PD). Defending History working with 71 Euro-parliamentarians (including eight very courageous Lithuanian legislators) countered with the 2012 Seventy Years Declaration (SYD); its text in European languages.
Defending History’s comment: “Instead of simply highlighting the legitimate need to recognize, condemn, study and memorialize Communist crimes, as a distinct issue, the injection of “equality” by eight (only East European!) countries, once again underscores the far-right ultranationalist drive to obfuscate and downgrade the Holocaust by way of “Prague Declaration” style ruses to invoke a bogus equivalence between Nazism and Communism. One of the prime motives is to write the massive local collaboration (and in some countries active participation) in the Holocaust out of history, while finding cunning ways to glorify local Holocaust collaborators as “heroes”. It is high time for the West, once again, to Just Say No.”
More on Double Genocide: Shimon Alperovich, Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis, Yitzhak Arad, Evaldas Balciunas, Yehuda Bauer, Danny Ben-Moshe, Milan Chersonski, Leonidas Donskis, Jonathan Freedland, Pinchos Fridberg, Clemens Heni, Dovid Katz, Rachel Kostanian, Denis MacShane, John Mann, Efraim Zuroff
12 US Congressmen Call on Lithuania’s President to Move Convention Center Project Away from the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery
After publication by Defending History, rapid response comes from president of Lithuania, foreign minister, advisor to PM, and others. They refer to “permissions” from the markedly controversial London rabbis of the “CPJCE” exposed by Wikileaks, Jerusalem Post, JTA, and DH (no mention of the overwhelming international and local opposition or 40,000 petition signatories); also from the “official” Jewish community whose leadership allegedly rigged elections last spring to stay in power; no mention in politicians’ statements of gov. consulting also with the democratically elected 21 members of the Vilnius Jewish Community’s Council. But Vilnius broadcast media went to Vilnius community’s leader too. Professor Sid (Shnayer) Leiman (New York) responds to the president of Lithuania. Petition author Ruta Bloshtein (Vilnius) responds.
International media coverage — JTA (Jewish Telegraphic Agency), Times of Israel (French edition), Hamodia, Five Towns Jewish Times, (2), Professor Sid Leiman responds to Lithuania’s president.
Baltic media coverage (in Lithuanian, English, Polish, Russian) — 15min.lt, Baltnews.lt, BNS via Lithuania Tribune (2), Delfi.lt, eajc.org, Kurier.lt, LJC, LNK (at: 13:40), LRT.lt/mediateka, Lzinios.lt, NovayaGazeta.ee, Obzor.lt, TV3.lt, Weekly of Vilnius, Wilnoteka.lt; Ruta Bloshtein’s petition update.
International petition passes 40,000 signature mark. Pleas from around the world continue to mount.
NATO Must Stand For Western Values
Our take? Putin’s shameful “Zapad 17” military exercise demo, in regions bordering the eastern democratic lands of NATO and the EU, intended to intimidate their peaceful populations, needs to be exposed for what it is and countered with stalwart determination. That makes it all the more critical for NATO (and the EU) not to succumb to regional far-right, ultranationalist, chauvinist, Holocaust-revisionist, and antisemitic forces in the course of the proceedings. Indeed, when NATO has a lapse in upholding Western ideals, principles and causes, especially those for which the Allies fought during World War II and the Holocaust, it is incumbent upon genuine friends of NATO to point it out sharp and clear. This latest episode also impacts the principle that citizens of Eastern NATO countries deserve the same standards of freedom of speech and democracy as all others. It is, moreover, incumbent on US embassies in the Baltics, particularly in Vilnius, to stop defaming (as “Russian lackeys”) those (including US citizens these embassies exist to represent!) who stand up to far-right Holocaust revisionism and work for human rights in the region.
NATO has issued a new film extolling the Baltic postwar “Forest Brothers” with no mention of the “problem” that many (or most) were recycled Hitlerist forces, that most of their targets for murder were civilians, and that most harbored Nazi views of racial purity and hatred of their nations’ minorities. The film’s official description misleadingly implies that these “Brothers” were generally or equally comprised of people from “both sides of the war” and includes no mention of the related 21st century issues of glorification of Nazi collaborators in Eastern Europe (or the 1950s glee taken by the “Brothers” in the Holocaust). In Vilnius, a city official was just fired for daring to question whether the “Brothers” were right to murder those who worked in state collective farms. While “Forest Brother” relics are preserved as national shrines (courtesy of EU budgets), the last surviving anti-Nazi base of Jewish partisans who fled the Vilna Ghetto is being left to sink right into the earth.
More on the alarming changes in recent years in US State Department policy: section; page; via Yivo; the neocon movement; and the DC Holocaust Museum (USHMM); DH’s USA page and section. Related: The allegedly most corrupt federal agency in Washington is the taxpayer-funded “US Commission for the Preservation of the American Heritage Abroad” (USCPAHA) which has in recent years colluded with forces entangled in destruction of the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery. But in July 2017, twelve US congressmen defiantly wrote a powerful letter to the president of Lithuania.
Non-Jewish Lithuanian citizens are starting to take the lead in the campaign to save the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery from plans to plonk a convention center in its center, where people would revel, cheer, drink at bars and flush toilets surrounded by thousands of Vilna Jews buried there from the 15th to the 19th centuries (a fate that would never befall a Christian cemetery in today’s EU). This poster, produced in July 2017 by Julius Norwilla, includes a quote from philosopher Dr. Andrius Kulikauskas, and the visualization created by a young Vilnius artist.
See more on international opposition; a summary of the saga; views of a major scholar on the cemetery’s history; a recent short film; the international petition that is approaching 40,000 signatures; full translation of the new poster; English version of the poster. The new Yiddish version. DH section on the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery.
Josh Cohen in Reuters: Will President Trump Confront Ukraine’s Leaders on Naming of Streets for Holocaust Collaborators?
Cohen’s major op-ed is a response to the recent naming of yet another boulevard in Ukraine’s capital, Kiev, for a Holocaust collaborator
“The common denominator here is state-sponsored inversion of history for the purposes of today’s ultra-nationalist, far-right politics: Glorify the Holocaust’s collaborators, defame the victims, survivors and heroes, and you’re heading for the bogus Double Genocide (with its attendant yearned-for obfuscation of the Holocaust)” — Dovid Katz
Major conceptual expansion of Lithuanian prosecutors’ decade-old campaign against Jewish partisan veterans and Holocaust survivors who speak out
State-sponsored and elite-endorsed messaging extols the “heroism” of actual World War II perpetrators and ethnic cleansers as well as increasingly overt “East-European style antisemitism”. But the campaign, masquerading as history, patriotism, political science, mainstream media, and even Holocaust studies, is enabled by the current geopolitical backdrop and a Western tendency to silently “give them all a pass”.
See: Josh Cohen in Foreign Policy (2 May 2016); Semen Doroshenko in (Ukrainian website) Politnavigator (26 Feb. 2017); Andreas Umland in New Eastern Europe (7 March 2017); Sam Sokol in the London Jewish Chronicle (9 March 2017); Report in JTA (27 March 2017); Eduard Dolinsky in the New York Times (11 April 2017).
Ukraine elites’ recent statements on matter of race and history: See former MP’s statement; opening of disturbing monument at Babi Yar.
Free speech in Ukraine? See Josh Cohen in Foreign Policy on laws criminalizing opposing points of view; DH’s section on similar laws & free-speech infractions throughout Eastern Europe; DH’s Ukraine section.
Fracas at Paris conference: Group of scholars asks Paris conference to exclude cheerleader for local Ukrainian collaborators; History News Network; JTA’s report; Jerusalem Post article by Per Anders Rudling and Efraim Zuroff.
Earlier: See Dovid Katz in Times of Israel, ConsortiumNews.com, Jewish Currents; DH’s media tracker for the 2014-2015 Maidan Revolution period.
Lithuanian National Library Opens New Center Named for Wartime Advocate of Ethnic Cleansing of Nation’s Jewish Minority. Andrius Kulikauskas’s Eyewitness Report.
Does the National Library’s inclusion and celebration of a center named for an “ethnic cleansing advocate” (during the Lithuanian Holocaust) derive “legitimacy” from its neighbor, the Judaic Studies Center opened less then one month ago to universal acclaim, on the same floor, by New York’s Yivo and the National Library’s leadership?
Yivo has won back a lot of credibility by now building Jewish studies in Lithuania in cooperation with the National Library and other academic institutions instead of the Red-Brown Commission and Holocaust revisionist agencies as in past years (see Yivo section, scroll to bottom to review chronologically; the 2015 letter from Vilna born Holocaust survivor Prof. Pinchos Fridberg, 2012 participation in a conference set up to camouflage the concurrent reburial with full honors of the 1941 Nazi puppet prime minister). Has the Holocaust revisionist establishment nevertheless found a way yet again to abuse the Yivo board’s good will and enlist the Yivo brand in attempts to kosherize “by juxtaposition” the glorification of Holocaust collaborators and cheerleaders? Hopefully Yivo’s leaders will this time speak out rapidly with moral clarity and ensure the new center does not remain under the same roof as its neighbor that exists to sanitize the Holocaust’s local supporters. What would Chaikel Lunski, Zelig-Hirsh Kalmanovitsh, Zalmen Reyzen, Tsemakh Shabad, and Max Weinreich have said?
Trending in Defending
A Vilnius Visualization Artist Offers Starting Point for Restoration of City’s Old Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in Šnipiškės)
SEE ALSO: NEW AMERICAN SHORT FILM ON FATE OF OLD JEWISH CEMETERY IN VILNIUS, LITHUANIA, WITH PROF. SHNAYER LEIMAN & MALCOLM HOENLEIN
Cemetery as site for new national convention center? Are “compromised” Western organizations also involved? US taxpayer-funded “USCPAHA” and London’s “CPJCE” with their NY “Admas Kodesh”; International petition; Opposition to date…
Molėtai (Malát), town in northeastern Lithuania: Town church commissioning bas-relief of wartime priest who organized the shooting squad that murdered 100% of the town’s Jews? Paul Alster in The Times of Israel
When East European Governments Make Heroes out of Holocaust Collaborators; in Ukraine (+ Twitter); Vilnius Battle over two Major Collaborators
Bitter new campaign against Holocaust survivor and anti-Nazi resistance hero Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky, who turns 95 on 22 May; Ronaldas Račinskas, director of state’s “red-brown” commission explains (in documentary film) why he thinks the state must investigate veterans of the anti-Nazi partisans (late head of the Jewish Community noted years ago that it only ever happens to Jewish partisans)
Jewish Life in Vilnius is Not Boring; Vilna Yiddish Reading Circle Starts new session on Wednesday 17 May 2017, 6 PM. All welcome!
Vilnius University goes for PR bonanza by offering historical “memory diplomas” for students prevented by war from finishing their degrees. But it quickly emerged that the exceptions to the “generous proposal” include Jewish students who survived because they heroically fought the Nazis either as Jewish partisans or in the Soviet army (allied during the Holocaust years with the United States and Great Britain). Details here. JTA report.◊
17 Organizations in Lithuania Sign Petition in Favor of Central Vilnius Street Name Glorifying Holocaust Promoter K. Škirpa
Among the 17 is Sąjūdis (Vilnius & Kaunas), whose honorary national chairman is Prof. V. Landsbergis, and whose national council includes MP Emanuelis Zingeris. Will Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Šimašius in his reply stand up for what’s right?
Background to the Vilnius street-naming debate. More street names. Dr. Andrius Kulikauskas documents Škirpa’s calls for the ethnic cleansing of Lithuania’s Jewish citizens during World War II.
RELATED: Incredible and incredibly sad stance on the alleged Holocaust perpetrator J. Noreika: Chief Adviser to the president of Lithuania replies (6 Feb. 2017, to a query from Grant Gochin) on Holocaust collaborator Jonas Noreika “explaining” why it’s okay for him to be a national hero — this, in a country where 96.4% percent of the Jewish minority was murdered. See Evaldas Balčiūnas’s introductory article on Noreika’s Holocaust role; his summary of the summer 2015 petition and debates; protest by the Lithuanian Union of Jewish Students; 2016 call by Jewish Community of Lithuania. Samples of public shrines for Noreika.
29 March London Jewish Chronicle article on glorification of both Skirpa and Noreika in Lithuania; Defending History page and section on regional worship of collaborators and perpetrators.
NEW SECTION: A DECADE OF STATE-SPONSORED DEFAMATION AND HARASSMENT OF LITHUANIA’S LAST HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS; SUMMARY TRACKING PAGE HERE
Far Right in Lithuania (with Help from Gov. Agency!) Launches Spring 2017 Campaign Against 95 Year Old Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky, Lithuania’s Oldest Holocaust Survivor, and Hero of the Anti-Nazi Partisans
Defending History’s Call over the Years for a Gracious State Apology to All Five Defamed Holocaust Survivors
BUT STATE-SPONSORED “RED-BROWN” COMMISSION CONTINUES TO DEFAME SURVIVOR IN THE CONTEXT OF PROMOTING DOUBLE GENOCIDE REVISIONISM UNDER COVER OF “HOLOCAUST EDUCATION”
Campaign Featured at March 11th 2017 Independence Day “Witch Hunt” Protocol Declaimed for Cameras in Forecourt of President’s Palace; The far-right, pro-fascist state-financed “Genocide Center” (page; section) issued a new document on Brantsovsky that declares her not to have been “present” at Kaniūkai, but rather “just” at Jurkonys and Krūminiai, and to have married a “murderer” of Kaniūkai (her late husband), so the “Nationalist Union” rejects all that as far too weak. Is the whole discussion what it is that the “patriots” had to celebrate on their nation’s cherished Independence Day in the forecourt of the presidential palace? The late Leonidas Donskis on the campaign against Jewish partisan veterans: “Intoxicated with hatred against the vanishing Lithuanian Jews.” Is this how national patriots want to say farewell to the last 95 year old scions of the obliterated Litvak civilization after 700 years of coexistence in this land? Our own appeal to newly elected Pres. Grybauskaitė in May 2009.
Effort to Rewrite Holocaust History by Blaming the Victims in the Spirit of “Double Genocide” to Enter 12th Year Next Month; Early International Responses; Comment by Dr. Shimon Alperovich; US Congressmen Berman, Hodes, Wexler; US Congressmen Berkley, Berman, Hodes, Moran, Wexler; Former UK PM Gordon Brown; Milan Chersonski; Prof. Leonidas Donskis; Abraham Foxman (ADL); Sir Martin Gilbert; Edward Lucas in the Economist; Dovid Katz; UK MP Denis MacShane
21 March 2017
Vilnius Author of Petition to Save Old Jewish Cemetery and Head of Kaunas Synagogue Deliver Petition (and its 39,000 Signatures) to Lithuanian Government. On Facebook.
16 March 2017
Protest Outside Latvian Embassy in Berlin; Speeches by Volker Beck and Monica Lowenberg
Reports by JTA, World Jewish Congress, London Express
Baltic Times and BNS “coverage” mentions only Russian opposition to the marches, ignoring Jewish community, the Holocaust and the de facto celebration of genocidal racism; from the run-up
Monica Lowenberg’s blog documents government, church and elite society’s support for honoring the Waffen SS
PREVIOUS YEARS IN RIGA IN VILNIUS IN KAUNAS DH SECTION; ALSO: SECTIONS ON LATVIA & ARTICLES BY MONICA LOWENBERG, ALEKSANDRS FEIGMANIS, ALEKSANDRS KUZMIN
Can Small East European Jewish Communities Maintain their Independence in the Face of Government Interests?
11 March 2017
Over 500 Neo-Nazis Granted Center of Vilnius for March 11th Independence Day Parade; Detour to President’s Palace for a Statement Smearing Vilna Ghetto Survivor Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky, 95
16 February 2017
Petition, launched by Vilnius’s Ruta Bloshtein, is thought to be largest Litvak endeavor since the Holocaust
February 2017 updates: London CPJCE, unmasked by Wikileaks for asking payments in connection with the old Vilna Jewish cemetery, now announces that the hated Soviet ruin on the cemetery’s premises is for Lithuanians the “Tower of London and the Statue of Liberty” (!); The “shameful” role of a U.S. federal agency that’s supposed to protect Jewish cemeteries abroad; Lithuanian ambassador in Washington now says his government is “reviewing the situation” (JTA); in The Times of Israel; Report on U.S. rabbis’ meeting with the ambassador (JP Updates); TheYeshivaWorld.com; Baltimore Jewish Life; Brooklyn Daily Eagle
PROF. SHNAYER LEIMAN IN MATZAV; YAIR ROSENBERG IN TABLET; YANIV POHORYLES IN YNET; RABBI YONAH BOOKSTEIN IN THE JEWISH JOURNAL AND THE HUFFINGTON POST; IN IZRUS; DR. YVETTE ALT MILLER IN AISH.COM; RABBI PINI DUNNER IN ALGEMEINER.COM; LJC LAY LEADER’S RESPONSE (WEBSITE DOESN’T MENTION PETITION’S EXISTENCE)
RIVA POMERANTZ IN AMI-LIVING; SONIA ZHURAVLYOVA IN THE JEWISH CHRONICLE & DH’S REPLY TO RABBI HERSCHEL GLUCK; IN JEWISH HERITAGE EUROPE; MEP ANTANAS GUOGA IN DELFI.LT / LITHUANIA TRIBUNE; BNS; PRANCIŠKUS VAIŠVILA IN DELFI.LT; TURTO BANKAS; RABBI S.J. FEFFER; 5 FEB DH UPDATE
Lithuania’s senior rabbis, Rabbi Sholom Ber Krinsky and Rabbi Kalev Krelin, were among the early signatories, followed by a statement by Rabbi S. J. Feffer. The previous chief rabbi, Rabbi Chaim Burshtein was publicly dismissed in 2015 for having accepted the unanimous view of top Lithuanian-tradition rabbis worldwide.
Lo Tishkach Jewish Cemeteries Initative gets off the fence and supports Bloshtein’s petition; But silence from the board of “Maceva” and moral (and issue) confusion from “Jewish Heritage Europe” … Latest price tag for the corruption-tinged project is 34 million euros.
The Satmar organization in Monroe, N.Y., affiliated to the London-based CPJCE, boasts that the State Department’s rep from the US taxpayer funded Commission for Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad (USCPAHA) is “reporting to Satmar Rebba” (meaning Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum; the competing contender for the throne, Rabbi Yekusiel Zalman Teitelbaum, by contrast, personally co-signed a rabbinic ban on defiling the old Vilna Jewish cemetery, joining the world’s Litvak rabbis). The CPJCE allegedly extracts large secretive payments for its permissions and supervisions, as per Wikileaks, reported in the Jerusalem Post, Times of Israel, and Defending History.
CONTINUED PUBLIC SILENCE FROM THE US TAXPAYER FUNDED “COMMISSION FOR THE PRESERVATION OF AMERICA’S HERITAGE ABROAD” (USCPAHA) WHICH HAS ALLEGED CONFLICT-OF-INTEREST TIES WITH LITHUANIAN GOV. ENTITIES AND THE “AARON” BRANCH OF SATMAR HASIDIM IMPLICATED IN THE VILNA CEMETERY SCANDAL. COLOR CODED KEY.
ALSO: See the petition to stop the diversion of government restitution funds deriving from the religious properties of the annihilated Jewish population to the whims of a tiny circle of elites and foreign ministries. Please allocate fairly for the survival and growth of Lithuania’s fragile Jewish community. Background in JTA and Defending History. Latest developments.
1 January 2017
Will the West maintain its silence on Ukraine’s ongoing glorification of major Holocaust collaborators? What about Western values? Will media coverage again be limited to “Jewish” and “Russian” publications? Background from 2014. Last July, a Kiev street was officially renamed for Stepan Bandera.
1 January 2017
As 2017 gets underway, Defending History is proud to honor three Vilnius personalities, all from its Orthodox Jewish community this year, who have stood up for cherished principles against powerful forces. In all cases, the principles defended pertain not only to Jewish affairs but to human rights more generally. Their courage and determination can serve as an example to all who defend human rights and history, even when it is inconvenient and draws the ire of power-invested (often state-related) institutions. The three are Rabbi Sholom Ber Krinsky, Ms. Ruta Bloshtein, and Rabbi Kalev Krelin. More here. See from previous years the Prophet Amos Human Rights Awards and the 2014 Person of the Year.
28 December 2016
3 December 2016
PROF. DOV LEVIN
Kaunas (Kovno) 1925 — Jerusalem 2016
His life. Author of The Litvaks, the Lithuania volume of Yad Vashem’s Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities (Pinkas Hakehillot), and numerous books and studies. In Defending History. Returning his award from the Lithuanian government in solidarity with Yitzhak Arad (2008). Protesting a “one-sided Holocaust conference” in Jerusalem (2009). Photo: speaking at Leivick House Tel Aviv event for Dr. Rachel Margolis (2009). Editor’s comment.
In 2000, Dov Levin’s Trumpa žydų istorija Lietuvoje (A Short History of the Jews of Lithuania) appeared in Vilnius in the translation of Jonas Morkus, published with the assistance of the Israeli Embassy in the Baltics (then in Riga). But today’s Israeli Embassy in Lithuania (in Vilnius) has yet to release a statement on the death of the last great historian of Lithuanian Jewry of the Holocaust survivor generation. Levin was a citizen of Israel from the day of its establishment. He was a veteran of both the Jewish partisans in the forests of Lithuania and the Israeli War of Independence in 1948. After the war, he lived all his life in Jerusalem where he was professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Related: section on Israel related issues.
End-of-Year Honesty-of-History and Antisemitism Issues Await Public Word from Mayor of Vilnius:
(1) Will he issue a public statement responding to Jewish community chair Faina Kukliansky’s Nov. 11th letter on plaque glorifying Holocaust perpetrator J. Noreika? One year ago, Vilnius Jewish students protested. There is also a Noreika inscription on capital’s central boulevard. Evaldas Balčiūnas’s 2012 article. Balčiūnas section.
(2) Will the mayor support City Councillor Mark Harold’s proposal to rename for inspirationally brave Lithuanian rescuers the Vilnius street currently named for Nazi collaborator Kazys Škirpa? Live report on the 29 Nov. “surreal” debate in the capital’s Old Town Hall. Jewish Community Chair Faina Kukliansky also weighed in with a strong letter concerning the city’s continued honoring of Škirpa with a street name. In September she spoke out about three major collaborators who are still widely glorified by street names and plaques.
(3) Will he speak out on convention center project in heart of city’s old Jewish cemetery (the plan has attracted international opposition)? Recent appeals to him on both shrines for collaborators and planned convention center in heart of old Vilna Jewish cemetery.
29 November 2016
In Vilnius, City Council Holds “Surreal” Public Debate on 29 Nov. on Street Name Honoring a Nazi Collaborator; But Will the Mayor (Who Did Not Attend) Ever Speak Out with Moral Clarity?
Reports on Vilnius Jewish Public Library panel & views of Marius Ivaškevičius, Tomas Kajokas, Rūta Vanagaitė, Jurgita Verbickienė, Irena Veisaitė, Efraim Zuroff and others: Library’s Facebook page; Lzinios.lt. Comments to Lzinios.lt article refer to Jewish partisans who have still not received an apology for defamation from state agencies, resulting in ongoing abuse for Holocaust Obfuscation in de facto public discourse (as well as permanent historical defamation). Announced panel included no member of Lithuania’s living Jewish community. Also: Vanagaitė exposes a Vilnius-region Holocaust mass grave now for sale. In 15min.lt
JERUSALEM: CNAAN LIPHSHIZ ON UKRAINIAN JEWRY’S RESPONSE TO GOV. WORSHIP OF HOLOCAUST COLLABORATOR STEPAN BANDERA (in JTA)
NEW YORK: VANAGAITE AND ZUROFF IN JOINT APPEARANCE IN TEANECK, NJ; VANAGAITE IS 2016 WINNER OF THE L.A. SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTER’S COVETED “WOMAN OF VALOR” AWARD; BACKGROUND
READERS IN THE VILNIUS AREA
VILNA YIDDISH LITERARY CIRCLE TO READ FROM CHAIM GRADE (1910-1982)
EVERYONE WELCOME! Next Session Wednesday 30 November 2016, 6 PM at the Jewish Cultural and Information Center, Mėsinių Street 3 in the Old Town. Always with a sharp lens for Lithuanian Yiddish language and culture.
Opinions on History: Now by Diktat of Right-Wing Nationalist Governments at NATO’s Eastern Flank? Where are the Free Speech Monitors at OSCE, NATO, EU, UNESCO, etc?
Parliaments of Poland and Ukraine pass Law stating that World War II a result (solely?) of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact; Reaction of Vladimir Golstein; Coincidental discovery of documents leading to different conclusions published by the right-of-center Telegraph in London. More on recent developments in Poland and Ukraine.
Holocaust Obfuscation (and deflection of blame from the actual perpetrators) not far from the surface? Law follows years of criminalization of dissent to aspects of Double Genocide, maxing out at two years of imprisonment in Lithuania, three in Hungary, five in Latvia, and ten in Ukraine. The explanation for such laws…
THE LATE LEONIDAS DONSKIS (1962—2016) ON CRIMINALIZATION OF DEBATE AND HIS ESSAYS ON RELATED TOPICS
NEWS AND VIEWS
Andreas Umland in Foreign Policy on Ukraine’s Glorification of Nazi Collaborators; Sam Sokol in JNS.org on Ukrainian Jewish Leader who Dared to Challenge his Government’s Glorification of Collaborators; in ISGAP’s Flashpoint on Butchering History in Ukraine
Piece by Piece, the Holocaust is Being Downgraded in Europe by East European Manipulation of European Union Institutions
“European Shoah Legacy Institute” Legitimizes Double Genocide Politics of “Prague Platform” by Joining in Organizing Competition for Designs for a Mix-and-Match Red-Brown Monument in Brussels
Prague Platform Continues to Support the 2008 Prague Declaration, the primary document of 21st century East European nationalist driven Holocaust revisionism. See the Europarliamentary response: The Seventy Years Declaration (in 15 languages).
EARLIER REPORT (WHEN COMPETITION WAS ANNOUNCED). Winners and celebration banquet now seem to be flaunted on website of Prague Platform but suppressed on the website of the “Shoah Legacy Institute” . . .
The “Shoah Legacy Institute” is located in Prague. All of the winners of the “Pan European” [!] Competition are from the Czech and Slovak Republics.
SEE DEFENDING HISTORY SECTIONS ON THE PRAGUE DECLARATION, THE PRAGUE “PLATFORM” AND THE DOUBLE GENOCIDE MOVEMENT.
Meanwhile, the Prague Platform’s mix-and-match revisionist exhibition on Nazi and Soviet crimes was on display in Canada in Aug. and Sept. 2016, as usual “under the radar” of criticism and scrutiny.
LATEST ON THE NATIONAL CONGRESS CENTER PLANNED FOR HEART OF THE OLD VILNA JEWISH CEMETERY
(1) Rabbi Tzvi Rotberg, head of major Litvak yeshiva in Israel, issues statement condemning Congress Center plans for the old Jewish cemetery, adding new voice to the international opposition.
(2) Rimvydas Valatka blasts massive corruption in “renovation” of old Soviet Sports Palace; Calls for building National Congress Center elsewhere (without mentioning the Old Jewish Cemetery there or International Opposition). Editor-in-chief of Lrytas.lt, he is a signatory of Lithuania’s 1990 Declaration of Independence.
(3) New wave of publicity on Jewish gravestones found all over Vilnius (following mayor’s “Yiddish sign” campaign), a diversion when accompanied by utter failure to condemn (or even mention) plans for new National Congress Center on top of thousands of Jewish graves where thousands will clap, cheer and urinate over remains of Vilnius citizens buried there for over half a millennium.
(4) Lithuanian Foreign Ministry source tells DH that “our Israeli ambassador” [i.e. in Vilnius] helped organize Benjamin Netanyahu’s alleged Nov. 2015 blessing for desecration of the cemetery where his own ancestors lie buried. More background to the tale of power, antisemitism (Christian cemeteries don’t get this treatment), greed, photo-op glory, and collusion against the moral force of the thousands of graves honorably purchased over 500 years by Jewish citizens of Vilnius. Israeli embassy invited to clarify its involvement (if any), and above all, to clarify PM Netanyahu’s position. See Israel issues.
GOOD WILL SOLUTION:
Preserve the old Jewish cemetery as a cemetery cum memorial park to which pilfered Jewish gravestones from all over town can be brought to stand in dignity. See essays by Julius Norwilla and Sid Leiman. Move the congress center project to a venue where it will be a pride to all the peoples of Lithuania and Europe.
Last year, a group of the world’s greatest Litvak rabbis came to beg the Vilnius mayor (and other officials) to move the Congress Center project. They still have no answer… The mayor’s colorful record on Jewish affairs.
See the essays by Ruta Bloshtein, Chaim Burshtein [it got him fired], Milan Chersonski, Pinchos Fridberg, Bernard Fryshman, Dovid Katz, Andrius Kulikauskas, Sid Leiman, Michael Maass and dozens of others.
International Opposition. Paper Trail. Defending History Section.
Utter silence from organizations devoted specifically to preservation of Jewish cemeteries, including the donor funded NGO “Maceva” and the United States taxpayer funded “Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad” (USCPAHA) which has been deeply implicated in the machinations of the Satmar rabbis who bless the “Vilnius convention center on the cemetery”… See section on the USCPAHA and the London-based CPJCE. The cave-in by Asra Kadisha. The London CPJCE rabbis who “provide permissions” in effect for $$$ were exposed by Wikileaks, Jerusalem Post, JTA, and DH.
Will the mayor (and president and prime minister) speak out on city’s street names and plaques that honor Holocaust collaborators? City streets and plaques glorify Škirpa, Noreika and the LAF’s “June insurrection”…
DEFENDING HISTORY WAS THERE
Annual Sept. 23 Official Commemoration Ceremony at the Ponár (Paneriai) Mass Murder Site Outside Vilnius, Lithuania
Dramatic Shift: Lithuanian Jewish Community’s Faina Kukliansky Calls for Removal of Street Names and Memorials for Holocaust Collaborators, Boldly Citing Juozas Krikštaponis, Jonas Noreika, and Kazys Škirpa; Sharp Contrast with Last Year’s Failed Event
The Defending History Community Mourns our Colleague
13 August 1962 — 21 September 2016
HIS WORK IN DEFENDING HISTORY INCLUDES ESSAYS ON:
♦ The campaign against Holocaust survivors who joined the anti-Nazi Soviet partisans and its implications
♦ Response to proposals to “reevaluate” the Hitlerist LAF and Provisional Government collaborators of 1941
♦ Response to the reburial with full honors of 1941 Nazi puppet prime minister; Public letter on effects of the reburial and the participation of Vytautas Magnus University
See also his famous essay on Antisemitism in Lithuania
DEFENDING HISTORY COVERAGE OF PROFESSOR DONSKIS INCLUDES
♦ Nida Vasiliauskaitė on Donskis’ reply to Girnius over attempts to rehabilitate the 1941 LAF and the Provisional Government
Julius Norwilla’s take on the recent major event on 29 August 2016 marking the 75th anniversary of the massacre of the town’s 2,000 Jewish inhabitants (not one was rescued).
Speeches at the event by Tsvi-Hirsh Kritzer (the project’s initiator) and Leon Kaplan.
Don Snyder in the Forward (NY) exposes the new threat to freedom of speech and research on Holocaust history in Poland. See more on recent developments in Poland; Poland section.
But Western media has largely ignored the deterioration of free speech on Holocaust issues in much of Eastern Europe. See Free Speech section; the long saga of police and prosecutorial harassment of Evaldas Balčiūnas in Lithuania; and the introduction of “Double Genocide” laws criminalizing, in effect, the Western narrative of World War II, with punishments of up to 2 years imprisonment in Lithuania (2010), 3 years in Hungary (2010), 5 years in Latvia (2014), 10 years in Ukraine (2015); but no specific prison sentences mentioned in Estonia’s “Valentine’s Day Law” (2012) …
In some cases, neocon politics preclude even mild critiques of policies of NATO allies in Eastern Europe. In others, there are also budgets for providing honors to presumably useful foreigners from the West who cover for disturbing policies and sometimes become entangled in campaigns in efforts against local scholars, activists, and journalists who dare dissent. For geopolitical reasons, there are occasionally issues concerning the US State Department (more here; US section; page), the British Foreign Office (see also Monica Lowenberg section, DH section); the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and others. Israel (and its embassy in Vilnius) continue to fail to ask for state apologies for the three Israeli citizens defamed for posterity.
Dozens of Scholars of Polish Jewish History Sign a Bold and Historic Open Letter on Polish Government’s Distortions of History on Jedwabne and Kielce
Suspense rising on ultimate decision of master Brandeis scholar Antony Polonsky, who some think may have been manipulated by Lithuanian state honors in that country’s Holocaust politics. Some of those who signed the bold and forthright document re Poland have themselves sung a different tune on the Baltics after subsidies from Lithuanian gov. agencies
Will there finally be discussion on why so many Western and Israeli scholars don’t speak up on vastly more state-sponsored Holocaust obfuscation, history fixing, and actual glorification of collaborators in the Baltics and Ukraine? Do free speech and frank discussion end at Poland’s eastern borders?
A. Feigmanis on high government officials who think adulation of the Waffen SS is good for the country (and Jewish organizations that won’t speak up); A. Kuzmin asks whether the EU, OSCE and Council of Europe will comment on Latvia’s still-unrepealed “1998 Declaration” on the Waffen SS. See DH’s Latvia section.
Milan Chersonski Turns 79 (2 Sept): Happy Birthday! Milan’s section in DH. Tribute to his dozen years (1999-2011) of editing Jerusalem of Lithuania.
Defending History Turns 7 (6 Sept)
From our first issue. Five Years Ago. Three Years Ago. The Seventy Years Declaration (SYD) of 2012 (& on its own website).
David Hirsch in Engage and Jonathan Freedland in the Guardian (2009); Avi Friedman in Mishpacha, Ricky Ben-David in the Jerusalem Post, Mark Ames in The Nation, and Wendy Robbins on BBC World Service (2010); Cindy Mindell in the Jewish Ledger and Peter Jukes in Motley Moose (2011); Danny Ben-Moshe in his film Rewriting History (2012); Bernard Dichek in Jerusalem Report (2013); Richard Bloom in his film Defending Holocaust History (2014); Daniel Brook in Slate (2015); Larry Yudelson in the Jewish Standard (2016)
Autumn 2016 Discourse over “Historic Soul” of Central Vilnius
Will Vilnius Mayor & Lithuania’s PM & President Issue Morally Clear Statements on Two Sites Visible from Grand Dukes’ Medieval Hill?
THERE ARE FIVE JEWISH FORMS OF THE FABLED CITY’S NAME: ווילנא, ווילנע, ווילנה, וילנה, ווילניוס
(1) Changing the name of a city center street that glorifies a Nazi collaborator who enthusiastically supported the removal of his country’s Jewish citizens?
FOR MORE BACKGROUND ON KAZYS ŠKIRPA (CENTER) SEE DH ARTICLES BY ANDRIUS KULIKAUSKAS, EVALDAS BALČIŪNAS, AND MILAN CHERSONSKI. PROF. T. SNYDER’S BLOODLANDS: “Škirpa used this suffering in his radio broadcasts to spur mobs to murder. Some 2,500 Jews […]” … (p. 192)
RECENT PROTESTS INCLUDE: MARK HAROLD (SPLINTER) OF VILNIUS CITY COUNCIL; SERGEY KANOVICH IN THE LITHUANIA TRIBUNE
One of the Škirpa signs is right on the Museum of Applied Arts building. But is this what the museum wants to be known for? Could its directors join efforts to replace the name with one that brings pride and inclusiveness to modern Vilnius?
READ MORE; MORE STREET NAMES & SHRINES FOR COLLABORATORS; WITHIN VILNIUS; THE 2012 REBURIAL WITH FULL HONORS OF 1941 NAZI PUPPET PM; COLLABORATORS GLORIFIED SECTION
(2) Will elected officials speak out in favor of moving the new National Congress Center project away from the old Jewish cemetery where thousands of Vilnius citizens were buried from the 15th to the 19th century?
READ MORE; INTERNATIONAL OPPOSITION; THE PAPER TRAIL; DH SECTION; LATEST PLANS ON WEBSITE OF “TURTO BANKAS” AND THEIR SUMMER 2016 PDF
Will organizations that exist to protect Jewish cemeteries speak out now, howsoever mildly, as “bulldozer time” comes upon us? The US taxpayer funded USCPAHA? The privately funded Maceva? Asra Kadisha? Lo Tishkach? HFPJC? The London CPJCE rabbis allegedly caught red-handed on Wikileaks?
FROM THE INTERNATIONAL MEDIA:
24 JULY 2016 JTA REPORT BY CNAAN LIPSHIZ ON KAUNAS KILLING SITE USED NOW TO CELEBRATE WEDDINGS; 26 JULY REACTION FROM THE JEWISH COMMUNITY OF LITHUANIA; 26 JULY REPORT IN TRANSITIONS ON LINE; 5 AUG. REPLY FROM KAUNAS MUNICIPALITY; 9 AUG. JTA REACTION.
20 JULY 2016 TABLET REPORT BY JARED MCBRIDE ON THE GLORIFICATION OF HOLOCAUST PERPETRATORS IN UKRAINE
22 July 2016 Defending History Eyewitness Report
VERDICT IN: EVALDAS BALČIŪNAS NOT GUILTY (AFTER 4 YEARS OF HARASSMENT AND A DOZEN 450 KM ROUND TRIPS FROM HOME — BUT COURT ALLOWS FAR RIGHT “PLAINTIFF” 20 DAYS TO APPEAL)
Vilnius DH team came 0ut to support Evaldas Balčiūnas, on Friday, 22 July 2016 at Vilnius County Court.
Related: Glorification of collaborators in Eastern Europe; public shrines in Lithuania; Evaldas Balčiūnas in DH
22 July 2016
14 July 2016
i24 report. Background in DH on British-born city council member, Mark Harold Splinter, who proposed the change (his statement in English). Samples from elsewhere in Lithuania. Wider issue in Eastern Europe. Within “Double Genocide” theory.
15 July 2016
Architects Publish Three Visualizations for National Convention Center Planned for Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery, Where Thousands Still Lie Buried
But critics warn that property magnates, politicians, and their foreign Jewish shmendriks will be haunted for generations by a rather different visualization…
Vulovak / DefendingHistory.com
A few of the luminous Jewish scholars buried on site are enumerated by Professor Sid Leiman; Professor Leiman’s essay on the current convention center project; the mounting international opposition.
Meanwhile, Prof. Bernard Fryshman, Inspirer of US Congress Law Protecting Minorities’ Cemeteries, Critiques Pliant London Rabbis and US Gov’s “Commission to Protect American Heritage Abroad” on Failure to Oppose Planned Convention Center in the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery
JULY 2016: Vilnius-based Rabbi Samuel Jacob Feffer pleads with Lithuanian political icons Emanuelis Zingeris (left) and Vytautas Landsbergis, both signatories of the the nation’s declaration of independence, to come out against the deeply hurtful “national convention center in the old Vilna Jewish cemetery” project. PHOTO: JULIUS NORWILLA.
Vilnius mayor’s PR machine tries to cover “the Jewish cemetery affair” with photo-ops on removal of the small Soviet-era electric power station made of Jewish gravestones, after his “Yiddish offensive” of “ludicrous” multilingual signs — all in the absence, to this day, of a word of polite public reply to the great Litvak rabbis who came to beg him to stand up against the project for a national convention center where thousands will cheer, sing and use toilets over a half millennium of Vilna Jewish graves. Does he really want that to be his defining image for history? Does he care about what the convention center project is doing to his city’s reputation? “The ghosts who will haunt his honor the mayor are not those from the electro-power station.”
Will organizations that exist to protect Jewish cemeteries speak out now, howsoever mildly, as “bulldozer time” comes upon us? Maceva? Asra Kadisha? Lo Tishkach? USCPAHA [/inDH]? HFPJC? CPJCE [/in DH]? EU?
RELATED: AND WHICH ORGANIZATIONS ARE SPEAKING OUT FOR PRESERVATION OF THE BALTICS’ LAST UNDERGROUND JEWISH PARTISAN BASE?
VISITORS TO VILNIUS, LITHUANIA:
NEXT YIDDISH READING CIRCLE: MONDAY EVENING 25 JULY 2016 AT 6 PM AT THE JEWISH CULTURAL CENTER, MESINIU STREET 3, OLD TOWN. ALL WELCOME.
11 July 2016
Kaunas Court Affirms Sentence of Two Years “Restricted Freedom” for “Facilitation of Genocide” by Former KGB Officer for Arresting Adolfas Ramanauskas-Vanagas in 1956
SEE OBZOR REPORT THAT CITES BNS; REPORTS CONFIRMED BY LITHUANIAN COURT OF APPEAL AND TIESOS.LT; HOLOCAUST ASPECTS REPORTED BY ISRAELI RUSSIAN LANGUAGE NEWS PORTAL IZRUS
Western Mainstream Media Fails to Mention that East European Allies of the West are Investing in Glorification of Hitler’s Local Collaborators
Huffington Post Piece on Stepan Bandera Worship in Ukraine Omits his Orgnaization’s Responsibility for Hundreds of Thousands of Murders of Poles and Jews; Major New Historical Book on Bandera Still Goes Unmentioned
Even Prodigious Newsweek Story on Vanagaite-Zuroff Book Omits the Issue of State Glorification (Street Names, Plaques, Memorials) for Nazi Collaborators; Article Gives Red-Brown Commission PR Cover; No Mention of Prague Declaration or the State Campaign against Holocaust Survivors who Resisted
The Conceptual War over History at the Core of Current Discourse in “Battle of the Declarations”: 2008 Prague Declaration that put “Double Genocide” on the Map and the 2012 Seventy Years Declaration that Punctured its PR Tank
SEE MORE ON: DOUBLE GENOCIDE, THE SEVENTY YEARS DECLARATION, GLORIFICATION OF COLLABORATORS AND THE PARALLEL CAMPAIGN AGAINST HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS WHO RESISTED
LATE JUNE / EARLY JULY 2016
Defending History Brings Results
Five years ago in 2011, on the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the Lithuanian Holocaust on 23 June 1941 and the following days — nationalist murderers killed thousands of Jewish neighbors before the first German forces arrived or assumed control — the state sponsored an array of activities honoring the “rebels” (an historic nonsense, the Soviet occupying forces were fleeing Hitler’s invasion, the largest in human history, not the local Jew-killers). That sham was followed a year later by the reburial with full honors of the Nazi puppet prime minister. This year, celebrations have been limited to fringe ultranationalist groups with the government maintaining its distance (there was a regrettable parliamentary document last Nov. proposed by some right-wing MPs, but it was largely ignored). Congratulations to Lithuania’s leaders on this progress toward historic truth during this week’s 75th anniversary of the outbreak of the Lithuanian Holocaust that left 96.4% of its Jewish residents dead. See our proposed seven solutions to the issues remaining.
Vilnius’s “British City Council member” calls for removal of city’s shrines for Nazi collaborators; Philosopher Andrius Kulikauskas writes an open letter to Archbishop on Jewish issues
Will anyone stand up to the London-based CPJCE (“Committee for the Preservation of Jewish Cemeteries in Europe”) that allegedly earns $$$ from the desecration of Vilna’s old Jewish cemetery? See: Opposition to date; Paper trail; DH section; CPJCE section; Attempts to ensnare the young new rabbi in Vilnius? GeoBaltic’s latest survey including 1944 aerial photos. Latest: Discoveries of major 1935 rabbinic documents from Vilna and from Tel Aviv
Josh Cohen in Foreign Policy on Ukraine’s project to “fix” Holocaust history; Former president of Ukrainian World Congress attacks the author personally, while accusing “the Jews” in the Ukraine famine of 1932-1933; more; New paper on genocidal nationalism; older Ukraine page
Two startling, brave new books by descendants of Holocaust perpetrators:
Linas Vildžiūnas reviews Rūta Vanagaitė’s new book on the Lithuanian Holocaust (written with Efraim Zuroff); Vanagaitė responds to establishment’s far-right barrage; Dramatic Lithuanian debate. Barbara Sofer in the Jerusalem Post; Cnaan Liphshiz in JTA; Paul Alster in Jerusalem Report; More in English
J.P. O’Malley in Times of Israel on Rita Gabis’s new book; Reviews in the New Yorker, Kirkus Reviews; New York Journal of Books; more. Author interviewed on CSPAN and NY Times Closeup series (timecode 25:28)
Efraim Zuroff in the Jerusalem Post on glorification of collaborators in Croatia and beyond; More in OLC
Dovid Katz in Novaya Gazeta (Baltics) on the campaign in Eastern Europe to revise history; in GIA; ToI; J-CUR; CN; AJ; JRB; TAB; Guardian; IT; JC; DH; More
Lithuania’s chief neo-Nazi blogger, “Zeppelinus” (said to be a high official in the Economy Ministry) now asks gov. to expel Defending History editor in retaliation for (!) Israel’s expulsion of a Lithuanian citizen; Zeppo has long public record of racism, misogyny, antisemitism and homophobia, and long disapproves of DH’s editor…
Dr. Craig Wight’s (University of Plymouth) critique of museums that deal with “genocide” in Lithuania (from a philosopher’s standpoint); Our editor’s (rather less philosophical) summary (timecodes 1:48, 6:23). . .
4 June 2016
Vilnius Mass Grave Features Swastika and “Juden Raus” that are “Discreetly Engraved” at the Top
At the site, Naujaneriai, 1,767 Lithuanian Jewish citizens were murdered by Special Squad, local police & white-armbander “partisans” on 24 Sept. 1941
Discovery by Julius Norwilla indicates it’s from before cement was dry…
29 May 2016
“Double Genociders” Export Far Right’s Holocaust Revisionism Westward
“Prague Platform” along with Slovak government boast cover of the “European Shoah Legacy Institute” (!) in announcing:
EU Competition (for Students Aged 16-21) for a New Red-Brown, Mix-n-Match Jumble Memorial in Brussels
Will the red-equals-brown street-shows of Eastern Europe now be exported to Brussels under cover of a “Jewish” organization dedicated to Holocaust justice?
“Guidelines” include the requirement that “the memorial must be inclusive of the victims of National Socialism, Fascism and Communism”
“BATTLE OF THE DECLARATIONS”: PRAGUE DECLARATION (2008) vs. SEVENTY YEARS DECLARATION (2012) [in 15 European languages]
LONG RECORD OF USE OF JEWISH, YIDDISH, OR HOLOCAUST PROJECTS AS A KIND OF PR COVER FOR HOLOCAUST REVISIONISM
ALSO: EU funded “Prague Platform” exhibit that spews Double Genocide revisionism of the Holocaust arrives in Budapest; More on the “Platform” and the exhibit that circles the globe (courtesy of EU taxpayers) to underpin Eastern European far-right revisionism; Still, Platform’s director insists that nobody is erecting monuments for Nazi collaborators — Unaware of news from Croatia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine? More…
Background: The “Prague Declaration” and the Double Genocide movement…
3 May 2016
Colleagues in Paris and Vilnius
Event in Paris on the Lithuanian Holocaust on Tuesday 3 May at 5 PM at 9 rue Mahler (Room 107). Organized by Yahad-in-Unum with unspecified Lithuanian partners and including a video link with a team in Lithuania…
QUESTIONS: The questions that people are asking in the absence of a detailed public program on thbe organization’s website: Is Yahad-in-Unum co-organizing the event with any of the many bold Lithuanian intellectuals who have given so very much to the cause of simple Holocaust truth-telling, or will it be abused for revisionist PR in the hands of the “Red-Brown Commission” and the “Genocide Center”? Have the organizers invited (for example) Chaim Bargman, Saulius Beržinis, Dr. Valentinas Brandišauskas, Milan Chersonski, Professor Pinchos Fridberg, Rachel Kostanian, Andrius Kulikauskas, Professor L. Truska, Rūta Vanagaitė?
22 April 2016
Réyze Levit (Roza Levitaitė)
Proud member of Lithuania’s Jewish community who boldly stood up to tell the truth about history revisionism and the rise of ever more Jewless “PR Jewish institutions”… Her 2014 interview with us.
15 April 2016
Kaunas native (Holocaust Survivor in NY) records eyewitness account of unspeakable barbarism of 17, 18, & 19 year old “LAF white-armbander freedom fighters” in late June 1941. But state-sponsored museums, street names and events continue to glorify the Holocaust perpetrators in an elaborate double game (that is often underpinned/camouflaged by the exploitation of gullible Westerners).
More videographed eyewitness testimony, and works of historians. But executive director of a state-sponsored “red-brown commission” tries to deny local fascists’ murder rampage in June 1941, while supporting prosecution of Jewish partisan heroes who escaped the Vilna Ghetto…
30 March 2016
Aftermath of the Baltic Neo-Nazi Marching Season:
MONICA LOWENBERG IN HOPE NOT HATE CALLS ON BRITAIN’S FOREIGN MINISTRY TO STOP COVERING FOR EAST EUROPEAN GLORIFICATION OF NAZISM; RESPONSE OF UK’S MINISTER FOR EUROPE, AND OF THE LATVIAN AMBASSADOR IN LONDON
DOVID KATZ IN GLOBAL INDEPENDENT ANALYTICS ANALYZES THE WEST’S WALL OF SILENCE [translated into French]; FOLLOW-UP AT ISGAP
11 March 2016
Defending History Monitors 9th Annual Neo-Nazi March in Central Vilnius on Nation’s 11th March Independence Day
Fascist and White Power Symbols, Placards Glorifying Holocaust Collaborators, and Antisemitic Caricatures are Flaunted on Route from Central Cathedral to House of Parliament
STILL NO COMMENT FROM MAYOR’S OFFICE? FROM ISRAELI EMBASSY? MEANWHILE ISRAELI AMBASSADOR IN PHOTO-OP GUSH FEST WITH KAUNAS OFFICIALS, BUT NO PUBLIC COMMENT ON THE EARLIER 16 FEBRUARY 2016 EVENT IN KAUNAS THAT GLORIFIED FIVE HOLOCAUST COLLABORATORS IN THE CITY CENTER. KOVNO SURVIVOR QUOTED FROM GENESIS 4: 10 —
קוֹל דְּמֵי אָחִיךָ צֹעֲקִים אֵלַי מִן הָאֲדָמָה
Eyewitness Reports by
Defending History Monitors the Marches:
Will Western and Israeli Embassies & International Orgs Condemn Ongoing Granting of the Centers of Capital Cities for Admirers of Hitler’s “Accomplishment” in the Region?
RUN UP TO MARCH 16 WAFFEN SS CITY CENTER FEST IN RIGA:
UK MP GARETH THOMAS WRITES TO LATVIAN AMBASSADOR AND TO BRITISH FOREIGN OFFICE
MONICA LOWENBERG: BLOGSPOT, INTERNATIONAL PETITION & IN DH; SAM SOKOL IN THE JERUSALEM POST
MEANWHILE, RULING PARTY LATVIAN MP TELLS MEDIA THAT “CLEVER JEWS” ARE “UNDERMINING HIS NATION’S SECURITY”
PARLIAMENTARIANS WERE SLATED FOR THIS YEAR’S WAFFEN SS FEST ON MARCH 16TH IN THE LATVIAN CAPITAL; BUT LAST MINUTE CLIMBDOWN BY NATIONAL ALLIANCE REVERSES DECISION
NEO-NAZI MARCH ON INDEPENDENCE DAY, MARCH 11TH, FROM CATHEDRAL SQUARE UP CITY’S MAIN BOULEVARD TO THE HOUSE OF PARLIAMENT
Will the popular new young and dashing mayor speak out? Will he ever find them another day and place (not the city center on independence day!) and defend the international dignity of Vilnius? Defending History has followed his colorful record on Jewish issues.
WILL THE CITY OF GEDIMINAS BE DEFILED EACH YEAR AS ITS 700TH YEAR APPROACHES?
RESPONSE OF NATION’S TOP NEO-NAZI BLOGGER “ZEPPELINUS” (WHO IS ALLEGED TO BE A HIGH OFFICIAL AT THE MINISTRY OF THE ECONOMY) PHOTO MONTAGE OF HIS “WORKS”
3 March 2016
Vilnius Prosecutors Who Have Publicly Named “Investigated Holocaust Survivors” for a Decade, Now Fail to Release The List of Alleged Local Holocaust Perpetrators
28 February 2016
Sam Sokol in the Jerusalem Post on Plan to Name Yet Another Lithuanian Street for a Holocaust Perpetrator
Travesty planned for the town Malát (Molėtai), in eastern Lithuania. Jewish descendants from abroad planning a major memorial event in August 2016. A checkered recent history of on-site ceremonies: Occasionally, town authorities seek foreign Jewish investment/PR while continuing to glorify collaborators (and actual murderers) and failing to plaque even mention of the actual local Jewish history (and genocide) in town centers (while “letting the foreign Jews do what they like out in the forest at the mass grave sites”).
Does the Central Government Lead by Example? The State’s 2012 Reburial of Hitler’s 1941 Puppet Prime Minister in Kaunas
17 February 2016
EXCLUSIVE: Sound Track of the Efraim Zuroff — Rūta Vanagaitė Book Presentation in Vilnius (Dr. Zuroff’s comments are in English)
PHOTO OF 17 FEB. 2016 BOOK PRESENTATION IN VILNIUS: JULIUS NORWILLA
Convention Center Project on Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery in Disarray; The Opposition to Date; The Paper Trail
Račinskas’s Red-Brown Commission Announces Triumphant Revival on March 17-19 (his concept of “Holocaust Studies”). Observers ask: Will the Israeli Embassy in Vilnius again provide cover and betray Israeli citizens (Yitzhak Arad, Rachel Margolis (1921-2015) and Joseph Melamed)? Appeal to the conscience of commission members. A dilemma that faces the Israeli Foreign Ministry in March 2016. See: Israel page and section.
READERS IN CALIFORNIA: We are lecturing at UCLA 17-20 April 2016. To book lectures, seminars, meetings in the days just before or after, please contact us at: info<at>defendinghistory.com. LIST OF TOPICS.
16 February 2016
Kaunas Authorities Again Granted City Center on February 16th Independence Day to Far-Right Nationalist March
Kaunas Event Glorified Six Nazi Collaborators
Reports by Tablet, JTA, Jerusalem Post. Defending History’s 9 years of monitoring Vilnius and Kaunas marches. Chronicle of Kaunas marches.
This year’s theme was a front-of-march We Know Our Nation’s Heroes banner featuring six figures who share the following unsettling common denominator: all were alleged Nazi collaborators and/or Holocaust perpetrators (from left): Adolfas Ramanauskas-Vanagas, Jonas Noreika, Povilas Plechavičius, Kazys Škirpa, Antanas Baltūsis-Žvejas, and Juozas Ambrazevičius-Brazaitis. It is as if the marchers are celebrating the murder of the 30,000 Jewish citizens of Kaunas, the more than 95% of the over 200,000 strong Lithuanian Jewish population on the eve of the Holocaust, and the resulting “cleansing” of Lithuania’s Jewish minority.
“We, (Jews) will turn Europe into mixture of Asian people — Negroes, ruled by Jews…” — R. Coudenhove-Kalergi, “Father” of European Union. NO TO THE ISLAMIZATION OF LITHUANIA!
♦ Poland’s right-wing government is latest in Eastern Europe to criminalize speech on the Holocaust, following laws in Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia & Ukraine; Poland’s Far Right attempts to strip Prof. Jan Gross of a state honor for telling the truth about the Holocaust…
26 January 2016
For the first time, a Lithuanian author teams up with an Israeli Holocaust scholar in search for the truth about widespread local enthusiasm, seventy-five years ago, for mass murder of civilian neighbors, and today’s failures in coming to grips with that history, in a land of hundreds of Jedwabnes. A genuine historic advance in Lithuanian-Jewish relations is seen in the startling partnership of Rūta Vanagaitė and Dr. Efraim Zuroff in Vanagaitė’s Mūsiškiai: Kelionė su priešu (“Our People: Journey with an Enemy”). A selection of the vast media coverage is available here. The book was launched in Vilnius on 26 January 2016.
14 January 2016
James Carden in The Nation on New US Aid for Ukraine’s Neo-Nazi “Azov Battalion”
Sam Sokol in The Jerusalem Post
BUT DOES THE WEST CARE ABOUT “MAINSTREAM” UKRAINIAN GOVERNMENT WORSHIP OF STEPAN BANDERA AND OTHER HOLOCAUST COLLABORATORS?
Cover-Up Attempts Crumbled Back in 2015: Adulation of Holocaust Perpetrators was Confirmed as Poroshenko and Parliament Enacted Laws “Codifying” Fascist-Leaning History and Criminalizing Other Points of View
Foreign Policy Haaretz HNN Jerusalem Post The Nation OSCE New Republic Times of Israel USHMM. BACKGROUND: Dovid Katz in The Times of Israel (+ follow-up).
♦ US Holocaust Museum called on Ukraine to abandon law that would criminalize historic research and make the glorification of Holocaust criminals a national “truth”; OSCE (finally…)
♦ The Legacy from 2014: US Representative John Conyers’ original amendment of May 2014 back in Focus; Tom Parfitt’s August 2014 report in London’s Telegraph
♦ Does “mainstream, pro-Western” President Poroshenko, who publicly fools around with Bandera insignia, make light of the hundreds of thousands of Jews, Poles, and other civilians butchered by Banderist fascist forces in Ukraine?
♦ In October 2014, Ukraine parliament and president proclaimed a national holiday to celebrate Bandera’s genocidal movement; Report in International Business Times; In tweet, Ukraine’s president said UPA fighters were an “example of heroism”…
♦ Are Ukraine’s ultranationalist supporters stifling free debate in North America? Targeting of the work of Professor Stephen Cohen. The Toronto Symphony Orchestra saga.
♦ The major new monumental book on the genocidal Bandera movement cannot be suppressed much longer . . .
4 January 2016
Andrius Kulikauskas Speaks Out in Major Lithuanian Publication on Fate of Vilnius’s Piramónt Cemetery in Šnipiškės
29 December 2015
INCLUDING REDEFINITION OF GENOCIDE; GLORIFICATION OF HOLOCAUST PERPETRATORS AS “FREEDOM FIGHTERS”; AND CAMPAIGN OF REPUTATION DESTRUCTION AGAINST HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS WHO JOINED THE ANTI-NAZI RESISTANCE
And will Israel ask, howsoever gently, for public apologies for the three Israeli citizens defamed for history by Lithuania’s prosecutors? All three are heroes of the anti-Nazi resistance in the forests of Lithuania, and two are heroes of Israel’s 1948 War of Independence. Yitzhak Arad (who has spoken out in Defending History) is still defamed on prosecutors’ website [as PDF] and by a “Human Rights [!] Association”. Hopes rising for 2016 that the Israeli Embassy in Vilnius will rapidly obtain public apologies to the Israeli citizens Yitzhak Arad, Rachel Margolis (1921-2015) and Joseph Melamed.
Suspense growing on whether Vilnius’s Israeli Embassy will provide cover for the renewed international meeting of the long-dormant “Red Brown Commission” that is scheduled for 17-19 March 2016. Will Yad Vashem legitimize the event? Israeli Holocaust survivors begged Yad Vashem to keep its distance. Commission members include the Genocide Center veteran who launched the campaign of defamation against Yitzhak Arad. Dr. Arad’s analysis of the commission and its policies. The commission’s concept of Holocaust studies…
2009 speech of the late Ambassador of Israel to Lithuania & Latvia HE Chen Ivri Apter. Back then it was clear that Israel could build terrific relations without betraying Israeli citizens, Holocaust survivors, history of the Holocaust, or the integrity of Jewish cemeteries in post-Holocaust Europe.
In September 2015, during his trip to Israel, the Lithuanian prime minister reported back home with triumph that Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is quite happy with plans for a $25,000,000 national conference center in the middle of the old (15th century origin) Piramónt (Šnipiškės) Jewish cemetery in Vilnius. But did the Israeli PM really reject out-of-hand the growing international Jewish (and non-Jewish) chorus of condemnation for a plan to have convention revelers clap, cheer, sing, drink in bars and use toilets surrounded by thousands of Jewish graves including some of the foremost Jewish scholars of the last millennium? Where his own ancestors are buried? Perhaps there has been some misunderstanding. Background on the cemetery’s history and implications of the case for all Europe, and on the current project.
24 December 2015
18 December 2015
Most Lithuanian Citizens Not Aware that State-Sponsored “Genocide Center” (GC) is the only (?) Gov. Body in the EU in the Business of Glorifying Holocaust Collaborators
Defending History led the way in 2010 with page and section exposing the GC (which runs the city-center “Genocide Museum”)
NEW: ANDRIUS KULIKAUSKAS REPLIES TO GENOCIDE CENTER’S NEW ATTEMPT TO “FIX” HOLOCAUST RECORD OF KAZYS ŠKIRPA
GRANT ARTHUR GOCHIN, SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTER, JEWISH STUDENT UNION, AND JEWISH COMMUNITY LEADER RESPOND TO GC’S RECENT EFFORTS TO “FIX” HOLOCAUST RECORD OF JONAS NOREIKA.
VILNIUS STILL BOASTS STREET NAMES AND SHRINES HONORING HOLOCAUST PERPETRATORS. WILL THE NEW MAYOR CHANGE THINGS?
Genocide Center veteran who launched the campaign against Holocaust survivors is now a member of the state’s “Red-Brown Commission”
DEFENDING HISTORY WRITER EVALDAS BALČIŪNAS (WHO ALERTED ENGLISH SPEAKING WORLD TO NOREIKA MONUMENTS IN 2012) IS REPEATEDLY LUGGED INTO COURT FOR HIS ARTICLES PROTESTING GLORIFICATION OF HOLOCAUST PERPETRATORS AND NEO-NAZI MARCHES. COME SUPPORT HIM AT THE NEXT HEARING: THURSDAY 21 JANUARY 2016 AT VILNIUS COUNTY COURT (LAISVĖS PROSPEKTAS 79A, ROOM 019) AT 1:30 PM (13:30)
Defending Holocaust History Against the New Revisionism:
Reviews of Timothy Snyder’s Black Earth by
9 December 2015
Neo-Nazis Target Defending History Authors who Attended Private Vilnius Hanukkah Party; Will Police Investigate?
Assault follows publication of Kristina Apanavičiūtė Sulikienė’s new critique of the Genocide Center, published in DH; Neo-Nazi blogger “Zeppelinus”, Lithuania’s top online purveyor of racism, misogyny, homophobia and antisemitism, is alleged to be a high official in the Economy Ministry
Meanwhile, “Genocide Center” Turns to Antisemitic Slurs in Reply to Critics of its Sanitization of Holocaust Perpetrators
Grant Arthur Gochin in VilNews.com ◊ Defending History section on the Genocide Center (plus page) ◊ 2015 debate over J. Noreika ◊ One of many perpetrators glorified by state agencies (plus section) ◊ Hopes rising that Yad Vashem will finally sever ties with “Red-Brown Commission” where its presence legitimizes the G-Center ◊ Lithuania issues facing Israel today (Israel page) ◊ Last Litvak Holocaust survivors begged Yad Vashem not to renew the legitimizing alliance…
Defending History’s Evaldas Balčiūnas (who in 2012 launched the international discussion on the state honors for Noreika) continues to be lugged into court on a regular basis in malicious time-wasting actions apparently intended to deter other dissenters on the policy of glorifying collaborators. More below. Section on free speech and democracy. Indirect consequences of the 2010 “double genocide” law.
ALSO: A SECOND CASE PURSUED OVER “DEFAMATION” OF ANOTHER ALLEGED COLLABORATOR; KRISTINA SULIKIENE COMMENTS.
COME AND SUPPORT EVALDAS BALČIŪNAS THURSDAY 21 JANUARY 2016 AT VILNIUS COUNTY COURT (LAISVĖS PROSPEKTAS 79A, ROOM 019) AT 1:30 PM (13:30)
Left to right: Evaldas Balčiūnas, Milan Chersonski and Darius Pocevičius on Monday 30 Nov. 2015 after another “totally time-wasting” hearing in the case against Balčiūnas and Pocevičius for their articles condemning fascism and the adulation of Holocaust collaborators. A more substantial hearing is now promised for Thursday 10 December, 3:30 PM (15:30), as ever at Vilnius District Court at Laisves prospektas 79a. Hopefully at long last human rights and free speech advocates, and opponents of Holocaust falsification will come to monitor. They are still looking for a pro bono human rights lawyer. For background (for English readers) please see Evaldas’s articles (and the legal harassment he has been enduring) by scrolling to the end and surveying chronologically (upwards) his articles exposing the glorification of Holocaust collaborators.
16 November 2015
LIVING YIDDISH CULTURE IN VILNIUS
The Vilna Yiddish Literary Reading Circle, in its 17th year, meets weekly in termtime at the Jewish Cultural and Information Center on Mėsinių Street (Yátkever gas) in the Old Town. Everybody welcome! Admission free.
2 November 2015
Vytautas Landsbergis, Hero of Lithuanian Independence, Shocks Many with “Defense” of Holocaust Perpetrator Jonas Noreika
Icon of freedom struggle now attacks journalist Rimvydas Valatka (who supported a petition last summer for removal of a Vilnius shrine to the Nazi collaborator) and Defending History regular Evaldas Balčiūnas (for asking why Lithuania honors such Nazist figures). Balčiūnas’s rapid reply. Earlier DH appraisal of Landsbergis’s 21st century positions.
IN DRAMATIC REVERSAL ON GENOCIDE CENTER, LITHUANIAN JEWISH COMMUNITY CHAIRPERSON FAINA KUKLIANSKY BLASTS CENTER FOR WHITEWASHING THE HOLOCAUST COLLABORATOR. IN A HISTORIC STATEMENT (BRINGING HER INTO BROAD AGREEMENT WITH DH’S LONGSTANDING CRITIQUE) SHE ASKS WHAT KIND OF “HOLOCAUST EDUCATION” CAN PROCEED IN SUCH A CONTEXT. JEWISH STUDENT LEADER AMIT BELAITĖ SPEAKS OUT WITH SINGULAR COURAGE.
NEW IN NOVEMBER 2015:
21 October 2015
Defending the History Brings Results
LEGAL JUDGMENT, OVERTURNING LITHUANIAN CONVICTION OF A POSTWAR SOVIET CRIMINAL OF “GENOCIDE” IS MAJOR BLOW TO EAST EUROPEAN FAR-RIGHT “PRAGUE DECLARATION” PRINCIPLE OF “EQUALITY” OF NAZI AND SOVIET CRIMES.
DOUBLE GENOCIDE MOVEMENT’S “HIGHER PURPOSES” IN MUCH OF EASTERN EUROPE INCLUDE DOWNGRADE OF THE HOLOCAUST AND GLORIFICATION OF LOCAL HOLOCAUST PERPETRATORS (SAMPLE STREET NAMES / PUBLIC SHRINES).
ABUSE OF HOLOCAUST EDUCATION BY DOUBLE GENOCIDE PRACTITIONERS REMAINS A CONCERN IN EASTERN EUROPE. REPORT IN THE JERUSALEM POST.
European Union Says NO to Support for “Convention Center in the Jewish Cemetery”
Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission:
“Contrary to reports in some Lithuanian newspapers and international media, the planned renovation project at the Vilnius Snipisek cemetery is not supported by European Union funds”
Vilnius Municipality Inaugurates Ona Shimaite Street, Named for Famed Holocaust Rescuer, in the Old City
DEFENDING HISTORY WAS THERE SO YOU CAN READ EYEWITNESS REPORTS AND OPINIONS RIGHT HERE
Reports from: Butrimánts (Butrimonys); Rákishok (Rokiškis); Shádov (Šeduva); Šiauliai (Shavl); and Svintsyán (Švenčionys); in Kaunas for Chiune Sugihara; remembering Lietukis Garage
And in Vilnius: Ponár memorial ceremony; launch of the new Ona Shimaite Street; Yivo 90th anniversary conference; conference on antisemitism (plus: reply to neo-Nazis’ reaction to our report); Ruta Vanagaite’s conference on Holocaust issues; Rothschild Conference on Jewish Cemeteries: preview and postview (but no eyewitness report — DH not allowed in to “sealed” event)
29 October 2015
Triumphant Press Release on Conclusion of Rothschild’s Jewish Cemeteries Conference Whitewashes Lithuanian Gov. Plan to Desecrate Old Jewish Cemetery with $25,000,000 Convention Center
UPDATE: ROTHSCHILD FOUNDATION ASPECTS (DH SECTION)
One-Sided Conference had Nobody to Represent Second Opinion; Massive International Opposition Remained Terra Incognita to Delegates
Conference press release invokes summaries of views of major foreign heritage specialists who took part in the conference. But their own statements awaited. Click here for a directory of opponents, including Holocaust survivors, heritage specialists and others in Vilnius whom delegates would have enjoyed hearing out.
The official conference summary wholly omits what is actually planned for the site: a $25,000,000 convention center where tens of thousands will cheer, clap, drink at bars and use toilets surrounded by thousands of Jewish graves spanning half a millennium (not the treatment given to Lithuanian Christian cemeteries where thousands of great scholars are buried). It is potentially the worst state-sponsored cemetery desecration in recent history. Observations of chief rabbi, EU president, protestant pastor, Vilna Holocaust survivor, Jewish resident, Kaunas synagogue, Litvak rabbis’ groups, and groups representing thousands of others.
What the chief rabbi said, and why he was recently dismissed. Why did the conference not hear from him too (even by skype)? Old Vilna humor returns with a vengeance as authorities look for a new chief rabbi who needs to have a most unusual qualification for the job. More here.
22 October 2015
Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaitė Completes Official Visit to Israel
Hopes Dashed She Would Announce Cancellation of “Vilnius Convention Center in the Old Jewish Cemetery” and Promise to Remove Public Memorials for Holocaust Collaborators
Leading international NGO dedicated to Jewish cemetery preservation appealed directly to Lithuania’s president after her moving visit to Yad Vashem (in Matzav.com)
President intimated to questioner that neo-Nazi marches in major cities don’t use Nazi symbols. Is the swastika (legalized in Lithuania in 2010) a Nazi symbol? See eyewitness reports and photos of recent years’ marches. But does the president sing a different tune to local journalists?
ISRAELI HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS AND THEIR FAMILIES HOPED ISRAEL WOULD POLITELY BRING UP THE URGENT NEED FOR APOLOGIES TO DEFAMED SURVIVORS AND PARTISAN HEROES, INCLUDING THREE OF ITS OWN CITIZENS: YITZHAK ARAD; JOSEPH MELAMED; AND RACHEL MARGOLIS (1921-2015)
SHE BROUGHT ALONG ECONOMY MINISTER: DID ANY JOURNALIST ASK HIM IF COUNTRY’S TOP ANTISEMITIC, RACIST, HOMOPHOBIC BLOG-ARTIST IS STILL HIGH OFFICIAL AT THE MINISTRY? (SAMPLES)
FALLOUT CONTINUES FROM 30 SEPTEMBER ANTISEMITISM CONFERENCE IN VILNIUS
Jerusalem Post. Vilhjálmur Örn Vilhjálmsson. Defending History’s preview and eyewitness report / op-ed (Russian translation). Vilma Fiokla Kiurė’s op-ed.
Neo-Nazi Blogger “Zeppelinus” reacts to DH report. Who is he? Seems he hasn’t liked our editor for a while now. But is the nation’s major purveyor of racist, antisemitic, misogynist, and homophobic hate really a high official at the Ministry of the Economy?
Chaim Bargman, Noted Jewish History Guide from Kaunas, is Prevented by Police from Attending Holocaust Commemoration Ceremony
INCIDENT OCCURRED AT UKMERGĖ (VÍLKOMIR), WHERE BARGMAN AND COMPANION WERE HEADING FOR COMMEMORATION AT FOREST MASS GRAVE FOR UP TO TEN THOUSAND JEWS OF THE REGION SLAUGHTERED IN 1941. DISTURBINGLY, THE TOWN CONTINUES TO DEDICATE A SQUARE TO THE MEMORY OF A NOTORIOUS HOLOCAUST PERPETRATOR.
2 October 2015
Litvaks Everywhere Mark the Gaon of Vilna’s 218th Yórtsayt
Eylióhu ben Shlèyme-Zálmen (Elijah ben Shlomo Zalman, 1720−1797)
19 Tíshrey 5776 / 2 October 2015; Some background reading
1 October 2015
Vilnius Conference on “Antisemitism, Radicalization and Violent Extremism” Includes Nothing on Current Issues of Antisemitism in Lithuania or Discussion of Solutions
YET ANOTHER EEA SPONSORED “JEWISH LITHUANIA” EVENT WITHOUT A SINGLE LITHUANIAN BORN JEW IN ATTENDANCE
Defending History’s Preview and Eyewitness Report; Vilma Fiokla Kiurė’s Report
Neo-Nazi Blogger “Zeppelinus” reacts to DH report. Who is he? Seems he hasn’t liked our editor for quite some time… DH’s reply
One of the keynote morning speakers (amateur video) at the 30 Sept. conference, known for his documentary films that ignore the alleged Holocaust atrocities of “heroes” as well as for his incessant Israel-baiting (and of late association with far-right antisemitic Ukrainian nationalists), proposes solving Mideast issues and local antisemitism at once by “bringing the Palestinians to Vilnius, Jerusalem of the North” [!]. Israeli ambassador boldly calls him out (see from timecode 13:17) for “rewriting history” of Israel’s struggles. The organizer, the “Human Rights Monitoring Institute” has record of ignoring antisemitism and failing to even mildly protest neo-Nazi marches in city centers on independence days or the abuse of prosecutorial power to harass Lithuanian truth-tellers about the Holocaust and local antisemitism.
CONFERENCE FEATURED EXCELLENT PRESENTATIONS ON HISTORY OF THE HOLOCAUST IN GENERAL, ANTISEMITISM IN GENERAL, AND ISSUES OF ISLAMIST RADICALIZATION IN WESTERN EUROPE. DANGERS OF THE FAR RIGHT DISCUSSED BY SPEAKERS FROM HUNGARY AND NORWAY, IGNORED OR PLASTERED OVER FOR LITHUANIA.
22 September 2015
22 September 2015
Ponár (Paneriai) Commemoration on Lithuania’s Annual Holocaust Day is Dejudaicized Even More in “Nationalist Takeover of Litvak Heritage”: No Rabbi, No Cantor, No Kaddish
But ethnic Lithuanian costume and song are featured at the mass grave of Vilna Jewry. Honor guard with bayoneted rifles was a questionable touch.
There were well-received speeches by (among others) Jewish community chairperson Faina Kukliansky; MP Emanuelis Zingeris; survivor and partisan hero Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky; and president of Beit Vilna in Tel Aviv, Mickey Kantor. There was a well-organized laying of stones by schoolchildren at the main monument.
The Israeli ambassador’s speech was considered a disappointment by some survivors in attendance. There was no mention of the recent death of Dr. Rachel Margolis (1921-2015), an Israeli-Lithuanian citizen, and Vilna Ghetto and anti-Nazi partisan hero. She discovered and published Kazimierz Sakowicz’s long lost eyewitness diary revealing the gruesome truth about Ponár. She dreamt of one last trip to her native Vilna but was intimidated by the prosecutors’ campaign of defamation against her and other Jewish partisan heroes. It was a sharp and painful contrast with the stirring and unforgettable words of the late Israeli ambassador to the Baltics, Chen Ivri Apter. Margolis’s life was considered worthy of note by, among many others, Lithuania’s late president, Algirdas Brazauskas, former UK prime minister Gordon Brown, the ADL’s Abraham Foxman, the late Sir Martin Gilbert, a British House of Lords member, and five members of the US Congress.
20 September 2015
The Old Jewish Cemetery Gets Pretty Lively in Vilnius
Prime Minister, Assuring that Convention-Center-on-the-Jewish-Cemetery Will Feature “Conventions, Not Concerts” Wants Project to Mark Centennial of Nation’s Independence
RECENT REPORTS IN JERUSALEM POST, JTA, TIMES OF ISRAEL, i24
INTERNATIONAL OPPOSITION COMES FROM TOP LITVAK RABBIS, JEWISH LEADERS AND VILNIUS RESIDENTS AND SCIONS, INCLUDING HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR, ORTHODOX KASHRUTH SPECIALIST, URBAN PLANNING PROFESSOR, VILNA GAON SPECIALIST, CHIEF RABBI (THEREAFTER SACKED FOR HIS VIEWS) AND PROTESTANT PASTOR
PAPER TRAIL ♦ OPPOSITION TO DATE ♦ HIGH INTRIGUE ♦ DH SECTION ♦ WIKILEAKS ON EARLIER PAYMENTS TO THE ONE GROUP OF “AGREEABLE” HASIDIC RABBIS IN LONDON, THEMSELVES ROUNDLY OVERRULED BY THE CHIEF SATMAR COURT IN NEW YORK CITY AND THE CRC
IS THE COMMITTEE CHOOSING THE NEW CHIEF RABBI REALLY BOUND TO ENSURE HE WILL BE “GOVERNMENT MAN” AND SUPPORT A $25,000,000 CONVENTION CENTER IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CITY’S OLD JEWISH CEMETERY? DE-LEGITIMIZED FROM DAY ONE?
INTERNATIONAL OPPOSITION ♦ PAPER TRAIL ♦ HIGH INTRIGUE ♦ RECENT REPORTS IN THE JERUSALEM POST, JTA AND TIMES OF ISRAEL
Professor Sid Leiman explains Jewish law on cemeteries and gives sweeping history of Vilna’s Old Jewish Cemetery and the repeated attempts to abuse its land. He is author of the classic study on who is buried in the Gaon of Vina’s mausoleum and is a world expert on Vilna’s Jewish heritage who has generously assisted projects in Lithuania’s Jewish community for decades.
15 September 2015
Israel Faced Some Delicate Post-Holocaust Issues During Lithuanian PM’s September Visit
Efraim Zuroff asked in the Jerusalem Post that the Baltic state’s campaign to revise Holocaust history — and its plans to plonk a convention center in the middle of Vilna’s old Jewish cemetery — be on the table; Zuroff’s post-visit article in i24
AFTER MEETING NETANYAHU, PRIME MINISTER BUTKEVICIUS GLOATS TO MEDIA THAT ISRAEL DOESN’T OBJECT TO THE “GRAVEYARD CONVENTION CENTER” DESPITE INTERNATIONAL OPPOSITION; JTA REPORT; IN THE JERUSALEM POST
CAMPAIGN AGAINST JEWISH PARTISANS NOT EVEN MENTIONED? Does Israel betray its own citizens by not asking apologies for the World War II heroes Yitzhak Arad, (the late) Rachel Margolis and Joseph Melamed? Arad and Melamed are heroes of Israel’s 1948 war of independence. Will there now be a public apology on the prosecutors’ page that still defames him [as PDF] and from the “Human Rights Association”? Apologies to Israeli citizens Rachel Margolis and Joseph Melamed? The 2009 Leivick House (Tel Aviv) speech of the late Ambassador Chen Ivri Apter. What does Dr. Arad think?
BUT PM DECRIED “DOUBLE GENOCIDE” IN PUBLIC (JP REPORT). HE WILL HOPEFULLY FOLLOW UP AT HOME ON STREET NAMES AND PUBLIC HONORS FOR HOLOCAUST PERPETRATORS [CURRENT DEBATE]; OVERDUE APOLOGIES TO JEWISH PARTISANS; RAPID REFORM OR ABOLITION OF GENOCIDE CENTER AND RED-BROWN COMMISSION — AND REPUDIATION OF THE PRAGUE DECLARATION. NEO-NAZI PARADES ON INDEPENDENCE DAYS?
RECENT MEDIA: Slate. The Forward. Jerusalem Post. JTA. Times of Israel.
6 September 2015
At Long Last, Rokiškis (Yiddish: Rákishok; Rákeshik), Town in Northeastern Lithuania, Erects Memorial to Aspect of Its Jewish Past
Mayor unveils trilingual plaque for three (destroyed) synagogues. Before the war, they were painted in the colors of the Lithuanian flag to express civic loyalty
4 September 2015
1 September 2015
Latest in JTA: in the Jerusalem Post: first, second, third article; in Defending History; Everywhere; A Tale of High Intrigue. But anonymous editorial on Jewish community [!?] website makes fun of those who believe cemetery’s sanctity is violated by a $25,000,000 convention center with further plans for circuses and hotels, claiming that a “garbage dump”, “drugs” and “graffiti” [?!] are the only alternatives… Why was chief rabbi fired? Are the names Soloveitchik, Kotler, Feinstein, Kamenetzkty still dear to Litvaks? Motke Chabad on criteria for new chief rabbi…
“It’s because of the Holocaust that the thousands of deceased — spanning 500 years of Vilna Jewish history — who lie in the old Jewish cemetery at Piramónt (Šnipiškės) in today’s Vilnius have no descendants to stand up for the integrity of their final resting place. The cheers, hoorahs, drinks and washrooms at conventions — all surrounded by graves — would be a blister on the city’s reputation for the next century. It sure wouldn’t happen at a Christian cemetery. Is this what the mayor wants to be remembered for? Fight this one for our beautiful city Vilnius!”
BUT GROUP OF NON-LITVAK ULTRA-ORTHODOX LONDON RABBIS issues a 1 Sept. Hebrew proclamation supporting CPJCE, signed by Rabbis E. Schlesinger; A.D. Dunner; Z. Feldman; J. Padwa; B. Bloom; E. Shechter; S. Lew; J.B. Wosner; M.C.E. Padwa. Did they understand what they were signing? Have they seen the unanimous judgments of rabbis internationally? Do they really feel comfortable blessing a convention center surrounded by thousands of Vilna Jewish graves in the face of the judgments issued by top Litvak Rabbis Feinstein, Kotler, Kamenetsky and Soloveitchik (and remarkably, by the highest Satmar hasidic court too)? Would they wish to know about a Vilna Holocaust survivor’s view, or that of an Orthodox woman, both lifetime members of the Jewish community in Vilnius?
DEMANDS FOR TRANSPARENCY: In 2009, the CPJCE demanded US $100,000 (in supervision fees) for some “beautification” and “exploratory digging” on the old Vilna cemetery. What are their fees this time around, for supervising a $25,000,000 convention center?
A TALE OF HIGH INTRIGUE. CHRONOLOGY OF MISADVENTURES.
APPEALS TO THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION
“US COMMISSION FOR PRESERVATION OF AMERICA’S HERITAGE ABROAD” MAINTAINS A DISCONCERTING SILENCE (AFTER DOCUMENTED CONFLICTS OF INTEREST) AS LITHUANIAN GOVERNMENT’S STALWARTS CLAIM TO AGAIN MANIPULATE IT (WITH DISINFORMATION?). ONE COMMISSION MEMBER JOINS DELEGATION TO NY CONSULATE TO “THANK” GOV. FOR “SAVING THE CEMETERY”. MEANWHILE, JERUSALEM POST EXPOSES PAYMENTS TO RABBIS WHO APPROVE BUILDING ON VILNA’S OLD JEWISH CEMETERY. FOLLOWED BY EXPOSURE OF “MONEY FOR GRAVES” BY JTA.
WHAT ARE THE VIEWS OF THE NEW “HERITAGE COMMISSION”? (ENG); WHAT ARE THE VIEWS OF “THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION”?
Litvak Rabbis Visit Vilnius to Plea for Cancellation of Plan to Put New Convention Center in City’s Old Jewish Cemetery
They are received by deputy chancellor, mayor of Vilnius, head of Jewish Community
MEDIA: BNS’S “MISLEADING” REPORT ON THE RABBIS’ ACTUAL MESSAGE (BNS’S CORRECTED VERSION); THE RABBIS’ OWN PRESS RELEASE; REPORT IN HAPÉLES; JERUSALEM POST; THE YESHIVA WORLD.
Litvak-Hasidic Solidarity: Judgment by Satmar Rabbinical Court in Brooklyn (with Rebbe’s Signature) is Released for Publication after Top Litvak Rabbis in the United States (including Feinstein and Kotler) and in Israel (with Soloveitchik and Landa) Issue their Own Condemnation of Lithuanian Government’s Plan for $25,000,000 Convention Center Surrounded by Thousands of Vilna Jewish Graves
Chief Rabbi of Lithuania Chaim Burshtein is Dismissed Following Opposition to Government’s Convention-Center Plans for Old Jewish Cemetery
NEO-NAZI ACTIVIST “ZEPPELINUS” URGES HEAD OF JEWISH COMMUNITY TO FOLLOW SUIT WITH EXPULSION OF DH EDITOR; HIS EARLIER PRODUCTIONS; IDENTITY; RACIST HATE CAMPAIGN; EARLIER IN 2015
THE EU DIMENSION:
European Union Spokesperson Explains that Millions in EU “Structural Funds” for “Convention Center in the Jewish Cemetery” may be Decided by Lithuania’s Finance Ministry
Grant Arthur Gochin in the Jerusalem Post on Memorials for Holocaust Perpetrator J. Noreika in Central Vilnius
Liberal Lithuanian intellectuals petitioning city’s mayor for removal of shrines. But nationalist media considers the very discussion to be “a Russian plot”. Focus of debate is an obscure plaque but main Noreika shrine in the capital is towering engraved stone (above) on the “Genocide Museum” on Gedimino Boulevard, a stone’s throw from parliament.
Meanwhile, Kristina Apanavičiūtė Sulikienė reports on her efforts with mayor of Kaunas on street names for another killer. See also the Evaldas Balčiūnas section.
6 July 2015
Vilna, 28 October 1921 — Rehovot, 6 July 2015
≡≡ NEWS ≡≡
Daniel Brook in Slate on “Double Genocide: Lithuania Wants to Erase History of Nazi Collaboration — by Accusing Jewish Partisans who Fought the Germans of War Crimes” [PS: State Red-Brown Commission’s Stand on the Holocaust Recently Reaffirmed]
Defending History Calls for Removal of Street Names and Public Shrines to Nazi Collaborators in the Baltics
Also: Vilna Holocaust Survivor Prof. Pinchos Fridberg in The Times of Israel; Ken Slade’s Poem: The “Former” Grave-Place
Some “Jewish Decisions” Face Vilnius’s New Mayor:
♦ Will he remove street names, plaques and memorials for Nazi collaborators and Holocaust perpetrators? BACKGROUND
♦ What does he think of some parliamentarians’ efforts to make the former “Jerusalem of Lithuania” host to June 23rd 2016 75th anniversary celebrations of the effective onset of the Lithuanian Holocaust?
♦ Is the middle of the old Jewish cemetery really the right place for the new $25,000,000 convention center? BACKGROUND
Why did Lithuania’s Prime Minister Entertain Non-Litvak (“Galitsyáner”) Rabbis from London to “Permit” a $25,000,000 Convention Center Project in the Heart of the old Vilna Jewish Cemetery?
All three Vilnius rabbis were excluded from the conversation. And — an international (secular) “Heritage Commission” was set up to save Jewish cemeteries…
“In my view, it is a bad idea for our old cemetery to be the foundation for a convention center where people will be cheering, dancing, jumping, singing, and drinking in the convention center’s bars.”
— Professor Pinchos Fridberg (Vilnius Holocaust Survivor)
“Would these building projects be pursued if the cemeteries in question were the resting places of Catholics, Protestant Christians, or other non-Jewish people?”
— Pastor Michael Maass (Director of the Lithuanian Branch of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem)
Inspiring Voices of Courage from Lithuania
Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis ♦ Evaldas Balčiūnas ♦ Saulius Beržinis ♦ Milan Chersonski ♦ Algis Davidavičius ♦ Leonidas Donskis ♦ Pinchos Fridberg ♦ Vilma Fiokla Kiurė ♦ Rachel Kostanian ♦ Faina Kukliansky ♦ Andrius Kulikauskas ♦ Michael & Fausta Maass ♦ Julius Norwilla ♦ Rūta Vanagaitė ♦ Geoff Vasil ♦ Tomas Venclova ♦ Lina Žigelytė
Do EU/NATO Countries in Eastern Europe Really Want to Celebrate Anniversaries of Outbreak of the Holocaust?
23 June 2016: Lithuanian Parliament Publishes MP’s Proposal for Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the Onset of the Lithuanian Holocaust as Supposed Glorious Uprising against the Soviets (who were running from the Nazis’ Barbarossa invasion, not from the Jew-killers)
♦ Last time around (70th anniversary in 2011) ♦ Jewish community’s reaction ♦ Leonidas Donskis’s reaction ♦ Reburial of the “hero” in 2012 ♦ Revival of the old Liekis proposals? ♦ All to be covered by PR Judaic-Yiddish jamborees? ♦ This year’s official initiative comes from the Homeland Union Conservatives
רחל מאַרגאָליס (מַרְגָלִית) ז″ל
Vilna, 28 October 1921 — Rehovot, 6 July 2015
About Rachel Margolis: Shimon Alperovich, Algirdas Brazauskas, Gordon Brown, Abraham Foxman, Steinar Gil, Martin Gilbert, Chen Ivri Apter, Dovid Katz (Y), Francois Laumonier, NCSJ, Geoff Vasil. UK House of Lords, 5 US Congressmen, 9 Western ambassadors in Vilnius.
Left her safe haven with righteous Christians to join her family in the Vilna Ghetto. Joined the Jewish underground anti-Nazi resistance. Witness to creation of the Yiddish partisan hymn.
Escaped to join the partisans and fought valiantly against the Nazis in the forests of Lithuania. The only one in her family to survive the Holocaust.
Volunteered for the short-lived Jewish museum after the war.
Dedicated half a century to Biology, as PhD and professor, at Vilnius University.
Helped establish the Green House Holocaust museum in Vilnius. Rediscovered, deciphered and published Kazimierz Sakowicz’s diary of Ponár. Author of a remarkable memoir. Beloved guide, lecturer and teacher on Jewish Vilna and the Holocaust. A beloved lecturer at the Vilnius Summer Program in Yiddish untl prosecutors’ threats prevented her coming in 2008 and beyond. Will there be a session honoring her at this summer’s program? Will students be told about her accomplishments?
Target of a campaign of defamation by Vilnius prosecutors, the “Lithuanian Human Rights Association” and other far-right Holocaust-revisionist elites. In 2009, she was excluded from the Jerusalem Book Fair, and betrayed by Indiana University’s Bloomington-Borns Yiddish program at a Jerusalem conference exposed as sham by Prof. Dov Levin. In 2011, Yivo shunned her at its Vilna Ghetto memorial events, preferring to honor the then antisemitic foreign minister of Lithuania.
At 90, she was afraid to return to her beloved Vilna for one last visit she yearned for. The Lithuanian government refused to reach out to her, its ambassadors in Israel would not acknowledge her, while prosecutors repeated threats of kangaroo “war crimes investigation” (most recently for the record in the 2012 documentary “Rewriting History“).
The government of Lithuania forfeited a precious chance to cap the 700 year Jewish history in the country on a more noble note than police coming to look for Dr. Rachel Margolis in Vilnius…
MORE INFORMATION AND TRIBUTES:
RACHEL MARGOLIS FACT SHEET ♦ FORMER UK PRIME MINISTER GORDON BROWN ♦ 5 MEMBERS OF THE US CONGRESS ♦ ACADEMIC STUDIES PRESS ♦ KEENE STATE COLLEGE ♦ SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE ♦ LORD JANNER OF BRAUNSTONE ♦ LATE LITHUANIAN PRIME MINISTER ALGIRDAS BRAZAUSKAS ♦ ISRAELI AMBASSADOR CHEN IVRI APTER ♦ ADL DIRECTOR ABRAHAM FOXMAN ♦ NCSJ ♦ METRO WEST HOLOCAUST COUNCIL ♦ LEIVICK HOUSE TEL AVIV ♦ JEWISH CHRONICLE ♦ ALGEMEINER JOURNAL (& 2) ♦ RACHEL MARGOLIS.COM
Coverage in Defending History:
OVERVIEWS HERE & HERE; 7 MAY 2008; 19 JUNE 2009; 28 OCTOBER 2009; 27 JANUARY 2010; 28 OCTOBER 2010; 3 JANUARY 2011; 5 MAY 2011; 28 AUGUST 2011; 23 SEPTEMBER 2011.
Protests Mount over $25,000,000 Convention Center Project in Heart of the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery
Protestant Pastor Asks if Such a Fate Would be In Store for a Christian Cemetery? Second Pastor Calls on Vilnius Mayor to Act
Discrimination Also Noted by Central Rabbinical Congress of the United States and Canada
ONE YEAR AGO THE U.S. CONGRESS PASSED LEGISLATION PROTECTING FOREIGN CEMETERIES OF MINORITIES UNDER THE INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM ACT
BUT HAS THE U.S. COMMISSION TO PROTECT HERITAGE ABROAD NOW BEEN COMPROMISED IN THE VILNIUS CEMETERY FRACAS?
Jewish Protests Mount: Chief Rabbi of Lithuania; Holocaust Survivor in Vilnius; Vilna Gaon Synagogue in Tel Aviv; Litvak Heads of Yeshivas in Israel; Dr. Bernard Fryshman (CAPJC); Simon Wiesenthal Center.
Rabbi Shmuel Jacob Feffer, President of World HaGró (Gaon of Vilna) Center, Coeditor of 70 Gaon Books, Issues Rabbinic Judgment on Convention Center Plans
Vilnius Holocaust Survivor and Protestant Pastor Speak Out
Ukrainian Ultranationalists’ Poster with Swastikas & Other Hitlerist Icons in Weston-on-Trent in Derbyshire, England
SEE ALSO: UKRAINE UPDATES BELOW; MEDIA TRACKER; DH SECTION
Why is the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Afraid to Tell its Audience About the Nazi Career of its Featured Composer?
Vilnius: Right-Wing Parliamentarians Try Again to Make June 23rd — Onset of the Lithuanian Holocaust by Local “Patriots” — Into National Day of Celebration
June 23rd 2016 will mark the 75th anniversary of the outbreak of the Holocaust in dozens of Lithuanian towns. The Soviet army was fleeing Hitler’s invasion of 22 June 1941 (the largest invasion in human history), not the LAF murderers, but some nationalists, antisemites, Double Genociders and far-right revisionists want to turn Holocaust perpetrators into “anti-Soviet rebels.” See details from the last time around, the 70th anniversary of 2011. Defending History was there to cover it all: The events, the LAF’s intentions, the Jewish Community’s response, the government attempts to play double games. See also Brandišauskas’s classic critique of an earlier attempt by Liekis to turn the reign of Hitlerist terror into a glorious chapter of modern history.
Some East European Elites Seem to Need to Honor Holocaust Collaborators (while wooing the West as well)
8 May 2015
Lithuania’s President and Entourage Lay Wreaths at Ponár on May 8th…
“Equally” at Monuments for Jewish, Lithuanian and Polish Victims, but Skipping the Stone Commemorating the 7,514 Red Army Prisoners of Various Nationalities Starved and Murdered at the Site.
The Lithuanian monument bewreathed on May 8th is not for Lithuanian civilians or anti-Nazis, but for a group of volunteers for pro-Nazi service who were then shot for alleged desertion. The one Jewish MP paid tribute there as well.
May 8th (Western Europe) and May 9th (Eastern Europe) Commemorate the Allied Victory over Hitler in Europe. But the government’s commemoration activities offered zero mention of the sacrifices of the forces that defeated Hitler and brought an end to the genocide at Ponár.
ANOTHER SHOCK FOR VETERANS AND SURVIVORS, AND FOR OBSERVERS OF THE CAMPAIGN TO USURP THE MASS MURDER SITE OF VILNA JEWRY — AND THE HOLOCAUST — FOR CURRENT POLITICAL ENDS
But no government officials turned up at the later event commemorating Jewish partisans and war veterans at the Jewish cemetery
Lithuanian Government’s New Jewish Heritage Commission Completes First Meeting
Sincere Efforts on Preserving Cemeteries and Mass Graves Reported; Real Progress Seen in Central Government Efforts to Overcome Local Resistance
But Painful Issues Ignored Include the Sinking Last Jewish Partisan Fort where Vilna Ghetto Survivors Defied the Nazis and their Collaborators; Humiliated Gravestones in Church Steps and School’s Garden Walls; State’s Memorials for Holocaust Collaborators
In Response to Several Commissioners’ Requests, Defending History Published List of Twelve Urgent Material Heritage Issues
Rumors in Vilnius on “PR Commission Replacement”: Defending History Campaign Challenging Red-Brown Commission Resulted in New, Commission “Replacing It” as Public Face of Gov.-Jewish Affairs; Red-Brown Commission’s Website Dark Since April 17th, as Latest Slur on Holocaust Survivors Appears on Youtube
Press Release Mentions Politically Explosive Foreigners’ Demands for Changes in Citizenship and Private Property Restitution Laws
4 May 2015
On Eve of Commission Meeting, Protestant Clergyman Called for Rapid and Dignified Removal of Church Steps Made of Looted Jewish Gravestones at Central Vilnius Church (Pylimo St. 18); Commission Silent on Issue
3 May 2015
Rūta Vanagaitė, Lithuanian Author and Cultural Icon, Publishes Bold Article on History Education and Popular Antisemitism
Article followed her April 17 conference; Then, Vanagaitė teamed up with Jewish community’s Simon Gurevich to debate opponents on Lithuanian TV’s “The Naked Truth” on May 4. One of them was J. Panka, leader of annual neo-Nazi march in Kaunas that flaunts banner of a major Nazi collaborator.
22 April 2015
Moment of Truth at Ponár
German Film Makers Release Clip from New Documentary:
Vilnius “Red-Brown Commission” Boss on Beloved Vilna Ghetto Survivor Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky, in Interview at Mass Murder Site Ponár (Paneriai)
ALSO MENTIONS IN BRIEF SOME CORE PRINCIPLES OF “DOUBLE GENOCIDE” AND HIS SEARCH FOR “ALL KINDS OF PERPETRATORS”
Commission — officially “The International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes” — is a Lithuanian government sponsored unit with a record of irksome conflict.
Brantsovsky (Brancovskaja), who turns 93 next month, lost her entire family in the Holocaust. She is one of a number of Jewish partisan heroes publicly defamed by Lithuanian prosecutors for years. No charges were ever filed against any, and “investigations” were dropped in the face of international reaction. But in the absence of written apologies, defamation continues apace into the history books.
Other Holocaust survivors defamed include: Dr. Yitzhak Arad, Professor Pinchos Fridberg, Dr. Rachel Margolis, Attorney Joseph Melamed.
BUT IN SHOCK TO YIDDISH AND HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR CIRCLES, DIRECTOR OF N.Y. YIVO, FOUNDED IN VILNA 90 YEARS AGO, REMAINS A MEMBER OF THE COMMISSION, AND DEFENDS IT IN JEWISH MEDIA. OTHER FOREIGN JEWISH MEMBERS JOINED UP, AT TIMES UNDER POLITICAL PRESSURE. SOME HAVE RECEIVED PRESTIGIOUS AWARDS. A VILNA HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR APPEALED TO YIVO’S DIRECTOR IN VILNA YIDDISH (AUDIO).
9 April 2015
20 March 2015
Attempts to “Fix” Holocaust History with Far Right’s “Double Genocide” Politics?
Vilnius Holocaust survivor Prof. Pinchos Fridberg dares challenge the state-sponsored “red-brown commission” that supports the Prague Declaration. His audio recording in Vilna Yiddish of an open letter to director of Yivo in NY. Text of full correspondence in English [DH] (+reprint [OLC]), Russian [Mi Zdes] (+ reprints in Shofar & Obzor), Yiddish [Forverts].
European taxpayers’ money squandered by traveling exhibits to downgrade the Holocaust by mix-n-match with Soviet crimes? Geoff Vasil reviews exhibit.
While a real Holocaust exhibit in Paris, for UNESCO, is vetoed by Latvia? Latest from Paris.
Free thought in East European academia: Dissenters to “Double Genocide” dismissed, then accused of being non-academics? Coming soon: Prof. Michael Shafir’s “Deflection and Obfuscation.” Also: Times of Israel report.
16 March 2015
In the East of EU-NATO-Land: Again, Latvian Authorities Grant Riga Old Town and its “Liberty Monument” on March 16th to 1500 Worshippers of Hitler’s Waffen SS Latvian Divisions
All Waffen SS members swore an oath to Adolf Hitler, some were recycled Holocaust killers. Lithuania’s far-right leaders J. Panka and R. Čekutis, fresh from neo-Nazi march in Vilnius, were on hand as honored guests; British neo-Nazis came for the event. For the second year in a row, the prime minister forbade ministers from attending. The antisemite who went around seeking Jewish observers to “enlighten” them (video).
Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Dr. Efraim Zuroff leads a silent, peaceful protest of Just 2 (SWC and Defending History)
But his words at event are reported around the globe (including ABC News, Arutz Sheva, London Daily Mail, Der Spiegel, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Yahoo News). SWC’s statement. Photo gallery by Delfi.lv.
Dr. Zuroff’s one-month odyssey took him to all four far-right or pro-Nazi events in the Baltics: Kaunas Feb 16, Tallinn Feb 24, Vilnius March 11, and Riga March 16.
Separate protest by “Latvia Without Nazism” was allowed after event’s conclusion, with members carrying symbolic fumigation gear to Liberty Monument after Waffen SS admirers’ departure. Monica Lowenberg’s international petition reaches 6700 mark.
12 March 2015
Latest Poster from “Zeppelinus” Who is Alleged to be High Official at Lithuania’s Economy Ministry
NEWEST EFFORT MOCKS LOVE OF COUNTRY BY ROMA, LEFTISTS, JEWS, BLACKS, POLES AND LGBT. SELECTION OF EARLIER PRODUCTIONS HERE. “FULL DISCLOSURE” — HE HAS ALSO DEDICATED MONTAGES TO DH EDITOR.
Will the “Human Rights Monitoring Institute” maintain its usual silence? Where are The Bagels?
The poster’s theme, mocking the inclusivist “Lithuania for Everybody [visiems]” (the common reply to the neo-Nazis’ “Lithuania for Lithuanians” [Lietuviams]) is taken from the courageous anti-Nazi demonstration by the head of the Union of Jewish Students in Lithuania at the city-center neo-Nazi event allowed by authorities on the nation’s independence day. See next story.
11 March 2015
1,500 Neo-Nazis and Far-Right Extremists Again Given Vilnius’s Main Boulevard on Nation’s March 11th Independence Day; They Parade from Cathedral Square to Nation’s Parliament with Fascist Symbols and Chants of “Lietuva Lietuviams” (Lithuania for [Pure] Lithuanians)
STATEMENTS FROM PRECEDING DAYS; FOLLOWING THE EVENT: JEWISH COMMUNITY OF LITHUANIA’S STATEMENT AND REPORT; SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTER; GEOFF VASIL IN DH
Flag with Swastika Hoisted Outside Nation’s Parliament for Over an Hour
For First Time, Leaders of Jewish Community, Including Chairperson Faina Kukliansky, and Jewish Student Union Come Out to Monitor and Protest the Vilnius March; Community Issues Statement; But No Sign of “Human Rights Monitoring Institute” or Bagels.
Wiesenthal Center’s Dr. Efraim Zuroff Leads Group of Seven Protesters in Partnership with Defending History; Part of Zuroff’s One Month Odyssey to All Four Baltic Neo-Nazi Events; SWC Statement; Photo galleries by Julius Norwilla and by Bill Pahl.
Three Down, One to Go, in Efraim Zuroff’s Odyssey to the Baltic Month of Neo-Nazi Marches: (1) Kaunas, 16 February: MONITORED; (2) Tallinn, 24 February: MONITORED; (3) Vilnius, 11 March: THE MAYOR? HUMAN RIGHTS MONITORS? (4) Riga, 16 March: PETITION.
Scenes from the day….
From the monitors…
16 February 2015
Wiesenthal Center – Defending History Team of 12 Monitors & Protests Kaunas Independence Day Neo-Nazi March
MARCH FEATURED LONG SERIES OF FASCIST-STYLE TAUNTS OF LIETUVA LIETUVIAMS (“LITHUANIA FOR [ETHNIC] LITHUANIANS”) ALONG WITH SWASTIKAS, OTHERFASCIST SYMBOLS AND A HUGE BANNER OF THE 1941 NAZI PUPPET PM WHO COLLABORATEDIN THE DESTRUCTION OF HIS CITY’S CITIZENS WHO WERE JEWISH. MAYOR’S OFFICE GAVE PERMITS FOR CITY CENTER TRAVESTY ON NATION’S INDEPENDENCE DAY.
ZERO PUBLIC REACTION FROM GOV. OFFICIALS OR DOMESTIC HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS. THE WIESENTHAL CENTER, DEFENDING HISTORY AND THE COUNTRY’S JEWISH COMMUNITY TO DATE THE ONLY PUBLIC VOICES.
Monitoring team was a project of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel office in partnership with the Vilnius-based Defending History team.
Dozen protesters (vs. a march of up to 500) included five members of Lithuanian Jewish community (in private capacity), but no sign of any Bagels or other funded antisemitism (or human rights) monitors.
AFTER THE EVENT: JTA; Newsru.com; 15min.lt; Alfa.lt; Balsas.lt; Delfi.lt; Enlacejudío.com; EuropaUniversal; Faktai.lt; FB; Forward; ICEJ; Info.smi; Interfax; International Business Times; Israel Nachrichten; Jerusalem Post; JP (2); Jewish Community of Lithuania; Kauno diena; Lrt.lt; Lrytas.lt; Obzor; Newsru.co.il; News02elf; Radiojai.com.ar; RT; Shalom Life; Simon Wiesenthal Center; Strategic Culture Foundation; Times of Israel (French edition); Vilniaus diena; Ztis.cz.
RUN-UP TO THE EVENT: i24; Defending History (+ DH correspondence with mayor’s office; + SWC’s letter to the mayor).
PHOTO COLLECTIONS: Julius Norwilla; 15min.lt; Delfi.lt; Facebook; Kauno diena; Lrytas.lt; Vilniaus diena.
NEO-NAZI & FAR-RIGHT REACTION: DavidDuke.com; Daily Slave.com; LDiena.lt; LtNacionalistas; Nationalist Youth Union; J. Panka; Stormfront; Vyrud.livejournal; Zeppelinus 1 + Zeppelinus 2 + Zeppelinus 3. But who is Zeppelinus?
10 February 2015
Baltic Nazi-Glorifying Marching Season Underway
COME JOIN US IN KAUNAS, MONDAY 16 FEB. at 1 PM (1300), AT RAMYBĖS PARK, TO MONITOR, SILENTLY PROTEST, & REMEMBER THE CITY’S MORE THAN 30,000 MURDERED JEWISH CITIZENS.
WIESENTHAL CENTER’S EFRAIM ZUROFF FLYING IN TO MONITOR EVENT AND LEAD PEACEFUL PROTEST; HIS LETTER TO KAUNAS MAYOR; OBZOR; DELFI.LT; KAUNO DIENA; ALKAS.LT
DH’S CORRESPONDENCE WITH KAUNAS MAYOR’S OFFICE. FOR THE RECORD:ISRAELI HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS’ LETTER OF 2013.
Presidents, Mayors, Cardinals, Professors, Editors —
“A splendid opportunity for Baltic leaders to just speak up”
CITY-CENTER NEO-NAZI MARCHES THAT GLORIFY WARTIME HITLER COLLABORATORS NOW SCHEDULED FOR ALL THREE BALTIC STATES; ESTONIAN & LITHUANIAN EVENTS ARE ON NATIONS’ INDEPENDENCE DAY HOLIDAYS
ESTONIA: TALLINN, FEBRUARY 24TH
LATVIA: RIGA, MARCH 16TH
LITHUANIA: KAUNAS, FEB. 16TH AND VILNIUS, MARCH 11TH
3 February 2015
Sir Martin Gilbert
25 October 1936 — 3 February 2015
MAGNIFICENT HISTORIAN AND AUTHOR, DEAR FRIEND, LOYAL AND UNDAUNTED CHAMPION OF HISTORIC TRUTH
Poetry Section is Launched with Work of Ken Slade (Kęstutis Sladkevičius) and Aleksandras Bosas
SEE ALSO PAGE AND SECTION HONORING LITHUANIAN CITIZENS WHO STAND UP AGAINST HOLOCAUST DENIAL / OBFUSCATION, RACISM AND ANTISEMITISM. PROPHET AMOS AWARDS.
27 January 2015
Historians Cite 2015 Relevance of the Seventy Years Declaration
AUSCHWITZ LIBERATION 70TH ANNIVERSARY: Efraim Zuroff, Joshua Tartakovsky, and Pinchos Fridberg argue that Russia’s president should have been there. Dovid Katz calls for “Double Genocide” to be refuted head-on. Channel 4’s report.
EYEWITNESS REPORT ON THREE REMEMBRANCE DAY EVENTS IN VILNIUS; ON THE THIRD EVENT FEATURING GENOCIDE CENTER OFFICIAL; JERUSALEM POST & MAKOR RISHON REPORTS ON EFRAIM ZUROFF’S STATEMENT, NOW POSTED ON WIESENTHAL CENTER SITE. RESPONSE BY LITHUANIAN JEWISH COMMUNITY. COMMENT BY COMMUNITY’S CHAIRPERSON FAINA KUKLIANSKY.
23 January 2015
Lithuania: Will officials speak out against planned neo-Nazi and collaborator-glorifying events in Kaunas (Feb 16th) and Vilnius (March 11th)? After deputy foreign minister goes to Brussels to “fight antisemitism” Efraim Zuroff tweets, challenging him to denounce both neo-Nazi marches back home. Also: Melee on launch of Holocaust museum project miles from the city center
Latvia: Will the government stop gifting the capital’s center for the March 16th celebrations of the country’s Waffen SS?
USA: What happened to Rep. John Conyers’ amendment to the military appropriations bill? The incredible UN vote. Triumphant American tour of a documentary that glorifies a Nazi collaborator’s postwar activity without mentioning the “slight problem of 1941”…
Heat of Debate: Dan Lazare’s critique of Timothy Snyder’s alleged rubbishing of the anti-Nazi partisan resistance crops up in the “New Republic” fallout. Did the US State Dept. (via Vilnius embassy) pour money into SLS to influence the Holocaust history debates? On Poland & Ukraine: Gebert (2) and Katz in Jewish Review of Books. Have the Tides Foundation & George Soros been manipulated to support “rigged Holocaust discussions”?
News & Views. Human Rights. Opinion. Books. Poetry. Museums. Media. More.
21 January 2015
Freedom of Expression in France & at UNESCO
Simon Wiesenthal Center critiques the Latvian Government’s sabotage of exhibition that was supposed to open this week in the French capital
8 January 2015
President of the Czech Republic Breaks EU’s Wall of Silence on Ukrainian Gov’s Worship of Nazi-Era Fascists
“Unfortunately, I cannot congratulate Ukraine on such national heroes.”
More on Ukraine: Kiev center is scene of worshipful Bandera march on new year’s day; Jerusalem Post reports. Then, Ukrainian PM Arseniy Yatsenyuk explained that the “USSR invaded Germany and Ukraine” in World War II. Bryan Macdonald reports. William Blum in Foreign Policy Journal on US policy being “dumb and dumber”…
1 January 2015
New Book Poses Question for US and EU Foreign Policy. Should the West not demand, as matter of ethics, values and history, the abandonment of allies’ state glorification of major Holocaust collaborators?
22 November 2014
A Historic Low for US (and Canadian) Foreign Policy?
UN Resolution for “Combating Glorification of Nazism” Passes in General Assembly Committee (115 for, 3 against, with 55 abstentions)
Resolution, offered by Russia, seen as inherently flawed by Putinist machinations, Russia-Ukraine crisis & East-West feuding; EU abstains, as Baltic nationalists gloat (Delfi.lt)
STILL A SHOCK that three member states voted against: Ukraine, USA, Canada. Ukraine’s government recently made “heroes” of Nazi collaborators; catalogue of the last year.
Are unchecked Neo-Con politics behind the failure to Just Say No to the adulation of Nazi collaborators?
Media: Margaret Besheer in Voice of America; Joseph Brean in Canada’s National Post; George Eliason in Global Research; Ken Hanly in Digital Journal; Dovid Katz in The Times of Israel; Ryan Maloney in Huffington Post; John Meinhold in In Serbia News; Jim Miles in CounterPunch; Boruch Shubert in JP Updates; Sam Sokol in the Jerusalem Post.
The Real Question: Should the US, UK, Canada, the EU and the rest of the free world not sponsor their own resolution combating the glorification of Nazism which is a real problem in the eastern EU and Ukraine?
TIME FOR THE UN TO LOOK AT THE SEVENTY YEARS DECLARATION?
Related: Why did US Congressman John Conyers’ amendment restricting aid to pro-Nazi groups in Ukraine fail to pass? Max Blumenthal’s (unproven) allegations.
Glorification of Nazism section; Street names and gloried reburial in Lithuania; Issues in Croatia, Czech Rep, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Russia, Ukraine
Meanwhile, a citizen of Lithuania speaks out on memorials for Nazi collaborators and state-sanctioned parades that glorify Hitler collaborators on nation’s independence day
20 November 2014
The Face of Roma in Vilnius
Does a Program of “Integration” Undermine the Roma Community in Lithuania’s Capital?
Related Defending History sections: Roma, Human Rights, Opinion
Seventy Years Declaration (SYD) Relaunched for 2015
PROF. DANNY BEN-MOSHE LAUNCHES DECLARATION’S NEW WEBSITE ◊ RELAUNCH FOR JANUARY 2015 HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY ON 70th ANNIVERSARY OF LIBERATION OF AUSCHWITZ ◊ NEED UNDERLINED BY THE BALTIC-NATIONALIST INSPIRED RESOLUTION SLIPPED INTO THE US CONGRESS LAST JUNE
Reports in JWire; JDU; SYD’s history in DH (a minister’s Hitler-Stalin moustache pronouncement; Vytenis Andriukaitis’s reply; Denis MacShane); Early media; in the film Rewriting History; In Dan Stone’s new book on postwar Europe; Facebook.
Defending History Brings Results…
For First Time, NY Yivo to Honor (on Dec. 17) a Holocaust Resistance Hero Defamed by Lithuania’s Prosecutors
HOPES RISE FOR LITHUANIAN GOVERNMENT PUBLIC APOLOGY TO DR. YITZHAK ARAD, HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR, HERO OF THE ANTI-NAZI RESISTANCE AND ISRAEL’S WAR OF INDEPENDENCE, MAJOR HOLOCAUST SCHOLAR AND FORMER DIRECTOR OF YAD VASHEM
Dr. Arad is a victim of a state-sponsored campaign of defamation. When forced by international outcry to abandon their “pre-trial investigation,” prosecutors published a further defamatory page on their own website. It’s still there!
Defamation remains widespread on Wikipedia, on the web, in “academic” books, and by the “Lithuanian Human Rights [!] Association” (LHRA). Public apology in writing seen as only remedy.
Hopes rising Yivo director will quit the “red-brown commission” which Yitzhak Arad exposed in Defending History as a major engine of the Double Genocide movement in Europe and beyond. Yivo membership in the Commission is seen as a betrayal of Holocaust survivors and support for Prague Declaration (which is publicly supported by the commission). See Seventy Years Declaration for response.
צי האָט דער איצטיקער ניו⸗יאָרקער ייוואָ אינגאַנצן אַרויסגעוואָרפן יידיש פון דער היינטצייטיקער טעטיקייט? וואָס וואָלטן דערויף געזאָגט דינה אַבראַמאָוויטש, אוריאל וויינרייך, מאַקס וויינרייך, יודל מאַרק, חנה מלאָטעק, שלמה נאָבל, נחום סטוטשקאָוו, אברהם סוצקעווער, נח פּרילוצקי, זעליג⸗הירש קלמנאָוויטש, זלמן רייזען, צמח שאַבאַד, מרדכי שעכטער?
Five Holocaust survivors, and the year the campaign against each was launched by government units in Lithuania. From left to right: Dr. Yitzhak Arad, Dr. Rachel Margolis, Ms. Fania Brantsovsky, attorney Joseph Melamed, and physicist Professor Pinchos Fridberg. Many bold Lithuanian citizens have stood up to state-sponsored efforts to obfuscate the Holocaust via revisionist historiography.
Latvian for “Springtime for Hitler”?
Riga Jewish Heritage Guide Aleks Feigmanis and Wiesenthal Center’s Efraim Zuroff Blast New Musical that Glorifies a Holocaust Perpetrator; Associated Press Reports
THE SHOW’S NATIONAL TOUR STARTED ON OCTOBER 11
NEW YORK, 19 October 2014
“Klinghoffer” — A Dangerous Pattern of Abuse of Drama to Downgrade Murder and Genocide?
Glorification of the local perpetrators of the Holocaust is a problem in many of the pro-Western countries of Eastern Europe
KIEV, 14 October 2014
Ukrainian Parliament’s Debate on Glorifying World War II Hitlerist Nationalists Ends in Disarray
Mainstream Western Media Mostly Ignores the News (but see: Sunday Times)
In a September tweet, Ukraine’s president said UPA fighters were an “example of heroism.” It was a prelude to the scheduled Oct. 14th debate in parliament on declaring Hitler’s executioners in Ukraine to be “freedom fighters.” When violence broke out on the 14th outside the national parliament, the Western media, including the BBC, whitewashed the Hitler-era Holocaust perpetrators being glorified by Ukraine’s nationalist leaders.
But the UPA, OUN and the Banderists were pro-Nazi, racist, antisemitic militias infamous for mass murders of civilians during the Holocaust. See: Yad Vashem. Yitzhak Arad. John-Paul Himka. Grzegorz Rossolinski-Liebe. Per Anders Rudling.
Presumably, nobody forced Ukraine’s president in 2014 to tweet on “that matter of history” from over 70 years ago? He came out with even worse at a press conference, before going on to proclaim a national independence holiday based on the fascist UPA’s sacred date.
RELATED COVERAGE: Foreign Policy, Guardian, International Business Times, London Jewish Chronicle, The Nation (II), NBC News, Telegraph, The Hill, Washington Post, ZDF
DELRAY, FLORIDA, October 2014
VILNIUS, 16 May 2014
Seven Lithuanian Champions of Human Rights Awarded First Annual
Daniel Lazare Deconstructs Timothy Snyder’s Trashing of Anti-Nazi World War II Partisans, and New Role as Point Man for (East European) Far Right and (US) Neo-Cons
PLUS: CAN YOU RESPECTFULLY DISAGREE WITH A PROFESSOR FROM YALE?
6 September 2014
Five years have elapsed since this journal was founded on 6 Sept. 2009, in memory of Professor Meir Shub (1924-2009). Outside coverage includes David Hirsch in Engage and Jonathan Freedland in the Guardian (2009); Avi Friedman in Mishpacha, Ricky Ben-David in the Jerusalem Post, Mark Ames in The Nation, and Wendy Robbins on BBC World Service (2010); Cindy Mindell in the Jewish Ledger and Peter Jukes in Motley Moose (2011); Danny Ben-Moshe in his film Rewriting History (2012); Bernard Dichek in Jerusalem Report (2013); Richard Bloom in his film Defending Holocaust History (2014). CONTINUE READING
2 September 2014
The Defending History Community Celebrates the 77th Birthday of
Vilnius author (in Russian), editor (in English, Lithuanian, Russian, Yiddish), historian (European), theatre director (Yiddish) and tireless, fearless (global) intellectual champion in the struggle against the far right’s Holocaust revisionism, racism and antisemitism
A pillar of strength in the Jewish Community of Lithuania and far beyond
Selections from his years as editor of the quadrilingual Jerusalem of Lithuania. Chersonski section in Defending History. Film tribute. Facebook.
LONDON, 26 August 2014
Ernst Lowenberg (1922—2014)
(28 December 1922 — 26 August 2014)
In his final months, London Holocaust survivor Ernst Lowenberg, a native of Halle am Saale in Germany, wrote to UK prime minister David Cameron asking the government to take a stand on East European Holocaust revisionism.
In 2012, on the eve of his ninetieth birthday, he led a peaceful, dignified, friendly picket-line outside the Lithuanian Embassy in London and handed the consul a petition.
He is pictured above at the prime minister’s Holocaust Commission consultation event held in London on 5 May 2014.
Funeral service Tuesday, 2 Sept. 2014 at 2 PM at West Chapel, Hoop Lane, Golders Green, London NW11
Text ◊ 15 European languages ◊ History ◊ Origins ◊ As Counter Prague 2008
ISSUES IN THE NEWS
Estonia ♦ Hungary ♦ Latvia ♦ Lithuania (Balčiūnas; Beržinis; Butkus; Dyukov; Fridberg; Grabauskas; Melamed)
COMING SOON: Review of the Lithuanian edition of a book on the Holocaust that got its author banned from attending the book launch event
Ukrainian Government’s Use of Neo-Nazi Paramilitaries is Reported by London’s Daily Telegraph
“But Kiev’s use of volunteer paramilitaries […] should send a shiver down Europe’s spine. Recently formed battalions such as Donbas, Dnipro and Azov, with several thousand men under their command, are officially under the control of the interior ministry but their financing is murky, their training inadequate and their ideology often alarming. The Azov men use the neo-Nazi Wolfsangel (Wolf’s Hook) symbol on their banner and members of the battalion are openly white supremacists, or antisemites.” — Tom Parfitt in the Daily Telegraph.
BUT USE OF PRO-HITLER ELEMENTS BY WASHINGTON’S ALLY GETS ONE SENTENCE AT END OF NEW YORK TIMES REPORT
Western Media Begins to Cover the Far Right and Nazi-Worshiping Aspects; See also Ukraine Section; Page; 2014 Media Page.
Plungyán (Plungė), 30 July 2014
Yankl-Yosl Bunk (Jakovas Bunka), Famed Wood Sculptor, Last Jew of Plungyán (Plungė, Lithuania), Dies at 91
His Art Commemorates the Holocaust in Western Lithuania
Was World War II Red Army Veteran of the War Against Hitler
Bunk’s sculptures; his memoir of Jewish Plungyán; JewishGen Kehila links; Adam Ellick on Bunk; JTA; Bunk’s list of the Jews of Plungyán; “hypothetical” speech at the 2011 Plungyán commemoration.
New Latvian Musical, “Sugar Herbert Sugar” Glorifies Holocaust Mass Murderer Herberts Cukurs
Tickets now available online for performances around the country. About the show. Signature tune released on YouTube (Would they have done better with the old Archies version of “Sugar Sugar”?)
Are we back to Springtime for Hitler, just focused on celebrating a local mass murderer of Latvian Jewry? Will the hosting venues, including the City Cultural Centers in Jelgava and Valmiera, and prestigious halls in Riga, Liepāja, Rēzekne and Ventspils also be holding memorials for their citizens murdered in the Latvian Holocaust in which Herberts Cukurs, known as the “Hangman of Riga,” took such a personal and violent part?
Surpasses Lithuanian law (up to two years imprisonment) and Hungary’s version (up to three years)
Opinion that there was one genocide in the country (the Holocaust) remains criminalized by 2014 law, in the spirit of the laws passed in Hungary and Lithuania in 2010
Comment on Eastern EU speech laws by: Milan Chersonski, Leonidas Donskis, Dovid Katz, Efraim Zuroff; See also: FREE SPEECH Section
QUESTION: Does the new musical Sugar Herbert Sugar perhaps violate the new law which bans (with punishment up to five years jailtime) “glorification, denial, justification or gross derogation of genocide, crimes against humanity, crimes against peace or war crimes against Latvia perpetrated by the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany.” Or is the law null and void when it comes to the Holocaust in Latvia?
Is a Vilnius Police Unit Again Harassing Evaldas Balčiūnas for his Articles on the Holocaust?
Did Someone Sneak Some Holocaust Revisionism into the US Congress?
Under the Radar: Did East European nationalists — trying to insinuate the “Two Holocausts Theory” into the West — slip a resolution right onto Capitol Hill?
Hurtful Shock for Veterans, Holocaust Survivors & their Families: US Congress Approves Mixed Soviet-Nazi Commemoration Day in Line with 2008 “Prague Declaration” (Text)
BALTIC NATIONALIST GROUPS PRESSED FOR THE RESOLUTION; GOVTRACK; IT WAS ATTACHED TO THE MILITARY APPROPRIATIONS BILL (SEE AMENDMENT 134 / 1266); FULL TEXT; LITHUANIAN AMBASSADOR IN WASHINGTON CONFIRMS CURRENT POLITICAL AIM OF (DE FACTO) REVISION OF HOLOCAUST HISTORY.
SAME GROUPS THAT HAVE SUPPORTED PROJECTS TO HONOR NAZI COLLABORATORS?
But what’s wrong with a single “red-brown” remembrance day?
THE HOLOCAUST IS IN EFFECT DOWNGRADED TO ONE OF TWO SUPPOSEDLY “EQUAL HOLOCAUSTS”; See: Yitzhak Arad, Yehuda Bauer, Danny Ben-Moshe, Milan Chersonski, Leonidas Donskis, Esther Goldberg Gilbert, Dovid Katz, Rachel Kostanian, Denis MacShane, John Mann, Efraim Zuroff
Are US officials aware that the Prague Declaration is the foundational document of the ultranationalists’ “Double Genocide” campaign to revise Holocaust history? Of the Seventy Years Declaration (2012) response? Do these members of Congress really believe that those who liberated Auschwitz are morally identical to its killers?
FILMS: Danny Ben-Moshe’s Rewriting History; Richard Bloom’s Defending Holocaust History; Gerit Ziegler’s When Double Genocide Means Single Genocide
BATTLE OF EUROPEAN DECLARATIONS: Seventy Years Declaration (2012) is a reply to the Prague Declaration (2008); Statement of the World Union of Progressive Judaism (2013); of the British Board of Deputies; History of SYD (to 2014)
Double Genocide section; Blaming the Victims; Glorification of Collaborators; 2012 reburial of 1941 Nazi puppet prime minister; Sample of the antisemitic essence of Double Genocide (by current official at the Economy Ministry)
Freedom of Speech in the Eastern EU?
ŠIAULIAI, 22 MAY 2014
DH Staff Writer Evaldas Balčiūnas is Investigated by Lithuanian Police
He is author of a series of bold articles about state sanitization and glorification of Holocaust perpetrators and collaborators
Newest investigation follows recent police and prosecutorial harassment of Giedrius Grabauskas and Saulius Beržinis
PATTERN OF CRIMINALIZING THE TRUTH ABOUT THE HOLOCAUST? PROSECUTORS ON YITZHAK ARAD (2007); HARASSMENT OF VILNA GHETTO SURVIVORS (2008); 2 YEAR JAIL LAW (2010); POLICE PURSUIT OF JOSEPH MELAMED (2011); RED-BROWN COMMISSION’S DEFAMATION OF PINCHOS FRIDBERG (2013-14); SUMMARY OF STATE DEFAMATION OF SURVIVORS (2008-2014); GIEDRIUS GRABAUSKAS (2014); SAULIUS BERŽINIS (2014); EVALDAS BALČIŪNAS (2014).
RELATED: Defending History report on Lithuania’s 2010 law. Essays by: Leonidas Donskis; Milan Chersonski. Section on Democracy in the Eastern EU.
RELATED: Police action against feminists who stood up peacefully to the neo-Nazis in Lithuania.
“We stand with Evaldas 100%.”
With Efraim Zuroff
On February 16th 2014, Evaldas Balčiūnas joined the small, peaceful and silent protest led by Dr. Efraim Zuroff, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center Israel office, on the occasion of the annual neo-Nazi march in Kaunas which again glorified the city’s 1941 Nazi puppet ruler who collaborated in sending his city’s 30,000 Jewish citizens to their deaths.
PRAGUE, 20 MAY 2014
“Double Genociders” in Prague Triumphantly Announce Participation of “Cabinet of Viviane Reding” at 12-13 June Conference on “Legacy of Totalitarianism Today”…
Will EU’s Commissioner for Justice legitimize the Prague campaign to obfuscate the Holocaust for the East-European-nationalist inspired rewrite of history?
Will there be a single paper on current glorification of Nazi collaborators in a conference on “Legacy of Totalitarianism Today”?
THE PRAGUE DECLARATION (2008); SYD (2012)
THE RED-BROWN COMMISSION (1998-2014)
The “Prague Platform” organizing the conference features on its home page the Prague Declaration and partnership with (inter alia) the Vilnius based Genocide Center and the “red-brown” commission. Also: Is EU funding squandered on rampant infighting?
LONDON, 9 May 2014
Appeal to Prime Minister David Cameron
Ernst Lowenberg, 91, pictured at the May 2014 UK consultation with Holocaust survivors, has written to David Cameron calling for rejection of the “Double Genocide” revisionism emanating from Eastern Europe. In 2012, he handed a petition to the Lithuanian embassy in London.
VILNIUS, 16 May 2014
Confirms rumors about the steps outside the Contemporary Arts Center on Vokiečių Street
Related: Jewish gravestones (matséyves) in the decorative walls of Lazdynai; on steps of the Reformed Evangelical Church on Pylimo; Blood libel plaque in the Bernardinai Catholic Church
Putin’s indefensible actions are robustly exposed. But there is reluctance to look critically at “pro-Western” forces that glorify (as “national heroes”) Nazi collaborators and Holocaust mass murderers…
What’s Western about that?
HISTORY FOR SALE? AS EVENTS UNFOLD, ARE WESTERN GOVERNMENTS TACITLY HELPING TO “FIX” THE HOLOCAUST BARBARITY OF BANDERA, THE UPA AND THE OUN? THESE GROUPS MURDERED TENS OF THOUSANDS OF CIVILIANS (UKRAINIAN CITIZENS) ON AN ETHNIC BASIS IN THE CAUSE OF HITLERIST RACIAL ELIMINATION.
WESTERN VALUES? IS IT MORAL FOR THE US, NATO AND THE EU TO COVER FOR THE ELEVATION OF HOLOCAUST PERPETRATORS TO NATIONAL HERO STATUS? CAN STATE-SANCTIONED NAZI-WORSHIP REALLY BE IRRELEVANT TO TODAY’S RACISM, ANTISEMITISM & HOMOPHOBIA?
HISTORIANS FOR HIRE? ARE BIG (AND SMALL) GUN HISTORIANS ALREADY BEING MOBILIZED TO OBFUSCATE THE ISSUES AND SANITIZE THE MASS MURDERERS OF UKRAINIAN JEWRY? TO PROMOTE MORE “DOUBLE GENOCIDE” REVISIONISM? ALLIES’ DEFEAT OF HITLER AT HUGE SACRIFICE IS INCREASINGLY MARGINALIZED BY THE REVISIONISTS.
Huge banner in Independence Square in Kiev glorifies wartime fascist leader Stepan Bandera, whose Hitlerist organization murdered tens of thousands of civilians — citizens of Ukraine — on an ethnic basis. Photo: Washington Post. Earlier, BBC News published images of the Bandera banner gracing Kiev City Hall.
♦ See articles in Foreign Policy, BBC Newsnight, LA Times, Tablet, Huffington Post, International Business Times, Reuters and MORE.
♦ Ukraine section (also: On Bandera).
♦ In Defending History: Franziska Bruder, Eleonora Groisman, Jared McBride, Grzegorz Rossoliński-Liebe, Per Anders Rudling (see also Dr. Rudling’s other papers).
♦ Major museum in Lviv; Was Canadian PM manipulated?
REVISIONISM IN THE MAKING: PHOTOSHOPPED IMAGE AT THE LONSKY MUSEUM IN LVIV
Four of them, in their late 80s or 90s, are heroic veterans of the anti-Nazi war effort who escaped the Vilna, Kovno or Svintsyán Ghetto to join up with the partisans in the forests of Lithuania. All their families perished in the Lithuanian Holocaust.
“ONE PUBLIC LETTER OF APOLOGY COULD REPAIR MUCH OF THE DAMAGE”
THE SURVIVORS SPEAK OUT THEMSELVES: YITZHAK ARAD; FANIA BRANTSOVSKY; PINCHOS FRIDBERG; SARA GINAITE; RACHEL MARGOLIS (2); JOE MELAMED
COMMENT BY: SHIMON ALPEROVICH & TUVIA JAFET (2); CHEN IVRI APTER; DANNY BEN-MOSHE; GORDON BROWN; MILAN CHERSONSKI; LEONIDAS DONSKIS; THE ECONOMIST; ABRAHAM FOXMAN; ESTHER GOLDBERG (GILBERT); SIR MARTIN GILBERT; DOV LEVIN; DENIS MACSHANE; YOSSI MELMAN (2); UK PARLIAMENT EARLY DAY MOTION; UNITED STATES CONGRESSMEN 1 & 2; VALDAS VASILIAUSKAS; EFRAIM ZUROFF
“STILL TIME TO END THINGS WITH THE LAST SURVIVORS ON A NICER NOTE, AFTER 700 YEARS OF JEWISH HISTORY IN LITHUANIA“
MEDIA COVERAGE (SELECTION): Dana Gloger in the Jewish Chronicle (2008); Arne Bengtsson in Baltic Worlds (2008): Raphael Ahren in Haaretz (2009); Avi Friedman in Mishpacha (2009); Ricky Ben-David in the Jerusalem Post (2010); Esther Goldberg in Canadian Jewish News (2010); Cindy Mindell in the Jewish Ledger (2010); Bernard Dichek in Jerusalem Report (2013); Daniel Brook, coming soon (2014).
8 April 2014
April 2014 International Romani Day
Vilma Fiokla Kiurė looks at Roma issues in Lithuania: Roma: Presumption of Guilt
31 March 2014
Criminalization of History in the Eastern EU?
Is a police crime unit the appropriate authority for investigating EU/NATO citizens of 2014 who oppose state glorification of alleged Nazi collaborators of 1941?
Beržinis is one of many bold Lithuanian citizens who have spoken up
PATTERN OF CRIMINALIZING THE TRUTH ABOUT THE HOLOCAUST? PROSECUTORS ON YITZHAK ARAD (2007); HARASSMENT OF VILNA GHETTO SURVIVORS (2008); 2 YEAR JAIL LAW (2010); POLICE PURSUIT OF JOSEPH MELAMED (2011), GIEDRIUS GRABAUSKAS (2014), SAULIUS BERŽINIS (2014)
27 March 2014
23 March 2014
British Board of Deputies Calls for European Parliament to Reject Prague Declaration’s Holocaust Downgrade
Move follows statement by the World Union for Progressive Judaism. More on Prague Declaration. Responses include: SYD, Rewriting History and other films.
What’s wrong with Double Genocide? Shimon Alperovich, Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis, Yitzhak Arad, Evaldas Balciunas, Yehuda Bauer, Danny Ben-Moshe, Milan Chersonski, Leonidas Donskis, Pinchos Fridberg, Esther Goldberg Gilbert, Dovid Katz, Rachel Kostanian, Denis MacShane, John Mann, Geoff Vasil (Vasiliauskas), Efraim Zuroff
18 March 2014
More Holocaust Revisionism in “Prague Declaration Europe”?
Vilnius Constitutional Court: “Double Genocide” via New Attempt to Inflate Definition of the G-Word?
THE NEW DOCUMENT; REPORT; SEE ALSO STATE “GENOCIDE CENTER” AND ITS “HOLOCAUST ENVY”…
Move comes four years after parliament passed a law effectively criminalizing the opinion that there was one Holocaust in the country
On Double Genocide see:
ARTICLES: Shimon Alperovich, Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis, Yitzhak Arad, Evaldas Balciunas, Yehuda Bauer, Danny Ben-Moshe, Milan Chersonski, Leonidas Donskis, Pinchos Fridberg, Esther Goldberg Gilbert, Dovid Katz, Rachel Kostanian, Denis MacShane, John Mann, Geoff Vasil (Vasiliauskas), Efraim Zuroff
FILMS: Danny Ben-Moshe’s Rewriting History; Richard Bloom’s Defending Holocaust History; Gerit Ziegler’s When Double Genocide Means Single Genocide
BATTLE OF EUROPEAN DECLARATIONS: Seventy Years Declaration (2012) is a reply to the Prague Declaration (2008); Statement of the World Union of Progressive Judaism (2013); History of SYD (to 2014)
Double Genocide section; Blaming the Victims; Glorification of Collaborators; 2012 reburial of 1941 Nazi puppet prime minister; Sample of the antisemitic essence of Double Genocide (by current official at the Economy Ministry)
DOUBLE GENOCIDE IN THE ANTISEMITIC IMAGINATION:
- “Thank you for our victory,” says the swarmy Jew to the Soviet soldier as the city burns and a raped blonde lies dead. Courtesy of “Zeppelinus” who allegedly still works in the Economy Ministry.
DOUBLE GENOCIDE TOURISM:
Survey; Genocide Center; Genocide Museum; Gruto Parkas; Tolerance Center; Street names and university shrines for Nazi collaborators
Baltic Marching Season
Interface of Pro-Fascist Marches, Holocaust Revisionism, and Contemporary Racism
EFRAIM ZUROFF IN THE HUFFINGTON POST, JERUSALEM POST AND TABLET
Defending History, in harmony with the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel office, monitored the three 2014 Nazi-ally glorifying marches in the Baltics. Authorities invested shrewdly this year in downplaying all three, but failed to simply move them away from prestigious city centers (which would have offended the far right and ultranationalist base). Visible fascist symbols were reduced from previous years, local opposition sometimes neutralized, and media interest discouraged.
But the noxious worship, in 2014’s EU, of Hitler’s allies in Holocaust-era Europe (now being cast as implicitly “acceptable”) remains a shameful constant, one that calls out for urgent scrutiny in the West. Yet again, Defending History is defense of today’s — and tomorrow’s — human rights and EU/NATO values. The adulaters of wartime Hitlerism are its moral heirs: today’s propagaters of racism, ultranationalism, antisemitism, homophobia and Aryanist theories of national purity.
27 February 2014
The “Platform”; the Orwellian “Reconciliation” of histories; What is Double Genocide? DH’s section; What’s it all about?
New (and unconfirmed) report from Vilnius
STILL NO DENIALS FROM POLICE OR PROSECUTORS ON AUTHENTICITY OF FEB. 2014 DOCUMENT CIRCULATING
IS A 2014 EU POLICE FORCE HARASSING A CITIZEN FOR A 2013 ARTICLE ABOUT ALLEGED 1941 LOCAL HOLOCAUST COLLABORATORS?
New (and confirmed) report from Vilnius
ONE YEAR LATER:
Vilnius Holocaust Survivor Prof. Pinchos Fridberg is Still Defamed on State-Sponsored Commission Website
27 January 2014
Hungarian Medal Returned