Artūras Račas, editor-in-chief of Baltic News Service (BNS), Attacks Holocaust Survivor Prof. Pinchos Fridberg and SWC Israel director Dr. Efraim Zuroff




The following is a translation of the 10 February blog of Artūras Račas, editor-in-chief of Baltic News Service (BNS). Only embedded links (marked by underlining) have been added, along with editorial editions enclosed in square brackets [ ], enabling readers to better follow Mr. Račas’s attacks on Holocaust survivor Professor Pinchos Fridberg and Holocaust historian Dr. Efraim Zuroff, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center Israel office.

BACKGROUND & UPDATES (ENGLISH VERSIONS ONLY) TO 1 MARCH 2013:

Mr. Račas has a long record of what some in Vilnius call “sophisticated antisemitism.” See inter alia Defending History coverage on 22 August 200820 May 2009 and 10 December 2010.

Yad Vashem has published a meticulous list of Lithuanian Righteous-Among-the-Nations rescuers of Jews. Defending History’s page on rescuers.  One of the persons attacked by Mr. Račas is in fact the administrator of a foundation that provides financial assistance to this day to rescuers and their families…


by Artūras Račas
February 10, 2013

It is completely possible that all manner of creeps and loud-mouths will
rave about anti-Semitism again, but what will the flies who every spring
seek a place to alight actually achieve?…

That’s why I want to say this: among the greatest propagators of
anti-Semitism in Lithuania, besides the little local Nazis, are,
unfortunately, Jews, whose people or even relatives experienced the Shoah.

To give sound foundation to this statement of mine, it’s sufficient to
mention the surname of E. Zuroff. This is a person whose purpose and life
goal is to encourage anti-Semitism in Lithuania and throughout Eastern
Europe. If Israel were really interested in reconciliation and good
relations, then Zuroff long ago would be made to sit in a dark place
without windows together with Hezbollah terrorists. For life and without
possibility of parole.

But it isn’t worthwhile to talk about E. Zuroff at length because he is
essentially the same as A. Ramanauskas. A word beginning with the first
letter of the alphabet which I won’t repeat here, because some commissions
are more sensitive to this word than the word “sterva.” [?]

I will talk about a story which went largely unnoticed in Lithuania but, I
am certain, made an impression outside Lithuania.

It began the great libel of Pinchos Fridberg, who calls himself
“professor,” on his impressions of a conference at parliament. The
“professor” listened carefully to the speakers and was deeply offended by
one of them who told of Lithuanians who rescued Jews.

He was so angered he wrote publicly that Lithuanians who rescued Jews are
a myth and non-sense.

Do you know why? Well, because the paper read at the conference in
parliament contained an inaccurate figure of the number of Jews saved from
death. The number 43 was expressed, but actually “only” 25 were rescued
(Juozas Straupis and his wife Bronislava) [sic].

A horrible mistake, isn’t it? A myth. Non-sense. And a Lithuania of
Jew-shooters who do not admit the Holocaust?

But listen, dear Pinchos, who calls himself “professor”? [sic]. My first
question to the honorable sir would be very simple: How many Jews did the
honorable sir rescue during the Holocaust? My estimation would be: zero.

And therefore my answers to the three questions posed [?] by the honorable
sir are very simple: stick a gag in your mouth, get under the table and be
quiet. Because the honorable sir has no right to moralize or to count the
heads of those rescued. this [sic] is disgusting and low, as is the
honorable sir.

Instead of bowing low and kissing the feet of the people who, sacrificing
themselves and their own children, rescued people who were foreign to them
(but dear to you), the honorable sir is instead angered by the fact that
someone didn’t calculate the number of those saved correctly. And this is
supposed to mean that you want to reconcile? Are you seeking
understanding?

Or perhaps you have just become fatally intolerab… [?] [sic] Having
before that apologized to those whom you have annoyed and the entire
Lithuanian people. [?]

Because counting heads means admitting that it does not concern the
honorable sir. Because it’s not heads that are important, it’s the
attitude. Which the honorable sir finds alien. [?]

For those to whom the attitude is not alien and who really do care, heads
are not important. What is most important is that there were those who
didn’t stand by and did not play the accordion, but instead took
responsibility, understanding clearly what they were risking. If you don’t
know, I’ll tell you: they understood they were risking their lives and
those of their loved ones.

Dear Pinchos, is the honorable sir offended that “barely” 25 were rescued
instead of the 43 voiced at the conference? But what if 17 had been
rescued? Or 8? And if just one? Would you also be angered? I guess you
would. Because those such as the honorable sir and E. Zuroff thirdly [sic,
“truly”] do not care at all who rescued how many Jews during the Holocaust
at risk of their own lives. Those such as the honorable sir make a living
off of the Holocaust and do all they can so that people who did not take
part and who opposed it would feel guilty.

So honorable sir, dear Pinchos Fridberg, [you] together with E. Zuroff are
the most guilty that anti-Semitism is so vital until now and that part of
society has such a hard time until now coming to terms with the painful
pages of history in Lithuania and the other Eastern European countries,
which lost hundreds of thousands of their own citizens during the
Holocaust. You are doing all you can to make sure this continues, and I
have to admit you are having some success, unfortunately.

So, dear Pinchos, I am begging the honorable sir. Stop. Find another way
of making a living and stop feeding upon our suffering and the suffering
of the Jews who perished in Lithuania. Because you will choke.

And then neither I nor anyone else will lay a stone upon the honorable
sir’s gravestone.

But they will be laying stones upon the gravestones of Juozas and
Bronislava Straupis long after no one remembers the honorable sir or E.
Zuroff.

And they will also place stones upon the grave of Janina Bucevičė in the
future. Because she dared tell the honorable sir, dear Pinchos, what you
truly are.* She dared, although all the commissions and communities and
all the important politicians were diving under the table.

Nor can I fail to mention the Lithuanian Jewish Community, which rushed to
publish the “professor’s” slander, but for some reason ignored Bucevičė’s
letter. This is also a demonstration of position and attitude, as I
understand it, unfortunately.

**************

Janina Bucevičė,
history teacher, Telšių Vyskupo Vincento Borisevičiaus gimnazija [Telsiai
Bishop Vincentas Borisevicius Gymnasium]
email: siwe22@gmail.com

To: The Lithuanian Jewish Community
Pylimo g. 4, Vilnius

OPEN LETTERTelšiai, LithuaniaFebruary 5, 2013On the Apology for the Lack of Respect to Rescuers of Jews and Holocaust

Victims

I address you concerning the article by Pinchos Fridberg which has been on
the English version of the Lithuanian Jewish Community’s webpage
(www.lzb.lt/en) for several weeks now called “Instead of Truth about the
Holocaust –Myths about Saving Jews.” The author in the article talks about
a conference I organized [which was held] on October 12, 2011, for
students and teachers to mark the 70th anniversary of the Telsiai ghetto,
in which Jadvyga Stulpinaitė, the daughter of rescuers of Jews, shared her
memories and told how her parents and neighbor families saved Jews in the
Žemaičių Kalvarija rural district in the Telsiai district during the
period of the Nazi occupation. This is a well-known and well-documented
story about how the Stulpinas and Straupis families together with other
people of good will saved not less than 25 Jews from the hell of the
Holocaust (there is information about this publicly available at the
[Lithuanian] Vilna Gaon Jewish State Museum website [and] in the
information about the exhibit “Išsigelbėjęs Lietuvos žydų vaikas pasakoja
apie Šoa” [“Rescued Lithuanian Jewish Children Tell of the Shoah”]:
http://www.jmuseum.lt/index.aspx?Element=ViewArticle&TopicID=138
[and]
www.issigelbejesvaikas.lt
). For this, the Yad Vashem organization (Israel) recognized as Righteous
Gentiles Juozas and Bronislava Striaupis (in 1981) and Boleslavas and Ona
Stulpinas (in 1993) (information can be verified at the Yad Vashem
internet site:
http://www1.yadvashem.org/yv/en/righteous/pdf/virtial_wall/lithuania.pdf
and at the Vilna Gaon Jewish State Museum website:
http://media.search.lt/GetFile.php?OID=242755&FID=709390
[sic, not a Vilna Gaon Museum website URL]; the numbers of the Righteous
Gentiles on the latter list are 651, 652, 658 and 659). Also, for saving
people of Jewish ethnicity without regard to the danger to themselves and
their own families, the President of the Republic of Lithuania issued
decree No. 579 on September 20, 1999, awarding Juozas and Bronislava
Striaupis the Cross of Aid to the Dying.

But in his article, Pinchos Fridberg categorically states an
incomprehensible lie, saying “With full responsibility I can assure you:
this Lithuanian family did not exist. This is pure myth…” This could
possibly be explained [away] by the lack of knowledge or competence of the
author, if not for the fact that he personally called me for more
information several times, as well as the daughter of rescuers of Jews
Jadvyga Stulpinaite and the priest Andriejus Sabaliauskas, who helped
organize the aforementioned conference in 2011. His motives in
intentionally spreading a lie about the valiant rescuers of Jews, saying
they did not exist, are completely incomprehensible to me. This is a
desecration of their shining legacy and their great undertaking of
sacrifice, of which we as their countrymen can be proud and hold up as an
example to our younger generation, but even worse, this insults the
victims of the Holocaust who were rescued, because if there are no
rescuers, there can be no rescued. I believe that by these actions the
author is intentionally sowing discord in society and is publicly
slandering people who are working sincerely.

I believe this propagation of an obvious lie is not merely a matter of the
conscience of Pinchos Fridberg, a member of the Lithuanian Jewish
Community. I hope the Lithuanian Jewish Community, whose internet webpage
hosts this article in its news section, will publicly retract the
mendacious information of the author of the article, and apologize to the
relatives of these rescuers of Jews who have been proclaimed not to exist
and other people who have been slandered.

Respectfully,
Janina Bucevičė

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