Evaldas Balčiūnas

Note to readers: To follow the narrative, please scroll to the BOTTOM of the page and work your way up in order to follow the events CHRONOLOGICALLY.
*
*

Defending History Writer Evaldas Balčiūnas Is Found ‘Not Guilty’



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)

Continue reading

Posted in Evaldas Balčiūnas, Free Speech & Democracy, Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Politics of Memory, Vilnius Jewish Life (from 2016) | Tagged , | Comments Off on Defending History Writer Evaldas Balčiūnas Is Found ‘Not Guilty’

DH Writer Lugged into Court Again for Critique of State Honors for Holocaust Collaborators



FREE SPEECH  |  HUMAN RIGHTS  |  DOUBLE GENOCIDE  |  BOLD CITIZENS

VILNIUS—The latest in a long line of court appearance demanded by summons of Defending History author Evaldas Balčiūnas, will be held this Monday, 13 June, at 1:30 PM (13:30) at Vilnius County Court at Laisves Prospektas 79A, courtroom 019.   

COME SUPPORT EVALDAS BALČIŪNAS MONDAY 13 JUNE 2016, 1:30 PM (13:30), VILNIUS COUNTY COURT, LAISVĖS PROSPEKTAS 79A, ROOM 019

Continue reading

Posted in Bold Citizens Speak Out, Collaborators Glorified, Double Genocide, Evaldas Balčiūnas, Free Speech & Democracy, Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Politics of Memory, Vilnius Jewish Life (from 2016) | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on DH Writer Lugged into Court Again for Critique of State Honors for Holocaust Collaborators

Evaldas Balčiūnas Back in Vilnius Court on 21 January 2016



COME AND SUPPORT DH STAFF WRITER EVALDAS BALČIŪNAS (WHO ALERTED ENGLISH SPEAKING WORLD TO NOREIKA MONUMENTS IN 2012). HE IS REPEATEDLY LUGGED INTO COURT FOR HIS ARTICLES  PROTESTING GLORIFICATION OF HOLOCAUST PERPETRATORS AND NEO-NAZI MARCHES.

EVALDAS

Continue reading

Posted in Bold Citizens Speak Out, Evaldas Balčiūnas, Free Speech & Democracy, Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Politics of Memory, Vilnius Jewish Life (from 2016) | Comments Off on Evaldas Balčiūnas Back in Vilnius Court on 21 January 2016

DH Correspondent Evaldas Balčiūnas in Vilnius Court This Tuesday 17 Nov. 2015



FRIENDS OF HUMAN RIGHTS, FREE SPEECH AND DEFENDING HISTORY INVITED TO COME AND OFFER MORAL SUPPORT TO OUR VETERAN CORRESPONDENT

Continue reading

Posted in Collaborators Glorified, Evaldas Balčiūnas, Free Speech & Democracy, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Politics of Memory | Comments Off on DH Correspondent Evaldas Balčiūnas in Vilnius Court This Tuesday 17 Nov. 2015

Šeduva  (Shádov):  The Memorial Events of Friday 9 October 2015



E V E N T S   /   O P I N I O N

by Evaldas Balčiūnas

On Friday 9 October 2015, the Šeduva Jewish Memorial Fund Society presented the results of their work on the project Lost Shtetl. There were, taken together, over two hundred visitors on the day. They included pupils of Vilnius’s Sholem Aleichem school and of the Šeduva high school, representatives of the Jewish community of Šiauliai (Shavl), Lithuanian Jewish Community chairperson Faina Kukliansky, the mayors of nearby towns, a deputy minister of foreign affairs, and ambassadors or embassy representatives of many countries, including the Netherlands, Japan, Poland, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Romania, and Ukraine.

Continue reading

Posted in Commemorations for Destroyed Communities, Evaldas Balčiūnas, Events, Japan, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views | Comments Off on Šeduva  (Shádov):  The Memorial Events of Friday 9 October 2015

Public Shrines to a Holocaust Collaborator and a “Secret” Petition: A Strange Summer’s Media Circus



O P I N I O N    /    C O L L A B O R A T O R S    G L O R I F I E D

by Evaldas Balčiūnas

In the midst of this past summer’s heatwave here in Lithuania, Delfi.lt, one of the most popular news portals in the land, exploded with discussions on commemorations and memorials for Nazi collaborators in our country. Rimvydas Valatka, a  columnist for the portal and  signatory of the Declaration of Independence, started it all with his article of 26 July. The “current events background” was the recent removal of the controversial Soviet-era statues of soldiers on Vilnius’s Green Bridge. Valatka, a veteran of Lithuanian journalism with the rarefied street-cred of a Declaration of Independence signatory, appealed for removal of the memorial plaque for Nazi collaborator Jonas Noreika (“Generolas Vėtra”) from a central Vilnius library building, and wrote about a petition for its removal signed by a group of intellectuals and public figures, and addressed to the mayor of Vilnius as well as to the director of the relevant library (Library of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences), where the plaque hangs prominently in the heart of Lithuania’s capital.


The stone honoring Holocaust collaborator Jonas Noreika tops the lot on the facade of the Genocide Museum on Gedimino Boulevard in the Lithuanian capital, a stone’s throw from the nation’s parliament. When are we going to stop glorifying those who helped annihilate Lithuanian Jewry during the Holocaust? When is this going to come down?


Continue reading

Posted in Evaldas Balčiūnas, Genocide Center (Vilnius), History, Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Media Watch, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Public Shrines to a Holocaust Collaborator and a “Secret” Petition: A Strange Summer’s Media Circus

What’s The Story With the Mass Grave Uncovered near Šiauliai (Shavl)?



O P I N I O N

by Evaldas Balčiūnas

Last week, there was a flurry of reports in the Lithuanian media about human skeletons and personal effects turning up during routine roadworks at Pročiūnai in the region of Šiauliai (in Jewish history: Shavl). Reports and gory pictures appeared among other places in 15min.lt; Etaplius.lt; Skrastas.lt and Snaujienos.lt. I myself, a concerned resident of Šiauliai, commented on the subject on my own blog (here and here). Various articles published contained theorizations about the buried here being victims of Soviet crimes or even equally of Nazi and Soviet crimes.

Monday 13 July. It is probably correct to say that the international scandal was set alight when the “routine” BNS (Baltic News Service) report appeared in English in the Lithuania Tribune (amalgamated with English Delfi). The archaeologist placed in charge by the local government of the investigation of the human remains, Audronė Šapaitė, is quoted in the article as presenting the following certain conclusions. Excerpts follow:

Continue reading

Posted in Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Evaldas Balčiūnas, Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on What’s The Story With the Mass Grave Uncovered near Šiauliai (Shavl)?

Evaldas Balčiūnas at Vilnius County Court Next Monday 15 June 2015


VILNIUS THIS MONDAY:

FRIENDS OF HUMAN RIGHTS, FREE SPEECH AND DEFENDING HISTORY INVITED TO COME OBSERVE  /  SUPPORT OUR WRITER

Evaldas Balčiūnas

Continue reading

Posted in Collaborators Glorified, Double Genocide, EU, Evaldas Balčiūnas, Free Speech & Democracy, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Evaldas Balčiūnas at Vilnius County Court Next Monday 15 June 2015

Defending History Team at Vilnius County Court to Support Evaldas Balčiūnas



VILNIUS—At yet another frivolous-case hearing this morning, four supporters of Defending History author Evaldas Balčiūnas turned out to provide moral support. Balčiūnas is a major critic of public shrines, street names and monuments that honor Holocaust perpetrators, as well as an active opponent of neo-Nazi marches and activities, especially those with tacit support from elements of government.

Continue reading

Posted in Evaldas Balčiūnas, Free Speech & Democracy, Human Rights, Lithuania, News & Views, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Defending History Team at Vilnius County Court to Support Evaldas Balčiūnas

New Memorial, on State Land in Western Lithuania, Honors Alleged Murderer of Thousands of Civilians



O P I N I O N    /    C O L L A B O R A T O R S    G L O R I F I E D

by Evaldas Balčiūnas

When I wrote several years ago (Lithuanian; English) about the monument erected to Juozas Barzda at Iešnalis Lake, I thought it must have been some sort of misunderstanding.

Continue reading

Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Bold Citizens Speak Out, Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, EU, Evaldas Balčiūnas, History, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Comments Off on New Memorial, on State Land in Western Lithuania, Honors Alleged Murderer of Thousands of Civilians

February 16th 2015 in Kaunas…



E Y E W I T N E S S   A C C O U N T   /   O P I N I O N

by Evaldas Balčiūnas

February 16th in Kaunas. The Kaunas municipal administration was asked by the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s  Efraim Zuroff and Defending History’s editor Dovid Katz not to allow this march for a number of reasons. The Kaunas municipality saw no problem and allowed the march to go ahead. As in earlier years, a Defending History team observed the march. The Kaunas Antifa organization decided not to hold a protest this year, so I was at liberty to be present as part of the DefendingHistory team.

Continue reading

Posted in Evaldas Balčiūnas, Events, Kaunas Neo-Nazi Marches, Lithuania, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Opinion | Comments Off on February 16th 2015 in Kaunas…

A Second Political Case



O P I N I O N

by Evaldas Balčiūnas

 ◊

My Monday  morning began with confusion. Usually the first thing I do on a Monday morning is prepare a work-report on the week gone by, but the police called me Friday, August 29, 2014, and later delivered a summons ordering me to appear at nine o’clock on September first at the office of Ovidijus Brazys, police investigator with the criminal police department of the Šiauliai municipal police commissariat, in room 312 at Purienų street no. 48, Šiauliai.

Continue reading

Posted in Aleksandras Bosas, EU, Evaldas Balčiūnas, Free Speech & Democracy, Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Memoirs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Comments Off on A Second Political Case

Our Staff Writer Evaldas Balčiūnas Interrogated for Articles Opposing Glorification of Nazi Collaborators and Current Neo-Nazism



M E M O I R   /   O P I N I O N

by Evaldas Balčiūnas

Note: This memoir continues the narrative started in the author’s earlier accounts of 22 May 2014, of 4 July, and of 9 July. See also our report of 22 May with image and translation of the actual summons. Evaldas Balčiūnas’s articles on Holocaust collaborators who are glorified in state-funded public settings can be found (in reverse chronological order) in the DH sections Evaldas Balčiūnas and Collaborators Glorified. See also sections on Free Speech and Human Rights. Other Lithuanian citizens disturbed by police for opposing state honors for Holocaust collaborators include Saulius Beržinis, Aleksandras Bosas, and Giedrius Grabauskas. This memoir was translated by Geoff Vasil and the final version approved by the author.


My wife told me that the police who delivered the summons on the afternoon of July 8th 2014 carried a large A4 format photograph of me. The police had serious plans… If I hadn’t told my wife to accept the summons, I might have been subject to an operation to locate or even arrest me. It was possible to laugh, but I needed to find transportation. I didn’t want to take my car. There and back entailed five hours of driving. It would be exhausting, and the experience could be expected to throw me off balance during the interrogation.

Continue reading

Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, EU, Evaldas Balčiūnas, Free Speech & Democracy, Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Memoirs, News & Views, Opinion | Comments Off on Our Staff Writer Evaldas Balčiūnas Interrogated for Articles Opposing Glorification of Nazi Collaborators and Current Neo-Nazism

Aleksandras Bosas (1951-2014)



O B I T U A R Y

by Evaldas Balčiūnas

nuotr2

Aleksandras Bosas (1951 — 2014). Photo: Sandrauga.

Aleksandras Bosas, a respected Lithuanian poet, died unexpectedly on July 24, 2014. The wider Defending History  community extends deepest condolences to the family and friends of our suddenly departed colleague, who is survived by his wife, Natalija, three sons and a daughter.

We have lost a courageously active literary voice against fascism and against the contemporary attempts at high levels to glorify fascism via posthumous honors for collaborators and local perpetrators of the Lithuanian Holocaust.

At the beginning of 2014 his book of poems dedicated to commemorating the Holocaust in Lithuania appeared. It is called Iš ten sugrįžtantiems (“For Those Who Returned from There”).

Continue reading

Posted in Aleksandras Bosas, Bold Citizens Speak Out, Christian-Jewish Issues, Collaborators Glorified, Evaldas Balčiūnas, Legacy of 23 June 1941, News & Views, Obituaries, Opinion | Comments Off on Aleksandras Bosas (1951-2014)

DH Staff Writer Evaldas Balčiūnas is Again Harassed by Police in Lithuania



by Evaldas Balčiūnas

For background on the summons the author received from the police, in consequence of his articles on the Holocaust in Defending History and other publications, please see earlier reports here and here. This comment has been translated from the Lithuanian by Geoff Vasil, and the final version approved by the author.

Evaldas-Balciunas-on-Vilniaus-gatve narrowed

Evaldas Balčiūnas

Yesterday, on July 8, 2014, I was the subject of much telephone attention from the police. This time it was from Šiauliai. They called, they got angry when I told them not to give my address out to whoever may answer first. They asked strange things. A female voice was asking what the door code was, while a male voice was interested in whether I was home at the time…

If anything was missing from this vision of absurdity, it was a warning over giving false testimony, and the question of where I keep my house keys and money… In order to ease the tension somewhat, I called the general emergency number, 112, and complained of telephone scam artists impersonating the police. They took my report, but less than an hour later kindlycalled back to inform me that it was really police officers who had called. It seems these sorts of scam artists have a license from the state to practice this sort of thing. I attempted to tell the man who called that the police are not allowed to present me a summons, accuse me of something or even question me by telephone, so why don’t they follow the normal and accustomed practice and actually send a summons to my officially registered private residential address?

Continue reading

Posted in EU, Evaldas Balčiūnas, Free Speech & Democracy, Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Comments Off on DH Staff Writer Evaldas Balčiūnas is Again Harassed by Police in Lithuania

Defending History’s Evaldas Balčiūnas Again Disturbed by Police at his Workplace



O P I N I O N

by Evaldas Balčiūnas

For background on the summons the author received from the police, in consequence of his articles on the Holocaust in Defending History and other publications, please see earlier reports here and here. This comment has been translated from the Lithuanian by Geoff Vasil, and the final version approved by the author.

Today, Friday, July 4th, 2014, a woman phoned me at my place of work, introduced herself as a police officer, and asked if my name is Evaldas.

Continue reading

Posted in EU, Evaldas Balčiūnas, Free Speech & Democracy, Human Rights, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Comments Off on Defending History’s Evaldas Balčiūnas Again Disturbed by Police at his Workplace

The Politics of History



O P I N I O N

by Evaldas Balčiūnas

Translated from the Lithuanian by Geoff Vasil. Final version approved by the author.

 

Much has been said about recent history policy in Lithuania. What this means, different speakers understand differently. It probably isn’t wise to dwell long on the concept. Let’s just say “history policy” is the interpretation of historical events provided by state institutions and officials.

SEE SECTION ON

FREE SPEECH

The truth is specific. I will give one example of how this appears in our and neighboring states and how that illuminates the history of our state.

Continue reading

Posted in Bold Citizens Speak Out, Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, Evaldas Balčiūnas, History, Latvia, Lithuania, Museums, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Comments Off on The Politics of History

Statement of Staff Writer Evaldas Balčiūnas on Summons from Police



My name is Evaldas Balčiūnas and I write for Defending History, in addition to various Lithuanian web journals. On May 14, 2014, I was contacted by local Lithuanian police investigator Reda Šimkutė by telephone at a number which is not registered in my name. She said she needed to “carry out inquiries” about me.

I asked her what the nature of the matter was. She refused to answer, so I suggested she follow normal procedure and send me what they call “an invitation” (in other words a summons) to come to an interrogation at the police department.

Continue reading

Posted in Bold Citizens Speak Out, EU, Evaldas Balčiūnas, Free Speech & Democracy, Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Statement of Staff Writer Evaldas Balčiūnas on Summons from Police

DH Staff Writer Evaldas Balčiūnas is Investigated by Lithuanian Police



Summons Issued

Statement by Evaldas BalčiūnasDH section on Free Speech

stamp in Balciunas harassment case May 2014

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

Continue reading

Posted in Bold Citizens Speak Out, EU, Evaldas Balčiūnas, Free Speech & Democracy, Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Politics of Memory | Comments Off on DH Staff Writer Evaldas Balčiūnas is Investigated by Lithuanian Police

Footprints of Adolfas Ramanauskas-Vanagas in the Mass Murder of the Jews of Druskininkai



O P I N I O N

by Evaldas Balčiūnas

 

Adolfas Ramanauskas Vanagas was a well-known post-war partisan commander. Here’s what the Center for the Study of the Genocide of the Residents of Lithuania has to say about him on their website:

Continue reading

Posted in Bold Citizens Speak Out, Collaborators Glorified, Evaldas Balčiūnas, Genocide Center (Vilnius), History, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Footprints of Adolfas Ramanauskas-Vanagas in the Mass Murder of the Jews of Druskininkai

Sergijus Staniškis Litas: Who’s Hiding the 1941 Gaps in His Biography — and Why?



O P I N I O N   /   P O L I T I C S  O F  M E M O R Y   /   C O L L A B O R A T O R S   G L O R I F I E D

by Evaldas Balčiūnas

Authorized translation from the Lithuanian original by Geoff Vasil.


Today Sergijus Staniškis Litas is presented as a noble partisan commander who concentrated his unusual skills on battling the occupiers. At least that’s how the writers of the Lithuanian Center for the Study of Genocide and Resistance present him on their webpage at http://www.genocid.lt/datos/stanisk.htm.

Continue reading

Posted in Bold Citizens Speak Out, Collaborators Glorified, Evaldas Balčiūnas, Genocide Center (Vilnius), History, Lithuania, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Comments Off on Sergijus Staniškis Litas: Who’s Hiding the 1941 Gaps in His Biography — and Why?

A Decision to Not (!) Regard Holocaust Rescuers as Heroes of the Nation



O P I N I O N

by Evaldas Balčiūnas

Authorized translation from Lithuanian by Geoff Vasil


 

This week the Lithuanian government resolved not to grant so-called hero’s pensions to surviving rescuers of Jews.

The decision is an odd one and raises doubts concerning the values to which this government claims to adhere. Although truth be told, this isn’t the first instance of unseemly conduct showing disrespect to hundreds of thousands of people murdered just because they were Jewish and towards those Lithuanians who attempted to save those scheduled for execution.

Continue reading

Posted in Evaldas Balčiūnas, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Comments Off on A Decision to Not (!) Regard Holocaust Rescuers as Heroes of the Nation

Where did the Money for a Monument to 1941 “Patriots” Come from? Why the Uncritical Reconstruction and Glorification Now?


 


O P I N I O N

by Evaldas Balčiūnas

 

Defending History reported earlier on the attempt to restore a monument in Obeliai (Abél in Yiddish), a town in northeastern Lithuania, not far from the Latvian border.

It is an unpleasant story and one that is still developing. Although seven decades have passed since the mass murder of the Jews of Abél, some people think that everyone has forgotten who carried out that mass murder.

Continue reading

Posted in Bold Citizens Speak Out, Collaborators Glorified, Evaldas Balčiūnas, Genocide Center (Vilnius), News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Comments Off on Where did the Money for a Monument to 1941 “Patriots” Come from? Why the Uncritical Reconstruction and Glorification Now?

The “Humanity” of the Rewriters of History



O P I N I O N

by Evaldas Balčiūnas

An abstract, sometimes called a summary, is a short explanation of the salient parts of an article or book. Abstracts are useful for surveying a large body of literature on a given topic, and aid in selecting specific works for a fuller reading. This selection very much depends on the honesty of the person doing the selecting.

I am interested in Holocaust research. I use the internet and search engines, and often they point to the webpage of the Lithuanian government sponsored Genocide and Resistance Research Center of Lithuania, known for short as the Genocide Center. Its own website has many summaries for this topic. These abstracts often have a strange tone.

Continue reading

Posted in Double Genocide, Evaldas Balčiūnas, Genocide Center (Vilnius), Lithuania, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on The “Humanity” of the Rewriters of History

The Unwritten Biography of Jonas Žemaitis: A Tale of Twists and Turns



O P I N I O N

by Evaldas Balčiūnas

Authorized translation from the Lithuanian original by Geoff Vasil.  Other Defending History articles by Evaldas Balčiūnas.

 

The modern Republic of Lithuania has been creating a cult of the partisans. Statues are built to memorialize them. There are commemorative plaques and streets are named after them, as well as schools. One of the most prominent to be hallowed by the cult is Jonas Žemaitis, also called Vytautas, Luke, Matthew, the Silent and general as well as president. His biography is a tapestry of events and adventures. One could write an adventure novel about them, except that… Žemaitis isn’t necessarily a hero.

Zemaitis Military Academy

Continue reading

Posted in Bold Citizens Speak Out, Collaborators Glorified, Double Genocide, Evaldas Balčiūnas, Genocide Center (Vilnius), News & Views, Opinion, Poland, Politics of Memory | Comments Off on The Unwritten Biography of Jonas Žemaitis: A Tale of Twists and Turns

Yad Vashem Awards Three Rescuers (Posthumously) in Žagarė (Zháger), Northern Lithuania



E Y E W I T N E S S   R E P O R T

by Evaldas Balčiūnas

Žagarė (known in Yiddish as Zháger), Lithuania, always brings a warm feeling. It is a small, multicultural town. While Jews long accounted for half the population, unfortunately they are only a memory now. Germans, Latvians, Roma and Lithuanians continue to live here. There was room enough for everyone up until 1941.

I had the opportunity today to visit Žagarė to honor those who sought to insure that Žagarė would continue to have enough space for everyone. I traveled to a ceremony to honor Edvardas Levinskas (1893-1975), Terese Levinskienė (1903-1949) and Lilija Vilandaitė (1900-1948), posthumous recipients of the Righteous Among the Nations, or Righteous Gentile, award, conferred by Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.

Continue reading

Posted in Commemorations for Destroyed Communities, Evaldas Balčiūnas, Events, Lithuania, News & Views | Comments Off on Yad Vashem Awards Three Rescuers (Posthumously) in Žagarė (Zháger), Northern Lithuania

Evaldas Balčiūnas Remembers February 16th 2013 March in Central Kaunas



 

E Y E W I T N E S S    R E P O R T  /  O P I N I O N

by Evaldas Balčiūnas

Editor’s note: This adapted translation from the Lithuanian original, by Geoff Vasil, has been approved by the author.

 

On February 16 I visited Kaunas. I heard the neo-Nazis would try to desecrate the nation’s freedom, for which people of the country of all ethnicities had struggled. Sadly, the neo-Nazis are now shouting loudly: “Lithuania for Lithuanians…”

One of the organizers of the march boasted the vanguard of the march would be carrying a portrait of Ambrazevičius.

It’s worth recalling what sort of person he was. In 1941 Ambrazevičius led the Provisional Government formed by the LAF (Lithuanian Activist Front), the Provisional Government which called Lithuanian policemen to serve the Nazis, set up a concentration camp (at the Seventh Fort, where it all ended in the murder of several thousand Jews), and even while realizing the Nazis no longer needed their service, this gang went on to promulgate the “Regulations on the Situation of the Jews,” which legally deprived their neighbors of human rights, while on the ground armed people were already murdering Jews throughout Lithuania.

The author and his friends and colleagues who constituted the small “anti-fascist zone” at the March 16th neo-Nazi parade in Kaunas, Lithuania on the occasion of the nation’s independence day.

Continue reading

Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Bold Citizens Speak Out, Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, Evaldas Balčiūnas, Events, Human Rights, Kaunas Neo-Nazi Marches, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Comments Off on Evaldas Balčiūnas Remembers February 16th 2013 March in Central Kaunas

When the Politicians Run the Conferences on — History



O P I N I O N   A N D   E Y E W I T N E S S    R E P O R T

by Evaldas Balčiūnas

 

A conference called “United Europe, United History” took place at the Lithuanian parliament on November 15th  and 16th. The conference organizers and speakers repeatedly spoke of upcoming changes in the government (16 November was the first day the newly elected parliament assembled), and conference organizer and “Red-Brown Commission” chairman Emanuelis Zingeris even tried, unsuccessfully, to explain the poll results as the bad influence of the long Soviet occupation on the mentality of the people… (It was probably a good thing he didn’t call for a an international tribunal to provide compensation for the losses suffered by his party).

But one thing at a time.

Continue reading

Posted in Collaborators Glorified, Double Genocide, Evaldas Balčiūnas, Events, Genocide Center (Vilnius), History, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Comments Off on When the Politicians Run the Conferences on — History

Juozas Šibaila, Another “Hero” with a Suppressed Biography


 


O P I N I O N

by Evaldas Balčiūnas

Following the Lithuanian parliament’s recognition of the February 16, 1949 declaration of the Council of the Union of the Struggle for Lithuanian Freedom as an act with the force of law, there was a natural interest in questions about who the partisans who signed that declaration were. It would seem the Center for the Study of the Genocide and Resistance of Residents of Lithuania would be the organization to present the most comprehensive biographies for these people.

Unfortunately that’s not the case.

Continue reading

Posted in Bold Citizens Speak Out, Collaborators Glorified, Double Genocide, Evaldas Balčiūnas, History, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Comments Off on Juozas Šibaila, Another “Hero” with a Suppressed Biography

Vylius-Vėlavičius: Patriot or Another “Tuskulėnai Peace Park” Holocaust Perpetrator?



O P I N I O N

by Evaldas Balčiūnas

 

In my recent article about the war criminals buried at Tuskulėnai Memoral Park in Vilnius I provided a list of Nazi collaborators convicted by the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union on April 19, 1943, and May 24, 1944 of murdering civilians during the Holocaust. This does not mean, however, that those convicted under other laws are guiltless.

SEE ALSO:

Milan Chersonski on Tuskulėnai Park in Vilnius

According to criminal case materials and archival material examined by Lithuanian historians, there are rabid Nazi collaborators buried at Tuskulėnai Memoral Park. Despite the facts, today falsified, but very “patriotic,” biographies for these people are being crafted and disseminated, according to which they are portrayed as fearless warriors who battled for a free Lithuania.

I have written about one of them, Jonas Noreika, nicknamed General Vėtra, convicted under sections 1a and 2 of article 58 of the criminal code of the RSFSR, but who was recently decorated posthumously by Lithuanian president Valdas Adamkus, so I won’t repeat that here.

Continue reading

Posted in Bold Citizens Speak Out, Collaborators Glorified, Evaldas Balčiūnas, Exotic Jewish Tourism, Genocide Center (Vilnius), History, Lithuania, Museums, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Vylius-Vėlavičius: Patriot or Another “Tuskulėnai Peace Park” Holocaust Perpetrator?

When I Received a Response from the Genocide Center in Vilnius



O P I N I O N

by Evaldas Balčiūnas

 

When I wrote about three glorified Lithuanian Freedom Army colonels who had in fact been implicated in the Holocaust, I did not realize quite how deep-rooted the shameful worship of Nazi-era war criminals has become here in Lithuania. I used to think that a few mistakes had been made due to patriotic excesses. A year has passed since that article, and I no longer feel that this is just some irksome problem “still encountered now and then”…

Continue reading

Posted in Collaborators Glorified, Evaldas Balčiūnas, Free Speech & Democracy, Genocide Center (Vilnius), History, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Comments Off on When I Received a Response from the Genocide Center in Vilnius

Why was a Lithuanian Holocaust Perpetrator who also Murdered Belarusians Given State Honors? Open Letter to the Lithuanian Ambassador to Belarus


 


O P I N I O N

by  Evaldas Balčiūnas

 

I was surprised to learn that Lithuanian president Dalia Grybauskaitė appointed you ambassador to Belarus. She said Belarus is an important partner for Lithuania with many ties between our countries, and that cooperation should be on an equal footing, constructive and mutually beneficial. I invite you to think about whether you really are able to do this job, or whether you won’t make international relations worse because of certain matters of the past.

Let me remind you of one such thing. On 31 October 2002, you and then-president Valdas Adamkus signed presidential decree no. 1965 posthumously promoting Juozas Krikštaponis (Krištaponis) to the rank of colonel. The decree mistakenly gave his first name as Jonas, a mistake corrected in presidential decree 1K-849 issued by President Adamkus on 5 January 2007.

Continue reading

Posted in Bold Citizens Speak Out, Collaborators Glorified, Evaldas Balčiūnas, History, Human Rights, Lithuania, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Tagged | Comments Off on Why was a Lithuanian Holocaust Perpetrator who also Murdered Belarusians Given State Honors? Open Letter to the Lithuanian Ambassador to Belarus

Another “Resistance Hero” or — War Criminal who Selected Jews for Mass Murder?



O P I N I O N

by Evaldas Balčiūnas

 

Konstantinas Liuberskis–Žvainys is a figure with a curious biography.

Continue reading

Posted in Bold Citizens Speak Out, Collaborators Glorified, Evaldas Balčiūnas, Genocide Center (Vilnius), History, Lithuania, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Tagged | Comments Off on Another “Resistance Hero” or — War Criminal who Selected Jews for Mass Murder?

The History of Three “Lithuanian Freedom Army” (LFA) Colonels Who Served the Nazis



O P I N I O N

by Evaldas Balčiūnas

 

I will begin with a recent document I found while collecting information about the Lithuanian Freedom Army (LFA), an organization formed during World War II which present-day historians are attempting to portray as an organizer of the anti-Nazi and anti-Soviet resistance in Lithuania.

On 31 October 2002, President Valdas Adamkus issued decree no. 1965 titled “On Promoting Volunteer Soldiers to the Rank of Colonel”  which gave the rank of colonel to three “members of the armed resistance: volunteer soldiers and soldiers of Lithuania’s pre-war military,” namely, Tauras military district chief Antanas Baltūsis-Žvejas (posthumously); Vytautas military district chief Vincas Kaulinis-Miškinis (posthumously); and Vytis military district chief Jonas Krištaponis (also posthumously). Five years later the president noticed he had made a mistake regarding one surname and on 5 January 2007, issued decree no. 1K-849 to correct the mistake, replacing Jonas Krištaponis with Juozas Krikštaponis (aka Krištaponis).

Regarding the anti-Soviet resistance, there really isn’t any argument: most of the LFA fighters heroically fought against the occupiers and died in that struggle.

Regarding the anti-Nazi resistance, however, many doubts are raised. These doubts arise because of the LFA’s position on the mass murder of Jews.

Continue reading

Posted in Collaborators Glorified, Evaldas Balčiūnas, History, Legacy of 23 June 1941, Lithuania, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Tagged | Comments Off on The History of Three “Lithuanian Freedom Army” (LFA) Colonels Who Served the Nazis

The Posthumous Remaking of a Holocaust Perpetrator in Lithuania: Why is Jonas Noreika a National Hero?



O P I N I O N

by Evaldas Balčiūnas

 

Who was Jonas Noreika?

Jonas Noreika (1910-1947), also known by his nom de guerre, General Vėtra, has been named by the current Lithuanian government as “an important member of the resistance” and an object of every sort of heroic commemoration.

In 1997 he was posthumously awarded the Order of the Cross of Vytis, First Degree. The same year a memorial plaque was placed on the facade of the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences Library in Vilnius.

Library of the Academy of Sciences in Vilnius. The red arrow marks the Noreika plaque.

The Noreika plaque

Continue reading

Posted in Collaborators Glorified, Evaldas Balčiūnas, Exotic Jewish Tourism, Genocide Center (Vilnius), History, Lithuania, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Posthumous Remaking of a Holocaust Perpetrator in Lithuania: Why is Jonas Noreika a National Hero?

Why I am Translating Rozka Korczak’s Vilna Ghetto Memoir



O P I N I O N

by Evaldas Balčiūnas

Evaldas Balčiūnas of Šiauliai on a recent visit to Vilnius, Lithuania’s capital

The Vilna Ghetto memoir of Rozka Korczak-Marlé (1921–1988) is unfortunately completely unknown to Lithuanians today. I have therefore decided to translate the book into Lithuanian (from the Russian edition that Korczak herself edited), and have published two samples, here and here, on Anarchija.lt.

Continue reading

Posted in Bold Citizens Speak Out, Books, Evaldas Balčiūnas, History, Litvak Affairs, Memoirs, News & Views, Opinion, Poland, Politics of Memory, Yiddish Affairs | Tagged | Comments Off on Why I am Translating Rozka Korczak’s Vilna Ghetto Memoir

Why Does the State Commemorate Murderers?



O P I N I O N
by Evaldas Balčiūnas

Probably every mature person living in Lithuania has heard about the mass murder of people at the beginning of World War II. During the first months of the war ― in a period of less than half a year ― more than 100,000 people were murdered, most of them Jews. 

“Evil deeds uncondemned often end up idolized.”

It is sad, but there are more than enough facts corroborating that Lithuanians — regular officers of the Lithuanian military — took part in the mass murders of civilians, women and children.

Continue reading

Posted in Bold Citizens Speak Out, Collaborators Glorified, Evaldas Balčiūnas, Genocide Center (Vilnius), Human Rights, Lithuania, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Comments Off on Why Does the State Commemorate Murderers?