Milan Chersonski

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Milan Chersonski’s articles in DefendingHistory.com. See also the page on his writings during his years as correspondent and editor-in-chief of the Lithuanian Jewish Community’s quadrilingual “Jerusalem of Lithuania”: http://defendinghistory.com/from-milan-chersonskis-jerusalem-of-lithuania
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Milan Chersonski on the ‘March of the Living’ at Ponar



O P I N I O N

by Milan Chersonski


МАРШ ЖИВЫХ. ВПЕЧАТЛЕНИЯ И РАЗМЫШЛЕНИЯ

В календаре памятных дат Государства Израиль есть День памяти Жертв нацизма и Героев сопротивления – Йом а-Шоа вэ а-Гвура. По европейскому календарю он приходится на 19 апреля – день начала восстания в Варшавском гетто в 1943г.. Почти месяц – дольше, чем польская армия, защищавшая страну от нацистов в 1939г., – истощенные голодом и болезнями, плохо вооруженные узники сражались против специально обученных нацистских формирований и их местных нацистских пособников.

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Devising a Legend about an ‘Uprising of the Enslaved’ — A Documentary Film financed by Lithuania’s Parliament and its Genocide Research Center, on the 70th Anniversary of the Outbreak of the Lithuanian Holocaust



O P I N I O N

by Milan Chersonski

Milan Chersonski in front of the Lithuanian Parliament (Seimas)

 


СОЧИНЕНИЕ ЛЕГЕНДЫ О ВОССТАНИИ ПОРАБОЩЕННЫХ

28 сентября 2010 года  Сейм Литвы объявил, что 2011 год будет называться Годом памяти о сражениях за свободу и великих утрат. Это загадочное название какого-то юбилея прозвучало ровно неделю спустя после объявления того же 2011 года Годом памяти жертв геноцида евреев Литвы.

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A ‘Documentary Film’ Tries to Establish the Legend of the ‘Uprising of the Enslaved’



O P I N I O N

by Milan Chersonski

Milan Chersonski at the Lithuanian Parliament. From 1979 to 1999 Chersonski directed the Yiddish Amateur Theater in Vilnius, Lithuania. He worked in various capacities at the quadrilingual (English-Lithuanian-Russian-Yiddish) newspaper Jerusalem of Lithuania, publication of The Jewish Community of Lithuania, from its founding in 1989 until the paper was closed in 2011. He was its editor-in-chief from 1999 to 2011. He is now a senior analyst at DefendingHistory.com and contributes to various publications.

On September 28th 2010, the Parliament of Lithuania announced that 2011 would be the Year of Commemoration of Battles for Freedom and Great Losses. This mysterious name of some sort of anniversary appeared exactly a week after the  same year, 2011, was declared the Year of Commemorating the Genocide of Lithuanian Jews. The Jewish Community of Lithuania reacted without delay to the ‘dual track’, apartheidized commemorations.

Now which “battles for freedom” are they talking about in the resolution? What sort of great losses? The resolution does not say specifically. Yes, Lithuanians valiantly rebelled for freedom in 1794, and in 1831, as well as in 1863, and then there were serious demonstrations on behalf of freedom in 1904-1905, and then there were the battles from 1918 to 1920 for the independence and borders of the newly founded state.

But it is impossible to understand exactly which events and which dates they now had in mind from the text of Lithuanian parliamentary resolution no. XI-1038 of September 28th 2010. And this is probably no accident, as shown by the subsequent actions of the Lithuanian government and leading organizations here.

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People and Vandals



O P I N I O N by Milan Chersonski


ЛЮДИ И ВАНДАЛЫ

Вступление

Мне уже доводилось писать о парадоксальной ситуации: 21 сентября 2010 года Сейм Литовской Республики принял постановление объявить 2011 год  Годом памяти жертв геноцида евреев Литвы. Ровно через неделю Сейм Литовской Республики объявил тот же 2011 год Годом памяти о сражениях за свободу и великих утрат. Объединение этих двух дат достойно войти в историю как попытка совместить два несовместимых явления – отмечать юбилей так называемого «восстания» Фронта литовцев-активистов и начало уничтожения евреев в Литве при их участии. «Восставшие» участники Фронта литовцев-активистов, не встретив серьезного сопротивления со стороны спешно покидавших Литву Красной армии и советской администрации, обратили свои взоры на главного их «врага» – веками живших в Литве евреев. Continue reading

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Milan Chersonski, Longtime Editor of ‘Jerusalem of Lithuania’, Releases a Public Letter to the Director of Yivo in New York


 


O P I N I O N

by Milan Chersonski

Milan Chersonski

Milan Chersonski (Chersonskij), longtime editor (1999-2011) of Jerusalem of Lithuania, the quadrilingual (English-Lithuanian-Russian-Yiddish) newspaper of the Jewish Community of Lithuania, released to the media today a public letter to the director of Yivo in New York. Mr. Chersonski stressed that the views are his own, and do not reflect any official opinion. From 1979 to 1999, he was director of the Yiddish Folk Theater of Lithuania, which was one of the USSR’s very few Yiddish amateur theater companies. Jerusalem of Lithuania ceased publication in 2011.

The text of Milan Chersonski’s letter follows in English. Translated from Russian by Asya Fruman and approved by Milan Chersonski.


 

Vilnius, Lithuania, 12 September 2011

 

Dear Mr. Brent,

I, a World War II refugee, a citizen of the independent Republic of Lithuania, address you as a resident of the city where Yivo, the first and most important academic institute of Yiddish language, literature, culture and history, was founded.

For more than eighty years Yivo was run by the most prominent Yiddish scholars, renowned for their research works as well as for their outstanding organizational skills. They and their successors maintained Yivo’s honor and dignity.

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Vilnius: Milan Chersonski Releases Original Russian Text of his 12 September 2011 Open Letter to the Director of Yivo in New York City



М Н Е Н И Е

Милан Херсонский

Милан Херсонский, долголетний редактор газеты «Литовский Иерусалим» прислал Открытое письмо директору ИВО в Нью-Йорке

Милан Херсонский

Милан Херсонский, долголетний редактор (1999-2011гг.) газеты «Литовский Иерусалим», выходившей на английском, литовском, русском и идиш языках, обратился в СМИ с Открытым письмом к директору ИВО в Нью-Йорке. М.Херсонский подчеркнул, что выражает собственное мнение, не имеющее отношения к официальному.

С 1979г. до 1999г. он руководил Еврейским народным театром в Литве, который в советское время был единственным любительским театром в СССР. Издание газеты «Литовский Иерусалим» прекратилось в 2011г.


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The Lingering Legacy of Nazism



М Н Е Н И Е

Милан Херсонский

 

У НАЦИЗМА НЕ ДОЛЖНО БЫТЬ БУДУЩЕГО

20 января нынешнего 2012-го года исполнилось 70 лет с того дня, когда в 1942-м году на вилле Марлир близ озера Ванзее состоялась конференция представителей министерств и ветвей власти гитлеровской Германии, которая вошла в мировую историю по названию озера – Ванзейская конференция. Это было совещание нацистских чиновников, которые деловито и хладнокровно обсуждали вопросы реализации «окончательного решения еврейского вопроса», то есть полного истребления евреев в Европе.

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The Lingering Legacy of Nazism



O P I N I O N

by Milan Chersonski

Milan Chersonski (Chersonskij), longtime editor (1999-2011) of Jerusalem of Lithuania, quadrilingual (English-Lithuanian-Russian-Yiddish) newspaper of the Jewish Community of Lithuania, was previously (1979-1999) director of the Yiddish Folk Theater of Lithuania, which in Soviet times was the USSR’s only Yiddish amateur theater company. The views he expresses in DefendingHistory.com are as always his own. Authorized translation from the Russian original by DefendingHistory.com.


 

The twentieth of January 2012 made it precisely seventy years from the day when a conference of ministries and agencies of Hitler’s Germany was held at the Marlier Villa by Lake Wannsee. It went down in history as the Wannsee Conference. Nazi officials in a business-like manner in ice blood, discussed the problems of the Final Solution of the Jewish Question, the euphemism for genocide of the Jews in Europe.

Fulfillment of the Wannsee Conference decisions, which became directives, continued until the last days of the Nazi state. Not even the approach of the Red Army in the east or the successful landing of the anti-Hitler coalition in the west resulted in German leaders abandoning the project to annihilate the Jewish people. In the face of a string of crushing defeats, acute shortages of transport, ammunition, fuel and even food, the Nazis went on sending Jews to their death with a maniacal consistency.

But it would be a very serious mistake to think that the Wannsee Conference directives per se played the main role in the Final Solution of the Jewish Question here in Lithuania. In this part of the world the Nazis and their many accomplices had been quick to rob and massacre the majority of the Jewish population by December 1941. Before the Wannsee Conference.

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РАЗМЫШЛЕНИЯ О ЮБИЛЕЯХ 2011-го ГОДА



М Н Е Н И Е

Милан Херсонский

 

21-го сентября 2010-го года, – в Паняряйском лесу, возле памятника 70-ти тысячам расстрелянных, а затем и сожженных евреев проходил ежегодный траурный митинг. Незадолго до его окончания было объявлено, что Сейм постановил провозгласить 2011-й год «Годом памяти жителей Литвы, ставших жертвами Холокоста». Постановление Сейма было полной неожиданностью для Еврейской общины Литвы (далее – ЕОЛ): ни к президенту Литвы, ни в Сейм, ни к правительству ЕОЛ с такой просьбой не обращалась.

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Thinking About Those Anniversaries of 2011. . .



O P I N I O N

by Milan Chersonski

On 21 September 2010, that year’s annual commemorative event was held in the forest of Ponár (Paneriai) at the monument to the seventy thousand Jews who were murdered there and whose remains were then burned at the site.  Shortly before the ceremony’s conclusion it was announced that the Seimas (Lithuanian parliament) had decided to declare the year 2011 the “Year of Commemorating Lithuanian Residents who Became Victims of Holocaust.” The parliament’s move came as a complete surprise to the Lithuanian Jewish Community (LJC). The country’s Jewish community had appealed neither to the president of Lithuania nor to the parliament with any such request.

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ИСПРАВЛЯЮТ ПРОШЛОЕ



М Н Е Н И Е

Милан Херсонский


2-го мая 2012-го года СМИ Литвы сообщили: мэр Каунаса Андрюс Купчинскас, руководящий специально созданной рабочей группой, заявил, что прах бывшего в 1941-ом году председателем Временного правительства Литвы Юозаса Амбразявичюса-Бразайтиса (далее – Ю.Амбразявичюс), , будет доставлен в Литву из США, где в 1974-м году он был похоронен в штате Коннектикут.

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“Correcting the Past”



OPINION

by Milan Chersonski

 

On 2 May 2012, the Lithuanian mass media reported that the mayor of Kaunas, Andrius Kupčinskas, in his capacity as chief of a special working group, announced that the remains of Juozas Ambrazevičius-Brazaitis, chairman of the Lithuanian Provisional Government in 1941, who was buried in Connecticut in 1974, will be transported to Lithuania for a reburial with full honors.

MORE COVERAGE HERE

Kupčinskas said that the remains of Ambrazevičius-Brazaitis will be brought to Vilnius Airport on 17 May 2012, honored in the capital, and then solemnly escorted to the Church of the Resurrection of Christ in Kaunas and placed into a columbarium in the church yard. Lithuanian Government officials have confirmed the announcement.

It was not however reported precisely who took the decision or precisely why the decision to rebury Ambrazevičius’s remains was taken. These are not the remains of an ordinary citizen. He was the leader of Lithuania’s 1941 Provisional Government (PG). Transporting his remains to the motherland is a state act, which carries with it the implication of immortalizing the memory of a historical figure in the solemn chronicles of the nation.

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Фильм о Юрбаркасе, в котором давно не звучит идиш



М Н Е Н И Е

Милан Херсонский

В литовских СМИ – печатных и виртуальных, местных и центральных – в последнее время уделялось большое внимание конфликту, возникшему между администрацией города Юрбаркаса, с одной стороны, и кинокомпанией «Filmų kopa» (режиссер Саулюс Бержинис, директор Она Бивейнене) – с другой.

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Explosive Reactions to Saulius Berzhinis’s New Film on the Holocaust in Jurbarkas (Yúrberik)



O P I N I O N  /  F I L M   R E V I E W

by Milan Chersonski

 

Vilnius film director Saulius Berzhinis

There has recently been extensive Lithuanian media coverage of a conflict between the authorities of the city Jurbarkas, Lithuania, and the film company Filmų Kopa, founded by film director Saulius Berzhinis (Beržinis) and managed by Ona Biveinienė.

To mark the seventieth anniversary of the beginning of World War II in Lithuania and the beginning of the total annihilation of its Jews, the Jurbarkas regional museum commissioned a documentary about Jews who lived in the town before World War II, paid for by the Ministry of Culture and the budget of the municipality. Filmų Kopa was awarded the commission and made a documentary called “When Yiddish was Heard in Jurbarkas.” The town’s name in Yiddish is Yúrberik or Yúrburg.

As the film has become a matter of sharp conflict, it is worthwhile in the first instance to take a good look at the actual product that Filmų Kopa delivered to the residents of Jurbarkas.

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Перезахоронение как способ переписать историю



МНЕНИЕ

Милан Херсонский


 

ЗА СЧЕТ НАЛОГОПЛАТЕЛЬЩИКОВ

Юозас Амбразайтис-Бразявичюс (1903- 1974)

В Каунасе полторы недели, с 17-го по 27-ое мая продолжались поминально-погребальные  мероприятия, посвященные перемещению праха Юозаса Амбразявичюса-Бразайтиса, бывшего временного премьер-министра Временного правительства Литвы (ВПЛ) в бывшую временную литовскую столицу Каунас.

Его прах доставили самолетом из далекого американского штата Коннектикут в нынешнюю литовскую столицу Вильнюс, затем с почетным эскортом препроводили в Каунас, где прах погребенного в 1974-м году Бразайтиса был  заново погребен, на сей раз – с отданием государственных почестей.

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Reburial as a Means for the Rewriting of History



O P I N I O N

by Milan Chersonski


At Taxpayer Expense

Juozas Ambrazevičius (Brazaitis), 1903 — 1974

Memorial funeral events, dedicated to the moving of Juozas Ambrazevičius-Brazaitis’s ashes, were held in Kaunas for a week and a half from May 17th to 27th. He was the acting prime minister of the summer 1941 Provisional Government of Lithuania (PG); his ashes were moved to the former provisional Lithuanian capital, Kaunas.

His ashes were delivered by airplane from the distant state of Connecticut to the current Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, and then escorted with honors to Kaunas, where the ashes, originally buried in 1974, were re-buried, this time with full state honors.

Apparently, those who initiated the reburial were pursuing three goals of importance to them:

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НЕ ТОЛЬКО О ТУСКУЛЕНАЙСКОМ ПАРКЕ ПОКОЯ



МНЕНИЕ

Милан Херсонский


Можно ли представить себе правительство европейской страны, члена ЕС и
НАТО, которое в своей прекрасной столице инвестирует миллионы на
создание «Парка тишины» в память о похороненых там людях, если сотни
из них были пособниками нацистов и активно участвовали в уничтожении
еврейского населения своей страны?

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It’s Not Just About the New Tuskulėnai “Peace Park” in Vilnius



O P I N I O N

by Milan Chersonski

Milan Chersonski (Chersonskij), longtime editor (1999-2011) of Jerusalem of Lithuania, quadrilingual (English-Lithuanian-Russian-Yiddish) newspaper of the Jewish Community of Lithuania, was previously (1979-1999) director of the Yiddish Folk Theater of Lithuania, which in Soviet times was the USSR’s only Yiddish amateur theater company. The views he expresses in DefendingHistory are his own. This is an authorized translation from the Russian original.

Photo: Milan Chersonski at this desk at the Jewish Community of Lithuania (image © 2012 Jurgita Kunigiškytė). Milan Chersonski section.


Can you imagine a European Union / NATO government investing millions in setting up a “Peace Park” in its beautiful capital city, in memory of people buried at the site of the park, when hundreds of them were Nazi collaborators who eagerly supported the annihilation of the Jewish population of their country?

Earlier this month, VilNews.com prominently published an article by Vincas Karnila, presented as the Introduction to a series called “The Mass Graves in Tuskulėnai.” It is a panegyric to the employees of the Museum of Genocide in Vilnius and the Center for the Study of Genocide and Resistance for their tireless efforts to establish the Tuskulėnai Peace Park. Readers are informed that six articles will follow. [Update: Subsequent articles in Karnila’s series can be found in www.VilNews.com.]

Tuskulenai Peace Park

We know from official sources that Soviet KGB victims were buried at Tuskulėnai from 1944 to 1947.

Karnila tells us:

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ГОСПОДИН ИСПОЛНИТЕЛНЫЙ ДИРЕКТОР, ЭТО ВАШ ВЫБОР?



Уважаемый г-н Джонатан Брент,

12 сентября 2011 года я, Милан Херсонский, написал Вам первое Открытое письмо. Я писал Вам о том, что вечер памяти жертв геноцида евреев Вильнюса с участием министра иностранных дел Литовской Республики Аудрониса Ажубалиса неуместно проводить в стенах YIVO. Если Вы своевременно не прочитали мое письмо, то сейчас Вы можете найти его в интернете: http://defendinghistory.com/milan-chersonski-longtime-editor-of-jerusalem-of-lithuania-releases-a-public-letter-to-the-director-of-yivo-in-new-york/21916   Насколько мне известно, не один я протестовал против приглашения А.Ажубалиса на это собрание. Протесты были не случайны: незадолго до Вашего приглашения А.Ажубалис позволил себе (и увы, не впервые!) антисемитскую эскападу, продемонстрировав таким образом свою подлинную политическую позицию в отношении евреев.

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Is this Really What You Want To Do, Mr. Executive Director of Yivo?



O P I N I O N

by Milan Chersonski

Milan Chersonski (Chersonskij), longtime editor (1999-2011) of Jerusalem of Lithuania, quadrilingual (English-Lithuanian-Russian-Yiddish) newspaper of the Jewish Community of Lithuania, was previously (1979-1999) director of the Yiddish Folk Theater of Lithuania, which in Soviet times was the USSR’s only Yiddish amateur theater company. The views he expresses in DefendingHistory are his own. This is an authorized English version (updated by the author) by Ludmilla Makedonskaya (Los Angeles). Russian original.
Photo: Milan Chersonski at this desk at the Jewish Community of Lithuania (image © 2012 Jurgita Kunigiškytė). Milan Chersonski section.

Dear Mr. Jonathan Brent,

A little over a year ago, on 12 September 2011, I wrote my first open letter to you. I wrote that it is inappropriate to hold an event commemorating the Jews of Vilna who were victims of genocide together with the minister of foreign affairs of the Republic of Lithuania Audronis Ažubalis on the premises of Yivo. If you did not then find time to read my letter, you can find it now online.

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