Collaborators Glorified

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See also page on public monuments and street names in Lithuania honoring Nazi collaborators: http://defendinghistory.com/memorials-to-holocaust-collaborators-in-public-spaces-and-state-sponsored-institutions-in-lithuania
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More “dark tourism”: http://defendinghistory.com/dark-tourism
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The 2011 events staged by a state and its establishment to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the actions of the first murderers in the Lithuanian Holocaust: http://defendinghistory.com/glorification-of-local-holocaust-perpetrators-in-lithuania/33745
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But by the 75th anniversary, things had changed somewhat: http://defendinghistory.com/defending-history-brings-results/82322
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Ronald Lauder, President of World Jewish Congress, Speaks Up in Response to Lithuania’s Justice Minister



The following report today appeared on the website of the World Jewish Congress. The initial DefendingHistory.com report of 2 December 2009 is here.

Ronald Lauder criticizes revisionist theses of Lithuanian justice minister

04 December 2009

In June 1941, members of the Lithuanian Militia lead Jews to locations outside the city of Kovno. In all, some 10,000 Jews were murdered within the first six weeks following the German invasion. [photo: Yad Vashem]Lithuanian Justice Minister Remigijus Šimašius  has said his country should answer questions regarding its behavior during World War II with its head held high. Writing in his internet blog, Šimašius dismissed accusations that Lithuania had been an anti-Semitic country and collaborated with the Nazis. “First of all, the fact that many Jews were killed in Lithuania does not in itself mean that Lithuanians were Jew killers. Quite on the contrary: Lithuania was a place where Jews were safe and lived in peace. Until the Nazis came. Had Lithuanians been anti-Semitic, Lithuania would not have become a haven for the Jews, and Vilnius would not have been known as ‘Jerusalem of the North’,” the justice minister argued.

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‘Baltic Times’ Condemns Riga City Council for Trying to Nix March 16th Waffen SS March in the Capital’s Center


The Baltic Times, in the spirit of its increasing pattern of delivering up far-right views dressed up as impartial news coverage, did it again today. The front page banner headline reads ‘Riga Council in Civil Rights Attack’ with the caption to the large front page photo that condemns the city council for trying to block ‘war veterans and others’, as the anonymous authors put it (the article is signed by ‘Staff and wire reports, Riga), from being able to ‘exercise their rights in commemorating wartime duties and efforts’.

There was no mention that these are Waffen SS veterans and that the annual ceremony in the capital’s center is an affront to free Europe and Holocaust victims and survivors.

That an allegedly impartial newspaper would regard a noble attempt to legally block a  pro-Nazi march, on the part of elected officials in a European Union country, as a ‘civil rights attack’ in a news headline is shocking. PDF of the article here.


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Neo-Nazis March in Vilnius, Sanctioned by Municipality and with Police Escorts


Sanctioned by the Municipality of Vilnius on a route that included Vilna’s destroyed old Jewish cemetery …

11 March 2010.  Elderly Jewish survivors were shaken to the core by this latest Neo-Nazi march in downtown Vilnius on Lithuania’s March 11 Independence Day. The march was sanctioned by the city municipality. The permit was requested by a member of parliament from the governing party. And in a final flourish of inflicted pain, the approved route included the territory of the dismantled Old Vilna Jewish cemetery. All this marred the twentieth anniversary of the country’s bold breakaway from Soviet tyranny and its inspiring transition to a modern democracy, a magnificent achievement celebrated by all the country’s communities. More photos and reports: Balsas.ltDelfi.ltVideo by Lietuvos rytas.

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Neo-Nazi March again Escorted by Police on Lithuania’s Independence Day in the heart of Vilnius; White Armbands are Back


The fragile but proud Jewish community of Lithuania was again shaken to its core by a Neo-Nazi march in broad daylight through sections of downtown Vilnius on Lithuania’s March 11 Independence Day (see below at March 2008). Once again, the marchers, this time numbering around 500, were diligently escorted by police. Marking the twentieth anniversary of the country’s bold breakaway from Soviet tyranny and its inspiring transition to a modern democracy — a magnificent achievement celebrated by all the country’s communities —  it is a cherished day all around. Its tainting by another police-escorted Neo-Nazi parade was all the more painful, especially for aged Holocaust Survivors.

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Waffen SS March in Riga


Sanctioned by the Municipality of Riga on a route concluding with a ceremony at the city’s Liberty Monument …



Top: JEWS!! THIS LAND IS FOR LATVIANS!
Bottom: THE LATVIAN PRESIDENT SHOULD PARTICIPATE IN THE EVENTS OF MARCH 16, NOT MAY 9!

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Neo-Nazis, Protected by Police, flaunt Swasticals near Reval Lietuva Hotel During Baltic Pride Parade


BNS summary here. Video here. The state prosecution service that continues to  ‘investigate for war crimes’ Holocaust survivors who joined the anti-Nazi resistance, and passes over neo-Nazi marches in utter silence, tried hard (but failed) to stop the May 8th Baltic Pride Tolerance march in Vilnius. 


OUR EYEWITNESS REPORT: 

After being refused entry into the actual Baltic Pride marchers’ area, on grounds that we did not have individual permits, we were directed to the plaza between the Reval Lietuva Hotel and the CUP department store where we were told the march’s concluding point could be observed. There, police eagerly directed visitors and sympathisers into an ‘observation area’ just below on a grassy hillside. It soon became evident that while limiting the formal numbers of Baltic Pride participants, the police were shepherding visitors into an area occupied by neo-fascists and bolstering their apparent numbers.

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Lithuanian Court Approves Display of Swastikas in Public


A Lithuanian court in Klaipeda approved the public display of swastikas on the grounds that they are ‘Lithuania’s historical heritage rather than symbols of Nazi Germany’. An ‘expert’ transported from Vilnius was easily able to persuade the court, which did not bother to ask a contrasting view of the Holocaust Survivor community, or the Jewish Community of Lithuania, in a European country with the highest proportion of Holocaust genocide on the continent. This sad distinction resulted from massive local collaboration and actual participation.

Media coverage: BNS report on the court’s 19 May decision hereDelfi report.   JTA report on the court’s decision and Dr. Efraim Zuroff’s reaction. Photo by J. Markevicius on Delfi.

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Lithuanian Court Legalizes Public Swastikas as ‘Historical Heritage’; 2008 Ban on ‘Nazi and Soviet Symbols’ now Excludes… Swastikas


A Lithuanian court in Klaipeda approved the public display of swastikas on the grounds that they are ‘Lithuania’s historical heritage rather than symbols of Nazi Germany’. An ultranationalist ‘expert’ transported from Vilnius was easily able to persuade the court, which did not bother to ask a contrasting view of the Holocaust Survivor community, or the Jewish Community of Lithuania, in a European country with one of the highest proportions of Holocaust genocide on the continent. This sad distinction resulted from massive local participation.  Image from 16 Feb Klaipeda demonstration courtesy DMN atKaunodiena.lt.

BNS report on the court’s 19 May decision here. So much for the parliament’s 2008 ban on ‘Nazi and Soviet symbols’ which only caused pain to aged veterans of the anti-Nazi war effort, and which was ultimately part of the machinations in support of the Double Genocide movement in the European Parliament, in cooperation with the movement’s local power structures.

The United States Embassy has remained silent on the legalization of public swastikas.

Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, EU, Human Rights, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Politics of Memory, Symbology, US State Dept Manipulated?, Vilnius Neo-Nazi Marches | Comments Off on Lithuanian Court Legalizes Public Swastikas as ‘Historical Heritage’; 2008 Ban on ‘Nazi and Soviet Symbols’ now Excludes… Swastikas

Klaipeda Court Approves Public Swastikas as Symbol of ‘Lithuania’s Historical Heritage’


While threatening prison sentences for persons holding the belief that the Holocaust is not equal to Soviet crimes, a sudden new trend of ‘liberalism’ appears regarding public displays of swastikas. A court in Klaipeda approved the Nazi symbols on the grounds that they are ‘Lithuania’s historical heritage rather than symbols of Nazi Germany’. The net result it that now the only illegal symbols are the Soviet ones, which are not used by anyone, other than aged anti-Nazi war veterans celebrating the Ninth of May. Hence, it is all part and parcel of the movement legitimizing a pro-fascist view of twentieth century history.

BNS report Delfi report.   Alfa.lt report following the protest of Dr Efraim Zuroff, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel office. JTA report on the court’s decision and Dr Zuroff’s response. More details here.  See page on Swastikas.


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Latvian Fascists Honor Hitler’s Invasion of their Country


A Latvian court approved & police nixed a Riga March celebrating Hitler’s 1941 Invasion. Still, the June 2010 event went ahead with a wreath-laying at Riga’s Liberty Monument to celebrate the Nazi army’s arrival and warm welcome.  Here, 2, 3, 4.

Also: Far-right racist parties team up. Here.

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Estonian President Obfuscates Holocaust; Marchers Honor SS


The Estonian president obfuscates the  Holocaust during his Jerusalem visit  by recombinating perpetrators and victims as ‘partners’. Here; 2.

Also: ADL’s Abe Foxman protests July 31 march in Estonia honoring Nazi SS. Here + JTA report.

Video.  NCSJ.

Posted in Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, Double Genocide, Estonia, EU, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Politics of Memory | Comments Off on Estonian President Obfuscates Holocaust; Marchers Honor SS

I’m Suffocating



O P I N I O N

by Tomas Venclova

This authorized translation of the Lithuania original which appeared today in Bernardinai.lt was prepared by Geoff Vasil for Defending History and appears here with the author’s approval.

The section of the essay on current Lithuanian Jewish issues starts here.


Tomas Venclova

423 years before Christ’s birth, Aristophanes’ comedy The Clouds was performed in Athens during the festival at the Great Dionysia. It only won third place, Cratinus’ comedy The Bottle (about the dramatist’s own battle with alcohol) taking first place, and Ameipsias’ play, about which we know almost nothing, placing second. These other comedies haven’t survived, but we are still reading The Clouds today. In terms of literature, this is probably Aristophanes’ greatest work, with a superb poetic chorus—and it’s undeniably funny.

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Gruto Parkas, the Fun Park near Druskininkai



O P I N I O N

by Dovid Katz

Photos by Richard Schofield (© R. Schofield)

A ‘Lenin Statue Theme Park’ near the resort town of Druskininkai featuring: ‘Soviet Sculpture Exposition, Museum, Picture Gallery, Events, Cafes, Souvenirs, Lunapark, Zoo’ etc. Their website hereA summer 2010 visit.

 

Gruto Parkas (situated at Grutas, near Druskininkai and often popularly called ‘the Lenin Park’) is a private enterprise, but a large sign near the entrance boasts that the historical inscriptions were donated by the state-sponsored ‘Genocide and Resistance Research Centre of Lithuania’.


THE QUESTION: Can you imagine a major theme park dedicated to the history of the Soviet period, in a member state of the European Union and NATO, that tries its best to present Soviet Communism as a largely Jewish enterprise? With a presentation in the spirit of a most infamous brand of 20th century antisemitism? That singles out by nationality only Jews among the many rogues’ featured in its exhibits? That defames the memory of Holocaust Survivors who escaped Nazi ghettos to join the anti-Nazi partisans in the forests of Lithuania? And all this, without once mentioning the Holocaust . . .

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Jewish Community Protests Plans to Glorify the Collaborationist 1941 ‘Provisional Government’


The Jewish Community of Lithuania issued an eloquent public statement on  7 Sept 2010 (English translation here), following the proliferation of comments from high society circles of politics, academia and the media which sanitize and in some instances glorify the Nazi-collaborationist Provisional Government (see for example here and here).

Often lurking just under the surface is the closely  related question of the 1941 ‘L.A.F.’ (Lithuanian Activists’ Front), whose campaign of murder of Jewish civilians in effect launched the Lithuanian Holocaust.  They too are glorified by various antisemitic historians and by the state sponsored Genocide Museum in the capital’s center.

The barbaric rampage of murder was underway before the arrival at these sites of Nazi German forces in late June of 1941 (background here; information on specific towns here). The far-right establishment has been looking for a quick sanitization of  fascist heroes (recast as ‘brave anti-Soviet partisans’) in anticipation of the 70th anniversary of the events in 2011.

The state-sponsored Genocide Museum in the center of Vilnius fails to even mention the L.A.F.’s murderous role in initiating the Holocaust locally, referring to its members exclusively as anti-Soviet rebels (failing to mention only the ‘detail’ that the Soviets were fleeing the German Nazi invasion, not them). Continue reading

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‘Holocaust Year’ in Lithuania, 2011, is Converted 1 Week Later to ‘Year of Freedom Defense, Memory of Great Losses [minus the Holocaust]’


One week ago today, on 21 September 2010, this journal reported on a document released by various Lithuanian embassies on the ‘Resolution of the Republic of Lithuania on Declaring the Year 2011 as the Year of Remembrance for the Victims of the Holocaust in Lithuania’ (read document here).

In addition to ‘condemning the genocide perpetrated against Jews by Nazis and their collaborators in Lithuania’ the resolution pledges itself to ‘honoring the residents of Lithuania who fought against Fascism’. [In its report, HITB naturally asked for immediate action to halt the kangaroo investigations of Holocaust Survivors who did just that; to dismantle antisemitic exhibits in state museums; and to halt the campaign for the ‘Double Genocide’ model of history in Europe.]

At the solemn September 21st ceremony at the mass murder site Ponar (Paneriai), member of parliament Emanuelis Zingeris informed the assembled diplomats, citizens and visitors that the Seimas had unanimously approved the resolution and that 2011 would be dedicated to Holocaust commemoration, a most appropriate gesture, on the 70th anniversary of 1941, when nearly all of Lithuanian Jewry was annihilated by the Nazis, with the massive participation of local nationalist forces who are on occasion glorified in modern Lithuania as ‘anti-Soviet partisan heroes’ (see e.g. the Genocide Museum’s narrative).

Many of the assembled at Ponar went away believing that the Seimas had turned a new page in the country’s perception of its Holocaust history.

But today, one week later, September 28th, the Seimas announced the following ‘slightly revised’ version of its plan for the focus of 2011: ‘Parliament announces 2011 as year of freedom defense, memory of great losses in Lithuania’ (as per the text of BNS’s report in English here). The parliament’s own official statement is here; full English translation here, with the corrected English title: ‘Year of Commemoration of the Defense of Freedom and Great Losses’.

Frankly, there is unease in the Jewish community as to whether this title and text leave open the possibility that the LAF (Lithuanian Activist Front) and PG (Provisional Government),  both massively complicit in the early stages of the Lithuanian Holocaust, are going to be celebrated as ‘defenders of freedom’ (or anti-Soviet patriots) during the 2011 seventieth anniversary of events unleashed by Hitler’s invasion of 22 June 1941.Continue reading

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On the “Occupation Museum” in Riga


This page is contributed by Roland Binet (Belgium). © Roland Binet

See also his 10 November 2010 article in Le Monde.  English translation here.


Open Letter to the President of the European Commission

Mr JOSÉ MANUEL BARROSO, ON THE “OCCUPATION MUSEUM” OF RIGA IN LATVIA

Mr President,

Dear Mr Barroso,

I recently visited the “Occupation Museum in Riga/Latvia where I had the opportunity to see your picture — taken during your visit of that museum in 2008 — displayed on one wall of the entrance hall.

That museum prides itself on having thus welcomed a number of well-known symbolic personalities. Your persona grata is all the more important now that the EU has become an unavoidable partner in the world and, furthermore, now that Latvia has become a full member state of the European Union.

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Lithuanian Parliament and Genocide Research Center planning 2011 Film to Sanitize (and Glorify?) the ‘Rebels’ of 1941


Some highly respected international scholars have been persuaded to participate in a film which some leaders of Holocaust Survivor organizations around the world fear will be a cover-up for the main ‘accomplishment’ of the LAF (Lithuanian Activist Front) and related fascist groups, and their local supporters. These groups, often identified by white armbands and known as white armbanders, had started to carry out murder, molestation and pillage of Jewish neighbors in dozens of locations even before the arrival of German Nazi forces in late June 1941. Many of the same killers went on to serve voluntarily as shooters in the annihilation of most of Lithuanian Jewry in the second half of 1941.

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Lithuanian Activist Front (LAF) Prewar Proclamations on Plans for their Jewish Fellow-Citizens of Lithuania


What did the Lithuanian Activist Front (LAF) put in writing concerning its intentions for fellow citizens who were Jews in the days and weeks before the German invaders took actual control of various locations within Lithuania?

These excerpts are all from the translations from Lithuanian in the English edition of Joseph Levinson’s The Shoah (Holocaust) in Lithuania (Vilna Gaon Jewish State Museum of Lithuania: Vilnius 2006).  The full texts (or much larger excerpts) appear on pages 166 to 179 (4 meg PDF here; low res here). By permission of Joseph Levinson.

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In Major Speech to UK’s Parliament, MP MacShane Confronts Hungarian Injustice, Baltics’ Double Genocide Campaign


MP Denis MacShane

Denis MacShane, the veteran Labour Party member of the British Parliament for Rotherham, gave a major speech on antisemitism in the House of Commons yesterday. (Full text of Denis MacShane’s 20 January speech.)

In contrast to politicians across Europe who pay lip service to the battle against antisemitism ‘in general’, Mr MacShane emphasized the actual issues of the day, including two major and ongoing scandals sadly involving member states of the European Union in the new accession eastern area. In both cases, his speech serves to overcome the veil of reticence sometimes encountered when it comes to criticizing Britain’s partners in the EU, NATO, the OSCE and other international organizations.

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“This Campaign Makes Me Really Angry”



O P I N I O N

by Shimon Alperovich

The following is Rachel Croucher’s authorized translation of the interview with Lithuanian Jewish Community chairperson Dr. Shimon Alperovich published in German by Frank Brendle in Taz.de.


YEAR OF REMEMBRANCE: In the Lithuanian year of remembrance the Holocaust is under threat of being forgotten while surviving Jewish partisans have been the subject of a campaign for some years. Conversation with Simonas Alperavičius, President of the Jewish Community of Lithuania. INTERVIEW BY FRANK BRENDLE, 04.02.2011

Mr Alperavičius, the 70th anniversary of the Nazi occupation of Lithuania falls this year, as well as twenty years of independence from the Soviet Union. What will take priority?

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Posted in "Red-Brown Commission", A 21st Century Campaign Against Lithuanian Holocaust Survivors?, Collaborators Glorified, Double Games, Double Genocide, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Rachel Croucher, Shimon Alperovich (1928 – 2014), Yad Vashem Manipulated? | Comments Off on “This Campaign Makes Me Really Angry”