Rachel Croucher

How Has Post-Soviet Lithuania Used Holocaust Remembrance to Project a “New” European Identity?



O P I N I O N

by Rachel Croucher  (Melbourne, Australia)

 

Lithuania declared its restoration of independence from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) on March 11, 1990. The country then began to immediately seek closer ties with established Western European institutions as a means to consolidate its national and economic security. After centuries of subjugation at the hands of various foreign powers, this need for national and economic security was seen as being of primary and urgent concern to the fledgling democracy. This race to join as many Western European institutions as possible was also a way to prove to the rest of the world that Lithuania was now in practice a true European country, part of the post-1945 Western European order. The sentiment behind this is best expressed by Czech-born and naturalized French writer Milan Kundera when he stated in 1989 that

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How the Zingeris-Račinskas Red-Brown Commission “Gently” Pushed Along the Conversion of Holocaust Studies into Double Genocide Studies



O P I N I O N

by Rachel Croucher (Melbourne)

Although not seeking to deny the Holocaust, the ultimate consequence of the movement to redefine genocide is the equalization of National Socialist and Soviet crimes. The characterization of Soviet crimes as genocide is a misrepresentation that hinders authentic remembrance of the Holocaust in Lithuania by helping to obscure the extent and nature of Lithuanian complicity in the killings of the local Jewish population.

The idea that the crimes of Hitler and successive Soviet regimes are in fact equal has been a growing force behind public discourse on the Holocaust since the formulation of the national Holocaust and Genocide Education Program at the sixth meeting of The International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania in June 2002.

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On Snyder’s Conceptualization of the Final Solution ‘in the Bloodlands’


 


O P I N I O N

by Rachel Croucher

I have read and re-read the chapter entitled “Final Solution” in Timothy Snyder’s major new book, Bloodlands (Basic Books 2010), in an attempt to garner further insight into events surrounding the genocide of the Jews in Eastern Europe for a dissertation on contemporary Holocaust remembrance precisely in the countries of these so-called Bloodlands, and with emphasis upon Lithuania. I had hoped that the chapter would expand my knowledge on the specifics of and motivations for the disturbingly high levels of local participation in the actual mass-murdering (far beyond just collaboration) in these countries.

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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) | Comments Off on “This Campaign Makes Me Really Angry”