EU

Britain’s MP John Mann, Speaking in UK Parliament, Blasts Tallinn’s “Double Genocide” Conclave



UK  |  DOUBLE GENOCIDE  |  ESTONIA  |  EU

VILNIUS—The following is an excerpt from John Mann’s speech in the House of Commons of 31 January 2008. The entire speech, along with others in the debate, is on the UK Parliament website.

 

2.30 pm

John Mann (Bassetlaw) (Lab):

On 22 January, in Tallinn, Estonia, five MEPs from five different countries met to launch a group called Common Europe—Common History.

It has the same theme—the need for an equal evaluation of history. It is just a traditional form of prejudice, rewritten in a modern context. In essence, it is trying to equate communism and Judaism as one conspiracy and rewrite history from a nationalist point of view. Those are elected MEPs.

 

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Ireland’s Ambassador Donal Denham Hosts a Reception for Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky at his Residence in Vilnius


The Embassy of Ireland in Lithuania issued a certificate of lifetime achievement to Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky, signed by HE Ambassador Dónal Denham, who presented the award at a reception today at the ambassador’s residence. Ambassador Denham’s speech concluded with the words: ‘Fania is one brave woman! You are a beautiful person, a special person, an inspiration to us all.’

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Prague’s Declaration of Disgrace. A European attempt to equate Communism with Nazism will falsify history.



O P I N I O N
by Dovid Katz
Reprinted from the Jewish Chronicle (London), 21 May 2009


Not many have heard about the Prague Declaration, which is currently making the rounds at the European Parliament. Proclaimed last June in Prague (but cooked up in the Baltics), its innocuous theme is “European Conscience and Communism”. Now who would oppose that? The heinous crimes of Communist regimes clearly merit full exposure. Victims deserve recognition. When the grand jamboree of freedom, fun and prosperity got under way for us lucky westerners in 1945, entire nations ceded to Stalin were condemned to totalitarian rule.

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Parliamentary Proposal to Curtail Free Speech that would Disagree with Red-Brown Equivalence; 3 Years Imprisonment Envisaged


Proposal 154(1), registered by the Seimas (parliament) of Lithuania, would impose up to three years of imprisonment for one who ‘denies, severely diminishes or justifies the genocide accomplished by Communism or Fascism’ etc.  English translation. 9 June 2009 summary.


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Erasmus Students invited to ‘Exchange Genocide Project’


European exchange students on the Erasmus program in Lithuania have received this email from the program’s local leadership inviting them to join for free an interactive ‘Exchange Genocide Project’ complete with Russian speaking actors and psychological and physical punishment. Participating Erasmus students are required to sign this confirmation form.

There is no mention of any ‘Exchange Genocide Project’ to commemorate the Holocaust or to visit peacefully any of the 202 mass murder sites in the country.

Erasmus is financed by the European Union.

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Gert Weisskirchen Puts on Paper, Informally, View of the 2008 Prague Declaration


At an informal meeting of participants in the Global Forum on Combating Antisemitism in Jerusalem this evening, veteran German Social Democratic parliamentarian and human rights champion Professor Gert Weisskirchen put on paper his informal views of the 2008 Prague Declaration:

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German Parliamentarian wins award in Jerusalem, blasts the ‘Prague Declaration’


German Social Democratic parliamentarian Gert Weisskirchen was awarded a certificate of honor at the Israeli Knesset on 16 December for a lifetime of fighting antisemitism, racism, and Holocaust distortion. The Knesset session was integrated into the Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism.

During an informal celebration at Jerusalem’s Crowne Plaza Hotel, Mr Weisskirchen penned, in his famed telegraphic style, on Global Forum letterpaper, his opposition to the ‘Prague Declaration’ in the spirit of three new ‘DEs’: ‘De-valuation of the victims, De-stortion of history, De-legimitization of the Holocaust. These are the reasons why I oppose the Prague Declaration’ — Gert Weisskirchen

Images courtesy of Dr Clemens Heni of WPK.

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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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Seimas Amends Criminal Code to Make Way for New Red-Brown Jailtime Law


The Lithuanian parliament amended the criminal code ‘to envisage criminal penalties for supporting, denying or downgrading crimes committed by the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany’ recommending ‘up to two years in prison’. The amendment’s initiator explained that the ‘changes were based on the European Union’s obligation to member-nations to take the necessary measures to ensure penalties for public support for genocide crimes’.  BNS report.


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Jail Time for Saying the Holocaust is Unique


On 29 June 2010, the Lithuanian Parliament criminalized the view that Soviet crimes in Lithuania do not rise to Genocide, in effect making belief in red-brown equivalence a matter of law.

The move followed adoption of a similar statute by Hungary’s new right-wing government.

The Lithuanian law’s framers explained earlier that establishing red-brown equality was the motive. Punishment maxes out at 2 Years in jail (original draft law was for 3 years). There is a new widespread reluctance to speak up freely in eastern EU democracies, even if nobody is charged or punished. Work of serious historians is crippled as dissenters lose their jobs.

There was no comment from the US embassy in Vilnius.

[More detailed report here.]

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Red-Brown Bill with Two Years of Jailtime for Disagreeing with Government’s Position is Signed into Law


A new law in effect criminalizing anti Double Genocide opinions has been passed by the Lithuanian parliament and signed into law by the president. Full text of the lawIn English translationThe move followed adoption of a similar statute by Hungary’s new right-wing government.

See also:

DEMOCRACY & FREE SPEECH SECTION

———

UPDATES (TO SEPT. 2011):

The Jewish community’s 2010 response to the new law

Professor Leonidas Donskis’s response to the 2008 proposals

Comments by Dovid Katz in 2009 and 2011

The new law criminalizes debate on the Holocaust and World War II, imposing punishments that include prison sentences of up to two years for those who would argue that Soviet crimes in Lithuania did not constitute genocide (hence: upon those who would challenge the notion that ‘Soviet and Nazi crimes are equal’). The opposing view (e.g. of this website) holds that Soviet crimes in Lithuania were horrendous but did not constitute genocide (following Donskis 2009, Katz 2009 etc; see page on Soviet crimes and draft response to the Prague Declaration).

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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.

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The Green House


 


 

Pamėnkalnio 12, Vilnius

Note: See also our report on the October 2010 re-opening of the Green House following extensive renovations. Black and white photos below are©Richard Schofield.

Rachel Kostanian, the courageous director, valiantly keeps alive one of the rare local bastions of public integrity on the Holocaust in Lithuania, having constantly to fend off obstacles. Read Esther Goldberg’s portrait in the special Jewish New Year’s supplement on great Jewish women of the ages in the Canadian Jewish News (8 Sept 2010).  A follow-up article on Rachel Kostanian’s epic struggle for truth in Holocaust history appeared a month later (7 Oct 2010).

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The Genocide Museum



‘The Museum of Genocide Victims’

Gedimino Boulevard 42, Vilnius

A summer 2010 visit to a major Baltic tourist attraction. 

by Dovid Katz

Images by Richard Schofield  (© R. Schofield)


 


THE QUESTION: Can you imagine a Museum of Genocide Victims — in the capital of a country with the highest proportion in Europe of Holocaust genocide of its Jewish population — that does not mention the word Holocaust or the name of the nearby infamous mass-killing site, where 100,000 civilians were murdered? That avoids any reference to the actual genocide that occurred in the country? That includes antisemitic exhibits with no commentary? That is state-sponsored in the capital of a European Union member state?

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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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Lithuanian Parliament’s ‘Dualism’ Strikes Again


Readers recall that the Lithuanian parliament’s 21 September proclamation of 2011 as the ‘Year of Remembrance for the Victims of the Holocaust in Lithuania’ (text here) was mysteriously reincarnated one week later, on 28 September, as the ‘Year of Commemoration of the Defense of Freedom and of Great Losses’ (text here) with accompanying press explanations restricting the 1941 aspect to Soviet deportations to Siberia and no mention of the Holocaust among the ‘great losses’ (text here).

The text and press releases gave rise to fears that plans were still underway to sanitize, revise and glorify the memory of the 1941 LAF and Provisional Government collaborators of the Nazis. This painful subject was dealt with in a recent statement from the Jewish Community of Lithuania.

The ensuing History Apartheid, as this journal called it (2011 dedicated to one thing for foreigners and Jews and another for the country itself, in effect)  led to a letter to the chair of the Seimas from the head of Lithuania’s tiny but proud Jewish community (text here).

A check today of the official website of Lithuanian parliament (the Seimas) added a further curious aspect to the parliamentarians’ thinking. The English version of the website explains that 2011 has been proclaimed as the ‘Year of Remembrance for the Victims of the Holocaust in Lithuania’.

The corresponding sentence on the home page of the Lithuanian version of the official Seimas website indicates however that 2011 is the designated ‘Year of Commemoration of the Defense of Freedom and of Great Losses’.

One Western diplomat who requested anonymity commented to this journal: ‘You see, if you live long enough, you live to see everything’.

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Shifting Dates for the ‘Public Meeting’ to ‘Overhaul’ European Textbooks for Red-Brown Equivalence


November 16th 2010 has come and gone, but the ‘Public Meeting’ which the  Red-equals-Brown lobby in the European Parliament announced extensively the old fashioned way — by disseminating a flyer that is not posted on the internet — seems to have been postponed. The flyer, echoing both the language and spirit of the Prague Declaration, called for overhaul of (all?) European Union textbooks ‘so that children and young people could learn and be warned about Communism and its crimes in the same way as they have been taught to assess the Nazi crimes’.

A sanitized formulation that is posted on the web, in a style uncharacteristic for Brussels exactitude, notes that the public meeting is ‘scheduled for November’ and makes reference to a group meeting held on 22 September.

An even more sanitized formulation announces the event for the 29th of March 2011, referring to a ‘group meeting’ held on 10 November.

For background see here & here.

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Opposition to the 2008 ‘Prague Declaration on European Conscience and Communism’


This page has moved here. Thank you.

NEW URL:

http://holocaustinthebaltics.com/prague-declaration/opposition

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Ambassadors of Britain, Estonia, Finland, France, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden protest Antisemitism in Lithuania; Red-Equals-Brown Movement is Noted


BNS reported today that the Vilnius-based ambassadors of Britain, Estonia, France, Finland, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden have written in no uncertain terms to the president and other major officials of Lithuania to express concern over the growing manifestations of antisemitism.

Two of the signatories confirmed privately to Defending History that the initiative had come from British ambassador HE Simon Butt, who also drafted the letter. Ambassador Butt had in 2008 organized a letter in moral support of Dr. Rachel Margolis, a walk through the Vilna Ghetto with Ms. Fania Brantsovsky, and had, together with other senior Western diplomats stationed in Vilnius, visited the decaying Jewish partisan fort in the forest.

“Spurious attempts are made to equate the uniquely evil genocide of the Jews with Soviet crimes against Lithuania, which, though great in magnitude, cannot be regarded as equivalent in either their intention or result.”

Excerpt from a letter to the president of Lithuania from the ambassadors of Britain, Estonia, Finland, France, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden, 25 November 2010

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