Legacy of 23 June 1941

Vilnius, 23 June 2017: Nationalists Glorify Atrocities with Posters on Genocide Museum Fence



OPINION  |  HISTORY  |  COLLABORATORS GLORIFIED  |  VILNIUS GENOCIDE CENTER  |  MUSEUMS  |  CHRISTIAN-JEWISH RELATIONS

by Andrius Kulikauskas

(Department of Philosophy & Cultural Studies, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University)

On June 23, 2017, the Lithuanian Freedom Fighters Association (Lietuvos laisvės kovotojų sąjunga) organized a commemoration of the June 23, 1941 anti-Soviet uprising with a complete lack of sensitivity for Lithuanian victims of the Holocaust.

The official celebration at the Parliament’s Independence Square included an elaborately choreographed flag raising by the Lithuanian Army’s Honor Guard, music by the Armed Forces Orchestra, a reenactment of the Declaration of Independence with its hopes for a place for Lithuania in Hitler’s New Europe, and a speech by Vytautas Landsbergis, patriarch of modern-day Lithuania.

More by Andrius Kulikauskas. Articles by Evaldas Balčiūnas; Milan Chersonski; Leonidas Donskis; Nida Vasiliauskaitė.  See also:
DH section on The Legacy of 23 June 1941. DH pages on: LAF intentions; painful street names; dry-clean of the week of 23 June 1941.

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Posted in Andrius Kulikauskas, Antisemitism & Bias, Celebrations of Fascism, Christian-Jewish Issues, Collaborators Glorified, Genocide Center (Vilnius), History, Human Rights, Legacy of 23 June 1941, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Museums, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Symbology, Vilnius Jewish Life (from 2016) | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Vilnius, 23 June 2017: Nationalists Glorify Atrocities with Posters on Genocide Museum Fence

Really? A Street in an EU Capital Named for 23 June 1941?



COLLABORATORS GLORIFIED  |  LEGACY OF 23 JUNE  |  POLITICS OF MEMORY  |  CHRISTIAN-JEWISH RELATIONS

June-23rd-Street-in-Vilnius

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Vilnius street named for 23 June 1941, and once again: events to honor the shameful day in Lithuanian history, when, guided by the LAF and its provisional government, political, moral and religious leaders turned on their Jewish neighbors in a hate campaign that was to end with the highest rate of Holocaust murder in Europe. More here. More on this and other offensive street names and public shrines. And — How are members of the tiny surviving Jewish minority in Lithuania supposed to feel about this? Holocaust survivors and their families and descendants internationally?

INTERNATIONAL PETITION. See also DH articles by Andrius Kulikauskas, Evaldas Balčiūnas, Milan Chersonski, Leonidas Donskis, Nida Vasiliauskaitė. Also: DH section on The Legacy of 23 June 1941. DH pages on: LAF intentions; painful street names; dry-clean of the week of 23 June 1941.

Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Collaborators Glorified, Human Rights, Legacy of 23 June 1941, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Vilnius Jewish Life (from 2016) | Comments Off on Really? A Street in an EU Capital Named for 23 June 1941?

New Defending History Section: The Legacy of 23 June 1941



OPINION  |  HISTORY  |  COLLABORATORS GLORIFIED  |  HUMAN RIGHTS  |  VILNIUS GENOCIDE CENTER  |  CHRISTIAN-JEWISH RELATIONS

 A new section has been added today to Defending History’s existing repertoire, one dedicated to the legacy of 23 June 1941, which for the Jews of Lithuania and other countries represents the onset of the Holocaust east of the 1939 Molotov-Ribbentrop line, a day after the launch of Hitler’s Operation Barbarossa, his attack on the then Soviet Union. On this day in a number of countries, including Lithuania, Latvia and (western) Ukraine, local “freedom fighters” began to molest, humiliate and butcher innocent Jewish neighbors before the arrival of the first German forces. Nothing can be more painful in the 21st century than pro-Western governments, elites, institutions and societal leaders glorifying the day as one of alleged uprising against the Soviet Union. For one thing, it is falsification of history: the Soviet forces were fleeing Hitler’s invasion, the largest in human history, not the local Jew-killers. For another, the current glorification of the Holocaust’s first local perpetrators is an affront to civilized society, human rights and basic decency. The new section is The Legacy of 23 June.

Posted in Christian-Jewish Issues, Collaborators Glorified, History, Human Rights, Legacy of 23 June 1941, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Comments Off on New Defending History Section: The Legacy of 23 June 1941

Baltic Holocaust: First Stahlecker Report (1941) Digitized



by Rafael Katz

The two Stahlecker Reports summarize the inner workings of Einsatzgruppe A during the Baltic invasion of Operation Barbarossa, which set in motion the Holocaust. We herewith offer a digitized version of the two reports. For an introduction to the reports and links for download please see our earlier article in January 2015. As of now, we have digitized half of the reports, and will give notice once we complete the conversion. The full reports can be viewed in their JPG version via the link above. Below we offer a digitized version of 1-100 from 1-143 of the first report, and, on a separate page, 1-73 of 150 from the second report.

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Posted in Documents, History, Legacy of 23 June 1941, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Rafael Katz, Raphael Katz | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Baltic Holocaust: First Stahlecker Report (1941) Digitized

Baltic Holocaust: Second Stahlecker Report (1941) Digitized



by Rafael Katz

Note: See for introductory remarks the author’s earlier January 2015 summary of the project and his posting today of the digitized text of the First Stahlecker Report.

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Posted in Documents, History, Legacy of 23 June 1941, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Rafael Katz, Raphael Katz | Comments Off on Baltic Holocaust: Second Stahlecker Report (1941) Digitized

Major German Holocaust Scholar Slips (Again) into Baltic Nationalist Discourse



OPINION  |  HISTORY  |  LITHUANIA  |  LITVAK AFAIRS  |  RED-BROWN COMMISSION

by Dovid Katz

East European state-sponsored “Holocaust Fixing” continues apace. The distinguished German scholar and author of a major two-volume work on the Lithuanian Holocaust, Professor Christoph Dieckmann, has given a major interview intended for the general public on the popular Delfi.lt news portal. He was in town for an IHRA conference held in intimate collaboration with the Lithuanian government’s units on the Holocaust and Jewish affairs, including the Red-Brown Commission, of which Prof. Dieckmann is, surprisingly for many of his genuine admirers, a longtime member and apologist.

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Posted in "Red-Brown Commission", Double Genocide, Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, Germany, History, Legacy of 23 June 1941, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Media Watch, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Comments Off on Major German Holocaust Scholar Slips (Again) into Baltic Nationalist Discourse

Letter from a German Soldier in Kaunas, 29 June 1941



DOCUMENTS   |   HISTORY

by Andreas Kuck

The following letter, presented in German facsmile of the original and in a draft English translation, was sent by German soldier Heinrich Sandt (1908 — 19??) from Kaunas (Kovno), Lithuania, on 29 June 1941 (the letter is both dated and stamped with the date). He was a member of the 10th Company of Infantry Regiment 89 (later Grenadier Regiment 89). He wrote the letter to his wife Elisabeth about what he witnessed in Kaunas. The 89th appears to have crossed the Nemunas (Nieman River) on 25 June 1941. 

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Posted in Documents, History, Legacy of 23 June 1941, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Memoirs, News & Views | Comments Off on Letter from a German Soldier in Kaunas, 29 June 1941

Dov Levin (1925 — 2016)



PROF. DOV LEVIN

Kaunas (Kovno) 1925 — Jerusalem 2016

His life. Author of The Litvaks, the Lithuania volume of Yad Vashem’s Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities (Pinkas Hakehillot), and numerous books and studies. In Defending History. Returning his award from the Lithuanian government in solidarity with Yitzhak Arad (2008). Protesting a “one-sided Holocaust conference” in Jerusalem (2009). Photo: speaking at Leivick House Tel Aviv event for Dr. Rachel Margolis (2009). Editor’s comment.

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Posted in A 21st Century Campaign Against Lithuanian Holocaust Survivors?, Dov Levin (1925 - 2016), Israel, Legacy of 23 June 1941, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Obituaries | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Dov Levin (1925 — 2016)

Wiesenthal Center Calls on Kaunas Mayor to End Abuse of “Seventh Fort”; Pressure Builds on Vilnius Mayor’s Jewish Politics



JERUSALEM—The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel Office today issued a press release (text below), including a quote from its director, Dr. Efraim Zuroff, calling on Visvaldas Matijošaitis, the mayor of Kaunas (Kovno), Lithuania’s second city, to ban weddings and other celebrations from the now privatized parts of the historic Seventh Fort, where thousands of Kaunas Jews were humiliated, tortured and murdered starting with the first week of the Lithuanian Holocaust in late June 1941.

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Celebrations of Fascism, Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Efraim Zuroff, Human Rights, Kaunas Neo-Nazi Marches, Legacy of 23 June 1941, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Šimašius | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Wiesenthal Center Calls on Kaunas Mayor to End Abuse of “Seventh Fort”; Pressure Builds on Vilnius Mayor’s Jewish Politics

Celebrating (!) 75th Anniversary of Start of the Lithuanian Holocaust (23 June 2016)?



VILNIUS—For the tiny and dwindling group of Holocaust survivors in this part of the world, the indelibly cursed day the genocide began was June 23rd 1941, when hordes of young local “nationalists,” some affiliated with the fascist Lithuanian Activist Front (LAF) — which had put in writing its intentions for Jewish fellow-citizens beforehand — began to murder, plunder and rape their neighbors in at least forty locations before the first German soldiers even got there, as confirmed by numerous historians and eyewitnesses. Within a few days, most would don white-armbands.

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Posted in Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, Human Rights, Legacy of 23 June 1941, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Media Watch, News & Views, Politics of Memory, Vilnius Jewish Life (from 2016) | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Celebrating (!) 75th Anniversary of Start of the Lithuanian Holocaust (23 June 2016)?

We Shall Never Forget Kazimierz Sakowicz’s “Ponary Diary”



BOOKS  |  OPINION  |  LITHUANIA  |  HISTORY

by Roland Binet (Braine-l’Alleud/Belgium)

Ponary Diary, 1941 — 1943. A Bystander’s Account of a Mass Murder. by Kazimierz Sakowicz. Edited by Yitzhak Arad. Foreword by Rachel Margolis. Yale University Press: New Haven and London 2005.

It goes without saying that a book of eyewitness Holocaust testimony penned at Lithuania’s largest mass grave site in the years 1941 to 1943, and first published in English in 2005, does not lose its importance for those who have not read it even a decade later; even if many other, much less important books, sport a more recent date of publication. Moreover, given the Lithuanian government’s campaign against the scholar who rediscovered and first published the manuscript in the 1990s, and against the scholar who edited the English edition cited above (both as part of its campaign against Jewish partisan survivors), the poignancy and human interest are even greater. It is indeed  a most appropriate time to pay tribute to that rediscoverer, Dr. Rachel Margolis (1921—2015), who passed away in Rehovot, Israel last summer, without realizing, in her nineties, her dying wish of visiting her native Vilna one last time, because of her fear of prosecutors’ threats and intimidation.

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Posted in A 21st Century Campaign Against Lithuanian Holocaust Survivors?, Books, History, Legacy of 23 June 1941, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Memoirs, News & Views, Ponár (Ponary, Paneriai), Roland Binet, Vilnius Jewish Life (from 2016) | Comments Off on We Shall Never Forget Kazimierz Sakowicz’s “Ponary Diary”

Documents Which Argue for Ethnic Cleansing (by Kazys Škirpa, Stasys Raštikis, Stasys Lozoraitis and Petras Klimas in 1940-1941 and by Birutė Teresė Burauskaitė in 2015)



O P I N I O N    /    H I S T O R Y

by Andrius Kulikauskas

01-SkirpaRastikisKlimasLozoraitisBurauskaite

As of October 28, 2015, the home page of the Genocide and Resistance Research Center of Lithuania has a link to an authorative statement by General Director Birutė Teresė Burauskaitė about Kazys Škirpa. She responds to a request for information by the City of Kaunas, which has a street in Škirpa’s name. Škirpa was Lithuania’s representative in Berlin, the leader of the Lithuanian Activist Front, organizer of Lithuania’s anti-Soviet rebellion and Prime Minister of Lithuania’s Provisional Government in 1941. In bold letters she emphasizes:

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Posted in Andrius Kulikauskas, Antisemitism & Bias, Bold Citizens Speak Out, Christian-Jewish Issues, Collaborators Glorified, Documents, Genocide Center (Vilnius), History, Human Rights, Legacy of 23 June 1941, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Museums, News & Views, Opinion | Comments Off on Documents Which Argue for Ethnic Cleansing (by Kazys Škirpa, Stasys Raštikis, Stasys Lozoraitis and Petras Klimas in 1940-1941 and by Birutė Teresė Burauskaitė in 2015)

Vilnius Mayor Plays with Fire: Yiddish, Pilfered Jewish Gravestones, and an Olympics of “Barbarism”



O P I N I O N     /     C E M E T E R I E S    /     P I R A M Ó N T    /    P A P E R   T R A I L

by Dovid Katz

VILNIUS—This city’s dashing young new mayor, Remigijus Šimašius, elected last spring, has now added Yiddish to the previously bilingual (Lithuanian-English) signs, wrought of expensive metal in rounded-edged casement, in times of austerity for pensioners and others in town. These signs are being placed near Soviet-era edifices made of pilfered Jewish gravestones (matséyves) that are a blot on this charming East European capital. This is the latest model featured on the mayor’s office website:

mayorskhokhme

Photo: Vilnius Municipality / Mayor’s Office.

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Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Christian-Jewish Issues, Collaborators Glorified, CPJCE (London), Double Genocide, Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, Human Rights, Legacy of 23 June 1941, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in Šnipiškės / Shnípishok), Opinion, Politics of Memory, Reformed Evangelical Church (Vilnius), Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Šimašius, Yiddish Affairs | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Vilnius Mayor Plays with Fire: Yiddish, Pilfered Jewish Gravestones, and an Olympics of “Barbarism”

But Will New Vilnius Mayor Remove City’s Shrines to Holocaust Perpetrators?



O P I N I O N

VILNIUS—Vilnius’s new mayor, the honorable Remigijus Šimašius, continues to express profound respect for his city’s Jewish heritage of many centuries’ standing. His dapper style, originality and flamboyance have impressed many. But some raise questions about the choices he makes about which issues to address or ignore. Julius Norwilla’srecent comment contrasts the mayor’s “instant metal sign” marking gravestones found in the walls of an electric sub-station, marked as a symptom of Soviet barbarism, with his public silence — hopefully soon to be broken! — about plans to build a $25,000,000 convention and entertainment complex smack in the middle of the city’s oldest Jewish cemetery. Hopefully, the mayor will respond to the appeal to authorities from his constituent Professor Pinchos Fridberg, one of his city’s last living Vilnius-born Holocaust survivors (one of about three left from an interwar population of 60,000 Jews that stood ar around 80,000 just before the Holocaust), as well as to the other public appeals to date, that have come from faithful Jewish and Christian sources alike.

New Section on Mayor Šimašius and Jewish Issues over the Years

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Posted in Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Collaborators Glorified, Debates on the Postwar "Forest Brothers", Legacy of 23 June 1941, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Museums, News & Views, Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in Šnipiškės / Shnípishok), Opinion, Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Šimašius | Tagged , | Comments Off on But Will New Vilnius Mayor Remove City’s Shrines to Holocaust Perpetrators?

Последняя книга поэта А.Босаса



МНЕНИЕ

Милан Херсонский

 ◊

Вянваре прошлого, 2014-го года из печати вышла новая книга стихов литовского поэта, публициста, члена Международной  ассоциации «Литва без  нацизма»  Александраса Босаса под названием «IŠ  TEN SUGRĮŽTANTIEMS. Apie ŠOA RIMTAI IR SU IRONIJA» («ТЕМ, КТО ВОЗВРАЩАЕТСЯ ОТТУДА. О ШОА СЕРЬЁЗНО И С ИРОНИЕЙ». yyyyyyyДалее «Тем, кто возвращается оттуда» – М.Х.).  А.Босас  стал первым в истории литовской литературы поэтом, который не только обратился к самой болезненной и негласно табуированной теме в истории Литвы – к теме Шоа, – но и посвятил ей не одно и не несколько стихотворений, а всю третью, к сожалению, последнюю книгу. В ней поэт не шопотом и не намёками, а «во весь голос» открыто и откровенно заявил о своём отношении к трагедии Шоа и так называемого «окончательного решения еврейского вопроса».

В годы нацистской оккупации германские нацисты при активной добровольной помощи весьма значительного количества организованных и вооружённых местных гражданских лиц, вступивших в военизированные подразделения полиции, уничтожили почти всю еврейскую общину, которая до Второй мировой войны была самой знаменитой и высокоразвитой общиной всемирной еврейской диаспоры в первой половине ХХ века. Евреи представляли в Литве  самое многочисленное национальное меньшинство населения. Еврейская община жила в мире и согласии с местным литовским, польским, русским населением, с другими национальными группами.

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Posted in Aleksandras Bosas, Arts, In Russian, Legacy of 23 June 1941, Lithuania, Milan Chersonski | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Последняя книга поэта А.Босаса

How Did Lithuanians Wrong Litvaks?



O P I N I O N    /    H I S T O R Y

by Andrius Kulikauskas

Iwill speak about painful things, and so I understand if some of you won’t want to listen and will step out.

It is most important that we empathize with the victims of the Holocaust, and yet we must also empathize with the perpetrators if we wish to understand what happened and who was responsible for what. Litvaks outside of Lithuania feel hurt that Lithuanians shirk responsibility for the Holocaust.

I won’t be indifferent. I am a deliberate Lithuanian. I was born in the diaspora. I chose to be Lithuanian. Is the Lithuanian worldview harmful? I must investigate.

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Posted in A 21st Century Campaign Against Lithuanian Holocaust Survivors?, Andrius Kulikauskas, History, Legacy of 23 June 1941, Lithuania, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Tagged , | Comments Off on How Did Lithuanians Wrong Litvaks?

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”).

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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)

Tourists Shocked at Monuments and Street Names for Holocaust Collaborators


Increasing numbers of summer tourists, in the spirit of “dark tourism” (and, in an EU/NATO country, a spirit of incredulity) are seeking out street names, public plaques, university lecture halls and other monuments to both collaborators and actual perpetrators of the Lithuanian Holocaust.

Some find the following sections helpful to locating specific sites:

(1) Anthology of street names and honors for killers and collaborators in Lithuania.

(2) Section on events and memorials for collaborators and perpetrators in various parts of Eastern Europe.

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Posted in Collaborators Glorified, Exotic Jewish Tourism, Human Rights, Legacy of 23 June 1941, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Politics of Memory | Comments Off on Tourists Shocked at Monuments and Street Names for Holocaust Collaborators

Milan Chersonski Reports on the Antifa Lietuva Event in Kaunas on 23 June 2013



МНЕНИЕ

Милан Херсонский


Шествие под лозунгом

«ФАЛЬСИФИКАЦИИ ИСТОРИИ – НЕТ!»

В соответствии с законом о памятных днях Литовской Республики, 23-е июня провозглашено национальной памятной датой – днём Июньского восстания 1941-го года. Как известно, уничтожение Еврейской общины Литвы началось в тот же день, что и восстание. Continue reading

Posted in Bold Citizens Speak Out, Collaborators Glorified, Events, In Russian, Kaunas Neo-Nazi Marches, Legacy of 23 June 1941, Milan Chersonski, News & Views, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Milan Chersonski Reports on the Antifa Lietuva Event in Kaunas on 23 June 2013

June 23rd: Lithuanian Anti-Fascist Group Mounts Protest in Kaunas Against Glorification of 1941 LAF Killers


Courageous Antifa Lietuva banner reads: “Real heroes rescued people instead of killing them. Remember the victims of the Holocaust”

Milan Chersonski was there. His report on the event. His take: “Let the world know that not everyone in Lithuania tolerates the distortion of history.” 

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Posted in Collaborators Glorified, Events, Free Speech & Democracy, Kaunas Neo-Nazi Marches, Legacy of 23 June 1941, Lithuania, News & Views, Politics of Memory | Comments Off on June 23rd: Lithuanian Anti-Fascist Group Mounts Protest in Kaunas Against Glorification of 1941 LAF Killers

Rehabilitation of the Past as a Tool in Today’s Politics



O P I N I O N

by Milan Chersonski

Milan Chersonski in Riga May 27 2013

Milan Chersonski reads his paper at the Riga conference, 27 May 2013

The following is the authorized English version of the paper read by Milan Chersonski in Riga on 27 May 2013 at the Second International Conference on Holocaust Museums and Memorial Places in Post-Communist Countries

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.

See also the Milan Chersonski section of Defending History.


I

In Eastern European countries occupied by Nazi Germany during World War II there was a phenomenon called “collaborationism”: the cooperation of individuals and organizations with the Nazi occupation regime. In the modern historiography of these countries, events of that fateful time are often presented not by historians, but primarily by right-wing or extreme right-wing politicians, who continue today to convince the public that the collaboration was in fact nothing but a form of struggle for independence, and a kind of resistance to the Nazi regime.

Sometimes this approach to the evaluation of historical events is called whitewashing. The purpose of this manipulative activity is clear: to absolve the erstwhile Nazi collaborators and pro-Nazi national organizations from the responsibility for the crimes against humanity committed during the Nazi occupation, and their countries from responsibility for Nazi crimes.

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Posted in Bold Citizens Speak Out, Collaborators Glorified, Double Genocide, Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, Genocide Center (Vilnius), History, Legacy of 23 June 1941, Lithuania, Milan Chersonski, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Comments Off on Rehabilitation of the Past as a Tool in Today’s Politics

Landsbergis. Then and Now.



O P I N I O N

by Dovid Katz

 

Vytautas Landsbergis is one of the giants of the twentieth century. Along with Poland’s Lech Wałęsa and then-Czechoslovakia’s Václav Havel, Landsbergis led his people from foreign domination to freedom and democracy. Nothing these gentlemen might later on have said or done to their own legacies, particularly in the subsequent century, can detract from their singular achievements in contributing to the downfall of the Soviet Union and the freedom of the subjugated nations on its western periphery.

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Posted in Double Games, Dovid Katz, Human Rights, Identity Theft of the Litvak Heritage, Legacy of 23 June 1941, LGBT Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Roma | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Landsbergis. Then and Now.

On the Recent Amateur Treatments of the Role of the Provisional Government of 1941 in the Mass Media



O P I N I O N

by Shimon Alperovich

Authorized translation from Lithuanian by Geoff Vasil of the 26 June 2012 statement issued by Dr. Shimon Alperovich (Simonas Alperavičius), chairperson of the Jewish Community of Lithuania. Posted on the community’s website at: http://www.lzb.lt/en/home/691-recent.html. According to sources in the community, Dr. Alperovich wrote this in response to an article on Delfi.lt by Vidmantas Valiušaitis called “Why are Historians Afraid of the Facts?” (Lithuanian text here), and when Delfi allegedly declined to publish Dr. Alperovich’s response,  the community placed it on its own webpage and elsewhere.


Recently there has been an increasing number of internet articles by amateur, non-professional authors without training in history expressing approval for the actions of the 1941 Provisional Government of Lithuania toward the Jews of Lithuania, without regard for the antisemitic actions of that government in the context of the mass murder of the Jews of Lithuania already underway at that time.

The Lithuanian Jewish Community earlier provided an assessment of the Lithuanian Activist Front and the Provisional Government.

It is saddening that the authors of these texts choose to ignore the conclusions of professional historians as well as the findings of the special commission established by decree of former president Valdas Adamkus and operating under the Lithuanian government, which clearly and categorically judges the actions of the LAF and PG thus:

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Bold Citizens Speak Out, Collaborators Glorified, Genocide Center (Vilnius), History, Legacy of 23 June 1941, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Media Watch, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Shimon Alperovich (1928 – 2014) | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on On the Recent Amateur Treatments of the Role of the Provisional Government of 1941 in the Mass Media

A Heroic Narrative in Violation of Good Conscience


 


O P I N I O N

by Leonidas Donskis

 

The ceremonial reburial of the head of the Lithuanian Provisional Government (PG), Juozas Ambrazevičius-Brazaitis, which recently took place, and the tension and details associated with it, said more about Lithuania today than all the news and commentary over the past twenty years put together.

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Posted in Bold Citizens Speak Out, Collaborators Glorified, Events, Genocide Center (Vilnius), History, Legacy of 23 June 1941, Leonidas Donskis, Lithuania, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on A Heroic Narrative in Violation of Good Conscience

Statement in the Lithuanian Parliament by MPs Vytenis Andriukaitis and Algirdas Sysas



O P I N I O N

by Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis and Algirdas Sysas

The following is a translation of the statement submitted to the Lithuanian parliament (the Seimas) on 17 May 2012 by MPs Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis and Algirdas Sysas. The original is available here.


MPs Andriukaitis and Sysas in the Seimas (foreground). Photo courtesy Image Archive of the Seimas.

Several days ago we received an invitation to a ceremony for the reburial of the remains of Juozas Brazaitis Ambrazevičius (1903–1974) in the churchyard of the Kaunas Church of the Resurrection of Christ. A booklet was included with the invitation recounting the life and deeds of Juozas Brazaitis Ambrazevičius. It included his academic and pedagogical activity and his participation in the anti-Nazi and anti-Soviet resistance. It also presented an excerpt from a letter by Joshua Eilberg, chairman of the Immigration, Citizenship and International Law Sub-Committee of the Judiciary Committee of the US House of Representatives, saying that an investigation into the Juozas Brazaitis Ambrazevičius’s collaboration with the Nazis during World War II had been stopped.

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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.

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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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Glorification of Local Holocaust Perpetrators in Lithuania



Note: This page, last updated on 18 April 2012, covers some of the more recent and/or still-standing state-sponsored events and memorials honoring the LAF and other Holocaust perpetrators as “heroes” of Lithuania.

See also the COLLABORATORS GLORIFIED section

SPRING-SUMMER 2012 UPDATE:

STATE HONORS FOR THE 1941 NAZI PUPPET PRIME MINISTER


Vilnius: In an EU capital, in 2011, state-sponsored adulation of the local collaborators and participants in the Holocaust; key event is addressed by a former head of state, on the 70th anniversary of Hitler’s invasion

PARLIAMENT-SUPPORTED DOCUMENTARY FILM GLORIFIES 1941 ‘LITHUANIAN ACTIVIST FRONT’ (LAF) FASCIST MURDERERS & COLLABORATIONIST PROVISIONAL GOVERNMENT (PG) ON 70TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE OUTBREAK OF THE LITHUANIAN HOLOCAUST

———

Film’s June 22nd Premiere in Vilnius was addressed by former President Valdas Adamkus; Attendees given a souvenir ticket; Ushers dressed in Nazi army uniforms stamped each ticket with the Nazi emblem and photo-ops were offered with men dressed as LAF. Eyewitness accountDefendingHistory.com analysis of the film.

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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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Lithuanian Ministry of Defense Honors ‘Lithuanian Activist Front’ (LAF) Nazi Collaborators (announced without comment on ‘Bernardinai’)



O P I N I O N

by Dovid Katz

The campaign to distort World War II history in the direction of East European far-right models and to glorify local Nazi collaborators and perpetrators continues apace.

Bernardinai.lt, usually a bastion of tolerance and resistance against racism and ultranationalism, today published without comment a press release from the Lithuanian Ministry of Defense verbatim, about yesterday’s ministry activities honoring the Nazi-collaborating Lithuanian Activist Front (LAF), on the occasion of an anniversary of the killing of some of its leaders and members by Soviet forces.

The article is here.  A full English translation is here.

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‘Day and Night’ is an Epoch-Making Play for Modern Lithuania



O P I N I O N / R E V I E W

by Birutė Ušinskaitė

Cover of playbill

It was just another rainy and not overly cold evening in early December of the year 2011, but the play I was privileged to see at the Kaunas Chamber Theatre, Day and Night, proved to me, a proud Vilnius native and resident, that not all that is bold and brilliant originates in our capital.

For the first time in modern Lithuanian history, in my experience at any rate, a Lithuanian play on the Holocaust did not try to deflect attention ― or responsibility ― to the Germans or to some pseudo-objective forces of society, or to stick to some “kosher” theme like the dilemmas of Gens and the Judenrat in the Vilna Ghetto in order to avoid talking about what is frankly the main point for our country: the voluntary participation of many of our countrymen in the mass murder of the Jewish citizens of our own country, in some cases before the Nazis even arrived.

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The Brand New HOLOCAUST Room in the BASEMENT of the City Center GENOCIDE Museum in Vilnius


Photos by Richard Schofield (© R. Schofield).  Text by Dovid Katz. From a visit on 18 November 2011.


Which is worse?

Genocide Museum on ground zero of the Holocaust in Eastern Europe that does not mention the Holocaust,

Or

One that, more than a year after being exposed in this journal in the summer of 2010, and a confluence of international pressures, has added, in October 2011, a single solitary cell in the basement, unannounced on the main floor, that distorts the Lithuanian Holocaust and actually glorifies (as ‘rebels’) the local killers who unleashed the Holocaust in the country, while failing to mention their Holocaust role in an exhibit on the Holocaust?

You decide. . .   

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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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Račinskas’s Version of ‘Holocaust Education’: Red-Brown Commission Director General Speaks in the Lithuanian Parliament


Updates (newest first):

His views finally came through in English in a German documentary film

Mr. Racinskas calls prominent Holocaust survivor a liar on the commission’s website

He tries to deny LAF murders “on racial basis” before arrival of German forces in 1941

Says European Commission “spits in the face” when it fails to accept a Double Genocide resolution from the Baltics

The following is DefendingHistory.com’s translation (from the tape) of the concluding speech of the 29-30 June 2011 conference (reports here and here), delivered by Ronaldas Račinskas, director general (sometimes listed as executive director) of the government sponsored ‘International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania’ (known for short as the ‘Red-Brown Commission’), which is housed in the Office of the Prime Minister of Lithuania. It can serve as a potent example of the state-sponsored Holocaust Obfuscation movement which presents one face domestically, a second in the European Parliament, and a third to naive Western Holocaust Studies groups.

Simple, really. Tell the locals there was no Holocaust, just a complicated morass of  mixed-up perpetrators and victims (and heck, those Jews were mostly communists anyway). Tell the European Parliament there were two equal genocides and they must legislate the equality of totalitarian regimes. And tell the foreign Jews and the West you need money to pursue Holocaust studies and commemoration. They’ll have to believe you. After all, you’re in the prime minister’s office of an EU government. Elementary, really?

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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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The Denial that is Part of Holocaust Obfuscation: Second Day of the Lithuanian Parliament’s Conference



by Dovid Katz

The Lithuanian Holocaust broke out in the week of 22 June 1941, when the Nazis attacked the Soviet Union; it is the week when, in many locations, so-called ‘patriots’ and ‘rebels’ in large numbers began to humiliate, plunder, injure and slaughter Jewish neighbors before the first Germans ever arrived. At the conference held yesterday and today in the country’s parliament, this was the Elephant in the Room that reared its head now and again, no matter how hard the political and academic planners worked to ensure that it would disappear in a program dedicated to virtually every other conceivable aspect (translation of original program here; final printed English version of the program here).

SEE ALSO:

Report on the first day of the conference.

Full translation of Mr. Racinskas’s speech.

The plot thickens. These are the very ‘patriots’ and ‘rebels’ who are being honored this week by major state institutions, and to no small degree, at this very conference. As if their launch of the Holocaust, which went on under German rule, and with their continued massive voluntary participation, is either some kind of uncorroborated slander, or, as if this is some very tiny detail in an otherwise glorious campaign of rebellion against Soviet forces (with no mention that the USSR’s troops were actually fleeing the German invasion, not their ‘rebellion’).

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In Delirium of Obfuscation: First Day of the Lithuanian Parliament’s Conference on the 70th Anniversary of Hitler’s Attack on the USSR



by Dovid Katz

Today was Day 1 of the Lithuanian parliament’s two-day ‘International Conference: The Beginning of the Soviet-German War in the Baltic States in 1941 — 29-30 June 2011, Vilnius’.  It is being held as part of a series of events to mark the seventieth anniversary of the Nazi War against the Soviet Union, unleashed on 22 June 1941.

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Eyewitness Account of the Screening of ‘Uprising of the Enslaved’



by [NAME WITHHELD ON REQUEST]

The premiere of the Lithuanian-language film Pavergtųjų sukilimas, or Uprising of the Enslaved, was held in Vilnius in the early evening of 22 June 2011, timed to coincide with the anniversary of what is commonly called the “June Uprising”.

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Litvaks and their Descendants Issue Public Letter Calling for Change in Lithuanian Government’s Holocaust Policies


 


Text of the public letter follows. Queries may be sent to Professor Danny Ben-Moshe at: Danny.Ben-Moshe@vu.edu.au.  UPDATES: Covered by JTA and the Jewish Chronicle.


We the undersigned Litvaks — Jews of Lithuanian origin and their direct and immediate descendants — hereby express:

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Yad Vashem, in Jolt to Holocaust Survivors, Joining Revisionist Holocaust Conference in the Lithuanian Parliament


UPDATE: On 27 June 2011 at 3:31 PM (Vilnius time), the Israeli Embassy in Riga (responsible for Lithuania as well as Latvia) emailed DefendingHistory.com to say that Yad Vashem’s participation in the event has been cancelled. This was confirmed in a further email from Yad Vashem at 3:56 PM. In Vilnius, however, the name of Yad Vashem and its designated representative continue to appear on programs and brochures, giving the impression that the event enjoys the formal participation of Yad Vashem.

Hopefully, an appropriate public statement from Yad Vashem will clear up the matter, which has enormous consequences for the campaign to legitimize — using naive foreign scholars and institutions — the campaign to glorify the local Holocaust murderers as freedom fighters, and more widely, the Double Genocide campaign, which knows how to pose as Holocaust Studies for foreign consumption.

According to a conference program posted on the website of the Lithuanian Parliament, Yad Vashem is the only Jewish institution sending a representative to the latest conference mounted by the Lithuanian government in its campaign to downgrade the Holocaust and whitewash the Lithuanian Holocaust’s first murderers (the L.A.F. and other fascist groups), often by glorifying them as ‘freedom fighters’. The printed brochure for the conference, to be held on 29 and 30 June 2011, announces the event as a joint project of the Lithuanian Parliament (Seimas) and the deeply antisemitic Genocide Research Center. One of the Center’s top ‘specialists’ participated in the recent neo-Nazi parade and went on to launch a public antisemitic campaign. He was neither removed from his post nor publicly reprimanded, as the season’s conferences plow ahead full steam.

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Education Ministry and Association of Museums Encourage Activities to Commemorate the Activities of ‘Partisans’ including the Murderers who Unleashed the Lithuanian Holocaust; No mention of anti-Nazi partisans…


At the behest of Lithuania’s Education Ministry, the Association of Lithuanian Museums today canvassed museums and other institutions asking for information about what is being done concretely to commemorate the celebration of local fascists who collaborated with Hitler, including the killers who unleashed the Lithuanian Holocaust (Lithuanian Activist Front or LAF), and the collaborationist Provisional Government (PG).

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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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On 1941, the Jews, and Us



O P I N I O N

by Nida Vasiliauskaitė

I read Kęstutis Girnius’s and Leonidas Donskis’s essays on this more than once and can’t get rid of some strange impressions. Even if I pretended that I knew nothing about the Provisional Government, the LAF and that historical period in general, and my only source of information were these two texts addressed to each other, they would suffice to start to make clear some things not just about the past, but also about its intimate connection with the present. How this is being talked about here and now is not less important than that (and the things connected with that) which actually happened. 

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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 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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‘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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When Will the Truth Finally Set Us Free?



O P I N I O N

by Leonidas Donskis

I will admit that when I read political analyst Kęstutis Girnius’s comments on the Lithuanian Provisional Government and the Lithuanian Activists Front, and about the supposedly low level of academic research and documentation of these phenomena, I found myself in a state of disbelief that a person whom I consider one of the most soberminded and most insightful of our political commentators could write this. Without citing his earlier statements on radio and in publications on this topic, here is the link to Kęstutis Girnius’s latest commentary:

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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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Posted in EU, Exotic Jewish Tourism, Genocide Center (Vilnius), Legacy of 23 June 1941, Lithuania, Museums, News & Views, Politics of Memory | Comments Off on The Genocide Museum