Joseph Levinson

Joseph Levinson’s 1990s Map of Lithuanian Mass-Murder Sites is Released by Family



DOCUMENTS      |    HISTORY   |    LITHUANIA   |   JOSEPH LEVINSON

VILNIUS—The Vilnius-based family of the late pioneering historian of the Lithuanian Holocaust, Joseph Levinson (1917–2015) has today released the map of Lithuanian mass-grave sites where the country’s Jewish population was annihilated, mostly in 1941. The map appeared in Levinson’s 1997 Book of Sorrow, but had not been released separately, and has occasionally been overlooked by later historians, who have naturally been able to add to the roughly 200 sites discovered, visited, detailed and mapped by Levinson in the 1990s. In addition to the image below, it is now available as PDF. More on Levinson’s life and books can be found at the website www.JosephLevinson.com. Defending History has a Joseph Levison section.

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Joseph Levinson’s Symbolic Gravestones for His Parents “Speak Out” During His Own Funeral (12 April 2015)



C E M E T E R I E S   /   P H O T O G R A P H Y

by Dovid Katz

As dozens gathered at Vilnius Jewish cemetery to bid farewell to dear Joseph Levinson today, those who read Yiddish could not fail to notice the two symbolic gravestones he erected on the family plot, in Yiddish by choice.

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Posted in Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Joseph Levinson, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Symbology, Yiddish Affairs | Comments Off on Joseph Levinson’s Symbolic Gravestones for His Parents “Speak Out” During His Own Funeral (12 April 2015)

Joseph Levinson (1917-2015)



Joseph Levinson, 98,

Dies in Vilnius

JOSEPH LEVINSON (1917-2015)

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Posted in Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Joseph Levinson, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Obituaries | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Joseph Levinson (1917-2015)

Exhibit Honoring Jewish World War II Veterans Disappears Into Vilnius Thin Air



O P I N I O N

by Dovid Katz

VILNIUS—Three Vilnius-based members of the Defending History team visited the Pylimo Street section of the Vilna Gaon Jewish State Museum of Lithuania this week, and asked to be shown the famous and widely admired exhibit honoring the Jewish veterans of the war against Hitler in Lithuania. The exhibit, titled Lithuania’s Jews in the Struggle Against Nazism, was opened in a spirit of unity, reconciliation and mutual respect, some fourteen years ago (PDF of the report in the Spring 2000 English edition of the Jewish community’s then quadrilingual newspaper, Jerusalem of Lithuania, which was edited by Milan Chersonski from 1999 until 2011; JPEG; reduced image below). Its primary author was Joseph Levinson.

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Posted in Arts, Dovid Katz, Exotic Jewish Tourism, History, Human Rights, Joseph Levinson, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Museums, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Comments Off on Exhibit Honoring Jewish World War II Veterans Disappears Into Vilnius Thin Air

New Joseph Levinson Website Has Page on Old Jewish Cemeteries in Lithuania


The recently launched website JosephLevinson.com provides renewed opportunities for acquiring his two major books that are available in English. One, The Shoah in Lithuania, includes documents of the Lithuanian Activist Front detailing their intentions for Jewish citizens, issued before the outbreak of war on 22 June 1941. It is also rich in resources on understanding how, where and why the far right’s “Double Genocide” revisionism arose in the first place. These are just two of the many areas covered by the book.

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Posted in Bold Citizens Speak Out, Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Exotic Jewish Tourism, Joseph Levinson, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on New Joseph Levinson Website Has Page on Old Jewish Cemeteries in Lithuania

On the Preservation of Lithuania’s Old Jewish Cemeteries



O P I N I O N

by Joseph Levinson

 

Joseph Levinson (Josifas Levinsonas) in Vilnius, 2013. Courtesy of the Levinson family.

On April 25th 2013 an event dedicated to the recording, maintenance and preservation of old Jewish cemeteries in Lithuania was held at the Vilnius premises of the Lithuanian Jewish Community. It was organized by the NGO “Maceva” and chaired by one of the NGO’s founders and leading figures, himself a resident of Brussels.

The April 25th evening in Vilnius went “smoothly” until a veteran member of the Jewish Community politely pointed out that much of the work that the NGO was taking credit for and presented as a miracle dropped from the heavens had in fact been carried out many years earlier by the very Jewish Community in whose premises the event was held. There was a moment of shock  when the event’s chairman reacted by saying “There are different kinds of Jews!” instead of thanking the senior member of our community for his well-intentioned, polite and factual corrective remarks from the floor.

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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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Posted in Collaborators Glorified, Documents, History, Joseph Levinson, Legacy of 23 June 1941, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs | Comments Off on Lithuanian Activist Front (LAF) Prewar Proclamations on Plans for their Jewish Fellow-Citizens of Lithuania

Joseph Levinson, 93, Holocaust Historian, Honored in London; But Q & A session is manipulated by translator


Joseph Levinson of Vilnius, born in March 1917  — an anti-Nazi war veteran, founding figure of Vilnius’s ‘Green House’, historian of the Lithuanian Holocaust, and author of The Book of Sorrow (Vilnius 1997) and The Shoah in Lithuania (English edition: Vilnius 2006)was honored in London’s Central Synagogue at a splendid event on Wednesday evening 1 September 2010. Details here.

Elegantly chaired by the synagogue’s Rabbi Barry Marcus, a scion of luminous Lithuanian rabbis, himself born in South Africa, it included speeches by Iain Duncan Smith (‘IDS’), Britain’s Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, and the Israeli ambassador to the UK, HE Ron Prosor. The Central Synagogue’s hall was packed.  [Added 20 September 2010: See the 2 Sept report in The Jewish News, and Simon Round’s interview with Mr Levinson in The Jewish Chronicle.]

Left to right: Rabbi Barry Marcus, Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosor, Vilnius Holocaust historian Joseph Levinson and UK secretary of state for work and pensions, Iain Duncan Smith. Photo by John R. Rifkin. Courtesy Rabbi Barry Marcus & Central Synagogue.

HITB, whose editor attended the event, is sorry to have to report that the final portion of the evening, comprising Mr Levinson’s replies to questions from the audience, was manipulated by the Lithuanian translator.

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