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’.