Opinion

The Holocaust: A Photographic and Musical Tribute



O P I N I O N   /   M U S I C

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

I know persons within my circle of acquaintances who refuse to look at the terrible pictures that this video exhibits. Photographs of Jewish victims of beatings, slayings. Pictures of dead Jewish victims. Pictures of local collaborators in the process of helping the Nazis in killing Jews.

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Posted in Arts, Latvia, Lithuania, Music, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Roland Binet | Comments Off

A Second Political Case



O P I N I O N

by Evaldas Balčiūnas

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My Monday  morning began with confusion. Usually the first thing I do on a Monday morning is prepare a work-report on the week gone by, but the police called me Friday, August 29, 2014, and later delivered a summons ordering me to appear at nine o’clock on September first at the office of Ovidijus Brazys, police investigator with the criminal police department of the Šiauliai municipal police commissariat, in room 312 at Purienų street no. 48, Šiauliai.

As I understood it, this was at the behest of Vilnius police investigator Giedrė Griguolienė who had called me back in early August, on the 8th to be precise. As always, I went to the interrogation without a lawyer. It’s probably time to hire one. This is already the second case against me since the beginning of May, after the first contact with police investigator Reda Šimkutė on May 14, 2014.

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Posted in Aleksandras Bosas, EU, Evaldas Balčiūnas, Free Speech & Democracy, Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Memoirs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Comments Off

Alex Ryvchin Speaks Out at Babi Yar Memorial Event in Sydney, Australia



O P I N I O N

by Alex Ryvchin

The following is the text of the opening address delivered today by Alex Ryvchin, public affairs director at the Executive Council of Australian Jewry, at the memorial and monument unveiling commemorating the victims of Babi Yar near Kiev, Ukraine.

Ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry and the co-hosts of this event, Friends of Refugees of Eastern Europe, the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, the Sydney Jewish Museum and the Australian Association of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Descendants, I want to welcome you here today and to thank you for giving up your time to honour the victims of the Babi Yar Massacre.

“Today in the very places where these massacres took place, there are attempts to revise or deny the history of the Holocaust. War criminals are being rehabilitated into great patriots.”

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Posted in Australia, Events, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Ukraine | Tagged , , | Comments Off

N.Y. Yivo Announces Campaign for Five and a Quarter Million Dollars for new “Vilna Project”



O P I N I O N

by Dovid Katz

 

In a widely disseminated press release today, the Yivo Institute for Jewish Research announced the launch of a fundraising campaign for US $5,250,000 for the “Yivo Vilna Project.” We are told that it is for “a seven-year international project to preserve, digitize and reunite virtually Yivo’s prewar archives located in New York City and Vilnius, Lithuania, through a dedicated web portal” that will create “the largest collection of Yiddish language materials in the world.”

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Posted in Double Games, Double Genocide, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Litvak Identity Theft?, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Yivo Manipulated? | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

Israel Chronicle


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Israeli Foreign Policy and the Holocaust in Eastern Europe

(1990 — 2014)

Collation of Debates and Bibliography

Jump to:  2014   2013   2012   2011   2010   2009   2008   2007   earlier years

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Posted in Israel, Lithuania, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Yad Vashem Manipulated? | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Respectfully Disagreeing with Professor Timothy Snyder


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Jump to Reviews of Bloodlands


This journal holds leading historian Professor Timothy Snyder (Yale University) in the highest esteem, and trusts that this select list of reviews taking issue with aspects of Bloodlands of direct concern to DefendingHistory.com will not be taken amiss. It does not include reviews which have engaged in personal attack or pursued grudges, or which focus on other issues.

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Posted in Australia, Books, Double Genocide, EU, Lithuania, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, United States | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

Five Years of Defending History Dot Com



F

ive years have elapsed since this journal was founded as Holocaust in the Baltics on 6 Sept. 2009, in memory of Professor Meir Shub (1924-2009). Outside coverage includes David Hirsch in Engage and Jonathan Freedland in the Guardian (2009); Avi Friedman in Mishpacha, Ricky Ben-David in the Jerusalem Post, Mark Ames in The Nation, and Wendy Robbins on BBC World Service (2010); Cindy Mindell in the Jewish Ledger and Peter Jukes in Motley Moose (2011); Danny Ben-Moshe in his film Rewriting History (2012); Bernard Dichek in Jerusalem Report (2013); Richard Bloom in his film Defending Holocaust History (2014).

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An Appeal to the Conscience of the Members of the Lithuanian Government’s International Commission for the Evaluation etc.


[updated]

Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, "Red-Brown Commission", 70 Years Declaration, Double Genocide, Germany, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Pinchos Fridberg, Politics of Memory, Prague "Platform", Yad Vashem Manipulated?, Yivo Manipulated? | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

Lithuanian TV Nixes LGBT Rights Video, Again



L G B T   R I G H T S    /   H U M A N   R I G H T S

The following report appeared today on the LGL website, and is reposted here by permission of LGL.

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Posted in Human Rights, LGBT Rights, Lithuania, Media Watch, News & Views, Opinion | Comments Off

What Riga Ghetto Survivors Recall about Herberts Cukurs, Now “Hero” of New Show in Latvia



O P I N I O N / H I S T O R Y

by Aleksandrs Feigmanis (Riga)

Herberts Cukurs (1900-1965) had been an officer and a famous aviator during the years of the interwar Latvian Republic (1918-1940). After Nazi Germany’s 1941 occupation of Latvia, he became a significant figure in the infamous Arājs Kommando (or Sonderkommando Arajs), a notorious killing unit during the Latvian Holocaust. The Arājs group consisted of about 1,200 people, mostly local Latvians. It was established at the beginning of July 1941 within the German security services.

The Arājs Kommando carried out the killing of at least 30,000 Jews in numerous cities and towns in Latvia. The toll included the family of my grandfather in Vilani (in Yiddish Vilon), which occurred at dawn on August 4, 1941. The victims were his parents, and his sisters and their husbands and young children.

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Posted in Aleksandrs Feigmanis, Antisemitism & Bias, Arts, Bold Citizens Speak Out, Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, EU, History, Latvia, News & Views, Opinion | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off

Our Staff Writer Evaldas Balčiūnas Interrogated for Articles Opposing Glorification of Nazi Collaborators and Current Neo-Nazism



M E M O I R   /   O P I N I O N

by Evaldas Balčiūnas

Note: This memoir continues the narrative started in the author’s earlier accounts of 22 May 2014, of 4 July, and of 9 July. See also our report of 22 May with image and translation of the actual summons. Evaldas Balčiūnas’s articles on Holocaust collaborators who are glorified in state-funded public settings can be found (in reverse chronological order) in the DH sections Evaldas Balčiūnas and Collaborators Glorified. See also sections on Free Speech and Human Rights. Other Lithuanian citizens disturbed by police for opposing state honors for Holocaust collaborators include Saulius Beržinis, Aleksandras Bosas, and Giedrius Grabauskas. This memoir was translated by Geoff Vasil and the final version approved by the author.


My wife told me that the police who delivered the summons on the afternoon of July 8th 2014 carried a large A4 format photograph of me. The police had serious plans… If I hadn’t told my wife to accept the summons, I might have been subject to an operation to locate or even arrest me. It was possible to laugh, but I needed to find transportation. I didn’t want to take my car. There and back entailed five hours of driving. It would be exhausting, and the experience could be expected to throw me off balance during the interrogation.

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, EU, Evaldas Balčiūnas, Free Speech & Democracy, Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Memoirs, News & Views, Opinion | Comments Off

Regina Kopilevich, Genealogist and Historical Tour Guide for Jewish Lithuania, Speaks Out on Yiddish in Vilnius


VILNIUS—Regina Kopilevich, whose extensive contributions to Jewish genealogy and tourism have been covered by the New York Times, today released a statement about the new Yiddish language teaching positions planned in Vilnius. Ms. Kopilevich is one of the leading tour guides in the Baltic region for both Jewish history and family roots voyagers.

The statement follows in short order those released by Milan Chersonski, longtime editor (1999-2011) of Jerusalem of Lithuania, the Jewish community’s former newspaper; Daniel Galay, director of Leivick House and the Union of Yiddish Writers and Journalists in Israel; and Professor Olegas Poliakovas, a philology professor at Vilnius University and longtime member of the university’s senate. The positions are being arranged by high officials of the World Jewish Congress.

The text of Ms. Kopilevich’s statement follows.


Open Letter from Regina Kopilevich

Vilnius, 28 July 2014

Professor Dovid Katz first came to Lithuania when it was part of the Soviet Union, and set out on 25 years of interviewing and recording (and always helping) aged Holocaust survivors in Lithuania, Latvia, Belarus, Ukraine, and northeastern Poland.

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Posted in Bold Citizens Speak Out, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Regina Kopilevich, Vilnius Yiddish Institute, World Jewish Congress (WJC) and ORT | Tagged , , | Comments Off

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, News & Views, Obituaries, Opinion | Comments Off

Milan Chersonski, Longtime Editor of “Jerusalem of Lithuania” Calls on World Jewish Congress to Advertise New Yiddish Positions in Vilnius


VILNIUS—Milan Chersonski made public today the text of his letter to Ronald S. Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress. Mr. Chersonski was editor-in-chief of the quadrilingual (English-Lithuanian-Russian-Yiddish) Jerusalem of Lithuania, the official publication of the Jewish Community of Lithuania, from 1999 to 2011. From 1979 to 1999 he was artistic director of the Jewish Folk Theatre in Vilnius, which for many years had been the only Yiddish theatre in the Soviet Union. A film documentary tribute to his work was released in 2012 (part 1; part 2).

Mr. Chersonski is a regular contributor to Defending History. This statement reflects his personal views.


An Open Letter  to Ronald S. Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress

 Vilnius, 25 July 2014

Dear Mr. Lauder,

I am one of your loyal admirers who for many years, as editor (in the years 1999-2011) of the quadrilingual newspaper of the Jewish Community of Lithuania, Jerusalem of Lithuania, has been following your achievements, and also your deep commitment to Judaism via a range of philanthropic initiatives that have made a substantial difference for the betterment of Jewish life. When you were appointed to the presidency of the World Jewish Congress in 2007, I was proud as editor to give the event and your many achievements front page coverage (see Jerusalem of Lithuania, 2007, no. 5-6: page 1).

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Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, Bold Citizens Speak Out, Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Milan Chersonski, News & Views, Opinion, Vilnius Yiddish Institute, World Jewish Congress (WJC) and ORT | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off

Prof. Olegas Poliakovas, Longtime Member of Vilnius University’s Senate, Speaks Out on New Yiddish Positions in Vilnius


 VILNIUS—The office of Vilnius University’s Professor Olegas Poliakovas, a leading philologist and member of the Senate of Vilnius University (from 2001 to 2014), issued this statement today concerning possible new Yiddish studies positions in Vilnius.

For background to recent developments, please see the earlier report on the World Jewish Congress initiative; the statement issued by Daniel Galay, director of Leyvik House, the center of Yiddish cultural activities in Israel; and a Facebook comment by Dr. Efraim Zuroff, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel office.

In the meantime, the World Jewish Congress has included news of the new institute in its newsletter, without confirming that the academic positions will be advertised in a fair and transparent process to ensure academic quality, moral integrity, and independence from political pressures. As widely reported, the previous professor of Yiddish (1999-2010), Dr. Dovid Katz (DH’s editor), was terminated following eleven years of incident-free service after speaking out for the Holocaust survivor veterans of the Jewish partisans who are accused of war crimes (in the absence of any charges or specific issues).


Text of Statement issued by Professor Olegas Poliakovas:

Vilnius, 22 July 2014

I was delighted to hear of the possibility that a professorship or major teaching position in Yiddish Studies would be restored in Vilnius. Before World War II, Vilnius was one of the greatest centers of Yiddish culture in Europe. It ceased to have that distinction due to the tragic fate of the Jewish population during the war. Thus, this teaching position could play a part in the restoration of historic justice.

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Posted in Lithuania, News & Views, Opinion, Vilnius Yiddish Institute, World Jewish Congress (WJC) and ORT | Comments Off

Books in the Debate in 2014


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In the Debate, in 2014…

YEAR OF PUBLICATION VARIES


 Andriukaitis (reviewed by Vasil)

Bankier [Kuniuchowsky Collection] (reviewed by Zuroff)

Bubnys (reviewed by Katz)

Cassedy (reviewed by Katz;  by Nadler;  by Zabludoff;  by Zuroff)

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Posted in Books, History, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Comments Off

DH Staff Writer Evaldas Balčiūnas is Again Harassed by Police in Lithuania



by Evaldas Balčiūnas

For background on the summons the author received from the police, in consequence of his articles on the Holocaust in Defending History and other publications, please see earlier reports here and here. This comment has been translated from the Lithuanian by Geoff Vasil, and the final version approved by the author.

Evaldas-Balciunas-on-Vilniaus-gatve narrowed

Evaldas Balčiūnas

Yesterday, on July 8, 2014, I was the subject of much telephone attention from the police. This time it was from Šiauliai. They called, they got angry when I told them not to give my address out to whoever may answer first. They asked strange things. A female voice was asking what the door code was, while a male voice was interested in whether I was home at the time…

If anything was missing from this vision of absurdity, it was a warning over giving false testimony, and the question of where I keep my house keys and money… In order to ease the tension somewhat, I called the general emergency number, 112, and complained of telephone scam artists impersonating the police. They took my report, but less than an hour later kindlycalled back to inform me that it was really police officers who had called. It seems these sorts of scam artists have a license from the state to practice this sort of thing. I attempted to tell the man who called that the police are not allowed to present me a summons, accuse me of something or even question me by telephone, so why don’t they follow the normal and accustomed practice and actually send a summons to my officially registered private residential address?

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Posted in EU, Evaldas Balčiūnas, Free Speech & Democracy, Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Comments Off

Defending History’s Evaldas Balčiūnas Again Disturbed by Police at his Workplace



O P I N I O N

by Evaldas Balčiūnas

For background on the summons the author received from the police, in consequence of his articles on the Holocaust in Defending History and other publications, please see earlier reports here and here. This comment has been translated from the Lithuanian by Geoff Vasil, and the final version approved by the author.

Today, Friday, July 4th, 2014, a woman phoned me at my place of work, introduced herself as a police officer, and asked if my name is Evaldas.

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Posted in EU, Evaldas Balčiūnas, Free Speech & Democracy, Human Rights, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Comments Off

Waiting for Apologies . . .



Five Holocaust Survivors have Endured Years of State-Sponsored Defamation

Accused of “war crimes” or of speaking out freely on Holocaust issues (accusations of “libel” against nationalist heroes and state-sponsored educators)

Four of them, in their late 80s or 90s, are heroic veterans of the anti-Nazi war effort who escaped the Vilna, Kovno or Svintsyán Ghetto to join up with the partisans in the forests of Lithuania. All their families perished in the Lithuanian Holocaust.

combo

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A Corner of a Foreign Field that is Forever Jewish



O P I N I O N

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

 

I happen to live near the town of Waterloo that in June 1815 had been one of the bloodiest battlefields at the time. My wife’s grandfather and my own grandfather fought during four years in the trenches of Flanders during the “Great War.” One of my father’s uncles, a resistance fighter, was captured and beheaded by the Germans during World War II. And for seventeen years I worked with survivors of the Holocaust. I feel a bit acquainted with the significance of wars and victims.

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Posted in News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Roland Binet | Comments Off

The Politics of History



O P I N I O N

by Evaldas Balčiūnas

Translated from the Lithuanian by Geoff Vasil. Final version approved by the author.

 

Much has been said about recent history policy in Lithuania. What this means, different speakers understand differently. It probably isn’t wise to dwell long on the concept. Let’s just say “history policy” is the interpretation of historical events provided by state institutions and officials.

SEE SECTION ON

FREE SPEECH

The truth is specific. I will give one example of how this appears in our and neighboring states and how that illuminates the history of our state.

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Posted in Bold Citizens Speak Out, Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, Evaldas Balčiūnas, History, Latvia, Lithuania, Museums, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Comments Off

Roma Commemoration at Lety Site in the Czech Republic



O P I N I O N

by Monica Lowenberg

Most people know that six million Jews were murdered by the Nazis in the Holocaust.

Few people know that well over half a million Sinti and Roma Gypsies were murdered in the same ghettos, killing fields and concentration camps alongside the Jews.

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Posted in EU, Events, Hungary, Monica Lowenberg, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Roma, The Czech Republic | Comments Off

Holocaust Obfuscation and Double Genocide: The Show Goes On



O P I N I O N

by Vilhjálmur Örn Vilhjálmsson

The latest “Double Genocide” conference sponsored (naively?) by the European Union has just ended in Prague. The two-day event (12-13 June 2014) has a convoluted history (see earlier DH reports: 15 Jan. 201424 Jan. 201426 Feb. 201427 Feb.  20147 March 201420 March 201423 March 201420 May 2014).

In January 2014 the Prague-based EU-financed Platform of European Memory and Conscience suspended the membership of the Czech Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes (ÚSTR). The fracas attracted press coverage through late February.

The reason given for the publicly divisive suspension was that the Institute was  “not willing to dispel a suspicion of violating the code of ethics of the Platform on two counts.” The president of the Platform, Göran Lindblad of Sweden, said: “It is painful to suspend the membership of one of the founding members of the Platform; however the Institute has been infiltrated by Communist collaborators, and it is therefore our duty to act firmly.”   Continue reading

Posted in Double Genocide, Estonia, EU, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Prague "Platform", The Czech Republic, Vilhjálmur Vilhjálmsson | Comments Off

Tel Aviv’s Leyvik House Issues Call to World Jewish Congress on Vilnius Yiddish Jobs in the Works


 TEL AVIV— Daniel Galay, director of Leyvik House in central Tel Aviv, one of Israel’s major Yiddish culture institutions, issued the following statement today on the Leyvik House website (copy), and on its Facebook page (see also Efraim Zuroff’s Facebook comment). For background see our earlier report.


 

Appeal to the World Jewish Congress

Tel Aviv, 12 June 2014

Like all lovers of Yiddish language and culture, we at Leyvik House in Tel Aviv, home to the Union of Yiddish Writers and Journalists in Israel, were happy to see the recent announcement that the World Jewish Congress would be facilitating a new Yiddish center in Vilnius, Lithuania.

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Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, Double Genocide, Human Rights, Israel, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, South Africa, Vilnius Yiddish Institute, World Jewish Congress (WJC) and ORT | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Could WJC get Ensnared in “Yiddish” as Cover for Holocaust Revisionism in Lithuania?



O P I N I O N

A recent report, also available as PDF, suggests sudden and deep involvement of the World Jewish Congress in the Lithuanian government’s repeatedly documented use of Yiddish, Judaic studies and even Holocaust studies as means to advance — or cover for — state-sponsored Double Genocide revisionism with respect to the essential narrative of the Holocaust. The report has proven to be disturbing for the wider Holocaust survivor community and its supporters.

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Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, "Red-Brown Commission", Double Games, Double Genocide, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, South Africa, Vilnius Yiddish Institute, World Jewish Congress (WJC) and ORT | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Statement of Staff Writer Evaldas Balčiūnas on Summons from Police



My name is Evaldas Balčiūnas and I write for Defending History, in addition to various Lithuanian web journals. On May 14, 2014, I was contacted by local Lithuanian police investigator Reda Šimkutė by telephone at a number which is not registered in my name. She said she needed to “carry out inquiries” about me.

I asked her what the nature of the matter was. She refused to answer, so I suggested she follow normal procedure and send me what they call “an invitation” (in other words a summons) to come to an interrogation at the police department.

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Posted in Bold Citizens Speak Out, EU, Evaldas Balčiūnas, Free Speech & Democracy, Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

UK Labour MP Gareth Thomas is Concerned Over Conservatives’ Alliances in the European Parliament



UK MP Gareth Thomas (Labour), who is shadow Europe Minister, published this opinion piece in today’s Independent under the title “The Tories’ possible allies in Europe are an extremely dubious bunch.”

The European elections this week are set to deliver a fresh European headache for David Cameron as his Conservative MEPs are now in danger of having no group in the new European Parliament which they can join.

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The Stones Tell Me. After All, They Lived Here.



O P I N I O N

by Genrich Agranovski

Genrich Agranovski is co-author (with Irina Guzenberg) of Vilnius: Sites of Jewish Memory as well as other works on Jewish Vilna. This comment was translated from the Russian by Ludmila Makedonskaya. See also DH’s section on old Jewish cemeteries and mass graves.


At the beginning of the 1990s a commission tentatively called “Memorial” was founded at the Jewish Community of Lithuania. Its aims included collecting information about the mass murder and burial sites of the World war II period, Jewish cemeteries, as well as other issues connected with the memory of the perished. The commission was headed by Joseph Levinson. Being a member of the commission, I was in charge of collecting information on Jewish cemeteries in Vilnius. There had been two large Jewish cemeteries in Vilnius before the war: the “old one,” founded, according to Vilna Jewish lore, at the end of the fifteenth century and used till 1830, and Zarechenskoye [“beyond the river”; in Yiddish Zarétshe] (Antokolskoye), which was used from 1828 up to June 1941. The latter was the biggest in the city. According to the Jewish ethnographer Solomon Shik, seventy thousand people had been buried there by 1937. In Soviet times both  cemeteries were destroyed and the gravestones were used for construction purposes.

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Posted in Bold Citizens Speak Out, Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Genrich Agranovski, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , | Comments Off

Revisionism and Resurrection



B O O K S

by Peter Jukes

The following review of Laima Vince’s Journeys through the Backwaters of the Heart originally appeared in Aspen Review (Dec. 2013). The review is now republished here by permission of Peter Jukes, whose latest book is The Fall of the House of Murdoch.

Ms. Vince’s Journeys was also reviewed in Defending History by Geoff Vasil.


 

While filming a re-enactment of a battle between Lithuanian nationalists and their Soviet- backed NKVD persecutors, Jonas Kadzionis (a survivor of the “Forest Brothers” partisans) warned the author Laima Vince: “Don’t get lost in the forest, and don’t lose your conscience.”

Unfortunately, in her book Journeys through the Backwaters of the Heart Vince has managed to do both.

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Holocaust Survivor Asks UK Prime Minister to Support the Seventy Years Declaration


Hundreds of Holocaust survivors in the UK were invited to the 5 May 2014 Prime Minister’s Holocaust Commission Survivors’ Consultation Event. Greetings from Prime Minister David Cameron and Prince Charles were distributed at the Wembley Park event to the survivors and their families.

One of the participants, 91 year old Ernst Lowenberg had participated in a friendly protest outside the Lithuanian embassy in London in December 2012, where he handed the consul a copy of an international petition (that is still underway online).

Back in Dec. 2012, Ernst Lowenberg (center) handed the Lithuanian consul in London a petition.  Report here. PHOTO: MARK DAVIDSON

He has been closely following the efforts to obfuscate the Holocaust emanating from some East European governments that are investing heavily in exporting the “Double Genocide” revisionist model of Holocaust history.

Mr. Lowenberg followed up today with a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron, which he released for publication in Defending History. In the letter, he asks the British government to help preserve the memory of the Holocaust by rejecting the current revisionist campaign and supporting the Seventy Years Declaration (SYD) of 2012, which was signed by fifteen British parliamentarians from across the political spectrum (DH section on the SYD).

Mr. Lowenberg’s letter follows.

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Posted in 70 Years Declaration, Double Genocide, EU, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, United Kingdom | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off

Reply to a Roger Cohen Opinion Piece on Ukraine and Lithuania



The following is the text of a letter to the editor sent to the New York Times on 8 March 2014 in response to Roger Cohen’s “Ukraine Fights for its Truth.” As it was not published, it is now included here for the record, and for the sake of the continuing discussion. The embedded links, and square-bracketed updates, have been added today.


Even the brightest can have a blind spot. Yet again, razor-sharp, liberal humanist Roger Cohen has been taken in by PR from the ultranationalists in Eastern Europe. Missing from his “Ukraine Fights for its Truth” (INYT, 6 March) — where he discusses both Ukraine and his ancestral town here in Lithuania — is all that is wrong with the revisionist narrative that is based on a far-right rewriting of history known as “Double Genocide.”

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Posted in Dovid Katz, Free Speech & Democracy, Media Watch, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Ukraine | Tagged , , | Comments Off

Translation of Donatas Glodenis’s Article on a Troubling Conviction for “Genocide” . . .



The following, for our readers’ interest, is a translation by Geoff Vasil of a recent article that appeared on Donatas Glodenis’s website. The translation appears here with the author’s permission.


 

Cases, Part IV. Vasiliauskas Convicted of Genocide without Foundation

by Donatas Glodenis

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Distorted Nationalist History in Ukraine



O P I N I O N

Grzegorz Rossolinski-Liebe interviewed by Christopher Hale on 15 March 2012. This interview originally appeared on Christopher Hale’s blog. It is reproduced in Defending History with Dr. Rossolinski-Liebe’s permission.

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Posted in Bandera, Collaborators Glorified, Free Speech & Democracy, G. Rossoliński-Liebe, History, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Ukraine | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Roma: Presumption of Guilt



O P I N I O N

by Vilma Fiokla Kiurė

Vilma Fiokla Kiurė (photo: Benediktas Januševičius)

The first international congress of Roma was held on April 8, 1971 in Oprington, England. In 1990, the date was designated International Roma Day.

On this day Roma celebrate and hold concerts, but also remember the most tragic eras in the history of the Roma: persecution by the Nazis and their collaborators in World War II and the resulting genocide of the Roma people. On this day the Vilnius Roma community floats wreaths of flowers on the Neris River in remembrance of their compatriots.

Roma who survived the Second World War, ethnic cleansing and genocide remember that the Nazi soldiers and their local police collaborators used simple external recognition to persecute the Roma. At that time the Roma were still wanderers, and it was a rare member of the community who had identification documents. Few had relationships with sedentary residents, making physical resemblance to the typical Roma the main indicator of ethnicity, in many cases guaranteeing death.

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Footprints of Adolfas Ramanauskas-Vanagas in the Mass Murder of the Jews of Druskininkai



O P I N I O N

by Evaldas Balčiūnas

 

Adolfas Ramanauskas Vanagas was a well-known post-war partisan commander. Here’s what the Center for the Study of the Genocide of the Residents of Lithuania has to say about him on their website:

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Posted in Bold Citizens Speak Out, Collaborators Glorified, Evaldas Balčiūnas, Genocide Center (Vilnius), History, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off

Holocaust Survivor Stands Up Against Proposal to Close Down Russian Language Media in Lithuania


VILNIUS—Pinchos Fridberg, retired professor of physics and Defending History’s 2014 Person of the Year, has again stood up for human rights, going where some “human rights NGOs” seem to fear to tread.

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Posted in Bold Citizens Speak Out, Human Rights, Lithuania, News & Views, Opinion, Pinchos Fridberg, Russophobia | Comments Off

British MEP Richard Howitt, European Parliament Spokesperson on Human Rights, Issues Statement on Riga Waffen SS March


Richard Howitt, British Labour Member of the European Parliament, and spokesperson for the European Parliament Human Rights Sub-Committee today issued the following text of his statement which will be read out in Riga this Sunday March 16th.

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, Documents, EU, Events, Human Rights, Latvia, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Racism, United Kingdom | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off

For Seventh Year Running, Neo-Nazis and Ultranationalists Given Center of Vilnius on Independence Day



O P I N I O N /  E Y E W I T N E S S    R E P O R T

by Dovid Katz

Lithuania’s March 11th independence day is celebrated by the free world, not least by those who remember the incredible news that spread around the globe in March 1990, when Lithuania’s parliament (Seimas) voted 124 to zero to break away from the Soviet Union. The courage of the parliamentarians from a broad spectrum of parties and movements was stark; the country was still occupied by ominous Soviet forces (and blood would be spilled by Soviet forces’ violence less than a year later, in January 1991). The March 11th celebration has been anchored  over the years by a record of achievement that includes the transition to democracy, the joining of the European Union and NATO, and the rapid integration with Western society, economy and mores.

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Celebrations of Fascism, Dovid Katz, Events, Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Comments Off

Olga Zabludoff’s Comment on a February 2014 Yivo Symposium


 


The following 7 March 2014 comment by Olga Zabludoff on the video posted of the 14 February 2014 event at Yivo appears in the Comments section for her earlier article in the Algemeiner Journal, where readers can follow the entire discussion.


Many thanks to Yivo for posting the video of the discussion “Unresolved History: Jews and Lithuanians after the Holocaust.” In my opinion, the champion panelist was Leonidas Donskis who opened his heart with conviction and courage. As a Jewish Lithuanian his understanding of and sympathy for both Jews and Lithuanians have generated wise insights and pervasive truths. Among his magnitude of analytical comments to be applauded, Donskis explained that the Far Right in Lithuania has managed to get close to the center of power where they have been “mainstreamed” rather than marginalized. He also reflected on how difficult it is for Lithuanians who have decided to tell the truth. As a nation “we lack the political courage,” he remarked.

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Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, "Red-Brown Commission", Events, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Olga Zabludoff, Opinion, Politics of Memory, United States, Yivo Manipulated? | Comments Off

Out On Ellis Street in San Francisco



O P I N I O N

Members of the US-based “Litvak SIG” (both those on the free lists, and those who paid their $36 a year dues for full membership), have been informed of the following event and the book it features, coming up this Thursday evening in San Francisco. (When Messiah will come, the subscribers to both “SIG” sections will learn about the existence of Defending History, too and its modest, but free, Litvak interest sections. We must have patience.)

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Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, Books, Events, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, United States | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

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).

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Posted in Arts, Dovid Katz, Exotic Jewish Tourism, History, Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Museums, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Comments Off

Russian Translation of Danny Ben-Moshe’s Feb. 2014 JP Article, “Hungary Rewrites History”



This authorized translation by Milan Chersonski is based on the text of the original English article by Danny Ben-Moshe, “Hungary Rewrites History” that appeared in the Jerusalem Post on 22 February 2014.

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Posted in Danny Ben-Moshe, Double Genocide, Film, Hungary, In Russian, Lithuania, News & Views, Opinion | Comments Off

Hungary Rewrites History



O P I N I O N

by Danny Ben-Moshe

This comment, republished here with the author’s permission, first appeared in the Jerusalem Post on 22 February 2014.


My 2012 documentary film Rewriting History tracked the emergence of “Double Genocide” and the rewriting of the history of the Holocaust in Lithuania.

The film warned that what was occurring in Lithuania was a harbinger of something that could become more widespread and ultimately mainstream in Europe, particularly in Eastern Europe. Unfortunately recent events in Hungary bear this out.

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Posted in 70 Years Declaration, Collaborators Glorified, Danny Ben-Moshe, Double Genocide, EU, Film, Hungary, Lithuania, News & Views, Opinion | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Sergijus Staniškis Litas: Who’s Hiding the 1941 Gaps in His Biography — and Why?



O P I N I O N   /   P O L I T I C S  O F  M E M O R Y   /   C O L L A B O R A T O R S   G L O R I F I E D

by Evaldas Balčiūnas

Authorized translation from the Lithuanian original by Geoff Vasil.


Today Sergijus Staniškis Litas is presented as a noble partisan commander who concentrated his unusual skills on battling the occupiers. At least that’s how the writers of the Lithuanian Center for the Study of Genocide and Resistance present him on their webpage at http://www.genocid.lt/datos/stanisk.htm.

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Posted in Bold Citizens Speak Out, Collaborators Glorified, Evaldas Balčiūnas, Genocide Center (Vilnius), History, Lithuania, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Comments Off

Pinchos Fridberg Interviews Pinchos Fridberg


The following is a reprint of Pinchos Fridberg’s article in today’s Russian-language Мы здесь.


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Posted in "Red-Brown Commission", Bold Citizens Speak Out, In Russian, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Pinchos Fridberg, Politics of Memory | Comments Off

Monica Lowenberg’s Discussion with Ronaldas Racinskas in NY’s Algemeiner Journal (Feb. 17-19 2014)



The following, in reverse chronological order, is the text of Monica Lowenberg’s two comments to Ronaldas Racinskas’s comment, all in the discussion following Olga Zabludoff’s article in the Algemeiner Journal on the Holocaust in Lithuania and a Yivo symposium in New York. These and other comments appear in the AJ‘s comments section.

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Lithuanian-Jewish Affairs: Three Events


(Reposted from today’s Jerusalem Post)


 

O P I N I O N

by Efraim Zuroff

Three events took place this weekend which reflect the ambiguities of contemporary Jewish life in the Baltics and particularly in Lithuania, the largest of the three new democracies. In reverse order, on Sunday, ultra-nationalist groups staged an Independence Day march, which included anti-Semitic themes, in Kaunas (Kovno), Lithuania’s interwar capital and the country’s second largest city.Continue reading

Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, Double Games, Double Genocide, Efraim Zuroff, EU, Events, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Litvak Identity Theft?, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Yivo Manipulated? | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

Another Panel at Yivo, Neo-Nazi Marches in Lithuania, and American Silence on Glorification of Nazi Collaborators



 

O P I N I O N

by Olga Zalubdoff

The following is the text of Olga Zabludoff’s op-ed published on 13 February 2014 in the Algemeiner JournalComments by readers are available at the original site of publication.


 

Yivo, Lithuania, The Holocaust

Nobody could love or respect the Yivo Institute for Jewish Research more than I do. It was founded as the Yiddish Scientific Institute in Vilna, Poland (now Vilnius, Lithuania) in 1925. Yivo remains a symbol for all who cherish our Yiddish heritage and, now, its last prewar survivors. Through the years I have spent many wondrous hours at Yivo, digging, discovering, and learning about my Litvak ancestors, their shtetlakh, and their culture. Being there always felt like being home. The books and documents I handled seemed almost sacred. Memories of conversations with Yivo’s’s revered librarian Dina Abramowicz still make me smile. . .

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Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, "Red-Brown Commission", Litvak Affairs, Litvak Identity Theft?, News & Views, Olga Zabludoff, Opinion, Politics of Memory, United States, US State Dept Manipulated?, Yivo Manipulated? | Tagged , , | Comments Off

Updates to 14 February 2014: Neo-Nazi March in Kaunas, Gov. Sponsored Camouflage Symspoium at Yivo in New York


Colleagues in Lithuania of all backgrounds invited to meet Dr. Efraim Zuroff, and join silent, peaceful protest against state-enabled neo-Nazi glorification of local Holocaust collaborators: Sunday 16 Feb, 2 PM, Ramybes Park, Kaunas

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Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, Celebrations of Fascism, Litvak Affairs, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Yivo Manipulated? | Comments Off

Vilnius Holocaust Survivor Pinchos Fridberg Posts New Comment in The Tablet


 


The following comment by Professor Pinchos Fridberg was posted in Tablet on 11 February 2014, as a comment on a previous comment by Dr. Efraim Zuroff in the same discussion. See also Defending History sections on Prof. Fridberg and Dr. Zuroff.

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Posted in Collaborators Glorified, Double Genocide, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Litvak Identity Theft?, News & Views, Opinion, Pinchos Fridberg | Tagged , | Comments Off

Efraim Zuroff on Tablet Magazine’s Co-Sponsorship of Lithuanian Government’s Yivo Event, and a Suggestion for Yivo’s Audience


Dr. Efraim Zuroff, Holocaust historian, Nazi-hunter, and director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel office, has posted the following comment on the website of Tablet magazine, as one of the comments to a new book review. The comment also appears separately on Facebook.

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Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, Double Games, Double Genocide, Efraim Zuroff, Events, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Litvak Identity Theft?, Media Watch, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, United States, Yivo Manipulated? | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Film Maker Attempts to Gift New Film on Riga Ghetto to Latvian Embassy in German



The following is the English translation, by Monica Lowenberg, of a letter sent today by German film maker Jürgen Hobrecht to the Latvian ambassador in Berlin.


 

Dear Mrs. Japina,

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Posted in Celebrations of Fascism, Film, Germany, Latvia, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Tagged | Comments Off

Riga, Capital of European Culture: Waffen SS, Stags and Silence?



O P I N I O N

by Monica Lowenberg

The UK’s home secretary Theresa May, the Hungarian Jobbik party, and Holocaust Memorial Day have all been in the press lately. Reading how the leader of pro-Nazi Jobbik party was, in the interests of free speech, allowed to hold his rally in Hyde Park, I have to question why Ms. May allowed this man entry into the UK and hadn’t called his racist attitudes, “unacceptable” as she had in the past with, “Every Muslim should be a terrorist” Zakir Naik. What had changed?

In the capital of European culture? Waffen SS Calendar (Riga 2014)

In the Capital of European Culture: Waffen SS Calendar (Riga 2014)

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, EU, Human Rights, Latvia, Monica Lowenberg, News & Views, Opinion, United Kingdom | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

Swedish Film Director Speaks Out on the Lithuanian Holocaust, Sort of, a Little Bit



O P I N I O N

by Geoff Vasil

 

Jonas Öhman is a Swede who has been coming to Lithuania and living here on and off from almost the beginning of modern independence in the 1990-1991 period. During that time he has produced a number of films, only one of which appears to his credit on the internet film database imdb.com, but all of which deal more or less with a mythologized version of the history of Lithuanian anti-Soviet partisans.

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Posted in Arts, Film, Geoff Vasil, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Media Watch, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Sweden | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

Wiesenthal Center Blasts Hungarian Government’s Latest Holocaust Distortion


JERUSALEM—The Simon Wiesenthal Center today issued a statement of support for the strong protest by the leadership of the Hungarian non-Orthodox Jewish communities (Mazsihisz) against efforts by the Hungarian government’s “Veritas Institute” to falsify the narrative of the Holocaust in Hungary and attempt to hide the important role played by locals in the mass murder of Hungarian Jewry.

In a statement issued here today by its Israel director, Holocaust historian Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the Center expressed its strong opposition to the recent statement by Veritas Institute director Sandor Szakaly, who referred to the summer 1941 deportation of about 16,000-18,000 Jews from Hungary to Kamenets-Podolsk (now Kamianets-Podilskyi) in German-occupied Ukraine, where the overwhelming majority were murdered, as a “police action against aliens,” when in reality it was clearly a crime against humanity and the initial massacre of the Holocaust of Hungarian Jewry.

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Forget Me Knot



O P I N I O N

by Geoff Vasil

 

In an attempt to maintain their reputation as the most anti-Semitic major newspaper in Lithuania, the editors at Respublika have fired a new salvo in their information war against the international forces of Communist Zionism with a straw-man argument designed to rehabilitate the swastika as a Lithuanian cultural heritage symbol.

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The “Double Genocide” Backdrop to Current Disarray of the Red-Brown “Platform”


This week has seen a further public and, in most assessments, vitriolic attack, from the president of the (Prague-based) “Platform of European Memory and Conscience,” the European Union financed body responsible for “enacting” the 2008 Prague Declaration, against one of its own founding constituent members, the (Prague-based) “Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes.”

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Posted in "Red-Brown Commission", Double Genocide, EU, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Prague "Platform", Sweden, The Czech Republic | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Giedrius Grabauskas on Freedom of Speech



O P I N I O N

Note: For our readers’ interest, we provide an English translation (by Geoff Vasil) of Giedrius Grabauskas’s article, “Kodel paminama žodžio laisvė?” that appeared on 6 January 2014 in Akcentai.info at: http://www.akcentai.info/271-kodel-paminama-zodzio-laisve.html.

As in all signed articles, the opinions are those of the author.

The final part of the opinion piece, starting here, deals with issues that Defending History focuses in on, including the glorification of Holocaust collaborators, campaigns from high places against those who dissent, and the related implications for human rights and democracy in NATO and the EU.

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Posted in Bold Citizens Speak Out, Collaborators Glorified, EU, Free Speech & Democracy, Human Rights, News & Views, Opinion | Tagged , , | Comments Off

Artists Knew, Allied Leaders Kept Silent



O P I N I O N

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

 

When I was in New York last year, I saw an extraordinary exhibition of paintings by Marc Chagall, “War, Exile and Love” at the Jewish Museum. The focus was on the works he produced during his years of exile in the United States. This exhibition, well attended, shed an interesting light on what the artist knew about the horrific events unfolding in Europe at the time of his sojourn in the United States.

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Posted in Arts, History, Human Rights, Museums, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Roland Binet, United Kingdom, United States | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

Žilvinas Butkus (Vilnius) and the Association of Lithuanian Jews (Tel Aviv) Release August 2009 Document



D O C U M E N T S

Editor’s note: By agreement of Žilvinas Butkus, author of the following 12 August 2009 email, and its recipient, the Association of Lithuanian Jews in Israel, the document is now published. Note that the draft law appended at the end of the document was adapted by the parliament and signed by the parliament in revised form in June 2010. The bill’s framers had made it clear that promoting Double Genocide in Europe lay close to the heart of this legislative initiative.


August 12, 2009

Hello!

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Posted in Bold Citizens Speak Out, Collaborators Glorified, Documents, Double Genocide, Free Speech & Democracy, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion | Comments Off

Efraim Zuroff Interviewed in Belgrade, Serbia by Aleksandar Roknić



I N T E R V I E W

Efraim Zuroff is interviewed in Belgrade by Aleksandar Roknić. Translation from Danas, 28 December 2013, by Vesna Milosevic.


 

Efraim Zuroff: World War II History is Being Rewritten

Efraim Zuroff in Defending History

Dr. Efraim Zuroff, director of the the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel office

Even if I were Superman I wouldn’t be able to bring to justice all remaining Nazis. Of course not. It is impossible. Nobody can do it. But if you ask me what is better — a bit of justice or injustice, I would always say — a bit of justice. You know, to me it is clear that even when the last Nazi dies, a battle is not over, because it begins over and over again.

And it is a battle with history which is more important than people may think and understand. Facing the history with sincerity is the best way to build a better future, says Efraim Zuroff, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem, while answering a question on whether he thinks that he would be able to bring to justice all remaining Nazis.

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A Love Story



R E P L Y  /  O P I N I O N

by Pinchos Fridberg

NOTE: Translated from the Russian by Ludmilla Makadonskaya (Grodno). In the event of any matter arising or doubt, the Russian original is alone authoritative.


 

BNS (Baltic News Service), Tuesday, November 19, 2013, 15:04:

Social Security Ministry: there is no money for possible pensions for [Holocaust-era] Rescuers of Jews.

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Posted in Double Games, Lithuania, News & Views, Opinion, Pinchos Fridberg, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , | Comments Off

Raising Cain on the Resurrection of Abel



O P I N I O N

by Geoff Vasil

 

And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. Genesis 3:13

And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground. Genesis 4:10

Driving east out of Rokiškis, fields give way to forest, and the lake country leads on to strange and wild hills in an abandoned quarter of the country bordering Latvia. The lake country is beautiful, almost alpine in its effect, and spotted with small settlements and villages of varying sizes, some even boasting gas stations and schools.

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Posted in "Red-Brown Commission", Arts, Christian-Jewish Issues, Collaborators Glorified, Geoff Vasil, Lithuania, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

Facebook Discussion (3 to 11 Dec. 2013) on a Nov. 2013 University of Toronto Event



Dovid Katz shared a link.
Friends in TORONTO and CANADA: Some links relating to the recent “Holocaust in Lithuania” symposium at the University of Toronto: http://defendinghistory.com/summary-coverage-of-toronto-24-nov-2013-symposium-on-the-holocaust-in-lithuania/61406 Toronto | DefendingHistory.com defendinghistory.com
Js Kopstein I was there. It was actually an excellent discussion. Lots of disagreement, lots of back and forth. Whatever the motives of the Lithuanian government, you really can’t characterize the event as one sided.
Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, "Red-Brown Commission", Canada, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Yiddish Roulette? One Resigns in Bloomington, Another Rides In from Buffalo


Sources in Bloomington, Indiana and Vilnius, Lithuania, confirmed this week that Dr. Daniel R. Berg, an eminent physician in the greater Bloomington area, has resigned from the rump “Board of Friends” of Sarunas Liekis’s “Vilnius Yiddish Institute” (VYI). The institute’s website abruptly removed Dr. Berg’s name and photograph from the board. No letter of resignation was released to the media, but a source close to the doctor said he was dismayed to see the institute’s resources being dedicated to a campaign of defamation against its own former Yiddish professor and founder, whose name and contributions have been deleted from the historic faculty page, in the classic Soviet style of revising history.

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Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, Bloomington-Borns Program Manipulated?, Double Games, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, United States, Vilnius Yiddish Institute | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Wiesenthal Center’s Israel Office Releases 2007 Correspondence with LA Board Chief of Vilnius Yiddish Institute



Editor’s note: The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel office today released for the record the following September 2007 email exchange with the director of the Los Angeles based “Friends of the Vilnius Yiddish Institute” (VYI).

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An Open Letter to Steve Linde, Editor-in-Chief of the Jerusalem Post



O P I N I O N

by Olga Zabludoff

Editor’s note: This and other responses were first offered to the Jerusalem Post for publication.


The Lithuanian government is pouring ever more resources and doing an ever better job with its PR campaign to turn Litvaks (Jews of Lithuanian origin) into virtual PR agents who now go further than they do themselves: painting a picture of the New Jewish Paradise in Lithuania without even mentioning the existence of painful current issues. Jerusalem Post editor-in-chief Steve Linde no doubt meant only the best with his Chapter-of-Psalms, and will, I feel confident, now be happy to give the issues some rounded airing.

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Posted in Collaborators Glorified, Double Games, Israel, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Litvak Identity Theft?, Media Watch, News & Views, Olga Zabludoff, Opinion, Politics of Memory, South Africa | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Europe: A Renewal of Extremism?



O P I N I O N

by Didier Bertin

The French original of this article appeared in the December 2013 issue of Cahiers Bernard Lazare. This adapted English translation appears with the authorization of the author and permission of  Cahiers Bernard Lazare.


New names: VB, FPÖ , FN , PVV. new faces, but underlying factors and what they refer to remain unchanged. It is sometimes called NFR (new far right); the NFR has not done anything new and reflects deeply rooted convictions transmitted from generation to generation on soil that is fertile for them: Europe. There are extremists in the left wing and among the Greens but in case of crisis the far right attracts a significant number of people from many social classes including the workers. We will thus focus our analysis on extremism on the right wing and also — on European governments.

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A Decision to Not (!) Regard Holocaust Rescuers as Heroes of the Nation



O P I N I O N

by Evaldas Balčiūnas

Authorized translation from Lithuanian by Geoff Vasil


 

This week the Lithuanian government resolved not to grant so-called hero’s pensions to surviving rescuers of Jews.

The decision is an odd one and raises doubts concerning the values to which this government claims to adhere. Although truth be told, this isn’t the first instance of unseemly conduct showing disrespect to hundreds of thousands of people murdered just because they were Jewish and towards those Lithuanians who attempted to save those scheduled for execution.

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Posted in Evaldas Balčiūnas, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Comments Off

“Higher Mathematics” of the Lithuanian Holocaust



O P I N I O N

by Pinchos Fridberg

NOTE: This English version of a recent piece by Professor Pinchos Fridberg (of Vilnius), translated by Lumilla Makedonskaya (of Grodno), is for our readers’ information. In the case of any doubt or matter arising, the original Russian text alone is authoritative.

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Posted in "Red-Brown Commission", Genocide Center (Vilnius), Lithuania, Media Watch, News & Views, Opinion, Pinchos Fridberg | Comments Off

Monica Lowenberg Releases Text of Letter to British ORT on Latest Lithuanian Embassy Sponsored “Litvak Do” in London



O P I N I O N

by Monica Lowenberg

Monica Lowenberg’s office has released for publication the following public letter sent to British ORT. 


 

British ORT, FAO The Chief Executive, Mr. Dan Green

25 November 2013

Dear Mr. Green,

It is with deep regret that my 90 year old father, Ernest Lowenberg, former Berlin ORT pupil and I write to you today.

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Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, Collaborators Glorified, Documents, Double Games, EU, Events, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Litvak Identity Theft?, Monica Lowenberg, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, United Kingdom, World Jewish Congress (WJC) and ORT | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Latvian State Dance Troupe Displays Nazi Swastika



R E P O R T / O P I N I O N

by Graeme Atkinson (Hope Not Hate) and Monica Lowenberg (DefendingHistory.com)

Source: HOPE not hate/DefendingHistory.com Sunday, 24 November 2013.


 

Riga dance ensemble swastika Nov 2013

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Arts, Celebrations of Fascism, Human Rights, Latvia, Monica Lowenberg, News & Views, Opinion, Racism | Comments Off

Jerusalem Post, Again, Fails to Post Dissenting Comments on a “Lithuania Ecstasy” Story



M e d i a   W a t c h   /   O p i n i o n

Readers on several continents again report to Defending History that the Jerusalem Post has failed to post perfectly polite comments to yet another ecstatic ode to issueless Lithuanian-Jewish love. This time it’s the story “Growing Lithuanian Business Ties Beget Political Support” which reported on the recent visit to Israel of the Lithuanian Minister for the Economy Evaldas Gustas.

The rejected comments pointed out that a senior specialist employed at his ministry was exposed last spring as Lithuania’s most hateful internet blogger, responsible for a series of images disparaging to Jews, Blacks, Gays, and to the history of the Holocaust in Lithuania (sampling of images here). Our Open Letter to the minister essentially asks why the hateful top official is still in office. Is such a question taboo for a major English language daily in Israel?

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Lithuanian State Language Commission Turns Down Jewish Community’s Suggestion for a Spelling Rule that “Holocaust” Be Spelled with a Capital “H”


VILNIUSDefending History today obtained from local sources a copy of the official statement of the Lithuanian State Language Commission concerning the spelling, in Lithuanian, of the word for Holocaust, usually Holokaustas.

For some it will sound astounding that in the country with the highest percentage of Jews killed (96.4%) in Holocaust era Europe, where a massive state effort has been underway to promote “Double Genocide” and the “Prague Declaration,” a simple suggestion from the tiny remnant Jewish community that Holocaust be spelled with a capital letter (denoting its status as a unique event in history) has drawn a tortured, convoluted reply from the state language commission, one that seems to wittingly confound the capitalization question with the issue of whether holocausts strike far and wide, like hurricanes.

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Street Names Honoring Holocaust Collaborators



Text of a Letter to the Editor in today’s International New York Times:

Lithuania’s Holocaust debate

Regarding “Lithuania’s unloved sentinels” (News, Nov. 13): James Kanter admirably sums up the pros and cons of retaining in central Vilnius “the last major monuments on public display here that still trumpet Communism,” namely a set of statues on Green Bridge. Although he mentions that there is “now little trace of a once thriving Jewish community obliterated in the Holocaust,” he neglects to mention the street names, museum exhibits, public plaques and more that honor local Holocaust collaborators and perpetrators (on the grounds that they were “also” anti-Soviet). The lively debate raging here shouldn’t be kept from Western eyes.

Dovid Katz, Vilnius, Lithuania

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Vilnius Genocide Center Releases a New Graywash on the Vilna Ghetto



B O O K S    /    O P I N I O N

by Dovid Katz

The unfortunate and wasteful campaign of Holocaust obfuscation waged by certain East European state institutions continues apace. The level of investment continues to strike outsiders as puzzling, given current economic and cultural issues and the younger population’s clear focus on the future and a better life for all in the new and multicultural European Union. Here in Lithuania, the first victims of the government’s (rather Soviet-style) “genocide industry” are the hard-working people of the country who deserve more judicious disbursement of their nation’s resources. The state-sponsored Genocide Center has just released three simultaneous editions (English, Lithuanian and Russian) of a new book on the Vilna Ghetto by historian Arūnas Bubnys, its own “director of the Genocide and Resistance Research Department.”

 Dr. Bubnys is also a member of the state-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”). He was one of a minority of members of the Commission who refused to sign the (in the opinion of some, inadequate) letter of 14 October 2013 to Dr. Yitzhak Arad.

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Posted in "Red-Brown Commission", Books, Double Games, Double Genocide, Dovid Katz, EU, Genocide Center (Vilnius), History, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Poland, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off

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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Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, "Red-Brown Commission", Double Games, Double Genocide, History, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Rachel Croucher | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Dr. Clemens Heni’s Writings on the 2008 “Prague Declaration”


At the request of Defending History, Dr. Clemens Heni’s office in Berlin has kindly made available for our readers’ convenience a PDF comprising his writings and presentations between 2009 and 2013 that deal with the 2008 Prague Declaration and its subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) links with contemporary antisemitism. Dr. Heni is author, among other works, of Antisemitism: A Specific Phenomenon (Berlin 2013).

The PDF is available here. Dr. Heni’s website: www.ClemensHeni.net.

Posted in Clemens Heni, Double Genocide, Germany, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , | Comments Off

Where did the Money for a Monument to 1941 “Patriots” Come from? Why the Uncritical Reconstruction and Glorification Now?


 


O P I N I O N

by Evaldas Balčiūnas

 

Defending History reported earlier on the attempt to restore a monument in Obeliai (Abél in Yiddish), a town in northeastern Lithuania, not far from the Latvian border.

It is an unpleasant story and one that is still developing. Although seven decades have passed since the mass murder of the Jews of Abél, some people think that everyone has forgotten who carried out that mass murder.

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Posted in Bold Citizens Speak Out, Collaborators Glorified, Evaldas Balčiūnas, Genocide Center (Vilnius), News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Comments Off

Red-Brown Commission Member Takes Katz-Bashing Campaign to Litvak Culture Fest in Philadephia; LA Next?



O P I N I O N

A senior historian and his government’s “master fixer for foreign Jewish academics,” Professor Sarunas Liekis told an audience of hundreds in Philadelphia last Sunday that Dovid Katz had never been a professor of Yiddish at Vilnius University, and had been discontinued in 2010 by the American Friends of the Vilnius Yiddish Institute (led by Richard Maullin of Los Angeles) for not having turned up for class for several years (!).

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