Opinion

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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Posted in Human Rights, Lithuania, News & Views, Opinion, Racism, Roma | Comments Off

An Appeal to Conscience: State-Sponsored Relaunch of the Red-Brown Commission in Vilnius

[updated]

Posted in "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

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 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 Human Rights, Lithuania, News & Views, Opinion, Pinchos Fridberg, Russophobia | Comments Off

Books in the Debate in 2014


2014: Books in the Debate

YEAR OF PUBLICATION VARIES


Andriukaitis (reviewed by Vasil)

Bankier (reviewed by Zuroff)

Bubnys (reviewed by Katz)

Cassedy (reviewed by Zabludoff)

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

Respectfully Disagreeing with Professor Timothy Snyder

[last updated]

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

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


O P I N I O N

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, 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, 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 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", 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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Posted in "Red-Brown Commission", Lithuania, Monica Lowenberg, News & Views, Opinion | 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 "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 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 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

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

Israel Chronicle

[most recent update]


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

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Posted in Israel, Lithuania, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Yad Vashem Manipulated? | 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 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 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, 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 "Red-Brown Commission", Canada, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | 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 Collaborators Glorified, Documents, Double Games, EU, Events, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Litvak Identity Theft?, Monica Lowenberg, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, United Kingdom | 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.


 

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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 that 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 "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 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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Lithuanian MP’s Gay-Bashing Hits New Low of Adolescent Unseemliness and Social Immaturity

VILNIUS — Observers of the sometimes eerie human rights scene here thought they had seen it all, or most of it, but an elected parliamentarian’s latest stunt was seen as a new setback for Lithuania’s image even by conservatives on social issues.

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“Baltic Times” Does It Again: A Page of Hate Calling for Expulsion of a Million Legal Residents in Latvia


O P I N I O N  /  M E D I A   W A T C H

Last May, this journal reported on a full page of racial hate directed at Latvia’s “Russians” (a cover term for Russian-speakers of a multitude of backgrounds). It had appeared in the Baltic Times, under cover of the responsibility-shirking label “Advertisement.” Heaven help us all if the word advertisement can in European Union and NATO countries cover for spreads of hate and incitement to violation of human rights. In this case, the demand is for the veritable expulsion of a million peaceful, legal residents of a member state of these international alliances, both of which are based on the shared commitment to uphold the human rights of all.

Rather than repeat the commentary offered at the page’s earlier appearance, we refer back to it here on the occasion of its reappearance in this month’s Baltic Times (dated 31 October — 27 November 2013), that occupies all of page 5 in the main news (!) section.

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If Israel Can Honor the USSR’s Unquestionable Role in Bringing Down Hitler, Why Can’t France and the European Union?


O P I N I O N

by Didier Bertin

From the very beginning, the source of our problems is to be found in an inaccurate narrative of World War II that is rather widespread here in France. This can be explained in part by France’s  position as a de facto ally of the Axis at first, starting from the time of Petain’s surrender to Hitler’s forces in 1940. It was rather late in the war that a substantial segment of society in the country per se (as opposed to the heroic resisters who had joined the Allies outside surrendered France’s borders) became a stalwart ally of the United States and Great Britain, at a time when that was by a confluence of circumstances most convenient for all three countries.

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Antisemitism Denial — An English Intellectual Speciality


A German translation of this article appeared in Die Presse (Vienna) on 7 November 2013. The original English text appears here with the author’s permission. Dr. Denis MacShane, a former British MP and Foreign Office minister writes widely on European politics. His Globalising Hatred: The New Antisemitism (Weidenfeld and Nicolson) appeared in 2008.  See also Defending History’s Denis MacShane section.

O P I N I O N

by Denis MacShane

England has the most provincial intellectual class in Europe. Very few professors (unless they are foreign language teachers or specialists in say French or Italian history) will speak and read a foreign language fluently. They do not pick up Le Monde, Der Spiegel or El Pais and wait, sometime for years, for a translation of a key work published in a European language to appear in London.

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Denis MacShane, Double Genocide, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, United Kingdom | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off

Chersonski Replies to Aleksandravičius on the 2012 Kaunas Reburial of the 1941 Nazi Puppet Prime Minister


O P I N I O N

by Milan Chersonski

Milan ChersonskijTranslated from Russian by Ludmila Makedonskaya (Grodno); updated English version approved by the author, Milan Chersonski (Chersonskij), longtime editor (1999-2011) of Jerusalem of Lithuania, quadrilingual (English-Lithuanian-Russian-Yiddish) newspaper of the Jewish Community of Lithuania. He was previously (1979-1999) director of the Yiddish Folk Theater of Lithuania. The views he expresses in Defending History are his own. Photo: Milan Chersonski (image © Jurgita Kunigiškytė). Milan Chersonski section.


 

 Real Heroes and Supposed Heroes

 

Who Protested and Why?

In May 2012 solemn funeral events were held in Kaunas: the ashes of the interim prime minister of the Provisional Government of Lithuania (hereinafter PG) Juozas Ambrazevičius-Brazaitis were transferred from the state of Connecticut in the United States, where he was buried in 1974, to Kaunas, the former temporary capital of Lithuania. There the ashes were reburied.

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Posted in Collaborators Glorified, History, Lithuania, Media Watch, Milan Chersonski, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Dr. Efraim Zuroff’s Speech at the Annual Memorial for Lithuanian Holocaust Victims


O P I N I O N

by Efraim Zuroff

Authorized English translation of Dr. Zuroff’s speech at the annual commemoration event held by the Association of Lithuanian Jews in Israel, received from the Israel Office of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Hebrew original is here.


Good evening,

Attorney Yosef Melamed asked me to update you regarding the recent events which have taken place since the last memorial event a year ago, concerning the attempts by the Lithuanian government to distort the history of the Holocaust and to minimize or deny the participation of many Lithuanians in the murder of Jews, not only in Lithuania but also beyond its borders.

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Posted in Double Genocide, Efraim Zuroff, Events, Israel, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Riga, Roots and Reflections

 


M E M O I R S   /   O P I N I O N

by Monica Lowenberg

 

In 2011, I made my first journey to Riga, the capital city of Latvia.

A few months before, I had been tracked down by two distant cousins on a genealogy site, quite out of the blue. I remember the strange feeling I had when one of them asked me if I felt “Latvian.” Latvian? German Christian, German Jewish, British, yes — but Latvian Jewish? No.

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Posted in Latvia, Memoirs, Monica Lowenberg, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, United Kingdom | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off

Efraim Zuroff’s Speech at the 28 October 2013 Annual Memorial Program of the Association of Lithuanian Jews in Israel [in Hebrew]


דבריו של ד″ר אפרים זורוף באזכרה השנתית לקורבנות השואה בליטא

 כ″ה חשון תשע″ד 28/10/2013

 

ערב טוב לכולם,

עו″ד יוסף מלמד בקש ממני לעדכן אותכם לגבי האירועים שהתרחשו מאז האזכרה האחרונה לפני שנה בנסיונות של ממשלת ליטא לעוות את ההסטוריה של השואה, וכמו כן גם למזער או להעלים את השתתפותם של ליטאים כל כך רבים ברצח יהודים בליטא, אבל גם מחוץ לגבולותיה.

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Posted in Double Genocide, Efraim Zuroff, Israel, Lithuania, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

The “Humanity” of the Rewriters of History


O P I N I O N

by Evaldas Balčiūnas

An abstract, sometimes called a summary, is a short explanation of the salient parts of an article or book. Abstracts are useful for surveying a large body of literature on a given topic, and aid in selecting specific works for a fuller reading. This selection very much depends on the honesty of the person doing the selecting.

I am interested in Holocaust research. I use the internet and search engines, and often they point to the webpage of the Lithuanian government sponsored Genocide and Resistance Research Center of Lithuania, known for short as the Genocide Center. Its own website has many summaries for this topic. These abstracts often have a strange tone.

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Posted in Double Genocide, Evaldas Balčiūnas, Genocide Center (Vilnius), Lithuania, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

Questions and Answers on the Holocaust-Gulag “Competitive Martyrology”


O P I N I O N

by Michael Shafir (Cluj-Napoca, Romania)

 

1. Approximately when did the drive to equate the Holocaust and the sufferings endured by people under Communist regimes start?

It is very difficult to pinpoint an exact date. In the West, a number of Sovietologists have long driven attention to the fact that the horrible crimes perpetuated by Stalin and his henchmen in East Central Europe deserved the attention and the opprobrium that Nazism met with after the Second World War. Due to Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s famous book Gulag, these crimes soon began to be referred to under the synthetic name of that book. The collapse of the Communist regimes in the region in 1989 and the implosion of the Soviet Union in 1991 intensified that drive, which also found an impulse in the once popular (but later criticized) “totalitarian model.” That model was now revived, finding support particularly in the eastern part of Europe that had suffered under Soviet domination. Western historians were (and still are) quite divided over this issue. For example, Robert Conquest, who produced several important books on Stalinist crimes, was reluctant to place the Holocaust and the Gulag on the same footing. On the other hand, Stéphane Courtois, who edited and contributed to the Black Book of Communism, not only embraced the comparison, but insisted on

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A Musical Tribute to the Rumbula Victims


M U S I C   /   O P I N I O N

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

 

SOUND TRACKS OF THE AUTHOR’S COMPOSITIONS:

Rumbula

Threnody

 

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Three Baltic Governments Sponsor “Round Table” at London U on 5 November: Will Nazi Collaborators be Glorified?


O P I N I O N

by Dovid Katz

 

It is both right and laudable that University College London, the School of Slavonic and East European Studies and other partners are organizing a “Round Table Discussion: Anti-Soviet Resistance in the Baltic States” in central London, scheduled for 5 November 2013, 2 to 6:30 PM, with free admission for all (free tickets here; Facebook page here).

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Posted in Collaborators Glorified, Human Rights, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, UCL Manipulated?, United Kingdom | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Simon Malkes Speaks at the Lithuanian Parliament


The following is the text provided by the office of Simon Malkes (Paris) of the speech he delivered at a conference held at the Lithuanian parliament on 22 September 2013, as part of the series of events of the Fourth International Litvak Congress in Vilnius, Lithuania. Mr. Malkes, a Vilna native and survivor of the Vilna Ghetto, is president of the ORT school network.


Simon Malkes (right) speaks to an old friend on Gedimino Boulevard in central Vilnius, after his speech at a session of the Fourth International Litvak Congress held at the Lithuanian Parliament (Seimas).

My name is Simon Malkes. I am a French citizen, living in Paris since 1952. I am a rare survivor, among the less than one percent of Vilna Jewry. I survived thanks to the German officer Karl Plagge who managed the HKP automobile works camp in Vilnius between 1941 and 1944. In 2005, I succeeded to obtain from Yad Vashem in Jerusalem the Righteous Among the Nations title, posthumously, for Karl Plagge.

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English Translation of the Lithuanian Text on the Vilna Ghetto Provided by the Office of the Chief Archivist of Lithuania…


The following is an English translation, by Geoff Vasil, from the original Lithuanian text that appears on the website of the Office of the Chief Archivist of Lithuania concerning the Vilna Ghetto, on the occasion of the seventieth anniversary of its liquidation on September 23, 1943.

In an important article that appeared in Lithuanian in Bernardinai.lt, and in English in the Lithuania Tribune, author Sergejus Kanovičius pointed out the remarkable disparity of tone between the Lithuanian version on the Chief Archivist’s website (that appears below in English translation), and the English version provided on the Chief Archivist’s website…


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Keep the Local History Out of Mind?


REVIEW OF KEEP ME IN MIND

by Geoff Vasil

 

The Contemporary Art Center’s reading room in Vilnius is hosting an unusual-for-Lithuania Holocaust event called Keep Me in Mind. Briefly, visitors are invited to wander among different tables where good-looking and polite people await them with small boxes and sheaves of papers. When you sit down the narrator at the table tells the story of an individual Holocaust survivor, from childhood to the present. Almost all of the survivors seem to now live in Haifa, Israel. One survivor, Benjamin Ginzburg, came from Vilnius.

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Posted in "Red-Brown Commission", Arts, Geoff Vasil, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

Learning from the King

 


O P I N I O N

by Danny Ben-Moshe (Melbourne)

 

As I watch the news of tourists excluded from national parks in America, as Federal Government is shutdown, I recall my visit to Washington DC’s famous National Mall, when I was recently in the city for a screening of Rewriting History.

I viewed several memorials of inspiring individuals: Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt. People who said no to hate and tried to foster positive political change. Physically I was in the American capital, but in the midst of Rewriting History screenings, my head was in an East European space, and this was the prism through which I saw many of the city’s magnificent exhibits. One memorial resonated with me more than any other: The Martin Luther King Memorial.

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Getting It Right: Three Memoirs Tell It Like It Is


B O O K S

by Olga Zabludoff

 

Ponary Diary 1941-1943: A Bystander’s Account of a Mass Murder, by Kazimierz Sakowicz; edited by Yitzhak Arad. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2005

Ruta’s Closet, by Keith Morgan with Ruth Kron Sigal. London: Unity Press (an imprint of Unicorn Press Ltd), 2013

Malice, Murder, and Manipulation: One Man’s Quest for Truth, by Grant Arthur Gochin. Los Angeles, 2013


 

The concept “Holocaust memoir” encompasses many subgenres in time and place. This review will cover the interlocking treatments by three very different types of witnesses:

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Posted in Books, Lithuania, News & Views, Olga Zabludoff, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Inclusion and Occlusion


O P I N I O N

A REVIEW OF THE PRAGUE PLATFORM’S TRAVELLING EXHIBITION “TOTALITARIANISM IN EUROPE” PAID FOR BY THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION (CURRENTLY ON SHOW AT TUSKULĖNAI PARK IN VILNIUS, LITHUANIA)

by Geoff Vasil


 

At the edge of downtown Vilnius, along the river Neris where the buildings suddenly turn old and worn and bushes, trees and grass take on unmanicured forms, across the bridge whose entree is gated by the Danish and British embassies to Lithuania, there is a strange park nestled in between some very empty Soviet-looking and much older buildings.

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Posted in Double Genocide, EU, Geoff Vasil, History, Museums, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off

An Old Jew From Vilna Writes a Letter to Moshe Rabeinu

 


O P I N I O N

by Pinchos Fridberg

 

Some facts

In 1998 the “International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupational Regimes in Lithuania” was established by Lithuanian presidential decree.

The commission is directed in tandem by Emanuelis Zingeris and Ronaldas Račinskas. The former is the commission’s chairman and a Conservative MP in the Lithuanian Seimas, while the latter is the commission’s executive director. The Lithuanian Jewish Community has no representation on the commission.

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Posted in "Red-Brown Commission", Lithuania, News & Views, Opinion, Pinchos Fridberg, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

An Inalienable Right to be Schizophrenic?


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

by Avro Kuresh

 

On Friday, September 13, 2013, the Baltos Lankos publishing firm in Vilnius held a discussion at their main book sales outlet in Vilnius to present a book edited by Professor Jurgita Verbickienė about the Jews of Lithuania.

The discussion on this doubly auspicious day—eve of Yom Kippur and Friday the 13th—began with Verbickienė presenting a short sketch of the book and two other participants in the discussion, Zigmas Vitkus and Simonas Gurevičius. The latter is the executive director of the Lithuanian Jewish Community. The topic was how Lithuanians view Jews.

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Dr. Shimon Alperovich, Former Chairman of Lithuanian Jewish Community, Motivates his Doubts on Plans to Rebuild the Great Synagogue

Dr. Shimon Alperovich, who was chairman of the Jewish Community of Lithuania from 1992 to earlier this year when he retired, gave an interview today on the contentious subject of the project to rebuild the Great Synagogue in Vilnius’s old town. It was lovingly known in Vilna Yiddish as di gréyse shúl or di shtót-shul.

Dr. Alperovich stressed that he was speaking in a personal capacity.

The interview is available, in Yiddish, on YouTubeContinue reading

Posted in Litvak Affairs, Litvak Identity Theft?, News & Views, Opinion, Shimon Alperovich | Comments Off

In Parubanka, Roma People say History is Repeating Itself


O P I N I O N

by Lina Žigelytė

 

Lina Žigelytė

Residents of Parubanka immediately notice strangers. An empty police booth with broken windows marks the entrance to this Roma settlement in the outskirts of Vilnius. Here, there are no paved roads. A dusty dirt track winds along dozens of flimsy wooden houses and shacks. Some children walk barefoot on paths that have shards of glass and needles protruding from them. After a recent public transport reform, the nearest bus stop is about three kilometers away.

This area is home to 500 Roma people — raging from the very young to the elderly. Each time a car approaches or someone walks by, locals look over wooden fences that surround houses and often recognize visitors. The majority of these outsiders are so-called tarchoks – drug users, who come to Parubanka for a fix. I learnt of this term from Fiokla Kiurė.

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Posted in Free Speech & Democracy, Human Rights, Lina Žigelytė, News & Views, Opinion, Roma | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off

An Article Sent to the South African Jewish Report

 


O P I N I O N

by Olga Zabludoff

NOTE: This article was submitted to the South African Jewish Report last spring. It never appeared and is therefore posted here for information and in the spirit of the ongoing discussion. It is again poignantly relevant in view of the South African contingent to be courted by government officials at the Fourth International Litvak Congress to be held in Vilnius later this month.


The Ball Is Now in Your Court

I have just returned from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The newly launched special exhibition, “Some Were Neighbors: Collaboration and Complicity in the Holocaust,” left me feeling drained. It’s not that I learned anything I didn’t already know. It’s just that the message, delivered in marquee-style displays, old photographs, video footage from the period, and recent oral testimonies, juxtaposed to create the sensation that I had been there — a victim.

“But what do we learn that resembles what we have seen? We have barely begun to understand the killing fields of Lithuania. . . .” writes Edward Rothstein in his review of the new exhibition (“Bystanders, Not So Innocent,” April 25, 2013, New York Times).

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Posted in Collaborators Glorified, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Olga Zabludoff, Opinion, Politics of Memory, South Africa | Comments Off

Donskis Speaks Out on East European Antisemitism and “Double Genocide” Discourse

The renowned philosopher and current Liberal MEP representing Lithuania, Professor Leonidas Donskis, has spoken out again on the interrelationships between current antisemitism and Double Genocide discourse, and on the enormous credit due Lithuanian authors who dare confront the historic truth. The following article appeared in the print edition of The Baltic Times on 29 August 2013. Daiva Čepauskaitė’s 2011 play, Day and Night, referred to in the article, was reviewed in Defending History in December 2011. See also our Bold Citizens page.

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Never Have So Many Owed So Much to So Few: Reflections on an August 2013 Visit to Some Museums in Vilnius


O P I N I O N

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

 

I recently returned home to Belgium from a visit to Vilnius, Lithuania. As is my custom, I visited different museums where the memory of the victims of the Holocaust is kept alive. I went first to the Green House on Pamenkalnio St 12. Not easy to find for foreigners as there are few indications on the streets. I also went to the Center for Tolerance. Apart from my wife and me there was no one else in either museum at the time of our visits there (in the high tourist season in August).

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Posted in Exotic Jewish Tourism, Genocide Center (Vilnius), Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Museums, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Roland Binet | Comments Off

Yad Vashem and the “Two Genocides”


O P I N I O N

by Danny Ben-Moshe  (Melbourne)

This op-ed was first published in Jerusalem Report in August 2013.


I remember my first visit to Yad Vashem as a 16-year-old visitor to Jerusalem. It had a profound, and indeed formative, effect on me. I left there with a badge clipped to my lapel inscribed with the motto, zakhor, the Hebrew word for remember.

Yet for all its splendid work, Yad Vashem whose formal title is The Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority, I am sorry to say, is now dramatically failing both the martyrs and heroes of the country where the percentage of the Jewish community annihilated in the Holocaust was higher than anywhere else in Europe – Lithuania.

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Posted in Australia, Danny Ben-Moshe, Double Genocide, Lithuania, Museums, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Yad Vashem Manipulated? | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

Яд Вашем и «Два геноцида»

 


O P I N I O N

Authorized translation into Russian by Milan Chersonski of Danny Ben-Moshe’s op-ed, Yad Vashem and the “Two Genocides” in the 26 August 2013 edition of Jerusalem Report.


Данни Бен-Моше

Яд Вашем и «Два геноцида»

Восточно-европейские политики, переписывая историю Холокоста, создают «двумя геноцидами» угрозу деятельности Яд Вашем по сохранению памяти о Холокосте

Я помню своё первое посещение Яд Вашем, когда 16-летним подростком я оказался в Иерусалиме. Он произвел на меня глубокое впечатление, можно сказать, потряс меня. Когда я уходил оттуда, к лацкану моего пиджака был приколот значок со словом «Захор», что на иврите значит – «Память».

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Posted in "Red-Brown Commission", Danny Ben-Moshe, Double Genocide, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , , | Comments Off

Translation into English of Professor Pinchos Fridberg’s Article of 9 April 2013

 


 

The following, for readers’ reference, is a translation of Professor Pinchos Fridberg’s article that appeared in Russian in Zman.com (on 9 April 2013). It was reprinted in Obzor and Shofar7.  

Lithuania is Paying with its Image for an Official’s Ambitions

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Posted in "Red-Brown Commission", Lithuania, News & Views, Opinion, Pinchos Fridberg, Politics of Memory | Comments Off

Who’s Afraid of Defending History Dot Com?


O P I N I O N

by Dovid Katz

 

It is gratifying that numerous scholars from different parts of the world, and indeed of differing opinions on the contentious issues that lie at the heart of Defending History, have on occasion found it a useful resource for data and views on various topics, including the Double Genocide movement, the Prague Declaration (2008), the Seventy Years Declaration (2012), the politics of memory, Holocaust Obfuscation, glorification of Holocaust perpetrators (and attempted criminalization of resistance heroes), East European antisemitism, racism, homophobia, and Litvak identity theft (more on contents and quick intro page).

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Posted in Double Genocide, Dovid Katz, EU, Free Speech & Democracy, History, Human Rights, Media Watch, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Russophobia | Tagged , , | Comments Off

Open Letter to Evaldas Gustas, new Minister for the Economy in Lithuania


O P I N I O N

SAMPLE IMAGES

Background:

Original 2 May 2013 report; Person identified by the media submits 13 May 2013 complaint to the Press Commission [draft English translation], citing Anarchija.ltBalsas.ltKaunoŽinios.lt, Lrytas.lt as well as DefendingHistory.com. He does not deny the identification but disputes the characterization of his work as in harmony with neo-Nazism.

23 July update: Zeppelinus greets Baltic Pride with a new hate image.

Dear Mr. Gustas,

Congratulations on your recent appointment as Economy Minister. May your tenure be blessed with success, wisdom and good fortune for all of Lithuania’s citizens.

We address you on the advent of your tenure on a human rights matter rather than an economic question. We feel certain you would agree that there is a demonstrable correlation between the long-term successful economies of the world and free and open democratic societies that reject all forms of state-supported fascism, racism, antisemitism, homophobia and other forms of hate and exclusionism directed at segments of the population.

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Dovid Katz, EU, Human Rights, LGBT Rights, Lithuania, News & Views, Opinion, Racism, Russophobia | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

An Important Book by Lithuania’s Health Minister, Totally Ignored by the Lithuanian Media. Why?


B O O K S

by Geoff Vasil

 See also: Andriukaitis’s 2012 reply to the foreign minister; on the floor of parliament; Andriukaitis section

Vytenis Andriukaitis by Defending History

Vytenis Povilas Andrukaitis, health minister of Lithuania. Photo: DefendingHistory.com

Vytenis Andriukaitis is a veteran politician. If you haven’t been following Lithuanian politics since 1990, there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of him, and even if you have, there’s a fair chance you didn’t notice him amid the various cults of personality which have dominated the political scene since about 1990.

The reason for that is fairly simple: Andriukaitis has never cultivated or even tolerated a cult of personality to grow up around him. From the very first days of Lithuanian independence, a freedom movement with which Andriukaitis was intimately involved, he has stubbornly clung to the idea of multiparty parliamentary democracy, largely by his own tenacity reviving the pre-World War II Lithuanian Social Democratic Party.

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

The Fate of an Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery that is Part of Now


O P I N I O N

by Dovid Katz

This comment first appeared in The Times of Israel on 22 May 2013.


One of the predictable consequences of genocide is the spectacle of old cemeteries without relatives or descendants of the buried to care for the gravestones or the site. Some stones will fall, some will sink, and then some will just be taken as usable components for the foundations of houses, the ballast of roads or the walls of a basketball court.

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Posted in Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Dovid Katz, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Comments Off