South Africa

Nida Degutiene’s Litvak-Israeli Cookbook Featured at NY’s Lithuanian Consulate in Cooperation with Yivo



OPINION   |   EVENTS   |   BOOKS   |   YIVO’S “LITHUANIAN PR” AGENDA

A TASTE OF ISRAELNEW YORK—Tomorrow’s daytime event featuring Nida Degutiene’s new book, A Taste of Israel: From Classic Litvak to Modern Israel (Penguin Random House South Africa 2016) is a joint production of the Consulate General of Lithuania in New York City and the Yivo Institute for Jewish Research. It will be held at the Consulate General’s offices at 420 Fifth Avenue at 12:30 PM on Monday 16 January 2017. Defending History recommends the event to our readers in the New York City area and we recommend Ms. Degutiene’s excellent book (available from many outlets including Amazon).

Continue reading

Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, Events, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Politics of Memory, South Africa, Yivo Manipulated? | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Nida Degutiene’s Litvak-Israeli Cookbook Featured at NY’s Lithuanian Consulate in Cooperation with Yivo

South African Litvak in London Critiques Lithuania’s Citizenship Policies



OPINION  |  LITHUANIA  |  SOUTH AFRICA  |  HUMAN RIGHTS  |  ANTISEMITISM & BIAS

by Daniel Lutrin

The following opinion piece by Daniel Lutrin appeared in the South African Jewish Report on 1 June 2016 under the headline “Lithuanian Citizenship: Only Successful Applicant is a Dead Jew.” Comments or discussion may be directed to the South African Jewish Report. Defending History is always prepared to consider actual articles in reaction to published articles.

It was gratifying to see a recent article regarding the plight that Jews of Lithuanian origin (Litvaks) are facing when applying to have their Lithuanian citizenship restored. The article, however, does not hone in on the critical matter at hand, namely the extent to which Lithuanian bureaucrats have gone to deny Jews of their ancestral right to citizenship.

Continue reading

Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Citizenship, Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, South Africa | Comments Off on South African Litvak in London Critiques Lithuania’s Citizenship Policies

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.

Continue reading

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, Yiddish Affairs | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Tel Aviv’s Leyvik House Issues Call to World Jewish Congress on Vilnius Yiddish Jobs in the Works

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.

Continue reading

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, Yiddish Affairs | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Could WJC get Ensnared in “Yiddish” as Cover for Holocaust Revisionism in Lithuania?

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.

Continue reading

Posted in Collaborators Glorified, Double Games, Identity Theft of the Litvak Heritage, Israel, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Media Watch, News & Views, Olga Zabludoff, Opinion, Politics of Memory, South Africa | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on An Open Letter to Steve Linde, Editor-in-Chief of the Jerusalem Post

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?

Continue reading

Posted in Citizenship, Double Games, Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, Israel, Litvak Affairs, Media Watch, News & Views, Opinion, South Africa | Tagged , | Comments Off on Jerusalem Post, Again, Fails to Post Dissenting Comments on a “Lithuania Ecstasy” Story

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).

Continue reading

Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, Collaborators Glorified, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Olga Zabludoff, Opinion, Politics of Memory, South Africa | Comments Off on An Article Sent to the South African Jewish Report

Lithuanian Government’s 2013 Vilna Ghetto PR Jamboree



Vilna Ghetto is Back in Focus

 

But Will “Vilna Ghetto Fest” Include Public Apologies to Defamed Vilna (and Kovno) Ghetto Anti-Nazi Jewish Partisan Heroes? Invitations to Come Join the Party?

UPDATES:

1. The Secret “Big-Bucks Vilna Ghetto Disneyland Theme Park” Project (minus the Jewish community, minus apologies to the Partisans of Vilna, minus removals of memorials to local Holocaust perpetrators).

2. Renewed International Petition.

3. Ghetto survivors who joined the anti-Nazi resistance have been criminalized.

4. Government delegation in South Africa trying to pry Disneyland “investment” from unsuspecting South African Jews.

 

SEVEN SIMPLE SOLUTIONS

Rachel Margolis and Chen Ivri Apter

Continue reading

Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, Double Games, Events, Exotic Jewish Tourism, Identity Theft of the Litvak Heritage, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Politics of Memory, South Africa | Comments Off on Lithuanian Government’s 2013 Vilna Ghetto PR Jamboree

Trilingual Memorial Plaque Unveiled on Zhager Town Square



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

by Dovid Katz

ZHAGER, northern Lithuania. Over a hundred people gathered here today on the historic town square to unveil a trilingual plaque memorializing the erstwhile Jewish population of thousands in the town, today Žagarė. The event was incorporated into the annual Cherry Festival and suitably entitled “You can’t fudge the history.”

SEE ALSO THE REPORTS BY ROD FREEDMAN AND SARA MANOBLA

THE QUESTION: IS IT THE ONLY TOWN-CENTER IN ALL THE LAND WITH CLEAR AND TRUE WORDS ON THE TRUE FATE OF THE JEWISH POPULATION?

The text — in English, Lithuanian and Yiddish — summarizes the unvarnished history, with prominent reference to local Lithuanian collaboration (though historians will quibble with the use of “some” in place of “many” among other points). It is placed right in the center of town, rather than at a mass grave site deep in the forest; that might well be a first in modern Lithuanian history.

Continue reading

Posted in "Vilnius Jewish Public Library", Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Commemorations for Destroyed Communities, Dovid Katz, Events, Exotic Jewish Tourism, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, South Africa, The Great SLS About-Face, Zháger (Žagarė) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Trilingual Memorial Plaque Unveiled on Zhager Town Square

The Steve Felder – Olga Zabludoff Debate (in SAJR, May-July 2012)



1: Lithuania – a Past Not Forgotten

by Steve Felder

Given the Lithuanian heritage of the overwhelming majority of South African Jews, it is somewhat surprising that seemingly few have visited modern-day Lithuania. Bucking the trend, I visited during March with a small yet prominent delegation of Jewish business executives, on a “mission” arranged by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), the largest Jewish humanitarian and welfare organization in the world.

Continue reading

Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, Citizenship, Collaborators Glorified, Double Games, Double Genocide, News & Views, Olga Zabludoff, Opinion, South Africa | Comments Off on The Steve Felder – Olga Zabludoff Debate (in SAJR, May-July 2012)

“Moderate Litvak” Status is Conferred by his Highness, the Norwegian Property Magnate cum Editor-in-Chief of Vilnius



O P I N I O N

by Dovid Katz

 

Getty Images

Thought experiment: Imagine an African American in the city of Columbia, South Carolina, being called an extremist or fanatic for peacefully expressing the opinion that it is offensive for the Confederate flag to be hoisted on the grounds of the state capitol building. Imagine him or her being called extremist or fanatic for failing to be grateful that the flag was, after much protest, moved from atop the dome to the mere grounds of the capitol and its design slightly changed to conform to the Confederate Battle Flag (as a “concession”).

Imagine if a snow-white editor of a web journal singled out for David Duke style praise “Moderate African Americans” who just say “Thank you” when a pathetic morsel of PR is offered up by local authorities in the face of mounting international opprobrium.

There would be public outrage at the racism.

Continue reading

Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Dovid Katz, Free Speech & Democracy, Human Rights, Litvak Affairs, Media Watch, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Racism, South Africa, VilNews.com | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on “Moderate Litvak” Status is Conferred by his Highness, the Norwegian Property Magnate cum Editor-in-Chief of Vilnius

Lithuanian Government Calls for “Bigger Investments from Litvaks” as South Africa’s Glasenberg is Welcomed


Ivan Glasenberg, CEO of Glencore: Celebrated Litvak scion is feted by government operatives in Vilnius

According to a BNS news report released today (full text below), the Lithuanian prime minister’s advisor Mykolas Majauskas reported that discussions were held with Glencore’s CEO Ivan Glasenberg concerning plans to inspire more Litvaks to invest in the country. Mr. Majauskas also claimed that “some Litvaks are considering buying farms in Lithuania in order to take active part in communal activities.”

DefendingHistory.com takes the view that Litvak investment should progress in tandem with genuine progress on Lithuanian-Jewish issues, and not as long as the present “dual-track” (“double game”) policies continue to be applied. Ruses attempted have on occasion entailed usurpation of the Litvak identity by government agencies.

Continue reading

Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, Double Games, Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, Identity Theft of the Litvak Heritage, News & Views, South Africa | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Lithuanian Government Calls for “Bigger Investments from Litvaks” as South Africa’s Glasenberg is Welcomed

Saying No to “Double Genocide”



O P I N I O N

by Danny-Ben Moshe

This comment appeared today in the Jerusalem Post and is republished here with the author’s permission.


The Israel-South Africa Chamber of Commerce is hosting as guest of honor Lithuanian Foreign Minister Audronius Ažubalis at a gala dinner. Given the current Lithuanian government’s policies towards the Holocaust, it is a bizarre choice.

More than twenty years into their post-Soviet eras, Lithuania and other East European nations are understandably and appropriately seeking international acknowledgment for the suffering inflicted on them by the Soviet regime.

However, rather than commemorating this in its own right, Lithuania has led the campaign to tie this recognition in with the Holocaust, in a policy known as Double Genocide. By so doing, the recognition they seek for their own suffering under the Soviets ipso facto becomes a policy that distorts and downgrades the Holocaust, and undermines and threatens its memory.

Continue reading

Posted in 70 Years Declaration, Danny Ben-Moshe, Double Games, Double Genocide, History, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, South Africa | Comments Off on Saying No to “Double Genocide”

Lithuanian Holocaust Survivors Protest Tel Aviv “Gala”


Kovno Ghetto Survivor and Resistance Hero Joe Melamed, 87, Leads March 5th 2012 Picket Line Against “Sellout Gala” at the Tel Aviv Dan Panorama

Lithuanian Foreign Minister and Brothers Zingeris are Greeted by Protesting Holocaust Survivors

A FIRST-TIME PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN LEYVIK HOUSE YIDDISH CULTURE CENTERTHE SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTER ISRAEL OFFICE AND THE ASSOCIATION OF LITHUANIAN JEWS IN ISRAEL

Continue reading

Posted in A 21st Century Campaign Against Lithuanian Holocaust Survivors?, Efraim Zuroff, Israel, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Politics of Memory, South Africa | Comments Off on Lithuanian Holocaust Survivors Protest Tel Aviv “Gala”

Joe Melamed, Head of Association of Lithuanian Jews in Israel, calls on ‘Real Litvaks’ to Stay Away from Tel Aviv ‘Gala Sham’ on March 5th


Developments have started moving quickly in the ill-starred project to host the current foreign minister of Lithuania as “guest of honor” at a Tel Aviv “gala” at the Dan Panorama Hotel on March 5th.

Continue reading

Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, A 21st Century Campaign Against Lithuanian Holocaust Survivors?, Israel, Joseph Melamed, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, South Africa | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Joe Melamed, Head of Association of Lithuanian Jews in Israel, calls on ‘Real Litvaks’ to Stay Away from Tel Aviv ‘Gala Sham’ on March 5th

Holocaust Survivors to Demonstrate outside Tel Aviv ‘Sellout Gala’ Slated for March 5th



C O M M E N T

[updated 17 Feb] The following “SAVE THE DATE GALA DINNER” announcement was recently posted on the Telfed Online website [update: page taken down; similar text is at the ILCCI site of the organizing “Israel-Lithuania”]:

Continue reading

Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, Citizenship, Double Games, Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, Israel, Joseph Melamed, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Politics of Memory, South Africa | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Holocaust Survivors to Demonstrate outside Tel Aviv ‘Sellout Gala’ Slated for March 5th

A Speech Never Spoken at Plungyán (Plungė)



O P I N I O N

by Dovid Katz

An imaginary speech, not delivered by any of the high government officials who addressed the commemoration at the mass murder site of the Jews of Plungyán (Plungė) on 17 July 2011.


My dear friends, it is precisely because I am a proud official of the government of independent, democratic, Lithuania, and I love my country, that I am able to speak here today openly, on the seventieth anniversary of the murder of the Jews of Plungė  — Plungyán, as they proudly called it in the Yiddish that rang through its streets for so many centuries.

Continue reading

Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Commemorations for Destroyed Communities, Dovid Katz, Events, Exotic Jewish Tourism, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Plungyán (Plungė), Politics of Memory, South Africa | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on A Speech Never Spoken at Plungyán (Plungė)

Deputy Foreign Minister heads ‘Fake Litvak’ working group to entice ‘Rich Litvaks’


An opposition party member of the Lithuanian Seimas (parliament) has leaked this memo (English translation here), dated 20 July 2010, which purports to be a circular letter from the deputy foreign minister, Sarunas Adomavicius, to the working group (names blocked out) of the ‘Fake Litvak’ Forum (the official name is the ‘Litvak Heritage Forum’). The Forum is viewed as a ploy to hijack Litvak identity and put it to use for government PR purposes.

The day it was announced, 15 July 2010, the prime minister’s chancellor boasted of ‘rich Litvaks’ having been found to finance it. Protests followed immediately from Holocaust Survivors of the ALJ, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Litvak Studies Institute and this website (see here). There is particular fear that it is to serve as cover  to deflect attention from the ongoing  Continue reading

Posted in "Good Will Foundation" (Jewish Restitution in Lithuania), "Jewish" Events as Cover?, Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, Human Rights, Identity Theft of the Litvak Heritage, Israel, News & Views, South Africa | Comments Off on Deputy Foreign Minister heads ‘Fake Litvak’ working group to entice ‘Rich Litvaks’