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Lithuanian Foreign Ministry’s Annual “Litvak Days” in Some Deep London Fog



OPINION  |  UCL MANIPULATED  |  LITVAK AFFAIRS  |  COLLABORATORS GLORIFIED  |  UK  |  JEWISH EVENTS AS COVER  |  USEFUL JEWISH IDIOTS (UJIs)  |  VILNIUS JEWISH LIFE

LONDON—It’s that time of year again. The “Litvak” and “Yiddish” grandees of University College London’s Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies, and various cohorts from near and far, queue up to bask in the pot-of-lentil glories offered for their repeated championing of state PR, even when it entailed betrayal of the interests and causes of Holocaust survivors, the actual Litvak legacy, and bona fide Yiddish language and culture. The roster from previous years includes the 2011 conference intended to “fix” the narrative of the Holocaust in the direction of Double Genocide, which resulted in a major protest that included, to her (and the department’s) great credit, the then head-of-department (For the Economist’s coverage see here and here; more media). The record also includes the 2012 refusal of conference organizers to allow a Holocaust survivor five minutes to read a polite statement of concern.

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Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, UCL Manipulated?, United Kingdom | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Lithuanian Foreign Ministry’s Annual “Litvak Days” in Some Deep London Fog

New Hotel on Top of Old Jewish Cemetery in Wrocław? A Challenge for Poland’s Jewish-Interest Activists and London’s CPJCE



CEMETERIES  |  HUMAN RIGHTS  |  POLAND  |  CHRISTIAN-JEWISH RELATIONS   |  CPJCE  |  OPPOSITION TO VILNIUS CONVENTION CENTER PROJECT  |  VILNIUS PETITION

New Hotel Wroclaw

Logo for the new Hotel Wrocław?

WROCŁAWIt would be hard to find a better illustration of what is at stake in the current conflict over the fate of the old Vilna Jewish cemetery in Vilnius, Lithuania, than the partly analogous scenario playing out here in this western Polish city that was once the German Breslau (Yiddish Brésle), home to a major European Jewish community. The Gwarna Street Cemetery, just opposite the main railway station, was this city’s first Jewish cemetery, in active use from 1760 until 1856. Although closed for new burials in 1856, it was lovingly maintained, and remained open for visitors until World War II. Several thousand people were buried here.

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Posted in Cemeteries and Mass Graves, CPJCE (London), Human Rights, News & Views, Poland, Politics of Memory, United Kingdom, US Commission for Preservation of the American Heritage Abroad | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on New Hotel on Top of Old Jewish Cemetery in Wrocław? A Challenge for Poland’s Jewish-Interest Activists and London’s CPJCE

London Beth Din (Rabbinical Court) Issues Summons to Two Leaders of Lithuania’s Official Jewish Community



HUMAN RIGHTS  |  VILNIUS JEWISH LIFE  |  LITVAK AFFAIRS

LONDONDefending History has learned from reliable sources that The Judicial Division of the London Beth Din (Court of the Chief Rabbi) issued a summons on 27 February 2017 (1 Adar 5777 by the Hebrew calendar) calling upon Simas Levinas, chairperson of the Vilna Jewish Religious Community, and Faina Kukliansky, chairperson of the Lithuanian Jewish Community, to “agree to attend a hearing and sign a binding Arbitration Agreement, on receipt of which we will fix a hearing date for the mutual convenience of all parties.”

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Posted in "Good Will Foundation" (Jewish Restitution in Lithuania), Cemeteries and Mass Graves, CPJCE (London), Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, United Kingdom, Vilnius Jewish Life (from 2016) | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on London Beth Din (Rabbinical Court) Issues Summons to Two Leaders of Lithuania’s Official Jewish Community

A Reply to London’s Rabbi Herschel Gluck OBE



PIRAMÓNT  |  PAPER  TRAIL  |  OPPOSITION  |  CEMETERIES

LONDON—The world’s greatest rabbinic authorities are unanimously opposed to the project to construct a 34 million euro convention center in the heart of Vilna’s old Jewish cemetery, surrounded by thousands of graves on all four sides. And now, 34,000 people around the world have also spoken up in a new international petition. Nevertheless, one group of London rabbis, the “CPJCE” (Committee for the Preservation of Jewish Cemeteries in Europe [italics added]) continues to campaign for the convention center in close cooperation with the local business interests and politicians. Its Rabbi Herschel (Hershel) Gluck OBE has spoken out in the London Jewish Chronicle, trashing the petition of a Vilnius born Orthodox Jewish woman, Ruta Bloshtein.

Neither Rabbi Gluck nor the Jewish Chronicle mention that his “CPJCE” was allegedly exposed in Wikileaks (reports in the Jerusalem Post, Times of Israel, DH) for demanding money for their “supervision”. Rabbi Gluck told the London Jewish Chronicle:

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Posted in "Admas Kodesh", Cemeteries and Mass Graves, CPJCE (London), Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Media Watch, News & Views, Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in Šnipiškės / Shnípishok), Opinion, Politics of Memory, United Kingdom, Vilnius Jewish Life (from 2016) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on A Reply to London’s Rabbi Herschel Gluck OBE

UCL “Point Man” Honored in Vilnius



LONDONDefending History readers are familiar with the curious history of University College London’s Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies repeatedly providing cover for Lithuanian government efforts to obfuscate the Holocaust via the revisionist paradigm widely known as Double Genocide.  The saga started in late 2010 with the announcement of an “academic” conference from which all critics of Lithuanian government policy were banned, and whose raison d’être was announced as replacing the “simplified” narratives of the Holocaust. The then head of the Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Prof. Ada Rapoport-Albert, was herself one of the signatories on a public letter of protest handed to the Lithuanian embassy in February 2011. The Wiesenthal Center’s director of East European affairs, Dr. Efraim Zuroff, published an op-ed on the subject in London’s Jewish Chronicle.

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Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, UCL Manipulated?, United Kingdom, Vilnius Yiddish Institute | Tagged , , | Comments Off on UCL “Point Man” Honored in Vilnius

Latvia’s Ambassador to the UK Replies to Gareth Thomas MP on Annual Waffen SS Marches in Central Riga



UK  |  LATVIA  |  GLORIFICATION OF COLLABORATORS  |  PRO-NAZI MARCHES  |  DOCUMENTS

LONDON—The following is the 16 April 2016 reply of the Latvian ambassador to the UK Aandris Teikmanis to MP Gareth Thomas, concerning the annual March 16th events in central Riga glorifying the Latvian Waffen SS.


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Posted in Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, EU, Gareth Thomas, Human Rights, Latvia, Litvak Affairs, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Riga's Waffen SS Marches, United Kingdom | Comments Off on Latvia’s Ambassador to the UK Replies to Gareth Thomas MP on Annual Waffen SS Marches in Central Riga

UK’s Europe Minister Again Fails to Offer Even Mild Criticism of Baltic State-Enabled Nazi Worship



UK  |  LATVIA  |  GLORIFICATION OF COLLABORATORS  |  PRO-NAZI MARCHES  |  DOCUMENTS

LONDON—The following is the UK Minister for Europe’s 8 April 2016 reply to his former shadow counterpart, Labour MP Gareth Thomas, concerning neo-Nazi marches in Latvia and Lithuania that occur each year with with substantial government support in the heart of each nation’s capital. For reference, the minister’s 2013 reply on the same topic is appended below.


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Posted in Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, Documents, EU, Gareth Thomas, Human Rights, Latvia, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Politics of Memory, Riga's Waffen SS Marches, United Kingdom, Vilnius Neo-Nazi Marches | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on UK’s Europe Minister Again Fails to Offer Even Mild Criticism of Baltic State-Enabled Nazi Worship

Waffen SS Fest in Central Riga on March 16th


[UPDATED]

LATVIA  |  NEO-NAZI MARCHES  |  RIGA MARCHES  |  GLORIFICATION OF COLLABORATORS


RIGA:

100px-Coat_of_Arms_of_Riga.svg

AFTERMATH: EFRAIM ZUROFF IN THE JERUSALEM POSTMONICA LOWENBERG IN HOPE NOT HATE

LONDON: UK MP GARETH THOMAS WRITES TO LATVIAN AMBASSADOR AND TO BRITISH FOREIGN OFFICEMONICA LOWENBERG SPEAKS OUT TO BRITAIN’S EUROPE SECRETARY DAVID LIDINGTON  IN HOPE NOT HATEBRITISH JOURNALIST ARRESTED IN RIGA

IN RIGA:

RULING PARTY LATVIAN MP TOLD MEDIA THAT “CLEVER JEWS” ARE “UNDERMINING HIS NATION’S SECURITY”

PARLIAMENTARIANS WERE SLATED FOR THIS YEAR’S WAFFEN SS FEST ON MARCH 16TH IN THE LATVIAN CAPITAL; SAM SOKOL IN THE JERUSALEM POSTBUT LAST MINUTE CLIMBDOWN BY NATIONAL ALLIANCE REVERSES DECISIONBALTIC TIMES WHITEWASH

GROUP OF GERMAN ANTIFASCIST PROTESTERS ARRESTED WHILE TRYING TO ENTER LATVIA FOR THE EVENT; FRANK BRENDLE’S REPORTFLORIAN GUTSCHE’S REPORT; ONE OF THE GERMAN DETAINEES, MARKUS TERVOOREN, GIVES AN INTERVIEW

DR. EFRAIM ZUROFF FLIES IN TO PROTEST: JTA REPORT; AFP REPORT; SAM SOKOL IN THE JERUSALEM POSTAP VIDEO; DOKUMENTIONSARCHIV; REPORT AND PHOTOS ON MONICA LOWENBERG’S MARCH 16th BLOGSPOT

MONICA LOWENBERG:  BLOGSPOT, PETITION  & IN DH

DEFENDING HISTORY’S COVERAGE OF THE EVENT FROM 2010

Defending History Monitors the Marches:

Kaunas, VilniusRiga

Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Celebrations of Fascism, Gareth Thomas, Latvia, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Riga's Waffen SS Marches, United Kingdom | Comments Off on Waffen SS Fest in Central Riga on March 16th

A Chronology of Latvia’s Pantomime of March 16th Horror: 2012—2016



LATVIA  |  NEO-NAZI MARCHES  |  RIGA WAFFEN SS MARCHES  |  COLLABORATORS GLORIFIED

by Monica Lowenberg


Preamble

On 16 March 2012, Dr. Efraim Zuroff, head of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel Office, during his visit to Riga to protest against the Waffen SS legionnaires march, stated in an interview to Latvian State television LTV1 that the “Latvian SS Legion was not involved in the crimes of the Holocaust” but also stated, as he has done each and every year since 1999, “although these units were not involved in crimes against humanity, many of their soldiers had previously served in the Latvian security police and had actively participated in the mass murder of civilians, primarily Jews.” [16]

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Posted in Celebrations of Fascism, Documents, Efraim Zuroff, Latvia, Litvak Affairs, Monica Lowenberg, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Politics of Memory, Riga's Waffen SS Marches, United Kingdom | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on A Chronology of Latvia’s Pantomime of March 16th Horror: 2012—2016

Question in the UK Parliament on the Old Jewish Cemetery in Vilnius



UK   /   P I R A M Ó N T   /   O P P O S I T I O N   /   C E M E T E R I E S    /   D O C U M E N T S

LONDON—At the initiative of Monica Lowenberg, Defending History’s London correspondent, UK member of parliament Gareth Thomas (Labour) tabled a question in the House of Commons (no. 14144) on 29 October 2015 on the planned desecration of the old Jewish cemetery at Piramónt (in the Šnipiškės district of Vilnius, Lithuania) by construction of a twenty-five million dollar national convention center. His question, and the reply by the current Minister for Europe, David Lidington, of 3 November 2015, are reproduced below (and available online).

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Posted in Cemeteries and Mass Graves, CPJCE (London), Documents, EU, Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, Gareth Thomas, Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in Šnipiškės / Shnípishok), United Kingdom | Comments Off on Question in the UK Parliament on the Old Jewish Cemetery in Vilnius

Breaking the Silence



B O O K S

by Merilyn Moos

1783482966-230x345While there has been some research on and recognition of the exiles from Nazism who settled in the UK, little is known about their children: the British second generation, and what the long term effects of their parents’ exile have been on them. Indeed, this has been a largely invisible group. My book Breaking the Silence. Voices of the British Children of Refugees from Nazism  (Rowman and Littlefield, 2015) set out to cast light on this second generation group.

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Roma, Travellers and Jews Commemorate the Holocaust



O P I N I O N    /    R O M A   I S S U E S

by Ruth Barnett

Over a hundred people gathered on August 2nd, 2015 at the Holocaust Memorial in Hyde Park to commemorate the liquidation of the “Gypsy Camp” at Auschwitz on August 2nd 1944 and the murder of between .5 and 1.5 million Roma in the Holocaust.

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London Based “CPJCE” Rushes to Take Credit for Provincial Mass Grave Site Preservation; Fails to Mention Involvement in “Sale” of Vilna’s Old Jewish Cemetery



O P I N I O N

LONDON—The same London-based European cemetery-preservation group that allegedly takes money (for supervision fees) for “supervising” cemetery “conversions” in Eastern Europe forbidden by other rabbinical authorities, today issued a triumphant press release (image below) about its “rescue” of a provincial mass grave site uncovered during routine roadworks in northern Lithuania, near Šiauliai (Yiddish Shavl). The group is the CPJCE (Committee for the Preservation of Jewish Cemeteries in Europe), which was recently received by the prime minister of Lithuania upon its agreeing to a convention center in the middle of Vilna’s old Jewish cemetery, with no reference to any of the local rabbis or to universal decency on the question of what is appropriate in an old cemetery.

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Posted in Cemeteries and Mass Graves, CPJCE (London), Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in Šnipiškės / Shnípishok), Opinion, United Kingdom | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on London Based “CPJCE” Rushes to Take Credit for Provincial Mass Grave Site Preservation; Fails to Mention Involvement in “Sale” of Vilna’s Old Jewish Cemetery

Ukrainian Hitlerist Icons Celebrated in Weston-on-Trent in Derbyshire, England



O P I N I O N    /   U K    /    U K R A I N E

by J. North

Earlier this month, the Ukrainian Youth Association (CYM Great Britain) held a remembrance day at the Tarasivka camp at Weston-on-Trent in Derbyshire. They advertised the event on their website (http://cym.org/uk) and with a poster replete with (ultra)nationalist imagery.

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Posted in Bandera, Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, Events, Human Rights, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Ukraine, United Kingdom | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Ukrainian Hitlerist Icons Celebrated in Weston-on-Trent in Derbyshire, England

Persecution of Roma in Lithuania and Britain



H U M A N   R I G H T S    /    R O M A   I S S U E S    /    O P I N I O N

by Ruth Barnett

Avivid description of the horrific treatment of Roma in Lithuania has just appeared in Defending History. This is yet another in a long line of reports of discrimination  and injustice against Roma in Eastern European countries – a catalogue of unacceptable situations.

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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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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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British Board of Deputies Includes Effort Against Prague Declaration in New 2014 Manifesto


LONDON—In its just published A Jewish Manifesto: The 2014 European Elections, the British Board of Deputies has included a statement rejecting the attempts of recent years to downgrade the Holocaust. Section 3.3, entitled “Holocaust Revisionism” appears on page 10 of the online version of the Jewish Manifesto. 

The Manifesto notes the “alarm among many Jewish communities” caused by the 2008 Prague Declaration, the de-facto central document of the Double Genocide movement, and calls on MEPs to “challenge their European colleagues on these narratives that seek to downplay or minimize the Holocaust.” The Prague Declaration sports the word “same” five times referring to Nazi and Soviet crimes, effectively claiming there were two equal genocide-causing regimes and thereby writing the Holocaust out of history as unique event, without denying a single death.

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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, Riga's Waffen SS Marches, United Kingdom | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on British MEP Richard Howitt, European Parliament Spokesperson on Human Rights, Issues Statement on Riga Waffen SS March

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, Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, Human Rights, Latvia, Monica Lowenberg, News & Views, Opinion, Riga's Waffen SS Marches, Symbology, United Kingdom | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Riga, Capital of European Culture: Waffen SS, Stags and Silence?

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 on Artists Knew, Allied Leaders Kept Silent

World Union for Progressive Judaism “Fully Endorses” the Seventy Years Declaration (SYD)


LONDON—The World Union for Progressive Judaism released the following statement today, endorsing the Seventy Years Declaration (SYD). It also appears on the WUPJ website.

The news release, which was also circulated widely via the WUPJ’s emailed news reports, follows by half a year the SYD’s endorsement by Britain’s major Orthodox union, The United Synagogue, in the summer of 2013. [SYD text in European languages]


WUPJheader

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Posted in 70 Years Declaration, Double Genocide, Estonia, EU, Events, Latvia, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Politics of Memory, United Kingdom | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on World Union for Progressive Judaism “Fully Endorses” the Seventy Years Declaration (SYD)

Summary Coverage of 1-2 December 2013 London Events at ORT and Westminster Synagogue Sponsored by Lithuanian Embassy



Monica Lowenberg Issues Public Letter on Lithuanian Embassy Event

Embassy’s Latest PR Initiative Entangles Westminster Synagogue and British ORT

Lowenberg Family Severs Lifelong ORT Ties

EVENT ORGANIZERS DID NOT ALLOW PETITION TO BE READ OUT

Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, Double Games, Events, Identity Theft of the Litvak Heritage, Monica Lowenberg, News & Views, Politics of Memory, United Kingdom | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Summary Coverage of 1-2 December 2013 London Events at ORT and Westminster Synagogue Sponsored by Lithuanian Embassy

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, Identity Theft of the Litvak Heritage, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Monica Lowenberg, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, United Kingdom, World Jewish Congress (WJC) and ORT | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Monica Lowenberg Releases Text of Letter to British ORT on Latest Lithuanian Embassy Sponsored “Litvak Do” in London

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 on Antisemitism Denial — An English Intellectual Speciality

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, Riga's Waffen SS Marches, United Kingdom | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Riga, Roots and Reflections

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, Debates on the Postwar "Forest Brothers", Human Rights, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, UCL Manipulated?, United Kingdom | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Three Baltic Governments Sponsor “Round Table” at London U on 5 November: Will Nazi Collaborators be Glorified?

British MP John Mann, Chair of Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism, Speaks Out on “Double Genocide”



MP John Mann (photo: Guardian)

 

 

2013: “It is an industrial rewriting of history in Eastern Europe to excuse mass murders carried out on behalf of the Nazis.”

— John Mann, 5 October 2013


 

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Posted in 70 Years Declaration, Double Genocide, Genocide Center (Vilnius), John Mann, UK MP, News & Views, Politics of Memory, United Kingdom | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on British MP John Mann, Chair of Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism, Speaks Out on “Double Genocide”

Statement for London Panel by Michael Pinto-Duschinsky



 

O P I N I O N

by Michael Pinto-Duschinsky

The following is the author’s prepared statement for a panel discussion this evening on rights and freedoms prior to a performance of Harold Pinter’s “Hothouse” at Trafalgar Studios, London SE1. Panelists are: Shami Chakrabarti, Jonathan Cooper, Nicolas Kent and Michael Pinto-Duschinsky.


 

In 1970, twelve years after the first performance of “Hothouse”, Harold Pinter chose to accept a valuable award called the “Shakespeare Prize”. The series of Shakespeare Prizes were donated from the 1930s onwards by a Hamburg multi-millionaire with a record for actively supporting the Nazis before, during and after the Second World War.

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British Updates



British Foreign Office on Latvia’s National Waffen SS Fest:

UK’S MINISTER FOR EUROPE ENTERS THE FRAY

MONICA LOWENBERG IN THE LONDON JEWISH NEWS

ANNA SHEINMAN IN THE JEWISH CHRONICLE

BACKGROUND: DAVID CESARANI IN THE GUARDIAN

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Posted in Collaborators Glorified, Latvia, Monica Lowenberg, News & Views, Politics of Memory, United Kingdom | Tagged , , | Comments Off on British Updates

UK’s Minister for Europe Refuses to Criticize Baltic Glorification of Nazism



British Foreign Office on Latvia’s National Waffen SS Fest:

Minister for Europe Enters the Fray; Of Churchill’s Party, He Seems to Forget Great Britain’s Heroism in Bringing Down Hitler and — Scourge (and Historic Result) of Nazi-Worship in the Baltics

Anna Sheinman Reports in the London Jewish Chronicle

Images from the 2013 Waffen SS events in Central Riga

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Posted in Collaborators Glorified, EU, Free Speech & Democracy, Human Rights, Latvia, Monica Lowenberg, News & Views, Politics of Memory, Riga's Waffen SS Marches, United Kingdom | Comments Off on UK’s Minister for Europe Refuses to Criticize Baltic Glorification of Nazism

Cameron’s Latvian Liaison, One Woman’s Petition and One SS March



O P I N I O N

by Monica Lowenberg

 

If you walked through a busy EU city today and came across Eichmann Allee, Hitler Strasse or even Goebbels Gasse you would initially think that someone was pulling your leg or you would start to raise, and rightly so, serious questions regarding the ruling government that would allow such blatant glorification of mass murderers to take place. You can therefore imagine how I felt, the daughter of a German Jewish refugee whose paternal Latvian Jewish family had all been brutally murdered in the Libau massacres of 1941 and Riga ghetto, to discover in 2011, that each and every 16 March, since 1998, SS veterans are glorified in the capital city of Riga in Latvia an EU and NATO country since 2004.

My name is Monica Lowenberg; I was born on a cold winter’s day in 1964, in ear shot of Bow Bells.

On January 20, 2012, I set up a petition to stop the 16th March marches in Riga, ninety years to the day from the date of birth of my uncle Paul Theodor Loewenberg who at age 19 was sent to the Riga Ghetto on 4 October 1941. The petition is as much an act of commemoration of the victims of Nazism as it is a tribute to the European parliamentarians, including a number from Latvia, who wisely and courageously signed on the 20 January last year 2012, the Seventy Years Declaration, commemorating Wannsee, a declaration which specifically rejects glorification of Latvia’s Waffen SS, along with Estonia’s Waffen SS and the Lithuanian Activist Front (LAF) in Lithuania.

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Latvian Ambassador to the UK Comments on March 16th Waffen SS March in Riga


LONDON—Latvia’s ambassador to the UK has responded to a UK Conservative Party MP’s question about the Waffen SS events held in the center of Latvia’s capital, Riga, on March 16th each year. The office of UK Parliament MP David Amess, who represents Southend West, released the response dated 1 March 2013, which he received from the Latvian ambassador to the UK, HE Eduards Stiprais. It is reproduced in full below (as PDF here), courtesy of the office of Monica Lowenberg in London, whose petition and media guide have brought the Latvian SS marches to increased international scrutiny.

MONICA LOWENBERG’S REPLY TO THE LATVIAN AMBASSADOR IN 2012

See also Monica Lowenberg’s 2012 exchange of ideas with the Latvian ambassador to the UK. More in Defending History’s Latvia section.

Ambassador Stiprais’s letter to MP Amess:

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End of the World. And the Day After …



O P I N I O N

by Monica Lowenberg

 

It is the 24th of December 2012, three days after the announced end of the world. I am sitting at my desk drinking a cup of a tea. No gaping hole has suddenly swallowed me up, no heavens have collapsed, no earthquakes have caused Tsunamis to sweep coastal towns. My cat is blissfully unaware of the commotion millions of people around the world have caused on mountain tops, at sacred sites and even in a museum in Russia which for apparently only $1,500 offered salvation in the underground bunker of the former Soviet dictator Josef Stalin. Apparently the museum sold all 1,000 tickets in one fell swoop and I am sure now regret that they offered a 50% discount if nothing happened. Tant pis. It is amazing how people will believe anything today. Even some very intelligent people.

The last time I looked at the international petition site I set up against the SS marches in Latvia, in number one place, above any human rights cause, came the rights of Shetland ponies. I am not sure what happened to the Shetland ponies but clearly something must have, as thousands and thousands of people across the world vitriolically and vociferously protested and voted for their rights and rightly so. However, when it comes to the rights of humans the voting finger is in most cases nowhere to be seen.

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December 2012 London Conference at UCL and Protest (Box Coverage to 24 Dec)



DOCUMENTS: Petition (with links; with select signatures) ◊ Petitioner’s dossierUPDATES: Petition’s first effect ◊ Jewish Chronicle ◊ London Jewish News ◊ UCL Hebrew Dept lets Holocaust survivors down ◊ Disinformation campaign ◊ Monica Lowenberg looks back at the events (24 Dec. 2012)LETTERS: Alumnus writes to provost (& to ambassador) ◊ Ruth Barnett ◊ Hans Coppi  (English) ◊ (Rachel Margolis’s cousin) Budd Margolis ◊ Gert Weisskirchen

PROTEST AT LITHUANIAN EMBASSY IN LONDON

VIDEO FROM THE EVENT: 12, and 3

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UCL Professor who Denied Holocaust Survivors Five Minutes to Read Petition to Lithuanian Government, Sings Different Tune Schnoring $$$ for Lithuanian “Study Trips”


Professor Michael Berkowitz of University College London’s Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies, an expert on Lithuanian Jewish studies, was the member of staff who told London petitioner Monica Lowenberg on 14 December 2012 that Brandeis Professor Antony Polonsky’s banning of the reading of a  five minute petition would be upheld by the UCL department (correspondence here; background on the UCL saga here—best enjoyed in chronological order from the bottom upwards…).

The text of the petition and list of international signatories to date is available on Change.org.

Professor Polonsky was knighted by the president of Lithuania earlier this year for services to that country’s efforts to improve its Jewish PR profile, a PR profile that has suffered difficulty from repeated state honoring of Nazi collaborators and perpetrators, state defamation of Holocaust survivors who joined the resistance, and state investment in a revised far-right-based historical model for World War II.

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Gert Weisskirchen’s Open Letter to the Lithuanian Ambassador in London



The following letter was released today by Professor Weisskirchen’s office. It is followed by an English translation by Irene Fick.


Dezember 17, 2012

H.E. Ambassador Asta Skaisgiryte Liauskiene

The Embassy of Lithuania

 

Exzellenz, sehr geehrte Frau Botschafterin,

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David Cukier’s Follow-up Letter to the Provost of University College London



O P I N I O N

by David Cukier

The following is the text of the author’s letter today to the provost of University College London, following up on his earlier communication of 29 November.

  • From: David Cukier
  • To: “provost@ucl.ac.uk” <provost@ucl.ac.uk>
  • Sent: Thursday, December 13, 2012 3:38 PM
  • Subject: UCL Conference on December 17th and 18th 2012: Jews and Non-Jews in Lithuania: Coexistence, Cooperation, Violence

 

Dear Professor Grant,

I attach an earlier communication to you in which I asked you to consider the wisdom of hosting the above conference at UCL as a former student who takes great pride in having studied at UCL and the objectives and principles established by its founders.

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UCL Hebrew-Jewish Studies Dept Rejects Request for Five Minutes for Holocaust Survivor to Read Petition at Lithuanian Gov. Sponsored Conference


London observers were wondering whether the medal Professor Antony Polonsky received earlier this year from the president of Lithuania for his PR work for the Lithuanian government may have something to do with his denial of Monica Lowenberg’s request, asking for five minutes for her father, a Holocaust survivor, to read out at next week’s conference her petition to the Lithuanian government, proposing constructive solutions to the issues at hand. The petition has to date garnered over 250 signatories from two dozen countries. The following is the correspondence, which started with Ms. Lowenberg’s appeal to Professor Ada Rapoport-Albert and Dr. Francois Guesnet. Dr. Guesnet, the Corob Reader in Jewish History at UCL is one of the conference coordinators on behalf of the Lithuanian government funded institutions financing the conference. Holocaust survivors consulted cannot understand why safe and secure academics who hold high posts at Western institutions should so fear “even to give five minutes for somebody else to come and disagree” with the conference’s pay-masters in the freedom of the British capital.

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On Free Speech at University College London



O P I N I O N

by Monica Lowenberg

The following letter to the provost of University College London was released for publication today by Ms. Lowenberg’s office.


 

To the Provost

Dear Professor Grant,

Please find pasted below correspondence between myself and Dr Francois Guenest of UCL and Professor Polonsky who together have organised with the Lithuanian government this year’s Part 2 conference ‘No Simple Stories’ to be held next week 17-19 December at the Lithuanian embassy in London and UCL.

I requested that I read out a petition that hundreds of people across the world, scholars, survivors and others agree with, a petition that disagrees with Polonsky’s and the Lithuanian government’s interpretation of events and action. Polonsky as designated organiser has refused me the opportunity to read out the petition.

Serious questions have to now be raised about the conference, its agenda and UCL.

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UCL Alumnus David Cukier Writes to the Lithuanian Ambassador in London



O P I N I O N

by David Cukier

 

HE Ambassador Asta Skaisgirytė Liauškienė
The Lithuanian Embassy,
Lithuania House,
2 Bessborough Gardens,
Westminster,
London, SW1V 2JE
13 December 2012
Dear Ambassador,

I write to you concerning the forthcoming conference to be hosted by UCL called ‘Simple Stories’ where the conference co-sponsored by your government is attempting to revise the accepted historical narrative concerning the events of 1941-1944 in Lithuania . In so doing it is encouraging divisive extremist fascist political opinion in your country, which as an EU and NATO member, it surely behoves Lithuania to seek to eliminate. Rather it should be incumbent on the Government of Lithuania to discourage prejudicial politics against all its minorities including the small Jewish minority in the country, and to respect human rights that were so lacking in the war years between 1941-41.

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The Text of Monica Lowenberg’s Petition on Change.org



The following is a verbatim reprint of Monica Lowenberg’s December 2012 petition on Change.org. Embedded links have been added, marked by underlining, referring readers to further coverage on Defending History pages which link to various  sources providing more background.


Petitioning HE Ambassador Asta Skaisgirytė Liauškienė

 This petition will be delivered to:

  • Lithuanian Ambassador for London, UK
  • HE Ambassador Asta Skaisgirytė Liauškienė

Abandon state sponsored Anti-Semitism and Holocaust Obfuscation

  •  Petition by
  •  Monica Lowenberg
  •  London, United Kingdom

Following the announcement that the Lithuanian Embassy is one of the generous co-sponsors of this month’s London conference on Jewish-Lithuanian issues including the Holocaust, we the undersigned ask the Embassy’s public support on the following urgent matters:

1) Rapid and elegant public apologies, released prior to the conference, to the Jewish Holocaust Survivors defamed in recent years by Lithuanian prosecutors, media and some government officials. The survivors are in their late 80s and 90s, making time essential if there is going to be a symbolic amelioration in the manner in which the Lithuanian state is ending a 700 year old history of Jewish settlement, and on what note, with the last survivors of the bona fide pre Holocaust generation. Most urgently, Rachel Margolis; also: Yitzhak Arad and Fania Brantsovsky and Joseph Melamed.

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London Fog, Part II? The Second in the Lithuanian Government’s “London Series”



Lithuanian Government Invests in 2nd PR Conference at University College London, 17-18 Dec.

Another Graywash manipulation of a venerable Western institution? It happened once back in 2011. Open letter then issued was signed by the head of UCL’s Jewish Studies.

THE NEW PETITION

MONICA LOWENBERG LAUNCHES PUBLIC PETITION, BASED ON LETTER TO AMBASSADOR ASTA SKAISGIRYTĖ-LIAUŠKIENĖ (VETERAN OF 2009 BOOK FAIR FIASCO);  UCL ALUMNUS PROTESTS TO PROVOST

After investing heavily in reburying with full honours and glorifying the 1941 Nazi puppet prime minister (in May 2012),  sectors of the Lithuanian government are investing in a second lavish London conference (in Dec. 2012) to cover up these policies with Jewish PR. Issues on the table include the ongoing glorification of local Holocaust perpetrators (most recently in a “peace park” in the capital), and support for the Prague Declaration of 2008, and other Double Genocide revisionist projectsDefending History has proposed constructive solutions to the issues at hand.

Glittering 2012 events in Vilnius and Kaunas to mark the reburial with full honours of the 1941 Nazi puppet prime minister who signed the German orders for all of Kovno (Kaunas) Jewry to be herded into a ghetto. He also signed orders for a concentration camp that was actually a torture and mass murder site (Seventh Fort, Kaunas).

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Why Monica Lowenberg’s Petition Is So Important



O P I N I O N

Londoner Monica Lowenberg, who has done so much, with a petition and via press coverage, to keep on Britain’s political agenda the Latvian government-blessed Waffen-SS parades in Riga each year, has in one fell swoop done a huge good for sadly analogous topics pertaining to neighboring Lithuania.  By launching an international petition in advance of this month’s Lithuanian government sponsored PR conference in London, and focusing the petition on simple, virtually cost-free good-will solutions to the irksome issues in Lithuanian-Jewish relations, she has shown how easy the extant problems would be to solve if the political will were there from the state (and it is the state, not the everyday people of the country that is the cause of all these problems). A state has embarked on a foolhardy campaign to rewrite history in the direction of glorification of Hitlerist allies in Eastern Europe, precisely the opposite of the values that EU and NATO member states should be instilling in new generations of Europeans.

Ms. Lowenberg’s petition, signed by hundreds of people from a dozen countries in its first few days, begins with the simple request for a public apology by the Lithuanian government to the Holocaust survivors defamed by Lithuania’s antisemitic state prosecutors who have called the courageous Jewish ghetto survivors who joined the anti-Nazi partisans (and are heroes of the free world) — “war criminals.” For half a dozen years, the campaign has included everything from press releases saying that these survivors “cannot be found” to police actually turning up looking for two women in their late eighties.

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Monica Lowenberg’s Petition to the Lithuanian Ambassador to the UK, HE Asta Skaisgirytė-Liauškienė



The text of Monica Lowenberg’s petition that appeared today on Change.org. To sign please visit:

http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/he-ambassador-asta-skaisgiryt%C4%97-liau%C5%A1kien%C4%97-lithuanian-ambassador-london-uk-abandon-state-sponsored-anti-semitism-and-holocaust-obfuscation


Abandon state sponsored Antisemitism and Holocaust Obfuscation

  • To:
  • HE Ambassador Asta Skaisgirytė-Liauškienė
  • Lithuanian Ambassador for London, UK

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Posted in 70 Years Declaration, Antisemitism & Bias, Double Games, Double Genocide, Human Rights, Litvak Affairs, Monica Lowenberg, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, UCL Manipulated?, United Kingdom | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Monica Lowenberg’s Petition to the Lithuanian Ambassador to the UK, HE Asta Skaisgirytė-Liauškienė

David Cukier, Alumnus of UCL, Writes to the Provost on Lithuanian Government’s December Conference



O P I N I O N

by David Cukier

David Cukier, a child of two Holocaust Survivors, studied Pharmacology at University College London, 1975-1978, where he also participated in some Jewish and Yiddish studies activities. He has released to Defending History for publication his letter to the president and provost of UCL, Professor Malcolm Grant, expressing concern over the Hebrew and Jewish Studies Department hosting a second Lithuanian government sponsored one-sided Holocaust conference.

In his covering letter to DH.com, Mr. Cukier adds:

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MP Denis MacShane Writes to the Director-General of the Imperial War Museum in London



 O P I N I O N

by Denis MacShane

The letter below was sent by then MP Denis MacShane to the director-general of the Imperial War Museum on 18 September 2012. It was released for publication in 2013, and now appears in its chronological (time of writing) slot in Defending History’s Denis MacShane section.

 

  • Ms Diane Lees
  • Director-General
  • Imperial War Museum
  • Lambeth Road
  • London SE1 6HZ

Dear Ms Lees:

I write to you as one of the MPs who takes a special interest in contemporary antisemitism. I chaired the All Party Parliamentary Committee of Inquiry into the problem, have written a well-received book “Globalising Hatred: The New Antisemitism” (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 2008/9), and lecture and write all over the world on the return of the racist ideology of antisemitism in the 21st century.

Thus as a life-long supporter of the Imperial War Museum, and one particularly proud that this magnificent British institution encompasses the excellent Holocaust Exhibition, I write to express some urgent concern that IWM might unwittingly be drawn into a plan by certain far-right or ultranationalist circles in the current Lithuanian government to abuse the good name and offices of IWM in an attempt to legitimise the profoundly problematic “Genocide Centre” in Lithuania, in a series of meetings scheduled for this month, apparently organised by the Lithuanian Embassy here in London.

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Reply to the Economist on Lithuania’s Recent Reburial of the 1941 Nazi Puppet “Prime Minister”



O P I N I O N

by Dovid Katz

This is a slightly edited reprint of the comment posted today in reply to the article “Lithuania under the Nazis: Hero or Villain?” on the Economist’s online “Eastern Approaches” section, at: http://www.economist.com/comment/1472788#comment-1472788.

Many thanks to the Economist and its online Eastern Approaches section for highlighting this important issue that so many others have just swept under the rug. But frankly speaking, it does our Lithuanian friends no good to slant each report in the direction of sophisticated apologetics for the Lithuanian (and other regional) governments’ tragic veering to the far right on issues of historic integrity, human rights, freedom of speech, antisemitism, racism, gay rights, and perhaps above all, state-sponsored adulation of local Nazi war criminals and collaborators, and actual local mass murderers of the region’s Jewish population. It was, alas, a level of participation that resulted in the Baltics having the highest percentage of murder of its Jewish population in Holocaust-era Europe.

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Monica Lowenberg in Dialogue with Latvia’s Ambassador to the UK



D E B A T E

From the 2009 Waffen SS march in Riga. Photo Ilmars Znotins.

Monica Lowenberg is the creator of the international petition against this year’s Waffen SS march scheduled for 16 March 2012 in the heart of Riga, Latvia’s capital city. The petition has to date attracted some six thousand signatures from every part of the planet.

Its author approached the Latvian ambassador to the UK for support.

Below is his letter of 1 March (as PDF here). It is followed by the text of Monica Lowenberg’s 5 March reply, supplied to DefendingHistory.com for publication.

 

I: The Latvian Ambassador to Monica Lowenberg (1 March 2012)

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Lithuanian Parliamentarian Vytenis Andriukaitis, Signatory of 70 Years Declaration, Replies to Foreign Minister, Cites ‘Moustache’ Remark and the Implications of ‘Double Genocide’


 


O P I N I O N

by Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis

 

The following is an authorized translation from the Lithuanian text published on Delfi.lt on 9 February 2012. It is a reply to the foreign minister’s article published a week earlier (English translation here).

Honorable A. Ažubalis, Did You Pull Such an Understanding of History out of Thin Air?

by Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis, member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Lithuanian Parliament

 

Honorable minister, looking at the headline of your public statement, I hoped at least that you would apologize for the position expressed earlier that “it is impossible to find any difference between Hitler and Stalin except in their moustaches (Hitler’s was smaller).” I agree with the position expressed by Dennis MacShane, member of the British House of Commons, that such jokes by foreign minister Audronius Ažubalis are inappropriate in discussing the mass murder of six million Jews.

SEE ALSO:

ANDRIUKAITIS SECTION

In your public statement, you again place two signed declarations in opposition to one another. One of them — the “only true one” — the “Declaration on European Conscience and Communism” signed in Prague in 2008, maintains that the precondition for a unified Europe is a unified view of history and the ability to condemn the last century’s crimes against humanity. The second, the Seventy Years Declaration — the declaration referred to as if it were a crime and condemned by you —was adopted marking the 70th anniversary of the Wannsee conference, a declaration which rejects attempts to trivialize the atrocities of the Jewish genocide.

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UK MP Denis MacShane’s January 24th 2012 Letter to Lithuanian MP Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis


The following letter, from UK MP Dr. Denis MacShane, was received today by the office of Lithuanian parliament member Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis:

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UK MP Denis MacShane Rushes to Defense of Lithuanian Parliamentarians who Signed Seventy Years Declaration; Slams Foreign Minister’s Hitler-Stalin ‘Joke’


The following press statement was issued today by the office of UK MP Denis MacShane concerning the response of the Lithuanian foreign minister to the news that eight Lithuanian parliamentarians had signed the Seventy Years Declaration.


News Release 25 Jan. 2012

On the eve of National Holocaust Day, former Europe Minister Denis MacShane MP has written to Lithuanian MPs and MEPs who defied their political establishment to sign a statement on the Holocaust which attacks attempts to devalue the Nazi extermination of Jews by claiming it is no worse than the crimes committed by communists.

The Seventy Years Declaration was issued on 20 January 2012 by seventy European Union parliamentarians (MPs and MEPs) concerned about the return of antisemitism as an issue in contemporary politics. In January 1942, Nazi officials met at a conference at Lake Wannsee close to Berlin to plan the industrially organized extermination of European Jewry.

In recent years, European right-wing politicians have sought to gain acceptance for their view that the suffering under communist rule was the same as the Nazi extermination of Jews. This so-called “double genocide” thesis has been criticized by campaigners against modern antisemitism as leading to a devaluation of the unique specific Jew-hating roots of the Holocaust.

Now social democratic MPs and MEPs in Lithuania who signed this declaration have been attacked by government officials. Lithuania’s Foreign Minister went so far as to say there was no difference between Hitler and Stalin except the length of their moustache.Continue reading

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Believe it or not. . .


Vilnius Prosecutors Launch Campaign against Another Holocaust Survivor, 86, this time via — Interpol!

Joe Melamed

Joe Melamed in his Tel Aviv office

At Lithuanian prosecutors’ demand, Israeli Interpol liaison officers speak with Mr. Melamed about the ‘accusations’

Report in Haaretz by Yossi Melman

Yad Vashem withdraws invitations to visiting minster and resident ambassador for Vilna Ghetto commemoration; Coverage in Haaretz by Yossi Melman; Associated Press (→ CBS News, Fox, MSNBC, Washington Post, YahooNews etc); JTA (→ WJC, JJ, Juedische.at, etc); Mishpacha

Three British MPs file Early Day Motion 2161 to protest the Lithuanian government’s action

DefendingHistory.com reports here and here

  Geoff Vasil in the Jewish Chronicle

Posted in Boxes, United Kingdom | Comments Off on Believe it or not. . .

Holocaust Survivor Community in Shock as Yet Another Survivor Pursued by Lithuanian Prosecutors (and Interpol!), This Time for “Libel”



Vilnius Prosecutors Launch Campaign against Another Holocaust Survivor, 86, this time via — Interpol!

Joe Melamed

At Lithuanian prosecutors’ demand, Israeli Interpol liaison officers speak with Mr. Melamed about the ‘accusations’

Report in Haaretz by Yossi Melman;

DefendingHistory.com reports here and here;

Geoff Vasil in the Jewish Chronicle

 

Yad Vashem withdraws invitations to visiting minster and resident ambassador for Vilna Ghetto commemoration; Coverage inHaaretz by Yossi Melman; Associated Press (→ CBS News, Fox,MSNBC,Washington Post, YahooNews etc);JTA (→WJC, JJ, Juedische.at, etc);Mishpacha

Three British MPs file Early Day Motion 2161 to protest the Lithuanian government’s action

 ISRAEL’S GOVERNMENT MAINTAINS PUBLIC SILENCE

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Yad Vashem Withdraws Invitation to Lithuanian Minister over Campaign against Joe Melamed; British Parliamentarians Move an ‘Early Day Motion’; Melamed Speaks Eloquently at Yad Vashem, Blasts Efforts to Glorify Holocaust Perpetrators as ‘Heroes’


Joe Melamed in his Tel Aviv Office

Yad Vashem  rescinded the invitations to the Lithuanian culture minister and ambassador to the 19 September event held in memory of the victims of the Lithuanian Holocaust. The cancelation of invitations came in response to the new investigation launched by Vilnius prosecutors  (via Interpol) against a Holocaust survivor. The 30 August visit to Mr. Melamed by Interpol liaison officers in Tel Aviv was reported in DefendingHistory.com and by Yossi Melman in Haaretz.

The report on the disinvitation, also by Yossi Melman in Haaretz was rapidly picked up by the Associated Press and carried widely (e.g. CBS News, Fox, MSNBC, Washington Post, YahooNews). Further reports have appeared in the Jerusalem Post, the Jewish Chronicle (London), Mishpacha, and JTA (WJC, JJ, Juedische.at, etc).

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London Fog: Lithuanian Foreign Ministry invests in a London ‘Graywash’


 


Letter of Protest signed by Lord JannerMP MacShane, Professor Dov Levin, Rabbi Barry Marcus17 Others

———

DIGNIFIED MORNING PROTEST

 All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Anti-SemitiMember of the UK Parliament, human rights champion and author RH Denis MacShane (right), led a good-natured moment of protest Monday morning, 7 February in London at the Lithuanian Embassy, 84 Gloucester Place, London W1.

MP MacShane presented a letter of protest to the embassy, drafted and organized by Professor Danny Ben-Moshe (center), who flew in from Melbourne to be at the event. At left is Danny Stone, director of the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism. The letter was signed by 21 people, including academics, political figures, those involved with the fight against antisemitism, representatives of Litvak organizations, and Lithuanian Holocaust survivors. The ambassador declined a written request to meet to discuss the letter.

BACKGROUND REPORT

PRESS: REPORT IN THE JERUSALEM POST ♦ IN THE ECONOMIST (REPLY HERE) ♦ ALFA.LT (8 Feb) ♦ BNS ♦ CLEMENS HENI (DH) ♦ DOVID KATZ (DH) ♦ LRYTAS.LT ♦ JONNY PAUL (JP) ♦ SIMON ROCKER I (JC) ♦SIMON ROCKER II (JC) ♦ SIMON ROCKER III (JC) ♦ NITZA SPIRO (JN) ♦ EFRAIM ZUROFF (JC)

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Vilnius ‘Yiddish Studies Professor’ tells ‘Economist’ that Litvaks who Speak Out for Lithuanian Jewry are ‘Taliban’


Litvak Taliban?

Dispatched to London by the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry, the state-approved director of the Vilnius Yiddish(-less) Institute bemoaned feeling himself ‘between two Talibans’, referring to the antisemitic establishment in Lithuania on the one hand, and to a polite letter of Litvak protest on the other. The comment was reported in today’s Economist, in an article by Edward Lucas, which also reports that the VYI director, Sarunas Liekis, described himself as ‘a Yiddish-studies professor from Vilnius’.

The ‘Taliban’ letter was signed among others, by Lord Janner; British MP Denis MacShane; head of the last active Litvak organization in the world, Joe Melamed; the master historian of the Lithuanian Holocaust Prof. Dov Levin; Rabbi Barry Marcus, leader of London’s Central Synagogue. Text of the ‘Taliban’ letter here. Signatories here.

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‘Holocaust Obfuscation’ as Specific Term enters the Diplomatic Lexicon


A report on the website of the Board of Deputies of British Jews reveals that Holocaust Obfuscation is gaining ground rapidly as a highly specific term for the phenomenon of ‘denying without denying’ in the context of the far right’s Double Genocide revisionism prevalent in post-Soviet Eastern Europe and especially the Baltics. The Board’s summary of a meeting held with the Lithuanian ambassador to London, HE Dr Oskaras Jusys noted that:

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Text of the Letter Delivered to the Lithuanian Ambassador in London on 7 February 2011



Text of the letter delivered to the Lithuanian ambassador in London Monday morning 7 February 2011 by the Right Honourable Denis MacShane MP. The letter was drafted by Danny Ben-Moshe and evolved with input from the other signatories. Signatories include Lord Janner of Braunstone, Rabbi Barry Marcus of Central Synagogue, and Professor Ada Rapoport-Albert, head of the Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies at University College London which hosted the main conference. PDF here. Background and further links to press coverage here.


H.E. Dr Oskaras Jusys

Ambassador
Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania
84 Gloucester Place
London W1U 6AU

7 February 2011

Dear Ambassador

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A Shameful Shoah Whitewash



O P I N I O N

by Efraim Zuroff

This comment appeared in today’s Jewish Chronicle (London) and is reposted here by the author’s permission.


A financially-strapped small Eastern European country is spending tens of thousands of pounds to sponsor an extraordinarily large number of political and cultural events ― lectures, concerts, exhibitions and films ― in London next week. Why? That is the obvious question for the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry, several Lithuanian cultural institutions, and local UK partners.

Under the heading No Simple Stories; Jewish-Lithuanian relationships: facing difficult questions, the events are projected as an honest attempt to address the ostensibly complex history of Lithuania’s once very large Jewish community, which was irreparably decimated during the Holocaust — 96.4% of the 220,000 Jews who lived in Lithuania under the Nazi occupation were slaughtered, with the help of a large number of local collaborators.

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Lithuanian Jews, Holocaust Survivors, Specialists who Disagree with the Lithuanian Government — Shut Out of London Conference



O P I N I O N

by Dovid Katz

The Holocaust Survivor community is responding with a mixture of sadness and defiance to news that the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry, which actively coordinated the recent attempt (December 2010) to underpin ‘Double Genocide’ and downgrade the Holocaust in European Union law (see top story on home page), is now financing, in partnership with (naive?) parties in London, a starkly one-sided colloquium on ‘Jewish-Lithuanian Relations Between Coexistence and Violence’ on 6-7 Feb 2011 in London.

London Fog: Will the Conference be a ‘Graywash’?

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Clemens Heni Critiques London Conference


Dr Clemens Heni, a prominent Berlin-based scholar specializing in antisemitism, today critiques, in this journal, the 6-7 February 2011 conference in London entitled ‘No Simple Stories: Jewish-Lithuanian relations between coexistence and violence’ (conference program here; poster here). His opinion piece, “A rather simple story: Lithuania, the Jews, and the Shoah” is here.

Dr Clemens Heni

Dr Heni, a former research fellow at the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism (YIISA) at Yale University (USA), was arguably the first to publish an academic paper on the antisemitic aspects of the 2008 Prague Declaration. His paper, which appeared in late 2009, is available here.

Additional coverage of the London conference (6-7 February 2011): Dovid Katz on DefendingHistory.com;  Simon Rocker in the Jewish Chronicle.

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A rather simple story: Lithuania, the Jews, and the Shoah


 


O P I N I O N

by Clemens Heni

An Open Letter to the Scholars Reading Papers at the 6-7 February UCL-Warburg Symposium in London

On February 6 and 7 of 2011, there will be a conference held in London, entitled “No simple stories: Jewish-Lithuanian relations between coexistence and violence”. Taking into account that some 95% of Lithuanian Jews were killed during the Holocaust — the highest percentage in all of Europe — this is quite a heartbreaking title, isn’t it?

“No simple stories” — really? For those Lithuanians involved, killing Jews was quite simple, even before the Germans arrived.

“No simple stories.”

Really?

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In Major Speech to UK’s Parliament, MP MacShane Confronts Hungarian Injustice, Baltics’ Double Genocide Campaign


MP Denis MacShane

Denis MacShane, the veteran Labour Party member of the British Parliament for Rotherham, gave a major speech on antisemitism in the House of Commons yesterday. (Full text of Denis MacShane’s 20 January speech.)

In contrast to politicians across Europe who pay lip service to the battle against antisemitism ‘in general’, Mr MacShane emphasized the actual issues of the day, including two major and ongoing scandals sadly involving member states of the European Union in the new accession eastern area. In both cases, his speech serves to overcome the veil of reticence sometimes encountered when it comes to criticizing Britain’s partners in the EU, NATO, the OSCE and other international organizations.

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Lord Janner Confronts Revisionists’ ‘Double Genocide’, marking 2011’s Holocaust Memorial Day


Lord Janner of Braunstone (formerly Greville Janner, MP), in a statement published today on the Parliamentary Committee Against Antisemitism Foundation’s website, praised leaders of all political parties in the UK who have steadfastly supported cross-party work against racism and antisemitism and in the cause of proper and serious Holocaust commemoration. The essay, entitled ‘Never Again’, is issued on the eve of this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day on January 27th.

In his major substantive contribution, Lord Janner explains the connection of antisemitism with the current campaign, spearheaded in Lithuania and Latvia, to have Nazi and Soviet crimes declared equivalent in principle (‘Double Genocide’). The most recent incident involving efforts  by a group of East European states to insert ‘Double Genocide’ into European Union policy occurred last month.

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MP Denis MacShane Calls for Release of 7 Ambassadors’ Letter on Antisemitism and the ‘Double Genocide’ movement in Lithuania


The following exchange between human rights advocate MP Denis MacShane and the government’s Minister for Europe, David Lidington, was reported today in the House of Commons:

Mr MacShane:To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will publish the letter of 25 November 2010 sent by the UK and other ambassadors in Lithuania concerning the growing manifestations of anti-Semitism in Lithuania. [29665]

Mr Lidington:It has not been the practice of successive Governments to publish letters sent by diplomats in a confidential capacity. It is important for the effective conduct of international relations for diplomacy to be able to take place on a confidential basis where necessary.

The letter referred to was reported in this journal on 25 November 2010.

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Ambassadors of Britain, Estonia, Finland, France, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden protest Antisemitism in Lithuania; Red-Equals-Brown Movement is Noted


BNS reported today that the Vilnius-based ambassadors of Britain, Estonia, France, Finland, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden have written in no uncertain terms to the president and other major officials of Lithuania to express concern over the growing manifestations of antisemitism.

Two of the signatories confirmed privately to Defending History that the initiative had come from British ambassador HE Simon Butt, who also drafted the letter. Ambassador Butt had in 2008 organized a letter in moral support of Dr. Rachel Margolis, a walk through the Vilna Ghetto with Ms. Fania Brantsovsky, and had, together with other senior Western diplomats stationed in Vilnius, visited the decaying Jewish partisan fort in the forest.

“Spurious attempts are made to equate the uniquely evil genocide of the Jews with Soviet crimes against Lithuania, which, though great in magnitude, cannot be regarded as equivalent in either their intention or result.”

Excerpt from a letter to the president of Lithuania from the ambassadors of Britain, Estonia, Finland, France, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden, 25 November 2010

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Mr Lidington is right, but there is more to it



O P I N I O N

[Note: A revised version of this comment appeared on Alfa.lt.]

by Dovid Katz

David Lidington, Britain’s Minister for Europe, has praised the recent Lithuanian parliament vote on a (lamentably ambiguous) draft of a bill to deal with restitution of looted Jewish communal property [Details here.] In his statement, he goes on to say: “Passage of the law will bring credit to Lithuania as it prepares to assume the chairmanship of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). I hope that the draft will now advance successfully through its remaining stages.” [The minister’s statement is reported here; it was triumphantly reported in the Lithuanian media.]

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Sir Martin Gilbert Releases August 2008 Letter on his Resignation from the Lithuanian Government’s “Red-Brown Commission”


Sir Martin Gilbert has today authorized publication of his 24 August 2008 letter to this journal’s (future) editor. The facsimile follows. The letter had confirmed his April 2008 resignation from the “International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania” (known informally and for brevity as the “Red-Brown Commission”), citing the Yitzhak Arad affair.

In view of the subsequent developments, the 24 August letter also cites the need for the Commission to condemn the defamation of additional Holocaust survivors Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky, Professor Sara Ginaite, and Dr. Rachel Margolis. Professor Gilbert’s authorization for publication came after the Commission’s website failed to remove his name from the list of members in spite of his resignation on principle.

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


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

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

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

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

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Ireland’s Ambassador Donal Denham Hosts a Reception for Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky at his Residence in Vilnius


The Embassy of Ireland in Lithuania issued a certificate of lifetime achievement to Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky, signed by HE Ambassador Dónal Denham, who presented the award at a reception today at the ambassador’s residence. Ambassador Denham’s speech concluded with the words: ‘Fania is one brave woman! You are a beautiful person, a special person, an inspiration to us all.’

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Britain’s MP John Mann Blasts Tallinn’s “Double Genocide” Conclave in House of Commons Speech



UK  |  DOUBLE GENOCIDE  |  ESTONIA  |  EU

VILNIUS—The following is an excerpt from John Mann’s speech in the House of Commons of 31 January 2008. The entire speech, along with others in the debate, are on the UK Parliament website.

 

 

2.30 pm

John Mann (Bassetlaw) (Lab):

On 22 January, in Tallinn, Estonia, five MEPs from five different countries met to launch a group called Common Europe—Common History. It has the same theme—the need for an equal evaluation of history. It is just a traditional form of prejudice, rewritten in a modern context. In essence, it is trying to equate communism and Judaism as one conspiracy and rewrite history from a nationalist point of view. Those are elected MEPs.

 

I hope that the Minister and his Department will consider how we can make progress on these issues in the European Union. One good way to mark the huge success of Holocaust memorial day in Britain this year would be to convene a Council of Ministers meeting to consider anti-Semitism today in the European Union and how it should be tackled in all member states. That would begin to tease out some of the prejudices that exist.

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