C O M M E N T
With the president: Professor Antony Polonsky wearing the Cross of the Officer of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. Photo: Džoja Barysaitė
VILNIUS—Professor Antony Polonsky of Brandeis University, one of the world’s most accomplished scholars of Polish-Jewish history and the long time editor of the seminal Polish Jewish history series Polin, was at the Lithuanian president’s palace today to receive from her excellency the prestigious Cross of the Officer of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. The award, pinned on his chest by President Dalia Grybauskaitė, was not for a lifetime of sterling work on Polish Jewish history, but it seemed, for several years’ staunch and perhaps somewhat naive loyalty to the public relations program of the current government of Lithuania, organized by the local Holocaust revisionism elite’s alleged top handler of “important foreign Jews,” Prof. S.arunas Liekis. The presidential press release, reported in English by Baltic News Service (BNS), put it this way:
Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, A 21st Century Campaign Against Lithuanian Holocaust Survivors?, Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, Lithuania, News & Views, Opinion, Poland, Politics of Memory, Symbology, United States, US State Dept Manipulated?, Views of Prof. Sarunas Liekis
Tagged Antony Polonsky, Antony Polonsky + Lithuania, definition of genocide, Holocaust in Lithuania, Polonsky + Cross of the Officer of the Order for Merits to Lithuania, Polonsky + Margolis, prosecution of Holocaust survivors by Lithuanian prosecutors, Rachel Margolis, Sarunas Liekis
Updates (newest first):
The following is DefendingHistory.com’s translation (from the tape) of the concluding speech of the 29-30 June 2011 conference (reports here and here), delivered by Ronaldas Račinskas, director general (sometimes listed as executive director) of the government sponsored ‘International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania’ (known for short as the ‘Red-Brown Commission’), which is housed in the Office of the Prime Minister of Lithuania. It can serve as a potent example of the state-sponsored Holocaust Obfuscation movement which presents one face domestically, a second in the European Parliament, and a third to naive Western Holocaust Studies groups.
Simple, really. Tell the locals there was no Holocaust, just a complicated morass of mixed-up perpetrators and victims (and heck, those Jews were mostly communists anyway). Tell the European Parliament there were two equal genocides and they must legislate the equality of totalitarian regimes. And tell the foreign Jews and the West you need money to pursue Holocaust studies and commemoration. They’ll have to believe you. After all, you’re in the prime minister’s office of an EU government. Elementary, really?
Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, "Red-Brown Commission", Collaborators Glorified, Double Games, Double Genocide, Events, Legacy of 23 June 1941, Lithuania, News & Views, Plungyán (Plungė), US State Dept Manipulated?, Views of Mr. Ronaldas Račinskas, Yad Vashem Manipulated?
Tagged director general of the International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania, executive director of the International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes of Lithuania, Historical Commission Lithuania, Holocaust in Lithuania, International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania, Prague Declaration, Racinskas Holocaust Obfuscation, Račinskas tricks Holocaust museums abroad, Račinskas's double dealing with the Jewish community, Red-Brown Commission, Ronaldas Racinskas
The OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) today released its report on the ‘OSCE High Level Meeting on Confronting Antisemitism in Public Discourse’ that was held in Prague on 23 and 24 March 2011 under the auspices of its ODIHR department (Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights). The full report is available here (alternate link here).
Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, A 21st Century Campaign Against Lithuanian Holocaust Survivors?, Antisemitism & Bias, Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, Human Rights, News & Views, The OSCE, US State Dept Manipulated?
Tagged Antisemitism in Eastern Europe, Confronting Antisemitism, Lithuania, Lithuanian Jewish policy, ODIHR, ODIHR antisemitism, OSCE antisemitism, OSCE High Level Meeting, OSCE ODIHR, Sarunas Liekis, Vilnius Yiddish Institute
O P I N I O N
by Dovid Katz
DefendingHistory.com disagrees with each and every word that Lithuanian politician Algirdas Paleckis has uttered about the events in Vilnius, Lithuania, of January 13th 1991 when courageous unarmed protesters for freedom and independence were mercilessly murdered by armed Soviet forces.
As students of Voltaire (though the famous quote is by his biographer Evelyn Beatrice Hall), we disapprove of all that Paleckis has said about January 1991, but we will join the fight to the finish for his right to say it and not be subject to trial in a member-state of the European Union and NATO.
O P I N I O N
by Dovid Katz
NOTE: This reply to the Lithuanian Foreign Policy Review paper by Rokas Grajauskas first appeared on the website of LFPR (direct link here).
Rokas Grajauskas cites me in his recent article on these pages as invoking the notion Holocaust Obfuscation (a term I proposed at a London seminar in February 2008, then formally in 2009) to refer to “the efforts of the post-Communist countries to revive the memory of Stalin’s crimes.” Nothing could be further from the truth. The web journal I edit, DefendingHistory.com, although dedicated primarily to the battle against trivialization of the Holocaust and the concomitant racism and antisemitism of the new Far Right in Eastern Europe, contains a page on Soviet crimes, where I wholeheartedly embrace such Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly resolutions as 1096 (1996) and 1481 (2006), which wisely and rightly condemn Soviet crimes. It is vital that the full extent of these crimes be documented, the victims honored, the subject properly taught in international curricula, museums and memorializing institutions established, and justice pursued to the full extent of law. It is every bit as vital that Western commitment to Baltic security and independence remain unwavering, what with a huge unpredictable neighbor “with a certain past” (and unclear future) situated to the immediate east.
Posted in Double Genocide, Dovid Katz, EU, Free Speech & Democracy, Human Rights, Hungary, Lithuania, Opinion, Politics of Memory, US State Dept Manipulated?
Tagged Double Genocide, Double Genocide + Communism, Dovid Katz Lithuanian Foreign Policy Review, Holocaust Obfuscation, origin of the term Holocaust Obfuscation, Prague Declaration, Prague Declaration on European Conscience and Communism, Prague Process, Rokas Grajauskas, Rokas Grajauskas + Jewish issues
The Survivor community and its supporters, Holocaust studies and commemoration circles, and numerous members of the Lithuanian Jewish community felt betrayed by the largely secret Holocaust education conference organized by the US embassy in Vilnius from 29 November to 3 December 2010, in close cooperation with local state-sponsored ‘Double Genocide’ proponents. The event included excellent individual scholars and educators, both from Lithuania and abroad, alongside notoriously obfuscationist local institutions, including the ‘Red-Brown Commission’ and the Genocide Research Center.
The American embassy’s conference in Vilnius was the subject of comment in The Tablet (US), and in the London Guardian (by Efraim Zuroff and Dovid Katz).
Joseph A. Melamed
The Tel-Aviv based Association of Lithuanian Jews, the world’s most active association of Holocaust Survivors from Lithuania and their progeny, today released to the media the letter which its chairman, Joseph A. Melamed, sent on 16 September 2010 to Anne E. Derse, America’s ambassador to Lithuania. Mr Melamed, a Tel Aviv attorney and former Israeli diplomat, told DefendingHistory.com that his office hopes to receive a reply “in the nearest future”. The full text of Mr Melamed’s 16 September letter:
A Lithuanian court in Klaipeda approved the public display of swastikas on the grounds that they are ‘Lithuania’s historical heritage rather than symbols of Nazi Germany’. An ultranationalist ‘expert’ transported from Vilnius was easily able to persuade the court, which did not bother to ask a contrasting view of the Holocaust Survivor community, or the Jewish Community of Lithuania, in a European country with one of the highest proportions of Holocaust genocide on the continent. This sad distinction resulted from massive local participation. Image from 16 Feb Klaipeda demonstration courtesy DMN atKaunodiena.lt.
BNS report on the court’s 19 May decision here. So much for the parliament’s 2008 ban on ‘Nazi and Soviet symbols’ which only caused pain to aged veterans of the anti-Nazi war effort, and which was ultimately part of the machinations in support of the Double Genocide movement in the European Parliament, in cooperation with the movement’s local power structures.
The United States Embassy has remained silent on the legalization of public swastikas.
Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, EU, Human Rights, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Politics of Memory, Symbology, US State Dept Manipulated?, Vilnius Neo-Nazi Marches
A Lithuanian court in Klaipeda approved the public display of swastikas on the grounds that they are ‘Lithuania’s historical heritage rather than symbols of Nazi Germany’. An ‘expert’ transported from Vilnius was easily able to persuade the court, which did not bother to ask a contrasting view of the Holocaust Survivor community, or the Jewish Community of Lithuania, in a European country with the highest proportion of Holocaust genocide on the continent. This sad distinction resulted from massive local collaboration and actual participation.
Media coverage: BNS report on the court’s 19 May decision here. Delfi report. JTA report on the court’s decision and Dr. Efraim Zuroff’s reaction. Photo by J. Markevicius on Delfi.
Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, Human Rights, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Politics of Memory, Symbology, US State Dept Manipulated?, Vilnius Neo-Nazi Marches, Yad Vashem Manipulated?
Norway’s ambassador to Lithuania HE Steinar Gil has emerged as a Baltic region champion of human rights, at a time when the Lithuanian government continues its gestures of support for the March 11th neo-Nazi marchers (parallel to Latvian leaders’ stout defense of the March 16th Waffen SS march in Riga). Speaking at a March 19th forum on ‘European and Lithuanian Values’ at the Lithuanian parliament, Ambassador Gil remarked for the record: ‘Every foreigner in Lithuania noticed this march, where the participants were shouting “Lithuania for Lithuanians”. We were shocked.’ The ambassador also pointed out politely that fifty parliamentarians had signed a petition to ban the Baltic Pride gay-rights parade. He asked: How many had spoken up against the nationalist march? He added that every person with respect for herself or himself and for her or his country should condemn this kind of manifestation. Others who have spoken up include Irish ambassador HE Dónal Denham; UK ambassador HE Simon Butt; and Lithuania’s sole Liberal member of the European Parliament, Prof. Leonidas Donskis.
On the occasion of Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Margolis family in the United States released to the media a 3 December 2009 letter from the United States Congress to the prime minister of Lithuania, protesting in no uncertain terms the campaign being waged against 88 year old historian, museum builder and biologist, Dr Rachel Margolis; 87 year old Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky, librarian of the Vilnius Yiddish Institute; and 83 year old Holocaust scholar Dr Yitzhak Arad, who was founding director of Yad Vashem. All three have been the subject of ongoing ‘investigations into war crimes’ by Lithuanian prosecutors and of extensive defamation by the country’s mainstream media. Since the saga got underway in the spring of 2006, none has been charged, and not one has been cleared. Holocaust studies specialists increasingly suspect a ruse to create a bogus paper trail of ‘investigations’ of Holocaust survivors as a diversion to the documented history of massive Baltic participation in the Nazi-led genocide of the Jewish population, as well as to the region’s dismal record of not punishing a single Nazi war criminal since independence. See the media coverage; responses to the anti-survivor campaign; critiques of the underlying ‘red=brown’ movement and the state-funded apparatus that underpins it.