VILNIUS—The Weekly of Vilnius, sometimes considered to be this city’s most prestigious English-language news publication, today released its weekly issue which contains a highly documented summary of many of the sides in the debate over author and PR specialist Ruta Vanagaitė’s comments concerning state plans to name 2018 for someone who led a pro-Nazi militia during the early days of the Lithuanian Holocaust in 1941, but who is being honored for his postwar service in the anti-Soviet resistance. Defending History has published its own take along with a much more limited summary of the debate which readers may consult for comparison and helping “complete the picture” as best as it can be in English. Note that selections of Lithuanian articles on the subject from the major news portal Delfi.lt, and from BNS (Baltic News Service), in both cases generally representing government and “nationalist establishment” positions, are available in English translation on the English Delfi.lt (Lithuania Tribune) site (search “Vanagaitė” for rapid reference).
With the permission of the publishers of The Weekly of Vilnius, we are reproducing the pages relating to the Vanagaitė saga from this week’s issue. In the spirit of classic journalism, The Weekly of Vilnius has no online edition (only an online description page) and is available weekly by emailed PDF or hard copy to its elite circle of subscribers, known to include embassies, government agencies, captains of industry, politicians, academics and relevant libraries, and think tanks. It is edited by the distinguished economist and journalist Mr. Nehro Khalil. The Weekly of Vilnius now has a Facebook page.
A PDF facsimile of today’s Weekly of Vilnius report follows. Please use the arrows in the upper left hand corner to turn pages in either direction.
THE WEEKLY OF VILNIUS - ISSUE No. 265 - Week in Review - November 6, 2017
Posted in Collaborators Glorified, Free Speech & Democracy, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Media Watch, News & Views, Politics of Memory, Rūta Vanagaitė, Vilnius Jewish Life (from 2016)
Tagged Free speech in Lithuania, Holocaust in Lithuania, human rights in Lithuania, Nehro Khalil, Ruta Vanagaite, Weekly of Vilnius
by Linas Vildžiūnas
The following English translation, by Laurynas Vaičiūnas, of Linas Vildžiūnas’s review of Rūta Vanagaitė’s Mūsiškiai appeared today in New Eastern Europe (as PDF).
A book review of Mūsiškiai (Ours). By: Rūta Vanagaitė. Publisher: Alma littera, Vilnius, 2016.
What makes Rūta Vanagaitė’s Ours (Mūsiškiai) very different from all other Lithuanian books on the Holocaust is that it was from the start written as a bestseller. Written by an experienced public relations professional as an appeal to the Lithuanian public, the book raises the painful issue of historical responsibility. The author does not refrain from giving a personal twist to the story (it would be impossible otherwise, as the Holocaust is an issue of individual position and individual responsibility). The author is piercingly direct and uses black comedy. She approaches the topic with composure and a sense of supremacy. These two features may irritate the reader. However, she is entitled to it as she aims to confront the reader, which she so eloquently achieves.
Posted in Arts, Bold Citizens Speak Out, Books, History, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Media Watch, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Rūta Vanagaitė
Tagged Efraim Zuroff, Holocaust in Lithuania, Linas Vildziunas, Musiskiai, Ruta Vanagaite
For the first time, a Lithuanian author teamed up with an Israeli Holocaust scholar in search for the truth about widespread local enthusiasm, seventy-five years ago, for mass murder of civilian neighbors, and today’s failures in coming to grips with that history, in a land of hundreds of Jedwabnes. A genuine historic advance in Lithuanian-Jewish relations is seen in the startling partnership of Rūta Vanagaitė and Dr. Efraim Zuroff in Vanagaitė’s Mūsiškiai: Kelionė su priešu (“Our People: Journey with an Enemy”), published in Vilnius in January 2016. See also the media tracking page on the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Operation Last Chance website.
The following listing of coverage by language (English, Lithuanian, Russian, Polish) is far from exhaustive. The humongous reaction needs to be studied in its own right.
Posted in Bold Citizens Speak Out, Books, Documents, Efraim Zuroff, History, Israel, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Media Watch, News & Views, Politics of Memory, Rūta Vanagaitė
Tagged Efraim Zuroff, Efraimas Zuroffas, Holocaust in Lithuania, Mūsiškiai: Kelionė su priešu, Ruta Vanagaite, Vanagaite + Zuroff, Zuroff + Vanagaite
Tomas Venclova addresses Ruta Vanagaite’s conference at Vilnius City Hall on April 17, 2015. Photo: Julius Norwilla.
Posted in Events, History, Lithuania, News & Views, Rūta Vanagaitė
Tagged Dovid Katz, Efraim Zuroff, Evaldas Balciunas, Holocaust in Lithuania, Ingrida Vilkiene, Julius Norvila, Julius Norwilla, Pavel Tychtl, Ruta Vanagaite, Sarunas Liekis, Saulius Suziedelis, Tomas Venclova
The national Lithuanian television channel Lietuvos rytas TV recently (on May 4) broadcast a show by veteran talk-show host Rūta Grinevičiūtė (surname recently changed to Janutienė) called Nuoga Tiesa, “Naked Truth,” which posed the question, “Do you want the Jews to return again [sic] to Lithuania?” Viewers were invited to call in and/or vote by special telephone lines for Yes and No with a one euro toll per call. For that and a number of other reasons the entire program had something of the macabre about it, and although some of the guests made some important points, all of them seemed to miss certain glaring details which would have been the center of attention in the West.
Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Geoff Vasil, History, Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Media Watch, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Ponár (Ponary, Paneriai), Rūta Vanagaitė, Simon Gurevich (Simonas Gurevičius)
Tagged Antisemitism in Eastern Europe, Antisemitism in Lithuania, Darius Kuolys, Geoff Vasil, Holocaust in Lithuania, Julius Panka, Ponar (Paneriai, Ruta Vanagaite, Shimon Gurevich, Simonas Gurevicius, Tomas Baranauskas
by Rūta Vanagaitė
The following article by Rūta Vanagaitė, in the authorized English translation by Geoff Vasil, was first published in Lithuanian in Delfi. lt. The article emerged from the conference on Holocaust education organized by the author, held at Vilnius City Hall on 17 April 2015. Conference program. Conference’s final press release. Project website.
Vilijampolė — a part of Kaunas — wintertime. The project is “Being a Jew.” A group of thirty teachers led by a Jewish guide is standing in the former Kaunas ghetto. Houses, garages, storage spaces, wood piles where during the war thousands of Jews, herded here like animals by the Nazis, milled about, yards where Jewish children played, and were later taken to the square or to one of the Kaunas forts and shot. The houses and storage buildings have been rebuilt, renovated, replaced, and there are Kaunas residents living in them now who don’t know where they live and what happened here before they were here. And how could they know? There is no written notice, nothing preserved, only a stone next to the entrance. And a building is being renovated which was the store whose display window once featured the head cut off of the rabbi who lived here.
European exchange students on the Erasmus program in Lithuania have received this email from the program’s local leadership inviting them to join for free an interactive ‘Exchange Genocide Project’ complete with Russian speaking actors and psychological and physical punishment. Participating Erasmus students are required to sign this confirmation form.
There is no mention of any ‘Exchange Genocide Project’ to commemorate the Holocaust or to visit peacefully any of the 202 mass murder sites in the country.
Erasmus is financed by the European Union.