Efraim Zuroff

Vanagaitė’s PR Rollout in Vilnius of (1) Romance with Wiesenthal Center Nazi Hunter, (2) New Book, Dual (3) Holocaust & (4) Postwar KGB Based Critique of Nationalist Hero — A Mix-&-Match Making for Mass Media Melee


[UPDATED; FURTHER UPDATES TO 17 NOV. 2017 FOR ENGLISH SECTION ONLY]


BOOKS (/Mūsiškiai)  |  COLLABORATORS GLORIFIED?  |  MEDIA WATCH  |  CHRISTIAN-JEWISH RELATIONS

Jump to: R. Vanagaitė’s first and second retraction. The Upshot?  Articles in English. Editor’s take. Evaldas Balčiūnas’s 2014 article.

26-27 October 2017

R. Vanagaitė’s meticulous 26 Oct. 2017 media-PR rollout extraordinaire with posed photo gallery (first article in English here) of her sensational Lithuanian-Jewish Holocaust-legacy romance with partner Dr. Efraim Zuroff, legendary Nazi-hunter and director of Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel office, was from the outset inextricably intertwined with serious Holocaust issues (particularly her simultaneously timed rollout against further state glorification of an alleged Holocaust collaborator), current geopolitical discourse, regional antisemitism and a host of local media celebrity spats. The following links represent only some of the media in the days from 26 Oct. 2017 onward that can help elucidate a major PR initiative on a romance self-publicized and its (for some disturbing) insertion into the long, hard battle over the truth in Lithuanian Holocaust historiography. A local wag wrote his followers to look at the Book of Judges exposition of the Samson and Delilah story.

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Posted in Collaborators Glorified, Efraim Zuroff, Events, Humor (Of Sorts), Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Media Watch, News & Views, Politics of Memory, Rūta Vanagaitė | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Vanagaitė’s PR Rollout in Vilnius of (1) Romance with Wiesenthal Center Nazi Hunter, (2) New Book, Dual (3) Holocaust & (4) Postwar KGB Based Critique of Nationalist Hero — A Mix-&-Match Making for Mass Media Melee

Dr. Efraim Zuroff Awarded Gold Medal by Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic



BELGRADE—The president of Serbia, Tomislav Nikolic, today awarded a Golden Medal for Merit to Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s chief Nazi hunter and its Director of East European Affairs, as part of the celebrations of Sretenje, the Serbian republic’s national day. The rationale for the award, which was granted to Dr. Zuroff for “exceptional achievements” included his “selfless dedication to defending the truth about the suffering of Jews, and also Serbs, Roma and other nations during World War II.”

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Vanagaitė and Zuroff’s “Mūsiškiai”


[last update]


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.

English   Lithuanian   German   Polish   Russian

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.

Nov. 2017 Update: Renewed media conflagration launched by the author’s 26 October 2017 PR rollout of multiple initiatives, two of which were directly relevant to the legacy of Mūsiškiai.

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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 , , , , , , | Comments Off on Vanagaitė and Zuroff’s “Mūsiškiai”

Wiesenthal Center Calls on Kaunas Mayor to End Abuse of “Seventh Fort”; Pressure Builds on Vilnius Mayor’s Jewish Politics



JERUSALEM—The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel Office today issued a press release (text below), including a quote from its director, Dr. Efraim Zuroff, calling on Visvaldas Matijošaitis, the mayor of Kaunas (Kovno), Lithuania’s second city, to ban weddings and other celebrations from the now privatized parts of the historic Seventh Fort, where thousands of Kaunas Jews were humiliated, tortured and murdered starting with the first week of the Lithuanian Holocaust in late June 1941.

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Celebrations of Fascism, Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Efraim Zuroff, Human Rights, Kaunas Neo-Nazi Marches, Legacy of 23 June 1941, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Šimašius | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Wiesenthal Center Calls on Kaunas Mayor to End Abuse of “Seventh Fort”; Pressure Builds on Vilnius Mayor’s Jewish Politics

In Reponse to the Media: 9 July 2016



Western Mainstream Media Fails to Mention that East European Allies of the West are Investing in Glorification of Hitler’s Local Collaborators

Huffington Post Piece on Stepan Bandera Worship in Ukraine Omits his Organization’s Responsibility for Hundreds of Thousands of Murders of Poles and Jews; Landmark Historical Book on Bandera Still Goes Unmentioned by Most Mass Media

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Posted in "Red-Brown Commission", 70 Years Declaration, Collaborators Glorified, Double Genocide, Efraim Zuroff, History, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Media Watch, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Rūta Vanagaitė | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on In Reponse to the Media: 9 July 2016

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

Wiesenthal Center Praises Lithuanian Jewish Community Call to Publish List of Local Holocaust Perpetrators



LITHUANIA  |  LITVAK AFFAIRS |  COLLABORATORS GLORIFIED  |  GENOCIDE CENTER

JERUSALEMThe Simon Wiesenthal Center today praised the call issued late last week in Vilnius by the Lithuanian Jewish community to the official state Genocide and Resistance Research Center to publish its list of 2,055 Lithuanians whom it alleges participated in the mass murder of Jews during the Holocaust. In a statement issued here by its chief Nazi-hunter Dr. Efraim Zuroff, who also is responsible for Eastern European Affairs, the Center noted the importance of the call by community president Faina Kukliansky to finally reveal the names on the list which was originally compiled in 2012, but has hitherto never been made public. Of particular importance was the community’s call upon the Genocide Center to verify whether any of the persons on the list were still alive, how many of them had been granted rehabilitations and whether any of these persons had received decorations from the Lithuanian government (for their anti-Soviet activities).

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Wiesenthal Center “Shocked at Whitewash of Lithuanian Holocaust Perpetrator”



JERUSALEM—The Simon Wiesenthal Center today harshly criticized the website of the Lithuanian Jewish Community for what it termed a “brazen whitewash of the Holocaust crimes of one of the perpetrators of the annihilation of Lithuanian Jewry.”

REPORT IN THE JERUSALEM POST

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Wiesenthal Center Issues Statement on Old Jewish Cemetery in Vilnius



C E M E T E R I E S   /   P I R A M Ó N T

JERUSALEM—The Simon Wiesenthal Center today released a statement reaffirming its previously reported opposition to plans to place a $25,000,000 convention and congress center on Vilnius’s old Jewish cemetery at Piramónt (in today’s Šnipiškės). International opposition to the project has been mounting in recent weeks. The text was released by Dr. Efraim Zuroff, director of the Wiesenthal Center’s Israel office and head of its East European Affairs division. The text follows:

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Posted in Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Efraim Zuroff, Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in Šnipiškės / Shnípishok), Opinion, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Wiesenthal Center Issues Statement on Old Jewish Cemetery in Vilnius

Wiesenthal Center Praises Vytautas Bruveris’s Call for Investigating Scope of Local Holocaust Participation



TAURAGĖ  (TÁVRIK), LITHUANIA—The Simon Wiesenthal Center today praised an op-ed in the popular Lithuanian news portal Lrytas.lt by prominent journalist Vytautas Bruveris calling upon the government to finally undertake a comprehensive investigation of the scope of Lithuanian complicity in Holocaust crimes. In a statement issued here today by its chief Nazi hunter, Dr. Efraim Zuroff, who is currently in Lithuania on a research expedition, the Center expressed its appreciation and support for the content of the article and expressed the hope that the government would indeed implement the ideas raised by Bruveris.

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Lithuanian Translation of Efraim Zuroff’s 17 April 2015 Vilnius Conference (Prerecorded) Lecture



O P I N I O N

by Efraim Zuroff

Note: Authorized Lithuanian translation, provided by the Being a Jew project, of the pre-recorded video address by Dr. Efraim Zuroff at the 17 April 2015 conference on the Holocaust in Lithuania organized by Rūta Vanagaitė. The original English text is here.

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Text of Efraim Zuroff’s Prerecorded April 17th Video Address to Vilnius Conference



O P I N I O N

by Efraim Zuroff

The following text is the authorized English transcription of the text of Dr. Efraim Zuroff’s prefilmed video address that formed part of the program at a conference on Holocaust issues, organized by Rūta Vanagaitė, held at Vilnius City Hall on 17 April 2015. The video is here. Conference program. Conference’s final press release. Dr. Zuroff is the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s chief Nazi hunter, the director of its East European Affairs Department and of the website Operation Last Chance.

—————

Basic Challenges of Holocaust Education

 

G

ood afternoon to everybody. I’m very happy to be given the opportunity to address this conference, even if it has to be by film. Unfortunately I could not be present personally, but because of the importance of the topic and the rare opportunity that this is to discuss these issues in a very serious way, I am addressing you through this film.

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Wiesenthal Center Releases Vilnius Municipality’s 10 March Response to Appeal to Halt Neo-Nazi Takeover of Downtown Vilnius on Lithuania’s Independence Day


The Israel office of the Simon Wiesenthal Center today released the response received by its director, Dr. Efraim Zuroff, to his 3 March appeal to the mayor of Vilnius, Lithuania, the nation’s capital, to halt the planned neo-Nazi march in the city’s center on independence day, March 11th. The response was received on 10 March by emailed PDF, and seems to fail to address the requests in the letter that the municipality ensure that Nazi symbols, racially exclusionary slogans and glorification of Holocaust collaborators not be allowed in the city center on the national holiday.

Dr. Zuroff’s letter of March 3rd elicited the following reply on the 10th of March (as PDF):

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Wiesenthal Center’s Press Release Following Neo-Nazi March in Central Vilnius



VILNIUS—The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel Office, in Jerusalem, today issued this statement from Vilnius, where its Director for East European Affairs, Dr. Efraim Zuroff, came to monitor yesterday’s neo-Nazi march on Lithuania’s independence day, as part of his month of monitoring of all four Baltic neo-Nazi events from 16 February to 16 March.

The text of the press release follows:

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On Eve of Planned Neo-Nazi March, Statements by Head of Lithuanian Jewish Community and the Simon Wiesenthal Center



VILNIUS—On the eve of the planned neo-Nazi march in central Vilnius, slated for 3 PM on March 11th, Lithuania’s independence day, the chairperson of the Jewish Community of Lithuania, Faina Kukliansky, issued a statement on the community’s website, which was followed within minutes by a statement from the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Director of East European Affairs, Dr. Efraim Zuroff. The full text of both statements follows:

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, Documents, Efraim Zuroff, Events, Faina Kukliansky, Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Opinion, Vilnius Neo-Nazi Marches | Comments Off on On Eve of Planned Neo-Nazi March, Statements by Head of Lithuanian Jewish Community and the Simon Wiesenthal Center

Dr. Efraim Zuroff’s Month of Monitoring Baltic Neo-Nazi Marches


Three Down, One to Go, in Efraim Zuroff’s Odyssey to the Baltic Month of Neo-Nazi Marches

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Efraim Zuroff Appeals to Vilnius Mayor Zuokas to Cancel Neo-Nazi March


JERUSALEM—The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel office today released the following letter from its director, Dr. Efraim Zuroff, to the mayor of Vilnius, Artūras Zuokas, concerning next week’s planned neo-Nazi march slated for the center of the city on the nation’s independence day.

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Efraim Zuroff Monitors, and Critiques, Tallinn’s Far-Right Independence Day March



TALLINN—The Simon Wiesenthal Center today harshly criticized a march held late yesterday in the center of the Estonian capital to mark Independence Day, which was sponsored by the Sinine Aratus (Blue Awakening) youth movement closely affiliated with the Conservative People’s Party of Estonia (EKRE).

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Efraim Zuroff is Lone Protester in Center of Tallinn



Efraim Zuroff is Lone Protestor at Far Right’s March in Central Tallinn on Independence Day

Publicized with the slogan “Estonia for Estonians,” today’s event was the second of four in the “Baltic month” (16 Feb—16 March) of city center state-approved events, on Tuesday Feb 24th (independence day) in Tallinn. March’s organizers include racists, Holocaust deniers, and glorifiers of Estonia’s Waffen SS whose members swore loyalty to Adolf Hitler. One of its leaders has led events to celebrate the 1941 “liberation” of Estonia by the Nazis. Delfi report and video. Posdtimees. More videoSWC’s press release.

UPDATE: ZUROFF REPORTS IN INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES

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Wiesenthal Center’s Efraim Zuroff Writes to Mayor of Kaunas on Neo-Nazi March



JERUSALEM—The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel office here today released the text of a letter sent by director Dr. Efraim Zuroff to the mayor of Kaunas, Lithuania, Andrius Kupčinskas, concerning the neo-Nazi march scheduled for February 16th. See also Defending History’s correspondence with the mayor’s office and our background summary.

SEE EXTENDED COVERAGE ON PAGE 1

The text of the letter is as follows:

February 12, 2015
Meras Andrius Kupčinskas
Laisves al. 96 201 kab.
Kaunas
LITHUANIA


Dear Mayor Kupčinskas,

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, Efraim Zuroff, EU, Events, Kaunas Neo-Nazi Marches, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Opinion | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Wiesenthal Center’s Efraim Zuroff Writes to Mayor of Kaunas on Neo-Nazi March

Wiesenthal Center Blasts Vilnius Genocide Center’s Involvement in Jewish Community’s Holocaust Remembrance Day Event



The Simon Wiesenthal Center today issued a statement expressing dismay that Vilnius’s state-sponsored Genocide Center (full name: Genocide and Resistance Research Center of Lithuania) was included in the Lithuanian Jewish Community’s annual program marking Holocaust Remembrance Day. The third of three events was dedicated entirely to a book produced by the Center. The only announced speaker for the event, the book’s author, is known for rejecting known elements of the historic narrative of the annihilation of Lithuanian Jewry, for his support for monuments for pro-Hitler forces, and for participation in far-right pro-fascist journals.

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Wiesenthal Center Slams Latvian Veto of Holocaust Exhibition at UNESCO


JERUSALEM—The Simon Wiesenthal Center today harshly criticized steps taken by the Latvian delegation to UNESCO which effectively cancelled an exhibition about the Holocaust in Latvia scheduled to open this coming Sunday at UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

SEE ALSO JTA REPORT

In a statement issued here by its Israel director, Holocaust historian Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the Center called the action by the Latvians “an outrageous and ultimately futile attempt to hide the extensive Latvian collaboration with the Nazis in perpetrating Holocaust crimes” and urged UNESCO officials to consider steps to enable the exhibition, titled “Stolen Childhood: Holocaust Victims Seen by Child Inmates of the Salaspils Nazi Concentration Camp,” to be shown to the public.

According to Zuroff:

“This step by the Latvians is part of a systematic effort by the Baltic countries to hide the truth about the extensive collaboration with the Nazis of Balts in the implementation of the Final Solution in their native countries, as well as in Poland and Belarus. Instead of complaining that the exhibition risked damaging her country’s reputation, Latvia’s chief delegate to UNESCO should have welcomed an effort to expose the wartime collaboration of so many Latvians as part of an honest confrontation with her country’s bloody Holocaust past.”


For more information: 972-50-721-4156 

www.operationlastchance.org  or www.wiesenthal.com

 

Posted in Efraim Zuroff, EU, Events, France, Free Speech & Democracy, Latvia, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Wiesenthal Center Slams Latvian Veto of Holocaust Exhibition at UNESCO

Wiesenthal Center Condemns “Miss Hitler” Contest on Russia’s Largest Social Network



JERUSALEM—The Simon Wiesenthal Center today expressed outrage at the announcement of an online beauty pageant for “Miss Hitler 2014” as publicized by a neo-Nazi group on VKontakte, Russia’s largest social networking service. Contestants who are supporters of Nazism and sufficiently antisemitic may submit a Nazi-themed selfie to compete for this dubious prize.

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Hungary’s Supreme Court Forbids Local Media to Use the Term “Far Right” in Describing the Far Right Jobbik Party


JERUSALEM—The Simon Wiesenthal Center today harshly criticized a decision by Hungary’s Supreme Court which recently ruled that local media cannot refer to the Jobbik party as “far right.”

UPDATE: See now Efraim Zuroff’s 14 June 2014 op-ed in the Jerusalem Post

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Respublika “Slightly” Edits Efraim Zuroff’s Obituary for Shimon Alperovich



M E D I A   W A T C H

Vitas Tomkus’s daily tabloid, Respublika has, alongside its sister title, Vakaro Žinios (Evening News, also owned by Tomkus) in many views inflicted tangible damage upon Lithuania and its image. The papers leave a long trail of racist, antisemitic, and homophobic invective, not seldom in sensationalistic formats that mirror the 1930s.

The most notorious instance was perhaps the 2004 front page featuring the unseemly cartoon of the The Jew and The Gay holding up a globe under the headline “Who runs the world?” recycled (and again, on page 1), in 2009. Vakaro Žinios (Evening News) even featured a sickening photo montage of the then head of the Jewish community Dr. Shimon Alperovich, and a Soviet-era abacus, with text suggesting the Jews were conspiring to defraud the Lithuanian people. More recently, a front page was devoted to a local rabbi with a headline about Jews not having to pay taxes. The word Žydai (Jews) alone was in massive size type, as on numerous occasions, e.g. when the paper accused “The Jews” of plotting to steal the building housing the Culture Ministry. It is almost all out of a dark satire.

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Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Statement on the Death of Lithuanian Jewish Community Leader Dr. Shimon Alperovich


 JERUSALEM—The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel Office issued this statement today in the wake of the passing of Dr. Shimon Alperovich, the former Chairman of the Lithuanian Jewish community (PDF here):

Wiesenthal Center Mourns the Passing Today of Courageous Leader of Lithuanian Jewish Community

“It is with great sorrow that we learned of the passing last night of Dr. Shimon Alperovich, the venerable leader for many years of the Lithuanian Jewish community. Dr. Alperovich displayed great courage and fortitude in leading the renewed Lithuanian Jewish community and fought bravely against the ongoing efforts to minimize local participation in Nazi crimes and the promotion of the canard of equivalency between Nazi and Communist atrocities.

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Lithuanian-Jewish Affairs: Three Events


(Reposted from today’s Jerusalem Post)


 

O P I N I O N

by Efraim Zuroff

Three events took place this weekend which reflect the ambiguities of contemporary Jewish life in the Baltics and particularly in Lithuania, the largest of the three new democracies. In reverse order, on Sunday, ultra-nationalist groups staged an Independence Day march, which included anti-Semitic themes, in Kaunas (Kovno), Lithuania’s interwar capital and the country’s second largest city.Continue reading

Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, Double Games, Double Genocide, Efraim Zuroff, EU, Events, Identity Theft of the Litvak Heritage, Kaunas Neo-Nazi Marches, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Yivo Manipulated? | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Lithuanian-Jewish Affairs: Three Events

Wiesenthal Center Statement on Kaunas Protest Against Neo-Nazi Extravaganza in City Center


JERUSALEM—The following statement was issued today by the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel office.


WIESENTHAL CENTER ISRAEL DIRECTOR LEADS PROTEST AGAINST EXTREME RIGHT INDEPENDENCE DAY MARCH

16 February 2014  KAUNAS, LITHUANIA—The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel Director and chief Nazi hunter Dr. Efraim Zuroff yesterday afternoon led a protest against an ultra-nationalist neo-Nazi march in honor of Lithuanian Independence Day, held here, in Lithuania’s inter-war capital, whose large and important Jewish community was virtually totally annihilated during the Holocaust by the Nazis, with highly significant participation of Lithuanian volunteer collaborators.

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Efraim Zuroff on Tablet Magazine’s Co-Sponsorship of Lithuanian Government’s Yivo Event, and a Suggestion for Yivo’s Audience


Dr. Efraim Zuroff, Holocaust historian, Nazi-hunter, and director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel office, has posted the following comment on the website of Tablet magazine, as one of the comments to a new book review. The comment also appears separately on Facebook.

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Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, Double Games, Double Genocide, Efraim Zuroff, Events, Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, Identity Theft of the Litvak Heritage, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Media Watch, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, United States, Yivo Manipulated? | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Efraim Zuroff on Tablet Magazine’s Co-Sponsorship of Lithuanian Government’s Yivo Event, and a Suggestion for Yivo’s Audience

Dr. Efraim Zuroff Calls on Croatian Authorities to Act Decisively in War Crimes Case



O P I N I O N

by Efraim Zuroff

The following is the original English text, received today from the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel office in Jerusalem, of its director Efraim Zuroff’s public letter to Croatian authorities, published in Croatian translation on 6 February, and referred to in a press release from SWC earlier today.

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Wiesenthal Center Urges Croatian Authorities to Expedite Case of Auschwitz Guard


JERUSALEM—The Simon Wiesenthal Center today urged the Croatian authorities to expedite the prosecution of Auschwitz guard Jakob Dencinger, who was discovered living in Osijek by the Croatian daily Jutarnji List late last week.

In an op-ed published on 6 Feb. in Jutarnji List by the Center’s chief Nazi-hunter, Israel director Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the importance of bringing Dencinger to justice was  emphasized. The original 2 Feb. English text of Dr. Zuroff’s article appears here.

According to Zuroff:

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Wiesenthal Center Blasts Hungarian Government’s Latest Holocaust Distortion


JERUSALEM—The Simon Wiesenthal Center today issued a statement of support for the strong protest by the leadership of the Hungarian non-Orthodox Jewish communities (Mazsihisz) against efforts by the Hungarian government’s “Veritas Institute” to falsify the narrative of the Holocaust in Hungary and attempt to hide the important role played by locals in the mass murder of Hungarian Jewry.

In a statement issued here today by its Israel director, Holocaust historian Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the Center expressed its strong opposition to the recent statement by Veritas Institute director Sandor Szakaly, who referred to the summer 1941 deportation of about 16,000-18,000 Jews from Hungary to Kamenets-Podolsk (now Kamianets-Podilskyi) in German-occupied Ukraine, where the overwhelming majority were murdered, as a “police action against aliens,” when in reality it was clearly a crime against humanity and the initial massacre of the Holocaust of Hungarian Jewry.

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Efraim Zuroff Interviewed in Belgrade, Serbia by Aleksandar Roknić



I N T E R V I E W

Efraim Zuroff is interviewed in Belgrade by Aleksandar Roknić. Translation from Danas, 28 December 2013, by Vesna Milosevic.


 

Efraim Zuroff: World War II History is Being Rewritten

Efraim Zuroff in Defending History

Dr. Efraim Zuroff, director of the the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel office

Even if I were Superman I wouldn’t be able to bring to justice all remaining Nazis. Of course not. It is impossible. Nobody can do it. But if you ask me what is better — a bit of justice or injustice, I would always say — a bit of justice. You know, to me it is clear that even when the last Nazi dies, a battle is not over, because it begins over and over again.

And it is a battle with history which is more important than people may think and understand. Facing the history with sincerity is the best way to build a better future, says Efraim Zuroff, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem, while answering a question on whether he thinks that he would be able to bring to justice all remaining Nazis.

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Efraim Zuroff Critiques Vilnius Genocide Center’s Latest Attempt to Massage Figures (and Ethics) of Local Holocaust Perpetrators


In a statement issued in Jerusalem today, the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel director Dr. Efraim Zuroff noted two major flaws in a recent report issued by the state-sponsored Genocide Center in Vilnius, Lithuania. The report’s key findings, presented by the Center’s Dr. Alfredas Rukšėnas, were published by the Lithuanian news portal Delfi on 25 October 2013 (English translation available in Defending History).

According to Dr. Zuroff:

“The findings of the report, as presented by the coordinator of this project, are clearly part of a systematic attempt by the Lithuanian government to minimize the role of ethnic Lithuanians in the mass murder of Jews during the Holocaust. Based on the records in our archives, I can unequivocally state, that the figure of 2,055 Lithuanians whose direct and indirect participation in Holocaust crimes was confirmed by this study, is a gross underestimate of the number of Lithuanians complicit in Shoah crimes, designed to deflect blame from local collaborators and hide the extensive scope of Lithuanian involvement in the mass murder of Jews, both in Lithuania and outside her borders.

“Also highly objectionable is the assertion by Dr. Rukšėnas that those Lithuanians who indeed murdered Jews really had no choice but to do so, having received orders to commit murder from their superiors. Besides the fact that in many cases, these superiors were themselves Lithuanians, such arguments have been consistently and unequivocally rejected by courts all over the world, starting with the Nuremberg Trials.”

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



O P I N I O N

by Efraim Zuroff

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


Good evening,

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

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



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

 כ″ה חשון תשע″ד 28/10/2013

 

ערב טוב לכולם,

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

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Wiesenthal Center Blasts Latest Pro-Fascist Commemoration by Latvian Authorities


JERUSALEM—The Simon Wiesenthal Center today denounced the commemoration of the “liberation” of the Latvian city of Limbazi, sponsored by the Visu Latvija political party, a member of the ruling coalition in the nation’s parliament in Riga.

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Facebook Discussion of 23-29 April 2013 on the May 2013 Global Forum in Jerusalem


A paste-in of the Facebook discussion to date on the upcoming Global Forum conferences in Jerusalem is available at:

http://defendinghistory.com/facebook-discussion-on-2013-global-forum-23-29-april-2013.

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Wiesenthal Center Welcomes Punishment of Hungary by FIFA for Antisemitic Behavior of Hungarian Fans in August 2012


Jerusalem—The Simon Wiesenthal Center today praised the steps taken earlier this week by the international football federation (FIFA) to punish the Hungarian Football Federation in the wake of the antisemitic behavior of many dozens of Hungarian fans at a friendly match against Israel held this past August 15 in Budapest.

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Estonia’s Severe Case of Holocaust Amnesia



O P I N I O N

by Efraim Zuroff

From today’s Times of Israel.


 

The visit to Israel of a foreign prime minister used to be a big deal. That’s why there were so many photos of Burmese head of state U Nu’s visit in the early sixties. Those days, however, are long gone and today when most prime ministers visit us it’s usually of little or no interest to anybody and they get almost no coverage unless they are major world figures.

That would help explain why I only found out Tuesday morning that Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip was to be touring Yad Vashem that day.

Ostensibly, that is no occasion of any particular significance, and the visit is more or less a pro forma requirement for any head of state coming to Israel in that capacity, especially if he or she has never been here before. But that is not true in the case of the Estonian leader, who heads a country that is suffering from a severe Baltic variant of post-Communist Eastern European Holocaust amnesia. This is an intellectual disease whose four main characteristics are a systematic minimization of crimes by local Nazi collaborators, a distinct lack of political will to prosecute and punish such individuals, a tendency to glorify locals who fought alongside the Nazis – in Estonia’s case in Waffen-SS units – and a determination to promote the historical canard of supposed equivalency between Nazi and Communist crimes.

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The Real Truth



O P I N I O N

by Efraim Zuroff

Note: The following letter to the editor in today’s edition of the Baltimore Jewish Times is republished here with the author’s permission. 


 

According to the title chosen for Simone Ellin’s review (Oct. 19) of Ellen Cassedy’s book, We Are Here: Memories of the Lithuanian Holocaust, the author “explores the Lithuanian Holocaust from all vantage points.” In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Cassedy neglects the most important vantage point of the history of the Shoa in Lithuania, the uniquely extensive role played by Lithuanians in the mass murder of Jews (not only in Lithuania, but also in Belarus and Poland), a fact incredibly omitted from Ellin’s review. In that respect, it is clear that Ellin was so captivated by Cassedy’s narrative that she failed to realize that the author presented her readers with a very one-sided picture of contemporary Lithuanian-Jewish relations in the wake of the Holocaust.

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Pardoning Nazism, in the Name of Lithuanian-Jewish Relations



O P I N I O N

by Efraim Zuroff

reprinted with the author’s permission from today’s Times of Israel


 

This week, one of the more shameful events in Lithuanian-Jewish relations since the Baltic republic regained independence in 1991 will be hosted in New York by the once-venerable Yivo Institute. Under the heading “Reclaiming the Jewish Narrative in Lithuania Today,” the Yiddish research institute will host Markas Zingeris, whom it describes as a “Lithuanian-Jewish poet and writer,” to speak about relations between Jews and Lithuanians since the fall of Communism.

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Efraim Zuroff Comments on Facebook on Next Tuesday’s Zingeris Event at Yivo in New York City


Efraim Zuroff, the Holocaust historian, Nazi-hunter and author, today posted the following message on his Facebook page. It is reproduced here with the permission of Dr. Zuroff, who is director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center Israel office and its Operation Last Chance. For more on the alleged US embassy (Vilnius) blackballing of Dr. Zuroff from an international 2011 summer program in Vilnius see here. Background to the Yivo event: see Milan Chersonski’s article.


  • This is a call for action to those in the NYC area. This coming Tuesday, October 16 at 7 PM, YIVO is hosting an evening at the Center for Jewish History at 15 West 16th St. entitled “Reclaiming The Jewish Narrative in Lithuania Today.” The problem is that the featured guests are all supporters of the Lithuanian government’s efforts to promote the canard of equivalency between Communist and Nazi crimes and are minimizing the huge role of Lithuanians in the mass murder of Lithuanian Jews. Anyone able to go and confront Markas Zingeris, the Lithuanian PM’s advisor on genocide, and former US ambassador to Lithuania Anne Derse whose embassy blackballed my participation in a seminar on Lithuanian Jewish history at the request of the Lithuanian authorities, will be doing a big mitzva!!!

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Holocaust “Humor” in Leading Estonian News Weekly “Eesti Ekspress”


Jerusalem—In a statement issued here today by the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s chief Nazi-hunter, Israel director Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the Center denounced in the strongest terms a fake ad which appeared in the “humor pages” of the Estonian news magazine Eesti Ekspress with a photograph of concentration camp inmates under the heading: “One, two, three: Dr. Mengele’s diet pills work miracles on you. There were no fatties in Buchenwald.”

According to Zuroff:

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Wiesenthal Center Calls for Immediate Dismissal of Director of Croatian Episcopal Archives who Denies Holocaust Crimes at Jasenovac


JERUSALEM―The Simon Wiesenthal Center today called for the immediate dismissal of Dr. Stjepan Razum, director of the Episcopal Archives of the Croatian State Archives in the wake of his August 10 interview to www.hrsvijet.net in which he claimed that the figures of victims in the notorious Croatian concentration camp Jasenovac were exaggerated and a product of Serb propaganda.

In a statement issued here by its Israel director, Holocaust historian Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the Center noted that such attempts to rewrite the history of World War II in Croatia by whitewashing the horrific crimes committed by the Ustasha cannot be tolerated and are inexcusable when asserted by prominent Church officials.

According to Zuroff:

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The Case that Broke the Heart of a Nazi-Hunter



O P I N I O N

by Efraim Zuroff

The following is a transcription of the text that appeared in today’s edition of The Australian.


 

At the end of next week, I will have spent 32 years as a “Nazi-hunter,” trying to facilitate the prosecution of those individuals who in the service of Nazi Germany or in alliance with its regime, engaged in the persecution and/or murder of innocent civilians categorized as “enemies” of the Third Reich. During that period, I have dealt with many dozens of cases of all sorts of criminals from many different nationalities and walks of life, from mass murderers to individuals who were charged with the murder of a single person.

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Wiesenthal Center Protests Australia’s Failure to Extradite Suspected Nazi War Criminal



FROM THE SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTER:

The Simon Wiesenthal Center harshly criticized this morning’s decision by the Australian High Court to block the extradition to Hungary for war crimes of suspected Nazi collaborator Charles (Karoly) Zentai.

“Today is a sad day for Australia, and for justice, but most of all for the Nazis’ victims, their families and those who empathize with their suffering. Our sympathies today are with the Balazs family, whose brother Peter was the victim of Zentai and his accomplices, and who tried to see justice achieved in this case, but were thwarted by the Australian authorities.”

— Efraim Zuroff

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Efraim Zuroff Responds to Tablet Magazine Essay on Timothy Snyder



O P I N I O N

by Efraim Zuroff

  • The following comment first appeared in the discussion following David Mikics’s Tablet magazine article on Timothy Snyder (“The Diplomat of Shoah History. Does Yale historian Timothy Snyder absolve Eastern Europe of special complicity in the Holocaust?”). It is reproduced here with Dr. Zuroff’s permission. For further background, see the links below.

Unfortunately, this excellent article by David Mikics focuses almost exclusively on Poland, which for historical reasons is not the place where Snyder’s Bloodlands totally fails to present a historical account of the reality of the Holocaust. A far better place would be the Baltics in general, and Lithuania in particular. In these countries, three important phenomena took place:

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Lithuanian Holocaust Survivors Protest Tel Aviv “Gala”


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

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

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

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Václav Havel and the Prague Declaration



O P I N I O N

by Efraim Zuroff

 

I hate to spoil the Havel and the Jews festival in the wake of his demise, but I feel that it is important to point out a terrible mistake Havel made which directly relates to Jewish affairs. I am referring to his signing the Prague Declaration of June 3, 2008 (along with 39 other East European politicians and intellectuals), which basically equates Communist crimes with those of the Nazis, warns that “Europe will not be united unless it is able to unite its history [and] recognize Communism and Nazism as a common legacy”and seeks to deny the Holocaust its deserved status as a unique case of genocide.

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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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Efraim Zuroff Hands the Lithuanian Ambassador a Letter of Protest in Tel Aviv on her State’s Campaign against Jewish Partisan Heroes in Vilnius


At an event today in Tel Aviv the director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel office, Dr. Efraim Zuroff, hand-delivered a letter of protest to the Lithuanian ambassador to Israel, HE Asta Skaisgirytė Liaukšienė.

Dr. Zuroff’s letter (PDF here, and reproduced in full below from facsimile transmission), in addition to noting the neo-Nazi parade held with police help in the center of Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital on March 11th this year, and the ongoing “investigation” against former Yad Vashem director Dr. Yitzhak Arad, emphasizes the shocking events earlier this month, when police in Vilnius came looking for two Jewish women Holocaust survivors and heroes of the Jewish partisan resistance against Nazi Germany, Dr. Rachel Margolis and Ms. Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky.

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