The following is a translation of the Lithuanian-language statement released today by the central offices of the Social Democratic Party in Vilnius:
O P I N I O N
by Olga Zabludoff
Note: The following six articles, spanning the period October 2011 through January 2012, were published in VilNews in the course of a discussion. Each article is followed by the link to the original VilNews publication to enable readers to follow both sides of the argument (if Comments are included — many sides of the argument) in the original place of publication.
1. Mr. Januta Twists Facts and Figures to Suit his Arguments
Mr. Januta’s article goes right to the heart of the problem: the tendency of critics like him to accuse others of being misinformed and of misstating facts. Indeed it is Mr. Januta who twists facts and figures to suit his arguments. Even when his facts are “correct,” they are simply half-truths.
For example: Yes, there is a Holocaust Museum in Vilnius, but to compare the pitiful little hidden building (the Green House) with the state-of-the-art Museum of Genocide located on a major street is like comparing a mouse to an elephant.
The following letter, from UK MP Dr. Denis MacShane, was received today by the office of Lithuanian parliament member Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis:
Dr. Shimon Alperovich spoke out on the fashionable — and deeply disturbing — “Double Genocide” theory of World War II at the annual 27 January Holocaust Remembrance Day program held at the Jewish Community of Lithuania’s Vilnius headquarters at Pylimo Street 4.
Video, by Defending History, of Dr. Alperovich’s remarks, delivered in Lithuanian, is available on YouTube.
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. The presidential press release, reported in English by Baltic News Service (BNS), put it this way:
Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, Lithuania, News & Views, Opinion, Poland, Politics of Memory, United States, US State Dept Manipulated?
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
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
O P I N I O N
by Per Anders Rudling
Despised and ostracized, the Swedish community of Waffen-SS volunteers long gathered in secret on April 14, “The Day of the Fallen,” for obscure ritualistic annual gatherings at a cemetery in a Stockholm suburb.
Since the 1990s, the rituals have not needed to be clandestine: the few, now very elderly survivors now head to Sinimäe, Estonia, where they feel they are now getting the honor to which they are entitled. Here, Swedish, Norwegian, Austrian, German and other Waffen-SS veterans from Western Europe meet up with their Estonian comrades. The annual gatherings include those who volunteered for ideological reasons, and who are today actively passing on the experiences to a new generation of neo-Nazis.
Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Canada, Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, Estonia, Germany, History, Latvia, News & Views, Opinion, Per Anders Rudling, Politics of Memory, Riga's Waffen SS Marches, Sweden
Tagged Per Anders Rudling
O P I N I O N
by Jared McBride
I sent the following op-ed, “Euro 2012: Maydan of hate?” to the Kyiv Post in late December regarding the hate literature that is often sold on Maidan Nezalezhnosti. It was published on 21 December 2011. One can read the comments made on the Kyiv Post‘s website here (taken today from the Comments section following my op-ed).
In response to my op-ed I had my educational background questioned; I was deemed a supporter of Kaganovich, Tabachnyk, and Yanukovych in no particular order; I was given various history lessons that have nothing to do with the letter at hand (and nothing to do with history either); conspiracy theories were shared; and I was called names, not least “son of a bitch.” The last epithet was perhaps the most ironic bearing in mind that I am fortunate to have a mother who raised me to have enough dignity to not insult people on internet forums while hiding behind false names.
The foreign minister of Lithuania did not wait until the day was over.
“It is not possible to find differences between Hitler and Stalin except in their moustaches (Hitler’s was shorter).”
— The Foreign Minister of Lithuania, commenting upon the Seventy Years Declaration in the early hours of 20 January 2012, 70th anniversary of the Wannsee Conference
Posted in 70 Years Declaration, Bold Citizens Speak Out, Double Genocide, Lithuania, News & Views, Politics of Memory, Yivo Manipulated?
Tagged Algirdas Sysas, Audronius Azubalis, Azubalis Hitler Stalin moustache, Double Genocide + Lithuania, Emanuelis Zingeris, Justinas Karosas, Last Monday in Tel Aviv, Paul Berger, Prague Declaration, Vygaudas Ušackas
VILNIUS. Unconfirmed rumors were swirling in “Holocaust politics” circles this week about an alleged request by “very high officials” of the Lithuanian government to Yad Vashem in Jerusalem — through channels including both countries’ foreign ministries — to shore up the status of the widely discredited “International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania.” The commission is widely known as the “Red-Brown Commission.”
20 januari 2012
De Zeventig Jaar-Declaratie
ter gelegenheid van het jubileum van de Definitieve Oplossing-conferentie bij Wannsee
Op deze zeventigste verjaardag van de formele adoptering door het nazieleiderschap van de ‘Definitieve Oplossing van het Joodse probleem’, wij, de ondertekenaars van dit document:
Declaración de los Setenta Años
en el Aniversario de la Conferencia de Wannsee sobre la Solución Final
En este 70 aniversario de la adopción formal de la “Solución final del problema judío” por parte de los líderes nazis, nosotros, los abajo firmantes
Erklæring på 70-årsdagen
for Wannsee-konferansen om Den endelige løsning
På 70-årsdagen for naziledelsens formelle vedtak om ”Den endelige løsning på det jødiske problem” vil undertegnede
O P I N I O N
by Danny Ben-Moshe
This comment appeared today in the Jerusalem Post and is republished here with the author’s permission.
On January 20, 1942, the Nazi leadership gathered in a villa on the outskirts of Berlin and adopted the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question.” The Wannsee Conference, as this became known, from the suburb where the meeting was held, formalized the process that exterminated so much of European Jewry.
As we mark the seventieth anniversary of that 90-minute meeting in which fifteen people condemned millions to death, there are many crucial lessons to learn from the Holocaust. I wish to highlight two.
Firstly, the killing of a people begins not with violence, but through race-based hatred, progressing to institutionalized discrimination and only then culminating in murder. This is why antisemitism, racism and institutionalized discrimination must be addressed, for if left to fester the consequences can be tragic, severe and widespread.
Free Speech on Trial?
DefendingHistory.com was there. . .
Paleckis Verdict, Postponed to 30 Dec, Postponed again to 18 January 2012 (3 PM)
BACKGROUND: HERE AND HERE
Algirdas Paleckis’s critique of legal neo-Nazi parades, legalized swastikas and military personnel participating in Nazi activities — at the November 2011 conference on tolerance in Vilnius: video; translation; report.
[Updated 8 February 2012] On January 15th, the Lietuvos rytas website (Lrytas.lt) published a massive article by veteran Holocaust denier Petras Stankeras, who was forced out of his Interior Ministry post in November 2010 after writing in a popular weekly that the murder of six million Jews is a ‘legend’. The new article features a flattering vintage framed photo of Hitler and is written in the form of an objective historic survey of the book’s history. It was a republication of an article by Stankeras that had earlier appeared in the elite magazine Kultūros barai.
THE DEBATE (IN REVERSE CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER)
Background on DefendingHistory.com:
13 January 2012, from Efraim Zuroff (Jerusalem):
EXCERPT FROM OP-ED IN HAARETZ. FULL TEXT HERE.
O P I N I O N
by Geoff Vasil
Andrius Navickas, a religious studies expert and editor-in-chief of the Bernardinai.lt website, published a rather strange editorial at the end of 2011 taken from a speech he gave over Lithuanian Radio.
Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, Christian-Jewish Issues, Geoff Vasil, History, Human Rights, Media Watch, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory
Tagged Andrius Navickas, Bernardinai.lt, Geoff Vasil
At a recent Waffen SS celebration in Estonia
In the face of mounting Western concern, the Estonian Ministry of Defense issued a statement on 5 January 2012 refuting a 27 (/28) December 2011 Delfi news portal story that reported on Russian Federation criticism, among other things, of the Baltic states’ policies of honoring their countries’ Nazi collaborator forces and militias.
The Defense Ministry’s refutation declares that “the government of the Republic of Estonia has not drafted nor will it draft something as absurd as a bill that would allow for honors to be given to Nazi collaborators.”
Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Celebrations of Fascism, Collaborators Glorified, Double Games, Estonia, News & Views, Politics of Memory
Tagged Daily Mail + Estonia, Double Genocide + Estonia, Estonia, Estonia + Waffen SS, Estonian Defense Ministry, Mart Laar
The following letter to the editor from attorney Joseph Melamed, chairman of the Assoiation of Lithuanian Jews in Israel, appeared today in VilNews.com.
The recent article by Dr. Irena Veisaite agreeing with the antisemitic establishment’s evaluation of the life’s work of Dr. Efraim Zuroff, Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel office and a leading historian of the Lithuanian Holocaust, has been a cause of great dismay to us, the world’s last active organization of Lithuanian Holocaust survivors and their descendants.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel Office today released a statement in which its director, Holocaust historian Dr. Efraim Zuroff, calls for an apology from the European Union’s ambassador to Afghanistan, Vygaudas Ušackas, for insensitive and misleading remarks on the Lithuanian Holocaust in a 6 December 2011 Wall Street Journal article. A letter of protest by Jack Zwanziger of Chicago appeared in the WSJ on 14 December 2011.
Posted in Collaborators Glorified, Double Games, Double Genocide, EU, Lithuania, Media Watch, News & Views, Politics of Memory
Tagged Efraim Zuroff, Holocaust Obfuscation, Holocaust Trivialization, Lithuanian Foreign Minister + Holocaust, Lithuanian government + Holocaust, Simon Wiesenthal Center Israel Office, Vygaudas Ušackas
by Dovid Katz
Rúmshishok (informally: Rúmseshik), some twelve miles from Kaunas (Kovno), was a beloved Lithuanian shtetl where Lithuanians, Jews and others lived together for many centuries in peace (the town goes back to the fourteenth century). The massacre of the town’s Jews during the Holocaust was close to complete (outlines of the history here and here). According to the new Lithuanian Holocaust Atlas, the perpetrators were comprised of “white armbanders” from the town plus “Lithuanian self-defense unit troops” from Kaunas.
Now Rumšiškės in modern Lithuania, the town is internationally known for its neighboring extensive open air museum of the Lithuanian provinces, including town, hamlet and rural settings, all meticulously reconstructed.
Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Chaim Bargman, Commemorations for Destroyed Communities, Double Games, Dovid Katz, Exotic Jewish Tourism, History, Human Rights, Litvak Affairs, Museums, News & Views, Politics of Memory, Yiddish Affairs
Tagged Holocaust mass graves in Lithuania, Lietuvos liaudies buities muziejus, marking of Holocaust mass graves, nationalist historiography, Open Air Museum Lithuania, Rumseshik, Rumshishok, Rumsiskes