An opposition party member of the Lithuanian Seimas (parliament) has leaked this memo (English translation here), dated 20 July 2010, which purports to be a circular letter from the deputy foreign minister, Sarunas Adomavicius, to the working group (names blocked out) of the ‘Fake Litvak’ Forum (the official name is the ‘Litvak Heritage Forum’). The Forum is viewed as a ploy to hijack Litvak identity and put it to use for government PR purposes.
The day it was announced, 15 July 2010, the prime minister’s chancellor boasted of ‘rich Litvaks’ having been found to finance it. Protests followed immediately from Holocaust Survivors of the ALJ, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, the Litvak Studies Institute and this website (see here). There is particular fear that it is to serve as cover to deflect attention from the ongoing antisemitic campaign in the country, including exhibits at major state-financed museums and theme parks, the recent legalization of public swastikas, the failure to close the widely condemned war-crimes investigations against Holocaust Survivors and to apologize to them, and the declining standards of democracy and tolerance for debate on these issues.
Ultimately, it is considered by some to be yet another ploy to obfuscate the Lithuanian Holocaust itself by means of a fetish-like abuse of the very word Litvak, which is a proper ethnonym that cannot be bought into by a foreign ministry (which should not be in the business of hijacking the identity of weak ethnic minorities).
If the document is genuine, there is now a further cause for astonishment: that the ‘Imposter Litvak’ campaign is considered so important to national security that it is being headed by a deputy foreign minister. This website calls on all members of this Litvak Forum to identify themselves publicly. Those who are of Litvak heritage or who have spoken up boldly for Litvak causes have nothing to fear from publication of the list of members.
A tragically annihilated people, of which a tiny remnant remains, should not have their national identity looted by politicians who do not even reveal their names to the public, and who do not stand up or speak up for genuine Litvak causes (e.g. the seven outstanding areas causing difficulties in Lithuanian-Jewish relations, all of which could be solved in very short order if the good will and the political will were there).
[Added 27 Sept 2010: On September 20th, Egidijus Meilūnas was appointed Vice-Minister in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in place of Šarūnas Adomavičius, who is now appointed of head of the OSCE mission in Montenegro. It is not clear whether Mr Meilūnas has inherited from his predecessor the mantle of chairman of the ‘Fake Litvak Forum’. If he has not yet done so, he is invited to study the opposition from Holocaust Survivors and other Litvak groups, as detailed above, and, at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, enunciated by the chairman of the Association of Lithuanian Jews in Israel, speaking on the day of Mr Meilūnas’s appointment. See here.]