Dr. Rachel Margolis Dies in Rehovot; Didn’t Get to See Her Native Vilna One Last Time




רחל מאַרגאָליס (מַרְגָלִית) ז″ל

Rachel Margolis

Vilna, 28 October 1921  —  Rehovot, 6 July 2015


About Rachel Margolis: Shimon AlperovichAlgirdas Brazauskas, Gordon Brown, Abraham Foxman, Steinar Gil, Martin Gilbert, Chen Ivri Apter, Dovid Katz (Y), Francois Laumonier, NCSJGeoff Vasil. UK House of Lords, 5 US Congressmen, 9 Western ambassadors in Vilnius.

Left her safe haven with righteous Christians to join her family in the Vilna Ghetto. Joined the Jewish underground anti-Nazi resistance. Witness to creation of the Yiddish partisan hymn.

Escaped to join the partisans and fought valiantly against the Nazis in the forests of Lithuania. The only one in her family to survive the Holocaust.

Volunteered for the short-lived Jewish museum after the war.

Dedicated half a century to Biology, as PhD and professor, at Vilnius University.

Helped establish the Green House Holocaust museum in Vilnius. Rediscovered, deciphered and published Kazimierz Sakowicz’s diary of Ponár. Author of a remarkable memoir. Beloved guide, lecturer and teacher on Jewish Vilna and the Holocaust. A beloved lecturer at the Vilnius Summer Program in Yiddish untl prosecutors’ threats prevented her coming in 2008 and beyond. Will there be a session honoring her at this summer’s program? Will students be told about her accomplishments?

Target of a campaign of defamation by Vilnius prosecutors, the “Lithuanian Human Rights Association” and other far-right Holocaust-revisionist elites. In 2009, she was excluded from the Jerusalem Book Fair, and betrayed by Indiana University’s Bloomington-Borns Yiddish program at a Jerusalem conference exposed as sham by Prof. Dov Levin. In 2011, Yivo shunned her at its Vilna Ghetto memorial events, preferring to honor the then antisemitic foreign minister of Lithuania.

At 90, she was afraid to return to her beloved Vilna for one last visit she yearned for. The Lithuanian government refused to reach out to her, its ambassadors in Israel would not acknowledge her, while prosecutors repeated threats of kangaroo “war crimes investigation” (most recently for the record in the 2012 documentary “Rewriting History“).

The government of Lithuania forfeited a precious chance to cap the 700 year Jewish history in the country on a more noble note than police coming to look for Dr. Rachel Margolis in Vilnius

Margolis Tel Aviv 2009

Rachel Margolis (second from right) honored at Tel Aviv’s Leivick House in June 2009. From left to right: Dalia and Ambassador Chen Ivri Apter; Prof. Dov Levin; Prof. Israel Bartal; Prof. Dovid Katz; Leivick House director Daniel Galay.

VIDEO INTERVIEW WITH RACHEL MARGOLIS: 1 and 2

MORE INFORMATION AND TRIBUTES:

RACHEL MARGOLIS FACT SHEET ♦ FORMER UK PRIME MINISTER GORDON BROWN ♦ 5 MEMBERS OF THE US CONGRESS ♦ ACADEMIC STUDIES PRESS ♦ KEENE STATE COLLEGE ♦ SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE ♦ LORD JANNER OF BRAUNSTONE ♦  LATE LITHUANIAN PRIME MINISTER ALGIRDAS BRAZAUSKAS ♦ ISRAELI AMBASSADOR CHEN IVRI APTER ♦ ADL DIRECTOR ABRAHAM FOXMAN ♦ NCSJ ♦ METRO WEST HOLOCAUST COUNCIL ♦ LEIVICK HOUSE TEL AVIV ♦ JEWISH CHRONICLE ♦ ALGEMEINER JOURNAL (& 2) ♦ RACHEL MARGOLIS.COM

OCTOBER 2012 UPDATE: VIDEO RELEASED OF THE LATE AMBASSADOR CHEN IVRI APTER’S 2009 SPEECH AT LEIVICK HOUSE, TEL AVIV

Coverage in Defending History:

OVERVIEWS HERE & HERE;  7 MAY 2008;  19 JUNE 200928 OCTOBER 2009;  27 JANUARY 2010;  28 OCTOBER 2010;  3 JANUARY 2011;  5 MAY 2011;  28 AUGUST 2011;  23 SEPTEMBER 2011.

This entry was posted in A 21st Century Campaign Against Lithuanian Holocaust Survivors?, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Obituaries, Politics of Memory, Yiddish Affairs and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
Return to Top

Comments are closed.