O P I N I O N / R E P L Y
by Liba Blat-Rosenthal and Israela Blat
- Editor’s note: This is a response to Professor Fridberg’s article “Instead of Truth about the Holocaust — Myths about Saving Jews” published in Defending History on 1 January 2013 with an editor’s note providing links to some of the article’s publications elsewhere.
- Updates: Professor Fridberg’s response to this letter appeared in Russian in Мы здесь and in Obzor.lt. The authorized English translation appears in Defending History.
We, Liba Blat-Rosenthal and Israela Blat (the daughter that was born in the bunker), daughters of Miriam and Moshe Blat, are writing in the name of the 25 Jews rescued from the hell of the Holocaust by Juozas and Bronislava Straupis with the help of Juozas and Adolfina Kerpauskas, Bronislavas and Ona Stulpinas, and Stase Dausiniene.
Mr. Fridberg in his article “Instead of Truth about the Holocaust — Myths about Saving Jews” denies the existence of us, survivors, and our rescuers with the words words: “I can assure you: this Lithuanian family did not exist.”
We would like everybody to know that first of all, the family does exist and we, our children and grandchildren are eternally grateful for their reaching out towards us in the darkest times of history.
They hid us for three years, feeding, providing all our needs and most importantly keeping us safe, and all at the risk of themselves and their families’ lives.
All the persons mentioned above have been awarded the title of “Righteous Among the Nations” by Yad Vashem — The Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Authority in Jerusalem, Israel.
Until our last breath we and our families will cherish the selfless heroic deeds of our rescuers.
Mr. Fridberg has caused us and most importantly our rescuers’ families deep emotional pain.
In the name of the survivors: the Blat family, the Kaplan family and the Factor family we apologize to our rescuers for the offense that was caused by Mr. Fridberg’s article and hope Mr. Fridberg himself will find the courage to acknowledge his mistake and to apologize as well.
Liba Blat Rosenthal (Jerusalem), Israela Blat (Tel Aviv)