The team at Defending History has witnessed quite a lot in Eastern Europe over the last decade when it comes to Holocaust obfuscation and its related ills, including glorification of actual Holocaust collaborators, defamation of Holocaust survivors who joined the resistance, and a progressive chipping away at Western norms of free speech and tolerance. It is almost as if the Western powers don’t care whether folks in the “Eastern EU” have the same rights of expression as others.
During these last few weeks, an unusually intensive convergence of events has been noticed here in Vilnius. To bring our loyal readers up to speed we thought it might be useful to summarize what’s been happening on the Lithuanian Holocaust obfuscation and history rewriting front. Links to articles are included for those interested in reading more.
Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Christian-Jewish Issues, Collaborators Glorified, Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory
Tagged Adolfas Ramanauskas, Connecticut, Defending History (Vilnius), Dovid Katz, Efraim Zuroff, Erin E. Stewart, Holocaust Denial, Holocaust Obfuscation, New Britain, Prof. Aram Ayalon
The New Britain Progressive, a newspaper in New Britain, Connecticut today carried a report entitled “Council Petition Would Halt Ramanauskas Monument, Pending Investigation”. It begins with the news that
“Alderman Aram Ayalon has introduced a City Council petition requesting, ‘a temporary halt of the building of a monument to commemorate Lithuanian militant, Adolfas Ramanauskas, until further research has been conducted to help confirm the history behind the man being memorialized.’ Ayalon cites concerns regarding accusations about Ramanauskas and the parts of the Holocaust that occurred in Lithuania in 1941.”
The paper’s report cites the Simon Wiesenthal’s October 2017 protest concerning the Lithuanian parliament’s decision to name the year 2018 for the alleged Nazi collaborator, as well as Defending History’s January 2018 plea to New Britain Mayor Erin E. Stewart to halt the project to glorify in the United States a leader of one of the marauding Hitlerist militias of June and July 1941 whose main “accomplishment” was unleashing the Holocaust starting even before the Germans arrived or before they managed to set up their functioning occupational administration. As it happens, the wider complex of these issues in Lithuania today was the subject of a New York Times report last Friday, 30 March.
Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Celebrations of Fascism, Christian-Jewish Issues, Collaborators Glorified, Human Rights, Lithuania, Lithuania's Jewish Community Issues, Litvak Affairs, Media Watch, New Britain, Connecticut: Plans to Glorify Alleged Nazi Collaborator?, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, United States
Tagged Adolfas Ramanauskas, Aram Ayalon, Connecticut, Erin E. Stewart (New Britain), Evaldas Balciunas, Holocaust in Lithuania, New Britain
VILNIUS—We had the painful responsibility last week to record the folly of the Israeli embassy in an East European country that would go out of its way to lend “Jewish legitimacy” to a lamentable decision of a national parliament to name the incoming year 2018 in honor of a man, who in addition to whatever acts of bravery as a resistance figure in the postwar Soviet period, was also a leader of an armed pro-Nazi militia in the early days of the Lithuanian Holocaust, in late June and early July of 1941. The primary achievement of these groups, many affiliated with the LAF (Lithuanian Activist Front) fascist “white-armbanders” was the unleashing of pillage, humiliation, harm and murder of their Jewish citizen neighbors. Make no mistake, the Soviets were fleeing, in June 1941, from Hitler’s invasion, the largest in human history, not from the local Jew-killers.
Posted in Collaborators Glorified, Dovid Katz, Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, Israel, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory
Tagged Adolfas Ramanauskas, Amir Maimon (Lithuania), Israel-diaspora relations, Israeli Embassy in Vilnius, Israeli foreign policy + Holocaust, Joseph Melamed, Rachel Margolis, Yitzhak Arad
VILNIUS—Israel may have crossed a red line today when it was flaunted on the major News portal Delfi.lt here, both in Lithuanian and in English, that Israeli ambassador Amir Maimon had found the time this week to stage a demonstrative PR-photographed visit to the chief campaigner for the parliament’s decision less than one month ago to name 2018 in honor of Adolfas Ramanauskas — his daughter in Vilnius, Auksutė Ramanauskaitė-Skokauskienė, who is a prime icon of the ultranationalist camp that often glorifies various collaborators and participants in the Holocaust on the grounds that they were also anti-Soviet activists. The PR move came just after a major political commentator asked what Lithuania is getting in return for its staunch political support for the Netanyahu government.
One of the PR photos released shows the ambassador posing underneath adulatory photos of the 1941 pro-Nazi militiaman (from various other periods in his life). Of course Lithuania has a vast number of inspirational historical heroes, including many anti-Soviet heroes, who were not Holocaust collaborators, and state decisions to honor collaborators cause untold pain to survivors, their families, and the remnant Jewish communities in Eastern Europe. They all send a message that becomes part of the history-revision campaign to downgrade the Holocaust in the context of “Double Genocide” revisionism.
Posted in Collaborators Glorified, Dovid Katz, Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, Human Rights, Israel, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory
Tagged Adolfas Ramanauskas, Amir Maimon (Lithuania), Antisemitism in Eastern Europe, Chen Ivri Apter, Dovid Katz, Efraim Zuroff, Evaldas Balciunas, Holocaust in Lithuania, Holocaust Memory, Israel + antisemitism, Israel + diaspora Jewry, Israel + Holocaust, Israeli Embassy in Vilnius, Israeli Foreign Policy + Eastern Europe, Israeli foreign policy + Holocaust, Joseph Melamed, Leivick House (Tel Aviv), Rachel Margolis, Ruta Vanagaite, Yitzhak Arad