Tag Archives: Foreign Minister of Lithuania

Et tu, Yivo? Holocaust Survivors Jolted by Plan for Lithuanian Foreign Minister to be ‘Guest of Honor’ at Vilna Ghetto Commemoration



O P I N I O N

by Dovid Katz

When you have loved an institution all your life — and written over decades about its impact on the history of ideas — it becomes a responsibility, even when painful, to try to dissuade it from making a serious error that would put in jeopardy its integrity.

The Lithuanian foreign minister, who has to date not apologized publicly for his widely reported antisemitic outburst in October 2010, has been named by the Yivo Institute for Jewish Research as its ‘guest of honor’ at a concert on 22 September 2011. The remnant Jewish community of Lithuania is small and fragile. Nevertheless it responded robustly, less than a year ago, to the foreign minister’s comments and proceeded to publish its response in English, Lithuanian, Russian and Yiddish.

Yivo’s website enumerates the joint sponsorship for the 22 September 2011 event by ‘the Embassy Series in cooperation with the Lithuanian Consulate and the Lithuanian Delegation to the United Nations’. The event is being held to commemorate the anniversary of the liquidation of the Vilna Ghetto on 23 September 1943.

Perpetrators glorified

In 2011 — to mark the 70th anniversary of Hitler’s invasion, and  to the chagrin of Holocaust survivors internationally — the Lithuanian government has invested in a series of events honoring the local perpetrators who began to kill Jewish neighbors in dozens of towns before the Germans even arrived (a reading list on the history is available here). The ‘logic’ has been that they were actually rebelling against Soviet rule, though it is not disputed by historians that the Soviets were obviously fleeing the Nazi invasion.

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Jewish Community of Lithuania Writes to Lithuania’s President After Foreign Minister’s Antisemitic Tirade



[AUTHORIZED TRANSLATION OF THE LITHUANIAN ORIGINAL]

This letter was approved unanimously at a meeting of the board  of directors of the Lithuanian Jewish Community on October 14, 2010, in which 21 board members participated.

To the President of the Republic of Lithuania
Ms. Dalia Grybauskaitė
15 October 2010

Your Excellency,

The Lithuanian Jewish Community wishes to express its great concern concerning the thoughts expressed by the foreign minister of the Republic of Lithuania, A. Ažubalis, which sow discord between Lithuanians and Jews.

Reports have appeared in the mass media that A. Ažubalis said that “Everyone knows very well” by whom this law (Lithuanian dual citizenship) is most needed, and explained that Jews of Lithuanian origin are the main force pushing this law to the forefront. Moreover, the politician hinted that they probably expect to regain property here more
easily in this manner.

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Double Games, Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, Human Rights, News & Views, Opinion, Shimon Alperovich (1928 – 2014) | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Jewish Community of Lithuania Writes to Lithuania’s President After Foreign Minister’s Antisemitic Tirade