Tag Archives: Geoff Vasil

Neo-Nazis Pick Up Hate Materials from… (Hijacked?) Official “Lithuanian Jewish (Litvak) Community” Website



OPINION  |  VILNIUS JEWISH LIFE  |  LITVAK AFFAIRS  |  DEMOCRACY  |  GOOD WILL FOUNDATION  |  HUMAN RIGHTS

VILNIUS—Lithuania’s top neo-Nazi blogger “Zeppelinus” has republished with some noticeable relish, in a post dated 27 May 2017, parts of the 19 May official “Lithuanian Jewish Community website” attack (as PDF) on this journal’s editor, Dovid Katz. The attack was, some would say shamefully, signed “LJC staff” though sources rapidly revealed its prime author (see our rapid response on the day). It is not the first time that the antisemitic far-right has found its material on the website of the official Jewish Community under its current leadership (that is under legal challenge after the recent allegedly rigged election), at a time when the website is, disturbingly, allegedly under control of elements very far from the interests of Lithuania’s Jews. Last autumn’s website attacks on Rabbi Sholom-Ber Krinsky were picked up and elaborated by another key antisemitic blogger who went so far as to  dig up the 1790s antisemitic attacks on a prime founder of Lithuanian Hasidism.

You know something is wrong when the neo-Nazis are finding their material on the “website of an official Jewish community”. It’s a website funded in fact by the state via restitution funds deriving from the communal religious properties of the annihilated Jewish communities of Lithuania, administered by a (this one’s for you, George Orwell) “Good Will Foundation”.

Then there was the most recent fiasco, a comparison of the democratic electoral congress of the Vilnius Jewish Community on 24 May to Russia’s “Zapad 2017” military exercises, and the charge that the assembled 300 or so Vilnius Jews were “mainly Russian speakers calling themselves Jews, with only a minority of people with Litvak blood” (see our report which led to JTA’s coverage, and the essays by Professor Pinchos Fridberg and by Leonas Kaplanas). This was a proverbial gift of the gods to the local antisemitic establishment here that revels in delegitimizing the country’s living Jews while embracing a de-Judaized ersatz “Litvak heritage” for PR, with some help from a tiny elite of privileged “court Jews” who themselves at times, it seems, become conduits for antisemitic invective against the local Jewish community. Prof. Fridberg has pointed out that a subsequent vague and unclear “apology” posted failed to disclose the author(s) of the offending text, and never even appeared in the Russian-language section of the website. Is the author of the offending text still employed by the official “Lithuanian Jewish (Litvak) Community”? Why is his or her identity a secret?

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Human Rights, Identity Theft of Litvak Heritage, Lithuania, Lithuanian Adventures of the Hon. Herbert Block (AK, AZM, (LG)CJH, CPJCE, GWF, USCPAHA, SATMAR/“AARON BRANCH", WJRO), Litvak Affairs, Media Watch, News & Views, Opinion, Vilnius Jewish Life (from 2016) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Neo-Nazis Pick Up Hate Materials from… (Hijacked?) Official “Lithuanian Jewish (Litvak) Community” Website

“The Naked Truth” on Lithuanian Television



O P I N I O N

by Geoff Vasil

The national Lithuanian television channel Lietuvos rytas TV recently (on May 4) broadcast a show by veteran talk-show host Rūta Grinevičiūtė (surname recently changed to Janutienė) called Nuoga Tiesa, “Naked Truth,” which posed the question, “Do you want the Jews to return again [sic] to Lithuania?” Viewers were invited to call in and/or vote by special telephone lines for Yes and No with a one euro toll per call. For that and a number of other reasons the entire program had something of the macabre about it, and although some of the guests made some important points, all of them seemed to miss certain glaring details which would have been the center of attention in the West.

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Geoff Vasil, History, Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Media Watch, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Ponár (Ponary, Paneriai), Rūta Vanagaitė, Simon Gurevich (Simonas Gurevičius) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on “The Naked Truth” on Lithuanian Television

The Nazis are Just Nuts



O P I N I O N    /    H I S T O R Y

by Geoff Vasil

◊ 

Somewhere in his voluminous correspondence, correspondence that far surpasses in quantity any of his literary endeavors, H. P. Lovecraft mentions what he sees as the almost arbitrary adoption of Christianity by northern European peoples, and comments that another religion might work just as well. That sense of another religion operating in parallel runs heavily throughout his stories, and nowhere is his notion better illustrated than in his short piece The Festival, roughly centered around an “I’ll be home for Christmas” motif in an unknown village of New England that turns terribly strange but somehow familiar for all its strangeness.

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Yivo Conference: Unresolved History



O P I N I O N

by Geoff Vasil

This comment on the event “Unresolved History: Jews and Lithuanians After the Holocaust,” held February 14, 2014 in New York City is based on the videotape of the event that Yivo has posted on its website. Readers may also wish to see Olga Zabludoff’s articles before and after the event, and the comments accruing during last month’s discussion in New York’s Algemeiner.Com. Geoff Vasil has covered a number of state-sponsored Holocaust events over the years, including one featuring some of the same participants last summer in Vilnius. Defending History’s openly critical views of the “red-brown commission” are available in the section dedicated to various of the debates in recent years. The commission’s own website is here.


 

On February 14, 2014, a small panel spoke at YIVO world headquarters in NYC. There weren’t many people in the audience, to judge from the crowd sounds, and at least one panelist wasn’t there. It had been delayed a day earlier when a massive ice storm hit the city and temperatures plummeted. Tomas Venclova wasn’t able to make it because of the weather and poor health.

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Swedish Film Director Speaks Out on the Lithuanian Holocaust, Sort of, a Little Bit



O P I N I O N

by Geoff Vasil

 

Jonas Öhman is a Swede who has been coming to Lithuania and living here on and off from almost the beginning of modern independence in the 1990-1991 period. During that time he has produced a number of films, only one of which appears to his credit on the internet film database imdb.com, but all of which deal more or less with a mythologized version of the history of Lithuanian anti-Soviet partisans.

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Raising Cain on the Resurrection of Abel



O P I N I O N

by Geoff Vasil

 

And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. Genesis 3:13

And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground. Genesis 4:10

Driving east out of Rokiškis, fields give way to forest, and the lake country leads on to strange and wild hills in an abandoned quarter of the country bordering Latvia. The lake country is beautiful, almost alpine in its effect, and spotted with small settlements and villages of varying sizes, some even boasting gas stations and schools.

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Posted in "Red-Brown Commission", Arts, Christian-Jewish Issues, Collaborators Glorified, Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, Geoff Vasil, Lithuania, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Rákishok (Rokiškis), Symbology | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Raising Cain on the Resurrection of Abel

Keep the Local History Out of Mind?



REVIEW OF KEEP ME IN MIND

by Geoff Vasil

 

The Contemporary Art Center’s reading room in Vilnius is hosting an unusual-for-Lithuania Holocaust event called Keep Me in Mind. Briefly, visitors are invited to wander among different tables where good-looking and polite people await them with small boxes and sheaves of papers. When you sit down the narrator at the table tells the story of an individual Holocaust survivor, from childhood to the present. Almost all of the survivors seem to now live in Haifa, Israel. One survivor, Benjamin Ginzburg, came from Vilnius.

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Inclusion and Occlusion



O P I N I O N

A REVIEW OF THE PRAGUE PLATFORM’S TRAVELLING EXHIBITION “TOTALITARIANISM IN EUROPE” PAID FOR BY THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION (CURRENTLY ON SHOW AT TUSKULĖNAI PARK IN VILNIUS, LITHUANIA)

by Geoff Vasil


 

At the edge of downtown Vilnius, along the river Neris where the buildings suddenly turn old and worn and bushes, trees and grass take on unmanicured forms, across the bridge whose entree is gated by the Danish and British embassies to Lithuania, there is a strange park nestled in between some very empty Soviet-looking and much older buildings.

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Posted in Double Genocide, EU, Geoff Vasil, History, Museums, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Prague "Platform" | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Inclusion and Occlusion

Lithuania Propaganda Agency is On The Road Again



O P I N I O N

by Geoff Vasil

This opinion piece and eyewitness report by Geoff Vasil relates to the July 10th event in honor of the Red-Brown Commission held at the Vilnius Jewish Public Library. See related reports on the library’s instrumentalization as a PR platform for the Commission and the more or less contemporaneous announcement of the Commission’s resumed activities, in the absence of apologies to Yitzhak Arad, Pinchos Fridberg, and the other accused Holocaust survivors.


Attendees at the July 10, 2013 event to honor the “International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupational Regimes in Lithuania” were treated to speeches and plentiful Katz-bashing by (from right) Ronaldas Račinskas, Saulius Sužiedėlis and Ilya Lempertas.

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Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, "Red-Brown Commission", "Vilnius Jewish Public Library", A 21st Century Campaign Against Lithuanian Holocaust Survivors?, Double Games, Events, Geoff Vasil, Humor (Of Sorts), Identity Theft of Litvak Heritage, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Politics of Memory, The Great SLS About-Face | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Lithuania Propaganda Agency is On The Road Again

Chief Lithuanian Bureaucrat/Historian Rehabilitates Nation’s Quislings, Again



O P I N I O N

by Geoff Vasil

In an interview posted on the Delfi website on June 21, 2013, Lithuanian government historian Arūnas Bubnys, head of department for the Orwellian- or even Kafkaesque-sounding Center for the Study of the Genocide and Resistance of the Residents of Lithuania, once again lent support to the pro-Nazi Lithuanian Quisling government that seized power on June 23, 1941.

The interview, titled “Lithuanian Historian: June Uprising was Rehabilitation for Shameful Surrender to Soviets,” is available here. An English translation is provided here.

What follows is my commentary on that interview.

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Landsbergis’s New Book Tries (Yet Again) to Sanitize the 1941 Hitlerist “Provisional Government” of Lithuania



B O O K S

by Geoff Vasil

Vytautas Landsbergis, Rezistencijos pradžia [“The Beginning of the Resistance: June 1941: Documents on the Six-Week Provisional Government of Lithuania”], Vilnius 2012.


MEP Vytautas Landsbergis, former speaker of the Lithuanian parliament and leader of the Lithuanian independence movement in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, unveiled his latest polemic at a ceremony cum press conference held on the first floor of the Signatarų Namai building in Vilnius’s Old Town on September 11, 2012, the historic site where Lithuanian independence was proclaimed from the balcony to the street below sometime around February 16, 1918.

This small book—there’s only 22 pages written by Landsbergis, the rest is a motley collection of supposedly historic documents—is an attempt to answer criticism of the Lithuanian Government and Catholic Church’s ceremonial reburial of Lithuanian Nazi puppet prime minister Ambrazevičius-Brazaitis and other concurrent celebrations in the spring of 2012.

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The Disquieting 2010-2012 Record of the American Embassy in Vilnius, Lithuania



Posted in "Red-Brown Commission", Double Games, Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, Human Rights, LGBT Rights, News & Views, Politics of Memory, The Great SLS About-Face, United States, US State Dept Manipulated? | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Disquieting 2010-2012 Record of the American Embassy in Vilnius, Lithuania

Authors



Each author is exclusively responsible for his or her signed contribution.

Genrich Agranovski

Shimon Alperovich

Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis

Kristina Apanavičiūtė Sulikienė

Yitzhak Arad

Evaldas Balčiūnas

Chaim Bargman

Stanley H. Barkan

Ruth Barnett

Danny Ben-Moshe

Didier Bertin

Saulius Beržinis

Roland Binet

Ruta (Reyzke) Bloshtein

Aleksandras Bosas

Valentinas Brandišauskas

Frank Brendle

Wyman Brent

Franziska Bruder

Chaim Burshtein

Motke Chabad

Milan Chersonski

Rachel Croucher

David Cukier

Algis Davidavičius

Leonidas Donskis

Shmuel Jacob Feffer

Aleksandrs Feigmanis

Pinchos Fridberg

Berel Fried

Ira Gold

Eleonora Groisman

Clemens Heni

Leena Hietanen

Mikhail Iossel

Lord Janner of Braunstone

Peter Jukes

Sergey Kanovich

Leon Kaplan

Dovid Katz

Rafael Katz

Juris Kaža

Vilma Fiokla Kiurė

Regina Kopilevich

Rachel Kostanian

Tzvi-Hirsh Kritzer

Faina Kukliansky

Andrius Kulikauskas

Aleksandr Kuzmin

Sid (Shnayer) Leiman

Dov Levin

Joseph Levinson

Monica Lowenberg

Michael and Fausta Maass

Denis MacShane

Simon Malkes

Joseph Melamed

Ivo Mosley

Julius Norwilla 

Josifas Parasonis

Jacob Piliansky

Grzegorz Rossoliński-Liebe

Per Anders Rudling

Kamilė Rupeikaitė

Michael Shafir

Anna Shepherd

Ken Slade

Andres Spokoiny

Birutė Ušinskaitė

Rūta Vanagaitė

Geoff Vasil

Nida Vasiliauskaitė

Tomas Venclova

Vilhjálmur Örn Vilhjálmsson

Aleksandras Vitkus

Gert Weisskirchen

Olga Zabludoff

Lina Žigelytė

Efraim Zuroff

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Litvak Devastates Second Kaunas Conference on Nazi Collaborator Ambrazevičius-Brazaitis



O P I N I O N

by Geoff Vasil

last revision 26 May 2012, 23:55.


The second conference in Kaunas on the 1941 Nazi puppet prime minister and Holocaust collaborator Juozas Ambrazevičius cum Brazaitis, held Thursday, May 24, was treated to some harsh facts presented by a living Litvak, Kovno (Kaunas) historian and Jewish tour guide Chaim Bargman.

Although Vytautas Magnus University initially agreed to and then reneged on a deal with the Lithuanian government to host the earlier “academic conference” last Saturday May 19 purely to adulate the “prime minister” of 1941, they changed their minds yet again—possibly under influence from chairman of their board of directors, former president Valdas Adamkus, who in 2011 celebrated the seventieth anniversary of the LAF fascists—and provided university resources this week for a second event announced as an open discussion event. To their great credit, they did webcast the event and have posted the video (here).

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Some Worrying Slippage at ‘Bernardinai.lt’?



O P I N I O N

by Geoff Vasil

Andrius Navickas, a religious studies expert and editor-in-chief of the Bernardinai.lt website, published a rather strange editorial at the end of 2011 taken from a speech he gave over Lithuanian Radio.

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Main Lithuanian Paper Caves In to Antisemitic Sentiment as Economy Sours



O P I N I O N

by Geoff Vasil

A colleague sent me a link to an article on the webpage of Lietuvos rytas that appeared in their Sunday edition during the first week of December, 2011 (PDF of the print version; full English translation;  report in Defending History.com). The heading on the email said the article was antisemitic.

Lietuvos rytas (“Lithuanian Morning”) has been Lithuania’s main newspaper pretty much since independence from the Soviet Union. The quality of the newspaper has varied over the years, but they at least usually refrain from printing overtly antisemitic material, whereas competing newspapers and their editors-in-chief have made this their bread and butter at certain periods, especially Lietuvos aidas and Respublika, although Lietuvos aidas has all but disappeared as a real newspaper and Respublika appears to have turned into an advertising-driven newspaper distributed for free.

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What Happened when Holocaust Survivor Joseph Melamed Did Exactly what Historian A. Liekis Suggested?



O P I N I O N

by Geoff Vasil

The following is a reprint, with the author’s permission, of his article in London’s Jewish Chronicle this week.

Wreaths Laid, but Doubt Hangs in the Air

Today is Lithuanian Holocaust Day. This is the day the Vilna Ghetto was “liquidated” in 1943, but is not generally known among Lithuanians. It does not even appear on the Wikipedia list of Lithuanian holidays, although Molotov-Ribbentrop Day, August 23, does. September 23 usually receives a few minutes on the evening news — after it’s over.

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