O P I N I O N
LONDON—British author Peter Jukes, best known for his screenplays, literary criticism and political journalism, tweeted last week on the release in the United States of a new documentary film that heroizes certain postwar anti-Soviet “forest brothers” in Lithuania. The film, “The Invisible Front,” that premiered in Greenwich Village’s prestigious Cinema Village theater on 7 November, fails to even mention the view that various of the specific figures it glorifies for their post 1944 activities were in fact alleged recycled Nazi collaborators of 1941. That was the year when, in the days following the Nazi invasion launched on 22 June, the Lithuanian Activist Front (LAF) started butchering local civilian Jews, often elderly rabbis or young women, before the first German forces had arrived. Premeditation becomes evident from perusal of the LAF’s prewar leaflets.
Posted in Arts, Collaborators Glorified, Film, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Media Watch, News & Views, Peter Jukes, Politics of Memory
Tagged Belarusian Humanities University, Cinema Village theater (NY), Darius Udrys, European Humanities University (EHU) in Vilnius, Forest Brothers Lithuania, Holocaust collaborators in Forest Brothers, Holocaust in Lithuania, Jonas Öhman, Juozas Luksa, Lithuanian Activist Front (LAF), New York Times + Holocaust, Peter Jukes, The Invisible Front, Vincas Sruoginis
The following review of Laima Vince’s Journeys through the Backwaters of the Heart originally appeared in Aspen Review (Dec. 2013). The review is now republished here by permission of Peter Jukes, whose latest book is The Fall of the House of Murdoch.
Ms. Vince’s Journeys was also reviewed in Defending History by Geoff Vasil.
While filming a re-enactment of a battle between Lithuanian nationalists and their Soviet- backed NKVD persecutors, Jonas Kadzionis (a survivor of the “Forest Brothers” partisans) warned the author Laima Vince: “Don’t get lost in the forest, and don’t lose your conscience.”
Unfortunately, in her book Journeys through the Backwaters of the Heart Vince has managed to do both.
Posted in Books, Collaborators Glorified, Lithuania, News & Views, Opinion, Peter Jukes, Politics of Memory
Tagged "Journeys Through the Backwaters of the Heart", Holocaust in Lithuania, Juozas Luksa, Laima Vince, Peter Jukes
B O O K S
by Geoff Vasil
Journey into the Backwaters of the Heart: Stories of Women Who Survived Hitler and Stalin by Laima Vince. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform: 2012.
The first problem the reader comes across is in the introduction, where the author asserts two waves of Jewish immigration into Lithuania in the 8th and 11th centuries. Much later in the book she says, twice, Jews settled in Lithuania in the 16th century, a claim that leaves the informed reader wondering for whom the grand duke Vytautas (Witold) issued his famous charters on the rights of Jews in the 14th century.
The introduction also presents the events of 1940 and 1941 in Lithuania in a manner calculated to make the reader think the Lithuanian Provisional Government of 1941 and the Lithuanian Activist Front were two altogether separate entities.
Posted in Books, Double Genocide, Geoff Vasil, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory
Tagged "Journeys into the Backwaters of the Heart", Holocaust in Lithuania, Juozas Luksa, Laima Vince