Tag Archives: Lithuanian-Jewish relations

Mounting International Opposition to Vilnius Convention Center in Old Jewish Cemetery


[LAST UPDATE]


JUMP TO INTERNATIONAL OPPOSITION

LETTER TO LITHUANIA’S LEADERS BY SOUTH AFRICA’S CHIEF RABBI

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER FOR THE OLD JEWISH CEMETERY IN VILNIUS (23 SEPT).  DR. ANDRIUS KULIKAUSKAS’S KEYNOTE SPEECH.

FALL 2019: LEGAL ACTION BROUGHT BY EUROPEAN FOUNDATION FOR HUMAN RIGHTS CONTINUES AT VILNIUS DISTRICT COURT.  International appeal for more people willing to certify the Vilnius burial of their own ancestors. Over 200 to date have provided affidavits to the court!

APRIL 2019: EUROPEAN FOUNDATION FOR HUMAN RIGHTS GOES TO COURT IN VILNIUS OVER FATE OF OLD JEWISH CEMETERY;

BUT GREEDY BUILDERS AND NATIONALIST GOV. OFFICIALS CONTINUE TO RELY ON “PERMISSIONS” FROM ALLEGEDLY CORRUPT LONDON-BASED “CPCJE RABBIS” EXPOSED BY WIKILEAKS IN GRAVES-FOR-CASH SCHEME.

SHOCKING VIDEO OF LONDON RABBIS FETED BY PRIME MINISTER OF LITHUANIA FOR THEIR PERMISSION TO PLACE CONVENTION CENTER AND ANNEX ON TOP OF OLD VILNA JEWISH CEMETERY IN DEFIANCE OF ALL LITHUANIAN ORIGIN RABBIS WORLDWIDE


Simon Gurevich, elected head of the Vilnius Jewish Community, representing the 2,200 Jewish citizens of Lithuania’s capital, tells the New York Times: “The Soviets didn’t build just coincidentally the Sports Palace there, they built it as part of an antisemitic campaign of destruction of Jewish sites. Is this Soviet despotism a part of the heritage we would like to keep?”

On 5 Sept. 2018 the Vilnius Jewish Community in partnership with a number of regional Lithuanian Jewish communities released an approved English version of their powerful 29 Aug. statement. On 12 September, ten members of the Israeli Knesset wrote to Lithuania’s president.

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Posted in Appeals to the European Commission on Piramónt, Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Dovid Katz, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in Šnipiškės / Shnípishok), Opinion, Rothschild Foundation Europe (Hanadiv): Lithuanian Issues | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Mounting International Opposition to Vilnius Convention Center in Old Jewish Cemetery

Defending History Responds to Vilnius Architects’ Three “Visualizations” for “Convention Center in the Jewish Cemetery”



Architects Publish Three Visualizations for National Convention Center Planned for Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery, Where Thousands Still Lie Buried

But critics warn that property magnates, politicians, and their foreign Jewish shmendriks will be haunted for generations by a rather different visualization…

LITE Vulovak on national convention center opening

Vulovak / DefendingHistory.com

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Posted in Cemeteries and Mass Graves, EU, Human Rights, Humor (Of Sorts), Lithuania, Lithuania's Jewish Community Issues, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in Šnipiškės / Shnípishok), Politics of Memory | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Defending History Responds to Vilnius Architects’ Three “Visualizations” for “Convention Center in the Jewish Cemetery”

Lithuanian Philosopher Writes to Archbishop Grušas



CHRISTIAN-JEWISH RELATIONS  | EVENTS  |  BOLD CITIZENS SPEAK OUT

by Andrius Kulikauskas

Editor’s note: The author provides here his own synopsis (with explanatory comments for Defending History readers) of his Lithuanian essay that appeared in Veidas on 5 May 2016. It is in effect an open letter from a Lithuanian citizen to Archbishop Gintaras Grušas on the occasion of the “Jubilee Year of Mercy” events scheduled this week under the title “National Congress of Mercy.”

Image01

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Posted in Andrius Kulikauskas, Antisemitism & Bias, Christian-Jewish Issues, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Lithuanian Philosopher Writes to Archbishop Grušas

Let’s Dismantle the Sports Palace and Revoke the “Revocation of Hospitality”


 


OPINION  |  PIRAMÓNT  |  PAPER  TRAIL  |  OPPOSITION  |  CEMETERIES

by Andrius Kulikauskas

I am inspired by the deep feelings which have been stirred amongst Litvaks regarding the fate of the Vilnius Sports Palace built on top of the Jewish cemetery. I wish for our state of Lithuania to do its utmost on behalf of Lithuanians to restore the Jewish cemetery in Vilnius as a symbol of our aspiration for the closest friendship between Lithuanians and Jews. I realized that it would be most helpful for me to present my thoughts in Lithuanian.

“From the top of Gediminas Castle, do we want to see and cherish, for hundreds of years to come, what the Communist Party Chief saw (the Sports Palace) or what the Grand Duke of Lithuania saw (the Jewish cemetery)?”

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Posted in Andrius Kulikauskas, Antisemitism & Bias, Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Citizenship, Genocide Center (Vilnius), History, Human Rights, Lithuania, Lithuania's Jewish Community Issues, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in Šnipiškės / Shnípishok), Opinion, Politics of Memory, Symbology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Let’s Dismantle the Sports Palace and Revoke the “Revocation of Hospitality”

Lithuania’s Liveliest Cemetery



OPINION  |  PIRAMÓNT  |  PAPER  TRAIL  |  OPPOSITION  |  CEMETERIES

by Dovid Katz

Editor’s note: Reprint from The Times of Israel, where this op-ed appeared on 13 December 2015.


Back in 2009, a rancorous dispute over the old Vilna Jewish cemetery was ostensibly solved. Two new buildings, despite worldwide protests, would be allowed to remain, and in return, no more land would be pilfered from the cemetery at Piramónt, in the Šnipiškės district of modern Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania. The burial ground goes back to the late fifteenth century, at least. After the Holocaust, with virtually no descendants left to worry about, Soviet authorities helped themselves to the gravestones for use in building projects, but left many thousands of graves intact. A galaxy of eminent European rabbinic scholars and authors were buried there. But once the 2009 “Peace of Piramónt” was brokered (with help from Western embassies here), emotions cooled as all sides got on with their lives.

skeltas-3 black background lite

Future symbol for a capital city in the European Union? by VULOVAK / DefendingHistory.com

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Christian-Jewish Issues, Citizenship, Double Games, Dovid Katz, Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in Šnipiškės / Shnípishok), Opinion, Politics of Memory, Rothschild Foundation Europe (Hanadiv): Lithuanian Issues, US Commission for Preservation of the American Heritage Abroad | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Lithuania’s Liveliest Cemetery

New Jewish Monument in Rokiškis (Rákeshik), Lithuania, Commemorates 3 Synagogues



E V E N T S   /   O P I N I O N

by Dovid Katz

For many years, international visitors to Rokiškis (in Yiddish: Rákishok, or less formally: Rákeshik), in northeastern Lithuania, have remarked that the town’s central area seemed to preserve little (or no) trace or commemoration of its erstwhile Jewish population, though a large monument now graces the entrance to the old Jewish cemetery outside town. Before the Holocaust, this town was home to around 3,500 Jews (some 40% of the total population, and the overwhelming majority in its central area). Luckily, a short film of pre-Holocaust Jewish Rákishok survives (from 1937), and is available on Youtube. Thanks to Polish film maker Tomek Wisniewski for circulating the link in recent days. 

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Posted in Christian-Jewish Issues, Commemorations for Destroyed Communities, Dovid Katz, Events, Exotic Jewish Tourism, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Opinion, Rákishok (Rokiškis), Symbology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on New Jewish Monument in Rokiškis (Rákeshik), Lithuania, Commemorates 3 Synagogues

International Rabbinic Delegation Issues Press Release on Visit to Lithuania to Appeal for Reprieve for the Old Jewish Cemetery at Piramont



NEW YORK—A spokesperson for the rabbinic delegation from the United States, Israel and Europe that came to plea for a reprieve for the old Jewish cemetery in Vilnius issued the following press release upon completion of the group’s meetings. Its content contrasts sharply with the BNS report published in various Lithuanian media today.

International Rabbinic Delegation Travels to Vilnius to Plea for the Cancellation of Development Plans on the Šnipiškės Cemetery

Group Meets Deputy Chancellor and the Vilnius Mayor to Relay Calls of World Jewry to Spare 500-Year Old Šnipiškės Cemetery from Further Desecration

VILNIUS—A rabbinic delegation visited Vilnius yesterday and met the authorities to plea with them to cancel plans to construct a congress hall on Šnipiškės Jewish cemetery. The Šnipiškės cemetery was established over five centuries ago, and it interred the most famous Jewish leaders of Vilnius.

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Posted in Appeals to the European Commission on Piramónt, Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in Šnipiškės / Shnípishok) | Tagged , , | Comments Off on International Rabbinic Delegation Issues Press Release on Visit to Lithuania to Appeal for Reprieve for the Old Jewish Cemetery at Piramont

Satmar Grand Rabbi and Rabbinical Court Call on Lithuanian Gov. to Abandon Convention Center in Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery



D O C U M E N T S   /   C E M E T E R I E S    /   P I R A M Ó N T

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK—The high rabbinical court of the most populous Hasidic group in the world, Satmar, today released to the media the text of its judgment of 6 July 2015 calling on the Lithuanian government to abandon its multimillion dollar convention center project in the heart of Vilna’s old Jewish cemetery. The bilingual text, in rabbinic Hebrew and English, also calls on the American government to exert its influence to save the thousands of graves on the site from further desecration. The document was further signed, with an added note, by Satmar grand rabbi  (der Sátmerer Rébe) Yekusiel Yehuda Teitelbaum on 10 July 2015.

“We were horrified to hear that the government of Lithuania intends to renovate an abandoned building in the heart of the ancient cemetery of Vilna, and turn it into a place of assemblage and entertainment; and invest a huge sum of money to make it into an attraction for the masses from their country and worldwide.”  

— from the Satmar Rabbinic Court’s ruling

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Posted in Appeals to the European Commission on Piramónt, Cemeteries and Mass Graves, CPJCE (London), Documents, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in Šnipiškės / Shnípishok), Politics of Memory | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Satmar Grand Rabbi and Rabbinical Court Call on Lithuanian Gov. to Abandon Convention Center in Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery

Absoliutus barbarizmas: senosios žydų Piramónto kapinės



O P I N I O N   /   C E M E T E R I E S   /   P I R A M Ó N T   (Š N I P I Š K Ė S)

Rūta (Reyzke) Bloshtein


Ruta Bloshtein

Rūta (Reyzke) Bloshtein

Šią savaitę mes, žydai, minėjome tragiškiausią mūsų tautos istorijos datą — Tiša b’Av (jidiš: Tišebov) — abiejų Jeruzalės Šventyklų sugriovimą. Gedulą ir netekties skausmą išreiškiame pasninkaudami. Sėdėdama ant grindų ir skaitydama Kinojs knygą (gedulingas elegijas), mąsčiau ir apie tradiciją šią dieną lankyti mūsų didžių išminčių kapus.

Vilniuje ši tradicija buvo puoselėjama lankant Piramont kapines, kuriose per penkis šimtmečius palaidoti šimtai tūkstančių mano protėvių — Vilniaus žydų, tarp jų iškilių rabinų ir išminčių, palikusių neišsemiamus išminties lobius mums, siekiantiems kilniai ir dorai eiti gyvenimo keliu. Per jų nuopelnus bus, duok Dieve, pagreitintas Trečiosios Šventyklos atstatymas.

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Posted in Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in Šnipiškės / Shnípishok), Opinion, Ruta (Reyzke) Bloshtein, Vilniaus senosios žydų (Piramonto) kapinės Šnipiškėse | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Absoliutus barbarizmas: senosios žydų Piramónto kapinės

Protocol of 26 August 2009 Meeting in Vilnius on the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in today’s Šnipiškės)


 


D O C U M E N T S   /    V I L N A   J E W I S H   C E M E T E R Y   A T   P I R A M Ó N T

Related: The 2015 saga. Paper Trail. DH sectionOther descriptions of the same 2009 agreement. The U.S. ambassador’s dispatch mentioning the rabbis’ payment for supervising “beautification” of the grounds. Embassy’s dispatch on the secrecy of the document. What were they actually paid? What were the same rabbis promised in 2015?  In the past, the slightest digging in the area revealed human remains throughout.

The Question: Does the agreement (which a US State Department cable, published by Wikipedia, makes clear was supposed to remain secret) really permit a twenty-five million dollar convention center in the heart of the old cemetery (and millions in subsequent development) where people will cheer, revel, drink in bars, use toilets and parking areas on top of and surrounded by tens of thousands of Jewish graves paid for by grieving Vilnius families over a period of more than five hundred years? Comment in 2015 by (inter alia) the chief rabbi of Lithuania, resident rabbinical Vilna Gaon scholar in Lithuania, a Christian leader, a Vilnius Holocaust survivor, Gaon of Vilna’s descendants in Israel at Tel Aviv’s Vilna Gaon Synagogue, and the Central Rabbinical Council of the United States and Canada.

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Posted in Appeals to the European Commission on Piramónt, Cemeteries and Mass Graves, CPJCE (London), Documents, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in Šnipiškės / Shnípishok) | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Protocol of 26 August 2009 Meeting in Vilnius on the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in today’s Šnipiškės)

High Intrigue Over the Fate of the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery



by Dovid Katz

Updates in [brackets] to 12 July 2015  

VILNIUS—According to Lithuanian media sources, including the highly respected English-language Lithuania Tribune (now merged with Delfi.lt), the government, working in concert with property developers, plans to declare the controversial project of a huge convention and entertainment center in the heart of the old Vilna Jewish cemetery site as a “project of national importance.” The move enables an application to the European Union for a grant of 13 million euros (14.64 million US dollars at current rates) as part of a grand-total (for now) of 22.8 million euros (25.67 million US dollars) for the new complex. The nation’s prime minister has told Lithuanian media that “after the modern congress center is completed, private investors could build a hotel, parking lots and other infrastructure,” eliciting fears that all of the old Jewish cemetery is becoming a cash cow slated for developers for years to come. The Lithuania Tribune / Delfi.lt report concludes with an estimate of “110 million euros in economic and social benefits over 15 years” in addition to “600,000 foreign tourists and 2.2 million local tourists to Vilnius over that time period, with their spending estimated at 183 million and 60 million euros, respectively,” in other words, with profits from the old Jewish cemetery exceeding the equivalent of 250 million dollars, apart from the millions to be had from the building projects per se. Some estimates are provided in Baltic Course.

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Posted in Antisemitism & Bias, Appeals to the European Commission on Piramónt, Cemeteries and Mass Graves, CPJCE (London), Double Games, EU, Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, Herbert Block and Issues of Lithuanian Jewish Cemetery Preservation, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in Šnipiškės / Shnípishok), Politics of Memory, United States, US State Dept Manipulated?, Yivo Manipulated? | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on High Intrigue Over the Fate of the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery

Jerusalem Post, Again, Fails to Post Dissenting Comments on a “Lithuania Ecstasy” Story



M e d i a   W a t c h   /   O p i n i o n

Readers on several continents again report to Defending History that the Jerusalem Post has failed to post perfectly polite comments to yet another ecstatic ode to issueless Lithuanian-Jewish love. This time it’s the story “Growing Lithuanian Business Ties Beget Political Support” which reported on the recent visit to Israel of the Lithuanian Minister for the Economy Evaldas Gustas.

The rejected comments pointed out that a senior specialist employed at his ministry was exposed last spring as Lithuania’s most hateful internet blogger, responsible for a series of images disparaging to Jews, Blacks, Gays, and to the history of the Holocaust in Lithuania (sampling of images here). Our Open Letter to the minister essentially asks why the hateful top official is still in office. Is such a question taboo for a major English language daily in Israel?

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Posted in Citizenship, Double Games, Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, Israel, Litvak Affairs, Media Watch, News & Views, Opinion, South Africa | Tagged , | Comments Off on Jerusalem Post, Again, Fails to Post Dissenting Comments on a “Lithuania Ecstasy” Story

Monica Lowenberg’s Petition to the Lithuanian Ambassador to the UK, HE Asta Skaisgirytė-Liauškienė



The text of Monica Lowenberg’s petition that appeared today on Change.org. To sign please visit:

http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/he-ambassador-asta-skaisgiryt%C4%97-liau%C5%A1kien%C4%97-lithuanian-ambassador-london-uk-abandon-state-sponsored-anti-semitism-and-holocaust-obfuscation


Abandon state sponsored Antisemitism and Holocaust Obfuscation

  • To:
  • HE Ambassador Asta Skaisgirytė-Liauškienė
  • Lithuanian Ambassador for London, UK

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Posted in 70 Years Declaration, Antisemitism & Bias, Double Games, Double Genocide, Human Rights, Litvak Affairs, Monica Lowenberg, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, UCL Manipulated?, United Kingdom | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Monica Lowenberg’s Petition to the Lithuanian Ambassador to the UK, HE Asta Skaisgirytė-Liauškienė

Lithuanian Government Calls for “Bigger Investments from Litvaks” as South Africa’s Glasenberg is Welcomed


Ivan Glasenberg, CEO of Glencore: Celebrated Litvak scion is feted by government operatives in Vilnius

According to a BNS news report released today (full text below), the Lithuanian prime minister’s advisor Mykolas Majauskas reported that discussions were held with Glencore’s CEO Ivan Glasenberg concerning plans to inspire more Litvaks to invest in the country. Mr. Majauskas also claimed that “some Litvaks are considering buying farms in Lithuania in order to take active part in communal activities.”

DefendingHistory.com takes the view that Litvak investment should progress in tandem with genuine progress on Lithuanian-Jewish issues, and not as long as the present “dual-track” (“double game”) policies continue to be applied. Ruses attempted have on occasion entailed usurpation of the Litvak identity by government agencies.

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Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, Double Games, Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, Identity Theft of Litvak Heritage, News & Views, South Africa | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Lithuanian Government Calls for “Bigger Investments from Litvaks” as South Africa’s Glasenberg is Welcomed

Holocaust Survivors Picket TA ‘Gala’ Where South African Bigwigs Honor Lithuanian Right-Wing Politician


Kovno Ghetto Survivor and Resistance Hero Joe Melamed, 87, Leads March 5th 2012 Picket Line Against “Sellout Gala” at the Tel Aviv Dan Panorama

MORE IMAGES

Lithuanian Foreign Minister and Brothers Zingeris are Greeted by Protesting Holocaust Survivors

A FIRST-TIME PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN LEYVIK HOUSE YIDDISH CULTURE CENTER, THE SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTER ISRAEL OFFICE AND THE ASSOCIATION OF LITHUANIAN JEWS IN ISRAEL

Report on YNET.  The Times of Israel.  15min.lt.  Itongadol.com.  Agencia Judia.  Forverts (Yiddish Forward).    Background.  More.

Holocaust survivors Shlomo Cheskov (left, from Shavl/Šiauliai), and Joseph Melamed (from Kovno/Kaunas) at the Tel Aviv demonstration. Mr. Cheskov’s sign says (in Yiddish) “With our partisan heroes, against neo-Nazism. We are here!” Mr. Melamed’s (in Hebrew) addressed to the South African businessmen diners at the gala dinner: “Dear Diners! Where is your conscience? Your solidarity with Holocaust survivors and resistance fighters and partisans?” Photo: Bella Bryks-Klein.

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Posted in A 21st Century Campaign Against Lithuanian Holocaust Survivors?, Boxes, Israel, Joseph Melamed, Kaunas Neo-Nazi Marches, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Yiddish Affairs | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Holocaust Survivors Picket TA ‘Gala’ Where South African Bigwigs Honor Lithuanian Right-Wing Politician

Lithuania Cannot Appease Both World Jewry and Far-Right Extremists


 


O P I N I O N

by Olga Zabludoff

 

I commend Didier Bertin’s knowledgeable and sensitive observations in his article “Lithuania and the Memory of the Holocaust.” My comments here are more in the form of a PS to Mr. Bertin’s words. My take-off point is his reference to the term “Double Genocide,” a government-endorsed concept that has been bandied about in Lithuanian political circles in recent times. But more about this later. Mr. Bertin borrows the term for application in a different dual context: the original genocide of the Jewish people and the current movement on the part of the Lithuanian government to neutralize if not to obliterate the remembrance of the Holocaust.

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Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, "Red-Brown Commission", Antisemitism & Bias, Collaborators Glorified, Double Games, Double Genocide, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Olga Zabludoff, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Lithuania Cannot Appease Both World Jewry and Far-Right Extremists

Litvak Studies Institute Protests “Fake Litvak” Game by Politicians; Director Mikhail Iossel Issues Statement



Professor Mikhail Iossel, director of Summer Literary Seminars (SLS) and the newly established Litvak Studies Institute (LSI) released this statement today on the LSI website.

 

Litvak Studies Institute Protests Lithuanian Government’s “Fake Litvak” Forum, Calls on State to Halt PR Gimmickry and Reverse Anti-Jewish Policies

Posted in Press — 20 July 2010

For the dwindling number of aged Litvak survivors who grew up in the East European Jewish civilization decimated by the Holocaust, the anti-Jewish and Holocaust-distorting policies of the Lithuanian government in recent years are deeply painful.

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Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, Antisemitism & Bias, Double Games, Identity Theft of Litvak Heritage, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Mikhail Iossel, News & Views, The Great SLS About-Face | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Litvak Studies Institute Protests “Fake Litvak” Game by Politicians; Director Mikhail Iossel Issues Statement