Tag Archives: Rachel Margolis

Three Years Later: Neither Charged nor Cleared


marked three years to the day since police in Vilnius came looking for Holocaust Survivors Dr Rachel Margolis (born 1921, at right of photo) and Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky (born 1922) in a ‘war crimes investigation’ that has still not been publicly closed.

Both women were incarcerated in the Vilna Ghetto from 1941 to 1943. Both lost their entire families to the barbarity of the Nazis and their local collaborators. They both escaped, on different days in September 1943, to join up with the anti-Nazi partisans in the forests of Lithuania. The underground forest fort, a half-hour’s drive from Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital, where Fania lived with another hundred or so Jewish escapees of the Vilna Ghetto, is being allowed to sink into the ground and disappear from history’s view.

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Holocaust Revisionists Successfully Manipulate Borns Jewish Studies Program (Indiana U, Bloomington); Vilnius Yiddish Institute is Purged with ‘a little help from Bloomington’


After authoring the book on Litvak culture for the Lithuanian section at the February 2009 Jerusalem Book Fair, the editor of this website who is the founding professor of Yiddish at the Vilnius Yiddish Institute, declined to attend to chair the Yiddish culture session, when he was told not to bring to the fair Dr. Rachel Margolis, resident in Rechovot. Dr. Margolis is one of the heroic Jewish partisans defamed by the Double Genocide industry.

Is the master J-handler keeping an eye? Prof. Sarunas Liekis (left) and Prof. Dov-Ber Kerler at the Jerusalem Book Fair.

The Lithuanian government unit running these affairs rapidly replaced him with Dov-Ber Kerler, the Alice Field Cohen professor at the Borns Jewish Studies program at Indiana University (Bloomington), who did not have time to keep a promise to visit with Dr. Rachel Margolis in Rechovot, as a symbol of moral support for the accused Holocaust Survivors. The complete program of events paid for by the Lithuanian government is here (but note that contrary to the published-for-PR schedule, Yitzhak Arad did not — as a matter of principle — appear at the event).

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Posted in "Jewish" Events as Cover?, A 21st Century Campaign Against Lithuanian Holocaust Survivors?, Bloomington-Borns Program Manipulated?, Double Games, News & Views, Richard Maullin, United States, Views of Prof. Sarunas Liekis, Vilnius Yiddish Institute, Yiddish Affairs | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Holocaust Revisionists Successfully Manipulate Borns Jewish Studies Program (Indiana U, Bloomington); Vilnius Yiddish Institute is Purged with ‘a little help from Bloomington’

Blaming the Victims? State Agencies & Other Elites Defame Holocaust Survivors


UPDATED MARCH 2017. See also (older, not updated) Responses page.

2006    2007    2008    2009    2010    2011

2012    2013    2014    2015    2016    2017


PREFACE

The campaign of defamation by Lithuanian state prosecutors and allied elites (particularly in the Genocide Center and the antisemitic right-wing press) has resulted in a number of cherished Holocaust Survivors being smeared as “war criminals” without a single charge ever having been leveled against anybody. Launched in 2006, the campaign, abusing tools such as “pre-trial investigations” and leaks to the media, have sought to brand as “war criminals” the heroes of the war against Hitler. It grew in 2011 with the addition of equally perverse  “libel charges,” launched with fanfare when Interpol (!) was sent to disturb in Tel Aviv the elected head of the last active group of Litvak Holocaust survivors in the world. Then, in 2013, the state’s “red-brown commission” defamed one of Vilnius’s last survivors on equally perverse grounds, all the while putting on “Holocaust events” for naive Western audiences, usually funded by the (unknowing) Lithuanian taxpayer, in venues  including London, New York, Toronto, and Vilnius.

A single public letter from the president could fix it all. Instantly.

The campaign of defamation results in permanent calumny in historians’ works, Wikipedia, and elsewhere (see below) that is more than a grave injustice to the Holocaust survivors targeted (and their families). It is a deliberate ultranationalist falsification of history in the spirit of the wider campaign to find fault with the victims and make heroes of the perpetrators. These are components of the movement to obfuscate the issues, and downgrade the Holocaust in the spirit of the Double Genocide movement and its central document, the 2008 Prague Declaration.

All but one of the accused survivors — most in their late eighties or nineties — are still alive (as of February 2016). Dr. Rachel Margolis passed away on 6 July 2015, having failed to fulfill her final wish of one last trip to her native Vilna.

A single public letter of apology from the president or prime minister of Lithuania, accompanied by an apology from the state prosecutors, would be the minimal gesture of good will needed to repair the damage. Public defamation can only be (partly) repaired by public apology. Moreover, the state has a splendid last chance to end its relationship with its own Holocaust survivors, after a 700 year history in Lithuania, on a rather higher note than police coming to look for aged women veterans of the heroic Jewish resistance in the forests of Lithuania.

During his own tenure before these events, Lithuania’s eminent late president (later prime minister) Algirdas Brazauskas, a champion of confronting historical truth with courage and dignity, awarded certificates of honor to the selfsame Jewish partisan veterans for the selfsame service in helping to liberate Lithuania from Nazism. . .


2006

22 April 2006.  Article in Respublika accuses Dr. Yitzhak Arad, Holocaust survivor, resistance hero, veteran of the Israeli war of independence and long-time director of Yad Vashem, of being a war criminal on the basis of misquoted, decontextualized passages in his own 1979 book, The Partisan[ADDENDUM of April 2014: One of the chief stone-throwers (final section) is A. Anušauskas, who is today a member of the state’s commission on Nazi and Soviet crimes. In 2006 he was “scientific editor” at the Genocide Center. Since 2008 he has been a member of parliament where he was for some years chair of the Committee on National Security and Defense.]

2007

10 September 2007Prosecutors in Lithuania confirm that their investigation of Holocaust survivor, anti-Nazi resistance hero and former director of Yad Vashem Dr. Yitzhak Arad, on suspicion of “crimes against humanity” had been initiated in May 2006. The “investigation” was based on an article in the antisemitic daily Respublika (22 April 2006), in which the special prosecutor and head of the Genocide Center are extensively quoted. In June 2006 the daily triumphantly proclaimed that prosecutors were acting on its earlier article. English summary. See below at 25 September 2008 for “conclusion” of the investigation and the 2010 report of the “Lithuanian Human Rights Association” . . . In 2014, ongoing defamation evident from Wikipedia entry.

2008

29 January 2008Article in the daily Lietuvos aidas that called on prosecutors to investigate Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky and Dr Rachel Margolis. English translation.

6 April 2008.  Professor Dov Levin of Jerusalem protests, returning his own earlier award to the president of Lithuania.

30 April 2008.  The Embassy of the United States in Lithuania issues a certificate of appreciation, signed by Ambassador John A. Cloud, to Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky; presented by political officer Joseph Boski at a luncheon organized by the Vilnius Yiddish Institute.

5 May 2008.  Police come looking for Dr. Rachel Margolis [born 1921] and Ms. Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky [born 1922] on a ‘war crimes’ investigation. Dovid Katz’s report to colleagues at the Vilnius Yiddish Institute. Reports in the Jerusalem Post (PDF here), and Jewish Chronicle (PDF here). [Note: Three years earlier, on 8 May 2005, then Prime Minister Algirdas Brazauskas had awarded Dr. Margolis a certificate of appreciation for her role as an anti-Nazi partisan.]

28 May 2008Prosecutors tell news agencies that Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky and Rachel Margolis cannot be found;  English translation.

28 May 2008.  Dr. Efraim Zuroff, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center Israel office, hands the Lithuanian ambassador to Israel a letter of protest.

3 June 2008.  The Embassy of Ireland in Lithuania issues a certificate of lifetime achievement to Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky, signed by Ambassador Dónal Denham, who presented the award at a reception at the ambassador’s residence.

11 July 2008Prosecutors reply to the Jewish Community of Lithuania.

19 June 2008.  Open Letter of the Jewish Community of Lithuania and the Union of Former Ghetto and Concentration Camp Prisoners.

20 July 2008.  Washington Times op-ed by Dan Mariaschin, of B’nai B’rith International.

1 August 2008.  United States congressmen Howard Berman, Paul Hodes and Robert Wexler protest the actions of the Lithuanian government.

19 August 2008.  Open Letter from students and faculty of the summer program in Yiddish language and literature at the Vilnius Yiddish Institute at Vilnius University (text by Elliott Palevsky, director of the  cultural program).

20 August 2008.  Jewish Week op-ed by Mark Weitzman (director of government affairs at the Simon Wiesenthal Center USA): ‘Capital of culture or injustice?’

21 August 2008.  Economist article [by Edward Lucas]: ‘Prosecution and persecution: Lithuania must stop blaming the victims’alternate link2nd alternate link.

25 August 2008.  Letter to Dr Rachel Margolis from nine NATO embassies in Vilnius.

22 August 2008Director of the Business Division of Baltic News Service (BNS) attacks Yitzhak Arad, Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky, Rachel Margolis;  English translation.

22 August 2008Report in The New Centrist.

1 September 2008.  Open Letter of the Jewish Community of Lithuania and the Union of Former Ghetto and Concentration Camp Prisoners.

2 September 2008Prosecutors comment on investigations “related to persons of Jewish nationality”.

4 September 2008.  Question to the German parliament by a group of members.

25 September 2008Prosecutors close part of the Arad investigation, ask the public for assistance in looking for “evidence” and fault his book on the basis of an anonymous “doctor of humanitarian sciences (expert-historian)”. Question: Will the anonymous expert-historian trasher of Dr Arad’s book please identify himself and share his evidence with colleagues?

25 September 2008.  Response of UK MP Denis MacShane: excerpt from p 33 of his Globalising Hatred. The New Antisemitism (see Recent Books → 2008 → MacShane).

September 2008.  ‘Investigating Jewish partisans in Lithuania: the protest of a veteran Jewish partisan’ by Sara Ginaite in Jewish Currents.

October-December 2008.  ‘Bitter pill of history’ by Milan Chersonski in Jerusalem of Lithuania, 143-144 (7-8), p 7.

2009

15 March 2009.  Holocaust Council of Metro West issues a Woman of Valor award to Dr Rachel Margolis.

7 April 2009.  Letter to Dr Rachel Margolis from the chairman, president and executive director of NCSJ.

9 April 2009.  Keene State College in New Hampshire honors Dr Rachel Margolis.

16 April 2009.  Letter to Dr Rachel Margolis from the National Director of ADL.

20 May 2009.  Director of Baltic News Service (BNS) calls for Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky and Yitzhak Arad to be put on trial for war crimes;  English translation.

21 May 2009.  Dovid Katz’s op-ed in the Jewish Chronicle posits a link between the Double Genocide movement (and its prime document, the Prague Declaratin of 2008) with the campaign against Holocaust survivors.

19 June 2009.  Lord Janner of Braunstone issues a certificate of appreciation to Dr. Rachel Margolis, delivered at the Dr Rachel Margolis event chaired at Leivick House in Tel Aviv by its director, composer Daniel Galay. The keynote speaker was Israeli ambassador to Latvia and Lithuania, Chen Ivri Apter, who awarded Dr. Margolis a certificate of merit from his embassy. Tel Aviv school children who study Yiddish with Hannah Pollin-Galay presented a cultural program of song, and a gift of flowers to Dr. Margolis. Other speakers included professors Israel BartalDov Levin (Jerusalem) and Dovid Katz (Vilnius). Dr. Margolis addresses the audience. After the eventDr. Margolis with Ambassador Apter. Photos by Leyzer Burko. Leivick House report on the event.

23 September 2009.  Faina Kukliansky, chairwoman of the Vilnius Jewish Community, and legal advisor to the Jewish Community of Lithuania, speaking at the annual September 23 commemoration a Ponar (Paneriai), cites prosecutors’ attempts to mischaracterize the status of Jewish anti-Nazi partisan veterans Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky and Rachel Margolis; comments cited in column 5 of the report by Milan Chersonski, editor of the Jewish community’s Jerusalem of Lithuania (Fall 2009 issue).

28 October 2009.  The mainstream Delfi.lt reports: “Germany honors red partisan under investigation for mass murder in Vilnius”caricature of Holocaust survivor and anti-Nazi partisan veteran Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky published with the article.  English translationBNS’s 29 Oct 2009 English summary. Coverage of the situation in Jerusalem of Lithuania (autumn 2009 issue), publication of the Jewish Community of Lithuania, by its editor Milan Chersonski: “Congratulations on the Award!”

3 December 2009.  United States congressmen Shelley Berkley, Howard Berman (chairman, House Foreign Affairs Committee), Paul Hodes, James Moran, and Robert Wexler (chairman, House Subcommittee on Europe) protest the Lithuanian government’s defamation and persecution of Holocaust Survivors Dr. Rachel Margolis and Ms. Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky.

2010

1 January 2010. Avi Lehrer posts video of Dovid Katz’s Dec. 2009 interview with Dr. Rachel Margolis who explains her fear to return to Vilnius for one last visit.  Part 2.

27 January 2010.  On 27 January (Holocaust Remembrance Day, marking the liberation of Auschwitz), Lithuanian prosecutors visited the Jewish Community of Lithuania at Pylimo Street 4 in Vilnius, demanding information about Joseph Melamed in connection with a new ‘investigation’, the nature of which is not publicly known. Mr. Melamed, a Kovno Ghetto survivor, veteran of the anti-Nazi partisans in the forests of Lithuania and of Israel’s War of Independence, is the elected chairman of the Association of Lithuanian Jews in IsraelIt is one of the last active associations of Litvaks in the world. Mr. Melamed and the Association have spoken out boldly against the Prague Declaration and the “Double Genocide” movement, most recently during the recent Global Forum on Combating Antisemitism. Prosecutors in Vilnius have yet to announce the basis of their interest in Mr. Melamed, the author of a number of works on Litvak issues. There has moreover been no explanation of why they came to disturb the local Jewish community in Vilnius on Holocaust Remembrance Day instead of contacting Mr. Melamed directly with any questions they might have.  Report on the home page includes quotations from an exclusive Holocaust in the Baltics interview with Joseph Melamed. February 10 report on Interfax. February 11 report on Izrus.

23 July 2010.  Lithuanian Human Rights [!] Association issues statement replete with false and defamatory accusations against Holocaust survivors who joined the anti-Nazi resistance.  Report here.

6 September 2010Article blaming the Vilna Ghetto’s United Partisan Organization for war crimes, attacking Yitzhak Arad, Leonidas Donskis and others.  English translation.

7 October 2010.  ‘Nazi crimes have been downgraded in Lithuania’ in the Canadian Jewish News by Esther Goldberg.

2011

3 January 2011.  Report that the Lithuanian Human Rights Association (LHRA) had released on its website at the end of December 2010, a July 2010 document, prepared and signed by ten of its experts, defaming Yitzhak Arad, Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky and Rachel Margolis more outrageously than ever before.  See full report.

9 March 2011.  Former UK prime minister Gordon Brown speaks out on Rachel Margolis in the Independent.

5 May 2011.  ‘Three years later. Neither charged nor cleared’ on DefendingHistory.com.

30 August 2011.  On the demand of Lithuanian prosecutors, Interpol agents in Tel Aviv visit with Joseph Melamed, Holocaust survivor (of the Kovno Ghetto), veteran of the partisans’ struggle against Nazi forces, and of the Israeli War of Independence. He is interviewed concerning his 2009 book Crime and Punishment. Yossi Melman’s report in Haaretz. Other reports in Arutz Sheva (English), in Neues Deutschland and Junge Welt (in German), and JSS (in French); also: Associated Press (→ CBS News,  Fox,  MSNBC,  Washington PostYahooNews etc); JTA (→ WJCJJJuedische.at, etc); Mishpacha. Geoff Vasil in the Jewish Chronicle.

8 September 2011.  Early Day Motion 2161 in the British Parliament on the Melamed case.

9 September 2011.  Yivo director Jonathan Brent issues circular to staff denying Yossi Melman’s report in Haaretz on the Interpol visit to Joseph Melamed. Yossi Melman’s reply.

15 September 2011. Yossi Melman’s reply to Jonathan Brent.

22 September 2011. Yad Vashem withdraws invitation to Lithuanian minister over Melamed affair.

28 September 2011.  An event held by the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry to mark the publication (with the ministry’s financial support) of Timothy Snyder’s Bloodlands includes a speech by the director of the History Institute that included an attack on Jewish anti-Nazi partisans.

2012

2012.  Final chapter of Marek Jan Chodakiewicz’s Intermarium (2012) is a chapter of defamation against Jewish partisans including (by name) Yitzhak Arad, Fania Brantsovsky, and Rachel Margolis. See review by Dovid Katz in Israel Journal of Foreign Affairs (2013).

6 March 2012.  Holocaust survivors Tel Aviv led by Joseph Melamed, picket an event hosted by wealthy South African Jews to honor the Lithuanian foreign minister infamous for his “moustache comparison” of Hitler and Stalin and antisemitic slurs. The accusations against Jewish partisans are very much in the air, as Melamed, 87, holds a sign asking the diners in the Panorama Hotel: “Where is your conscience? Where is your solidarity with Holocaust survivors, with veterans and with the partisans?”

2012.  Prosecutor Rimvydas Valentukevicius, asked by Danny Ben-Moshe in the documentary Rewriting History whether Rachel Margolis can safely return to Vilnius for one last visit, replies: “Are you her lawyer?” followed by Prof. Ben-Moshe’s commentary.

September 2012. Vilnius University honors an antisemitic, homophobic “envelope artist,” one of whose prime creations is a further defamation of Dr. Yitzhak Arad. More samples of the designer envelope collection.  A group of nine young Lithuanians protested the exhibit. Years earlier, the Jewish community’s newspaper Jerusalem of Lithuania had exposed the envelope artist. For years, the envelopes, including the one “featuring” Dr. Arad, were sold in Vilnius’s Central Post Office on Gedimino Boulevard.

20 October 2012.  Tel Aviv’s Leivick House releases for the June 2009 video of the late Ambassador Chen Ivri Apter’s speech on Yitzhak Arad, Fania Brantsovsky and Rachel Margolis.

Dec. 2012. Yitzhak Arad analyzes the campaign to criminalize Jewish veterans of the war against Hitler as part of a wider Double Genocide program of historical revisionism.

2013

February 2013.  State sponsored “International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania” defames Vilnius Holocaust survivor Pinchos Fridberg on its own website  [Chronology of the Pinchos Fridberg affair here].

February 2013. Artūras Račas, editor-in-chief of Baltic News Service (BNS), attacks Holocaust Survivor Prof. Pinchos Fridberg.  Professor Fridberg replies.

October 2013.  Part of the “International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania” writes a letter of regret to Yitzhak Arad. The letter was pointedly not signed by members Arūnas Bubnys (Genocide Center, Vilnius), Jonathan Brent (Yivo), Norman Neimark (Stanford University), Janos Rainer (Institute for History of 1956 Hungarian Revolution), Timothy Snyder (Yale University) and Francoise Thom (Sorbonne).

2014

2014.  Defending History names Prof. Pinchos Fridberg Person of the Year following his consistent courage in telling the truth about the Holocaust in the face of defamation by the (former) head of BNS and the state’s International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania.

2014. Wikipedia entry for Dr. Yitzhak Arad is a sample of continuing defamation in the absence of Lithuanian government apologies. See now Dr. Arad’s December 2012 paper in Defending History on the Lithuanian Holocaust and its obfuscation.

2014.  Monica Lowenberg’s ongoing petition on Change.org.

2014.  Dr. Efraim Zuroff’s interview on Salford City Radio (UK), with reference to four of the ‘investigations’ against Jewish partisan heroes who escaped the Vilna, Kovno and Svintsyan ghettos to join up with the anti-Nazi partisans.

2015

2015.  On Youtube: The executive director of the Lithuanian government sponsored “International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupational Regimes in Lithuania” (known for short as “the red-brown commission” to local diplomats) speaks out publicly, at Ponar (Paneriai), in a German documentary film,  on why he thinks Holocaust survivors who survived by joining the anti-Nazi resistance need to be investigated. His explanation rapidly became an iconic encapsulation of Double Genocide.

2016

4 March 2016.  Prosecutor General Rimvydas Valentukevičius, closely involved in the effort to “investigate” Jewish Holocaust survivors who were partisan veterans from 2006 onward, issues a reply to the Jewish Community of Lithuania in which he fails to even mention the growing request for his office (and the affiliated Genocide Center) to release the names of around one thousand alleged local Holocaust perpetrators generated by his own state-sector colleagues. In other words prosecutors, who for ten years have been publicizing (= defaming) Holocaust survivors by name, never coming up with a single charge or accusation, in a veritable campaign, now refuse to publish the names of Holocaust perpetrators.

2017

22 February 2017.  Far right news portal Propatria.lt publishes condemnation of Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky, 95, in connection with President Dalia Grybauskaite’s award to Ms. Brantsovsky on 16 February for her work in Holocaust education in Lithuania.

24 February 2017.  Slaptai.lt publishes report on condemnation of Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky by a statement composed by Statys Gorodeckis.

2 March 2017.  The state-sponsored “Genocide Center” issues a statement stating that Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky was not at Koniuchy/Koniūkai, but was at other scenes of partisan battles, concludes that her late husband (!) was however present and was therefore a war criminal, considers the Soviet partisans (the only force effectively fighting the then Nazi regime of Lithuania) criminals, but explains that it was… nevertheless fine for the president to give her an award because of the Western narrative…

9 March 2017. The far-right ‘Union of Nationalists’ publishes facsimiles of its statement of 23 February 2017  against Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky, addressed to Lithuania’s president, Dalia Grybauskaitė, asking the president to rescind an award made to Ms. Brantsovsky for work in the field of Holocaust education, on the basis of her service as a Jewish partisan in the war against Hitler. The statement accuses Ms. Brantsovsky and her late husband of participation in massacres against civilians, with not an iota of evidence.

10 March 2017.  Report in Alkas.lt on the ‘Union of Nationalists’ statement condemning Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky and her late husband of participation in ‘massacres’ with no critical journalistic comment directing readers to other points of view.

11 March 2017.  Author of the statement condemning Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky is offered an honored slot, in the forecourt of Lithuania’s Presidential Palace, as his statement is read out as part of the far right’s Independence Day activities for which the municipality of Vilnius, the nation’s capital, again granted the city center. A video of the “Witch Trial on Independence Day” was posted on Youtube by Alkas.lt.

20 March 2017.  Lietuvos žinios article by Jurga Tvaskienė notes anti-Brantsovsky statements by forces of Ramūnas Karbauskis, the head of the country’s ruling party, the Peasants and Greens, and cites criticism of these statements by parliamentarian Arvydas Anušauskas, without, however, noting that it was Dr. Anušauskas who helped launch the anti-Jewish-partisan hysteria in the antisemitic daily Respublika back in 2006. See above under April 2006.

22 March 2017.  Jewish Community of Lithuania protests anti-Brantsovsky statements in publications under the control of the ruling Peasants and Greens party, on the community’s official website.

26 March 2017. Defending History editor Dovid Katz’s summary of the 2017 campaign against Ms. Brantsovsky, including full English translations of the Genocide Center’s 2 March  2017 statement, and the reply by the Nationalist Union of 9 March 2017.

13 April 2017. English translation of the full transcript of the March 11th “witch hunt ceremony” on the presidential palace’s forecourt is published in Defending History.


 

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Seven Solutions


Some Simple and Constructive Solutions to the Irksome “Jewish Issues” that Continue to Haunt the Lithuanian Government and Its Agencies

1

Abandonment of the state’s financing of the campaign to obfuscate the Holocaust by means of its Double Genocide campaign, including “cooked” international events, conferences, film screenings and panel discussions; withdrawal of formal state support for the Prague Declaration and similar projects, closing down of the “red-brown commission” and the inauguration of an atmosphere of full freedom for citizens and organizations to support alternatives including the Seventy Years Declaration. Holocaust history to be included in historically accurate proportionality in the Genocide Museum and all relevant tourist locations that deal with genocide. Abandonment of the extensive  state sponsored program to glorify the local Holocaust perpetrators of 1941, including the “Lithuanian Activist Front” (LAF), whose leaflets indicated desire to murder the country’s Jewish citizens even before arrival of Nazi forces. Rapid correction of the mischaracterization of the early local perpetrators as supposedly heroic rebels in the new basement room on the Holocaust in the Genocide Museum.

Most urgent in the correction of Holocaust distortion (and inversion) is the urgent need for removal of all street names and plaques, and public monuments and memorials to Holocaust collaborators (petition). The reversal of course became ever more urgent in 2012 with the state-sponsored reburial with full honors and accompanying glorification of the 1941 Nazi puppet prime minister and the re-launch of the red-brown commission. The summer of 2015 saw a renewed effort for the removal of plaques honoring one Holocaust perpetrator (J. Noreika) in central Vilnius. Then, 2016 saw a litany of requests that the mayor of Vilnius and the nation’s president and PM speak up for replacing a street name in the capital’s center named for another Holocaust collaborator (K. Skirpa). Last year, 2018 has been named by the nation’s parliament for an alleged Holocaust collaborator (see the critiques by the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Lithuanian ethicist Evaldas Balciunas). This year, in 2019, the Genocide Center is being challenged to tell the truth about one major Holocaust collaborator, as reported in The New York Times and Chicago Tribune. It is so clearly to Lithuania’s benefit for this policy of glorifying collaborators to be reversed.

2

Written public apologies for the defamed and slandered Jewish Holocaust survivors, including three Israeli citizens (background here; international responses here): Dr. Yitzhak AradMs. Fania Yocheles BrantsovskyProfessor Sara GinaiteDr. Rachel Margolis (1921-2015); Mr. Joseph Melamed (1924-2017); Professor Pinchos Fridberg. It was a major and unwelcome shock in the autumn of 2011 that a new and unseemly campaign (via Interpol) had been launched against Holocaust survivor and Litvak leader Joseph Melamed of Tel Aviv. Then came the renewed defamation of Dr. Arad in late 2012. In 2013, the head of the state’s own “red-brown commission” went on to defame Professor Pinchos Fridberg, followed up in 2015 with further defamation of Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky and in spring 2017 with a massive new campaign underpinned by a shameful public statement from the Genocide Center, and a new media frenzy. The climate would be improved exponentially by the simple gesture of a letter of apology and recognition for lifetime achievement for the inspiring contributions of these Lithuanian Jewish survivors of the Holocaust from the current president or prime minister, such as once provided by the late eminent president Algirdas Brazauskas, before the state’s campaign of defamation got underway. The ultimate issue is of unjust defamation for history and in perpetuity along with the concomitant distortion of history (see for example final part of a review of a recent major history book).

3

Commitment to the simple truth, for example in a low-cost Information Board or plaque about (a) the erstwhile Jewish population’s volume, cultural history  and contributions; and (b) its destruction in the Holocaust in the town center of every city and town (not just at the mass grave sites “for the Jews who come in the summer”). In the case of Vilnius and Kaunas, there is an absolute need, in addition to monuments with accurate texts, for city-center Holocaust museums that are wholly accurate and not under the control of the Genocide Center, red-brown commission or other state entities dedicated in part or whole to Double Genocide revisionism.

4

Serious action to combat the growing state-sponsored (or state-tolerated) antisemitic activity in the country, including: mass media hate material worthy of 1930s fascist countries; city-center state-sanctioned neo-Nazi marches on national holidays in Vilnius and Kaunas; derogatory public impersonations of Jews and Roma at public Užgavėnės celebrations; court rulings legalizing swastika displays; state-sponsored institutions’ failure to disemploy their own outspoken antisemitic activists; antisemitic exhibits in the state sponsored Genocide Museum in central Vilnius and the Gruto Parkas theme park near Druskininkai; failure of officials to condemn mainstream organizations that issue antisemitic statements (e.g. the Lithuanian Human Rights Association); failure of officials to acknowledge and encourage apprehension of the culprits of major antisemitic desecration of Holocaust and Jewish sites; failure of the former foreign minister to apologize for his 2010 antisemitic tirade (reported also on LithChat), which drew a statement of protest from the small remnant Jewish community in Lithuania. Specific 2014-2015 issues: failure to call for the resignations of “Zeppelinus” and the head of the parliament’s budget committee.

5

Action to repeal the 2010 legislation that would punish with prison sentences up to two years those who would not agree to (in effect) equalizing Soviet and Nazi crimes by regarding the former, in Lithuania, as not amounting to genocide. This law is an affront to democracy and open society, and has already intimidated liberal and Western oriented voices in the country. The people of Lithuania deserve the same level of freedom and democracy as all other people in NATO, the European Union and the OSCE. That freedom includes the equal right to support inter alia the Seventy Years Declaration. The shocking new legislation proposed in 2018 that would ban books critical of official history must be abandoned, in the first instance in the interests of the people of Lithuania. For a list of Lithuanian residents who have suffered government-sponsored harassment, defamation or disemployment after speaking up on Holocaust issues, please see our summary.

6

Commitment to preserve as a world heritage site Lithuania’s last Jewish anti-Nazi underground fort which is rapidly disappearing because of failure to take elementary steps to ensure preservation for future generations.

7

Respect for equal human rights includes respect for Jewish heritage objects being equal to that in play for Christian and ethnic Lithuanian heritage objects. Major 2019 issue is the plan to further desecrate Vilnius’s old Jewish cemetery at Piramónt (in the Šnipiškės district) with a $25,000,000 convention center. Objections and protests have come from far and wide, including members of the local Jewish community, its rabbis, Litvak and non-Litvak rabbis internationally, and numerous Jewish and Christian friends of Lithuania. An international petition has passed  the 46,000 signature mark. Twelve US congressmen have spoken up loud and clear. The simple solution is to rapidly move the convention center project to another venue in Vilnius where it can be a source of pride and joy for all the peoples of the city and beyond for many generations to come.

 

DefendingHistory.com

Vilnius, 1 August 2019

NOTE: The original (2009) version of this document was constructed in close cooperation with the late Dr. Shimon Alperovich (1928-2014), elected head of the Jewish Community of Lithuania for many years. Naturally, he does not bear responsibility for the document’s annual updates since that time but his intellectual imprint on its spirit should not go uncredited. . .

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Brazauskas Dies; Builder of Modern Lithuania who Embraced all his Country’s Peoples


Algirdas Brazauskas (1932-2010), visionary first elected president and later prime minister of free Lithuania died today in Vilnius. In each of his land’s highest offices he proved himself a leader in the grand spirit of the multicultural Grand Duchy of Lithuania who will be properly appreciated long after our time.

From the start of Lithuania’s new history as a proud democratic nation, Algirdas Brazauskas understood that it did no good for his country that war criminals had been rehabilitated by ultranationalist officials.

He paid tribute to Jewish partisan veterans for helping to free Lithuania from Nazi tyranny. As president, he  honored Prof Dov Levin. As prime minister, he issued a certificate of recognition to Dr Rachel Margolis.

President Brazauskas’s historic speech to the Israeli Knesset in Jerusalem on 1 March 1995 will never be forgotten (full text here). But in modern Litvak collective memory, there is perhaps one incident, that took place one day before, that will be remembered even more. The Lithuanian delegation was met by a picket line of Holocaust survivors near Yad Vashem.  One elderly survivor, Y. Brosh, whose entire family was murdered at Ponar, made his feelings known robustly. Like the other survivors who protested, he was wearing a yellow star on his jacket. President Brazauskas went over to to the man, hugged him and kissed him.

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Hostages to an Ill-Begotten Theory


by Leonidas Donskis

This essay first appeared in Transitions on Line on 10 October 2008, with the following editor’s note: “Lithuanian authorities in late September closed their two-year investigation into the wartime partisan activities of Yitzhak Arad, a Lithuanian-born Israeli historian and a former head of the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, reportedly on the urging of the European Union and the United States. Prosecutors said there was insufficient evidence to link Arad to possible war crimes committed by Soviet partisans during a 1944 fight with German forces that left many Lithuanian civilians dead. The authorities are still considering whether to put two Lithuanian Jewish women, Fania Brantsovskaya (Brantsovsky) and Rachel Margolis, on the witness stand in connection with the killings.”

It is republished here with Professor Donskis’s permission. For a history of the issue, see our page on the subject of Holocaust survivors defamed by prosecutors.


A disturbing tendency has recently appeared in Lithuania. In the words of the eminent scholar of Yiddish Dovid Katz, this tendency may best be described as the “Holocaust Obfuscation movement.” Its essence lies in subversion of the logic and evidence of the Holocaust, whitewashing or at least selectively reading the history of the Second World War and drastically shifting the roles of victims and evil-doers.

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Dissenting Academic Rapidly Replaced with Foreign Stand-in at the Jerusalem Book Fair; Dr Rachel Margolis Betrayed Again


After authoring the book on Litvak culture for the Lithuanian section at the Jerusalem Book Fair, the editor of this website declined to attend to chair the Yiddish culture session, when he was asked not to bring to the fair Dr Rachel Margolis, resident in Rechovot; she is one of the heroic Jewish partisans defamed by the Double Genocide industry.

The Lithuanian government unit running these affairs rapidly replaced him with the Yiddish professor from the Borns Jewish Studies program at Indiana University (Bloomington).

The ‘Book Fair Affair’ was widely reported. See: Haaretz: ‘When Lithuania was Yiddishland’ by Raphael Ahren; also: comments by Milan Chersonski, editor of the Jewish community’s periodical, Jerusalem of Lithuania: ‘It’s not just about the Jerusalem Book Fair’ (Jan-March 2009); May 2010 update on Dr Margolis’s situation here.

More details here on the ‘Book Fair Affair’ and the further cooperation of the Borns Jewish Studies program with the nationalist establishment in Vilnius.

UPDATES TO JUNE 2011 SEE HERE


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