Tag Archives: Red-Brown Commission
OPINION | RED-BROWN COMMISSION (PAGE) | RB COMMISSION (SECTION) | DOUBLE GENOCIDE | VILNIUS YIDDISH INSTITUTE
VILNIUS—The news portal Delfi.lt reported yesterday on Lithuanian sharpshooting star Ronaldas Račinskas making a hit at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics not only for his talents with a rifle, but on his work back home for which the headline calls him the “Nazi-Soviet hunter,” in the latest of a long series of Holocaust terms appropriated and ably recast by the Red-Brown movement’s PR wizzards. Besides heading a commission that now includes the gentleman who launched the campaign, a decade ago, to “hunt” Holocaust survivors who joined the Jewish partisans, his “Nazi and Soviet hunting” refers to his role as Director of the Secretariat of that comission, popularly known as the Red-Brown Commission, a state-financed entity that is one of the main European engines for spreading the revisionist far right’s “Double Genocide” model of World War II history. In that history, as an example, those who liberated Auschwitz are declared to be equal in principle to those who committed the genocide there. Moreover the movement’s primary document, the 2008 Prague Declaration (PD), insists that all European “minds” accept the revised history and regard Nazi and Soviet crimes as equal, a stance widely considered to be a camouflage for obfuscating and diminishing the Holocaust. The response in the European arena came in the form of the 2012 Seventy Years Declaration (SYD).
VILNIUS—Over the past decade, few foreign embassies in Lithuania have done as much as Japan’s to help ensure that the accurate history of the Holocaust in Lithuania is never forgotten and indeed, that remembrance events and educational programs feed into both national and international efforts to raise awareness and sensitivities in the cause of averting future massacres of innocent civilians.
Japan’s Holocaust remembrance achievements in Lithuania are manifold. From 2008, when state prosecutors connected to the Genocide Center began defaming local Holocaust survivors, Japan’s embassy joined with others in giving honor to the wrongly accused, including the 2009 “Walk in the Rain” organized by then Norwegian ambassador Steinar Gil. More well known are the embassy’s activities in commemoration of Chiune (Sempo) Sugihara, the inspirational Japanese humanist who saved thousands of lives by issuing visas in Kaunas in 1940. One of the most important goes back to the turn of our century when the embassy participated actively, and generously, in setting up Sugihara House in Kaunas.
The newest Lithuanian “Double Genocide Industry” outreach to the French speaking academic world of Holocaust and World War II studies, this week’s conference in Vilnius, combines a number of truly outstanding scholars and papers with a political agenda of finding Francophone legitimization for Baltic Holocaust revisionism. The French component includes outstanding personalities from Mémorial de la Shoah, from Institut d’Histoire du Temps présent, and from the French Embassy in Lithuania. The strategy has recently evolved following a protracted collapse of US/UK/Israeli confidence in both the “Red-Brown Commission” (page) and the “Genocide Center” (page), both of which have been extensively exposed in recent months. Participants from Lithuania include one of the Double Genocide movement’s main “attack dogs” who makes fine hay of smearing local Lithuanian truth tellers as stooges of Moscow or useful idiots, especially when attempting to discredit honest multi-sided conferences (e.g. last April’s Vilnius conference).
Will the European Commission and the Claims Conference ever see the light on how their generosity is abused by Baltic nationalist Holocaust revisionism?
O P I N I O N
VILNIUS—Ronaldas Račinskas, executive director of the Lithuanian-government financed “International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania,” widely known for brevity as the “Red-Brown Commission,” has revealed — on camera, to the producers of the documentary film Liza Ruft — his thoughts about the “war crimes investigation” into Fania Brantsovsky. The video clip of his statement was released today on Youtube.
A Library with an Agenda? Bringing American Naifs On Board the Ultranationalists’ Baltic Holocaust Distortion Train?
SUMMARY COVERAGE OF “VILNIUS JEWISH PUBLIC LIBRARY” EVENTS TO 19 JULY 2013:
State-sponsored Zingeris-Račinskas “red-brown commission” (officially: International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupational Regimes in Lithuania) in Vilnius posts new list of members.
Page on the commission
Resignations to date from Commission-related bodies include Dr. Yitzhak Arad, Sir Martin Gilbert (London), Prof. Gershon Greenberg (Washington DC), Prof. Konrad Kwiet (Sydney) and Prof. Dov Levin (Jerusalem).
Holocaust survivors themselves have stood up to express disquiet about some aspects of the commission: Yitzhak Arad, Pinchos Fridberg (more), Dov Levin (more), Joseph Melamed (more), Basheva Ran, the Association of Lithuanian Jews in Israel, Jewish Community of Lithuania / Union of Ghetto Survivors. A decade and a half of issues.
Vilnius native and life-long resident Professor Pinchos Fridberg sent the following question to the leadership of the Jewish Community of Lithuania (JCL), and received the following answer. These official English translations, accepted by JCL, are reprinted verbatim, with permission from the website of the Jewish Community of Lithuania, where the question appears here and the reply here.
O P I N I O N
by Dovid Katz
The blog Christine Beresniova and Rokas Beresniovas recently published the article “A lamentable absence of sexy scandals.” We will refrain from comment on their understanding of the concept “sexy scandals” and stick to the work of fellow human rights advocates, which entails standing up to powerful establishments on behalf of minorities, victims of prejudice, and in the case of Eastern Europe, the victims (and handful of survivors) of genocide. Those who stand up know all too well that to do so is not all that often convenient, easygoing or self-serving.
Outgoing Lithuanian PM, Red-Brown Commission and Genocide Center Joining Forces for Mid-November Vilnius Conference Promoting “Double Genocide”
With the recent Lithuanian elections barely out of the way, and the ruling right-wing Homeland Union Conservatives the undisputed losers, the ultranationalist right is losing no time in pressing ahead aggressively with the Double Genocide “red-equals-brown” agenda, reverting to one of the movement’s original slogans: “United Europe — United History.” For pro-tolerance and liberal forces, the profoundly undemocratic message implied is that a united Europe has to also be united (i.e. have one opinion) on questions of history, and that Double Genocide and its central document, the 2008 Prague Declaration, are inviolable truths.
Holocaust survivors from Lithuania, and their families and advocates, are reporting feelings of “shock and betrayal” at “unbelievable reports” that Yad Vashem might again be lending legitimacy to the Lithuanian government sponsored “red-brown commission.” These accounts derive from a BNS (Baltic News Service) report today that appeared in various Lithuanian media, including Alfa.lt (full translation below), reporting that the president herself signed the decree today for substantial new state investment in the commission.
The Vilnius and Jerusalem rumor mills are equally putting out the word that there had been pressure from the Israeli foreign ministry, itself pressured by the Lithuanian foreign ministry for Holocaust-revising gestures in line with the current Baltic state policy often referred to as “Double Genocide.”
Executive Director of “Red-Brown Commission” Doubts Lithuanian Jews were Killed “on a Racial Basis” Before Arrival of German Forces in 1941
O P I N I O N
A number of viewers of the new Australian documentary film Rewriting History have submitted to DefendingHistory near-identical transcripts of a statement on camera, made to the film’s producers, by the executive director of the “International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania.”
Known for short as the “red-brown commission,” the state-sponsored body has long been opposed by Holocaust survivors and educators. The commission is responsible for Holocaust education in Lithuania, but has also taken an active political role in promoting the 2008 Prague Declaration and various details of alleged “equality” of Nazi and Soviet crimes. The commission’s website features the Prague Declaration in both English and Lithuanian.
The commission’s executive director, Ronaldas Račinskas, is quoted as saying on camera that his commission does not support “Double Genocide” but that he does support the 2008 Prague Declaration (though he concedes there are passages to be “discussed”). The problem is that the Prague Declaration is the primary document of the Double Genocide movement in Europe.
See also: Mr. Račinskas’s 2011 speech in the Lithuanian parliament; Critiques of his commission; 2015 Update: His call for investigations of Holocaust survivors who joined up with the anti-Nazi partisans.
Mr. Račinskas goes on to say, according to the transcripts provided of his Rewriting History interview:
How the Zingeris-Račinskas Red-Brown Commission “Gently” Pushed Along the Conversion of Holocaust Studies into Double Genocide Studies
O P I N I O N
by Rachel Croucher (Melbourne)
Although not seeking to deny the Holocaust, the ultimate consequence of the movement to redefine genocide is the equalization of National Socialist and Soviet crimes. The characterization of Soviet crimes as genocide is a misrepresentation that hinders authentic remembrance of the Holocaust in Lithuania by helping to obscure the extent and nature of Lithuanian complicity in the killings of the local Jewish population.
The idea that the crimes of Hitler and successive Soviet regimes are in fact equal has been a growing force behind public discourse on the Holocaust since the formulation of the national Holocaust and Genocide Education Program at the sixth meeting of The International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania in June 2002.
O P I N I O N
by Geoff Vasil
On Wednesday, November 16th 2011, the Tolerance Center in Vilnius hosted a conference called: Tolerance and Totalitarianism. Challenges to Freedom.
Račinskas’s Version of ‘Holocaust Education’: Red-Brown Commission Director General Speaks in the Lithuanian Parliament
Updates (newest first):
The following is DefendingHistory.com’s translation (from the tape) of the concluding speech of the 29-30 June 2011 conference (reports here and here), delivered by Ronaldas Račinskas, director general (sometimes listed as executive director) of the government sponsored ‘International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania’ (known for short as the ‘Red-Brown Commission’), which is housed in the Office of the Prime Minister of Lithuania. It can serve as a potent example of the state-sponsored Holocaust Obfuscation movement which presents one face domestically, a second in the European Parliament, and a third to naive Western Holocaust Studies groups.
2015 Confirmation by Commission’s Executive Director of Double Genocide Ethos & Campaign Against Holocaust Survivors who Joined the Anti-Nazi Resistance
Holocaust Survivors expressed grave concerns about the Commission at its inception in 1998. As PDF. See also 1998 letter of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
From Karen Sutton’s The Massacre of the Jews of Lithuania. Lithuanian Collaboration in the Final Solution, 1941 – 1944 (published by Gefen, Jerusalem & NY 2008; excerpt from p. 211):
From David Bankier’s Expulsion and Extermination: Holocaust Testimonials from Provincial Lithuania (published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem 2012; excerpt from page 204):
From Yitzhak Arad’s “The Holocaust in Lithuania, and its Obfuscation, in Lithuanian Sources” (2012):
Jewish Community of Lithuania and Uni0n of Former Ghetto and Concentration Camp Prisoners (Vilnius 2008). Letter contains the text:
‘The fact that the “International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania” established by the President (chaired by E. Zingeris), did not publicly defend its own member Yitzhak Arad, or the other Jewish anti-Nazi partisans, is also surprising.’
Karen Sutton, professor of history at Touro College in New York, in her The Massacre of the Jews of Lithuania (see Recent Books → 2008; Background → 2008):
‘Despite a number of half-hearted measures and ill-conceived historical commissions, contemporary Lithuania has much soul-searching to do to come to terms with what happened [….]’ (p 209); ‘Both the historical commission and the lethargy of the Lithuanian Department of Justice on the issue of alleged war criminals have elicited an enormous outpouring of opposition from the Lithuanian Jewish survivor community and — “symmetrically” — tacit approval of the general non-Jewish population’ (p 211).
21 November 2012. DefendingHistory.com: ‘Red-Brown circus in Lithuanian capital’.
26 December 2012. DefendingHistory.com: ‘Tell me I’m wrong’ by Geoff Vasil.
21 June 2013. One of the commission’s new members, the head of the research department art the Genocide Center, tries yet again, in a public interview, to whitewash th LAF murderers of June 1041. Geoff Vasil replies.
5 December 2013. Commission ‘does’ Toronto.
2 March 2014. Defending History’s English translation of the public correspondence between Vilnius Holocaust survivor Prof. Pinchos Fridberg and Yivo director Dr. Jonathan Brent concerning the commission. Original appeared on 1 March in Yiddish in New York’s Forward (Forverts).
8 March 2014. Olga Zabludoff comments on the misrepresentations by the commission’s representative on a panel discussion organized by Yivo in New York City in February 2014.
15 March 2014. Defending History’s appeal to the conscience of the members of the commission.
18 November 2016. Dapim: Studies on the Holocaust (University of Haifa, Institute for Holocaust Research), vol. 30, no. 3, pp. 1–30: ‘Is East European “Double Genocide” revisionism reaching museums?’ by Dovid Katz.
December 2017. Dapim: Studies on the Holocaust (University of Haifa, Institute for Holocaust Research), vol. 31.3, pp. 285-295: “The Extraordinary Recent History of Holocaust Studies in Lithuania” by Dovid Katz.
by Dov Levin
This opinion piece, under the heading “Lithuanian Hypocrisy” appeared today in Haaretz. It reappears here by permission of the author, Professor Dov Levin of Jerusalem.
Last week I was caught in a debate with myself: whether or not to appear, despite the feeling of nausea, in a discussion with Lithuanian historians, writers and poets at the International Book Fair in Jerusalem. The idea made me so sick that in the end I decided to stay away and I also convinced my friend, former partisan and former chairman of Yad Vashem Yitzhak Arad, to excuse himself from the discussions.