In the Debate to Late 2017
YEAR OF PUBLICATION VARIES.
See DH’s BOOKS SECTION
See DH’s BOOKS SECTION
Many thanks to the Economist and its online Eastern Approaches section for highlighting this important issue that so many others have just swept under the rug. But frankly speaking, it does our Lithuanian friends no good to slant each report in the direction of sophisticated apologetics for the Lithuanian (and other regional) governments’ tragic veering to the far right on issues of historic integrity, human rights, freedom of speech, antisemitism, racism, gay rights, and perhaps above all, state-sponsored adulation of local Nazi war criminals and collaborators, and actual local mass murderers of the region’s Jewish population. It was, alas, a level of participation that resulted in the Baltics having the highest percentage of murder of its Jewish population in Holocaust-era Europe.
On 1 April 2012, three members of the Lithuanian Parliament — Petras Auštrevičius, Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis and Justinas Karosas — submitted a formal letter to prosecutors asking for an investigation into the threats made by a “chief specialist” (PDF here) at the state-sponsored Genocide Research Center, who has also published antisemitic, racist and homophobic statements and participated in the organization of neo-Nazi marches (see e.g. here, here, here, here and here).
[Two of the three targeted parliamentarians are signatories to the Seventy Years Declaration, and were recently attacked by the foreign minister; see here and here; see also MP Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis’s response here.]
The Lithuanian original of the three parliamentarians’ 1 April letter to prosecutors is here. A full English translation follows below.
1 April 2012 No. 04-11/2012
The following is an authorized translation from the Lithuanian text published on Delfi.lt on 9 February 2012. It is a reply to the foreign minister’s article published a week earlier (English translation here).
Honorable minister, looking at the headline of your public statement, I hoped at least that you would apologize for the position expressed earlier that “it is impossible to find any difference between Hitler and Stalin except in their moustaches (Hitler’s was smaller).” I agree with the position expressed by Dennis MacShane, member of the British House of Commons, that such jokes by foreign minister Audronius Ažubalis are inappropriate in discussing the mass murder of six million Jews.
In your public statement, you again place two signed declarations in opposition to one another. One of them — the “only true one” — the “Declaration on European Conscience and Communism” signed in Prague in 2008, maintains that the precondition for a unified Europe is a unified view of history and the ability to condemn the last century’s crimes against humanity. The second, the Seventy Years Declaration — the declaration referred to as if it were a crime and condemned by you —was adopted marking the 70th anniversary of the Wannsee conference, a declaration which rejects attempts to trivialize the atrocities of the Jewish genocide.