Tag Archives: Olga Zabludoff

Out On Ellis Street in San Francisco



O P I N I O N

Members of the US-based “Litvak SIG” (both those on the free lists, and those who paid their $36 a year dues for full membership), have been informed of the following event and the book it features, coming up this Thursday evening in San Francisco. (When Messiah will come, the subscribers to both “SIG” sections will learn about the existence of Defending History, too and its modest, but free, Litvak interest sections. We must have patience.)

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Another Panel at Yivo, Neo-Nazi Marches in Lithuania, and American Silence on Glorification of Nazi Collaborators



 

O P I N I O N

by Olga Zalubdoff

The following is the text of Olga Zabludoff’s op-ed published on 13 February 2014 in the Algemeiner JournalComments by readers are available at the original site of publication.


 

Yivo, Lithuania, The Holocaust

Nobody could love or respect the Yivo Institute for Jewish Research more than I do. It was founded as the Yiddish Scientific Institute in Vilna, Poland (now Vilnius, Lithuania) in 1925. Yivo remains a symbol for all who cherish our Yiddish heritage and, now, its last prewar survivors. Through the years I have spent many wondrous hours at Yivo, digging, discovering, and learning about my Litvak ancestors, their shtetlakh, and their culture. Being there always felt like being home. The books and documents I handled seemed almost sacred. Memories of conversations with Yivo’s’s revered librarian Dina Abramowicz still make me smile. . .

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An Open Letter to Steve Linde, Editor-in-Chief of the Jerusalem Post



O P I N I O N

by Olga Zabludoff

Editor’s note: This and other responses were first offered to the Jerusalem Post for publication.


The Lithuanian government is pouring ever more resources and doing an ever better job with its PR campaign to turn Litvaks (Jews of Lithuanian origin) into virtual PR agents who now go further than they do themselves: painting a picture of the New Jewish Paradise in Lithuania without even mentioning the existence of painful current issues. Jerusalem Post editor-in-chief Steve Linde no doubt meant only the best with his Chapter-of-Psalms, and will, I feel confident, now be happy to give the issues some rounded airing.

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Getting It Right: Three Memoirs Tell It Like It Is



B O O K S

by Olga Zabludoff

 

Ponary Diary 1941-1943: A Bystander’s Account of a Mass Murder, by Kazimierz Sakowicz; edited by Yitzhak Arad. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2005

Ruta’s Closet, by Keith Morgan with Ruth Kron Sigal. London: Unity Press (an imprint of Unicorn Press Ltd), 2013

Malice, Murder, and Manipulation: One Man’s Quest for Truth, by Grant Arthur Gochin. Los Angeles, 2013


 

The concept “Holocaust memoir” encompasses many subgenres in time and place. This review will cover the interlocking treatments by three very different types of witnesses:

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Self-Induced Confusion



B O O K S

by Olga Zabludoff

Review of We Are Here: Memories of the Lithuanian Holocaust by Ellen Cassedy. University of Nebraska Press, 2012.


Had this title been billed as a simple memoir of Cassedy’s trip to Lithuania in the summer of 2004, my criticism of her book would be tempered. She had gone to the land of her ancestors to study Yiddish at the Vilnius Yiddish Institute and to connect with her Jewish roots. The professors and mentors she encounters at the Yiddish Institute come alive, as do the various Lithuanians and Jews with whom she connects. Cassedy is a good writer who captures physical details well. But even at that, this reviewer found the memoir to be superficial.

The major problem is that Cassedy’s book is being promoted as the Bible of the Lithuanian Holocaust by advocates for the current Lithuanian government and elite establishment which aspire to paint for the outside world a distorted version of the Holocaust. A version defined in shades of gray and the confusion they generate.  A version that incorporates the mythology of equivalency between crimes committed by the Nazi and Soviet occupation regimes.

SEE ALSO THE REVIEWS BY

Dovid Katz in the Algemeiner Journal

Allan Nadler in the Forward

Efraim Zuroff in Haaretz

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Authors



Each author is exclusively responsible for his or her signed contribution.

Genrich Agranovski

Shimon Alperovich

Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis

Kristina Apanavičiūtė Sulikienė

Yitzhak Arad

Evaldas Balčiūnas

Chaim Bargman

Stanley H. Barkan

Ruth Barnett

Danny Ben-Moshe

Didier Bertin

Saulius Beržinis

Roland Binet

Ruta (Reyzke) Bloshtein

Aleksandras Bosas

Valentinas Brandišauskas

Frank Brendle

Wyman Brent

Franziska Bruder

Chaim Burshtein

Motke Chabad

Milan Chersonski

Rachel Croucher

David Cukier

Algis Davidavičius

Leonidas Donskis

Shmuel Jacob Feffer

Aleksandrs Feigmanis

Pinchos Fridberg

Berel Fried

Ira Gold

Eleonora Groisman

Clemens Heni

Leena Hietanen

Mikhail Iossel

Lord Janner of Braunstone

Peter Jukes

Sergey Kanovich

Leon Kaplan

Dovid Katz

Rafael Katz

Juris Kaža

Vilma Fiokla Kiurė

Regina Kopilevich

Rachel Kostanian

Tzvi-Hirsh Kritzer

Faina Kukliansky

Andrius Kulikauskas

Aleksandr Kuzmin

Sid (Shnayer) Leiman

Dov Levin

Joseph Levinson

Monica Lowenberg

Michael and Fausta Maass

Denis MacShane

Simon Malkes

Joseph Melamed

Ivo Mosley

Julius Norwilla 

Josifas Parasonis

Jacob Piliansky

Grzegorz Rossoliński-Liebe

Per Anders Rudling

Kamilė Rupeikaitė

Michael Shafir

Anna Shepherd

Ken Slade

Andres Spokoiny

Birutė Ušinskaitė

Rūta Vanagaitė

Geoff Vasil

Nida Vasiliauskaitė

Tomas Venclova

Vilhjálmur Örn Vilhjálmsson

Aleksandras Vitkus

Gert Weisskirchen

Olga Zabludoff

Lina Žigelytė

Efraim Zuroff

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Lithuania Tries to Whitewash its Role in the Holocaust



O P I N I O N

by Olga Zabludoff

Note: The following letter to the editor appeared in today’s Baltimore Sun.  It is republished here by permission of the author. [Update of 2 May 2012: The editor of VilNews, in a 29 April article, said of the letter’s author: “In this case, she goes too far.” This in turn elicited a response from the editor of DefendingHistory on 1 May.]


 

In response to Ellen Cassedy’s “We are here” (April 18), I offer a second opinion.

Can there be hope for a country that claimed the highest percentage of Jewish deaths in all of Europe? More than 95 percent of Lithuania’s Jews were annihilated — most of them murdered by Lithuanian collaborators who began the frenzied executions of their Jewish neighbors even before the Germans had marched into Lithuania. Yes, there can be hope — if lessons are learned from their past and if the truth is faced by this nation which is now an EU/NATO democracy.

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March 11th: A Grand Opportunity for the Lithuanian Human Rights Community — and the People of Vilnius



O P I N I O N

by Dovid Katz

When three of us from the DefendingHistory.com community headed out from Vilnius on February 16th to confront the neo-Nazi march in central Kaunas, we were sure we would be joined by dozens, or more, true lovers of Lithuania  —  folks who cannot remain silent that perverted political leadership allows today’s neo-Nazis to achieve free reign in the center of a great city in the middle of the nation’s cherished independence day. Folks who cannot let the glorification of stylized swastikas (including the “Lithuanian swastika“), and white armbands (celebrating the LAF Holocaust perpetrators of 1941) go unchallenged in the country with the largest rate of murder of its civilian Jewish population in all Holocaust-era Europe. Folks who want to send at least some modicum of support to today’s minorities. And a message to the world that the neo-Nazis do not represent Lithuanian society.

It was a shock to find in Kaunas on February 16th, that the somewhat quixotic DefendingHistory.com threesome would find itself the only visible anti-Nazi presence during the march and the rally that followed.

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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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