LONDON—Defending History readers are familiar with the curious history of University College London’s Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies repeatedly providing cover for Lithuanian government efforts to obfuscate the Holocaust via the revisionist paradigm widely known as Double Genocide. The saga started in late 2010 with the announcement of an “academic” conference from which all critics of Lithuanian government policy were banned, and whose raison d’être was announced as replacing the “simplified” narratives of the Holocaust. The then head of the Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Prof. Ada Rapoport-Albert, was herself one of the signatories on a public letter of protest handed to the Lithuanian embassy in February 2011. The Wiesenthal Center’s director of East European affairs, Dr. Efraim Zuroff, published an op-ed on the subject in London’s Jewish Chronicle.
But now, UCL’s steadfast chief enabler of Lithuanian government Holocaust history events in the UK, Professor François Guesnet, has been honored with a major event at Vilnius University’s History Faculty, which has itself been purged of critics of state-sponsored Holocaust revisionism, resulting in its “Vilnius Yiddish Institute” being left bereft of any Yiddish specialist staff. Indeed there are no longer any Jewish academic staff members either in the Faculty or its “Yiddish institute,” which nevertheless continues to mount an excellent one-month summer program based on foreign teachers. Prof. Guesnet’s featured presentation in Vilnius this week is charmingly titled “From Plica polonica to Judenzopff: the Jewish Body and the Formation of European Regional Imagery.”
Readers interested in the degree to which a Western university can be academically and ideologically impacted by grants of money from an East European foreign ministry with a revisionist agenda are invited to peruse DH’s UCL section, ideally scrolling down to start at the end in order to enjoy the history in its chronologically progressive order.