US Documentary Film Maker Releases Correspondence with Yad Vashem on Alliance with Lithuanian “Red-Brown Commission”


The American documentary film maker Richard Bloom, who has produced a number of documentaries on the Holocaust, today released for publication his recent correspondence with Yad Vashem. He said his decision was taken after he failed to receive substantive replies to his recent queries about Yad Vashem rejoining the Lithuanian government’s “red-brown commission.”

Mr. Bloom, of Litvak origin, is the founder of Richard Bloom Productions. He is currently producing a revised and expanded version of The Litvak Connection, which ties the Latvian and Lithuanian participation in the Holocaust to current issues of accountability, including the efforts to delegitimize the Holocaust and to sanitize the role of the murderers.

His website is www.richardbloomproductions.com.

The Lithuanian government’s commission is formally known as the International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupation Regimes in Lithuania. It has been a driving force behind the 2008 Prague Declaration and similar documents. The commission’s chairman, right-wing Lithuanian MP Emanuelis Zingeris, was the only Jew in Europe to sign the Prague Declaration. Holocaust survivors and others have objected to the declaration, and voiced serious concerns about the commission.

After joining the first time, in 1998, Yad Vashem’s founding director, Holocaust survivor and author Yitzhak Arad was himself accused of war crimes, in 2006, as part of the Baltic genocide industry’s attempts to “equalize” Nazi and Soviet crimes. To this day, the commission has failed to publicly condemn the Lithuanian state-sponsored defamation of Dr. Arad, and other Holocaust survivors and anti-Nazi resistance heroes including Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky, Dr. Rachel Margolis and attorney Joseph Melamed.

Yad Vashem’s recent’s decision was reported in DefendingHistory on 28 August 2012.

1: Richard Bloom’s original letter of 4 September 2012:

  • Tue, Sep 4, 2012 8:04 pm
  • From: Richard bloom
  • To: Avner Shalev / Yad Vashem
  • Subject: Yad Vashem and Lithuania
  • Dear Mr. Shalev,
  • I am shaking as I write this email.
  • It has been brought to my attention that the world renowned Yad Vashem has agreed to participate with some type of International Commission to evaluate the Soviet and Nazi crimes in Lithuania.
  • This is nothing more than a further attempt by the Lithuanian government to sanitize the role of thousands of Lithuanian Nazi collaborators in the murder of Lithuanian and other countries’ Jewry, including my relatives; and at the same time, to try to delegitimize the uniqueness of the Holocaust in terms of it being a true act of genocide by equating it with the crimes of Stalin.
  • Your esteemed institution holds the documentation of what these murderers did and to give legitimacy to this sham Commission is heartbreaking.
  • Once again, the victims and the survivors are being forgotten. I truly hope that this decision is revoked.
  • Sincerely,
  • Richard Bloom

2: Follow-up (10 September 2012):

  • Monday, September 10, 2012 5:46 PM
  • From: Richard Bloom
  • To: Yad Vashem Media Relations
  • I am resending the below email to your department as I have not received a reply from Mr. Shalev.
  • Richard Bloom

3: Reply from Yad Vashem (13 September 2012):

  • Thu, Sep 13, 2012 12:26 pm
  • From: Yossi Gevir
  • To: Richard Bloom
  • Cc: Iris Rosenberg
  • Subject: RE: Yad Vashem and Lithuania
  • Dear Mr. Bloom,
  • We regret that you have not received a response to your September 5th mail to Mr. Shalev. He was in Poland this past week representing Yad Vashem and Israel at meetings of the International Auschwitz Council.
  • Your letter has already received our serious attention, and we hope to send you a response following Rosh HaShana . Until then, please accept our warm wishes to you and yours for a Happy and Healthy New Year.
  • Sincerely,
  • Yossi Gevir
  • Senior Assistant to the Chairman
  • Yad Vashem Directorate

4: Second follow-up (8 October 2012):

  • Mon, Oct 8, 2012 3:04 pm
  • From: Richard Bloom
  • To: Yossi Gevir, Avner Shalev
  • Subject: Re: Yad Vashem and Lithuania
  • Dear Mr. Shalev,
  • I am waiting for a response to my original letter.
  • Richard Bloom
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