NEWS, VIEWS, QUIPS AND SHMIPS FROM SUMMER 2016
Yiddish summer course again features American author Ellen Cassedy as lecturer on Holocaust topics; her 2012 book, part-funded by the Tides Foundation (a Soros beneficiary), was launched by the Lithuanian Embassy in Washington DC.
But will students be informed of critical reviews of the book (e.g. by Allan Nadler, Olga Zabludoff, Efraim Zuroff, Dovid Katz) or about the peaceful protest that awaited her at London University?
Will organizers invite, for balance, Ruta Vanagaite and Efraim Zuroff to discuss their 2016 book (recently featured in Newsweek)?
Will there be calls for official state apologies to the last Jewish partisan heroes defamed for posterity? For removal of state-financed public shrines to local Holocaust perpetrators? Will students understand why a Yiddish institute that teaches no Yiddish 11 months of the year has to have as director a key member of the state’s “Red-Brown Commission” who together with Bloomington, Indiana, partners, cleansed his institute of Yiddish professors who dissented?
Summer 2016: Government sponsored summer program has just made some rapid Soviet-style changes to its own history on its front page, concerning the program’s origins. Current academic directors are: VU professor of Yiddish, key member of the Lithuanian government’s state-sponsored “Commission for the Evaluation of Nazi and Soviet Crimes in Lithuania” plus the Alice and Ted Cohn endowed Borns Jewish Studies Program chair in Yiddish studies at Indiana University at Bloomington, widely noted for rank betrayal by a doctoral supervisee unique in the history of Yiddish academia (the Commission wanted his former doctoral supervisor, thousands of miles from Bloomington, removed for having defending accused Jewish partisans in Vilnius) …
More reading: Head of Lithuanian Holocaust survivors in New York; six NATO ambassadors in Vilnius; Israeli ambassador to the Baltics; Bernard Dichek in Jerusalem Report; Cnaan Lifshitz in JTA; Larry Yudelson in Jewish Standard; Oleg Polakov of Vilnius University. More here. See section on Jewish events in the context of Holocaust revisionism. On the (ab)use of Yiddish studies by political endeavors (far-right and far-left), see for one opinion the final chapter of Dovid Katz’s Yiddish and Power (Palgrave Macmillan 2015). The prehistory, history, and posthistory of a Yiddish chair at Vilnius University.
Some July 2016 Soviet-style brushing out of history by Yiddish professors S. Liekis and D. Kerler. But where is the follow-up English editing to clean up the text? Another take on the history of the Yiddish program at Oxford. See Jesop Woodstock’s “Can You Profitably Pilfer Your Supervisor’s Biography?”
Meanwhile, Dr. Richard Maullin, a member of California Governor Jerry Brown’s “Independent System Operator Board” got a prestigious medal last year from the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry in some views for ridding “his” institute of its one Yiddish professor and turning it into an annual summer PR session for Cassedy-Liekis Holocaust trick-a-treat. More here, here and here. Visitors in Vilnius may ask the institute for personal meetings with Richard and Natasha Maullin to discuss the work of rebuilding Yiddish culture in Vilnius.
Plenty of glories for the fly-in teachers too, who have their visages on T-shirts that honor (in Yiddish of course) “Lithuania and Vilnius” and are available free at the Yiddish Institute. Get one soon, they are sure to be a collector’s item in the curious history of Yiddish.
But there is a much larger battle of ideas and history underway. See critiques of the (2008) Prague Declaration; the (2012) Seventy Years Declaration (SYD), the SYD’s history, and DH’s section on Double Genocide. Some articles and reviews by DH’s editor. Welcome to Defending History…