DefendingHistory.com reported June 7th on Yad Vashem’s announced participation in the Lithuanian parliament’s 29-30 ‘International Conference: The Beginning of the Soviet-German War in the Baltic States in 1941’.
We commented on the pain caused to Lithuanian Holocaust survivors and their families by a decision to confer legitimacy, via the sterling name of Yad Vashem — the world’s premier Holocaust museum and research institution — on a conference held on the seventieth anniversary of the outbreak of the Lithuanian Holocaust. The agenda of the Lithuanian-government sponsored event has appeared to be yet another cover for the massive local violence that unleashed the Holocaust here, and to attempt yet again to recast the Lithuanian Activist Front (LAF), the Provisional Government (PG) and other fascist bodies as supposedly heroic freedom fighters.
This journal further updated the report to inform readers that we received emails on 27 June, two days before the start of the conference, from the Israeli Embassy in Riga and from Yad Vashem, informing us that Yad Vashem’s Aaron Shneyer, would after all not be participating. The update was posted immediately.
The printed brochure circulating continued to have Dr Shneyer’s entry for the 3 PM slot on 29 June: ‘The Collaborator: Traitor, Patriot or Murderer? Reflections on Collaboration by Dr Aaron Shneyer, senior staff, Yad Vashem Memorial, Jerusalem’.
However, at the conference’s opening this morning at 10 AM, beautifully printed hard-copy conference programs were distributed in three separate versions: English, Lithuanian and Russian. In the Lithuanian and Russian versions, the Yad Vashem / Aaron Shneyer entry is replaced by a paper by Julia Goldenberg, director of the Ukrainian Jewish Forum. Her topic was Righteous Gentiles who saved Jews, and as fate would have it, her presentation dug into Yad Vashem for allegedly failing to acknowledge many rescuers. It fit well into the conference’s agenda of presenting every topic except that of the actual primary events of seventy years ago this week — the outbreak of mass murder, brutalization, plunder, humiliation of Jewish citizen neighbors on the part of the ‘anti-Soviet freedom fighters’ (report on the first day of the conference here).
The change of printed brochure would seem to indicate that Yad Vashem did in fact ask the organizers to remove its name from printed materials for the conference.
On the other hand, the English language version of the brochure sticks with the original, proudly citing Yad Vashem as a participant in the conference, which is will splendidly serve the PR purposes of the Double Genocide movement in Eastern Europe.
Shortly after the opening, session chairman Dr Arunas Bubnys explained to the entire conference that Yad Vashem’s Dr Aaron Shneyer regretfully had to cancel his appearance because of illness.
There is speculation that the moment might be right for Yad Vashem to clear up its position, and in any scenario, this journal wishes Dr Shneyer only the best of health and vitality.