VILNIUS—The central office of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) today tweeted uncritical support for “Black Ribbon Day” failing to note that the August 23rd remembrance day sponsored by ultranationalist elements in Eastern Europe, has been one of the most cunning tools for writing the Holocaust out of history via the “Double Genocide” movement that seeks to “equalize” Nazi and Soviet crimes as per the Prague Declaration of 2008 (which indeed has the day among its “requirements”). Defending History is proud to have been part of the team that produced the Europarliamentary rejoinder, the 2012 Seventy Years Declaration (SYD), which was signed by 71 European Union parliamentarians, including eight enormously courageous Lithuanian MPs and MEPs. SYD calls for “distinct days and distinct programs to remember the Holocaust and other victims of other twentieth century totalitarian regimes”.
See also: DH coverage of US Congress acceptance of “Black Ribbon Day”. Simon Wiesenthal Center’s stance on the day.
For the record, Defending History strongly supports the commemoration of the victims of Communism, Stalinism and other totalitarian regimes, and has no objection to any date chosen for that noble and vitally important purpose. The objection is to the attempt to “equalize” the Holocaust with Communist crimes via combination of commemoration into a single mix-and-match day. In various Eastern European countries, the wider effort includes the glorification of Holocaust collaborators and perpetrators (they were after all “anti-Soviet” and in a world where all is equal….), the defamation of Holocaust survivors who joined the anti-Nazi resistance, and a series of attempts to rewrite history to confound and equalize those who committed the genocide at Auschwitz with those who liberated Auschwitz. It has often been pointed out, moreover, that the mix-and-match day purporting to deal with both Nazi and Soviet crimes, together, would have the inevitable effect down the road of weakening or supplanting International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Should the WJC tweet not have included a most modest caveat? Should it not be a little more sensitive to the pain caused to Holocaust survivors and their families?