On Holocaust Remembrance Day (27 Jan. 2021):

Silvia Foti in the New York Times on her Grandfather Jonas Noreika

Lev Golinkin in the Forward on the Proliferation of Statues and Monuments Glorifying Nazi Collaborators and: their Export to the US, Canada and Other Western Nations

For background, see Defending History’s sections on Collaborators Glorified; Holocaust Survivors BlamedDouble Genocide; the example of Kaunas (where the Lithuanian Holocaust got underway on 23 June 1941, slated to be Capital of European Culture in 2022). See also academic background, and earlier paper on Export of the wider double genocide revisionist paradigm developed as a primary tool of Holocaust obfuscation.


Tributes Pour in For Rachel Kostanian on her 91st Birthday (31 Jan. 2021)

Rachel (Rokhl) Kostanian

For decades the spirit of life and leadership at Vilnius’s legendary Green House. See Defending History’s Rachel Kostanian section. Her best-known book is Spiritual Resistance in the Vilna Ghetto (with preface by Sir Martin Gilbert).

The Latest in Defending History

TITLES ONLY

Israel’s Ambassador Joel Lion in Kiev

Israel’s Ambassador Joel Lion in Ukraine Boldly Condemns Annual Parade Glorifying Holocaust Collaborator Stepan Bandera; JTA’s Cnaan Liphshiz Reports

But at same time, Israeli Foreign Ministry colludes  to silence dialogue on glorification of Holocaust collaborators in Lithuania (including the “naming of 2021”); Wiesenthal Center’s Dr. Zuroff protests in Jerusalem Post

Lithuanian Parliament’s dedication of 2021 to memory of J. Lukša, alleged Kaunas 1941 killer is little mentioned after early protests by WJC’s Dr. Laurence Weinbaum, and Yakov Faitelson, son of legendary escaper from Ninth Fort. Defending History’s take, chronology of the debate, and alternative dedication of 2021. Even the usually hesitant official Jewish community, and its AJC partner, spoke out

SEE HISTORY OF ISRAELI GOV’S STANCE ON THE ISSUES; 2017 “LOWPOINT” IN ISRAELI DIPLOMATIC HISTORY


Vilma Fiokla Kiurė: Updates on Women’s Issues in Lithuania

___________________

Defending History’s Persons of the Year 2021

Dovid Katz on Uniqueness of the First Week of the Lithuanian Holocaust (on its 80th Anniversary)

Commemorate Victims and Savers, Not Perpetrators”

See also: Dovid Katz’s webinar at the Jewish Holocaust Center in Melbourne, Australia on “Writing the Holocaust Out of History (without denying a single death)”

___________________

Andrius Kulikauskas Reports: Major Success in Campaign to Save Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery from Convention Center Desecration; Follows up with BNS Press Release

Lithuanian Parliament Nixes Convention Project’s Budget for 2021

 Julius Norwilla conceived this Star of David as a symbol of fellowship for November 1, 2020, the traditional day for visiting cemeteries throughout Lithuania. From left: Andrius Kulikauskas, Ruta Bloshtein, Povilas Birbilas, Vanda Birbilienė and Julius Norwilla stand in front with a bag of stones. Edmundas Kulikauskas and Arkadij Kurliandchik stand on the bank of the Neris with the Sports Palace behind them. Photo: William Adan Pahl.


Are US Tax Dollars Really Going for Glorification of Holocaust Collaborators in Ukraine?


Vilma Fiokla Kiurė on the Fate of a Roma Boy in Vilnius

Dovid Katz’s lecture on “Writing the Holocaust out of History?” at the Jewish Holocaust Centre in Melbourne, Australia now on Youtube (PP presentation online)

Defending History’s editor is named to Top 100 People Positively Influencing Jewish Life in 2020 at @Algemeiner’s annual banquet (#J100) in New York City. DH’s campaign to save Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery is cited.

Are Authorities in Latvia Trying to Shut Down Riga’s Famous Outdoor Holocaust Museum?

Petition is Launched

Yakov Faitelson Calls on the Lithuanian Parliament to Reconsider Decision to Name 2021 in Honor of Alleged Participant in Kaunas Atrocities of June 1941

Participation of honoree witnessed in both Kaunas Garage Massacre and the beheading of Rabbi Zalmen Osovsky. See chronology of the 2020 debate. Yakov Faitelson joins protests by Defending History, Dr. Laurence Weinbaum (World Jewish Congress),  Rabbi Andrew Baker (American Jewish Committee) and Ms. Faina Kukliansky (head of official Jewish Community of Lithuania).


“Lithuania’s Liveliest Cemetery”

♦ Prof. Josifas Parasonis of Vilnius, professor of building sciences uses science, common sense and humanity to come to a simple conclusion

♦ Julius Norwilla, head of Committee for Piramónt, exposes huge budget hole being made to put convention center project on top of the cemetery

Dr. Andrius Kulikauskas, editor of Respect Cemeteries, calls on readers to write to Lithuanian parliament’s budget masters by Nov. 10th deadline

♦ Next Vilnius District Court Hearing on Fate of the Cemetery is on November 24th

Eyewitness reports on recent hearings:

1 October Vilnius hearing;  6 Oct. hearing;

Earlier report on stance of European Foundation for Human Rights. Reports in Algemeiner Journal and Jerusalem Post.

Defending History was there…


Trending in Defending…

Does the president’s PR team really want big posters of Holocaust collaborators at his rallies?



Defending History’s 12th year gets underway. . .

Founded on 6 Sept. 2009. Emailed circulars and reports from 2008-2009 were then uploaded making for a record starting in 2008, A dozen years of posts provide a unique record.

ON OUR PAGES

10 years ago.  7 years ago.  5 years ago.  3 years ago.

Contributions in the United States are now fully tax-deductible via the new nonprofit Preserving Yiddish and Defending History.


Making Heroes out of Holocaust Collaborators: Spreading to the West?

Does Vilnius Really Need ‘Convention Center in the Jewish Cemetery’?

Will an EU Member Parliament Really Name 2021 for Alleged Participant in 1941 Kaunas Atrocities?

Tragic Fate of Inspirationally Brave Lithuanian Rescuers

Lithuanian Jewish Commmunity: ‘Concern’ over Appointment of Genocide Center Deputy Head who Specializes in Whitewashing Holocaust Crimes of 1941 Hitlerist LAF and Nazi Puppet Provisional Gov.

US contributions for defending history are now tax-deductible


″The Power of the Ancient Hebrew Letters”

Arkady Kurliandchik and Dr. Andrius Kulikauskas lead a group in partnership with the Vilnius Jewish Community, in placing stones with Hebrew letters painted  in the traditional gold paint (used to highlight lettering in old Lithuanian Jewish / Litvak gravestones) at the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (Šnipiškės / Shnípeshok), site of the abandoned Soviet sports palace and a planned national convention center. Thousands of graves are still there all around the building. The new gold-lettered Jewish stones were variously placed to mark out the approximate perimeter of the cemetery.

Stone lettering and photos: Andrius Kulikauskas

 

Vilnius Jewish Community’s Pre-Tíshebov Event at the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery on 29 July. More on the event: Andrius Kulikauskas

Recent News:

Vilnius City Council rushes through decision for convention center with annex in heart of Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery.  Julius Norwilla reports from VilniusRabbi Elchonon Baron reacts from Jerusalem (video).

MERVYN SMITH MEMORIAL LECTURES

Series of webinars by Dovid Katz on Litvaks, Yiddish, the Lithuanian Holocaust (and the contemporary debates)


July 2020

Stinging Pain for Lithuanian Jews & Holocaust Survivor Families More Widely, as Seimas Names 2021 for Alleged Participant in June 1941 Kaunas Atrocities

Editor’s take. Chronology of events and publications. WJC’s Dr. Laurence Weinbaum in the Jewish Chronicle. Rare protest from AJC with LJC. But Wiesenthal Center strangely silent for first time


6 July 2020

The Defending History community wishes all our readers in Lithuania

A HAPPY CROWNING OF MINDAUGAS DAY

celebrating the Lithuanian king’s crowning in 1253. A wonderful modern holiday for all the peoples of Lithuania, and the world, and especially those with roots in the Grand Duchy…


26 June 2020

European Jewish Congress Reports on Ruta Bloshtein’s Petition to Save Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery from Convention Center Project:  51,000 Have Signed to Date 

Local, international opposition growing by the day


25 June 2020

LJC’s Video of Dieckmann-Vanagaite 25 June Book Launch

THE BACKGROUND. RECENT BOOKS IN THE DEBATE


23 June 2020

Chief Historian of State Sponsored  Genocide Center is Key Speaker at Events Glorifying June 23rd; Evening Event under Banner of Two Holocaust Collaborators

Defending History was there to monitor the events. Julius Norwilla’s photo gallery.

Dr. Arūnas Bubnys, chief historian at the state-sponsored Genocide Center in Vilnius and long-time member of the state-sponsored “International Historical Commission” proudly appears under the banner of two heinous Holocaust collaborators, J.  Noreika and K. Škirpa, at an event glorifying the day, 23 June 1941, that murder and mayhem broke out against the country’s defenseless Jewish citizens.

Škirpa with Hitler in Berlin


23 June 2020

Remembering June 23rd 1941: Why Would Anyone in the EU Want to Celebrate the Outbreak of the Baltic Holocaust under Guise of “Rebellion”?

Outbreak of mass murder, injury, pillage and humiliation of  defenseless Jewish neighbors by  the LAF (Lithuanian Activist Front) and others before arrival of first Nazi forces. Soviet forces were fleeing Hitler’s Operation Barbarossa — not the local Hitler allies. The real heroes of the day are Lithuanians (and Latvians, Estonians, Ukrainians and others) who risked everything to just do the right thing and save a neighbor from these Hitlerist organizations…

Defending History’s section on June 23rd events & issues in previous years. Background on the history. New English edition of Leyb Koniuchowsky’s compendium of testimonies now available online.

Online town hall on European Holocaust Denial is organized in the US. All welcome

Here in Vilnius: Lithuanian parliament (Seimas) schedules 10:30 AM (Vilnius time) press conference. Fears rising that this will be yet another effort to glorify June 23rd and the outbreak of the Lithuanian Holocaust at the hands of the LAF, provisional gov. and assorted other local Hitler allies. Speakers include members of Seimas, Genocide Center and Red-Brown Commission…

Far Right Will Honor Nazi Collaborators on 23rd at 6 PM in central Vilnius. Defending History will be there to monitor the event


Late Spring 2020

Who’s Gonna Welcome Folks to a Convention Center in the Middle of the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery?

Dramatic Developments for Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery, Still Slated to Become Vilnius Convention Center

Petition by Ruta Bloshtein, Vilnius native and resident, reaches 51,000 signatures. Defending History reports. Bloshtein’s articles.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo receives multifaith plea from Christian, Hindu, Jewish, and Muslim leaders and key human rights organizations.

Two new websites launched: Save Vilna (US and Israel) and Respect the Cemetery (Vilnius); Both efforts entail Christian-Jewish (& Lithuanian-Litvak) alliance. Vilnius project announces 14 June public event. Latest report by Andrius Kulikauskas.

Elected chairman of Vilnius Jewish Community, representing vast majority of Lithuania’s Jews, reaffirms VJC’s firm opposition to desecration of the cemetery.

UCSJ joins the endeavor from Washington DC.

Defending History has been on the case for “five long years” and helped inspire international opposition to a convention center that would never be sited in an old cemetery of the majority religion population. See the latest.


TThe Latest


BOOKS IN THE DEBATE


June-July 2020

Will the Lithuanian Defense Ministry add a “health warning” to its page glorifying a Nazi collaborator?

Lithuania’s Defense Ministry magazine glorifies Nazi collaborator and Holocaust cheerleader Kazys Škirpa on its front cover and in a massive article. See reactions from the Lithuanian Jewish Community and G. Gochin’s Times of Israel blog, and Defending HistorySEE OUR REPORT.

Incredibly, the Defense Ministry still flaunts the cover on its website (as PDF).


May 2020

Tale of the “Euronote Vilnius Cemetery”: See DH, JTA, AJ

Disturbing video produced by a national tourism agency


May Day in Vilnius: Three major tourism federations united to finance the covering of the old Vilna Jewish cemetery with empty chairs with symbolic 1000-euro notes pasted on (directly above extant graves), symbolizing the economic loss from not rushing ahead with a convention center in the middle of the cemetery.  The 500 year old cemetery, where thousands of citizens of Vilnius lie buried is not mentioned.

Real or photoshopped?

____

Solidarity with Minorities in Time of Pandemic?

Some use period for further glorification of Holocaust collaborators; Some tout postcrisis economic renewal from  “Convention Center in the Cemetery” Project in Vilnius

Former foreign minister calls on present FM to renounce views and support state glorification of brutal Holocaust collaborator J. Noreika (after supreme administrative court confirmed during national lockdown the “hero status” of the same collaborator). 

Also: Defense Ministry still adds no disclaimer to its page glorifying Nazi collaborator.

Meanwhile:

“You can’t make this up”: Major economist headlines construction sector revival via Jewish cemetery’s desecration as panacea for Covid-19 doldrums. Then, major national tourism units unite to place a thousand chairs with symbolic euro-notes on top of Vilnius Jewish graves.

Judith Leister reports in Neue Zürcher ZeitungJulius Norwilla in DH.

_____


 

For news in Lithuanian, see VieningaLietuva.com

5 YEARS AGO IN DH


March 2020

BALTIC FAR RIGHT’S “MARCHING SEASON” AGAIN GLORIFIES HITLER’S COLLABORATORS

VILNIUS + KAUNAS ON 16 FEB: DH eyewitness report on 16 February march in Vilnius. Organizers again targeted DH staff; 16 Feb in central Kaunas.

VILNIUS 11 MARCH: DH’s report on the run-up.  DH’s eyewitness report of the event.

RIGA 16 MARCH:  West silent as central Riga again gifted for worship of Latvia’s wrtime Waffen SS on Monday March 16th;  Coronavirus ban on rallies results in individuals laying wreaths for Waffen SS at city center’s Liberty Monument


February-March 2020

Linas Vildžiūnas, Lithuania’s Leading Humanist, For Decades Key Educator (and Truth Teller) about the Holocaust, Wins Donskis Award for Tolerance


16 February 2020

Defending History Alone Monitored Torchlit Vilnius Old Town Far-Right March that Glorified Nazi Collaborators J. Noreika and K. Škirpa


9 February 2020

Doyen of Litvak Rabbis Signs Impassioned Decree on Saving Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery from “Convention Center in the Cemetery” Project


BOOKS IN THE DISCUSSION

Alexander Gendler: Khurbm: 1914-1922

Leyb Koniuchowsky & Jonathan Boyarin: The Lithuanian Slaughter of its Jews: Testimonies of 121 Survivors of the Holocaust in Lithuania

Dan Rabinowitz: The Lost Library

Ruta Vanagaite & Efraim Zuroff: Our People: Discovering Lithuania’s Hidden Holocaust

Ruta Vanagaite & Christoph Dieckmann: How Did It Happen? (Our People, Part II. Understanding the Holocaust in Lithuania)



January 2020

Far Right Again Granted Central Vilnius on Feb. 16 Independence Day

They plan to glorify Nazi collaborators ŠkirpaNoreika and Brazaitis

Scene from their 2018 march in the heart of Vilnius (featuring on front banner six Nazi collaborators)…

2018 march in central Vilnius. Photo © DefendingHistory.com

 


January 2020

European Foundation for Human Rights: Progress in Case for Equal Minority Rights for Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery

For the first time a member of the Lithuanian parliament challenges the wisdom of glorifying (and reconstructing) an ugly Soviet dump that was built on Jewish bones of the centuries. See  Kęstutis Masiulis’s new piece in the Lithuanian media. Also, progress in the Vilnius court case is reported in the media, citing comments from Prof. Josif Parasonis. In the report, Turto Bankas (the state’s “property bank”) falsifies history, claiming the unsightly Soviet ruin is outside the cemetery. In fact, the American Embassy confirmed years ago (see point  5) that it “The Sports Palace property indisputably rests in the middle” of the historic cemetery.

Don’t the people of Lithuania (and Europe) deserve a sparkling new and morally clean Vilnius convention center rather than a Soviet-era structure surrounded by five centuries of Jewish graves?


Clemens Heni in Times of Israel on recent Yad Vashem furore

Matt Rubenstein iThe Battleground EU“Changing the Historical Record” 

David Pugliese in the Ottawa Citizen on East European Glorification of Holocaust Collaborators

Julius Norwilla in Vilnius’s 7MD on Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery

Clemens Heni in Times of Israel on dissident thinkers in Germany

Anna Shternshis in Canadian Jews News on Yivo Librarian Debacle (see also DH’s take; list of items approved by “In geveb”)


23 January 2020

VIDEO: Major Litvak Rabbis in Israel and American Christian Evangelist Meet with Lithuania’s Ambassador to Israel to Plea for Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery 

Late Jan. 2020 meeting follows “day of shame” in Vilnius in Dec. 2019, and “hateful libel” against Orthodox Vilnius Jewish woman (Jan. 2020) who launched the international petition; Prof. Shnayer Leiman’s response.


23 January 2020

JTA on Scandal Emanating from Lithuanian Parliamentarian Gumuliauskas’s Proposed Bill to “Fix” Holocaust History

PEACEFUL DEMO PLANNED AT LITHUANIAN EMBASSY IN TEL AVIV ON FRIDAY 24 JAN, 11 AMFBHEBREW POSTER

SEE DEFENDING HISTORY’S TAKE

 


13 January 2020

Defending History Joins Lithuania in Mourning the Fourteen Unarmed Pro-Independence Protesters Murdered by Soviet Forces on 13 Jan. 1991 


10 January 2020

from Dr. Andrius Kulikauskas’s post in BNS and Vakarų Ekspresas

LRT’s “Panorama” runs report on the Soviet sports palace building (timecode: 21:25—25:20), envisaging “hundreds of millions of euros” and “a bag of gold”


2 January 2020

Israeli and Polish Ambassadors to Ukraine Issue Joint Letter Protesting New State Glorification of Holocaust Perpetrators (T.O.I. report by Sam Sokol)


1 January 2020

Antanas Zubrys and Dr. Matilda Zubrienė: Defending History’s Persons of the Year (2020)

Antanas Zubrys and Matilda Zubrienė

A Lithuanian hero of the War of Independence in 1920, one hundred years ago, who went on in 1941, with his wife, to risk their lives and their families and  just do the right thing and save innocent neighbors from the racial genocide underway and supported by their own nation’s “nationalist leaders”… “Someone has to honor Lithuania’s real World War II heroes.” See background on current practice by some East European governments to honor Nazi collaborators (e.g. Lithuanian parliament’s 2018 decision; DH section). See DH’s Person of the Year awards for 201420152018, and 2019.

Updated Litvak One-Stop Shop for 2020

Year of 300th Birthday of the Gaon of Vilna: novel critical approach of Andrius Kulikauskas’s brand new website on calendar of events. Our editor’s papers & articles.

“7 Kingdoms of the Litvaks” is free online


19 December 2019

A “Day of Shame” in Post-Holocaust East European Jewish History?

The upshot? The state owned property bank claims “Jewish support” for “the convention center in the old Jewish cemetery” via the alleged collusion of some London rabbis from the “CPJCE” and the head of the government sponsored Jewish community… But what about the opinion of all the others?


December 2019

Lithuania, a Genuine, Robust Democracy, Continues to Struggle with Free Speech when it Comes to the Holocaust

See Efraim Zuroff in the Jerusalem PostArkadijus Vinokuras in Times of IsraelInstances from the past decade monitored by DH; Section on free speech and democracy. Dovid Katz’s new paper on the (ab)use of law to “fix history” in the Baltics.


Dr. Andrius Kulikauskas founds major new initiative dedicated to Lithuanian-Jewish friendship and sense of common purpose for future of the Grand Duchy heritage by way of open, free and respectful dialogue and inspiring new projects

Program of 16 Dec. Bar Ilan Univeristy conference on Zuroff-Vanagaite book on the Lithuanian Holocaust; Conference report & photos


Nov.-Dec. 2019

Litvak World Shocked by New “Year of Gaon” 10 Euro Coin that Plonks a Symbol Beloved of Far Right onto a Mutilated Jewish Menorah

Defending History has followed the saga for three years

Ruta Bloshtein in Lithuanian in 7md (6 Dec.2019) [PDF of print edition]

Vilnius’s Jewish satirist Motke Chabad shares his own perspective

Ruta Bloshtein (2 Dec.) and Ben Cohen (28 Nov.) in the Algemeiner Journal

Dovid Katz (15 Nov. and 22 Nov.) and Ruta Bloshtein (26 Nov.) in DH

Grant Gochin in The Times of Israel on other painful issues evoked by “Year of Gaon” plans (also on LJC website); See DH’s Seven Simple Solutions on Lithuanian-Jewish issues

More coverage by Algemeiner JournalArutz ShevaEnlace JudíoHaaretzIsrael National NewsJewish ChronicleJTAYNetYNetEspanol, Times of Israel (ToI French edition)

Is it perhaps an opportune moment for the government to abandon plans for a convention center in the heart of the old Vilna Jewish cemetery, where hundreds of the Gaon’s ancestors and descendants still lie buried? International petition continues to grow.


Autumn 2019

AP on Streets Newly Named in Kiev for Nazi Collaborators

Clemens Heni in Portal for Political Science

Justin Ward in Medium on History Revisionism in Hungary

Andrius Kulikauskas in Bernardinai on Vilnius Jewish Cemetery Saga; Chief Rabbi of South Africa Weighs In; But NY Yivo stages PR event for government’s positions only

Aleksandr Kuzmin in DH on Latvian Defense Minister’s Glorification of Waffen-SS; Jewish Voice on History of Latvian Holocaust

Cnaan Liphshiz in Times of Israel (French) on Holocaust Museums 

George N. Tzogopoulos at Begin-Sadat Center on Israel’s Role; See DH’s Israel Page


23 Sept. 2019

International Coverage of Vilnius’s Day of Prayer, Plea & Protest for the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt

Dr. Andrius Kulikauskas’s keynote address; Report (+ photo gallery) in Lithuania’s 15min.ltLRT evening news (from timecode 4:56). European Foundation for Human Rights

Letter from South Africa’s chief rabbi to Lithuania’s president

London CPJCE “Jewish grave traders” are called to face charges at the Jerusalem rabbinical court. In London, a “Serious Incident” report is filed with the United Kingdom’s Charity Commission. Background on CPJCE’s Vilnius outrage. The video.


Canadian Govt. Officials “Duped” into Participating in Honors for Ukraine’s OUN / UPA Hitler Collaborators

Reports in National Post and Ottawa Citizen

Defending History’s Take: “Canada, a bastion of enlightened liberalism in today’s world, has blundered into a moral mouse-trap. Hopefully its highest leaders will now rapidly correct the error and join all those around the world who condemn the Nazis and their collaborators’ rampages of ethnic-based mass murder and genocide in World War II era Eastern Europe.”


23 September 2019

Monday September 23 in Vilnius

Day of Prayer and Respectful Challenge to Spare Old Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (Šnipiškės) from Plans to Site a Convention Center in its Heart

Sign Ruta Bloshtein’s Petition       See the International Support       DH Section


Sept. 2019

A Decade of Defending History

Defending History marks its 10th anniversary in Sept. 2019

9 years ago7 years ago.  5 years ago3 years ago.

Come and browse old issues; first post; mission statement; Samples of coverage over the years by Ricky Ben-David in the Jerusalem Post; Arne Bengtsson in Baltic World; Daniel Brook in Slate; Bernard Dichek in Jerusalem Report; Jonathan Freedland in the Guardian; Avi Friedman in Mishpacha; Cindy Mindell in the Jewish Ledger; Rod Nordland in the New York Times; Wendy Robbins on BBC World Service. 

Documentary films: Danny Ben-Moshe’s Rewriting History; Richard Bloom’s Defending Holocaust History

PLEASE SUPPORT DH’S CONTINUED PUBLICATION


9 Sept. 2019

Vilnius is Shamed by Brand New Noreika Plaque Glorifying a Holocaust Collaborator

Calls for government to rapidly “do the right thing: take it down”

Thursday 5 September:  Crowd glorifying Holocaust collaborator screams “Noreika” as new plaque is affixed on public space in central Vilnius. Photo: J. Stecevičius/LRT

Reports in Delfi.lt;   Lrt.lt;   15min.lt

Vilnius mayor calls plaque “illegal”Faina Kukliansky issues powerful statement of protestBNS; Baltic Times reports that sciences library is quite happy with its new plaque; JTA report

So far, a wall of public  silence from the “Yiddish-loving culture minister“, from  Yivo, and from the Western and Israeli embassies in Lithuania

Defending History’s take: “A very sad day for Lithuania and its proud ages-old  tradition of Grand Duchy tolerance and its current record as a successful democracy. Ten years after Defending History published images of the plaque honoring Noreika, seven years after Evaldas Balciunas brought the issue to the English speaking world, and one month after Vilnius’s bold mayor boldly had the plaque removed, a mob of antisemites who celebrate the Holocaust’s perpetrators have put up an even shinier plaque, rapidly declared to be illegal by the mayor. The text of the new plaque is rather worse from the viewpoint of historic honesty, by referring to Noreika’s imprisonment by the Nazis at one point (the phenomenon of “Holocaust envy”), as if that makes a hero of a brutal Holocaust collaborator. Lithuania’s great people deserve better! Hopefully, the nation’s highest powers will remove the plaque without further delay, in the name of the rule of law, the nation’s standing, and basic human decency. See DH’s sections on:  J. NoreikaCollaborators Glorified; the 2019 midsummer events that presaged the latest events.  


August 2019

Bravo to Hizzoner Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Šimašius


Sam Sokol in JTA

Jillian Deutsch in Politico

Deutsche Welle

Vilna Jewish Cemetery Petition Hits 46,000 Mark

Lithuanian Jewish Community Reports on State Investigation of “Red-Brown Commission” Chief (background; video)

Vilna-born Holocaust survivor Prof. Pinchos Fridberg’s “enormous courage” in challenging “perpetrator whitewashing” by nationalist icon V. Landsbergis

Prof. Pinchos Fridberg  ©DefendingHistory.com

See Pinchos Fridberg section; DH’s 2012 take on LandsbergisMeanwhile, controversial official head of gov. sponsored Jewish community, eminent attorney Ms. Faina Kukliansky, wins acclaim for (finally) standing up to Landsbergis, after he used crude anti-Jewish ethnic slur on FB; Baltic Times features a rude reply with no pretense of evenhanded journalism. EU Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis speaks out (see DH’s Andriukaitis section, and his classic statements on the Seventy Years Declaration and the reburial of wartime Nazi puppet prime minister in 2012).

Polish government glorifies unit that fought for the Nazis

Prominent Vilnius historian publishes article in mainstream media complaining that too many “foreign Jews” have been included in the state-sponsored history commission


9 Aug. 2019

Ten years after Defending History published images of the plaques. Seven years after DH’s Evaldias Balčiūnas brought the case of J. Noreika to the English speaking world. Four years after Dr. Andrius Kulikauskas‘s classic DH essay on K. Škirpa: 

Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Šimašius Leads City Council Decision to Rename “Škirpa Street” and Personally Orders Removal of Noreika Plaque in 4 AM Raid

Official Lithuanian Jewish Community Closes Premises and Synagogue on  6-8 Aug. in View of Threats, Citing Conservative Party’s Ongoing Campaign to Glorify Holocaust Collaborators

At Aug. 7 central Vilnius rally in support of continued glorification of Holocaust collaborators. Sign at left: “Stop Judaeophile vandalism”. Poster at right asks if it is still Lithuania or already the Northern Jerusalem…

Media coverage: AFPAJ,  AP/WAPOA7BBCBS,  EJCIHJNS,   JTA,  TOI 

Statement issued by Vilnius Jewish Community;  JTA reports of 6. Aug; 7 Aug; 8 Aug (+TOI); LJC’s circulated reply to VJC

Baltic Times gives big-time coverage to Landsbergis’s attack on official Jewish community leader Kukliansky. Will they provide equal space for the community’s response?

Aug. 7 rally demanded restoration of public space plaques and street names that glorify Holocaust collaborators held at Mindaugas Monument; Baltic Times’s “shamefully one-sided” report in far right spirit of trivializing glorification of Holocaust perpetrators

___

Poster advertising Aug. 7th rally blasts mayor who took action against glorification of collaborators, shows Jewish and gay pride symbols as the culprits

Photoshopped version of painting by F. Reshetnikov depicts several boys observing what seems like a Jewish-LGBT event from around the corner. Text at top reads “Škirpa and Vėtra [Noreika] are heroes of Lithuania”. The lower text depicts a rooster (“gaidys” in Lithuanian, used as a homophobic slur) and is labeled “Šimašius”, i.e., the current Mayor of Vilnius Remigijus Šimašius who recently led efforts to remove public glorification of two Holocaust collaborators.  Text at bottom: “Let’s defend the heroes of Lithuania! Rally under the Mayor’s windows, by the monument of King Mindaugas. August 7 (Wed.), from 18:00 to 19:30.”

Question: Will the Roskies & Fishman “Yiddish PR conference” financed to deflect attention from the painful issues, publish a morally clear statement of protest (and support for the Jewish community)? Do conference participants appreciate concerns they are being used as “useful Jewish idiots” (UJIs) in the wider effort to rewrite Holocaust history and cover for blatant antisemitism?

Are they aware of the systematic exclusion from their conference of all the local Jewish scholars in this field who have expressed disagreement with the glorification of Holocaust collaborators (including Holocaust survivors who have written about Jewish Vilna)? Will they consider signing Ruta Bloshtein’s petition on the old Vilna Jewish cemetery?

BACKGROUND: See DH sections on collaborators glorifiedNoreika saga; Ramanauskas saga; seven Lithuanian-Jewish issues that could be easily resolved; academic background. the Seventy Years Declaration (SYD). signed by 71 European parliamentarians including eight valiant Lithuanian MPs and MEPs.


1 August 2019

“It Pays to Defend History”

Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Šimašius Orders Removal of Memorial Plaque for Holocaust Collaborator J. Noreika

According to reports, city’s removal squad came 4 AM on 27 July; see now: the nationalist backlash (2); new president falls back on “more discussions needed” ignoring years of such discussions.  JTA report. Vilnius prosecutors considering challenges to mayor’s action. Vilnius’s Prof. Pinchos Fridberg takes the battle  over glorifying Hitler collaborators right to Vytautas Landsbergis. Meanwhile, Conservative Party’s Landsbergis Jr. hits back and official Jewish community exposes antisemitic slur on his FB page.

Vilnius mayor Remigijus Šimašius

A seven year saga since Defending History’s Evaldas Balčiūnas brought the Noreika case to the English speaking world in 2012

Lithuanian author & ethicist Evaldas Balčiūnas

For years Mr. Balčiūnas was hounded by police, prosecutors and kangaroo hearings (scroll down to May 2014)

Over the years, Defending History’s campaign won support from the Simon Wiesenthal Center; the Rambam Mesivta High School that staged a peaceful demonstration at Lithuania’s consulate in New York; Noreika’s granddaughter, American author Silvia Foti; and Californian Litvak scion Grant Gochin, who took Vilnius’s “Genocide Center” to court. The GC’s public statement revealed its true view on the Holocaust. Dr. Andrius Kulikauskas is curator of online Captain Noreika Museum.

Follow the mayor’s impressive personal trajectory on these issues over the years

Marble Noreika stone continues to mar capital’s central boulevard

NEXT QUESTION:

The mayor will hopefully soon speak out on fate of Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery, slated to become a convention center, that would damage Vilnius’s brand for generations  to come. Vilnius native Ruta Bloshtein’s petition now has over 46,000 signatures from every part of the world.


24 July 2019

Vilnius City Council Finally Decides to Change Name of Škirpa Street

Vote is  20 to 16

Defending History brought the issue to the international community in 2010

See Dr. Andrius Kulikauskas’s classic 2015 Defending History paper on Škirpa; Vilnius City Council efforts by Mark Harold

Report by JTA

Prof. Pinchos Fridberg and Ruta Kaplinskaya concerned by report that new street name will be accompanied by new plaque glorifying Škirpa yet again

Škirpa is in the middle (Berlin, 1941)

Changing toxic street names that glorify Hitler collaborators is high on the list of the very easy things Lithuania needs to do to achieve justice on the irksome history issues that will just not go away. See DH’s seven solutions compiled with the help of the late Dr. Shimon Alperovich.

But what about Škirpa Street in Kaunas, which is slated to be “Capital of European Culture” in 2022?


July 2019

Ukraine’s Constitutional Court Affirms “Red Equals Brown” Law

Radio Free Europe (Radio Liberty) report fails to inform readers of the Double Genocide issues and abuse of history to further far-right Holocaust revisionism that includes glorification of Holocaust collaborators

LEV GOLINKIN IN THE WASHINGTON POST

EFRAIM ZUROFF IN THE JERUSALEM POST

ROBERT ROZETT IN ISRAEL JOURNAL OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

GRANT GOCHIN IN THE TIMES OF ISRAEL

IVAN KATCHANOVSKI ON UKRAINE’S UPA & OUP  


June-July 2019

More Lithuanian Government Glories & Medals for “Useful Jewish Enablers” of Baltic Holocaust Revisionism


June 2019

California Resident Grant Gochin Appeals Vilnius Court Ruling that Whitewashed Notorious Holocaust Collaborator Jonas Noreika

IHRA weighs inMore reaction.  For first time (?), Lithuanian TV presents both sides.

The Question: Will an EU/NATO democracy continue to sink government funds into  glorification of Holocaust collaborators? Don’t the Lithuanian people have higher values and causes into which to invest their hard-earned taxpayer money?

FOLLOW THE SEVEN YEAR NOREIKA SAGA IN DEFENDING HISTORY


23 June 2019

Kaunas (Slated to be 2022 “Capital of European Culture”)  Hosts Far-Right (/Neo-Nazi) City Center Jamboree Honoring June 23 “Uprising” that Unleashed the Destruction of Lithuanian Jewry in 1941

In Vilnius, the parliament (Seimas) hosts a one-sided conference on the LAF (Lithuanian Ativist Front) Hitlerist militias that unleashed violence on Jewish neighbors before German forces even arrived.

Meanwhile, a naive article in National Review accepts the distorted history of Vilnius’s “Genocide Museum” (see our critique of the museum), that calls the Hitlerist  “Lithuanian Activist Front” (LAF)’s outbreak of violence against Jewish neighbors a  rebellion against the Soviets. The brutal Soviet occupation forces were fleeing Hitler’s invasion (the largest in human history), not the LAF Jew-killers.

These killers didn’t fire a single shot against the Soviets when they were in power. You can’t “rebel” against someone who is in panic running away from someone else. . . The Holocaust is being rewritten by the East European far right (in part to make heroes out of the Eastern European collaborators) even as leaders of major Jewish organization in the US and elsewhere remain silent.


16 June 2019

The Good Old Pattern Continues in Biržai (Birzh), Northern Lithuania:

A magnificent new memorial to thousands of Holocaust victims at the mass grave in the forest.

Honors, medals and photo-ops for the foreign donors and enablers.

The official museum in the city center continues to honor Holocaust collaborators and perpetrators as “national heroes”, an issue not mentioned at any of the public events.


June 2019

State Glorification for Chaplain of a Holocaust-era Mass Murder Unit;  Simon Wiesenthal Center Speaks Out

_______

Chone Leibovich of Vilnius Jewish Community appeals to National Coalition Supporting Eurasian Jewry (scroll down for English)


May-June 2019

A Sad Story for Chicago and Lithuania

that is ‘not going away’

UPDATE OF JUNE 1: Head of Jewish Agency calls for  monument to Nazi collaborator to be removed “as soon as possible”

In Vilnius, Defending History staff get more death threats

First monument on American soil glorifying a wartime Nazi collaborator who is also a prime icon for his country’s neo-Nazis today was inaugurated last month (May 4) in the presence of the visiting Lithuanian foreign minister

LATEST MEDIA: Algemeiner; BBC; GrayzoneIndependent; Simon Wiesenthal CenterTelegraph. And—Defending History’s take.

On Ramanauskas’s Holocaust-era role see courageous, pioneering articles of Lithuanian ethicist Evaldas Balčiūnas in 20142017 and his latest that has just appeared. For years after starting his series of articles “Why does the state commemorate murderers?” Balčiūnas was hounded by prosecutors and police (scroll to May 2014).

UPDATES: HOW THE “OFFICIAL JEWISH COMMUNITY” WAS USED AND ABUSED

RAMANAUSKAS: A FIVE YEAR SAGA

WAS THE US EMBASSY AGAIN DRAGGED INTO THINGS THAT DON’T REFLECT AMERICAN VALUES?

Beyond the debates over Ramanauskas’s role in the early days of the Lithuanian Holocaust, he is today  a major icon for Neo-Nazi parades and events.

From left to right on the neo-Nazis’ “We know our national heroes” banner (torchlit neo-Nazi parade of Feb. 2018): Adolfas Ramanauskas-Vanagas,  Jonas Noreika,  Povilas Plechavičius,  Kazys Škirpa,  Antanas Baltūsis-Žvejas, and Juozas Ambrazevičius-Brazaitis

Latest far-right death threats  against DH editor appear on Facebook (as PDF; transl.). They were apparently instigated by the  neo-Nazis’ top blogger in Lithuania, “Zeppelinus”  (PDF; part transl.) who is said to work in the Ministry of the Economy. These threats came in response to DH’s opinion that Lithuania’s interests are not best served by a monument in Chicago to an alleged Holocaust collaborator who is also a prime icon for today’s neo-Nazi parades here. Samples of Zeppelinus’s racist, misogynistic, homophobic, antisemitic output of hate. Some of his earlier “artwork” on DH editor. 

This monument, honoring Adolfas Ramanauskas (Vanagas), who boasted in his memoirs of leading an LAF unit of fascist Hiterlist militia during the first weeks of the Holocaust (June-July 1941) in southeastern Lithuania, was overwhelmingly rejected for placement on public land by New Britian, Connecticut one year ago.  But on Saturday, 4 May  it was inaugurated by Lithuania’s foreign minister on the private property of the Lithuanian World Center in Chicago, Illinois. The English news release casually omits the reference to the Holocaust  issues cited in the original BNS Lithuanian report

On the legacy of Ramanauskas, see Evaldas Balčiūnas (in 20142017 and 2019); Efraim Zuroff and the Simon Wiesenthal Center; and Dovid Katz. Defending History documented the entire 2017-2018 New Britain, Conn. saga. Sampling of survivor testimony on “what it was that the LAF was doing” in the last week of June 1941.  SEE DEFENDING HISTORY’S SECTION ON ADOLFAS RAMANAUSKAS.

Defending History’s take: “The people of Chicago, and its proud Lithuanian and Litvak communities, should not have foisted on them a monument glorifying an alleged Holocaust collaborator who led a Hitlerist militia in the early days of the Holocaust, a monument that was overwhelmingly rejected by the New Britain, Connecticut city council one year ago. And, most certainly not without a free, public and transparent process of dialogue and consultation including Holocaust survivors and their families, as well as scholars and institutions representing a diversity of opinions. A one-year moratorium is called for to enable such a process to proceed with dignity.”


3 May 2019

Latest on State Honors for Holocaust Collaborator J. Noreika in Lithuania

HUNDREDS OF JEWISH HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS PROTEST OUTSIDE LITHUANIAN CONSULATE IN NEW YORK CITY

TRACK THE SEVEN-YEAR OLD NOREIKA SAGA HERE

DEFENDING HISTORY’S SECTION ON COLLABORATORS GLORIFIED


28 April 2019

EUROPEAN FOUNDATION FOR HUMAN RIGHTS PROTESTS EU FUNDING FOR VILNIUS MUSIC JAMBOREE ON WEEKEND  OF 27-28 APRIL IN THE HEART OF CITY’S OLD JEWISH CEMETERY

PDF OF NEW STATEMENT

As addendum to EFHR’s  case filed; international opposition; petition reaching 46,000 mark

Recent coverage in the Algemeiner Journal; English Delfi.lt (Lithuania Tribune); Jerusalem Post;

INCREDIBLY, M. K. ČIURLIONIS HOUSE & MUSEUM ARE PARTNERING

Protest letter from Julius Norwilla, chairman of the Vilnius Committee for Preservation of Piramont (Snipiskes) Cemetery to the Director of the Čiurlionis House and Museum

DEFENDING HISTORY MONITORING TEAM WAS ON THE SCENE FROM 12 TO 3 PM ON 28 APRIL 2019

Thousands (in groups of 25) were misinformed by guides’  prepared text assurance that convention center is with permission of “European Jewish Community in 2016” (!). Soviet kitsch was praised effusively in latest ruse to turn hated Soviet dump into “a national treasure”. Rabbi S. J. Feffer confronts one of the groups with a heartfelt speech of protest informing visitors of the “wanton theft of our forefathers’ graves” and blessing those who will help stop the travesty from moving forward.

MORE IN DEFENDING HISTORY

Meanwhile in London, a Serious Incident Report has been filed with the UK’s national Charity Commission requesting an investigation of the role of the CPJCE in the destruction of the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery.

Unique study in body language: “blockbuster video” of London CPJCE staff allegedly morally selling other people’s graves against the rulings of all the rabbis of Vilnius and of the planet.  In fact, when the then chief rabbi of Lithuania, Rabbi Chaim Burshtein, spoke up in 2015, he was fired for expressing his views. Views of Rabbi S.J. Feffer (leading Litvak religious authority in the country) and Rabbi S.B. Krinsky (official rabbi of the synagogue / Chabad Lithuania).

The Wikileaks cable that just will not go away (jump to end of point 8)

Ruta Bloshtein’s petition approaches 46,000

Overviews by  Shnayer Leiman, Juris KažaMichael Maass, Dovid Katz, and Vilna-born Holocaust survivor Pinchos Fridberg; Statements by elected head of Vilnius Jewish Community Simon Gurevich

SEE MORE


24 April 2019

Granddaughter of Holocaust perpetrator J. Noreika, the American author and educator Silvia Foti launches a bold international petition calling on Lithuania’s gov. to stop glorifying him.

LATEST CHAPTER IN A SAGA OF SEVEN YEARS  

HOW DOES A  JEWISH CITIZEN OF LITHUANIA FEEL ABOUT IT?


23 April 2019

“The rights of minority cemeteries are human rights”

Legal Action Underway on Attempts to Pilfer Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery for National Convention Center

NEWS RELEASE FROM EUROPEAN FOUNDATION FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

REPORTS IN ENGLISH DELFI (LITHUANIA TRIBUNE); IN THE ALGEMEINER (NY);  BNS/LRT; THE JERUSALEM POST

UPDATE OF 24 APRIL: EUROPEAN UNION FINANCES MUSIC FESTIVAL ON CEMETERY GROUNDS THIS WEEKEND


8 April 2019

Vilnius Plaque Glorifying Holocaust Collaborator J. Noreika is Smashed by Maverick Candidate for the European Parliament, Attorney Stanislavas Tomas

All on film, streamed live Monday morning 8 April 2019, from candidate’s bilingual statements through to his calling the police and their eventual arrival to make the arrest

VIDEO ON YOUTUBE

(plaque smashing at 14:30; English segments at 04:10; 22:40)

Defending History’s comment:

“We unequivocally condemn violent acts against any property. Plaques can and will be replaced, and acts of property violence are totally illegal, inherently unethical, and utterly counterproductive to the noble cause of ridding Europe of glorification of Nazism. There needs to be dignified, peaceful and lawful civic and international pressure for the removal of all state-sponsored, public-space glorification of Holocaust collaborators, not least in Lithuania where some 96% of the Jewish population was massacred with massive local collaboration and participation. The real heroes are the amazing Lithuanians who risked everything in 1941 to just save a neighbor and we pray for the day when plaques and streets for them will abound across the land. See our own Person of the Year for 2018 and 2019.”

On Jonas Noreika’s Holocaust activities, see Evaldas Balčiūnas and Andrius Kulikauskas

Samples of other monuments and street names glorifying Holocaust collaborators.  DH section on glorification of collaborators. The major Noreika monument in Vilnius is actually the engraved marble stone on the city’s central Gedimino Boulevard outside the Genocide Museum:


8 April 2019

Andrius Kulikauskas calls on Lithuanian Parliament to Stand Up to State-Sponsored Genocide Center’s Glorification of Holocaust Collaborators

Dovid Katz interviewed by Stan Tomas (video)

World Jewish Congress Replies to Vilnius Genocide Center; Stops Short of Mentioning Government’s Financing of Street Names and Honors for Holocaust Perpetrators; Official Jewish Community Breaks Long Silence on GC’s Antisemitism


3 April 2019

Eyewitness Report: A Verdict is Read in a Vilnius Court

Case was over the state’s glorification of a cruel Holocaust collaborator and purveyor of racial hate. First time a court in an EU/NATO country ruled in favor of the government glorifying Holocaust collaborators with street names and majestic public plaques, reducing the Holocaust to a detail not worthy of interfering with its perpetrators’ “heroism”…

Verdict came down on 27 March. Since then: utter silence from the US, UK and Israeli embassies in Vilnius, and from the “Red-Brown” Commission (which has affiliations with the Genocide Center) and its foreign members representing Yivo and the American Jewish Committee. But on April 3rd, the World Jewish Congress issued a major statement, to some extent avoiding the current issue of state glorification of Holocaust perpetrators via street names and plaques.

At 1 PM on Wed. March 27th, a Vilnius Administrative Court judge read out the court’s ruling dismissing the query of US resident Grant Gochin over Lithuania’s state glorification of Nazi collaborator Jonas Noreika, active during the Holocaust in the region where Gochin lost around 100 relatives. The court said Mr. Gochin had no material interest, ruled that the state-sponsored Genocide Center had answered his query completely, without bias, and without abuse of power, in effect further enshrining in law an EU/NATO state’s glorification of Holocaust collaborators and perpetrators via the financing of ultranationalist and far-right history centers and departments determined to preserve the national hero status of Holocaust collaborators. Whenever government or municipal officials are asked about the numerous street names and plaques honoring collaborators, the invariable answer is that it is all in fact a matter for the experts at the Genocide Center.

Mr. Gochin’s academic specialist, Dr. Andrius Kulikauskas was on hand along with attorney Rokas Rudzinskas. Of the Genocide Center’s staff, only historian Dr. Arūnas Bubnys turned up, sitting in the small gallery surrounded in part by first and second generation Holocaust survivors who turned out to hear the verdict that the Western embassies, human rights organization and official (state-sponsored) Jewish community thought not worth sending an official representative to hear. By contrast the local Vilnius Jewish Community had two observers on hand.

UPDATES: Genocide Center releases statement; official Jewish community issues reply.

JTA report is picked up by some Israeli papers but not one major American media outlet, general or Jewish… Why is that?

A moment before the courtroom clock strikes 1 PM: Genocide Center’s chief historian Dr. Arūnas Bubnys (front row third from right) was the only GC official to come and hear the verdict.

◊◊

SEE FULL REPORT


26 March 2019

Vilnius Court’s Verdict Awaited on Wednesday March 27th

Public welcome at the reading of the verdict at 1 PM at Vilnius Regional Administrative Court, Žygimantų 2 in the city center

Will a court in an EU/NATO country uphold a far-right Holocaust-obfuscating institution’s decision to make a national hero of a documented Holocaust collaborator?

See: Background. Report on 15 Jan. Report on 5 March.

Meanwhile, Bizarre Decision from EU Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg is in Spirit of Far Right’s “Double Genocide” Revisionism

“The New Holocaust Denial is based on a postmodernist mush that confounds victims and perpetrators and tries to write the Holocaust out of history (without denying a single death) via an array of ruses emanating from Eastern Europe’s ultranationalist New Far Right.”

BACKGROUND

DH’s take. Report on 15 Jan. hearing. Report on 5 March hearing. Evaldas Balčiūnas’s 2012 article that brought Noreika to the attention of the English speaking world. Balčiūnas’s DH section.


25 March 2019

Michael Mostyn in the Toronto Sun

Reports on pro-Nazi marches in Vilnius and Riga; Canada condemns Riga’s Waffen SS celebration

English original of part of Lithuanian TV’s interview with Dovid Katz


20 March 2019

Vilnius Jewish Community Invites People of All Backgrounds to Purim Celebration with Traditional Reading of the Book of Esther

Wednesday evening, 20 March, at 7 PM, at the Vilnius Jewish Community & Jewish Cultural and Information Center at Mesiniu 3 in Vilnius Old Town

VJC’s additional family event features the traditional costume party competition on Thursday evening 21st

Just for Litvaks: Translation of the Book of Esther into Lithuanian Yiddish


16 March 2019

AROUND 1000 TAKE PART IN 16 MARCH CENTRAL RIGA PARADE GLORIFYING LATVIA’S WARTIME NAZI WAFFEN SS

DPA;  HaaretzJerusaem Post;  Jüdisches Forum (video)Times of Israel

Detail from the day

Petition against annual event approaches 7,000 signatures

Background: Monica Lowenberg’s blog; DH coverage of previous years’ marches; Lowenberg’s articles in DH; Latvia section. Can people peacefully protest this march? A disturbing court ruling 

Latvian participant in last month’s torchlight march in Vilnius on 16 Feb.


13 March 2019

More Double Dealing by US Taxpayer Supported “Commission to Preserve America’s Heritage Abroad” (USCPAHA)?

Is it Washington DC’s most corrupt federal agency?

Are they really in cahoots with the allegedly corrupt bodies (CPJCE in London, “Admas Kodesh” or “AK” in NY) who gave “permission” for a convention center in the heart of the old Vilna Jewish Cemetery against the views of all other rabbis and ethicists? The NY branch (AK) has published crude personal invective against scholars who hold other opinions, including Prof. Bernard Fryshman (who has now taken USCPAHA to the courts).

VIDEO: Herbert Block’s formal new presentation to a major rabbi cites only USCPAHA’s partnership with these two bodies. No mention of the international petition (which he himself signed…) or the vast international opposition.

Tale of two videos: The CPJCE with the prime minister of Lithuania, and USCPAHA’s Herbert Block explaining his commission’s work to the rabbi in Israel . . . See also earlier Admas Kodesh photo gallery of USCPAHA “reporting to Satmar Rebba in Monroe”… (Note: Leader of the opposing Satmar dynasty has himself condemned the convention center project in Vilnius).

BACKGROUND:

The basic story (DH’s section). International opposition to date. The USCPAHA. The CPJCE.


8 March 2019

After ‘Hearing Both Sides’ at Trial of March  5th, Vilnius Court Sets Verdict for 27th

Dr. Andrius Kulikauskas, moments before his historic address before the Vilnius court on state-funded Genocide Center’s policy of glorifying Holocaust collaborators. The center’s “decisions” are cited by high officials as “justification” for street names, university hall plaques and other public-space state-funded glorifications of Holocaust collaborators. Around 96% of Lithuanian Jewry was massacred in the Holocaust.

Defending History was there. Our take:

Andrius Kulikauskas will go down in history not only as the hero of the day but as the true patriot of Lithuania whose love for his country is not infected by Holocaust obfuscation and the glorification of Holocaust perpetrators but by a pursuit of simple historic truth. By contrast, the Genocide Center’s shameful performance illustrated, as ever, why the government should not be using taxpayer or EU funds for a far-right ultranationalist Holocaust-obfuscating entity that disparages the freedom of Lithuanian citizens to have diverse opinions (by dictating fake history as per the Soviet playbook) and continues to damage Lithuania’s name in the world (East European democracies need state glorification of Holocaust collaborators like a hole in the head).

Evaldas Balčiūnas, whose 2012 article brought the case to international attention, was in attendance. Icing on the cake was the Genocide Center’s demand that the videographer leave at the outset. So much for government sponsorship of an open and transparent operation. There were close to 20 observers, mostly Vilnius Jewish personalities there in an individual capacity, including Prof. Pinchos Fridberg, who figured in a New York Times article on the subject last September. Elected Vilnius Jewish Community head Simon Gurevich, committed elsewhere, nevertheless made two brief appearances to show moral support for those who stand up to glorification of collaborators and to the community members in attendance. The VJC hosted Dr. Kulikauskas on Jan 14th.

“It had the air of a 21st century Lithuanian version of America’s Scopes Monkey Trial.”

Eyewitness reports and opinions by Evaldas Balčiūnas and Gershon Taic (Geršonas Taicas)

Finally, reports began to appear in mainstream Lithuanian media: BNS/Diena.lt; LRTDelfi; Alkas.lt; Arkadijus Vinokuras in Delfi.lt. Official information on the court’s website.

Background: Run-up to eve of the trial

California Financial Planner Takes Lithuania’s State-Sponsored “Genocide Center” to Court on March 5th for Enabling Gov. Glorification of Holocaust Collaborator J. Noreika

   Proceedings are open to the public (Tuesday March 5th, 10 AM at Vilnius Regional Administrative Court at Žygimantų 2 in central Vilnius). Media to date includes the BBC World ServiceChicago TribuneJTA. The plaintiff is California wealth advisor Grant Arthur Gochin whose family lost around 100 relatives in the Holocaust in the area where Noreika operated. He will be represented in Vilnius by attorney Rokas Rudzinskas and specialist Dr. Andrius Kulikauskas, author of the Query that launched the case. He has a compelling letter of support from Noreika’s granddaughter, American educator and author Silvia Foti. See Ms. Foti’s remarkable 2018 essay in Salon, and the recent takes by Grant Gochin, Dovid Katz, Andrius Kulikauskas, and Efraim Zuroff.

  The case of J. Noreika was brought to the English speaking world in 2012 by journalist and ethicist Evaldas Balčiūnas of Šiauliai (Shavl), Lithuania, as part of a series of articles asking why his government honors alleged Holocaust collaborators. He was “rewarded” with years of prosecutorial and police harassment and kangaroo trials. Please scroll down to May 2014 in DH’s Balčiūnas section. In some opinions, Lithuania is a totally free-speech country with the marked exception of Holocaust history.

UTTER SILENCE FROM THE GOV. FUNDED “RED-BROWN COMMISSION” (ONE OF WHOSE MEMBERS IS ACTIVELY SOLICITING 10,000 EUROS IN CROWDFUNDING FOR NEW BOOK ON LITHUANIAN HOLOCAUST; CROWDFUNDING PAGE)

WILL THE AMERICAN, BRITISH, CANADIAN, FRENCH, GERMAN, IRISH, ISRAELI, NORWEGIAN & SWEDISH EMBASSIES (AMONG OTHERS) AND HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS BE SENDING OBSERVERS TO THE TRIAL ON TUESDAY?

BACKGROUND: Collaborators glorified; street names and university lecture halls; the Genocide Center in Vilnius; the Genocide Museum; academic background to the “Double Genocide” movement for Holocaust revisionism


March 2019

Lev Golinkin in The Nation on Ukraine’s issues with adulation of fascism and Holocaust collaborators

David Pugliese in the Ottawa Citizen on Latvian and Ukrainian projects to revise history

Petition against Waffen SS March on March 16th in Riga; Background: Monica Lowenberg’s blog; DH coverage of previous years’ marches; Lowenberg’s articles in DH; Can people peacefully protest this march? A disturbing court ruling in 2017

Euronews report on far right’s march in central Tallinn, Estonia

Julius Norwilla attends meeting of Lithuania’s state property bank that plans convention center in heart of the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery

Vilnius: LRT TV interviews Dovid Katz


20 February 2019

VILNIUS ALERT WED. 20 FEB. 2019

Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky, Legendary Jewish Partisan who Fought the Nazis in the Forests of Lithuania, Currently Major Yiddish Culture Educator, Will be Guest of Honor at Today’s Yiddish Reading Circle

Fania Brantsovsky (left) with the late Dr. Rokhl Margolis (1921-2015) in Vilnius in 2007

SPECIAL SESSION IN HONOR OF THE NEW BILINGUAL YIDDISH-LITHUANIAN EDITION OF THE LATE AARON GARON’S ESSAYS ON JEWISH VILNA EDITED BY LINAS VILDŽIŪNAS, WHO WILL BE ATTENDING THE EVENT, ALONG WITH THE AUTHOR’S CHILDREN, TAMARA AND EVGENY GARON.

Photo gallery of the event

6 to 7:30 PM AT THE VILNIUS JEWISH COMMUNITY, MESINIU 3 IN VILNIUS OLD TOWN. ALL ARE WELCOME!


16 February 2019

“IT PAYS TO DEFEND HISTORY”

“Once again, it becomes clear how Defending History is the true friend of Lithuania and other democratic states in the Eastern EU that need glorification of Holocaust collaborators like a hole in the head”

DH’s Vilnius monitors, observing the event for a decade, report on “significant progress”: For the first time in many years, the far-right February 16 march, though at times noxious (e.g. when a group reveled in a “Noreika plaque photo-op”), had no visible banners glorifying local Holocaust collaborators and no visible swastikas on flags, and no organized chants of “Lietuva Lietuviams” (Lithuania for Lithuanians). By contrast, a few Latvian visitors wore jackets emblazoned with “Waffen SS”. At its conclusion, two of the march’s organizers approached our team for a civil discussion which turned to the participation of “non-Catholic & non-ethnic Lithuanians” in the war of independence leading to the rise of the democratic interwar Lithuanian Republic on 16 Feb. 1918.


Vilnius Authorities Again Gifting Capital’s Storied Old Town for Far-Right March on Cherished Independence Day

Are they celebrating the Holocaust and the massacre of Lithuanian Jewry?

Last year’s neo-Nazi event featured front banner glorifying a series of local Holocaust collaborators; it was addressed by a high Catholic Church official and “honored guest” neo-Nazis from abroad

2018 lead banner: “WE KNOW WHO OUR NATION’S HEROES ARE”. The “sanitized” event in central Vilnius featured a lead banner glorifying six Nazi collaborators, five of them deeply implicated in the Lithuanian Holocaust. The torchlit march, the day’s final event, made its way from Vilnius’s most sacred Catholic shrine down through the Old City, culminating at a street named for one of the collaborators who had advocated “only” ethnic cleansing of the country’s Jewish minority in 1941. PHOTO: © DEFENDING HISTORY.

Come and join Defending History’s monitoring team. Event scheduled to start Saturday 16 February 6 PM at Aušros Vartų. Facebook details; website.

See Defending History’s decade-long eyewitness coverage of far-right marches in Vilnius, Kaunas, and Riga.

and

A Short History Lesson:

All of interwar Lithuania’s 239 Jewish communities (massacred in 1941) cherished and celebrated February 16th with heart and soul. They were proud Lithuanian citizens. It was also their Independence Day. See the 2013 letter from the late Joe Melamed, longtime elected leader of the Association of Lithuanian Jews in Israel, and any of countless records and pictures. Here, a photo (with bilingual Hebrew and Lithuanian handwritten captions) of the Jews of Dorbyán (Darbėnai) celebrating February 16th 1928, the tenth anniversary of independence:


30 January 2019

AP Report on Netanyahu Government’s Alleged “Sale of Holocaust History” in Eastern Europe is carried by New York Times, Washington Post, & Israel’s Haaretz & YNet

See Israel Chronicle summary page; Israel section; Sam Sokol’s new paper.

Related: Matti Friedman’s New York Times op-ed on the politicization of Yad Vashem. Cf. Danny Ben-Moshe’s earlier op-ed in Jerusalem Report. See Defending History’s Yad Vashem section.

Highpoints of Israeli diplomacy on the Holocaust in Eastern Europe: Ambassador Chen Ivri Apter in 2009; Ambassador Joel Lion in 2018.

Lowpoint: Ambassador Amir Maimon in 2017 (his performance made it into the academic literature before he was even transferred to his next posting).


27 January 2019

Holocaust Remembrance Week 2019

In recent times, the greatest threat to Holocaust Remembrance Day is the Double Genocide Holocaust revisionist movement whose “constitution” is the 2008 Prague Declaration. Defending History is proud to have taken part in the Europarliamentary response, the 2012 Seventy Years Declaration. The relevance of all this to Holocaust Remembrance Day was made crystal clear nine years ago by Yehuda Bauer on the pages of the Jerusalem Post. See also the essay by Holocaust survivor and scholar, and former director of Yad Vashem, Dr. Yitzhak Arad,  in Defending History. Identity Films has just made available free online its 2012 documentary Rewriting History. Richard Bloom Productions has done the same for its 2013 film, Defending Holocaust History.

William Echikson’s new report on how European countries are treating their Holocaust history

Coverage of the report in Politico.eu; Grant Arthur Gochin’s blog in The Times of Israel.


26 January 2019

Vilma Fiokla Kiurė:

Why do Authorities Choose to Evict Roma in the Middle of the Baltic Winter?


ON OUR PAGES 7 YEARS AGO.    5 YEARS AGO.    3 YEARS AGO.


24 January 2019

“The rights of minority cemeteries to be left in peace are human rights”

Two Visualizations of a Convention Center in the Middle of Vilna’s  Old Jewish Cemetery

I: Lithuania’s State Bank (“Turto Bankas”) triumphantly issues its latest visualization for a national convention center  in the heart of the old Vilna Jewish cemetery, surrounded by thousands of Jewish graves. The huge new annex is “artfully” obscured (at the back).

2: Defending History issues its reply visualization. The people of Vilnius deserve a sparkling new convention center that will be a pride to all peoples everywhere, where they will be greeted by leaders of the arts, culture, music, politics, not by the tens of thousands of ghosts of the Jews of Vilna whose families purchased their burial plots in perpetuity. Join the 45,000 people who have signed Ruta Bloshtein’s international petition.


OLDER FRONT PAGE POSTS

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Person of the Year 2014


Pinchos Fridberg Defends HistoryProfessor Pinchos Fridberg, a Vilnius Holocaust Survivor, Stands Up to Powerful Forces with Singular Courage

The debate in English translation ◊ Danny Ben-Moshe in Jerusalem Report ◊ Which government commission continues to defame this Holocaust survivor? ◊ Appeal to commissioners ◊ DH’s Pinchos Fridberg section


Memory Lane in PDFs . . .

2008: Dana Gloger in the Jewish Chronicle; Arne Bengtsson in Baltic Worlds; 2009: Raphael Ahren in Haaretz; Avi Friedman in Mishpacha; 2010: Ricky Ben-David in the Jerusalem Post; Esther Goldberg in Canadian Jewish News; Cindy Mindell in the Jewish Ledger; 2011: Dovid Katz in JHC; 2012: Efraim Zuroff in Haaretz; Dovid Katz in London Jewish News; 2013: Bernard Dichek in Jerusalem Report


NEARLY A YEAR LATER, STILL NO APOLOGY!

Red-Brown Commission Continues to Call one of the Last Vilna Holocaust Survivors a “Liar” on its own Website  ♦  Background

 Is Commission out of commission?

 

NEW DOCUMENTARY FILM RELEASED

Richard BloomRichard Bloom’s Defending Holocaust History, a new documentary on “Double Genocide” Holocaust revisionism, focusing on Lithuania and Latvia, was released this month by Richard Bloom Productions.


Defending History Brings Real (But Not Enough) Results…

After 7 Years of Silence, Part of Lithuanian Government’s “Red-Brown Commission” Expresses “Sorrow and Anger” at “Unwarranted Attacks” on Yitzhak Arad

Yitzhak Arad

Yitzhak Arad

First Real Gesture Brings Praise; But No Mention of Prosecutors’ “Kangaroo War Crimes Investigation” or Urgent Need for Apology from Prosecutor and Political Leaders to Halt Ongoing Defamation of Dr. Arad — a Holocaust Survivor, Resistance Hero in the Struggle against Nazism, Veteran of Israel’s War of Independence and then General, Major Scholar of the Holocaust, Head of Yad Vashem for Over Two Decades (1972-1993)

His The Holocaust in the Soviet Union is a (2010) National Jewish Book Award winner

BACKGROUND

OUT OF COMMISSION?

PDF OF THE LETTER (dated 14 Oct; see our 11 Oct open letter appealing to commissioners’ conscience); Letter signed by all members except A. Bubnys, J. Brent, N. Naimark, J. Rainer, T. Snyder, F. Thom

Commission announces two separate sub-commissions, as in 1998 (PDF). Comment by Milan Chersonski (2008); by Rachel Kostanian (2013)

COMMISSION APPEARS TO BE HOPELESSLY SPLIT: AMONG THOSE WHO DID NOT SIGN IS THE COMMISSION’S REPRESENTATIVE FROM THE GENOCIDE CENTER (WHERE THE “INVESTIGATION” OF DR. ARAD WAS STARTED AND NEVER DISOWNED). HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS DISMAYED AT ATTEMPTED LEGITIMIZATION OF THE ANTISEMITIC GENOCIDE CENTER.


Ongoing defamation extends to prosecutors’ website, Wikipedia, new publications, and mass media; souvenir envelope on sale for years at Vilnius’s main post office; even a “human rights association”


No mention of other defamed Holocaust survivors, including Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky, Tel Aviv attorney Joseph Melamed, Dr. Rachel MargolisProfessor Pinchos Fridberg who continues to be defamed on the commission’s own website

YITZHAK ARAD’S 2012 PAPER ON HOLOCAUST OBFUSCATION AND THE PART PLAYED BY VILNIUS-BASED COMMISSION

No mention of the Prague Declaration that continues to feature on commission’s website as “truth” while Seventy Years Declaration is unmentioned; Eight courageous Lithuanian parliamentarians signed SYD, defying the commission; MP Andriukaitis’s bold 2012 reply to a right-wing minister’s broadside


RELATED: section on the commission; page; Holocaust survivors from Lithuania protest commission’s renewal in Israel and the US; Joe Melamed’s letter;  Pinchos Fridberg section

Heads of Zingeris-Racinskas commission

Are (right-wing) politicians running the show? Image: International Commission for the Evaluation of the Crimes of the Nazi and Soviet Occupational Regimes in Lithuania


RESIGNATIONS TO DATE FROM THE COMMISSION AND ASSOCIATED BODIES:

Sir Martin Gilbert and professors Gershon GreenbergKonrad Kwiet, and Dov Levin


Efraim Zuroff Slams New Attempt by Vilnius Genocide Center to Massage the Numbers — and Ethics — of the Local Perpetrators

MAARIV REPORTS

Evaldas Balčiūnas: A tale of inspiring courage in challenging the Genocide Center

Background: Page on Genocide Center and its texts in Genocide Museum and Gruto Parkas

See also DH sections:  Perpetrators Glorified; Double Genocide

Related: Chersonski replies to Aleksandravičius


Red-Brown Exhibit Opened in Berlin

REVIEW OF ITS RECENT STINT IN VILNIUS


One-Sided Vilna Ghetto Roadshow in Berlin?

(27-29 Oct)

CINDERELLA NOT INVITED TO THE BALL?  Her 92nd birthday was 28 Oct, in the middle of the conference.

Dr. Rachel Margolis, Vilna native, Vilna Ghetto survivor, heroic resistance fighter against the Nazis, co-founder of the Green House Holocaust museum in Vilnius, who rediscovered and published long lost diary of eyewitness to the Ponár massacres, defamed by Lithuanian state prosecutors, is not on the list of speakers in Berlin.

FROM RECENT YEARS: CHEN IVRI APTER, GORDON BROWN, US CONGRESSMEN, LORD JANNERBACKGROUND. FACT SHEET. RACHEL ON VIDEO. THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS.

Rachel Margolis of Vilnius


Meanwhile, in Rehovot, Rachel Margolis prepared to celebrate her 92nd birthday (Monday 28 Oct). PHOTO: HADAS PARUSH


RIGHT WING POLITICS IN PLAY AT BERLIN VILNA GHETTO CONFERENCE: The event is hosted by a Conservative Party (Christian Democratic Union) linked foundation that is itself part of the Centre for European Studies, a think tank affiliated with the right wing EPP that is itself an engine of red-brown Double Genocide politics in Europe. Chief of red-brown commission in town for the event.

QUESTION: Will there be any mention of the ghetto survivors defamed for posterity (in the absence of formal apologies) by branches of the Lithuanian government? The other painful issues including Double Genocide? Dr. Rachel Margolis rediscovered and published the diary of Kazimierz Sakowicz. More.

TRIBUTES ON FACEBOOK: RACHEL MARGOLIS’S BIRTHDAY

Rachel Margolis with Joseph Melamed (Oct 28th 2011 in Rehovot)

Dr. Rachel Margolis at her home in Rehovot, Israel, visited by Joseph Melamed, president of the Association of Lithuanian Jews in Israel, who was himself visited by agents of Interpol in 2011 on instructions from Lithuanian prosecutors.

Friends in Berlin may consider politely asking officials for official public apologies to the defamed Holocaust survivors, including:

Dr. Yitzhak Arad

Ms. Fania Brantsovsky

Professor Pinchos Fridberg

Dr. Rachel Margolis

Attorney Joseph Melamed

For summaries of some painful issues that need to be addressed in pursuit of reconciliation and mutual understanding, please see Monica Lowenberg’s petition, and Defending History’s proposed solutions.


 

Quote of the Month

BRITISH MP JOHN MANN

John Mann MP


“It is an industrial rewriting of history in Eastern Europe to excuse mass murders carried out on behalf of the Nazis.”

UK MP John Mann, October 2013

READ MORE

 

An Appeal to Conscience

of the German, Israeli and US members of the renewed state-financed “Red-Brown Commission”:

ARE YOU REALLY COMFORTABLE WITH THE COMMISSION’S

(1) continued public support for the 2008 Prague Declaration, and continued failure to mention the existence of the Seventy Years Declaration? (background)

(2) continued defamation of beloved Vilnius Holocaust survivor Prof. Pinchos Fridberg? (background)

(3) continued failure to publicly condemn the antisemitic prosecutorial defamation of Holocaust survivor and scholar Dr. Yitzhak Arad, a founding member of your own commission? Of Holocaust survivor and scholar Dr. Rachel Margolis? (background)

READ MORE

Dr. Shimon Alperovich (Simonas Alperavičius), Valiant Chair of the Lithuanian Jewish Community (1992 to Early 2013) Turns 85!

TRIBUTES ON FACEBOOK.  ALPEROVICH ON: DOUBLE GENOCIDE;  A FOREIGN MINISTER’S ANTISEMITIC TIRADE; STATE HONORS FOR HOLOCAUST COLLABORATORS, THE LAF & 1941 NAZI PUPPET GOV’T;  POLICY OF HONORING BOTH PERPETRATORS AND VICTIMS;  DEFAMATION OF JEWISH ANTI-NAZI PARTISAN HEROES (AND RED-BROWN COMMISSION’S SILENCE);  DISNEYLAND GHETTO PROJECTS.


History of Defending History…

2013: Bernard Dichek in The Jerusalem Report. Danny Ben-Moshe’s film Rewriting History2010:  Wendy Robbins on BBC World Service2010: Ricky Ben-David in the Jerusalem Post. 2009: Rafael Aaren in Haaretz. 2008: Arne Bengtsson in Baltic Worlds.


Selection of Essays on the Issues 

Yitzhak AradYehuda BauerDanny Ben-MosheGordon BrownAbraham CooperPinchos FridbergSir Martin GilbertClemens HeniDovid KatzJohn MannJonathan FreedlandLord JannerLeigh PhillipsLeyzer Ran FamilyTessa RajakHeidemarie UhlEfraim ZuroffVoices of Holocaust survivors.

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YOUR COUNTRY

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BOOKS / ARTS

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FILM & VIDEO

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CEMETERIES

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2014 Brussels Focus


Should the EU Really be Plowing Your Taxes into a “Platform” for  Double Genocide, Holocaust Obfuscation & the Prague Declaration? Their latest conflicts herehere & here.

Reconciliation of Histories” is Orwellian Doublespeak

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Real Progress


World Union for Progressive Judaism (WUPJ) “Fully Endorses” the Seventy Years Declaration (SYD)

Danny Ben-Moshe’s documentary in the USA; Richard Bloom’s on Youtube

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Person of the Year: Pinchos Fridberg

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Joseph Levinson: Website Launched

Levinson-2013

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Featured Interview: Roza Levitaite

Roza Levitaite Feb 2014

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Defending History Honors


BOLD CITIZENS WHO STAND UP FOR HISTORIC DIGNITY AND HUMAN RIGHTS IN LITHUANIA (AND ANYWHERE!)


 

When they’re afraid to publish in Balbíreshok, just bring it here…

Olga Zabludoff’s Open Letter to South African Litvaks, too hot for the South African Jewish Report, now appears here


Professor Karen Sutton’s Essential Book on the Lithuanian Holocaust

AVAILABLE AGAIN


RECENT BOOKS:

David Bankier’s Holocaust Testimonials from Provincial Lithuania.  Efraim Zuroff’s review.

Grant Arthur Gochin’s Malice, Murder, and Manipulation: One Man’s Quest for Truth.

Keith Morgan’s Ruta’s Closet.  Interview with the author.

Books Reviewed.  Film and Theatre.  Video and Radio.

 


 

 

Holocaust Survivors Protest Red-Brown Commission’s Vilnius Relaunch

Commission’s renewal comes with new defamation of Dr. Yitzhak Arad, former director of Yad Vashem. major scholar, and Holocaust survivor

DANNY BEN-MOSHE IN JERUSALEM REPORT

ON JEWISH COMMUNITY’S SITE. IN RUSSIAN: DH; LZBObzor.lt; Reporter; Shofar7.com

Yitzhak Arad’s paper covering the Commission’s role, government obfuscation of the Holocaust and the history of the Holocaust in Lithuanian sources

Commission’s website features the Prague Declaration and promotes Double Genocide; its chairman urged his country to adopt PD. Website defames Vilnius Holocaust survivor Prof. Pinchos Fridberg for having corrected an error. Still no public condemnation of the defamation of its own founding member Yitzhak Arad (or of Dr. Rachel Margolis and Joseph Melamed)

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS AND COMMENT BY HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS

PAGE, CRITIQUES AND SECTION ON THE COMMISSION. Recent PR event in Vilnius

Renewed Red-Brown Commissionfunded by government, has members from the Genocide Center, the parliamentary state security committee, scholars who have tried to mitigate the Nazi loyalties and Holocaust collaboration of the 1941 Lithuanian Activist Front (LAF) and Provisional Government, and, shockingly for Holocaust survivors (and under political pressure) — Yad Vashem

Resignations from the Commission (& associated bodies) on principle include Dr. Yitzhak Arad, Sir Martin Gilbert, Professor Gershon Greenberg, Professor Konrad Kwiet, Prof. Dov Levin

Commission Executive Director gives a very different spiel to Lithuanian audiences

Are the Commission’s academic members aware of the body’s entanglement in the political imbroglio over demands for Russian compensation? Is the East European Holocaust being instrumentalized in a contemporary geopolitical context?


 

De-Obfuscating a Complicated Story into its Simple Core:

2013: Bernard Dichek in The Jerusalem Report. 2012: Efraim Zuroff in Haaretz. 2011: Danny Ben-Moshe’s film Rewriting History. 2010:  Wendy Robbins on BBC World Service2010: Ricky Ben-David in the Jerusalem Post. 2010: Dovid Katz in the Guardian. 2009: Rafael Aaren in Haaretz. 2008: Arne Bengtsson in Baltic Worlds.

Survivors, Scholars and Public Figures Speak Out:

See: Yitzhak Arad  ◊  Yehuda Bauer  ◊ Danny Ben-Moshe  ◊  Gordon Brown  ◊  Abraham Cooper  ◊  Pinchos Fridberg  ◊  Sir Martin Gilbert  ◊  Clemens Heni  ◊  John Mann  ◊  Jonathan Freedland  ◊  Lord Janner  ◊  Leigh Phillips  ◊  Leyzer Ran Family  ◊  Tessa Rajak  ◊  Heidemarie Uhl  ◊  Efraim Zuroff  ◊  More voices of Holocaust Survivors

AS

“Double Genocide” Lands in the United States of America

BY STEALTH BOMBER OUT OF THE EAST, UNDER THE RADAR

One of the demands of the 2008 Prague Declaration is “approved” by the US

Are US officials aware of the 2012 Seventy Years Declaration response?

What is “Double Genocide”?

                                                                                            by Irina Izhogina


Holocaust Survivors from Lithuania Propose a Simple Honesty Test for Gala Sutzkever Events in Vilnius

Sutzkever in Vilna (Wilno, Vilnius)

Avrom Sutzkever as a young poet inVilna (from Defending History archive)

SEE ALSO:

TRANSLATION PRIZE SAGA;  OPINIONS OF HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS; THE PATTERN OF DOUBLE GAMES; 2012 SLSer SADDENED THAT MILAN CHERSONSKI WAS DROPPED FROM FACULTY. WAS HIS MESSAGE  UNACCEPTABLE? SEE MILAN CHERSONSKI SECTION.

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT?


 

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA: REWRITING HISTORY COMING ON WEEKEND OF 3-4 AUGUST 2013

UK: GLASGOW, LEEDS, LIVERPOOL, LONDON, MANCHESTER, NEWCASTLE IN JULY 2013

A DOZEN SYNAGOGUES SCREEN DANNY BEN-MOSHE’S REWRITING HISTORY

United Synagogue of Great Britain Signs the Seventy Years Declaration

Film’s website  ◊  Reviews  ◊  Seventy Years Declaration (SYD)  ◊  SYD debates   ◊  SYD text  ◊  in European languages  ◊  Danny Ben-Moshe


A European Battle for Memory — and for Human Rights

The Debate in: AustraliaCanadaEUIsraelSouth AfricaUKUSA

London screenings of the documentary film Rewriting History

Litvak tourism, exotic tourism and dark tourism

Racism, antisemitism and homophobia in high places: Zeppelinus is key official at the Economy MinistryDoesn’t like our editor

Antisemitism and Honors for Holocaust collaborators

Red-Brown Commission blues

———

Evaldas Balčiūnas on Holocaust perpetrators made into “heroes”

Milan Chersonski on young Lithuanian anti-fascists who speak up against the glorification of Holocaust perpetrators

Aleksanders Feigmanis on an unmarked Holocaust grave in Riga

Leena Hietanen on Germany’s president who is getting into bed with Estonian Holocaust revisionists

Dovid Katz in Hope not Hate on glorification of Nazi war criminals by an EU/NATO government and the same country’s neo-Nazis

Geoff Vasil on sophisticated attempts to sanitize Holocaust perpetrators

Lina Žigelytė on the neo-Nazis’ hatred of feminists

Efraim Zuroff in The Times of Israel on a Latvian celebration of the anniversary of… the 1941 Nazi invasion


Explore Defending History

What it’s all abut.  Articles.  Authors.  Countries.  Sections.  Opinion.  Books.  Film.  Litvak Culture,  Litvak Studies (& map).  Litvak Tourism (Dark Tourism too).  Lithuanian Holocaust Studies (& map with shtetl list).  Human Rights & LGBT issues.  Antisemitism.  Local citizens who stand up.  More

ISSUES INCLUDE: Double Genocide” & “Red-Brown Commission”; “Prague Declaration” (response: Seventy Years Declaration);   “heroization” of collaboratorsaccusations against survivors;  criminalization of debate;  More


German and Estonian Presidents in Photo-op at “Double Genocide” Shrine in Tallinn

LEENA HIETANEN REPORTS FROM TALLINN

Tallinn photo-op with red-brown backdrop: Estonian president Toomas Hendrik Ilves (left) with German president Joachim Gauck (Postimees—Erik Peinar). The modernist sculptural salute to red-brown equivalence, in the heart of an EU capital, showcases the curious supposed equality of the perpetrators and the liberators of Auschwitz. More red-brown iconography here.


A Vilnius Library with an Agenda?

Wyman Brent’s prophecy fulfilled?

Official invitation of the “Vilnius Jewish Public Library” to recent event glorifying the “Red-Brown Commission” without a single critic of the commission included in the panel.  Geoff Vasil’s eyewitness report The evening of elite Red-Brown Commission worship  featured two top Commission operatives.

Previous event at “Jewish Library” included featured speaker from the antisemitic Genocide Center who the previous week (in the mainstream Lithuanian media) publicly belittled the Holocaust history of “Israeli [he means: Jewish] scholars” in his attempt to sanitize the LAF/PG 1941 killers of Lithuanian Jewry. English translation of his interview; Geoff Vasil replied in Defending History.

See section on the Library

But where were all these “Jewish culture loving dignitaries” when over a thousand neo-Nazis, some sporting swastikas, marched passed the library’s entrance on the nation’s independence day?

IS THE “JEWISH” LIBRARY STILL COURTING NAIVE FOREIGNERS AND ‘USEFUL JEWISH IDIOTS’ IN ZINGERIAN RED-BROWN CAMPAIGN?

———

From the Red-Brown Commission’s website:

Commission’s executive director calls beloved Vilnius Holocaust survivor a “liar” on Commission’s website;  Exec director’s performance in Rigaat Seimas (for a different audience…); in Rewriting History

Background on the “Red-Brown Commission”


 

Vilnius: Would a “Jewish Museum” Graywash the Holocaust?

RELATED: DARK TOURISM (FOCUSED ON THE ADULATION FOR HOLOCAUST COLLABORATORS THAT LEADS TO SANITIZATION AND GLORIFICATION);  WHAT WERE THE INTENTIONS OF THE LITHUANIAN ACTIVIST FRONT (LAF) BEFORE WAR BROKE OUT? MORE. 2011 EVENTS TO HONOR THEM

SEE ARTICLES BY EVALDAS BALCIUNAS AND MILAN CHERSONSKI

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Litvak & Yiddish


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Jerusalem of Lithuania


Tribute to Milan Chersonski: a dozen years as editor of Lithuania’s last Jewish newspaper

logo of Jerusalem of Lithuania newspaper

VIDEO TRIBUTE HERE

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Zeppelinus


Official at Economy Ministry is Still Hard at Work on Antisemitic-Racist-Homophobic “Economics”

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Lithuanian Anti-Fascist Group Mounts Protest in Kaunas Against Glorification of 1941 LAF Killers on Anniversary of the Day the Killing Started

Courageous Antifa Lietuva banner reads: “Real heroes rescued people instead of killing them. Remember the victims of the Holocaust”

Milan Chersonski was there. His report on the event. His take: “Let the world know that not everyone in Lithuania tolerates the distortion of history.” 

Milan Chersonski (second from right) is not the only one in town taking pictures of the banner and the handful of demonstrators. Police photographed anti-fascist participants and asked names and addresses (as last February).

The group of courageous demonstrators at the Lietukis Garage memorial, in a city-center courtyard in Kaunas

Milan Chersonski walks with the small group of Antifa Lietuva demonstrators who marched the same route though Kaunas old town that throngs of neo-Nazis take each year on February 16th. This year the neo-Nazis’ banner had honored the 1941 Nazi puppet prime minister on whose watch the  Lithuanian Holocaust began.

MORE IMAGES HERE

 Antifa Lietuva’s report on the event; on Facebook

MEANWHILE, GENOCIDE CENTER’S MEMBER OF GOV’S RENEWED “RED-BROWN COMMISSION” WAS BUSY SANITIZING THE LAF (AND DISMISSING THE  HISTORIC EVIDENCE OF “ISRAELI” SCHOLARS) IN NATIONAL MEDIASome of the sources.

Could there really be a “June 23rd Street” in Vilnius?

Background: Evaldas BalčiūnasMilan ChersonskiSection on collaborators glorifiedHonors for collaborators in public spaces.  Reburial of 2012.  Historical readings.  More on June 1941.

INTERNATIONAL PETITION

Milan Chersonski (Vilnius):

Rehabilitation of the Past as a Tool in Modern Politics

Kazys Skirpa Street in Kaunas

Street name in Kaunas for the head of the “Lithuanian Activist Front” (in Berlin) whose hateful radio addresses incited mobs to mass murder.

The lecture hall at Vytautas Magnus University named for the actual Nazi puppet prime minister Juozas Ambrazevičius (Brazaitis) who signed papers confirming German orders for sending the Jews of his city (KAUNAS) to a concentration camp, and for incarcerating all the rest in the ghetto. The 2012 reburial saga.

Leena Hietanen (Tallinn) on the bestseller novel Purge:

Double Genocide: A Literary Jackpot?

Cover of the Novel 'purge'

Background: Sections on Double Genocide and Collaborators GlorifiedYitzhak Arad’s paper on the academic evolution of the revisionist paradigm; Efraim Zuroff’s “The Equivalency Canard”; articles by Danny Ben-Moshe and Dovid Katz.
SEE ALSO: Books

Litvak Holocaust Survivors: Betrayed Again?

State-sponsored “red-brown commission” in Vilnius posts new list of members

Commission has caused concern among survivors themselves: Yitzhak Arad, Pinchos Fridberg, Dov Levin, Joseph Melamed, Basheva Ran. A decade and a half of issues.

Still no apology to commission’s former (& founding) member Yitzhak Arad after massive state-sponsored defamation

In 2013, Commission defames Vilnius survivor Pinchos Fridberg on its website, and uses conference in Riga to attack Defending History. Commission member from the Genocide Center uses 23 June 2013 in newest attempt to whitewash 1941 LAF collaborators and perpetrators, in defiance of the history. Accidental omission? His entry on Commission members’ list (with no hint of “completely separate subcommissions”) omits the “detail” that he is director of the “Genocide and Resistance Research Department” at the Genocide Center… 

MORE HERE


 FILM

Screening tour of Rewriting History in the UK (London July 10th 2013), presented by Danny Ben-Moshe. RELATED: US tour.

Documentary films by Richard Bloom (USA) and Christian Carlsen (Germany), both scheduled for release on 23 Sept 2013. SEE ALSO: Film listings and Film & Theatre section.


 The Clock is Ticking…

A Time for Loyalty to Litvak (and All) Holocaust Survivors

TO EVERY THING THERE IS A TIME UNDER THE SUN…


A Need for De-Obfuscation?

Newest Word for Holocaust Revisionism in Eurospeak? “ISTME” (pronounced Is-it-me?) comes under “Science and Technology”!

Is the EU Again Being Bamboozled with “Double Genocide”? Are fine scholars again unwittingly instrumentalized for DG?

More red-equals-brown movement dissemination, now via “Science and Technology”? Orwellian concoctions to downgrade the Holocaust and stifle debate include: “Reconciliation of European Histories”, “Platform of European Memory”, “principle of non-discrimination of victimhood” and now, under “European cooperation in science and technology” (!) a brand new “Euro-classic”: In Search of Transcultural Memory in Europe (ISTME)

Will it be a fair and balanced conference in Cracow on 16-18 Sept. 2013? Will there be critical papers on the Prague Declaration (and SYD), Double Genocide? state-sponsored glorification of Nazi collaborators (in CroatiaHungaryLatviaLithuaniaUkraine)? arbitrary redefinition of genocide? attempts to incriminate survivors who joined the anti-Nazi resistance? “red-brown” laws restricting free speech in Hungary and Lithuania?

RELATED: Was Montero instrumentalized in 2011When the EU “just said No”  (2010) [background]; EU section.


Shrines for Nazis, in the EU

ambrazeviciusInternational Petition Tops 750 Mark; Progress Seen, as Organizers of Kaunas “Religious Heritage” Conference Reported to Seek Alternative Venue; Vytautas Magnus University Continues to Honor City’s 1941 Nazi Puppet Prime Minister who Presided over Initiation of the Lithuanian Holocaust

He was honored by the central government too in a fiasco including Kaunas’s university. Its leading historian told the press that reburying the fascist underlines “the drama of Lithuanian history” and lamented that administrators were “afraid of getting hit over the head by the Jews with a club.” The city’s Jewish population, once over 30,000, is now several hundred, close to statistical zero.

Defending History urges people of conscience politely to refrain from entering the building until the shrines are removed.

Kaunas June July 1941

What was going on in Kaunas (Kovno) during the tenure of the June-August 1941 “Provisional Government”? Here, white-armbanders loyal to the gov take women citizens to humiliation and death because they are Jewish…

Related: Evaldas Balčiūnas on a military academy named for someone with Nazi-era biographical gaps…..

zemaitis military academy

28-30 May 2013

Fireworks in Jerusalem

Times of Israel coverage by Raphael Ahren. Comment by: Abraham FoxmanClemens Heni, Robert Wistrich, Efraim ZuroffMore debate.

27-28 May 2013

Fireworks in Riga

On the Watch, In Real Time

DEFENDING HISTORY MONITORS THE EAST EUROPEAN EXPORT OF REVISIONIST HOLOCAUST HISTORY, ATTEMPTS AT GLORIFICATION OF LOCAL COLLABORATORS, AND THE ACCOMPANYING RACISM, ANTISEMITISM AND HOMOPHOBIA

CHECKING ON THE INTERNATIONAL SCENE:

AustraliaCanadaEUIsraelSouth AfricaUKUSA

DEFENDING HISTORY SUPPORTS HOLOCAUST SURVIVORS, RESISTANCE HEROES AGAINST NAZISM, EAST EUROPEAN JEWISH COMMUNITIES, YIDDISH LANGUAGE AND CULTURE; WITH EMPHASIS ON THE LITVAK CULTURE, LEGACY, HISTORY AND FUTURE

MISSION    MEDIA    NEWS    LITVAK CULTURE & TOURISM

Rewriting History    More documentaries    SYD    Donate    Facebook    Neo-Nazis target DefendingHistory.com    But many courageous citizens stand up with courage


22 May 2013

Admirers, in Vilnius, say ‘Happy Birthday’ on Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky’s 91st

Veteran of the Vilna Jewish partisans, Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky answers questions from an international audience that came to celebrate her 91st birthday (at the Jewish Community of Lithuania, in the room dedicated to veterans of the Jewish resistance against the Nazis). She was one of the victims, in recent years, of local prosecutors’ kangaroo “war crimes investigations” against Lithuanian Jews who survived the Holocaust precisely because they joined the anti-Nazi resistance.

Brantsovsky set the tone for public resistance early on, in May 2008, in Jerusalem Post interview, concurrent with the Wiesenthal Center’s letter to the then Lithuanian ambassador in Israel, and followed by the Jewish community’s own protest. The campaign of defamation has extended to some of the last Lithuanian Holocaust survivors, including Dr. Yitzhak AradProf. Sara GinaiteDr. Rachel Margolis, and attorney Joseph Melamed, head of the world’s last active associations of Litvak survivors. There has been massive international reaction including the Australian made documentary film Rewriting Historyand the American Defending Holocaust History (scheduled for 23 Sept 2013 release).

HELP SAVE THE FOREST FORT WHERE FANIA YOCHELES AND ANOTHER 100 JEWISH SURVIVORS OF THE VILNA GHETTO FOUGHT THE NAZIS

There is still time for Lithuania’s government to end the six hundred year pre-Holocaust sharing of space in the spirit of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania on the happier note of reconciliation via public apologies to the defamed Jewish partisans (who continue to be defamed in new publications, e.g. “Intermarium” and on Wikipedia etc).

14-15 May 2013

Another EU Supported Lopsided “Double Genocide” Conference, This Time — in Warsaw, Courtesy of the Red-Brown “Platform”

Not one presentation on EU states’ glorification of local Holocaust perpetrators (including street names and reburials of Nazi collaborators; commemorations in EstoniaHungaryLatviaLithuania); criminalization of debateHolocaust ObfuscationDouble Genocide; distortionist “genocide museums” and “genocide centers”; state accusations against survivorsfailure to seriously prosecute Nazi war criminals and the need for study of underlying narrative-revising motives; red-brown commission’s campaign against a courageous Holocaust survivor in 2013; issues with the Prague Declaration; the Seventy Years Declaration.

Survivor circles express quiet regret that DC’s Holocaust Museum (USHMM) unwittingly supports revisionist agenda by legitimizing, via simple participation, another Double Genocide event in Europe. At earlier events, USHMM was one of an array of “useful Western legitimizers” but this time around it is the only one.

9 May 2013

Jewish Community of Lithuania Honors Veterans of the War Against Hitler

Jewish children lead each of the surviving Jewish veterans of World War II to the rapturous welcome of a huge crowd at the Jewish Community of Lithuania’s headquarters in central Vilnius.

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Exposé in Lithuania


Three Major Lithuanian Sites Claim that Neo-Nazi Internet Figure “Zeppelinus,” a Hater of Poles, Jews, Roma, Russians, Blacks and Gays is actually…

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Efraim Zuroff on Baltic antisemitism

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Monica Lowenberg in London Jewish News

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Bernard Dichek in Jerusalem Report

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Seventy Years Declaration


Seventy Years Declaration (image)

Didier Bertin Launches Seventy Years Declaration (SYD) in France; MP Marietta  Karamanli is most recent signatory
SYD IN 13 LANGUAGES; SYD SECTION; SYD’S LAUNCH & MEDIA
Question: But what was so wrong with the “Prague Declaration”?
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Events in April & May 2013


ISGAP Seminars

♦ April 10th & 18th: Berlin “Red-Brown” Seminars

♦ April 16th: Washington DC Premiere of Rewriting History

♦ April 18th:  Richmond, Virginia Premiere of Rewriting History

♦ April 28th: Los Angeles Premiere of Rewriting History

♦ Riga Conference on Holocaust Issues (Shamir Foundation)

♦ Global Forum on Combating Antisemitism (Jerusalem)

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Riga


Annual Glorification of Latvia’s Hitler-Serving Waffen SSInternational Petition

Waffen SS Riga

Opinion: R. BRODSKYLATVIA’S UK AMBASSADORMONICA LOWENBERG

JOËL RUBINFELD’S NEWSLETTER ON EVENTS OF MARCH 16TH

Reports: APDelfiFoxJ. Kaža; Jewish News — JNS.orgReutersRIART (video2); Times of IsraelWashington PostYNetVideo of wreath layingYahoo.  Gallery of imagesMore media. WWN media list.
 ◊

MARINA SOLODKIN’S DEATH AND HER LAST PUBLIC STATEMENT


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Shock of 2012: 1941 Nazi Puppet Prime Minister Reburied with Full Honors



Compiled by Dovid Katz

EU/NATO Ally Honors Holocaust Collaborator; Lithuanian Jewish Community Issues Protest; 3 US Congressmen Write to Prime Minister

Remains of 1941 fascist leader  Juozas Ambrazevičius (Brazaitis) met by honor guard at Vilnius Airport on 17 May 2012 and reburied in Kaunas’s Church of the Resurrection on the 20th, as city’s mayor dismisses criticism.

Office of the prime minister, who signed off on government funding (€8,700 / US $11,000)defends reburial & honors of the 1941 Nazi puppet “prime minister” who personally signed the protocols confirming Nazi orders for (1) “all means” against Jews (but avoiding executions in public); (2)  setting up a concentration camp for Lithuanian Jews [euphemism for the carnage underway at the Seventh Fort]; (3) all Kaunas Jews to be herded into a ghetto within 4 weeks (English here).

SEE ALSO:

Collaborators Glorified section

Previous sanitization program

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On Lithuanian Holocaust Issues…


A MAJOR NEW PAPER BY YITZHAK ARAD

BEFORE NATO/EU ACCESSION  &  AFTERWARDS

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Explore Defending History…


By Author. By Section: •BooksExotic TourismHistoryFascists Glorified? •Litvak AffairsSeventy Years Declaration (TEXT) •Film & Theatre  •Politics of Memory

By Country: •CanadaEstoniaHungaryIsraelLatviaSouth AfricaUkraineUK •USA

For Lithuanian-Jewish (Litvak) study & tourism.

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Ukrainian Holocaust-Revisionist Museum Seeks Legitimacy with Well-Oiled North American Tour; Dr. Rudling Protests


1: Ultranationalists sponsor a North American lecture tour for a Lviv-based museum director. Harvard University (18 Oct) and a meeting with Canada’s prime minister (19 Oct) included.
2: Lund University (Sweden) historian Dr. Per Anders Rudling protests.

Dr. Per Anders Rudling

3: Canadian organizations complain to the vice-chancellor in Sweden about Dr. Rudling.
4: Exclusive: Per Anders Rudling in DefendingHistory
5: Scholars issue open letter
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2012: Voices of Courage


Lithuanian Citizens Spoke Out

Eight Signatories of SYD: MEPs Justas Paleckis, Vilija Blinkevičiūtė; MPs Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis, Justinas Karosas, Marija Aušrinė Pavilionienė, Julius Sabatauskas, Algirdas Sysas, Birutė Vėsaitė
Dr. Shimon Alperovich (Simonas Alperavičius)
MP Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis2, 3, 4
MPs V.P. Andriukaitis and A. Sysas
Algis Davidavičius

MEP Leonidas Donskis: 1 & 2

Dr. Darius Udrys
Documentary films by: Saulius Beržinis; Alicija Žukauskaitė
Nine demonstrators at the opening of Vilnius University’s exhibit for an antisemitic and homophobic artist
plus many Lithuanian-citizen signatories of Olga Zabludoff’s petition against the capital’s neo-Nazi march, Krystyna Anna Steiger’s against memorials to Nazi collaborators, and Monica Lowenberg’s calling on the Lithuanian government to take simple and honorable steps
plus DefendingHistory regulars Evaldas Balčiūnas, Milan Chersonski, Geoff Vasil
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2012: SYD is Here to Stay


The Seventy Years Declaration (SYD)

Europe’s first parliamentary response to the Prague Declaration of 2008

An end to the “Prague Process” era of unchallenged Double Genocide and Holocaust Obfuscation spin

Text of the Declaration: in English ◊ in Finnish ◊ in French ◊ in German ◊ in Lithuanian ◊ in Russian ◊ in Polish ◊ in Yiddish

Presented to the President of the European Parliament; video clip

Early debates & coverage

Just Released:

Website ◊ Reviews ◊ YouTube

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2013 on Wrong Note in Capitals of Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania


WARSAW:  Statue of “Praying Hitler” is unveiled in the Warsaw Ghetto. Reports in the Guardian, Daily Mail, Huffington Post.

——

KIEV: Eleonora Groisman, president of the Ukrainian Independent Council of Jewish Women, speaks out on renewed antisemitism coming from nationalist party. Meantime, nationalists celebrate memory of the fascist Bandera.

——

VILNIUS: Plans underway for annual neo-Nazi march on nation’s independence day. Olga Zabludoff relaunches international petition.


2012 — Quite a Year for Defending History

Brussels, January 20th:

The Seventy Years Declaration, the first serious EU level challenge to the 2008 Prague Declaration, was signed by 71 EU parliamentarians. Never again would the Double Genocide “Prague Process” be sold as undisputed “truth” in the European conversation. Spirited debate ensued.

Aftermath:

Lithuanian foreign minister berates his eight countrymen (all Social Democrats) who signed the SYD, and makes infamous “moustache remark” about Hitler and Stalin. MP Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis (now minister of health) replied powerfully. So did UK MP and author Denis MacShane. Andres Spokoiny’s tribute to MP Andriukaitis.

MP (& health minister) Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis

Vilnius, January 27th:

President of Lithuania honors Brandeis professor Antony Polonsky for “the promotion of Lithuania’s name in the world.” Issues  include the definition of “genocide,” the Prague Declaration, the Rachel Margolis case, and instrumentalization in an international campaign of government PR.


Tallinn, February 14th:

Estonia’s parliament passes the infamous “Valentine Day’s Law” that paves the way for official state glorification of the country’s Waffen SS.

On 28 August 1942, the anniversary of Tallinn’s capture a year earlier by Nazi forces, Estonian General Commissar SA-Obergruppenführer Karl Siegmund Litzmann announced that the German higher authorities had authorized formation of the Estonian Legion that would operate under the Waffen-SS.


Kaunas, February 16th:

Neo-Nazi march, complete with legalized “Lithuanian swastikas” covers all of central Kaunas on the nation’s February independence day, is addressed by supportive members of parliament.


Tel Aviv, March 5th:

Holocaust survivors, most in their late 80s, lead a picket line at the Dan Panorama in Tel Aviv as a group of wealthy South African Jews of Litvak descent honor the foreign minister who had insulted the Jewish community and Holocaust survivors on various occasions.


Vilnius, March 11th:

Neo-Nazi march, complete with legalized “Lithuanian swastikas” covers all of the central boulevard of the capital city, Vilnius, on the nation’s March 11th independence day. Right-wing members of parliament were on hand to support the neo-Nazis.


Strasbourg, March 14th:

Seventy Years Declaration is presented to Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament.


Riga, March 16th:

The annual parade and ceremony to h0nor Latvia’s Waffen SS again goes forward in central Riga with massive support from the central government.

Dr. Efraim Zuroff (center), director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Israel office, is one of the leaders of a dignified protest that included placing a wreath for the victims of the Holocaust on a day dedicated to honoring local pro-Nazi forces.


Vilnius & Kaunas in May:

Lithuanian government invests tens of thousands of litas to repatriate, rebury with full honors amidst glittering events the 1941 Nazi puppet prime minister who personally signed confirmation of the orders for all the Jewish citizens of his city (Kovno/Kaunas) to be herded into a ghetto within four weeks. American embassy issues shamefully “balanced” statement at the glorification of the Nazi PM, as if Nazism merits a “balanced diplomatic nuancing” in the 21st century (but in September three congressmen issued a morally solid letter of protest). Powerful responses came from Liberal MEP Leonidas Donskis, from Social Democratic MP Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis, and the Jewish Community of Lithuania.

The most unbelievable image of 2012: An EU/NATO partner government invests in glorification of its 1941 Nazi puppet prime minister.


Zhager (Žagarė), July 13th:

A partnership between a local Lithuanian businessmen, members of the municipality, and foreigners of Litvak origin team up to produce Lithuania’s first and only (?) town center plaque that tells the simple truth about the fate of the town’s Jewish population.


Vilnius, August:

Lithuanian president signs order for renewal and enlargement of the Zingeris-Racinskas “Red-Brown Commission”; in return for various diplomatic favors, Israeli and American support provides cover. A public statement and protest letter were issued by the last association in Israel of Lithuanian Holocaust survivors.


Tel Aviv, September:

The untimely death of former Israeli ambassador to Latvia and Lithuania, HE Chen Ivri Apter, is followed by Leivick House’s release of 2009 video from the Tel Aviv event to honor defamed Holocaust survivor, resistance hero and historian Dr. Rachel Margolis, during which the ambassador powerfully addressed the Double Genocide movement head on.


Sydney & Melbourne, September:

Documentary film Rewriting History (Marc Radomsky and Danny Ben-Moshe) is released in Australia. The story of Defending History is one of its central themes…


Vilnius, September 24th:

Jailhouse Rock: Israeli dignitaries play to the hilt the Zingerian roles assigned to them for the latest Jewish farce in town: The Menachem Begin plaque on the jailhouse wall.


Vilnius, September 27th:

Nine young protesters picket the opening of an exhibit at Vilnius University of the artwork of a racist, antisemitic, homophobic envelope designer.


Lund, Lviv & Canada, October:

Dr. Per Anders Rudling of Lund University, Sweden, leads the international effort to expose the lecture tour arranged by Ukrainian-Canadian nationalists for the head of a museum that obfuscates the Holocaust in Lviv. Dr. Rudling attacked by the nationalists, supported by fellow academics. In the meantime, blanket silence over the appearance of the Holocaust distorter at Harvard, and the (uninformed) praise by the Canadian prime minister.

Dr. Per Anders Rudling


Vilnius, November:

Major red-brown conference in Vilnius with the outgoing prime minister as headline speaker. Pre-eventevent; Evaldas Balčiūnas; Pinchos FridbergGeoff Vasil.


London, December:

Knighted professor (see January 27th above) organizes a second UCL conference in London. Ninety year old Holocaust survivor leads simultaneous protest at the Lithuainan embassy in London.


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The Waffen SS in Estonia, Latvia, Ukraine



Campaigns underway to glorify the Waffen SS in 3 countries — for both domestic and international consumption

Estonia (Estonia section)

Latvia (Latvia sectionUK connection; Monica Lowenberg’s petition)

Ukraine (Ukraine sectionCanada connection; Canada section)

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Loss of Loyal Friends


Ambassador Chen Ivri Apter

Prof. S. S. Prawer

Prof. Harry Shukman

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Menachem Begin


JAILHOUSE ROCK AT VILNIUS PRISON

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Glorifying a Nazi Puppet of 1941


in 2012!

CONGRESSMEN SPEAK OUT

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Litvak Corner


TourismMap of Jewish LithuaniaLitvak HeritageExotic TourismDark Tourism. Litvak Forum. Holocaust mapEfraim Zuroff on 3 new books.

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Petitions in Progress


Krystyna Steiger on LithuaniaMonica Lowenberg on Latvia ◊ and on Lithuania ◊ Olga Zabludoff on Nazi marches in central Vilnius

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Far and Wide


Hollande on French collaboration; but Lithuanian FM wants Double Genocide to feature in EU presidency
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(Real) Litvak Forum


 Petition
 זשאַגער (Zhager) by Rod Freedman; by Sara Manobla; by Rose Zwi; by DH.com
 Bankier’s last book
 Cassedy reviewed by Allan Nadler; by Efraim Zuroff; by Olga Zabludoff; by Dovid Katz
 אחשוורוש מעדאַלן
 Forward’s Paul Berger on “Sunflower Litvaks” (PDF)
Reply to Economist
 Berzhinis’s film
 Landsbergis
 Račinskas brand of “Holocaust studies”
 In London Jewish News
 “Moderate Litvaks”
 Dictionary

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MEP Donskis


When the news came out, he issued a bold statement within minutes
Then he wrote an essay that could outlive all the rest
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Baltics


Estonia: Valentine’s Day Law
Latvia: Waffen SS
Lithuania: Nazi ‘PM’ Honored. UN on swastikas.
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Hungary


State honors collaborator:  Elie Wiesel & Knesset Speaker Rivlin react

Romania

Obfuscator is appointed minister

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Litvak Tourism


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Jewish Lithuania


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Holocaust Survivors Picket TA ‘Gala’ Where South African Bigwigs Honor Lithuanian Right-Wing Politician


Kovno Ghetto Survivor and Resistance Hero Joe Melamed, 87, Leads March 5th 2012 Picket Line Against “Sellout Gala” at the Tel Aviv Dan Panorama

MORE IMAGES

Lithuanian Foreign Minister and Brothers Zingeris are Greeted by Protesting Holocaust Survivors

A FIRST-TIME PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN LEYVIK HOUSE YIDDISH CULTURE CENTER, THE SIMON WIESENTHAL CENTER ISRAEL OFFICE AND THE ASSOCIATION OF LITHUANIAN JEWS IN ISRAEL

Report on YNET.  The Times of Israel.  15min.lt.  Itongadol.com.  Agencia Judia.  Forverts (Yiddish Forward).    Background.  More.

Holocaust survivors Shlomo Cheskov (left, from Shavl/Šiauliai), and Joseph Melamed (from Kovno/Kaunas) at the Tel Aviv demonstration. Mr. Cheskov’s sign says (in Yiddish) “With our partisan heroes, against neo-Nazism. We are here!” Mr. Melamed’s (in Hebrew) addressed to the South African businessmen diners at the gala dinner: “Dear Diners! Where is your conscience? Your solidarity with Holocaust survivors and resistance fighters and partisans?” Photo: Bella Bryks-Klein.

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Seventy Years Declaration Joins the European Conversation on 20 January 2012


The Seventy Years Declaration

Solemnly commemorates the Holocaust and reaffirms human rights of all people. Opposes the Prague Declaration and ‘Double Genocide’ politics. Rejects glorification of the Waffen SS of Estonia and Latvia and the Lithuanian Activist Front (LAF).

Lithuania’s foreign minister’s “moustache response” came within minutes of SYD’s release.

 ———

TEXT AND LIST OF FOUNDING SIGNATORIES

PRESENTED TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT

UPDATE: DOCUMENTARY FILM RELEASED

SYD TEXT IN BELARUSIAN; ENGLISHFRENCH;  GERMAN;  LITHUANIAN;  POLISHRUSSIAN; SPANISHYIDDISHLIST OF UK SIGNATORIES;  LITHUANIAN FOREIGN MINISTER ATTACKS SIGNATORIES WITHIN MINUTES

MEDIA COVERAGE

 ———

Danny Ben-Moshe launches SYD in the Jerusalem PostSYD published. Lithuanian Foreign Minister responds in minutes with infamous “moustache comparison” of Hitler and Stalin, later attacks Lithuanian parliamentarians who signed. UK MP Denis MacShane congratulates the Lithuanian Eight who signed. Vytenis Andriukaitis, signatory of nation’s Declaration of Independence, replies to FM. Roger Cohen in the New York Times. Gang-up on Lithuanian radio panelAJForwardHaaretzJC.

British parliamentarian tells Lithuanian signatories of the 70 Years Declaration:

“I know it must be lonely to take a stand on such a controversial subject but wanted to write to you to say you are not alone and every decent British and European citizen stands with you.”

— UK MP Denis MacShane

DefendingHistory.com congratulates the Lithuanian parliamentarians among the founding 70 signatories of the Seventy Years Declaration for their courage, integrity, love of all their country’s peoples, and genuine commitment to European values:

Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis, MP

Vilija Blinkevičiūtė, MEP

Justinas Karosas, MP

Justas Paleckis, MEP

Marija Aušrinė Pavilionienė, MP

Julius Sabatauskas, MP

Algirdas Sysas, MP

Birutė Vėsaitė, MP

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Social Democrats Stood Up


Boldly defying the right wing government’s Holocaust politics, a number of leading Lithuanian Social Democrats have stood up with courage. Six MPs and two MEPs signed the SYD. They were attacked by the current foreign minister in his “moustache reply” and an article (and in a “cooked” radio panel).

MP Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis, the SD foreign affairs spokesman, replied robustly. UK MP Denis MacShane sent personal letters to each of the signatories. Then, two Social Democratic MPs issued a statement in the Seimas protesting the state’s honoring of the 1941 Nazi puppet prime minister.

MP Andriukaitis challenged the foreign minister on the floor of the Seimas.

OTHER BOLD CITIZENS SPEAK OUT

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Admirers Celebrate


90th Birthday of Dr. Rachel Margolis

Tel Aviv attorney Joe Melamed, head of the Association of Lithuanian Jews, celebrating Dr. Rachel Margolis’s 90th birthday in Rechovot

Left her safe haven with righteous Christians to join her family in the Vilna Ghetto. Joined the Jewish underground anti-Nazi resistance. Witness to creation of the Yiddish Partisan Hymn.

Escaped to join the partisans and fought valiantly against the Nazis in the forests of Lithuania. The only one in her family to survive the Holocaust.

Volunteered for the short-lived Jewish museum after the war.

Dedicated half a century to Biology at Vilnius University.

Helped establish the Green House Holocaust exhibit. Rediscovered, deciphered and published Kazimierz Sakowicz’s diary of Ponár. Author of a remarkable memoir. Beloved guide, lecturer and teacher on Jewish Vilna and the Holocaust.

Target of a campaign of defamation by Vilnius prosecutors, the “Lithuanian Human Rights Association” and other far-right Holocaust-revisionist elites.

Afraid to return to her beloved Vilna for one last visit. Lithuanian government refuses to reach out to her, while prosecutors repeat threats on kangaroo ‘war crimes investigation’ (most recently for the record in the 2012 documentary ‘Rewriting History’)

VIDEO INTERVIEW WITH RACHEL MARGOLIS: 1 and 2

MORE INFORMATION AND TRIBUTES:

RACHEL MARGOLIS FACT SHEET ♦ FORMER UK PRIME MINISTER GORDON BROWN ♦ 5 MEMBERS OF THE US CONGRESS ♦ ACADEMIC STUDIES PRESS ♦ KEENE STATE COLLEGE ♦ SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE ♦ LORD JANNER OF BRAUNSTONE ♦  LATE LITHUANIAN PRIME MINISTER ALGIRDAS BRAZAUSKAS ♦ ISRAELI AMBASSADOR CHEN IVRI APTER ♦ ADL DIRECTOR ABRAHAM FOXMAN ♦ NCSJ ♦ METRO WEST HOLOCAUST COUNCIL ♦ LEIVICK HOUSE TEL AVIV ♦ JEWISH CHRONICLE ♦ ALGEMEINER JOURNAL (& 2) ♦ RACHEL MARGOLIS.COM

OCTOBER 2012 UPDATE: VIDEO RELEASED OF THE LATE AMBASSADOR CHEN IVRI APTER’S 2009 SPEECH AT LEIVICK HOUSE, TEL AVIV

Coverage in DefendingHistory.com:

OVERVIEWS HERE & HERE;  7 MAY 2008;  19 JUNE 200928 OCTOBER 2009;  27 JANUARY 2010;  28 OCTOBER 2010;  3 JANUARY 2011;  5 MAY 2011;  28 AUGUST 2011;  23 SEPTEMBER 2011.

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A Shock for Survivors and Visitors to the Lithuanian Capital


New ‘Holocaust Room’ in the Cellar of Vilnius’s State Sponsored Genocide Museum Sanitizes the Local Fascists who Unleashed the Genocide of Lithuanian Jewry

 

 Culmination of a year of government events glorifying the Lithuanian Activist Front (LAF) and other Hitlerist groups that initiated (and whose members became the backbone of) the annihilation of the country’s Jewish minority

LAF leaflets set out plans for genocide prior to the German invasion. Historians on the 1941 campaign of mass murderSurvivors testifyMapRecent nationalist glorification. Now, the new Holocaust Room in the cellar of a major state museum in an EU capital has this to say:

Year to commemorate the perpetrators ran parallel with a year to commemorate the Holocaust, too; One in a series of ‘dual tracks’ to satisfy at once the antisemitic, Holocaust-revisionist Far Right and foreign Jewish groups

PR: ‘Fake Litvak’ initiatives (Identity Theft) & Double Games
 ♦

ANTISEMITIC EXHIBITS IN MAIN HALL OF GENOCIDE MUSEUM DISPLAYED AS BEFORE, WITH NO CURATORIAL COMMENT

 ♦
MEANWHILE, IN WASHINGTON DC, NEW JEWISH ‘SUNFLOWER’ GROUP MANIPULATED BY LITHUANIAN EMBASSY TO DISTORT AND TRIVIALIZE THE 1941 GENOCIDE OF THE JEWISH POPULATION AS ‘FREEDOM FROM THE SOVIETS’  AND — ‘AT THE PERIL OF THE JEWISH COMMUNITY’; RESPONSE HERE.
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Believe it or not. . .


Vilnius Prosecutors Launch Campaign against Another Holocaust Survivor, 86, this time via — Interpol!

Joe Melamed

Joe Melamed in his Tel Aviv office

At Lithuanian prosecutors’ demand, Israeli Interpol liaison officers speak with Mr. Melamed about the ‘accusations’

Report in Haaretz by Yossi Melman

Yad Vashem withdraws invitations to visiting minster and resident ambassador for Vilna Ghetto commemoration; Coverage in Haaretz by Yossi Melman; Associated Press (→ CBS News, Fox, MSNBC, Washington Post, YahooNews etc); JTA (→ WJC, JJ, Juedische.at, etc); Mishpacha

Three British MPs file Early Day Motion 2161 to protest the Lithuanian government’s action

DefendingHistory.com reports here and here

  Geoff Vasil in the Jewish Chronicle

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A Moral Epidemic??


Local Nazi Collaborators & Holocaust Perpetrators Honored in Parts of Eastern Europe

IS THIS REALLY HOW THEY SHOULD NOW BE RECYCLED BY ‘NEW EUROPE’?

Croatia

Estonia

Hungary

Latvia

Lithuania

Romania

Ukraine

EFRAIM ZUROFF IN HAARETZ 

DefendingHistory.com section on the glorification of Holocaust collaborators and perpetrators in Eastern Europe

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When a Major Scholar’s Book is Abused by East European Nationalists


Vilnius book event for the Lithuanian edition is held at the Foreign Ministry with a disturbing speech by the director of the History Institute

East European nationalists are abusing the book

Select critiques of Bloodlands

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May 5th 2012 made it 4 Years since Police Came Looking for Two Women Holocaust Survivors



REPORT ON THE THREE YEAR MARK STILL HOLDS


Holocaust Survivors:

Not Charged — Not Cleared

With non-stop defamation: Lithuanian ‘Human Rights’ [!] Association calls for  ‘sentencing’ of named ‘citizens of Jewish nationality’ for ‘organizing a massive slaughter’; Document is here; Comment herehere.

UNITED STATES CONGRESSMEN STILL WAITING FOR A MEANINGFUL REPLY

FORMER BRITISH PRIME MINISTER GORDON BROWN HONORS DR RACHEL MARGOLIS

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Estonia (back in 2011): Hitler’s Invasion Celebrated (Box Coverage to 8 July 2011)


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1000 Neo-Nazi Marchers Fill Central Vilnius on Lithuania’s Independence Day; They are Addressed by Two Members of Parliament


Marcher sports a designer swastika on her handbag at the March 11th 2012 neo-Nazi march on Gedimino Prospect in the heart of Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital.

———

EYEWITNESS REPORT & IMAGES

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Courageous Achievements


Brussels — Valiant members of parliament and the European Parliament from Latvia, Lithuania and other East European Countries sign the Seventy Years Declaration

Kaunas — Daiva Čepauskaitė’s new play: ‘Day and Night’

Šiauliai — Evaldas Balčiūnas is translating the memoir of a Jewish woman partisan of the Vilna Ghetto

Vilnius — Social Democratic MP Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis boldly responds to the latest Holocaust-related article by the foreign minister of Lithuania

Vilnius — In the face of untoward pressure over many years, Rachel Kostanian has maintained steadfast historical accuracy in the Green House Holocaust department of the State Jewish Museum; Esther Goldberg’s reports I & II

Vilnius — Books and a documentary of lasting value produced by the House of Memory, led by Linas Vildžiūnas, Vaidotas Reivytis and others; projects curtailed by the government’s ‘red-brown establishment’ monopolizing resources

Vilnius — Saulius Beržinis’s Kopa Studios producing series of uniquely spin-free documentaries on the Holocaust

Riga — Rabbi Menachem Barkahan’s New Holocaust Museum

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Latvian President Blesses Waffen SS March in Riga; Council of Europe’s Racism Unit Condemns Event; 1500 Turn Out


The president of Latvia endorsed this year’s Waffen SS march, “bowing his head” to his nation’s Waffen SS.  Latvia’s ambassador to the UK defended the march.  Council of Europe condemns the event.  UK MP John Mann.  UK Parliament Early Day Motion 2866. 1500 Turn Out.

———

A wreath for Holocaust survivors was covered by the Waffen SS logo by the event’s organizers. Two anti-Nazi activists exposed the wreath again for a short time, before they were removed by police.

———

Foreign protesters included Efraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesenthal Center (Jerusalem), Joel Rubinfeld of the European Jewish Parliament (Brussels), Monica Lowenberg, creator of the anti-march international petition (London).

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EYEWITNESS REPORT & IMAGES.  2ND REPORT.  MEDIA COVERAGE.

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Ukraine: Fascists, Collaborators, Perpetrators — Honored


DETAILS HERE

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Roundup


Select Debates, Essays, Broadcasts, Appreciation

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New Documentary Film


Rewriting History (Marc Radomsky & Danny Ben-Moshe) challenges East European governments’ “Double Genocide” politics and the 2008 “Prague Declaration

The film highlights the 2012 arrival of the Seventy Years Declaration at the European Parliament, where it was received by EP president Martin Schulz

Promo on YouTubeWebsite; at Classic Cinemas; Facebook

Reviews by the Critics 

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Latvia (back in 2011): 2,500 Turn Out to Hail Country’s Waffen-SS


Increased Turnout for This Year’s Waffen-SS March in Riga

DETAILS HERE AND HERE

COMMENT HERE AND HERE

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PLANS TO HONOR HOLOCAUST MASS MURDERER AND RE-INTER  HIS REMAINS IN RIGA

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Tributes Pour In for Rachel Kostanian’s 91st Birthday on 31 Jan. 2021


[last update]

A selection from tributes received. See also on Facebook. Defending History’s Rachel Kostanian section.

Rachel (Rokhl) Kostanian

Sepp Brudermann (Austrian film maker, former  volunteer at the Green House):

“Dear Rachel, 20 years have passed, but believe it or not, I often think of you and the green house, I tell people about you, and all the wonderful people I met – and I hope to be able to see you again my dear Rachel. Today, celebrate your birthday, celebrate LIFE! HAPPY BIRTHDAY my dear! Rachel! Lots of love and a big hug Sepp.”  See also Sepp Brudermann’s video tribute.

Ambassador Dónal Denham (former Ambassador of Ireland to Lithuania):

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Several Brushstrokes of our Rachel’s Portrait



by Markas Zingeris

Rachel Kostanian-Danzig, one of the founders of the Vilna Gaon Museum of Jewish History, is celebrating her venerable ninety-first birthday. She belongs to the generation that survived the horrific years of the Second World War as well the times of the Soviet regime, and saw the fall of the Iron Curtain: the geopolitical “earthquake” that allowed Lithuania to take back control of its own history.

During her youth in Soviet times, Rachel completed a law degree at Vilnius University and qualified as an English teacher at the city’s Pedagogical University. Her field was not history, until the breakup of the Soviet Union and the rise of Lithuanian liberty gave her the freedom to immerse herself in the history and culture of her Jewish people. But  no historian’s diplomas could match her relentless, painstaking and passionate desire to meaningfully fill the gaps in Lithuanian collective memory. Today’s young professionals could envy her enthusiasm and “engagement.”

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Monuments to Nazi Collaborators in Eastern Europe and — Recent ‘Exports’ to the West


[UPDATED]

ArmeniaEstoniaLatviaLithuaniaMacedonia.  Slovakia.  Ukraine

Our take? The export of East European Holocaust revisionism is best exposed and countered now, before it becomes the pillar of the twenty-first century’s incarnations of Holocaust denial: Double Genocide, Holocaust Obfuscation, and glorification of the perpetrators as being (simultaneously) “heroes”…

This page was developed with the generous help of Lev Golinkin.

JUMP TO:

Latvia → Belgium

Lithuania → USA

Ukraine → Canada

Ukraine → USA

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Tale of Two Lands: Ukraine’s and Lithuania’s State Policies of Glorifying Holocaust Collaborators Treated Very Differently by Israel’s Foreign Ministry?



Israel’s Ambassador Joel Lion in Ukraine Boldly Condemns Annual Parade Glorifying Holocaust Collaborator Stepan Bandera; JTA’s Cnaan Liphshiz Reports

But at same time, Israeli Foreign Ministry colludes  to silence dialogue on glorification of Holocaust collaborators in Lithuania (including the “naming of 2021“); Wiesenthal Center’s Dr. Zuroff protests in Jerusalem Post

Lithuanian Parliament’s dedication of 2021 to memory of J. Lukša, alleged Kaunas 1941 killer is little mentioned after powerful protests by two Israeli citizens — WJC’s Dr. Laurence Weinbaum, and Yakov Faitelson, son of legendary anti-Nazi partisan hero and escaper from Kainas IX Fort Alex Faitelson.

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Israel Chronicle


[most recent update]


Israeli Foreign Policy and the Holocaust in Eastern Europe (1990 — 2021)

JUMP TO LATEST

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Posted in "Good Will Foundation" (Jewish Restitution in Lithuania), A 21st Century Campaign Against Lithuanian Holocaust Survivors?, Foreign Ministries: Holocaust Politics Abuse?, Israel, Lithuania, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory, Yad Vashem Manipulated? | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Israel Chronicle

Chronology of Debate on Seimas Decision to Name 2021 for Juozas Lukša (Daumantas), Alleged Participant in June 1941 Kaunas Atrocities


[LAST UPDATE]

JUMP TO  MOST RECENT

23 June 2020: “Setting the stage”: After the longtime ultranationalist head of the “Genocide Center” is replaced by a meek looking “member of the Tatar community” in attempt to repair the disastrous image of an EU/NATO democracy financing a Nazi-whitewash ethnic-purity-inclined institute paid for by the state, the chief historian of the Center (a longtime member of the state’s “red-brown commission”) delivers a fiery June 23rd speech proudly flanked by huge images of two proven Holocaust collaborators, J. Noreika and K. Škirpa.  Defending History was on the scene and reports.

29 June: 2020  In response to media reports, Dovid Katz presents a case against the official state naming of the  upcoming year 2021 for June 1941 LAF activist Juozas Lukša, invoking the publications of Alex FaitelsonJoseph Melamed and a British parliamentary motion. Cnaan Liphshiz reports in JTA (also in Jerusalem PostTimes of IsraelEuropean Jewish Congress).

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Great Expectations for Kaunas, as City (where Lithuanian Holocaust Started on 23 June 1941) is Named 2022 “Capital of European Culture”


[latest update]

OPINION  |  LITVAK AFFAIRS  |  COLLABORATORS FLORIFIED

Congratulations to the city of Kaunas, Lithuania, once known also as Kovno (in Yiddish Kóvne) on its selection as Europe’s “Capital of European Culture” in 2022, sharing the title with Esch-sur-Alzette in Luxembourg.

See our evolving Interactive Map on monuments glorifying Holocaust perpetrators in Kaunas (Kovno), where the Lithuanian Holocaust was initiated on 23 June 1941

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Posted in Collaborators Glorified, Human Rights, Kaunas Neo-Nazi Marches, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, Neo-Nazi & Fascist Marches, News & Views, Opinion, Politics of Memory | Comments Off on Great Expectations for Kaunas, as City (where Lithuanian Holocaust Started on 23 June 1941) is Named 2022 “Capital of European Culture”

Dramatic Developments in the Life of Lithuania’s Liveliest Cemetery


[last update]


JUMP TO INTERNATIONAL OPPOSITION; TO DH SECTION ON HISTORY OF THE SAGA; TO SECTIONS ON CPJCE; USCPAHA


January 2021:

Vilnius court hearing scheduled for 12 January at Vilnius District Court postponed (for queries: court at (Laisvės Prospect 79A, case no. e2-625-918/2020-2021). Meanwhile, Ruta Bloshtein’s petition approached 53.500 signatures.

December 2020:

Hour-long radio show on the topic on 13 Dec. by Vita Ličytė. Vote by Seimas (Lithuanian Parliament) budget committee on 16 Dec. striking 2021 start-up funding for the “convention center in the Jewish cemetery project” from the state budget; deletion (irrevocably?) approved by the government. See Julius Norwilla’s prior announcement of the impending vote,  a detailed report on campaign coordinated by Andrius Kulikauskas, and Dr. Kulikauskas’s BNS press release on 23 Dec. 2020, and the Hebrew report in Bayit ve-Gan on 28 Dec.

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Posted in Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Christian-Jewish Issues, Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in Šnipiškės / Shnípishok), Politics of Memory | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Dramatic Developments in the Life of Lithuania’s Liveliest Cemetery

Women’s Issues in Today’s Lithuania



OPINION  |  WOMEN’S RIGHTS   |  HUMAN RIGHTS

by Vilma Fiokla Kiurė

Women’s Day March in Vilnius, March 8, 2019. Vilma Fiokla Kiurė in the center, with a banner that reads “No to Fluffy Law Enforcement!!!” Banner on the right reads “We Love Men, but Politics Needs Some Competence”: a reversal of (then) Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis’ comment on why there were no women in the previous Cabinet.

In many respects women in Lithuania are in a far better situation than in our neighboring countries, Poland to the west , and Belarus to the east. In Poland, major efforts are underway to criminalize women for their personal reproductive choices. In Belarus, women stand in the front ranks of the struggle against Lukashenko’s regime. The imagery of Belarusian women and their stalwart protest that reaches us here, in Lithuania, is a powerful one.

We, on the other hand, live in relative peace and quiet. We are, moreover, rightfully  congratulating ourselves on the new Cabinet that has replaced the previous all-male one. Now, the percentage of women in our Government is similar to that in other European states, where gender balance is a norm.

But while we count our blessings, we must continue to fight where there is still major discrimination. Women in Lithuania still earn 14% less, on average, than men in the same positions; women continue to suffer from domestic violence; the pandemic, according to statistics, harmed them the most, too. Women and — children.

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Posted in Human Rights, Lithuania, News & Views, Vilma Fiokla Kiurė, Women's Rights | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Women’s Issues in Today’s Lithuania

Books in the Debate 2021


[updated]


Christoph Dieckmann & Ruta Vanagaite: How Did It Happen? (Our People. Part II. Understanding the Holocaust in Lithuania)Available for online order.

Book launch in Vilnius on 25 June 2020 (LJC video). DH opinion piece on background. Reviews by Silvia Foti (Times of Israel), Aušra Maldeikienė (Literaturairmenas.lt); Linas Vildžiūnas (Lrt.lt; 7md.lt).

English edition in press

 

Silvia Foti: Tears of Discovery. How I Learned My Grandfather was a Nazi War Criminal (in press)

2021 Spanish edition now available

Background on author’s website. In her latest blog, the author again fails to credit Evaldas Balčiūnas for revealing, in 2012, the Noreika history (and  thereafter that of  other glorified perpetrators)  to the English speaking world, for which he was persecuted by police and prosecutors for years (see his section, scroll down to  May 2014). References to the recent glorification of Noreika and Skirpa by a prominent scholar the Genocide Center and “Red-Brown Commission” on 23 June 2020 don’t cite Defending History’s eyewitness report in Vilnius. 

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The Seven Simple Solutions to Irksome Lithuanian-Jewish Issues



Some Simple and Constructive Solutions to the Irksome “Jewish Issues” that Continue to Haunt the Lithuanian Government and Its Agencies

NOTE: The original (2009) version of this document was constructed in close cooperation with the late Dr. Shimon Alperovich (1928-2014), elected head of the Jewish Community of Lithuania for many years. Revisions were discussed with him in detail until several days before his death in 2014.  Naturally, he does not bear responsibility for the document’s annual updates since that time but his intellectual imprint on its spirit should not go uncredited.

1

Abandonment of the state’s financing of the campaign to obfuscate the Holocaust by means of its Double Genocide campaign, including “cooked” international events, conferences, film screenings and panel discussions; withdrawal of formal state support for the Prague Declaration and similar projects, closing down of the “red-brown commission” and the inauguration of an atmosphere of full freedom for citizens and organizations to support alternatives including the Seventy Years Declaration. Holocaust history to be included in historically accurate proportionality in the Genocide Museum and all relevant tourist locations that deal with genocide. Abandonment of the extensive  state sponsored program to glorify the local Holocaust perpetrators of 1941, including the “Lithuanian Activist Front” (LAF), whose leaflets indicated desire to murder the country’s Jewish citizens even before arrival of Nazi forces. Rapid correction of the mischaracterization of the early local perpetrators as supposedly heroic rebels in the new basement room on the Holocaust in the Genocide Museum.

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Local and International Opposition to Plans for Convention Center at Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery


[updated]


INTERNATIONAL PETITION APPROACHES 54,000 SIGNATURES


(I) Groups of leading Litvak (and other) rabbis

(II) Institutions

(III) Individuals

(IV) Lithuania’s Jewish community

(V) US Congress & Israel’s Knesset

(VI) Background

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Posted in Appeals to the European Commission on Piramónt, Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Dovid Katz, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in Šnipiškės / Shnípishok), Opinion, Rothschild Foundation Europe (Hanadiv): Lithuanian Issues | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Local and International Opposition to Plans for Convention Center at Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery

Why The First Week of the Lithuanian Holocaust is Historically Unique. Whom to Honor on the 80th Anniversary?



by Dovid Katz

For years now, Defending History has, on the first of January each year, named the newborn year in honor of Lithuanian Holocaust-era Rescuers, or Righteous of the Nations as they are also known (tsadíkey úmes ho-óylem in Yiddish). In 2020 — Antanas Zubrys and Dr. Matilda Zubrienė; in 2019 — Jonas Paulavičius; in 2018 — Malvina Šokelytė Valeikienė. That is a tradition we hope to resume next year. But 2021, the eightieth anniversary of 1941, calls for something more focused, not least when some governmental bodies have chosen, shockingly, to use the anniversary to glorify the perpetrators rather than commemorate the victims and honor those who helped a neighbor to escape the rapidly closing death vise in the last week of June 1941.

By and large, the 916 Rescuers recognized by Yad Vashem (and a somewhat larger number if those recognized by Lithuanian institutions and assorted survivor families are added) are people who risked their own and their families’ lives to hide (and feed, sustain, care for and guard) a Jew or Jews for an extended period, risking it all for weeks, months or years, until the fall of the Nazi regime at the hands of the USSR — then in alliance with the United States, Great Britain and the other Allies — in July of 1944 (there were no American or British forces in Eastern Europe…). As an old adage, variously attributed, goes: One fascist with an automatic weapon could murder hundreds of trapped innocent civilians in some moments, but to save one person took years of heart-wrenching, inspirationally courageous effort by entire families and networks of incredibly good people. In the Baltics, the courage had to be greater than most other places, because they were regarded as traitors to their own nationalist leaders, not only to the occupying Nazi forces. And frankly, because things are different when much or most of the actual killing is done by willing locals idolized by the nationalists of the day.

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Posted in Collaborators Glorified, History, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Why The First Week of the Lithuanian Holocaust is Historically Unique. Whom to Honor on the 80th Anniversary?

Defending History’s Year (2020) Honoring Antanas Zubrys and Dr. Matilda Zubrienė Comes to Close



Antanas Zubrys and Dr. Matilda Zubrienė

VILNIUS—As 2020 draws to its close in the Lithuanian capital, the Defending History community pays renewed respect to the inspiring Antanas Zubrys and Dr. Matilda Zubrienė whose epic of heroism in just doing the right thing in the face of Nazi rule was recounted on these pages one year ago tonight by Danutė Selčinskaja, chief of the department for Righteous of the Nations at the Vilna Gaon Jewish State Museum of Lithuania. Let us never forget the true heroes of Holocaust-era Eastern Europe, whose bravery had to be “even greater” when genocide of a local minority was being confounded with loyalty to the nation’s purported “nationalist leaders.”

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Lithuania Hears Pleas and (For Now?) Cancels Funding for Convention Center Project in Old Jewish Cemetery



OPINION  | HUMAN RIGHTS | CHRISTIAN-JEWISH ISSUES  |  CEMETERIES & MASS GRAVES  |  OLD VILNA JEWISH CEMETERY AT PIRAMÓNT | OPPOSITION TO ‘CONVENTION CENTER  IN THE CEMETERY’ PROJECT |INTERNATIONAL PETITION

by Andrius Kulikauskas

A Victory for Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s

On December 16, 2020, the sixth day of Hanukkah, defenders of the oldest Jewish cemetery in Vilnius (at Piramont-Šnipiškės) won a major, decisive, surprising, timeless victory. Lithuania’s government, acting on our campaign’s and Seimas member Kęstutis Masiulis’s proposals to the Seimas (parliament) Budget and Finance Committee, struck from the 2021 budget all funding for the reconstruction of the Vilnius Sports Palace into a Vilnius Congress Center. This building, which the Soviets had erected in the middle of the Cemetery, had fallen into disuse. The Lithuanian government acquired the building in 2015 with plans to remake it as a center for international conferences, further desecrating the Cemetery for untold years to come. Thankfully, the newly elected Government has eliminated funding.

The Government’s website includes a page for that afternoon’s meeting. The third item of the meeting is Finance Minister Gintarė Skaistė’s report on the revised budget. She spoke for twenty minutes and made no mention of the Congress Center. However, if you look through the documents (here and here), you will see that the allocation of 515,000 euros (around $631,000) as installment toward the multi-million euro reconstruction of the Sports Palace has been expressly eliminated.

The highlighted sentence in the parliament’s revised budget explicitly eliminates the 515,000 euro allocation for phase 1 of the “convention center in the cemetery” project…

Seimas Budget and Finance Committee Bureau Chief Alina Brazdilienė sent me an email so that I would be sure to notice. She had been responsive to my concerns that the 54 letters and many more received by the Committee from us in November were not visible to the Government. On December 15th she had told me that the day before she had emailed the Ministry to ask if they would like to see our emails. The Ministry had replied that they would not because they had not yet come to their own position. Understandably, I was not happy that the Ministry was not interested to see all of our arguments. I did not expect us to win. I was wrong!

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Posted in Andrius Kulikauskas, Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Christian-Jewish Issues, Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in Šnipiškės / Shnípishok), Opinion, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Lithuania Hears Pleas and (For Now?) Cancels Funding for Convention Center Project in Old Jewish Cemetery

New York’s Mirrer Yeshiva Appeals to Lithuania’s Leaders on Fate of Old Vilna Cemetery



HUMAN RIGHTS |  CHRISTIAN-JEWISH ISSUES  |  CEMETERIES & MASS GRAVES  |  OLD VILNA JEWISH CEMETERY AT PIRAMÓNT  |  OPPOSITION TO ‘CONVENTION CENTER  IN THE CEMETERY’ PROJECT  |  INTERNATIONAL PETITION

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK—Rabbi Pinchos Hecht, director of New York’s famed Mirrer Yeshiva, issued a two-page letter today expressing an impassioned appeal to Lithuania’s president, prime minister, finance minister, and the Seimas (parliament) budget review team, imploring them to halt the misguided project to erect the nation’s central convention center in the heart of the Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery, where thousands still lie buried on all four sides of a Soviet eyesore slated for reconstruction. Protests have been lodged by virtually all the leading Lithuanian tradition (Litvak) rabbis internationally, as well as over 53,000 people who have signed a petition. The saga has been dragging on for years.

The Mirrer Yeshiva takes its name from Mir, in today’s Belarus, that is one of the great Lithuanian yeshivas (Lítvishe yeshíves) internationally, one founded over two hundred years ago in the depths of Jewish Lithuania and one which celebrates its Lithuanian heritage at frequent points in time.

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Posted in Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Christian-Jewish Issues, CPJCE (London), Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in Šnipiškės / Shnípishok) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on New York’s Mirrer Yeshiva Appeals to Lithuania’s Leaders on Fate of Old Vilna Cemetery

Is USAID Still Using American Tax Payer Dollars to Support Glorification of Holocaust Collaborators in Ukraine?



OPINION  |  GLORIFICATION OF COLLABORATORS  |  UKRAINE   |  UNITED STATES

by Moss Robeson

USAID-sponsored 2017 Shadow Report: “Memory Policy Reform: Interim Results of Enforcement of the Decommunization Laws”

“It sounds like something straight out of the wackiest conspiracy sites on the internet — but it may be true,” began an overlooked article published by Defending History over two years ago which incredulously reported that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) had allegedly played a role in the rehabilitation of Ukrainian Nazi collaborator war criminals.

Not only can that report now be confirmed — we’ll come back to that — but it can be said that the issue of USAID lending support to Ukrainian nationalist memory politics goes beyond what was already hard to believe. For starters, look no further than the recent Ukraine Reform Conference held in Kyiv on November 17-19 and 23-27, which concluded with a “national memory policy” panel. The eight day long forum was sponsored by the USAID, among other institutions.

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Please Email by December 17 to Urge Lithuania’s Finance Ministry to Respect the Old Jewish Cemetery in Vilnius



OPINION  | HUMAN RIGHTS | CHRISTIAN-JEWISH ISSUES  |  CEMETERIES & MASS GRAVES  |  OLD VILNA JEWISH CEMETERY AT PIRAMÓNT | OPPOSITION TO ‘CONVENTION CENTER  IN THE CEMETERY’ PROJECT |INTERNATIONAL PETITION

by Andrius Kulikauskas

Thank you once again to all who wrote emails to Lithuania’s Parliament (Seimas) to oppose the financing of the reconstruction of the Vilnius Concert and Sports Building Complex which the Soviets built in the heart of the oldest Jewish Cemetery in Vilnius at Piramont-Šnipiškės. As things stand, the budget for 2021 includes 515,000 euros to organize the contests to select the operator and the contractor for the complex, and further foresees 16,685,000 euros in 2022 and 10,173,000 euros in 2023 for the building works involved.

We now need to write letters to Lithuania’s Finance Ministry and even the President of Lithuania. Today, December 11, 2020, the new Government has been sworn in, including the Finance Minister. This new Government will have just a few days to revise the budget for 2021 before it returns it to Seimas on December 17 for the second review.

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Posted in Andrius Kulikauskas, Cemeteries and Mass Graves, Christian-Jewish Issues, Human Rights, Lithuania, Litvak Affairs, News & Views, Old Vilna Jewish Cemetery at Piramónt (in Šnipiškės / Shnípishok), Opinion, Politics of Memory | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off on Please Email by December 17 to Urge Lithuania’s Finance Ministry to Respect the Old Jewish Cemetery in Vilnius

Lipke’s List: Story of an Inspiring Latvian Rescuer Who Risked All to Do the Right Thing



LATVIA  |  BOOKS  |  HISTORY  |  LITVAK AFFAIRS

by Roland Binet (De Panne, Belgium)

Under the Nazis the Jews had not the right to live. Under the Soviets they had not the right to publicly commemorate the victims of the Holocaust as Jews. In the Baltic States the fate of the Jews during World War II had not only been harsh, it had led to over 95% of their population being killed in front of open pits, in the ghettos, in work details, in camps, by bullets, beatings, hunger, exhaustion through work, or by mere sadistic arbitrary acts of killing.

In the sixties, some Jewish activists living in Latvia, mostly in Riga, became interested in recording the history of the Holocaust in their native country by interviewing survivors and preserving the memory of what happened during these terrible times. They had to act secretly because the Soviet authorities and the KGB frowned upon Soviet citizens who considered themselves Jews as well as Soviet citizens.

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Story of a Little Roma Boy in Modern Vilnius



OPINION  |  ROMA RIGHTS   |  HUMAN RIGHTS

 

by Vilma Fiokla Kiurė

Vitia, a little Roma boy, looks out the window of his poor red house in Kirtimai, on the outskirts of Vilnius, the Lithuanian capital

 

Vilma Fiokla Kiurė

I thought for a long time about what to report about the situation of the Lithuanian Roma — about their lives today. And I decided to yell you about the little Roma boy called Vitia. Because, by telling his story I will also tell about the painful part of many Roma here in Lithuania in the final months of 2020.

But first a little background.

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